Strength in Layers: The ShellPay and SkyCoin/SkyLedger Backstory

To understand what ShellPay is and where it is going, it is necessary to know about the ‘Sky’ crypto family: SkyLedger, Skycoin and Skywire.  

ShellPay is an original project – an ecosystem and exchange platform built to be scalable and to facilitate the transition to adoption of cryptocurrencies for peoplearound the world. After its launch, we are confident that the ShellPay exchange will build credibility for the crypto-economy as a whole. Key to this mission is a new approach to the idea of an exchange. Set to open globally with English UI in 2019 ShellPay’s trading community will reframe cryptocurrencies through a novel system for listing coins and tokenizing. New ways of linking cryptocurrencies to each other will also be put into play. The listing system is the Community Vote Offering, which puts each new project through a rigorous process of scrutiny by the community, until they it can become a “Community Voted Coin.”

The ShellPay Exchange is an application and ecosystem being built upon the open-source, decentralized technology made by the team behind Skycoin/SkyLedger.

Together with Brandon Synth, ShellPay CEO and investor Jane Zhang began SkyLedger in Shanghai in 2012. The core achievements of this project would be the currency now known as Skycoin and a decentralized network for web access. Both Skycoin and “Skyboxes” – hardware nodes for web access and trading – are integrated into ShellPay’s ecosystem. There are a lot of names and overlapping layers in this ecosystem. How to break it all down? A quick look at the breakthroughs achieved by this partnership will serve as a good starting point.

SkyLedger: a blockchain network and currency, now known as “Skycoin.” The project was conceived as a solution to some well-known problems. For instance, cryptocurrency has been held back by reliance on “miners” who can hold a blockchain hostage via their control over how blocks are formed. The issue of how to make consensus (adding to the chain through agreement between some or all of the nodes in the network) continues to hamper blockchain development.

Instead of “mining” or needing many nodes for consensus, the SkyLedger creators opted for a “web of trust” structure, with a social aspect among nodes and users. Each node carries a public address, and the community discusses how the network functions. I connect my node to yours when trust is proven, and so the network spreads. A similar openness and social connectivity operates in the consensus format and the CVO system on the ShellPay Exchange.

Skycoin: this is the name for the core SkyLedger network and currency. A private blockchain made to withstand attacks, develop stably over time and be used as a reliable store of value. Skywire: a decentralized, peer-to-peer Internet Service Provider network in which users are rewarded or pay each other in Skycoin. As with the node-to-node system described above, Skywire depends on interconnected, trusted peers; the term for this structure is a “mesh” network. The use of pre-made hardware routers to serve as network nodes is a SkyLedger/Skywire innovation that ShellPay is continuing with the SkyBox. Along with the idea of giving cryptocurrencies the means to take flight and become practical, the Skywire mesh-Internet concept also has roots that date back to the start of SkyLedger in 2012.

ShellPay was created in 2015 to carry on the decentralizing work of SkyLedger, this time into the domain of crypto exchanges and physical hardware and physical spaces. The ShellPay Exchange is the core component, with many more ambitious projects in the pipeline. Expect to be surprised. To balance the virtual nature of cryptocurrencies with physical projects that support decentralization is central to the ShellPay philosophy. Therefore two physical initiatives complement the exchange. These extensions to the “Sky” family will also bridge the ShellPay and SkyLedger ecosystems.

The SkyBox 01: A pre-made node that connects to Skywire, allowing the owner to earn Skycoins and any of the other tokens supported by ShellPay. The SkyPalace: an incubator and shared workspace that is geared towards tokenization and putting a “face” on the ShellPay ecosystem and the cryptoeconomy as a whole. The first SkyPalace has already opened successfully in Shanghai’s Xuhui district, and has begun to host events – pop-up restaurants, experimental perfrmance – and receive applications.

ShellPay maintains a close connection with SkyLedger and Skycoin.

The SkyLedger influence factor continues to grow, with more blockchain projects taking advantage of the open-source code created by the team. As with the operating system Linux, individuals building with open-source material may make very different or proprietary projects, as long as the connection to the public domain code is clear and explicit.

The relationship between SkyLedger and ShellPay is more than a matter of shared code. It is also based on personal collaboration and the sharing of ideals and strategies. The success of Skycoin/SkyLedger helps the ShellPay layers to be built, so that the campaign to make a decentralized digital economy can continue to develop and claim victories.