Of all the companies to get into cryptocurrency, Disney weren’t first on my list, but it makes sense.
I mean, they have a looot of money, and that alone gives you a bunch of reasons to invest in cryptocurrency.
Reason 1) It could be a good investment – maybe I’ll make even more money.
Reason 2) I, Disney Corp, have almost 100 billion dollars in assets. I’m bored of having so many billions of dollars, and I’m going to see if having 100 billion in crypto assets is any more fun.
Reason 3) Man. I could buy, like, 100 billion hats. Wait, what were we talking about?
It’s actually a pretty interesting project.
Described as “cryptocurrency agnostic”, it’s actually more about the use cases of blockchain than it is about crypto (100 billion hats it is, then). The Dragonchain project began as the Disney Private Blockchain Foundation in 2014 as an open source blockchain. Launched by Disney, it has officially switched hands and is now technically under the leadership of Dragonchain Foundation, a non-profit organisation.
Dragonchain basically aims to create a platform for developers to interact and share data, making the difficult process of creating smart contracts more user-friendly and accessible. The project focuses on the idea of contracts and while cryptocurrencies can play a role, that’s up to the developers, it’s not a necessary feature, something that has helped gain Dragonchain both a wider audience and also some appreciation from a community inundated with tokens of limited use.
Who’s it for?
Dragonchain is business-focused. They’re aiming to assist existing businesses with the task of adopting and integrating blockchain. While business integration is an established field, the market is wide open for companies to tackle the issue of introducing blockchain to businesses that need it, and there are any number of use cases. Tracking inventory, verifying the source of raw materials, automated trustless invoices – the list goes on, and as we’ve discussed before, the major developer shortage means the more teams focusing on the issue the better for blockchain adoption in general.
On the Github page, the team outline their goals:
The decentralized and singular approach to blockchain implementation is sometimes at odds with the real business need to protect information and control business processes.
Solidity is one of the major blockchain programming languages, but there are only 5000 competent developers active in the space. Dragonchain are trying to get around this by supporting a bunch of languages on their smart contract development platform, including Java, C#, Python, Go and NodeJS. They want developers to interact with each other in a shared ecosystem (they’re calling it the DragonFund Incubator – possibly because dragon eggs), in the hopes that it will allow them to use the site as a portfolio to showcase skills to potential clients, meaning businesses will be searching the platform for good talent, developers can learn from each other, etc.
There’ll be forums for people to ask the experts questions, articles from thought leaders, and an information database to search. They want to create one place where businesses and other users can seek legal and technical advice, which is one of the features that could make blockchain business integration a lot more seamless.
Most businesses would have no idea where to start looking if they wanted to introduce smart contracts and intgrate blockchain, meaning their only option would be to hire a developer/consultant. Long wait lists and high costs to even get the right information, let alone actually develop customsmart contracts. It’s a good idea – Like most community platforms, it is contingent on people actually using it, and the value will inherently come from the user base itself.
The Team and The Token
The platform does have an ERC20 token (DRGN) to facilitate interaction on the platform. Founders, developers, and community members will all hold DRGN to participate. Community members would use them to crowdfund projects and gain early access to the projects that interest them.
Joe Roets is the CEO and founder – he worked in software architecture for 2o years before his current role, and led several startups prior to Dragonchain. The rest of the team include Disney staff members Ellen Quenin and Paul Sonler, and they bring their own strengths to the table. Quenin has worked with Amazon paymentss in her former role, and Sonler worked on cloud deployment at Disney.
The team plan to launch Dragonchain Foundation Developer Academy Pilot Program in June, a project aiming to teach developers through workshops and hands-on training. They aim to be supporting Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Environment and Microsoft’s Azure by the year’s end.
All in all, it’s a promising project. One drawback in my opinion is that it sounds similar to Ethereum, and competing with the biggest smart contract platform out there sounds like a huge challenge. Having said that, their business approach is quite different. Ethereum is geared more towards experienced developers to work on one project, whereas the Dragonchain project is a bit more holistic. The focus on training new developers and creating a space where new and expert developers can interact alongside potential clients looking to learn what they can do and hire fresh talent to boost their business is lacking in the space, and it sounds great. That’s exactly the kind of thing that will bring blockchain adoption into the light by normalizing what is still an alien process to many.
While many people know that they want to use smart contracts in their business, they don’t know how that works, what exactly they need, or how to go about getting it, and not everyone can pay a consultant $100/h to find out.
That’s where Dragonchain might really make their mark. As with all the upcoming project, we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out, but with a skilled team and a solid plan, they’re definitely one worth watching.
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