Algorand Launches Protocol Upgrade, Setting the Stage for the Next Wave of Distributed App Development

The Algorand Foundation has announced an upgrade to the protocol that opens up a plethora of new offerings and expands the range of decentralized applications (Dapps) and processes that can be built on the Algorand platform.

“Building decentralized financial applications requires the right foundational technology and vision,” said Steve Kokinos, CEO of Algorand Inc. “At Algorand, we’re committed to continuous innovation and the development of technology that solves real-world challenges. With this release, new features and simple developer resources enable new use cases and broader adoption of blockchain overall.”

Enterprise-scale Dapps can now be built on Algorand’s proof of stake (PPoS) blockchain without sacrificing performance.

This update unlocks the ability to develop scalable blockchain-native solutions for real-world use cases.

The following capabilities have been built directly into Layer-1, providing the key benefits of speed, scalability, and finality:

  • Algorand Standard Asset (ASA): This feature makes it possible for the tokenization and issuance of any type of asset on the Algorand blockchain, in a standardized way. These include fungible assets like currencies, stablecoins, and utility tokens; non-fungible assets like tickets; restricted fungible assets like securities; and restricted non-fungible assets like licenses and certifications.
  • Atomic Transfers: This feature offers a fast, low cost, and secure way to simultaneously transfer a number of assets among multiple parties. In a traditional economy, this is done in a trusted or legal framework. This becomes even more complex on the blockchain, but Atomic Transfers provide an elegant solution to enable more use cases, such as simplified and expedited debt settlement, efficient matched funding, and more.
  • Algorand Smart Contracts (ASC): These are stateless smart contracts that offer numerous possibilities for governed transactions via simplified scripting templates. They automatically enforce custom rules and logic, typically around how assets can be transferred — lowering cost and risk in the process. In addition, a scripting language called TEAL (Transaction Execution Approval Language) has been created to enable developers to build their own transaction rule structures and smart contracts. This is useful for everything from creating escrow accounts to crowdfunding to creating collateralized debt.

A number of organizations in financial services, real estate, and enterprise technology have already been leveraging Algorand’s decentralized, scalable, and secure public blockchain to solve today’s challenges. Algorand 2.0, coming less than six months after the launch of Algorand’s MainNet, provides needed features for the DeFi movement.

“Issuing and managing compliant digital securities requires highly innovative technology,” said Shay Finkelstein, CTO at Securitize, the trusted global solution for digital securities. “Algorand is delivering that innovation with this new set of features that brings an impressive amount of opportunity to decentralized finance. Algorand’s performance combined with the new 2.0 release of their core protocol shows great potential for compliant, cost effective securities trading infrastructure and will enable Securitize to provide an efficient version of our compliance layer for our customers.”