Graphene is designed to allow multiple applications to connect to the network. An application consists of a p2p node which receives blocks and optionally broadcasts new transactions on behalf of the application’s users. Applications contain core logic which consists of core chain state and core indexes, which is the minimal amount of data necessary to reach core consensus, shared global agreement among all nodes participating in the p2p network about core features.
Core virtual property¶
Virtual property consists of the things that can be owned. Traditional cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have a single type of virtual property: A digital token which is transferable, fungible (e.g. all Bitcoins are identical), and (for practical purposes) divisible.
Graphene has two different types of digital property: Base property, and derived property. (Economists would call base property fiat, but this term is already used in the cryptocurrency space as a retronym for government-issued currency, used to differentiate it from cryptocurrency.)
The base property in Graphene core consists of:
Derived property in Graphene core consists of:
(TODO: Other types of derived property, e.g. escrow?)
Applications which leverage the Graphene blockchain for consensus may implement their own base and/or derived virtual property. (TODO: explain how application-level virtual property may interact with core property.)
Derived property is created by core smart contracts which are hard-coded in Graphene. Smart contracts can be as diverse as real-world contracts, but in Graphene, all core smart contracts are collateralized, two-party contracts. One side of the contract must post collateral which is used to perform settlement. The party which posts collateral is referred to as the long side.
A word about the rationale for short BitAssets not being transferable: There is little technical obstacle to making short positions transferable. However, if Alice is a weakly collateralized short seeking to exit, and Bob is a new short seeking to enter at high leverage, Alice and Bob both have incentive for her to sell her position to him. It is desirable to force Alice to cover and force Bob to short at the minimum initial leverage, to re-capitalize shorts over time.