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“Joyful”: Developers are already loving Facebook’s Libra blockchain


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After taking an asset tokenisation test drive of Libra and Move, eToro developers say it handles well.

eToro CEO Yoni Assia was quick to welcome Facebook's Libra coin to the ecosystem after its announcement. And apparently, eToro's blockchain developers were too. One of the first things they did was take it for a test drive.

The experience was relayed by Peter Emil Jensen, Johannes Rude Jensen and eToro chief blockchain scientist Dr Omri Ross, in "A joyful early experiement (sic) of building eTokens on Libra".

It's a test asset tokenisation script, which is highly appropriate considering that eToro CEO Yoni Assia helped pioneer the idea, co-writing the Coloured Coins asset tokenisation whitepaper with Vitalik Buterin back in 2012.

It "was obviously a bit premature" Assia would later muse.

But not anymore. Based on people's early experiences with Move IR, a test version of Facebook's purpose-built Move programming language, the time is now.

"The prototype of the Libra blockchain, the testnet, launched on Tuesday and is in beta mode until the launch in H1 2020. We were excited to explore a test implementation of eToro's tokenised assets on Libra in Move IR," Ross said. "We applaud the early initiatives of the Libra team in designing Move IR, and are excited to follow the development in the near future. The combination of the many qualities associated with the Rust programming language and the HotStuff consensus algorithm is a promising direction in a rapidly maturing industry."

It handles like a dream and has all the latest safety features

Move was definitely built for blockchain and has safety features that prevent developers from doing things that would unintentionally open up vulnerabilities.

For example, it eliminates the potential of double spending or re-entrancy attacks.

"A 'resource' is a structure datatype that utilizes the ownership model, but can never be copied only moved and borrowed. This is a core feature of the Move language as it guarantees that no defined resource accidentally duplicates, thus eliminating the possibility for double-spending or re-entrency attacks," the test drivers wrote.

It's also worth noting that other data types, such as identity information and all the details of your Facebook account, can also be tokens of a sort. And the Move programming language doesn't allow the publishing of data on behalf of other users without their acknowledgment, which suggests a strong focus on the building of applications to give users control of their own data.

It's been clear for a while that blockchain is a good match for self-sovereign identity systems where people can take personal control of their own data and all the value it generates. Libra and Move could end up being a critical step in that direction.

"All in all, Libra and Move IR is a welcome step forward in smart-contract development. Having strong asset-guarantees helps developers to produce less error-prone code and move faster," eToro's developers conclude. "Nonetheless, Move IR is still in an early stage and is not user-friendly in its current iteration. It is called an 'intermediate representation' for a reason :-)."

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Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.

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