December 17, 2015

How to Judge the Success of Blockchain Projects?

Hong Kong finance centerWhen there are different efforts attempting to solve a big problem, what’s the best way of figuring out which one (or ones) are succeeding? Press releases? New members joining? Hires? Integrations promised? Conference attendees?

There’s information to be gleaned from each of these, but the most reliable sign of a successful open source project is to look at the code. Healthy projects have frequent code contributions from diverse organizations and individuals. Issues are triaged and assigned. Pull requests are debated and revised, and at the end are either accepted or they are rejected with meaningful feedback.

Today, I am thrilled to announce the launch of an open source distributed ledger project. We have a truly extraordinary group of launch members, representing many of the most innovative companies in the financial and technology industries.

However, the best way to judge whether we’re actually succeeding is not via anything in this announcement but to watch the Github repos that will be coming soon. This is where, over the next several months, we expect to see not just developers from our members contributing, but also contributions from interested developers from other companies as well as unaffiliated individuals.

One of the lessons from open source that we at The Linux Foundation take from projects as diverse as the Linux Kernel and Node.js is the ability for one platform to serve many different kinds of users. When diverse users can standardize on the substrate, it enables enormous innovation to proliferate at higher layers. Good ideas can then be shared more widely. For example, changes made to the kernel to improve battery life on cellphones today help data centers save on power and cooling. We think that will be equally true for blockchain. Different industries - same code.

Please check back soon to see progress on the code, and if you’d like to get even more involved, please consider joining the project.

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