TL;DR: The local US government of Dublin, Ohio will be issuing its official token using SLP, a protocol that uses the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Joshua Green, CEO of Software Verde, the company commissioned to create the software behind the city’s token, chatted with CoinSpice about the project and how it came about.
Dublin, Ohio Chooses Bitcoin Cash SLP for Its Official Token
The token, still unnamed, will be used as a coupon to reward and incentivize positive behaviors. Green explained “community service volunteers may receive Dublin points from the city as an extra token of appreciation for their good deeds. For instance, these points may be redeemed for discounted entrance tickets to city-sponsored festivals (e.g. the Dublin Irish Festival), redeemed for city-branded swag, or used for priority entrance into sporting events at Nationwide Arena (Let’s go Blue Jackets!). Dublin’s token of value may also be used to digitize existing physical tokens used by the city.”
The Dublin token is not expected to be directly tied to monetary value, but its value will be determined by each merchant at the moment of interaction. Green further details “vendors decide what value to place behind the token. To reduce confusion, Dublin’s token will be whole units and therefore will not be divisible into fractional points.” Green is also the author of the relatively new Bitcoin Verde full node implementation for Bitcoin Cash, the only one written in the Java programming language.
Interview With Joshua Green, CEO of Software Verde, LLC
CoinSpice: Take us through how this all came about.
Joshua Green: The original project was conceived in October of last year, when Dublin published an [Request for Proposal] (RFP), “RESIDENT IDENTITY USING DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY.” Within the RFP included a “token of value” section. We originally recommended keeping the token implementation pretty simple, publishing “cryptographic coupons,” but SLP came out sometime during the project’s development, and after a bunch of research we pivoted to that. At that point, we had already decided on publishing Dublin’s private blockchain’s hashes to the BCH blockchain, so it was a convenient opportunity to use something more decentralized like BCH’s SLP.
So the main reasons for its implementation on the Bitcoin Cash network were ease of use and decentralization?
A few factors contributed to choosing the Bitcoin Cash network. Ease of use, decentralization, low transaction fees, and a flourishing developer community were all large factors for choosing BCH over other implementations.
Were transaction fees an important consideration?
Yeah, absolutely. With most PoW blockchains, broadcasting transactions require at least some sort fee. Since Dublin is issuing a small amount of BCH with its token (to fund the users’ transactions), the fee required became a pretty important consideration. With BCH we can fund hundreds of SLP transactions for a single dollar. When we presented the options to Dublin’s CIO, the choice was pretty easy.
How long have you been working on this project?
We officially started development for Dublin in January of this year. We were able to use a significant portion of Bitcoin Verde and another product we have called DocChain to do a good chunk of the heavy lifting of their private blockchain, which was definitely a nice perk. The “token of value” (SLP) development started about 3 months ago. Since then we’ve integrated a custom SLP wallet into their identity and polling app, which included implementing our own SLP library for use in their custom wallet (which we’ll be open-sourcing in the near future). Following the SLP protocol inherently makes it compatible with other wallets like bitcoin.com’s Badger Wallet, which is nice and gives users more freedom to choose their own wallet.
How was the reception of local businesses, knowing this will be implemented in the future?
We’ve talked with about 10+ private enterprises about Dublin’s project. Every enterprise was very positive about the idea of integrating in one way or another, and many of the companies are huge players that everyone has heard about, so we’re personally pretty excited. Dublin’s project is multi-faceted though, so some entities liked the identity aspect, others [like] the polling, and others the token. We’re still talking with them and don’t currently have permission to share specific details yet, but I hope Dublin’s announcement will encourage them to do so. Dublin was with us (Software Verde) while talking with a few [interested parties] in the private sector, and I think it’s a pretty good testament to Ohio’s collaborative nature. It’s not every day you see government working with businesses. And they’ve been genuine about integrating for the right reasons too. The concept of putting people in charge of their data has taken root, and it’s a philosophy I personally agree with.
We also published a bid to the state of Rhode Island and the federal government to integrate with the same system. Unfortunately, the federal RFP was defunded during the government shutdown, but the Rhode Island RFP is still being decided, and we’re optimistic to see where that takes us.
Do you think this will resonate with other cities to adopt similar solutions?
I certainly hope this resonates with other cities and other governments. Hopefully, the blockchain nature of this project helps other governments to collaborate with one another instead of compete. No matter which implementation they choose, we just want to see the government serving its people and doing the right thing. The state of Ohio has seen a brief demo of our implementation, and we’re optimistic that they’ll collaborate for the good of the people of Ohio, but they haven’t indicated to us their plans yet.
I’d like to thank the city of Dublin and their CIO, Doug McCollough, for being amazing to work with, and for being future-forward and bravely experimenting with new technology like blockchain, Bitcoin Cash, and SLP. It makes me really proud to be a citizen of Ohio.
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