The Concordium project: Science and business comes together to turn blockchain into a real-world business solution

The Concordium organization

How do you best organize yourself if you want to build something that can have global impact? From the outset it has been pretty clear to the founders of Concordium that succeeding means succeeding in every arena: science, development, marketing and business development.

And we realize that to build and launch a pervasive and ubiquitous blockchain network capable of gaining rapid adoption by both businesses and the public sector requires outstanding management skills, a very solid grip on recruitment and human resources as well as demonstrable heavy-duty organizational skills.

The Concordium project and the Concordium Foundation differs from many other projects in bringing together solid domain expertise in management, human resources, marketing, development and science from the outset. Our founders are successful business people, world-class cryptographers and extremely skilled software developers.

The Concordium foundation

The Concordium Foundation is a Swiss nonprofit foundation with a mission statement that directs it work in the best interests of the Concordium Network. The generated code––and with it the actual Concordium Network—will become open source and be available in the public domain.

The Concordium Network will belong to its users and the Concordium Foundation will not own it, although the Concordium Foundation will retain ownership of trademarks and intellectual property generated for or purchased by the foundation.

Concordium AG

While the Concordium Foundation defines the functional and technical requirements of the Concordium Network the actual development and programming effort will be undertaken by Concordium AG––a commercial software development company created by the Concordium founding team and operating under contract with the Concordium Foundation to deliver the Concordium Network as specified. Concordium AG is paid by the Concordium Foundation for this service at fair market value. Concordium AG currently has office presence in London, Zurich, Marbella and Aarhus.

Headcount in Concordium AG is expected to increase to around 100 people for the initial release candidate of the Concordium Network, with time split between developing P2P network, consensus protocol, client layer, implementing cryptography, designing the Oak programming language and implementing our smart contract framework, wallet, client application and setting up our DevOps environment.

Software development in Concordium AG is based on Agile/Scrum Epic development, meaning that a large body of work like the Concordium Network can be broken down into a number of smaller “stories” and “initiatives” that are delivered via a set of sprints. These involve extensive use of product roadmaps, action plans, huddles, storytelling, reporting frameworks and shared views allowing teams to focus on the task at hand, yet still interact across the floor to assemble the code and deliver epics.

Project managers work with software development teams to coordinate journeys leading to on-time delivery of in-scope components and ultimately a complete network, which is on time and on brief. Simultaneously, our managers ensure a consistently high standard of code documentation, which over time leads to much quicker reiterations and rebuilds as new features are added.

Key programming languages currently used in Concordium Network development by Concordium AG are Rust, C, C++, Haskell, Ocami, F*, COQ/Gallina, Scala and Elm. We are looking to hire additional development resources with skills in these languages.

The Concordium science team

Building a global backbone for transaction logging that is fast, secure, robust and scalable requires rock solid foundations. The Concordium Network—whether considering our ID-layer, privacy management, consensus protocol or finalization layer—is built on cutting-edge cryptography delivered by a world-class science team that includes some key players in the space.

Our science team contracts directly with the Concordium Foundation––either individually or through their respective universities where we contribute funding to set up postdoctoral fellows to work on our science packages.

Our current science partners hail from Aarhus University (cryptography, consensus mechanism design, zero-knowledge proofs and formal verification design) and ETH Zurich (verification and science package reviews). Our current science team consists of 28 people and we expect this number to grow around 40 as we move towards the launch of release 1 of the Concordium Network.

Our Chief Science Advisor, Ueli Maurer, is a professor of computer science and head of the Information Security and Cryptography Research Group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. He is also a board member of the Concordium Foundation.

In February 2019 we inaugurated the Concordium Blockchain Research Center at Aarhus University dedicated to solving a number of key cryptographic challenges among them sharding and state flattening.

Making the world embrace Concordium

The Concordium Foundation’s marketing strategy is extremely simple—we aim to build quality software that matches business needs, make sure developers understand the power we can put into their hands, make sure businesses understand how they can harness this power to create new efficiencies and introduce stepped-up levels of security, and tell the world about what we are doing—on our own website, on YouTube, at conferences, trade fairs, universities, and conventions.

We believe that the many new ideas we are about to launch into blockchain space—from programmable accounts and hyper-transactions to privacy cloaking and pre-execution gas calculations—will all write their own headlines.

As we move forward, interested users, businesses, developers and the general public will be able to follow us on Twitter, Reddit, Github, and Gitter as well as on our own website and blog. Weekly mailers with news and updates—including all matters in the blockchain business space—will be sent to interested subscribers and we will offer monthly briefings to key partners, investors and potential investors, too.

Where the road ahead might lead us

Creating the Concordium Network is a big and audacious idea––big enough to change the world if we succeed to the extent we hope and believe we can. We believe that our initial team has the experience, the skills and the pedigree to step up to the challenge and deliver what we have planned and explained in this document.

We also realize that this will be a long journey and that success hinges not just on the team we have today but on our ability to attract and integrate the best ressources available into every function of the Concordium project.

Likewise, we understand that to succeed we need to keep moving and to set our aims at goals that are extremely ambitious. In essence, we intend to create the best platform of its kind with the power and functionality to operate and log transactions at a global level––and to base our every effort on creating a network that is rock solid, unbreakable and reliable to the extent where it can gain the trust of the world––for logging transactions, settlements, finalization and much more.

And while the mission statement of the Concordium Foundation mandates a sharp focus on developing the best possible solutions for the Concordium Network––and for launching this network into the world––we also realize that to continue evolving the network and to remain at the forefront of decentralized network development it is crucial that the Concordium Foundations science team engagement does not stop with the development of our current planned network but, in fact, carries on into the future by providing research into numerous new areas of applications that can be run on the Concordium Network.

At the same time we are entirely cognizant of the fact that in science, competition and cooperation go hand in hand––and while we intend to make every effort to see the Concordium project succeed we realize that a crucial part of that effort will be reaching out to other projects to build bridges, define interoperability and agree common standards aimed at delivering consumer choice in a setting that enables shared growth in this crucial area of endeavor.

We’re in it for the long haul.
Come along for the ride.

Our aim is to build the world’s best cryptocurrency and blockchain network. To provide the world with a globally accessible, secure and trusted way of keeping track of any sort of transaction. A way of ensuring that agreements made are registered and indisputable, that money was sent and arrived, that a promise of a future service was given or that a transaction between two or more parties have taken place.

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