Request is a decentralized network that allows users to request a payment (a Request Invoice), in which the recipient can pay in a secure way with all the information kept in a decentralized ledger. This results in simpler, cheaper and more secure payments, allowing a wide range of automation possibilities on top.
Similar in concept to 'ask for money' on many of the 3rd party payment providers such as PayPal, the Request company intends to create a decentralized network for payment requests. The white paper presents a very detailed examination of how they intend to approach the many challenges of the space (mainly security, and accounting), and their thinking on a globally standardized digital accounting fits nicely with the evolving cryptocurrencies infrastructure.
While it is not within their white paper, if successful, the Request network would also lend itself to extension into the niche of decentralized delivery of digital goods (a giant niche in the world of tomorrow).
Request aims to create a new financial system starting with the settlement layer. Supplying this infrastructure, developers can build innovative solutions in areas such as finance and accounting directly on the network. A payment-request application can be thought of as a simple “block” in the financial foundation the economy is built on. Alone it solves nothing that other projects haven’t already done, yet Request is more than that. It is a platform in which other blocks can be stacked on to create a new and streamlined system. Combined, it is network of decentralized applications (Dapps) that fixes the current fractured payment system the world uses. There are three main layers that create this platform for new applications.
Core Layer – At the bottom, the core layer hosts the Request digital ledger and the smart contracts that the network relies on. The payment requests and transfer of value are done here including other basic payment services options you would expect such as basic addition and subtraction.
Invoices are done on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC-20 protocol. There are other options available but it requires additional programs to understand them. This can be seen as a positive or negative depending how you view the Ethereum network. Scalability in a secure blockchain environment is a pressing topic. There are multiple proposed and under development scalability solutions being spearheaded by the Ethereum Foundation (i.e. Casper Proof of Stake). Many of these solutions are planned for fruition sometime in 2018. Once these developments are implemented, Request should be unhinged.
Extensions Layer – As you would expect, the next layer up handles more complex payments than a simple peer-to-peer invoice. An example could be if a business requests an invoice that requires unique calculations like advance payments, adding in late fees, or even escrow options. Structuring a subscription payment model would also be possible on this layer with a continues billing solution.
All fees on this layer are paid in REQ (the native network currency). As more complex calculations are needed, the higher the cost. Developers are able to create extensions and charge for use of them enabling an incentive for innovation.
Applications Layer – This is the layer where external applications can leverage Request as an intermediary for any financial service that is needed. These applications are outside of the blockchain. Traditional applications can be enabled on Request using already existing developer interfaces opening the doors to endless financial solutions. A great example could be connecting Intuit QuickBooks (or another accounting software) directly with Request to simply the fractured environment new business have to track.
A reputation system is implemented in this layer to reduce phishing attacks and fraud. The entities reputation takes a hit every time an invoice isn’t paid or even paid late, for instance.
The Request Network team have the claim to some serious chops in the technical space, including a far look ahead visionary in their advisor. Can they deliver against the soon-to-emerge competition? Will the challenges of a short cycle development environment provide too many opportunities for security lapses? See our Flow section for more.
This space of the 'demand side of business invoicing' is poised to grow significantly in just a few short years. This space will not only grow in terms of revenue, also in terms of 'spread' in to other business aspects. However, note that the space will also become more crowded as many other companies realized that their primary purpose either has evaporated, or been taken over by a too- dominant player, or that they are 'incidentally' also performing some tasks in this space. The space, and its growth, will be attractive for many years.
Wikimédia France to Accept Crypto Donations
Wikimédia France, the French branch of the global internet movement, has recently announced (May 2018) it will soon begin accepting donations in cryptocurrencies through a partnership with the Request Network Foundation.
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