20 April 2018
The ‘Ontology Network’ is a relatively new project that spun out of the same minds that successfully created NEO’s Smart Economy platform and one of China’s leading private blockchain technology companies, ‘Onchain’.
It is definitely one of the more exciting and most ambitious projects out there in the blockchain space. While the popularity and the number of applications for distributed ledgers have exploded in recent times, Ontology addresses one of the most important unsolved issues in the crypto world. Trust!
In order to connect and digitize ‘Old World’ governments and economies, it is of the utmost importance that the multi-layered trust issues get solved. While Bitcoin has given us money and a digital store of value we can trust through its finite supply and decentralized blockchain, it will not create an entire smart economy or allow governments or other parties to trust each other with their data.
The team behind Ontology understands that a trust framework is needed to cater to the requirements of different countries, industries, and thus allowing a variety of regulatory environments and businesses to evolve in such a way that all parties can feel comfortable in interconnecting their data chains.
With this in mind, Ontology intends to build the necessary infrastructure and protocols that enable a network of interoperable private and public blockchains to trust each other and thus paving the way for the ‘Smart Economy’ to bloom.
How do they want to build this ‘Decentralized Trust Ecosystem’ you ask?
The idea is to create an infrastructure of modular, pluggable and expandable private and public distributed ledgers which are perfectly interoperable and are fully capable of cross-chain integrations with other blockchain projects in the world.
The private blockchains are meant to allow businesses and governments to remain in full control of their cryptographically secure databases. At the same time, the embedded interoperability features make it possible to really create this digital world, as access to the data can be customized, regulated, and agreed upon through the execution of smart contracts.
Hereunder you’ll find a clear illustration of how the different Ontology modules and layers should work together.
At the center, Ontology also wants to create the core protocols that enable instant multi-source authentication of people, institutions, digital assets and so on. With this, they envision different types of reputation systems that are based on the trustless environment distributed ledger technology provides.
Through this kind of identity mapping, people can, for example, instantly prove who they are based on multiple sources of identification without the need of running around chasing bureaucracy.
Imagine an insurance company being able to instantly give you a better-personalized healthcare quote, based on a series of data entries its algorithm can access from different blockchain sources, without it ever owning or even seeing the data.
Such systems inherently enhance the privacy and security of your data while creating a low friction cost environment for trust. This frictionless, trustless verification environment is essential if we want to pretend to chase a real blockchain revolution.
The potential use cases for a fully integrated trustless society are almost limitless and Ontology hits the nail on the head in my opinion as it intends to address these core trust issues that currently slow down wide adoption and integration of blockchain technology.
In closing, I’d say there it is definitely worth it to go and read the Ontology white papers or check their roadmap at ont.io. This project has so much potential in itself that one would almost forget they are inherently connected with the NEO smart economy platform which unveils the much bigger picture here. The battle to become the dominant trust and application protocol has only just begun! We are seeing our digital future develop right here, right now and Ontology is aiming to become a major player.
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