In a blog post, Ripple Labs, maintainer of the digital currency Ripple, has announced it will not continue the development of its smart contract project. The organization had announced a year or so ago about the launch of the project; however, now it informs that it is small and nascent decentralization market and too immature.
In a blog post, Ripple Labs CTO Stefan Thomas wrote
Codius exists to provide a platform for trusted code execution through decentralization of the computers that run the code. It was our research project to answer a fundamental question: How to make decentralization so easy, so cheap and so frictionless that anything can be decentralized with minimal overhead?
However, in the later part of the blog he admits that nearly one year since the white paper, it’s time to look back and see what his organization has learned after shipping Codius 1.0. He further says:
As outlined above, we’ve realized that Codius is an optimization and – right now, with a small and nascent decentralization market – a premature one. We have no plans to work on a Codius 2.0; instead we are building our own decentralized applications “manually” as described above.
Tough Lessons Learned
Stefan Thomas says that there are a couple of things that the organization learned from Smart Contract Project and when it was announced in July, 2014, it set out to build a platform that smart contract-distributed apps could be built on top of. Unlike decentralized Bitcoin apps, this platform would use hosting providers, like the ones that run many websites, to host the decentralized applications — not a decentralized network.
Nonetheless, the Codius project was devised to make the process of setting up customers’ smart contract app in a hosting provider automated and streamlined. While relying on centralized entities that require trust may not bode well with many Bitcoin advocates – unlike Bitcoin’s proof-of-work system – Codius is much cheaper both in terms of computing power and electricity.
Future Course of Actions
Mr. Thomas admitted that although Codius 1.0 was released earlier this year, much remains in the way of the advancement of the smart contract platform. According to him in order to make the process further automated and secure, hosting providers will need to verify the programs being run by these smart contracts by certifying cryptographically what code they are running.
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