Witnet: Born and Raised Decentralized
From the very moment we started working on the Witnet Protocol we had a clear idea in mind: for it to be successful, both the development and the network had to be truly decentralized.
The technology is important, but even more important is to have an open ecosystem where different players, with no affiliation among them, contribute to its development and maintenance.
That’s why everything we have done so far aims to restrict any major influence Witnet Foundation and its founders might have on the network and the protocol.
Any third party or individual can participate in equal terms in the Witnet ecosystem. By the time mainnet is launched, the team who wrote the whitepaper, and who is building Witnet-rust, will need to become a contingent player without whom the Witnet network and protocol are equally viable.
Here goes a summary of the efforts we have undertaken so far in that direction:
- Research conducted during the conception and design of the Witnet Protocol and network are summarized in publicly available reports under open access terms. In particular, research materials are available on a dedicated GitHub repo. Academic publications are additionally submitted to arXiv.
- Relevant discussions related to the design of the Witnet Protocol are carried out in the open in publicly available forums where anyone can participate and have a say. Some of these forums are GitHub, Discord and Reddit.
- A document stating the process for proposing, debating and adopting significant changes in the Witnet Protocol has been published on GitHub. Such process, which mimics those used in many other open source communities like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Python actually entitles anyone to propose changes to the document and the process itself.
- Witnet-rust has been released under the GNU General Public License v3.0, which ensures that its source code is available for everyone to use, inspect and modify in any form. This guarantees that Witnet Foundation cannot introduce any secret or unadvertised changes that could be unfair to other players in the ecosystem.
- Development of Witnet-rust is being conducted openly on GitHub, from day one.
- Several developers with no affiliation to Witnet Foundation who have made significant contributions to the project have been given the same administrative permissions on the Witnet-rust GitHub page as the original founders.
- Abundant documentation on how the Witnet Protocol and Witnet-rust work has been produced, published and made available for anyone to be able to create their own implementation of the protocol with ease.
We have done everything in our hands to make sure we have no possible way of enforcing any protocol rule, or any modification, on the rest of network participants. That should be obvious, as that’s the nature of a peer-to-peer, open source technology. But unfortunately it is too common in the crypto space to see centralized projects that are marketed as decentralized protocols.
That’s not the case of Witnet. While some could argue that a certain degree of control can be beneficial at early stages, we decided early on to take a radical approach: Witnet would be decentralized from day one, or it would not be at all.