Guest post: Federated Blockchains and the Financecloud API, by Matthias Klees

Originally published at: https://nextcloud.com/blog/guest-post-federated-blockchains-and-the-financecloud-api-by-matthias-klees/

Finance Cloud API develops a protocol to launch financial and crypto services, and is using Nextcloud for the cloud part. Discover the presentation of the Finance Cloud API Idea, by Matthias Klees!

Finance Cloud API, by Matthias Klees

Since last year, we have been developing the FINANCECLOUD API Idea (a protocol to launch financial and crypto services on), a fintech product accompanied by a cloud-device for the home network. In fact, the cloud device is the center of our concept.

We think, while decentralization is a good thing for services, “blockchain” is not always the right way. Functions are not well located in wallets, bound exclusively to any blockchain. Services shall be permissionless accessible for anyone and for any currency.

The cloud device runs the users cloud and gives access to services, via a simple app store, to enable easy crypto handling, trading and point-of-sales integration. It aims to make cryptocurrencies more accessible, easy and secure, whilst keeping the user in control. The app store is planned to act as a proxy between the user clouds and the service providers.

To make the functions accessible for any blockchain based currency, we are collaborating with the “Internet-of-Coins” team (see coinstorm.net), to use their just-finished hybrid protocol.

The device

Our Hardware Manager, Olaf Breuer is the ‘Makers Award’ winner 2017. He currently works at IBM Watson Lab in Germany. Our first prototype has been developed, to explain the idea to our potential investors. This “demo model” was based on a Raspberry PI. We are now about to finish the layout for our own circuit board, with hardware encryption chip inside. Our hardware development team is located in Portugal, where Olaf has his lab for electronic engineering and 3d-printing.

If you want more info, you can learn more about the federated blockchains here!

Cryptocurrencies turned into mainstream products

Very few cryptocurrency innovations have managed to transform into a mainstream product for non-crypto users. New users are always challenged to understand things like exchanges and payment processes. Even more confusing for them is, when it comes to understanding the environment as a whole and to identify good and trustworthy services or software. This is where we want to provide a pre-configured, hardware encrypted device for his home network. Users can plug it into their router and choose coins, exchanges and services from the app-store, and access all these innovations via one unified interface, without having to know about the technology behind it. You will be able to switch from "user mode" to "professional-mode" to do advanced operations.

Merchants can choose (via the app store) access to a pre-configured online-shop, that enables them, to accept over one hundred cryptocurrencies or they can bill directly via our payment gateway. We will perform the exchange for them if they want us to. The plan is that merchants adds our device as a “new credit card provider” while sticking with their system of choice.

For traders, it’s possible to see most exchanges under one single interface which they can choose from (via the app store). Traders will also find extended trade intelligence solutions and automation functions for cryptocurrencies, assets, and Forex via the “Expert Advisor Platform”, our first contractor, to be on the app store.

The cloud comes with a federation function. We would like to use this concept, to implement cloud-to-cloud federation, that enables businesses to connect their teams and to do financial collaboration on a project by project basis.

Though we have to extend some functionalities of the cloud system, we aim to stay 100% modular and compatible. Not only to provide our work to the Nextcloud community, but also to ensure freedom of choice for Financecloud Box users.

Benefits for the merchants

  • One single device to accept any cryptocurrrency and handle them like a creditcardt payment in your chosen currency
  • No interference: merchants can just stick with their Point-of-Sales system
  • Merchants will generate additional sales if spending coins is easier

Benefits for users

  • Easy crypto handling: users plug the box into their homenetwork and have all financial tasks under one single interface.
  • New users don't have to spend months, to find out about currencies, services and websites. They just add any service via the built-in app store
  • The system can do universal transactions across different types of coins, a function that is not yet available anywhere else.
  • Security: every service runs in an hardware encrypted container
 

So is this an e-commerce integration feature, cryptocurrency trading platform, a hardware device or all three? Does it require the hardware or can you use a standard x86 or ARM server?

Also, I dislike your use of the generic “crypto” to mean “cryptocurrency”, specifically. It seems confusing to me.

hmmm
I am involved in the area of cryptocurrencies and also thinking about possible integrations into NC.
But this article also left me clueless on what is being advertised here?

In combination with an API-Key screenshot from the NC-Appstore with just another theme-logo makes the confusion perfect. Also their homepage only shows Appstore screenshots.

Sounds to me like a hardware wallet with a web interface - which is not what you would actually want.

whats next? An ICO for this? :sunglasses:
perhaps someone can give some insights into this possibly very interesting topic

1 Like

Ok everybody, plz give me an hour to go through your comments and to answer them.
After having answered, i am very much looking forward discussing with you.
Espacially “Rello” i am sure you will be able to share some helpful insights.

Ah and before i forget:
no the Hardware is not required (yet, but there is still a year to go) and if the hardware would be required, you would not rely on us. Our hardware will be as open, as everything else we may build. Its open policy is, what makes Nextcloud great in the first place and i would be stupid, to break it.

and no! NO ICO …

have fun
Matthias :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’ve been following this project for a while now and my understanding is that the team around Europecoin is developping a hardware device that people will be able to buy around Christmas 2018. In simple words the device they are building is like a small computer with all necessary software available through an appstore which will help especially new users to get into cryptocurrencies quickly and giving experienced users the possibility to manage their cryptocurrency holdings securely. It enables users to exchange fiat money into cryptocurrencies and crypto to crypto and back to fiat again and store the coins safely on the hardware wallet.
Beside this the team is also actively helping the European Union to learn how blockchain and cryptocurrencies might change the things we are doing not just in Europe but around the globe.

Hope I was able to describe it without too much tech knowledge :wink:

Thank you Phoenix, that nails it quite accurate! Let me quickly address some comments and then provide my (slightly deeper), but not to technical description.

  1. confusion: Yes ther are some reasons, you may be able to find even more confusing stuff on the in internet. The first an most likely reason is, that this initially was not a professional straight implementation process of idea-planning-doing. It started more like a naive spark of wishful thinking followed by a two years thought and learning process, that created tons of garbage on the way to “enlightenment”. In short: when i started, i did not have the slightest idea, what i was doing.

  2. Interface: the interface is not done yet, but is ib good hands. He is waiting for me, to finish connecting the dots and i am to my own surprise in the time frame i hoped to be.

Now my definition:

We are following the paradigm, that features shall not be located inside the boundaries of a blockchain, but in a protocol, just like it is done on the Internet. We are having a technology, that is able to share features across blockchains and enables cross coin transactions and connections. In fact, this “hybrit” technology is able, to even connect and transact to blockchains, that are totally unknown to our network. This is the work of a dutch team, partnering with us since over a year. The “protocol” should be as open, universal and accessible, as possible, for any service, person or blockchain and should be working invisible for the user.

This is why Financecloud API results in an easy device for your home network. When plugged into your router, it can provide a hardware-encrypted, secure interface. The interface should be easy, but powerful. To be able to do so, it should provide an “user”, a “merchant” and a “professional” mode. The user finds under a single unified dashboard, everything he needs for any form of transaction, function or service without the need to search find or visit a website. He can simply choose it from an app-store
(wallets, banking, merchant tools, b2b federation, exchange client, trading intelligence, FOREX gateway, payment gateway, point-of-sales and more)
First developer devices are planned, to be delivered at the end of June/July and our goal is,
to finish the final product between December 2018 and February 2019

I’m a newbie on crypto so based on Phoenix’s post I’m right up your alley, but I don’t really understand this. Is it some kind of device to use universally all the coins out there, or is it only Bitcoin, FIAT and some alternative coins like Europecoin? Or only Europecoin?

Sounds to me like a credit-card machine for cryptocurrency. Plug it in in your shop, now your shop can accept cryptocurrency. Neat idea.

@DotheDance yes it is meant, to be used for ANY coin, but it may not support them all from start in the same deep way, than it does for those, we are supporting per default. Given it will be an open platform, it will, as soon people start to like it, evolve very quickly. In principle, ANY coin, that is “bitcoin-compatible” should be able to connect to the cloud and to transact via the hybrit network, without any change of code.

@dab yes it should feel like adding a new creditcard provider to the merchants. I talked to many merchants, including my brother and found, the last thing, they like to see, is yet another Point-of-Sales system to migrate to. They will only adopt cryptocurrencies, if they don’t interfere with his current system of choice, but migrate in a manner, he is used to understand. The fact, that adding another credit card provider is a snap for most Point-of-sales systems makes it easy for everybody. Given, that this does not make us a credit card provider and does not change our properties as a cryptocurrency gateway, it is just a means of data formats.

Ooooh… so user itself chooses and enters coins to device and those coins can be used as creditcard-ish way? And this device actually communicates with real point-of-sales systems today?

Not today, but at the end of the year.
The most difficult part is, to be able to support coins, that are even unknown to the system.
This part is already done. (by the internet-of-Coins team) We are taking care about the POS connectrivity.
We are having more help, from payment providers, who are interested to position themselves on our network and from some other friendly supporters.Further i am leaving to Poland in 7 1/2 weeks, to meet with two hired developers, to get the core-system ready for a first presentation. I will stay in Poland for 4 weeks and when i am back, we will see much clearer.

Is this still alive?