Manifold Technology building for a better blockchain

Opening up their API has paid dividends not only for Manifold Technology but for blockchain technology as a whole, cofounder and CEO Chris Finan believes.

While blockchain technology is now a common news topic, decision makers are still learning its intricacies and understanding the technology behind it.

But those people aren’t the ones who have to figure out how to integrate blockchain with their existing systems, so Manifold Technology opened up its API and put it in open source as a way of showcasing what they had built.

“We did it publicly in part because it’s a lot easier if enterprise teams try stuff,” Mr. Finan explained. “We’re optimistic that if we harness the power of the crowd there is great potential application.

“If you plant a cornfield you’ll grow lots of corn but you don’t know where it will grow first.”

Encourage everyone, identify promising contributors and grow the entire space.

Mr. Finan added the Manifold Platform is beholden only to its enterprise operator, not a group of sub-users. Because it employs multi-chain segmentation, its integrity can be audited and mathematically proven to enterprise partners, consumers and overseers.

Manifold Technology's Chris Finan

Manifold Technology’s Chris Finan

“Crowd governance has issues just like institutions do – someone needs to be the trusted authority,” Mr. Finan said. “With other solutions you are beholden to a subset of users who could collude and change history.”

There are challenges when integrating any new technology into an existing system, so any addition has to be conducive with the rest of your stack, Mr. Finan added.

“Added complexity is a gift to a potential attacker because the technology becomes more complicated to implement.”

Mr. Finan also cautioned there are computational costs to different technologies which will impact their scalability. Bitcoin’s blockchain has a hardcoded block size limit of 1 MiB, so its transactions per second average depends on the average transaction size and target block time. It is generally accepted that on average the bitcoin blockchain can process seven transactions per second.

Instead of having transaction and block size limits, Ethereum introduces a gas limit which sets fee costs. Every act on its blockchain costs gas. A limit of 4,712,388 can be spent on every block, which, depending on the transaction size, allows for anywhere from 15 to 40 transactions per second.

That’s an expensive solution for large financial services companies that process tens of thousands of transactions every day. Why not build something that processes transactions into the block at both a lower cost and higher speed?

So far Manifold Technology is seeing plenty of projects being developed, including in the capital markets and commercial payments spaces.

Look for blockchain technology to play a growing role in digital rights management and content distribution, Mr. Finan predicts. Authorship and rights ownership can be effectively tracked via the technology.

Blockchain technology is emerging as an effective solution because it addresses the key friction points of data management and synchronization, Mr. Finan explained you need to guarantee that the data will not be tampered with, especially while it is being synchronized. This helps firms comply with know your customer and anti-money laundering protocols.

Mr. Finan is also excited about the immediate future of blockchain technology because of who is now getting involved.

“Those with more enterprise experience are getting involved in the technology – CIOs and CTOs.”