Bloq and The Metronome Project: Bringing Longevity and Cross-Chain Interoperability to the Blockchain Ecosystem
By Benjamin Hebert
While Washington, D.C. may not be synonymous with blockchain or fintech innovation, we do have our fair share of intriguing blockchain companies. One of the obvious leaders in D.C. blockchain is Bloq, a software consulting company based in Chicago but active in D.C. whose blockchain experts work on ways to improve business operations through intelligently designed information systems.
Adding to the list of blockchain focused software companies with their own token projects, Bloq Labs, the venture studio arm of Bloq, launched the ERC20 standard Metronome Token on the Ethereum blockchain in June of 2018. The project’s goals are ambitious, but the Metronome Team was up to the challenge.
“We believe Metronome is the 1,000-year cryptocurrency,” writes the development team on their GitHub page. Rather than chasing supreme scalability or security, Metronome’s competitive advantage lies in its longevity. The protocol uses a clever concept known as a the “Descending Price Auction” to guarantee that new tokens will continue to be minted ad infinitum to promote its use as an actual currency.
This ability may prove valuable, given that most popular cryptocurrencies follow a descending supply structure, whereby in only a matter of years token supply growth asymptotes fall to zero. This raises potential concerns about the longevity of these tokens.
When block rewards (known as the “coinbase”) are exhausted, miners will receive a smaller award for their efforts, and transaction prices will need to increase to keep them around. This does not mean tokens with diminishing supply growth are necessarily flawed, but that automating a trustworthy mechanism for steady and proper token supply growth ad infinitum is quite tricky.
Developers at Metronome beg to differ. Their Descending Price Auction model makes reliable token supply growth highly predictable. Every day, new Metronome tokens are automatically minted and auctioned off to the public at a known rate. The price starts at twice the price of the last day’s auction and descends to 99% of its price every 60 seconds, while users can decide the price at which they find it reasonable to purchase. This process will continue every day for the rest of the protocol’s life, guaranteeing an unlimited lifespan for the token while simultaneously containing supply growth and keeping it in check with demand.
Metronome’s second notable characteristic is its ability to exist independently of any particular blockchain. Ether is bound to the Ethereum blockchain, and Bitcoin is bound to the Bitcoin blockchain. Metronome, however, can exist on multiple chains at once, further enforcing its longevity. Cross-chain interoperability will be launched in the first quarter of 2019. At a high level, when a metronome token is brought off of chain A and onto chain B, the token will be burned from chain A’s ledger and the user will receive a “proof of exit” merkle receipt. This receipt can be used to prove the user’s claim to that token on chain B, where, when presented through an import function call, the token is minted anew on chain B in the user’s wallet. The extraordinary significance of this ability is that it will allow Metronome to outlive structural changes in certain blockchains. Old and inefficient protocols can die out and new, more promising chains can emerge. All the while Metronome will be able to handpick the safest and most secured chains.
Spirit of Innovation
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking with Jordan Kruger, a Georgetown graduate and a project leader at Bloq who has been working for on the Metronome project for the past year and a half. She has helped execute the successful launch of Metronome and is currently traveling the world educating crypto-enthusiasts about its unique benefits. She was clear that the team’s goal was for Metronome to be used as an everyday currency. It will be a long time before this becomes a reality, but, at least for now, Metronome is gradually gaining ground in the blockchain world.
Jordan also spoke highly of Bloq’s innovative spirit. One of the most intriguing blockchain-focused companies south of NYC, the software solutions firm is at the forefront of the blooming tech scene in and around our nation’s capital.
Learn More at Bloq’s website: https://www.bloq.com/
Learn More about Metronome Project here: https://www.metronome.io/