Getting started with OpenTransfr - Frequent Questions
What is OpenTransfr?
OpenTransfr is a design for a complete financial system. It's an end-to-end design meaning that it covers everything from the parts consumers interact with everyday through to the payment network behind the scenes. By designing it end-to-end like this, it helps the system be as consumer friendly as possible as the internals are being constantly pushed forward by the consumer facing front ends. This helps with futureproofing too - for example, banks that support delivery addresses that are suitable for use by drones, payments that can be made from self-driving cars, and a financial system that works between Earth, Mars and beyond.
How can I try out the latest design?
We operate a reference system which shows the current design in action. It depends what you'd like to do:
Consumers and merchants. First you'll need an OpenBank bank account. You can then issue yourself some TestCoin to spend and take a look at your account.
Merchants. Next setup a merchant account. Depending on if you're online or physical, follow the instructions on your merchant account homescreen.
Banks. Follow the guide to create an entity. You'll need to support the Bank API on your web server.
Issuers. This is if you want to make your own currency/ commodity. Take a look at the guide here.
What kind of system is it?
The designs are based around a cryptocurrency system without a blockchain. It's a hybrid of distributed and centralised in order to maximise throughput, openness and consumer trust. Nodes on the network work together in geographic clusters called a 'root'. Currencies, which are referred to more generally as commodities (as they can include more abstract things like land or votes), each have their own issuer. This means that currencies like the US dollar, Euro or British Pound Sterling are issued by their Central Bank, and only by their Central Bank, with no mining required.
What is the transaction speed and throughput like?
At the moment, an average transaction settles in 0.4 seconds. 2 seconds is considered the maximum. Throughput is essentially unlimited. This is particularly because adding new nodes to the network does not slow it down; instead, new nodes provide additional throughput.
Who makes the OpenTransfr specifications?
Everyone - OpenTransfr is completely free and open. Think of it as the W3C for the financial system.