Prominent blockchain group Algorand has announced an upgrade to its protocol that is said to significantly expand the range of decentralized applications and processes that can be built on the platform. The update expects to unlock the ability to develop scalable blockchain-native solutions for real-world use cases.
This past summer, the Singapore based Algorand raised $60 million in a dutch auction token sale. At that time, the Algorand Foundation said the auction was “met with overwhelming demand.” US investors were blocked from participating in the offering.
Algorand is building a permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain protocol for the “next generation of financial products.”
Algorand also shared that it is powering the “first-ever Hybrid IPO” with World Chess.
Using Algorand’s upgrade, World Chess, which holds the broadcasting rights to the most recent World Chess Championship, has announced a “Hybrid IPO,” including a security token offering and a forthcoming London Stock Exchange listing.
Conducted via Securitize on the Algorand blockchain, the Hybrid IPO will use a new Algorand feature making it possible to tokenize and issue any type of asset – in this case, stock.
Algorand says that securitizing or tokenizing shares on the Algorand blockchain reduces barriers to entry by making fractionalization possible while making stock cheaper and faster to buy and allowing more investors in.
As part of the upgrade, Algorand announced the following features:
- Algorand Standard Asset (ASA): This feature makes it possible for the tokenization and issuance of any type of asset on the Algorand blockchain, in a standardized way. These include fungible assets like currencies, stablecoins, and utility tokens; non-fungible assets like tickets; restricted fungible assets like securities; and restricted non-fungible assets like licenses and certifications.
- Atomic Transfers: This feature offers a fast, low cost, and secure way to simultaneously transfer a number of assets among multiple parties. In a traditional economy, this is done in a trusted or legal framework. This becomes even more complex on the blockchain, but Atomic Transfers provide an elegant solution to enable more use cases, such as simplified and expedited debt settlement, efficient matched funding, and more.
- Algorand Smart Contracts (ASC): These are stateless smart contracts that offer numerous possibilities for governed transactions via simplified scripting templates. They automatically enforce custom rules and logic, typically around how assets can be transferred — lowering cost and risk in the process. In addition, a scripting language called TEAL (Transaction Execution Approval Language) has been created to enable developers to build their own transaction rule structures and smart contracts. This is useful for everything from creating escrow accounts to crowdfunding to creating collateralized debt.
Steve Kokinos, CEO of Algorand Inc., stated:
“Building decentralized financial applications requires the right foundational technology and vision. At Algorand, we’re committed to continuous innovation and the development of technology that solves real-world challenges. With this release, new features and simple developer resources enable new use cases and broader adoption of blockchain overall.”
According to Algorand, a number of organizations in financial services, real estate, and enterprise technology have already been leveraging Algorand’s public blockchain to solve real-world challenges.