Atala is similar to the open-source Blockchain framework Hyperledger Fabric, IBM Blockchain, but this solution adopts a different approach and focuses on developing countries
The Founder of Cardano, Co-founder of Ethereum and Executive Director of IOHK, Charles Hoskinson, announced the launch of an enterprise Blockchain framework that aims to provide financial services to billions of people living in African countries.
The structure, which is called “Atala” after a butterfly that inhabits Florida, was created by IOHK in order to serve as a solution provider for developers, companies and governments seeking to implement new products. Hoskinson said:
“Atala is a business structure similar to Hyperledger Fabric. However, the objective is to be a solution provider for governments that need a municipal currency or a supply chain management system. This requires a type of framework that serves as libraries and modules that allow governments to quickly build a product for end users.”
Currency for Ethiopia
Although Atala is similar to the open-source Blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric, which is used by IBM Blockchain, it has a huge difference: the solution adopts a different approach by focusing less on first-world companies and more on governments of developing countries. The framework has been built from scratch, for real-world use cases such as property registration, voting systems and supply chain management. Besides, unlike other enterprise blockchain frameworks that are cryptoeconomic, Atala focuses on the adoption of a digital currency.
According to Hoskinson, Atala will first be used in collaboration with the Ethiopian government to develop a new cryptocurrency that provides a safe and reliable means of payment for the capital of the nation. He added:
“Although we have signed several memoranda, the most important of them is that we are going to build commonly used currency for the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. We are working together with the Ethiopian government to create a new digital payment system that will allow six million users to pay their energy and electricity bills with cryptocurrencies. Eventually, we may combine this with an identity card.”
Other African countries
Whilst the government of Ethiopia will be among the first to use Atala, the framework will also be introduced in other African countries that lack an inherited infrastructure, with the intention of enabling a new smart economy. In addition, Hoskinson said that Atala will provide services to other business industries that seek the adoption of block chains. He revealed:
“We are now trying to find the right product market, but I could also say that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a major footwear manufacturer for the fight against counterfeiting.”
Another main objective of Atala is to move, without problems, the value of the user between different blockchains. Currently, Blockchain systems lack interoperability, which Hoskinson considers problematic, especially for companies.
More than two discussions need to be held about how to blur the line between a permissioned ledger, a business ledger, and a permissionless system. We have to treat it as a single spectrum and move the user value between the two without problems. Our intention is not to alert users that they are leaving the Cardano block chain and entering Ethereum, but to allow them to have a perfect experience. We need to focus on moving data, actors and values between these systems so that users can move between an exchange and an open ledger.
Additionally, Hoskinson indicated that the interoperability of the blockchain is necessary to facilitate the massive adoption of this technology. IOHK is studying the possibility of developing new tracking and traceability solutions for the agricultural supply chain of Ethiopia. However, the blockchain interoperability is a required key element. Hoskinson said:
“The only way for 15 million farmers in Ethiopia to enter a cryptocurrency-type system is by first introducing them into a supply chain system. Farmers need to be in a supply chain system to adhere to international mandates. Many of these people do not want to use cryptocurrencies, but once they are in a supply chain, they are within a network. If Cardano finds this interoperable, we can build a product that can reach 15 million people.”
By Willmen Blanco