COVAL UPDATE 0917
An Introduction to Emblem
We have continued our parallel development efforts on the COVAL Platform and the Emblem Application. This process has worked out well for us because initially the vision and concepts around the platform helped us to invent Emblem which in turn has helped us to steer the platform to meet our product requirements. Emblem is considered our flagship product that will be a full implementation of the COVAL platform.
As we continued to realize the importance and flexibility of Emblem, it naturally became our highest priority project. We are aggressively working on Emblem but we do not have a release timeframe as of yet. Obviously, the mobile app will take more time than the web app and we will only release version 1.0 when it is considered by us to be high quality, fully functional and worthy of a broader user base. In the mean time, we will plan for limited beta testing as we make progress and finalize design and architecture decisions.
What is an Emblem?
The above graphic shows the four core components that make up an Emblem.
- Private Blockchain Asset
- Public Blockchain Asset
- Encrypted Data Room
- HTTP/DAT URL (emblem.id)
Private Blockchain Asset
Since Emblem is built on top of the COVAL platform, it implements the LAW Protocol (Ledger Assigned Wallet) which uses the LAW Sidechain Ledger within the COVAL Network. The LAW Protocol was explained in our last update in July so we won’t reiterate those details here but we will be publishing a more detailed spec soon. The primary purpose of this component in the context of Emblem is to securely send Emblems to others in a trustless way within the COVAL Network. Our implementation is based on the creation of an asset on the LAW Sidechain for each Emblem created via the app. These Emblem assets can be transferred to other users (just like a normal crypto token transaction) which changes the Emblem state. Emblems are only sendable if an ownership request transaction has not been submitted to, processed and validated on the ledger. Once an Emblem has an owner as opposed to a holder, the Emblem asset on the LAW Sidechain Ledger is destroyed (burned) thus giving the owner full access to the funds and data that the Emblem contains.
Public Blockchain Asset
The Public Bitcoin Blockchain Asset is a subasset of the EMBLEM asset which exists on the Counterparty platform (i.e. EMBLEM.<identifier string>). The purpose of these assets is to serve as an associated license or voucher token that is used to effectively redeem the correlated Emblem Vault. This token is more portable and can move around outside of the COVAL Network in and out of regular bitcoin addresses. The user who created or holds an Emblem can also export the Emblem as this Bitcoin Counterparty subasset and other users can import it into the Emblem app. When the app detects this asset in your wallet, it generates a transaction on the LAW Sidechain Ledger and validates the user as the new current holder of the Emblem. This system adds flexibility and expands the movability of Emblems onto broader networks. We will explore advancing this system to the Ethereum network and others. Also, we may introduce the ability to purchase EMBLEM tokens with COVAL tokens for the purpose of enabling and paying for this feature in the app.
Encrypted Data Room
An Emblem also consists of an encrypted data “clean room” that includes a chat bot (embot), file repository (and media player) and an embedded wallet app. Creating an Emblem automatically creates this room and it is where an Emblem is managed by the current Emblem holder. The Emblem can be funded with tokens and any type of file can be added to it. This data room is the inner brain and core repository of the Emblem Vault contents. However, full access (mainly wallet funds) is always dependent on the LAW Sidechain Ledger. Eventually, we have plans for an advanced enterprise level version that can support more collaborative activities and multi-user support with various roles and permissions.
HTTP/DAT URL (emblem.id)
The last component of an Emblem is its outward facing presence on the Internet as a web page. This page exists on both the HTTP and DAT p2p web which can be accessed using the emblem.id domain and a mapped DAT address. The page will by default only expose public data including parts of the Emblem’s metadata and any content that is set to be public as opposed to private and encrypted. Additionally, these pages can be equipped with functionality to initiate an Emblem claim/redemption process.
Emblem Use Cases
As you may have gathered by now, Emblem and COVAL are designed for maximum flexibility. We deliberately have a broad and abstract strategy so that there can be a wide array of uses for various markets and industries and consequently give the COVAL token a lot of utility.
Here are some markets and use cases that may resonate well with people. Bear in mind, we had some fun coming up with these so they range from short-term practical to long-term vision.
- Control access to content
- Promotional concepts (exclusives, giveaways, contests etc)
- Release enhanced music albums with extras (videos, token as tickets/passes, art work etc)
- Accept donations and payments (fund the Emblem with various cryptocurrencies and tokens)
- Embed an Emblem in a media file (i.e. using our odeokee watermarking service)
- Immersive experiences with rich media portable apps/games embedded inside an Emblem
- Live chat (an additional chat room can be linked)
- Video game inventory item storage and trading
- Sell digital products embedded in an Emblem
- Create an access restricted “store” embedded in an Emblem as local files and/or p2p web
- Accept payments to an Emblem or an Emblem as the payment
- Use an Emblem to issue a coupon, voucher, credits, gift card etc
- Chat rooms to interact with customers and/or other merchants (ad hoc markets)
- Store and share confidential data and files securely
- Settle invoices
- Securely communicate and collaborate
- Store your tokens and cryptocurrency
- Trade Emblems on p2p exchanges or direct with others (OTC)
- Embed other private keys inside an Emblem
- Use Emblem as a typical multi-token crypto wallet
- Avoid on-chain fees and send multiple types of tokens and amounts in a single off-chain transaction
- Export to a file, store on a USB stick and use it like an OpenDime
- Physical access: Use an Emblem (and/or the tokens within it) as a trigger for events within an IoT network such as access to door locks.
- Multifactor authentication (MFA): By combining access tokens and a service such as UNLOQ, IoT can now have multiple & granular layers of security.
- Earn & Spend: Charge for access to a connected device (a door perhaps to charge for entry).
- Earn based on activities trackable within IoT networks (keeping a vehicle within 5mph of the posted speed earns tokens redeemable for gas).
- Emblem can act as your universal ID that receives reward tokens and payments.
- Store your collective identity assets
- Online Service Authentication
- Travel Passport
- Sendable Password Manager
- Connect to Oracles to trigger actions leveraging your verified identity in an automated way (i.e. Upon death, disburse inheritance assets as per Estate Plans/Will or validate instructions in a Living Will)
- Full featured Data Clean Room for secure collaboration for temporary purposes (i.e. Company mergers/acquisitions, Employee off-boarding)
- Supply Chain sensitive data sharing (consumer demand, cost
breakdowns and asset sharing) in a longer lived perpetual Data Clean Room
- Isolated Digital Vaults for various roles within a company
We are finishing the Emblem product website through October but we do have a temporary landing page up today that you can visit and subscribe to get email updates from us.
We’ve teamed up with the talented folks at Griflan for design work on the website and app and it has been a great experience working with them. We first discovered Griflan when the District0x website was launched and were impressed so we quickly hired them to help us out with the Emblem brand. We look forward to publishing the full animated website in October!
Visit the EMBLEM website at EMBLEMVAULT.COM
As part of our drive toward release, we have started consolidating our documentation in a single location located at coval.readme.io.
Some noteworthy papers we published a while back:
Feel free to browse around to gain a more in depth and technical description of everything we have in flight. This is an ongoing effort and is by no means a complete library of documentation. We will trickle out more details and developer docs over time.
In an effort to decentralize and reduce reliance on centralized services, we are developing micro-service oracles that are lightweight enough that they can be run by every user of our applications.
An example oracle service will connect to and listen for “interesting” transactions. An interesting transaction might be any transaction to or from an address that was generated using our HD Wallet service.
There are quite a few algorithm’s we could use to choose the oracle(s) to trust this “block” or “reporting period” so I won’t get into the specifics here, but you can expect more details as we get closer to launch.
Cutting the Slack
Slack has suffered from a series of set-backs lately, from spam and phishing attacks to administration accounts being hacked and complete organization takeovers. As the go-to chat application used by cryptocurrency projects, Slack has become an even more enticing target for hackers. Slack has also showed signs of stability and performance problems and various bugs and even features that can be frustrating.
In the spirit of decentralization, we have been wanting to consider a non-centralized platform for the COVAL community and move off of Slack for some time now. A few months ago, we started to look closely again at the Matrix project both for Emblem and VOCAL and for our general community chat needs. The time has come to make the move off Slack and support the Matrix project.
Last month I wrote this to express our feelings on the ICO space. We wanted to thank those who chipped in to help us fund COVAL Platform and Emblem app development. We know a basic donation request is not as exciting as an ICO but we prefer to be responsible and not take advantage of the craze in cryptoland. This may be a more challenging path but we remain confident that it is the right one.