Making it easier to get paid

Could a decentralized economic OS eliminate pain points for developers?

Marc Blinder
© Shutterstock / Visual Generation

Technical barriers, security concerns, legal complexity and monetization challenges still hamper developers from getting their fair share of the growing API economy. A new blockchain protocol from startup AIKON hopes to open new economic opportunities for developers to more easily go to market, collaborate and get paid.

When it comes to integrating into an increasingly globally-connected digital economy, engineers around the world still face significant business challenges to turning code into revenue. AIKON is building tools to hide all of that complexity and let developers focus on what they do best and get fairly for their contributions.

Let’s take the example of a small Mexican team of university software engineers and medical experts who have developed a best in class AI for identifying cancer in medical scans, which they want to make available via API to third party diagnostic software providers for integration into larger suites of services.

In order to offer this service, the team not only needs to deploy and maintain the AI, it needs to also develop a sales portal as well as a billing and reporting engine. The API itself needs to have access to tables of user IDs, passwords, access control lists, and transactions records to authenticate the caller, determine whether or not he or she is authorized to make the call and to maintain a transaction log. These requirements alone means that the API needs to maintain state in a high availability database, even though the core AI functionality alone could likely run statelessely with minimal infrastructure.

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Since the API now requires a database, the team needs to buy high quality cloud hosting, and access to several third party API services such as payment processing and email delivery. All these services in turn need to be paid for via credit card, so a bank account is required and therefore a company needs be incorporated. Shareholder agreements need to be signed, lawyers paid and investors found to cover the start-up costs. This is hard enough in San Francisco, but much much more difficult in Guadalajara (the home of my co-founder and CFO Betsabe Botaitis).

Why are we making AI experts set up payment processing? Why are we asking PhD students to structure shareholder agreements and open bank accounts?

It’s clear to us that developers need a decentralized economic OS, a global operating system for commerce that’s easy, transparent, and stable. A standard protocol that will allow developers across the globe to get their fair share of the estimated $2.2 trillion API market.

We envision a web without borders, without intermediaries and without stifling bureaucracy. In short, we believe in everything the decentralized future promises and we’re committed to doing our part to make it a reality: this is a big reason we decided to start with the Open Rights Exchange (ORE) Protocol, a complete, open source API Rights Management solution for developers who want to launch, monetize and buy API products. This protocol removes barriers to market and enables API collaborators — from individual engineers to small teams and startups — to compete fairly with multinational corporations. With a global API marketplace on the blockchain, developers everywhere are able to go to market, collaborate and get paid.

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From instant payment to blockchain security to frictionless interoperability, the ORE Protocol offers a handful of significant benefits for developers including:

  • API Chaining: ORE Protocol would enable you to chain APIs together without losing scalability or security. You can easily combine APIs while still ensuring payments are instant and fair for each developer.
  • API Monetization: The ORE Protocol allows you to get paid fairly for your code by making pay-as-you-go transactions possible for low fees without the red tape of banks, credit cards and foreign exchange fees.
  • Blockchain Security: This would free you from needing to store personal identifiable information as the ORE Protocol provides security with less overhead — no access control lists to secure and manage.
  • Stable Payment: The ORE Protocol protects developers from the volatility of cryptocurrencies, providing API buyers and sellers with secure transactions that are instant and transparent.

By integrating a distributed ledger, smart contracts, and stable payments with a powerful API rights management protocol, we are creating a frictionless transaction platform on which individuals and small businesses anywhere can operate with the fairness and simplicity they deserve. Ultimately, the promise of a decentralized future is a digital economy with equal access for everyone. The only way to achieve this vision is by building fairness into the system from the ground up.


Marc Blinder

Marc is chief product officer at AIKON, where he is working on a blockchain-based platform to empower developers everywhere to participate in the decentralized economy. Marc studied politics at Princeton and worked as a political operative before joining the tech world. He’s a serial startup fanatic, who’s experienced everything from complete failure to big exits and usually calls San Francisco home.

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