There has been some exciting news from Digital Asset Holdings (DA) this week, with their announcement of various measures to increase accessibility and visibility of their platform.
Firstly, they have stated that their DAML software development kit (SDK) will now be available on a free basis without request. As there is no longer an approval stage from DA, they have removed what was a potential big barrier for certain potential users.
This has the potential to build-up the developer base and to encourage experimentation with their platform from the global community in an unrestrained and liberated manner. The SDK is available to download
The other significant change they have made is to open source the DAML language, runtime, tools, and documentation. These platform components will be held under an Apache 2 license and are available in the
DA public Github repository.
This last piece of news is a big change in direction for DA, since up until now they have been one of the few major Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platforms to hold their SDK and tools under a proprietary licence. Opening up their platform should drive
adoption in the open source community and allow its members to work on the platform in a collaborative manner and very likely leading to some interesting, and potentially unexpected new features. One other clear benefit of this approach is transparency; clients
that intend to use the platform can now see the inner workings of the software, increasing trust between the platform users (and business sponsors) and DA.
These announcements should be music to the ears of many, including David Collins, who believes that
blockchain is currently going through a ‘trough of disillusionment’. As David wisely states, distributed ledger technology (DLT) is currently wandering around searching for new use cases to solve and is in fact missing the ‘killer app’ necessary to provoke
This latest pivot by DA should open up the firm and their technology to a much wider audience, thereby encouraging more business cases to be created, analysed and reviewed, to determine if they are a good fit (or not) for DLT. As David suggests, we may find
that a DLT solution could work in these cases, but there is also a high probability that workflow efficiencies can be realised without the use of DLT; since DLT use cases are very specific and are not a ‘silver bullet’ solution for every situation. More people
using DAML, means that more people will realise the benefits and make the most of this very practical and efficient modelling language, which provides an incredibly powerful and intuitive way to automate workflows.
David also suggests that data ingestion and analysis is a key part of the DA offering, and that this could become more important than the ability to save data to a distributed data store. It is certainly true that how you treat your data is key. The DA platform
allows you to integrate with almost any external system (via gRPC stubs and servers), which opens up possibilities of data ingestion and mutation in a manner of different ways.
Giving access to a wider (open source) community will mean that data integration points will be created for more systems, and that the DAML language could adapt to treat this data in different ways. DA integration and backwards compatibility with existing
bank or exchange software is one of their key USPs and this change can only improve on this.
The announcement should also open the doors to new types of people using the DA platform. Hybrid technology solutions are really the key to innovate and disrupt your business, and generally, solutions have a focus on the
business problem and not on one specific technology. This may very well result in more experts from different fields (AI, RPA, NLP, Big Data etc) starting to work with DA systems to create exciting hybrid applications for real-world solution enhanced
by DA workflow engines.
In general, the DA move towards mass adoption and transparency is a smart one. They have spent the last couple of years building up their platform and they are now ready to show it to the world. Let’s see what the future brings, but I predict big things
for DA and DAML.
Watch this space!