by Douglas Horn
An important new open source software tool called WordProof has just been funded using the Telos worker proposal system. Both WordProof itself and the Telos funding system that fostered its creation are noteworthy examples of how today’s blockchain projects are changing the landscape and bringing real blockchain utility to users.
WordProof — Proving time of publishing for WordPress
WordPress is the web’s number one publishing environment with over 75 million publishers. But there is no current solution for proving when an article was published or revised. WordProof is a WordPress plug-in that solves this by creating an immutable timestamp for any WordPress article on an EOSIO blockchain, either EOS or Telos. It is the brainchild of Sebastiaan van der Lans, whose company is also responsible for the massively successful WordPress plug-in that allows publishers to address Eurpoean GDPR compliance.
When I first heard about WordProof a few months ago, I was immediately struck by its potential to be the first real-world use of blockchain that millions of general computer users would ever interact with. Van der Lans is a respected figure and regular keynote speaker at WordPress publishing conferences and many publishers will use WordProof. But imagine just a 2% adoption over the coming months: that would mean 1.5 million publishers timestamping their articles to an EOSIO blockchain. If these sites have an average of just 200 readers each, that would be 300 million readers engaging with content that has been timestamped on blockchain. This number could rival the number of people who currently have any interaction with cryptocurrency. The important difference would be that these users are first encountering blockchain not based on the opportunity for speculation or some potential future use, but an actual useful function that it is already performing. For these users, as they become aware of blockchain, it will be through actual use.
Of course, not every reader of a WordProofed article will immediately notice this utility. But these are also very conservative projections about how many readers are likely to interact with it over the next few years. I expect that users are likely to gain awareness over time with the small revelation that they have actually been using blockchain technology for quite some time. These kinds of real-life interactions with blockchain will grow for people the same way that adoption of email, the web, and mobile phones was slow at first before it became ubiquitous. WordProof will be one of these important first encounters.
Funding WordProof on Telos
WordProof submitted a Telos worker proposal to fund its creation on March 8th, 2019. The initial funding of open source software has always been a challenge in an otherwise excellent system. Van der Lans saw the Telos WPS as an opportunity to solve the problem of providing advance funding for worthwhile projects. The Telos community clearly agreed. To pass, a worker proposal must receive a simple majority of Yes votes over No votes, but also a minimum threshold of 5% of available votes over the 29-day voting period. The WordProof proposal easily smashed through these requirements to become the first new piece of software to be commissioned by the system. Upon closing of the election, the funding was transferred to his account by smart contract.
WordProof has received its initial cycle of funding and the proposal includes additional cycles to provide more features and support. Van der Lans is already working on the plugin and has delivered the initial proof-of-concept version. He wrote an excellent article documenting his submission process so that other open-source developers can also find funding on Telos for their projects.
The Telos worker proposal system is already receiving new proposals to fund additional new open source software. It has also successfully funded payment of work already performed by the Telos Core Developers as well as providing resources so that a new Telos app can purchase the RAM needed to deploy. Other early worker proposals are supporting marketing and promotional efforts for Telos.
The system has its shortcomings, of course. Primarily, it is the low level of liquidity at present for the TLOS tokens that the system pays. The current low price of TLOS also limits how many projects can be simultaneously funded. Fortunately, both of these problems are being addressed as more exchanges are launching TLOS trading currently which will soon see TLOS listed on Coinmarketcap. New apps deploying on Telos should further support the token price and many expect a normalization of EOS and TLOS price over time (1 TLOS has the resource-staking power of 3 EOS due to lower TLOS token supply. The EOS and Telos networks have equal power and capacity). I expect a virtuous cycle of new features, apps, and tools funded by the Telos WPS leading to more Telos users and a higher token price, which would then allow even more projects to be funded.
About the author: Douglas Horn is the Telos architect and whitepaper author, and the founder of GoodBlock, a block producer and app developer for the Telos Blockchain Network.
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