RevPop Unveils Layer-1 Core Blockchain Code Open Source

Revolution Populi
7 min readOct 8, 2020


New layer-1 aims to transform crypto, traditional finance and social nets, and return data to the people

Blog by Rob Rosenthal, Co-Founder, Revolution Populi

Every now and then a simple idea comes along that unintentionally provides the basis for large scale change. The internet itself, perhaps the most famous layer-1 technology ever, is one of those. A system of autonomous inter-connected nodes to transmit information.

Seems simple enough — and yet here we are.

One thing that the internet doesn’t do, however, is allow people to own and control their data. This isn’t a design flaw at all — it’s just the way it is. Basically we all do things that travel from here to there across the internet. And why not, it’s there to use. None of us really knew that these transmissions had any value; nor did we realize that we were just giving all that value away. We all were just making use of this new tool that no one seemed to own but that anyone could use.

The internet then became so powerful, and there was such a flood of innovation built on top of it, that we seemed to be overrun by the new normal of it. It seemed like this was just the way things were always meant to be, and now are.

And yet the internet is still barely a child — it’s not even an adolescent. Its limbs and muscles and brain and other organs are not yet fully developed. Its understanding of civil behavior is still being formed and honed by billions of parents. It’s still a brat.

Well — now it’s time for the internet’s voice to change. It’s time for it to grow up. The people must own and control the keystrokes and content that they pass over the internet, full stop. How do we do that? How can we be allowed to do that?

A simple idea: a true-blue layer-1 decentralized database with permission-ing that’s not owned or controlled by anyone. A simple, elegant new tool that allows you to own and control what’s yours — and moreover to make money from it.

This idea is not just an idea anymore. There’s core code for it.

In open source, software is like genealogical evolution. Each new birth matures, grows, and then consummates and brings forth new life and new unique DNA, yet this DNA still preserves the genes of its predecessors, both dominant and recessive.

In this spirit, RevPop releases core blockchain code to the public today, open source, along with developer demonstration protocols which can be found here: It is the core upon which people can be given back ownership over their keystrokes, their thumb taps and their content.

Now — you may be thinking, “yeah, and? What does this even mean?” not unlike what many were saying about the internet back in the day: “What the hell is this ‘internet’ thing, and why do I care?”

The implications and practical applications of this new, sidekick layer-1 to that other layer-1 we love to hate so much, the internet, are enormous. I’d like to start with something near and dear to my own professional background: trading market infrastructure.

In the late-2000s something called Credit Default Swaps nearly destroyed the entire global financial system. It turns out that it wasn’t the instrument, the “CDS” itself, that was the problem, nor the people trading it or making money or losing money off of it. It was the infrastructure of how it moved around the world that was the problem. You might have had faith that your counter-party was solvent for whatever reason, but you still had no idea if their counter-parties were solvent. And when one (just one) counter-party failed, everything seized up, which in turn caused cascading failures the likes of which the world had never seen.

These CDSs were settled by way of a disparate patchwork of private contracts. In Berkshire Hathaway’s 2002 annual report, Warren Buffett issued a cogent warning about CDS, saying this: “Unless derivatives contracts are collateralized or guaranteed, their ultimate value also depends on the creditworthiness of the counter-parties to them.”

Six years later, everything went to hell. The first order of business (I know, I was there), after the financial crisis hit was to implement a clearing house for CDS. I was asked to be a lead negotiator within an industry group responsible for implementing this new clearing infrastructure. A clearing house, plain and simple, is responsible for record keeping, collateral management and guaranteeing trades.

Scarily, I see a carbon copy playing out in the crypto space. Now, let me be totally clear here: I’m not passing any judgment on the market risk of any instrument. This is for the free market and free speech to haggle and harangue over. Some people will make money, some people will lose money. What I am totally sure of is this: the market itself is at a real risk of annihilation. And all because of no clearing infrastructure, no efficient way to keep trading records across native blockchains, and certainly no backstop guarantee fund.

The layer-1 that has just been released to the world can be the core for an atomic record-keeper with discrete permission-ing. Said more simply: it’s a touch-less and immutably private way to keep track of data, which of course can include trading terms, once permission-ed. An atomic record keeping mechanism with a decentralized guarantee fund can give the crypto trading industry a secure foundation, not just to stave off annihilation, but to also grow it through the faith that comes with backstop guarantees.

This is just one of many applications of this new layer-1.

For traditional finance, there’s also simply the record keeping aspect of it, with or without any clearing related function. Banks and financial services firms collectively spend tens of billions of dollars to generate and maintain records for trading and in-house operations. These frictional legacy costs could be wiped out by such a layer-1.

How about Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)? Central Banks are looking deeply at blockchain and crypto technology to try and figure out how to become cashless societies. The problem is, no matter how hard they stare at 2+2, they can’t make it equal 5. The “C” stands for “Central”. The “D” in “DLT” stands for “Distributed” or “Decentralized”. See what I mean?

And the other real problem is: How do you protect privacy rights?

A neutral, true-blue, third party layer-1, not owned or controlled by any entity (not Facebook, or any bank or government), with discrete permission-ing, one that’s used for a whole host of applications and records and data, not just banking, can provide Central Banks with the silver bullet they’re looking for. Governments would be able to distribute cashless digital currency, likely through consumer banks, in a super-duper low cost and efficient way that immutably preserves an individual’s rights to privacy.

Okay — you might ask — why don’t they just use an existing one? Why not Ethereum? The answer: Each layer-1 was initially designed for a rather specified use-case and purpose (which continues to this day). Bitcoin was for peer to peer financial transactions. Ethereum was for smart contracts. EOS was for a decentralized operating system (hence the ‘OS’). RevPop is a database with discrete permission-ing. Any software, while certainly evolvable, can’t ever escape its DNA. The DNAs of these other layer-1s just can’t cut the mustard when it comes to the aforementioned use-cases.

Well — you might say — that sounds all well and good, but banks and governments aren’t going to be comfortable with this.

Really? This is a layer-1 not owned or controlled by any individual entity or person. Sort of like…. the internet. Banks and Central Governments use the internet all the time for a lot of things; it provides efficiencies that cannot be denied. Of course it took a little while for them to get there, but they got there.

So a true-blue decentralized layer-1 shouldn’t give anyone pause. It’s the design and implementation that matters. A layer-1 that preserves and enshrines privacy can be built.

Okay fine. Let’s see what happens. But what else can this damn thing do?

Well — how about ending all data-capture businesses and putting the trillions of dollars worth of data back into the hands of the people to whom it belongs: the data owners.

That’s right. It’s your data. It belongs to you. If anyone’s going to make any money from it, it ought to be you.

This layer-1 is designed open, for any app to use it. Getting back to my formerly favorite layer-1, the internet itself, the apps that sit on top of that layer-1 (the internet) have been folks like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Uber, Spotify, Netflix and on and on (actually from a text-book standpoint I believe these apps are technically layer-7s; I don’t want to upset any professors out there if you know what I mean, but I’m on a roll and trying to make a point). Well — it’s your damn data. There can be social nets, browsers, search engines, etc., all using this new layer-1 database that’s interconnected with the data-transmission layer-1 that we all know and love, and love to hate: the internet. And any of the data that’s captured as a result belongs to you. You alone have the keys to that castle. And if anyone is going to make money off of it, we think it should be you.

We’re starting with social net platform code that we’ve developed. We’ve got some exciting news to share over the coming months with respect to that, so stay tuned, but suffice to say it ought to kick start the ecosystem in a rather cool way.

So in summary, we’re pretty thrilled that today, the auspicious day of October 8, 2020, a day that will live in infamy inside the soon to be refurbished and sold-off office complex at 1 Hacker Way, is the day that this genie comes out of the bottle. It’s open source, so it’s available to everyone. And more to come in terms of build outs, test net, main net, apps, etc., but it’s real; and it’s here.



Revolution Populi

Returning cyberpower back to the people.