Not long after Bitcoin burst onto the cryptography scene in 2009 came alternative blockchains, oftentimes dubbed altcoins, aimed at building upon and expanding Bitcoin’s innovation. Undoubtedly the most highly anticipated, well-funded, and hotly debated of these alternative blockchains has been Ethereum, whose developers collected over 30,000 Bitcoins during Ethereum’s initial crowdfunding held in 2014
Not long after Bitcoin burst onto the cryptography scene in 2009 came alternative blockchains, oftentimes dubbed altcoins, aimed at building upon and expanding Bitcoin’s innovation. Undoubtedly the most highly anticipated, well-funded, and hotly debated of these alternative blockchains has been Ethereum, whose developers collected over 30,000 Bitcoins during Ethereum’s initial crowdfunding held in 2014. Its first of many releases to come known as Frontier went live in July 2015 much to the pleasure of speculators and crypto fans alike.
Applications and platforms built upon Ethereum are slowly but surely seeing the light of day and one of the latest and most talked about such platforms to go live is called Elephant. Elephant is a financial platform aimed at providing tools for crowdfunding and smart contracts. Such financial actions have traditionally been slow, tedious and expensive due to a third party, such as a bank or government, having to be involved. Elephant and its native service tokens, elCoins, enable such actions on a peer-to-peer basis and make them incredibly inexpensive and efficient.
The Elephant platform, already available for Android, iOS and desktop operating environments, allows businesses and individuals to obtain seed funding for projects by creating their own asset or security tokens. Those participating in the crowdfunding purchase assets with elCoins under a specified agreement with the asset issuer.
Also available on the Elephant platform are multi-signature solutions for second generation cryptocurrencies and generalized smart contracts – contracts between two parties that execute only when pre-specified parameters are met. These contracts enable the general public worldwide to execute secure and stable financial actions with another party in the absence of any kind of a centralized institution. The fee for executing such actions on the Elephant platform is negligible and standardized regardless of the value included in the transactions.
Perhaps most importantly, the Elephant platform is intuitively designed in such a way that the average computer user can use its functions without any knowledge of the Ethereum backend. This kind of accessibility is crucial as blockchain technology marches towards widespread adoption.
Although similar financial platforms such as NXT and Bitshares already exist and provide similar functions, Elephant and its powerful Ethereum backend undoubtedly bring something new to the table. Something that already sets itself apart from the rest is its method of issuance of elCoins.
Every ten days after the Elephant networks launch, accounts having participated in at least one transaction in the previous ten day period receive a variable interest rate reward that changes as the project ages. This method of issuance is known as Proof-of-Stake.
The second method of issuance is known as Proof-of-Transaction. An auction for 200 elCoins is launched 300 days after Elephant’s public launch and repeats every 100001st transaction on the network. The only eligible accounts are those that participated in the ten transactions previous to the auction and the winner is the account with the largest amount of debit transactions of at least 10 elCoins.
Platforms like Elephant are arguably the most disruptive implementations of blockchain technology because they afford people worldwide the power to remove traditionally corrupt and inept third parties from financial actions and empower individuals to have more control over their own finances.
Bitcoin paved the path towards a new financial frontier and implementations like Elephant are seizing the opportunities Bitcoin has opened for us to expand the power of the blockchain into additional systems and institutions that belong to the people, not corporations or governments.