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FIO: Swapping Public Addresses with Usernames
Author: changehero
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Technology has revolutionized the way we spend or transact money. While the internet and payment services have made transactions accessible to everyone, Blockchain has taken it to the next level by eliminating the centralized parties. Though this new tech has provided a breakthrough in the peer-to-peer transactions with enhanced security and minimal to zero fees, yet its usability was criticized.

FIO Protocol, a first of its kind, is on a mission to redefine and loosen the process of transacting value with crypto. In this post, ChangeHero will explore the FIO Protocol and brings you everything you have to know about it in one place.

FIO: A string that makes sense

Traditional payment systems incorporate a user ID or email to process the transactions, but one’s privacy is at risk in such cases. Whereas, cryptocurrencies lay a major emphasis on user privacy by incorporating unique address to transfer the funds. This makes it almost impossible to connect a person to the transaction in the real world.

Crypto wallet address memes
Source: ChangeHero via imgflip

Usually, public address is a long string of alphanumeric characters. Many a time we see newbies scratching head to conduct a transaction. Also, we see people sharing their public addresses to peers for payment requests. This has been troublesome for many users and can also lead to hacks in the process of sharing the address.

This is where the FIO Protocol comes into play. The Protocol provides users with the facility to opt for a unique name instead of the wallet address for transacting value. FIO platform is an open-source, decentralized blockchain protocol that aims to ease and reduce the risk of transacting value across the blockchain.

FIO stands for Foundation for Interwallet Operability, a consortium of wallets, exchanges and crypto payment processors who support the protocol. Initially, the project was launched in 2018 by Dapix Inc. as a delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) blockchain that connects cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and applications and quickly gained traction in the crypto community.

Perks of FIO

FIO features
Source: FIO

There are three major features that set FIO apart from the rest.

FIO Addresses:

FIO fixes the mess of public address with its protocol. A user on any FIO integrated wallet can set up a unique wallet name. The same name can be used for all the coins and tokens across various blockchains. This peculiarity is one serious crowd-puller of this platform as it reinforces privacy by hiding the public address. Also, it eliminates any human error that may possibly lead to the loss of funds while using the public address. The name is stored in the FIO blockchain in the form of a hash and the relative public address is encrypted. Besides, refunds will be much easier as there is no necessity to request the sender’s address.

FIO Requests:

FIO also enables its users to send requests for payments from one FIO enabled wallet to any other FIO enabled wallet. The requests come in handy while making a purchase or splitting a bill in a cafe. Requests consist of details such as payee’s FIO name, payer’s FIO name, token type, amount and any metadata. All the details are encrypted in the FIO blockchain and can only be deciphered by the counter-party. As soon as the payer accepts the request, the transaction is broadcast to the native blockchain without the involving FIO Protocol.

FIO Data:

All the transactions that were conducted through the FIO will contain a set of details to identify what a particular transaction is for. At the moment, users will be able to write a note to indicate the purpose of the transaction. Furthermore, the FIO team hints that in the near future, the protocol would be able to generate invoices and complex order cart in the FIO Data.

Right on the money

FIO address can look something like username: domain. According to their roadmap, FIO address can accommodate up to 64 alphanumeric characters whereas it is 62 for FIO domain. FIO enabled wallets and exchanges will have their own domains and users will be able to purchase a username or can also go a mile further by bidding on fancy custom domains.

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Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

The project has raised an impressive $5.7 million in a funding round with Binance Labs leading in the front this September. As of writing, 24 different blockchain firms pledged their support to the FIO foundation which includes key players in the market like BRD, Trust Wallet, Coinomi and Shapeshift.

One of a kind

FIO testnet is up and the team is working closely with the supporters getting ready for the public release in the Q1 of 2020. Finally, yet importantly, it is worth acknowledging that FIO Protocol has the potential to enhance the usability of the blockchain payment systems. The protocol is one of a kind and would spark the mass adoption of the cryptocurrency by making it easier to transfer value.

What do you guys think about the FIO protocol? Do you have any interesting ideas for the FIO names already? Let us know in the comments below.

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