The following post comes from a new eBook, Blockchains in the Mainstream, which features 33 of the top thinkers, entrepreneurs, and investors in the world of decentralized systems.
You can read all of the entries from the “Blockchain Dream Team” in the FREE PDF here.
Blockchain technology holds the great promise of enabling decentralized protocols, applications and organizations. Much of this enthusiasm is driven by Bitcoin and Ethereum–the main software platforms where the technology is built.
Although designing and developing applications seems to be getting easier, developing distributed apps is still a hard task. It is also important to make the apps secure and that task alone, is an even harder. We’ve seen $60m+ lost due to hacks within blockchain-based projects in the first half of 2016. Recent scandals have exposed the many risks and challenges many projects that utilize the technology face: How to write a simple and secure code that deals with real money.
As of now, there is no universal security standard or manual for various projects to follow. There are no tools for developers to easily create, test, verify and audit smart contracts, and do so collaboratively.
In order for a new decentralized web to emerge, more people need to be involved in the reconstruction of the web–from conception to the creation. Unfortunately, this will only happen once the right tools and standards are in place, creating more opportunities and allowing new developers to build innovative products.
Today, only a small group of blockchain experts are capable of building distributed applications. I believe mainstream adoption will happen when we make it easy and safe for developers to evolve distributed apps. Developers should focus solely on building a functioning product and expanding it, not on becoming blockchain experts. If developers don’t always need to understand how Ethernet, ARP, TCP/IP and HTTP work in order to build internet applications, they also shouldn’t need to understand how smart contracts, tokens and consensus algorithms work in order to develop scalable blockchain apps.
That’s why we built Zeppelin. Zeppelin is an open-source framework to build secure smart contracts. It’s meant to provide secure, tested and audited code to enable the new generation of distributed applications, protocols and organizations.