GitHub alternative: Ellcrys is using blockchain to help developers create indestructible repositories
Hosting repositories on GitHub leaves communities vulnerable to service disruptions so how can you create indestructible repositories? And what does Ellcrys have to do with blockchain? We talked with Kennedy Idialu, co-founder of Ellcrys about all this and more.
JAXenter: What is Ellcrys and what is its end game?
Kennedy Idialu: Ellcrys is a blockchain protocol that will allow people from all over the world to build software products and organizations together. Our goal is to create a world where individual developers, designers, project managers etc can start or join a project they are passionate about, contribute to it, earn stakes and receive parts of any revenue generated.
They can do this together without trusting anybody with a project’s shared resources like source codes, secret keys, passwords, revenue or access. Agreements on decisions are reached through a proposal and voting mechanism that allows anyone to start a proposal which is executed by Ellcrys when majority approves.
Our end goal is to make it possible for open source developers to build companies. Companies that actually solve real-world problems and may generate revenue.
JAXenter: What is the main benefit of having a decentralized version control system? What is achieved through voting?
Kennedy Idialu: The ability to create repositories that cannot be altered by a central party and the guarantee of high-availability. These are interesting benefits. However, they are not exactly popular demands.
We did not set out to work on Ellcrys to create a decentralized version control system. But, a decentralized version control system is a core requirement for a protocol that is supposed to allow people to contribute codes and build decentralized companies around them.
While Ellcrys will offer almost all features we find on Github, it will mostly be favored by communities with open governance and decentralization requirements.
Earlier on, we were building on Github APIs but had to discontinue our work because hosting repositories on Github leaves communities vulnerable to service disruptions. Although, this is not common with Github the possibility is not acceptable. Furthermore, Ellcrys repositories will be created under the Ellcrys’ Github account. As you can see, communities building on Ellcrys will be subjected to possible interference from Github and Ellcrys. We can’t have this.
Voting is important in determining what actions can be performed against a repository. For example, a pull request to a special branch may be required to pass through a voting process before it can be approved and applied to all nodes on the network. People building web applications may require a deployment proposal to be voted for before a chosen cloud hosting provider can initiate deployment right from the blockchain.
Voting will also be important when members need to come to a consensus on third-party services to be purchased.
JAXenter: How will blockchain help you achieve your goals? Why this technology?
Kennedy Idialu: We can achieve the same goal very easily by building a centralized version. But this version will be vulnerable to hacks and censorship. Nobody wants to work for a community-owned company and have its entire source code altered or made unavailable for any reason.
A blockchain allows us to create a decentralized, multi-owner identity that is recognized by anyone as the entity to transaction with. On Ellcrys, this entity is a source code repository which may have thousands of contributors. This is different from Github where thousands contribute to a repository owned by one person or organization.
JAXenter: What does it have that Github doesn’t?
Kennedy Idialu: These are some of the features we promise:
- Multi-owner architecture.
- Censorship resistance.
- Proposal/Voting mechanism.
- Paid branches.
- Paid issues.
- Account for receiving revenue/donations.
JAXenter: Would you say that Ellcrys is a Github killer?
Kennedy Idialu: Absolutely not. Github is one of the most important services for developers. While Ellcrys will offer almost all features we find on Github, it will mostly be favored by communities with open governance and decentralization requirements. We are especially certain future decentralized projects may move to Ellcrys to ensure they are 100% decentralized. Apart from hosting projects, Ellcrys will pioneer a generation of new startups all governed from the blockchain.
JAXenter: What’s in it for open source developers?
Kennedy Idialu: Natively, contributors to projects will earn tokens whenever their pull request is accepted by a community. The amount received will be determined by the protocol which will take the following into account: community approval score, the project’s and contributor’s reputations.
Apart from the ability for developers to create indestructible repositories, they can use the platform to earn income by working on paid branches or paid tasks distributed by communities or outsourcing firms. They can also fix software issues for a fee. They will also be able to earn stakes from revenue generating.
If you’d like to learn more about blockchain and meet the top movers and shakers in the global blockchain scene, join us in London in April for JAX Finance 2018.