After receiving numerous requests from interested community members, developers and companies asking about DigiAssets, I wanted to take the time to write an introductory guide for DigiAssets and the vision for where we want to go with it as a second layer on top of the DigiByte Blockchain and the possibilities that DigiAssets opens up for the future of the planet.
DigiAssets is a secure, scalable secondary layer on top of the global DigiByte blockchain that allows for the decentralized issuance of assets, tokens, smart contracts, digital identity and much more. DigiAssets can be used to securely and cryptographically represent anything we find in the real world. From real-world assets such as real estate, airplanes, boats and cars to scarce digital pieces of art and music. Signed documents such as wills, deeds, and purchase orders to medical bills and advertisement data and info can be protected as DigiAssets.
DigiAssets as an ecosystem and platform already has interested parties planning and or working to build platforms in real estate, finance, remittance, identity, point of sale, racing, trade, healthcare, supply chain, government and more.
DigiAssets leverages unique aspects of a truly decentralized blockchain only found within a blockchain like DigiByte that have never been publicly discussed in most blockchain circles. This allows DigiAssets to be more secure, scalable and decentralized than any other platform yet seen in the market.
“You have to know the past to understand the present.” — Carl Sagan
The idea of building assets on top of a decentralized blockchain similar to how HTTP works on top of TCP/IP started in 2012 with the publishing of the Mastercoin (later Omni) white paper in 2012 by J.R Willett.
Mastercoin was launched in 2013 and was officially rebranded to Omni in 2015. Omni to this day serves as the layer Tether is issued on and projects like Factom use to anchor into the Bitcoin blockchain.
Next came the Open Assets protocol after the addition of OP_RETURN to the Bitcoin blockchain. OP_RETURN was created to allow for additional data outside of normal transaction data and is used by DGB and BTC to this day. Open Assets was then modified and innovatively expanded upon to become Colored Coins. Colored Coins launched in 2014 and made several enhancements to the structure of secondary layer digital assets and the creation of opcodes of more detailed smart contracts.
Technical explanation of OP_RETURN
I don’t want to go into many details here, but the main reason most of these secondary layers never took off is the bitcoin blockchain filled up and the cost of transactions increased tremendously from 2015- 2019. Because of bitcoins, limited scalability compared to DigiByte superior load capacity (40x) at the writing of this article DigiByte is much better positioned to be a base protocol for advanced secondary layer asset issuance. Also, due to DigiBytes 5 mining algos, and real-time DigiShield/Multishield difficulty adjustment DGB is a much more secure protocol to build upon. I will go into this in a future article in greater detail to clean up the confusion on the tech.
The next step in the evolutions of creating and issuing digital assets was Ethereum. Many of the lessons, ideas, and tech learned from Mastercoin, Open Assets and Colored Coins provided the foundation for the creation of Ethereum. Also, originally Satoshi had included many more opcodes when Bitcoin started in 2009 but was later ripped out due to security concerns; a fact often overlooked given the security vulnerabilities and hacks later exposed in Ethereum smart contracts continuing to this day.
For those wanting to learn more about opcodes in computer science look here.
Ethereum was definitely innovative in adding numerous new opcodes and pushing the limits, but our strategy with DigiAssets is to keep the security, scalability, and rigidity of the DigiByte blockchain with the flexibility and smart contract capability of a secondary asset layer. We are also exploring the possibility of allowing previously written Ethereum solidity smart contracts to become and execute as a DigiAsset.
It is important to note here the opcodes found in Ethereum today have a beginning in structure and format as the Colored Coins opcodes structure.
We continue to build upon the creative work of the giants that have come before us. We built the foundation of DigiByte in 2014 upon the work of brilliant Bitcoin core devs, they in turn, along with Satoshi, built upon the pioneering work of cryptographers from the 60s — 2000s to originally build Bitcoin. Just as the brilliant cryptographers of years gone by built upon the work of information theory by Claude Shannon starting in 1948.
We are building upon the open source lessons and insights learned from Mastercoin, Omni, Colored Coins, and Ethereum and combining them into one secure, scalable and innovative secondary DigiAssets layer. We are also incorporating many of the innovations and lessons we have learned over the past 5 years for innovative applications of blockchain tech such as Digi-ID.
Is also important to note in all the above cases, the founders issued their own coins on their protocol in order to fund themselves. In the case of DigiAssets, we are not doing this in order to keep the open source technology as decentralized as possible and we warmly welcome all developers, companies, and parties to contribute to DigiAssets in any way you can.
In Part 2 we will discuss the DigiAssets tech overview and how a sample DigiAssets transaction is created.