The advent of cryptocurrency and crypto-tokens has opened up new possibilities in promoting open-source software. Conventionally, proprietary softwares owned by for-profit corporations have an advantage because corporations have the means to pay for marketing and sales teams as well as dedicated support with guaranteed service level agreements. However, because of blockchains, open-source softwares are discovering a new funding model in which contributors to the software eco-system get paid by purchasing tokens of their blockchain initially and getting remunerated as the token value appreciates. There could be many variations on this central theme such creating a blockchain to aggregate sales and support services for the Top 100 open-source softwares.
Ranchi Mall has been involved with the FLO Blockchain ecosystem since July 2017. FLO is an actively traded cryptocurrency on Poloniex and Bittrex against BTC (Bitcoins). As of 14 March 2018, the FLO Blockchain is ranked at 351 on CoinMarketCap.com with a total market capitalisation of $14.85 million USD. Being an active cryptocurrency permits a live indicator of all the contributions made by every interested entity in the FLO ecosystem. If the entities contribute more, which is visible to the market, the rankings of the FLO Eco-System will improve. Care has to be taken so that FLO does not become a magnet for a pump-and-dump scheme, a prevalent occurrence in cryptocurrencies leading to a roller-coaster for investors. If contributors to FLO can add to the marketing, technical, documentation and support infrastructures for FLO over a sustained period such that the infrastructure becomes better than competing assets then, in relative terms, the valuation of FLO cryptocurrency should improve. Instead of measuring the progress through total valuation or total market capitalisation which can fluctuate a lot, relative ranking in CoinMarketCap.com is a more stable performance indicator. If cryptomarkets are in a temporary boom or bust, all cryptocurrencies should go up and down together. But if a crypto-asset stands out uniquely due to improvements in its blockchain capabilities and infrastructure its relative ranking will rise irrespective of market booms or busts. It is for this reason that it is prudent to select relative ranking as a yardstick for such initiatives.
FLO Blockchain is unique because it retains the core of Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin architecture. It simply adds a 528 byte commenting capability whenever a token is transferred from one address to another. This capability represents a massive jump in the capability of the original bitcoin blockchain network because to use the blockchain, people can simply write their ideas in plain English and their idea can be tokenised instantly through the commenting system. Contrast this with a blockchain like Ethereum, where a person has to learn solidity programming language in order to access the blockchain. The potential user base for the FLO blockchain system is much higher than Ethereum.
FLO Blockchain has been active since June 2013 and is supported by a core team of professional developers, led by Joseph Fiscella from New York. It is one of the earliest continuously stable and operational blockchains. Since the crypto-market in its early days was dominated by technical enthusiasts whose criteria of value was ‘more technology’, FLO did not catch on the fancy as it was just adding on a simple English language commenting function from their perspective. As the crypto-markets are expanding in their respective user bases, the market is slowly being dominated by ordinary investors for whom usability is a major criteria. Over time, blockchains which are simpler to use yet secure will gain more in terms of adoption and valuation. FLO is a prime candidate to benefit from such a shift in user preference.
Realising this potential of FLO Blockchain ecosystem, in June 2017, Ranchi Mall decided to add its business and technical capabilities to the FLO ecosystem. Ranchi Mall used the FLO Blockchain ecosystem in its initial coin offering and, later, FLO became a key element in Ranchi Mall’s next product innovation, Blockchain Contracts. One of the major technical upgradations required for FLO Blockchain ecosystem was a thin wallet, a problem to which Ranchi Mall dedicated its resources. Ranchi Mall also created a FLO specific Blockchain Contract which is supporting technical projects in the FLO ecosystem. In addition, it dedicated a significant portion of its Internship Blockchain Contract to FLO related projects. As the thin client wallet problem is close to being resolved, Ranchi Mall is ready to accelerate its involvement in the FLO Blockchain ecosystem even further.