We will be publishing a full development update soon shortly.
We’re very excited about this development as it completely validates the approach we’ve taken with the GRAFT blockchain!
Another important question one might ask is “Will GRAFT project be impacted by this development”?
We will be studying Square patent further and any action we might want to take, but we wanted to provide a brief summary of our initial thoughts on the subject:
- Square’s provisional application was dated later than GRAFT published its first white paper (July 15, 2017), providing GRAFT an excellent basis for prior art argument should this ever come to a head.
- There are enough substantial differences in GRAFT and Square’s approaches starting with Square’s emphasis on a private, closed system, while GRAFT’s being on an open, decentralized approach
- Decentralized open source projects are extremely resistant to outdated IP prosecution practices as there’s not single central commercial entity to go after
- Square is not known for predatory IP behavior, which could be the case if the patent was issued or sold to a patent troll. We believe that Square filed the patent to ensure their own “freedom to operate”.
Additionally, the fact that the patent was granted proves that there was little known prior art (GRAFT nonwithstanding) before July 2017 which is when GRAFT white paper was published and Square provisional application filed.
Finally, patent doesn’t equal product. Square and its competitors will be considering whether to develop these systems in-house or to use an existing public network like GRAFT.
All in all, we view this development as a very positive one both for the industry and for GRAFT.
With that said, we would like to ask for our community’s help in raising the visibility of the fact that GRAFT implementing the system that Square has attempted to patent – this is a very opportune time to do this building on the attention this patent has generated. Please help bring this up on the appropriate social media and discussion threads.
Exchange Brokers are a critical component of the system, paving the way for pay-how-you-want-it / receive-how-you-want-it capability. Exchange brokers (pay-in / pay-out / interchange) are open to both large and small participants. Watch the new video from All Things GRAFT about how the exchange brokers work
As such (after much deliberation) we have decided that it is better to cancel the airdrop altogether now and remove this cloud from the market, providing the project with the best chance of organic growth.
We believe that taking this action now will allow GRAFT to best capitalize on the progress with RTA, go to market partners, and other exciting developments we’ll be announcing shortly.
With that said, we will keep looking for other ways to thank our early supporters (in ways that don’t involve dramatic increases in GRFT circulation)
We hope you understand our decision and we can move past this issue, focusing on technology and go-to-market.
The Blockchain Payment solutions space has recently become a very hot topic, with both legitimate developments and a multitude of questionable claims. This article attempts to separate facts from fiction by outlining the lay of the land and Graft’s competitive positioning based on our view of the space.
With that in mind, let’s start with some definitions of key components of the electronic payment chain:
Payment processor — a service provider that processes a payment authorization, settles the transaction, and deposits a merchant payout.
Payment network — a network (or protocol) that provides an infrastructure for processing payments by coordinating the activity among multiple participating parties.
Payment gateway — a service that provides access to a payment network. These categories are important when deciphering what various providers are trying to do.
Centralized Payment ProcessorsThe first class of payment solutions that are operating today are the centralized payment processors such as Coinbase and Bitpay. To enable crypto payments, these players simultaneously act as a payment gateway, a payment processor, and a clearing house. There’s nothing significantly wrong with this approach other than the fact that 1) it goes against the principles of decentralization; 2) it’s not a network, but rather a single entity; 3) it doesn’t scale very well because a payment processor needs to be able to handle an unlimited volume of the transactions and provide cross-border support; and 4) they represent a single point of failure and, more importantly, a single point of attack making themselves extremely attractive to hackers.
Solution IntegratorsIntegrators usually take existing blockchains and make them work for a specific use case. In the case of payments, they would be the “last mile” solution for making Dash, for example, work at the point of sale. Integrated solutions usually work okay but they only support specific point-of-sale systems, specific merchants, and have limited flexibility. They also decide who gets to participate in the ecosystem and they essentially act as a bank by fulfilling a lot of the clearinghouse functions themselves.
Payment BlockchainsThis category includes legitimate blockchain projects that attempt to facilitate cryptocurrency payments. Dash and Ripple are good examples of payment blockchains, as they have made significant advances in facilitating the use of blockchains for payments. Dash implemented on-demand privacy and on-demand speed, whereas Ripple implemented inter-blockchain swaps.
Payment NetworksPayment network implies that there are multiple participants that are being connected together to form a network. In the case of traditional credit/debit card processing networks, they are bridging the issuing banks, acquiring banks, and payment processors into something that works in the context of a single transaction.
Processing a payment at the point of sale is a complex chain of events that includes obtaining pre-authorization or authorization from the issuing bank through the acquiring bank, putting funds on hold, releasing the payment for settlement, and, finally, clearing the payment by transferring the funds from the user’s issuing bank to the merchant’s bank account.
In the case of cryptocurrencies, use of such a network implies pre-authorization by verifying and placing funds on hold in real-time, transferring the payment from the payer’s wallet in the currency of their choice, converting that currency into the currency of choice for the merchant, and distributing the fees — all this is accomplished by accepting and coordinating services from service providers. This is exactly what a network like GRAFT is doing (while providing integration points for the point-of-sale applications, and in a decentralized manner to boot!).
There’s only one other network-like solution (other than GRAFT) that’s looking to resemble some fragment of a payment network: the Lightning Network. However, the Lightning Network concerns itself with instant currency swaps, without much regard for fees or compatibility with the merchant point-of-sale systems and processes. It also relies on pre-existing payment channels, making it suitable for repeat transactions as opposed to what you would see in the point-of-sale environment.
SuspectsUnfortunately, the blockchain space is rife with projects looking to capitalize on general lack of knowledge to pass themselves off as a legitimate payment solution in order to raise funds. They call themselves payment networks without building anything resembling a network, or a blockchain payment solution without having anything close to a viable solution. Their white papers are usually vague and full of buzzwords with little substance of the specifics of implementation. It’s often painful to watch millions, if not billions, of dollars being flushed into projects that show no signs of real technology or other innovation.
Here are some “giveaways” that can help identify suspicious projects:
- They are based on ERC20, EOS, or other smart contract tokens rather than dedicated blockchains.
It’s very easy to create these tokens, but unless the project will act as a bank and take on the brunt of arbitrage in releasing the funds before they themselves collect those funds, there’s no way for them to overcome the speed issue. They are also subject to the underlying network fees that the token is built on.
- They advertise a “crypto credit card” that can be processed by a traditional credit card network.
The impossibility here is that none of the traditional payment networks will license anyone but an issuing bank to accept network-backed payments. Unless the crypto credit card is backed by their own issuing bank which gets licensed by a traditional payment network (an unlikely scenario), this claim is quite dubious. Those that manage to pull off this feat will become a single-bank-backed, centralized solution, at the complete mercy of the local regulatory environment and traditional network continuous licensing.
- They are creating their own point-of-sale devices.
It’s easy to private label a payment terminal found on Alibaba or similar manufacturer marketplaces. The problem with this is a merchant will not place a new terminal into the store without PCI and other rigorous certifications, not to mention that it would have to integrate with their point-of-sale software. Adding new terminal to a store, or especially a chain of stores, is an extremely difficult and expensive process which implies significant integration, certification, testing, and employee training costs that must be thoroughly justified.
SummaryThere are distinct and important differences in payment solutions, with true payment networks providing the most open and flexible option for payment processing, while centralized and integrated processors can provide “point” solutions.
There is quite a bit of disinformation in the cryptocurrency payment processing space, so it’s important to understand how payment ecosystems work in order to tell fact from fiction as you proceed to navigate this treacherous market space.
GRAFT vs. Others
Pay-in, pay-out and interchange brokers (aka exchange brokers) are a critical part of the system, and will likely be quite lucrative!
True to decentralization principles we’re also working on making it super-easy to launch an exchange broker – straight from the wallet!
** Exchange brokers are subject to laws and regulations of their jurisdictions
About the PatentThe non-provisional patent application covers various facets of the network, but perhaps most importantly the multi-purpose Supernode layer which acts as the “pre-frontal cortex” of the network, handling super-fast sale and interchange transactions.
Why did we file this patent?With the recent patent activity in the field of blockchain-enabled payments we felt compelled to protect GRAFT project and its eco-system participants from potential IP related encumbrances. Since it has been close to a year since we published the original white paper, it was the right time to get this done.
We hope the patent will help secure “freedom to operate” protection from patent claims in the future. While decentralization is at odds with patent systems in general, the system participants such as merchants, service, technology, and distribution providers might be interested in getting extra protection in the jurisdictions where they operate.
* Additionally the patent opens up potential licensing opportunities for private (non-competing) uses of the code, providing the project with additional revenue streams to help sustain operations and ongoing research and development.
PRESS RELEASE – for immediate distributionJuly 26, 2018
With RTA Supernodes release, GRAFT makes first step into the era of blockchain being a viable option at the point of sale, providing level of service comparable to that of the credit/debit card networks.
Supernodes (aka Masternodes) are gaining traction in the blockchain space as a mean of expediting transactions. They work by constructing a second layer network around the nodes that maintain the blockchain itself, and are able to provide additional functionality on top of the blockchain such as “off-chain” transaction processing or governance. Supernodes/ Masternodes usually run on a Proof-of-Stake model requiring staking for collateralization, and provide passive income to their owners, which explains their popularity.
GRAFT is building an eco-system of Supernodes – some are used to perform quick (credit-card speed) transaction authorizations, others to provide external system connectivity, yet others to act as service brokers performing currency exchanges and hosting various applications for merchants.
Enabling cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services has been a hot topic recently, with integrated payment providers like BitPay and Coinbase, enabling e-commerce payments via a gateway solution of their own. These services act as fully integrated service providers performing settlement and payout functions. Multiple (predominantly online) merchants have rolled out alternative payment options based on these integrated services, with most notable example of Expedia, however rolled them back citing high unpredictable fees, high risks, and lack of universal coverage. Stripe’s short-lived experiment to offer cryptocurrency payments is another example of the centralized approach failure.
GRAFT is working to give the space an equivalent of a payment network (such as the ones provided by Visa, Discover, and Mastercard) by offering a network fabric that connects gateways and services together, crossing locales and making sure the network works with existing point-of-sale solutions and payment terminals. In fact, GRAFT utilizes the recently added ability of the leading payment terminal networks to run 3rd party applications on their platforms. Most notable is GRAFT’s integration with Verifone’s Enagage line of terminals.
“GRAFT’s solution makes a lot of sense both technically and economically, staying true to decentralized model of cryptocurrency, and enabling regular people to service various parts of the network. We look at it as people ARE the network.” – said Dan I, one of the GRAFT Blockchain project leads. “At the end of the day the network functions – hosting blockchain nodes, doing authorizations / validations, providing exchange services, ensuring compliance, taking care of distribution and support, and even offering credit is best done by lots of individuals or small businesses and that’s the promise of ultimate decentralization”
GRAFT Network was originally conceived by Slava Gomzin, author of “Hacking Point of Sale” and “Bitcoin for Nonmathematicians” – some of the seminal work in the point of sale and cryptocurrency spaces. The network is designed to address all issues that cryptocurrency faced at the point of sale – speed, fee, and privacy, while taking advantage of the “smart” nature of digital money backed by the smart contract capabilities. The project is an open platform / open source and the network is free to use with the low 0.5% network fee paying the Supernodes for their service.
The RTA Supernode alpha release is scheduled tentatively for August 1st and will be released on a TestNet with the RTA test volunteer team. To sign up for Supernode testing, follow the link
More information about GRAFT Blockchain can be found on WWW.GRAFT.NETWORK
- Alpha is limited to 50 active geographically distributed participants
- Participants are chosen on first-come-first-serve basis once basic requirements are met
- If a participant become inactive over 48 hours, they can be replaced by alternates from the backup list
- Have power user working knowledge of Linux
- Know how to compile software
- Are available for testing for the next 30-60 days
Process and Expectations
- Run tests as directed by the team (e.g. carry out sales transactions, connect/disconnect nodes, run various kinds of error simulations)
- Report results back in clear English
- Document and submit bugs in GitHub
- Test stake will be distributed according to test plan
Minimum Hardware / System Requirements
- Physical or Virtual server with the following specs:
- OS: Linux Ubuntu 18.04
- CPU: 4 cores
- RAM: 8 GB Hard Drive Space: 10 GB
- Fast Internet connection (no dedicated public IP required)
please fill out the application form. If you’re selected, we will contact you with instructions in the weeks leading up to the RTA alpha launch.