Let's get right to the point: if UN has taken over Emblem Vault, what does that mean for Coval?
First, for those not involved in Coval from early on, a little background.
Circuits of Value, or Coval, represents two things: a cryptocurrency by that name, and Coval also represents a sandbox platform that develops ideas and projects on blockchain technologies. The intent has always been that it will develop a toolbox of crypto- related projects- libraries, SDKs, etc- to make it easy and straightforward to build cryptocurrency applications without having to have deep knowledge of cryptocurrencies or blockchain technologies. Coval aims to be a significant library of comprehensive crypto- tools.
Coval has its own background, completely independent from anything related to us at UN. Coval's background is years old, taken over by Shannon Code when Ribbit Rewards pivoted away from owning a cryptocurrency. You can read more of the background story in these early posts from Shannon.
The idea behind Emblem Vault was born out of that project. Shannon and his partner, Michael, came up with the ideas specific to Emblem Vault while working on Coval as a side project. The original intent was based on the idea of gifting or tipping using cryptocurrency. This had inherent risk, however.. If Alice tipped or gifted Bob some Bitcoin and Bob didn't immediately claim it, Alice *may* still be able to steal it back. Emblem Vault was born out of the realization that cyrptocurrency addresses could be created without knowing the key. That realization was powerful and full of potential applications, and development of the base application began. Alpha level services began to prove the concept possible, followed by small sample projects to exemplify how this technology could be used.
As we described in these blog posts (here and here), early this year UNspecified acquired the rights to the Emblem Vault IP in exchange for Shannon's role as a co-founder on UN. We believe we have drawn a clear line, carving just the Emblem Vault project out of the original Coval sandbox that gave birth to it. Shannon retains all other Coval related interests and continues leading forward progress there.
UNspecified will be able to focus on taking the alpha and beta level Emblem Platform Services, and develop them into a stable, robust, scalable, enterprise-ready product that can withstand the test of time and the stresses of growth.
That's great, but what does that mean for Coval?
The early Coval adopters have had a critical role in the development of the Emblem Vault product. The developments this year are validating their early involvement. UN will be able to deliver Emblem Vault as a production-ready, enterprise grade product, and it will take on a life of its own over time. Shannon and UN are both committed to rewarding the commitment of early Coval adopters.
How will that happen? To start, we are finalizing plans for "Emblem credits" to be used to process all Emblem Vault transactions (create, transfer, and claim, for example). (You may know "Emblem credits" by other names, and for the most part, they are all referring to the same thing) "Emblem credits" can be thought of like many other credits we use as part of our lives- AWS credits, Azure credits, shoot, even things like Starbucks points.
Separately, the Emblem Vault product can be thought of as being analogous to the "rails" for a system that enables seamless transport of "rail cars" that can hold collections of any digital asset and send them anywhere, instantly and securely. We will be building the rails, and the question of who will build rail cars, what exactly they will transport, and how they are used, will be up to everyone who builds applications on top of the base Emblem Vault product. The Coval community is the clear and obvious place to start.
While we have tried to tame Shannon Code into a "real company" role at UN, we know that we cannot limit his creative vision and need to continue experimenting, constantly proving the impossible, possible. Coval will continue to be the sandbox for Shannon and the open source community to build cryptocurrency applications, including some built on Emblem Vault.