The OMNI Network

The OMNI Network is one of the first side chain protocols built on Bitcoin’s blockchain. The goal of OMNI was to enable additional financial functions on top of Bitcoin. Initially known as Mastercoin, the whitepaper for OMNI was published in January 2012 by J.R. Willet, and as the project matured, it officially rebranded to the OMI network in 2015.

The Omni Layer was particularly popular in the early days of blockchain development as there were few alternatives. Omni Core, their reference implementation, is an upgraded Bitcoin Core that includes all of Bitcoin’s capabilities and additional features. OMNI allows users to tokens to represent customised cryptocurrencies or assets easily and to transact them on the Bitcoin blockchain using the Omni Layer. 

The OMNI network was also the first to mint the stablecoin USDT (Tether).

In later years as other blockchains launched, so did the one use case for OMNI migrate. Tether minted its tokens on several blockchains, but it’s worth noting that OMNI is still the third-largest network that Tether uses to mint USDT.

The OMNI network

A failed extension to Bitcoin

Many Bitcoin proponents are not fans of OMNI due to their decision to release a native token for their blockchain. As many expected, these tokens have no purpose and no plan. Since the token is not required to send wrapped assets or wallet creation, it has no reason to exist. Sadly the idea Willett envisioned in its white paper never came to fruition.

Omni is developed primarily on top of the bitcoin blockchain. This second layer to Bitcoin uses the concept of it is quite familiar to that of the HTTP and TC/IP relationship where the TCP/IP is forming a connection between peers, which enables data transfer through HTTP.

Omni is similar to an HTTP layer over the TCP/IP of Bitcoin. This enables features such as smart trading of digital assets, contracts, decentralised exchange and even exchanges of digital value.

OMI conducts its transactions separate from the main chain, and the transactions eve to OMNI are eventually recorded and assessed by the Bitcoin network. The current configuration time is 100 blocks.

Omni is a protocol built as a layer over Bitcoin that allows you to generate, send, trade, redeem digital tokens. Its smart contract abilities allowed users financial tools like paying dividends to and make bets with tokens representing various assets.

The OMNI asset is the first asset on the layer, it gets the fees from the layer’s trustless exchange, and it can transform into any currency using smart contracts on the layer.

Instead of just sending Bitcoin around, you would use OMNI to send a tiny amount of bitcoin that acts as a stamp, and that transaction forever stands for the transfer of some Omni layer property.

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