Algorand Launches Protocol Upgrade, Setting the Stage for the Next Wave of Distributed App Development
The Algorand Foundation has announced an upgrade to the protocol that opens up a plethora of new offerings and expands the range of decentralized applications (Dapps) and processes that can be built on the Algorand platform.
“Building decentralized financial applications requires the right foundational technology and vision,” said Steve Kokinos, CEO of Algorand Inc. “At Algorand, we’re committed to continuous innovation and the development of technology that solves real-world challenges. With this release, new features and simple developer resources enable new use cases and broader adoption of blockchain overall.”
Enterprise-scale Dapps can now be built on Algorand’s proof of stake (PPoS) blockchain without sacrificing performance.
This update unlocks the ability to develop scalable blockchain-native solutions for real-world use cases.
The following capabilities have been built directly into Layer-1, providing the key benefits of speed, scalability, and finality:
Algorand Standard Asset (ASA): This feature makes it possible for the tokenization and issuance of any type of asset on the Algorand blockchain, in a standardized way. These include fungible assets like currencies, stablecoins, and utility tokens; non-fungible assets like tickets; restricted fungible assets like securities; and restricted non-fungible assets like licenses and certifications.
Atomic Transfers: This feature offers a fast, low cost, and secure way to simultaneously transfer a number of assets among multiple parties. In a traditional economy, this is done in a trusted or legal framework. This becomes even more complex on the blockchain, but Atomic Transfers provide an elegant solution to enable more use cases, such as simplified and expedited debt settlement, efficient matched funding, and more.
Algorand Smart Contracts (ASC): These are stateless smart contracts that offer numerous possibilities for governed transactions via simplified scripting templates. They automatically enforce custom rules and logic, typically around how assets can be transferred — lowering cost and risk in the process. In addition, a scripting language called TEAL (Transaction Execution Approval Language) has been created to enable developers to build their own transaction rule structures and smart contracts. This is useful for everything from creating escrow accounts to crowdfunding to creating collateralized debt.
A number of organizations in financial services, real estate, and enterprise technology have already been leveraging Algorand’s decentralized, scalable, and secure public blockchain to solve today’s challenges. Algorand 2.0, coming less than six months after the launch of Algorand’s MainNet, provides needed features for the DeFi movement.
“Issuing and managing compliant digital securities requires highly innovative technology,” said Shay Finkelstein, CTO at Securitize, the trusted global solution for digital securities. “Algorand is delivering that innovation with this new set of features that brings an impressive amount of opportunity to decentralized finance. Algorand’s performance combined with the new 2.0 release of their core protocol shows great potential for compliant, cost effective securities trading infrastructure and will enable Securitize to provide an efficient version of our compliance layer for our customers.”
The Algorand Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with a vision of a borderless economy built on public, decentralized blockchain technology. The Foundation, in partnership with Algorand Inc, has built the Algorand protocol as the cornerstone of achieving this vision. The Foundation envisions a wide breadth of applications made possible on Algorand and is focused on enabling all developers to build next-gen tools, educating and fostering an inclusive community encompassing protocol governance and economic efficiency in the development of the Algorand ecosystem. The Foundation is committed to facilitating this innovation in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner by utilizing the pure proof-of-stake consensus algorithm.
Algorand Inc. built the world’s first open-source, permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain protocol for the next generation of financial products. This blockchain, the Algorand protocol, is the brainchild of Turing Award-winning cryptographer Silvio Micali. A technology company dedicated to removing friction from financial exchange, Algorand Inc. is powering the DeFi evolution by enabling the creation and exchange of value, building new financial tools and services, bringing assets on-chain and providing responsible privacy models.
Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.
Kastelein has an Ad Honorem – Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China’s first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme. Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission’s SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government’s Innovate UK division.
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He’s written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein’s professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he’s travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’ travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he’s raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.