Zane Witherspoon, Co- Founder & CTO
Known as “DJ Eth Ledger” in the musical world, Zane Witherspoon has a real passion for music. “But that doesn’t overpower my exuberance for blockchain,” says Witherspoon, the co-founder and CTO of Dispatch Labs. And that’s how it all started. Witherspoon was organizing the San Francisco Ethereum meet-ups when he met Matt McGraw and Patrick Wickstrom for the first time. The trio started talking about an idea for royalty leakage tracking using blockchain. “It was probably the most boring thing you could do with such a new and exciting technology. We kept in touch, and started thinking about music. I’m a musician and Matt and I both have many artist friends, making us very familiar with the problems of artists and distribution costs,” says Witherspoon. While having a conversation later Witherspoon hit upon a brainwave: “how cool would it be to connect fans and musicians through blockchain, as it’ll completely change an artist’s life by cutting out the middleman?” iTunes typically takes about 30 percent of the cost at which each song is sold for. Instantly intrigued by Witherspoon’s idea, the trio started looking for answers and soon realized that data on shared ledgers was a massive pain point for anyone in the industry. Most business applications use way more data than could reasonably be put into a shared ledger. With an aim to enable business applications to easily migrate to the blockchain without sacrificing speed or functionality, Witherspoon, McGraw, and Wickstrom founded Dispatch, a distributed network for programmable information.
The trio looked at the music industry first where their technology could help artists to keep 100 percent of their sale. Over the next months, Dispatch devised solutions for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, IOT data collection systems, and AI/Machine Learning training data. “Both Matt and Patrick saw the bigger picture faster than I did, and as we built the platform, they brought up the idea of a consultancy,” Witherspoon says. Witherspoon had spent years as a consultant and Matt had helped many startups find major success, and wanted to bring in people that they could support as a consultancy and also introduce to the platform. “I was so against it at first, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We ended up forming a governing organization called The Bureau with Constellation Labs, a DAG protocol based on reusable smart contracts,” states Witherspoon.
The Bureau and Dispatch
The Bureau became their innovation hub and governing organization, and the underlying protocols, Dispatch Labs and Constellation became the spokes. The Bureau allowed them to work with interesting blockchain projects, supporting their success as a startup. “In this structure, the Bureau builds out our connections, Constellation’s DAG works well at data intake, and Dispatch powers data collection and processing,” mentions Witherspoon.
Dispatch is excited to have both an investment and collaboration with Fenbushi as our partner in Asia expanding our global reach to an important part of our blockchain community
Dispatch is the first distributed ledger protocol to leverage on-chain smart contracts for managing the storage and utilization of distributed application off-chain data. The Dispatch protocol extends the functionality of existing Dapp platforms by integrating the management and distribution of off-chain artifacts, or programmable data, on the Dispatch Artifact Network (DAN). “The Dispatch protocol is a shared ledger that grows linearly while the data it manages grows exponentially,” explains Witherspoon.
By moving to a distributed architecture, these business applications become much less susceptible to hacking or security breaches and cost-effective to deploy and manage. The Dispatch network is a combination of new innovative protocols as well as existing ones that are widely adopted in current distributed systems. Witherspoon himself invented the new Delegated Asynchronous Proof-of-Stake (DAPoS) consensus algorithm utilized by the Dispatch protocol. The new consensus means Dispatch isn’t exactly a blockchain, but still a distributed ledger that can process several orders of magnitude more transactions per second than Ethereum or Bitcoin. This consensus works together with off-chain operability protocols developed by the Dispatch Labs to create a system with a more extensive Dapp functionality with zero transaction costs. Dispatch’s architecture facilitates many use cases which seems like unrealistic projects on existing blockchains. “Content Delivery Networks, streaming services, peer-to-peer marketplaces, and big data analytics are just a few of the use cases which will now be able to decentralize with Dispatch,” says Witherspoon.
The Technology off Chain
Another crucial feature of the Dispatch protocol that helps it handle greater amounts of data at scale is its handling of artifacts, which are off-chain data objects. The blockchain distributes information about the artifacts without sharing the artifacts themselves. This allows the blockchain to grow linearly even as the amount of data managed on the network grows geometrically. Once a given transaction is verified in this way, it goes through. This all happens orders of magnitude faster on Dispatch than it does on other blockchains. Further, the Dispatch blockchain supports smart contracts that allow users to write and execute stateful programs. Any smart contracts developers have previously written on Ethereum can easily be moved over to Dispatch.
That means fewer headaches, better performance, and shorter lead time for new developers and projects to get up and running on the DVM.
On the security side of things, Dispatch has a dedicated QA team in its engineering department focused on testing their product. “We hired a team of brothers, Dennis and Dimitri Molchanenko, who invented Redwood HQ, one of the most popular QA frameworks used by the US Department of Defense and others,” says Witherspoon. The company works on its own QA, and encourages the rest of the crypto community to start thinking about it early on in projects as well.
Dispatch and the Future
Having carved a unique niche in the landscape, Dispatch is has the taken the next step to grow further with their partnership Fenbushi Digital, one of Asia’s leading firms working to invest in and promote innovation in the blockchain space. This new partnership includes an investment from Fenbushi Digital that is leading the next round of financing for the company’s $6 million round. In addition, Fenbushi Digital will help Dispatch in going forward to pursue blockchain opportunities in Asia —one of the world’s most vibrant regions for blockchain adoption today. “Dispatch is excited to have both an investment and collaboration with Fenbushi as our partner in Asia expanding our global reach to an important part of our blockchain community,” says Dispatch CEO, Matt McGraw. “We share the same vision, and our team at Dispatch is thrilled to quickly contribute to the great community that Fenbushi has already built.”
As Dispatch enables a new ecosystem, it is the goal of the team to create and support the growing Dapp ecosystem. This support and development will focus on three main areas: education, community, and financial support. As such, the firm’s roadmap will address not just the technical development, but the additional ecosystem support needed for Dispatch to thrive. With the acceleration of the blockchain technology into the business world, Dispatch Labs will support, fund, and incubate external projects which will benefit the overall ecosystem, and provide value to end users and business clients. Additionally, Witherspoon informs that as Dispatch Labs grows in size, technology, and personnel, extra resources will be made available by the company to benefit all of the above directives, including assisting with education, community, and third-party projects as needed.
"The Dispatch protocol is a shared ledger that grows linearly while the data it manages grows exponentially"
Dispatch is expressly built to remedy the network bottlenecks, clunky consensus methods, and other obstacles that have so far kept blockchain technology from fulfilling its world-changing promise. The result is a vastly superior platform for building powerful data-centric apps. “We have already attracted a mix of startups and established companies that are leveraging the Dispatch protocol to transform their businesses, kick starting the adoption of Dispatch as the first truly scalable business-ready blockchain. We invite you to join us in this revolution today,” concludes Witherspoon.