On Tuesday Jeff Garzik’s company Bloq announced what the company claims is a groundbreaking advance. The “world’s first cross-blockchain cryptocurrency,” Metronome (MTN), is “expected to launch in early December 2017,” a press release announced.
Jeff Garzik’s December Gamble
It’s the “cross-blockchain” phrasing that has enthusiasts buzzing.
According to MTN’s outline, crypto portability can be achieved through “a proof-of-exit receipt when users leave one blockchain, which enables them to enter another.” Through Ethereum and other support networks such as Rootstock (for Bitcoin), users “select the blockchain that suits their requirements for governance and security, or even upgrade the MTN contract if needed,” the company asserts.
The rest of its specifications seem rather in line with industry standards, as tokens “will be managed by its user community, with the system managed by autonomous smart contracts. There will be no third party with any special privileges either within the system or in the MTN marketplace.”
A deeper dive involves reading the twentyseven page MTN Owner’s Manual. Version 0.9 expands on the “cross-blockchain” concept. Business media has termed it ‘interloping’ or ‘jumping’ from chain to chain indefinitely, which is not the case. Obviously, agreements would have to be struck between networked chains before any jumping can take place.
Debate surely will arise as to whether MTN would be welcome. Nevertheless, its manual boldly notes how every “other cryptocurrency is tied to one blockchain network,” reminding there are “risks in being tied to just one railroad: management discord, supply uncertainty, etc. [Furthermore the] market does not know that cross-blockchains are even possible, much less [needed]. Metronome is the first cryptocurrency that is not tied to one blockchain forevermore” (page 5).”
A Halo to Dismiss Contradictions, Maybe
“We’ve built a thousand-year cryptocurrency, something that’s built to last,” co-founder Matthew Roszak told Bloomberg‘s Olga Kharif by phone. By “last” Mr. Roszak refers to MTN’s ability to move between networks, potentially, as an effort to avoid “infighting” for greener pastures.
This is particularly curious because MTN’s project lead and Bloq co-founder, Jeff Garzik, has himself been a vocal advocate of arguably the most contentious debate in crypto circles, the coming 494,784 block height Segwit2x hard fork. Mr. Garzik’s halo of having been a first mover in the ecosystem, however, makes his affiliations noteworthy regardless of philosophical contradictions.
Maybe the idea isn’t so unreconcilable. In fact, perhaps he’s fulfilling his ideas by potentially allowing crypto users to end-run around online exchanges. Fees, price volatility, make these risky moves when trading among currencies. MTN portends to solve those problems. Instead of chains forking, users “fork,” keeping egos in line.
Whatever the case, Mr. Garzik’s latest effort will be scrutinized closely.
Is a cross-blockchain token welcome in the ecosytem? Tell us in the comments below!
Images courtesy of: Metronome, Bloq, Xinpu
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Author: C. Edward Kelso