The Codius project: another «killer» Ethereum?

Former CTO of Ripple’s Stefan Thomas (Stefan Thomas) wants to compete with Ethereum and announced a platform for smart contracts, Codius, which previously was involved in Ripple.

The definition of «new» is not quite suitable in this case. Platform Codius, which announced Thomas is a project open source, which Ripple was released in beta in 2014, but further development was subsequently postponed. After may of this year Thomas announced that he was leaving Ripple, he decided to breathe new life into the project and re-launch Codius as the technical foundations of his company Coil.

Using Codius Coil company wants to offer sites a new way to monetize their content.

According to Thomas, the monetization of web content is still relied on clunky «workarounds» such as advertising, pay-access to information and data collection (think about the recent Facebook fiasco). But in the framework of its new project, through the application of the Protocol open source Interledger, which was developed within the Ripple to send payments through different registers, it is planned to add to the browser function allows users to make micropayments visited sites.

Codius can enable the following user scenarios as «agreement payments». This model allows you to earn income while users watch the movie and pay money to all parties who participated in making the film. If this payment is not included in payments, but gradually. Other scenarios include smart contracts, Codius, which will help the news channels and their readers to manage authorization and subscriptions and «act as a kind of control panel for your money,» said Thomas.

Implementation, released recently, includes educational materials for download
and hosting
smart contracts, Codius (users become hosts for launching smart contracts on their computers), in an attempt to get developers to start immediately to use the platform. Several developers already stated that they began to study it for their own purposes.

Telindus, a subsidiary IT company of the Belgian telecommunications Corporation Proximus Group in Luxembourg, will use Codius for «development of new models of direct e-Commerce,» said chief software architect Telindus Thomas Scherer (Thomas Scherer).

Josh Williams (Josh Williams), previously invested in the well-known gaming platform Unity, Zynga and Kabam, said that Codius will use in new projects, including in the work of the gaming company, whose name has not been disclosed. Williams said:

«Teams in the gaming industry and in other fields are developing on the basis of Ethereum and all of us are faced with familiar challenges with cost and scalability. Codius has a great potential in solving these problems, and we want to work with him.»

Thomas supported this comment and said that while the Ethereum network has demonstrated the viability of smart contracts, it simultaneously revealed their own vulnerability because the application on the basis of Ethereum continue to face scaling issues.

Unlike Ethereum, Codius allows developers to write code smart contract for any programming language, and to give the contract the opportunity to work as a «smart oracles», exchanging information with external data sources. That is, according to Thomas, attracts developers.

«People who come to us and say, «We’re experimenting with Ethereum and face problems of scalability. It’s too expensive, too slow. It is not flexible enough. We don’t like to write in this strange language,» he said.

What has changed?

For some reason, Ripple was abandoned the development of Codius? While Codius and was announced in the beginning of 2015, even before it was launched the Ethereum blockchain, according to Thomas, the idea of the project seemed ahead of its time. The developers of Ripple then touting the platform as a model of compatibility and stated that it is able to handle not only XRP but also bitcoin, ether and Fiat currency. However, the project was faced with obstacles.

The addition of smart contracts, opened new methods of attack on the registry, and the technical architecture was cumbersome. In 2015, Thomas said that the creation of smart contracts in the blockchain was extremely difficult and like writing software directly in the database.

Then the project team realized that scientists in the field of computer science has solved this problem in the 1970s, developing a three-tier architecture, in which the «logical level» is between the database and the user interface. Codius serves as a middle layer, said Thomas. He added:

«It will be a small amount of code that gets access to some of the assets in the registry XRP and refers to some data in Ethereum, that allows to provide a more flexible architecture. And most importantly, it allows you to create smart contracts, and other types of contracts.»

But the creation of such a platform would require improved communications between registries, which was impossible at the time. That is why Ripple began developing Interledger Protocol open source — to provide this communication. In addition, Thomas added:

«We just didn’t think that smart contracts could become a Mature industry on the stage of development… to be Honest, the value of their real use in practice was highly questionable».

This is why the development Codius was postponed. But now, three years later, the doubts of Thomas, about the value of smart technology contracts disappeared. On the contrary, he sees the problems of scaling Ethereum is an expensive transaction and the slow confirmation times — as signs that the smart contracts are ready «to move away from the mainframe, to move away from Ethereum and move to a more flexible architecture that includes several different registers».

Another «killer» Ethereum?

Codius is by no means the only potential «killer» of Ethereum, which appeared over the last couple of years. All such projects are promoting the ability to implement faster and more secure smart contracts, but usually this is possible thanks to a compromise — both from the point of view of security of the blockchain, and decentralization.

For example, the project EOS, a core network which is now in the process
the startup also promises a fast and cheap transaction due to the fact that they confirmed only the validators that are selected in the voting process, and not all the distributed community of miners, both in the classical blockchains. However, Thomas argues that architecture Codius allows developers to define their own priorities, and not to accept compromises network as a given.

«You can choose the level of decentralization,» said Thomas. «If you upload it to four or five hosts, you will have the level of decentralization, comparable to that of Ethereum, but the transaction cost will be much lower. Or you can download it for 100 hosts, and you will get a much higher level of decentralization than in Ethereum».

With regard to security, Thomas argues that Codius has several advantages over Ethereum and other block chain smart contracts.

First, the network is created on the basis of HyperContainer, project open source, that uses Docker containers to isolate code to the contract and minimize the area of vulnerability to attack. Secondly, the developers Codius is not limited to one programming language, such as Solidity with which they hardly are familiar also, such as with JavaScript.

«I think that many of the problems and trade-offs, large break-ins, etc. directly associated with these new languages, the level of security which is highly questionable,» said Thomas.

As for price, Thomas compares the cost of transactions, Ethereum, which may be above 60 cents and a dollar, with the Lambda platform
Amazon Web Services, where the same operation costs 20 cents per million requests. AWS centrally, but Thomas believes that the transaction cost in Codius will be «between these two extremes».

For Thomas the deployment of Codius — the first step to creating a standardized Protocol for monetization of web content, as well as the community around it. Thomas believes that the company can decide to host their sites on Codius, not AWS. When this Coil is «something like Spotify, but open» Protocol, uniting users, providers of Internet services, sites and content creators.

And although the code is still «requires improvement», Thomas is optimistic and believes that Codius will be a step forward for developers who are writing smart contracts that address the problems of today’s companies.

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