Protocol Blockchains Are the Enablers of Blockchain Applications but They Rarely Get the Credit They Deserve

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Blockchain projects can largely be grouped into two classes namely; protocol blockchain projects and app blockchain projects.

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A protocol blockchain project builds its own blockchain architecture from the ground up without relying on the code, architecture or governance of any of the existing Blockchain projects. A protocol blockchain will typically be independent and operable without interacting with other blockchains. Protocol blockchains are not usually popular because they often run behind the scenes as an enabler for app blockchains. Examples of protocol blockchain include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and Stellar.

An app blockchain is an application, tool, service, or platform built on a protocol blockchain with front facing solutions that individuals or business can engage with. The first interaction that most people have with Blockchain technology probably comes from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin which is an application built on a Blockchain. Beyond cryptocurrencies, other Blockchain projects such as TRON, Binance Coin, Pundi X, and PowerLedger among hundreds of others built on the Ethereum Blockchain.

A simple way to differentiate between a protocol blockchain and an appl blockchain is to think in terms of mobile operating systems and applications. iOS and Android OS are operating systems – if they were blockchains, they would be protocol blockchains. The apps you use on your smartphones – Candy Crush, Google Maps, Facetime, etc. are applications – if they were blockchains, they would be app blockchains.

 

Here’s why app blockchains seem to be more popular than protocol blockchain

The largest number of ICOs or token sales in the market can be grouped under app blockchains. The clear majority of them are built on the Ethereum Blockchain, some are built on Stellar, and we are starting to see some traction on new blockchain protocols such as DAOStack and NEO. App blockchains are popular because they represent what could be likened to a B2C aspect of mass-market use of Blockchain technology. In contrast, protocol blockchains mostly dominate the B2B aspect of the market; hence, they don’t often get the attention of the general market.

The same way most people focus on what they can do with the apps on their smartphones without being bothered about the specifics of how iOS of Android works; most people are more interested in Blockchain apps than in the Blockchain protocol that power such apps. However, because protocol blockchains power the app blockchains, the mass-market adoption of blockchain technology is highly dependent on the ability of protocol blockchains to power apps with an undeniable mass-market appeal.

 

Looking beyond cryptocurrency to other blockchain applications

Cryptocurrency applications of Blockchain technology are great but their mass-market adoption is being stifled by volatility in values, transaction speeds, and transaction fees that are not particularly better than the realities of using fiat currencies. Smart contracts are getting interesting traction on the Ethereum blockchain, but their use is for the most part applicable for enterprise clients.

New Blockchain projects such as ASQ Protocol might be able to break through the barriers preventing the mass-market adoption of Blockchain technology. ASQ Protocol is building a decentralized content economy designed to transparently reward creators while enabling users to find and engage with quality content to simultaneously sidestep copyright infringements and content manipulation algorithms.

Before the debit of ASQ Protocol, most of the content available in the digital space are distributed through centralized platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Such platforms are by nature commercial, they have business interests, and they have their political inclinations. Hence, users mostly see the content that these platforms want them to see and creators only get a tiny slice of the revenue from the monetization of their content.

ASQ Protocol makes its easy to build blockchain-powered social network apps, through which the B2C adoption of blockchain technology can be promoted. Interestingly, ASQ Protocol will be launching with two ecosystem partners namely; ASKfm and NING. ASKfm is a well-known Q&A social network platform with a large popularity and following in the global millennial demography. The platform has more than 100 million app installs and it has more than 215 million registered users globally.

NING is a SaaS platform for building community websites – complete with membership, community management, sit management, web hosting and content management tools. NING currently boasts of more than 2 million communities with more than 45 million registered users globally. Transitioning into blockchain-powered versions of ASKfm or NING on the ASQ protocol will potentially bring millions of users into direct contact with Blockchain technology beyond cryptocurrency applications and kindle the flames of what could be a an unexpected wave of mass-market adoption.

ASQ Protocol is a younger protocol relative to other established players such as Ethereum, Stellar, and NEO. However, by having strategic ecosystem partners at an early stage in its roadmap, ASQ Protocol is starting from a strengthen position because of its potential ability to build up the critical mass needed for the mass-market adoption of its offerings.. It would be interesting how to see how well the project executes its ideas and leverage its competitive edge going forward.

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