Peering into the Blockchain Ecosystem: The Role of Open Source Protocols

Are open-source protocols the key to a more transparent and interconnected digital future? In this, we delve into open-source protocols and their role in shaping the modern landscape of blockchain technology and finance. But before that, we must know what exactly open source is.

What are open-source protocols

An open-source protocol makes its source code available to the public, allowing anyone to examine, modify, and distribute it. Open-source protocols are typically designed and developed by organizations such as IEEE/IETF or as a collaborative effort by several organizations.

The primary benefit of open-source protocols is that they are freely available to anyone. Open-source protocols are thus more accessible and transparent than proprietary protocols. Furthermore, open-source protocols rely on peer evaluations. This cost-effective and inclusive model sets them apart from exclusive colleagues.

Open-source protocols have several advantages, including:


Because the code that implements an open-source protocol can be inspected and understood by anyone, it is more secure and trustworthy. This is because open-source protocols are usually created by a community of experts who can review and comment on the code. This procedure aids in identifying and correcting security flaws before they are exploited.


Anyone can implement open-source protocols as they are more likely to be interoperable with other products and services. This is because open-source protocols do not have the same licensing restrictions as proprietary protocols. As a result, developers can freely incorporate open-source protocols into their products and services, making it simpler for users to connect to and interact with various systems.


The community is constantly improving and updating open-source protocols, which can lead to faster innovation. This is because open-source protocols do not face the same commercial pressures as proprietary protocols. As a result, developers can freely experiment with new ideas and quickly implement them. 

Open-source protocols are used in a wide range of applications, including:

  • The Internet: The Internet Protocol (IP) suite, which is used to communicate over the Internet, is an open-source protocol.
  • The World Wide Web: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards are open-source protocols for creating web pages and applications.
  • Blockchain: Cryptocurrencies are powered by open-source blockchain protocols such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Open-source vs. Proprietary Protocols

As we all know, open-source protocols are free to use, modify, and distribute. Open developer communities typically create them and are not owned or controlled by a single company or organization. On the other hand, Proprietary protocols or Proprietary software are owned and controlled by a single company or organization. This gives the protocol’s owner complete control over its development and use.

The following table summarizes the main differences between open-source and proprietary protocols:

Various factors, including the need for interoperability, innovation, and security, determine the best protocol for a given application. Open-source protocols are frequently a good choice for applications that require interoperability and innovation. Proprietary protocols are a good choice for applications requiring security or control. 

What’s the development process for open-source protocols?

Creating open-source protocols necessitates many phases, each critical to the protocol’s progress. The conceptualization phase is when programmers build the framework for the protocol’s standards and purpose.

Here’s a more detailed explanation of the open-source protocol development process:


The first step of developing an open-source protocol is determining its need. This could include research, brainstorming, and meetings with other developers. The need for the IP suite, for example, arose from the need to connect various types of networks. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards were created in response to the need for an international standard of formatting and displaying web pages.


After deciding the need for a protocol, the next step is to design it. This includes specifying the protocol’s objectives, features, and specifications. The design process should be open and transparent for anyone to contribute ideas. The IP suite, for example, is designed to be a connectionless protocol, which means that devices do not need to connect before sending data to each other.


The protocol must be executed after it has been designed. This involves writing code to implement the protocol specifications. So that anyone can inspect and contribute to the code, the implementation process should be open and transparent. The IP suite, for example, is included in a wide range of operating systems and software applications. 


Once the protocol has been implemented, it must be tested to ensure it functions properly. Unit testing, integration testing, and system testing may all be included. Individual protocol components are tested during unit testing. Integration testing involves determining how different protocol components interact with one another. The protocol is tested as a whole during system testing.


The protocol can be deployed to users after it has been tested and verified. This could entail making the protocol’s code and documentation public. The protocol deployment process should be open and transparent so anyone can adopt and use it.

Well-known open source protocols 

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol):

HTTP is the foundation of data communication on the World Wide Web. It is a stateless, application-layer protocol that operates on a request-response model, in which a client (such as a web browser) sends a request to a server, and the server responds with the requested data. HTTP is the most widely used internet protocol and is required for web browsing, file transfers, and other web-based applications.

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol):

TCP is a dependable, connection-oriented transport protocol that ensures data packet delivery between applications. It operates at the transport layer of the TCP/IP model and provides mechanisms for data integrity and timely delivery such as sequencing, error checking, and congestion control. TCP is commonly used for applications requiring consistent data transfer, such as file transfers, email, and video streaming.

The Internet Protocol (IP):

IP is the fundamental networking protocol that routes and addresses data packets across the internet. It operates at the network layer of the TCP/IP model and assigns each device connected to the internet a unique address (IP address). IP is in charge of routing data packets from the source device to the destination device, ensuring that they take the shortest path possible through the internet. IP is the foundation of the internet’s infrastructure and is required for all internet communication.

The Future of Open-Source Protocols

As the world becomes more digital and interconnected, open-source protocols will have a critical role in enabling innovation, particularly in supporting interoperability among various systems, applications, and devices.

The shift is being driven by the concurrent use of protocols designed by various developers on a daily basis. As a result, open-source protocols, particularly those that allow third-party modifications and support interoperable systems, will undoubtedly take center stage in the new technological frontier.

In line with the global push for eco-friendly technological solutions, open-source projects are likely to focus on sustainability, energy efficiency, and problem-solving.

Furthermore, it is expected that open-source networking protocol initiatives will continue to develop peer-to-peer (P2P) internet protocols. The protocols allow systems to communicate directly with one another, eliminating the need for centralized intermediary systems. P2P protocols have a growing number of applications, especially in enabling P2P transactions and communications via decentralized protocols.

In conclusion, Open-source protocols have become essential to the modern internet and are used in a variety of industries and software, including technology, finance, and healthcare. The development process for open-source protocols is open and transparent, allowing anyone to contribute to the protocol’s development. This results in more rapid innovation and more robust protocols. Overall, the future of open-source protocols looks bright. Open-source protocols are well-positioned to meet the challenges of the digital age, and they are likely to play a growing role in our lives in the coming years.

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