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Gloria Asuquo
Gloria Asuquo

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at Medium

Empowering Blockchain Technologies through Open Source

The adoption of blockchain on such a vast scale would not have been possible without the open-source system. Oh yes! The contribution of developers from 450 regions across the globe has helped Blockchain technology thrive past its infancy in such a short period. Not too fast. Let’s start from somewhere.

By the end of this article, you would know:

a. What Blockchain is

b. What Open source is

c. The impact of Open Source on Blockchain Technology

d. Reasons Blockchain should be Open Source

e. Blockchain Technologies that are Open Source

f. Who can contribute to Blockchain through Open source

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a form of distributed records spread out across participating devices known as nodes which are not owned by any single person/entity. In simple terms, blockchain is a live record system that distributes information across different networks which are readily accessible to anyone but cannot be manipulated by anyone.

These blockchain technologies are developed through source code, and these codes are either open or closed. For Blockchain technologies being run on open source, the source code is being made available to the public to modify, change and contribute. This is mainly done with the approval from the moderators of the technology.

Before we continue, What is Open Source?

Open source is the source code of computer software accessible to the public to change, redo, and remake only when permission is granted.

Open source is a perfect illustration of the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Multiple minds and abilities are required to perfect a product’s usability in different aspects of its functionality. Platforms that are developed and constructed with user input perform better and have fewer issues

Impact of Open Source on Blockchain

The emergence of open source technology, in my opinion, has had a direct impact on the massive adoption of blockchain. Both technologies aim to transfer power from a small group of individuals to a large group. Both aim to improve product safety and transparency while also encouraging fairness and collaboration.

Arguments have been made about blockchain technologies being open-sourced. Some argue that the fast-adopted technology is not open source, while others argue that blockchain technologies are open-sourced. In the same vein, both parties have given reasons to prove their points, but these reasons both have exceptions making their points invalid.

Open source plays a vital role in the inception of blockchain technologies. Both technologies share similar characteristics and use a concept that embodies an open culture centred on giving power and control to the masses, thereby discouraging every form of control by the Big Tech companies.

Blockchain technology would not have been possible if not for the pool of developers that contributed to its innovation. The decentralized app(DApp), which being in competition with the centralized apps, needed to prove its relevance and benefits. This was a massive competition as the centralized apps already had grounds with thousands of users instead of hundreds of Dapps users. Though blockchain has gone past its infancy level, there is still more. It would only require different developers from various regions who understand the necessity of the population to meet their demands. The ever-increasing need and improvement prove the necessity to make more blockchain technologies open source.

Even though blockchain is not entirely open-source, most prominent technologies are open-sourced, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Similarly, other blockchain technologies such as hyperledger, status, storj, high fidelity, and so many others are also open-source blockchain technologies.

Bitcoin is a beautiful example of how open source is beneficial to advancing blockchain technologies. Bitcoin being the first blockchain technology, was open source right from the time of inception, and this has encouraged developers to play around and study the bitcoin technology. This has enabled the emergence of other blockchain technologies and made bitcoin succeed as the most robust technology. The technology has over 15 000 contributions from over 450 developers in different regions across the globe.

Contributing to blockchain through open source has enhanced developers’ skills to build more awesome blockchain projects.

Why should Blockchain Technologies be Open Sourced?

  1. Improve the potential of the technology: Whatever technology is made open to the open-source community eventually becomes the best of its type. This is because various experts, developers, and designers can improve the technology based on different perspectives. It is beautiful that the open-source community is very generous. Allowing them to improve blockchain technology for free would mean fewer bugs, better performance, better security, less complexity and reliable technology.

  2. Transparency and Security: Tesla was announced to have opened up its patent to anyone who wanted them, making the product very transparent to the public. This gives the users of that technology enough trust in the technology, improving the adoption of the technology.
    Open Source software enables developers to establish these platforms as decentralized applications (Dapps), which are critical to the blockchain’s safety, security, and flexibility. The tight security, which is being appreciated, resulted from the inclusion of various developers globally in a project. As more developers can test the platform, it would be easier to eliminate all bugs as different developers have different approaches and methods of removing bugs.

  3. Cost Savings: The open-source innovation is an excellent way of building great technologies despite the world’s economic status. In some cases, technology may not be able to get investors to invest the amount of money needed in hiring experts; hence the open-source innovation has found a way to create world-changing solutions at a meagre cost from intelligent experts from all over the world.

Blockchain Technologies that are Open Source

  1. Bitcoin

  2. Ethereum

  3. Hyperledger

  4. Status

  5. Storj

  6. High Fidelity

  7. Cosmos

  8. Augur

  9. Trust Wallet

  10. Original Protocol

  11. Corda

  12. Quorum

Who can contribute to blockchain technologies through open source?

There are no restrictions as to who can contribute to blockchain technologies. For as long as certain areas are relevant for the development of blockchain technology, anyone can contribute. Developers, Designers, Writers, Project Managers etc., can all contribute to the advancement of blockchain through open source.

However, more opportunities should be made open by owners/moderators of blockchain technologies to enable people of various fields to contribute to the advancement of blockchain technologies.


That was a long read. Phew. In this article, we went through what blockchain is and what Open source is as well, the impact Open Source has on blockchain technology, Reasons Blockchain should be Open Source, the different blockchain technologies that are open source, and who can contribute to blockchain technology through open source. I hope you join the contributors across the globe to empower blockchain technology through open source.

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