Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on centralized financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. Centralized payment networks are convenient, but they offer few data protection guarantees, meaning that users are exposed to security risks and abuse by intermediaries.
With the introduction of the bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, the world got its first taste of an peer-to-peer electronic payment system with decentralized governance. Satoshi’s vision for Bitcoin was “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”
The MobileCoin Foundation coordinates and encourages a global community of developers working together to co-create the simplest possible encrypted payments network. The MobileCoin Foundation maintains the reference implementation of MobileCoin's (the cryptocurrency's) protocol, along with the 'service-layer' technology known as Fog that facilitates efficient use of MobileCoin in resource-constrained environments like mobile devices, without loss of privacy.
MobileCoin's blockchain is a distributed system, and no individual or organization has control over the entire network, including the MobileCoin Foundation. Validator node operators and core developers also have an important influence on the blockchain.
"Validators" are the owners and operators of validator nodes that run the Mobilecoin blockchain. Transactions on the network are confirmed by consensus by nodes known as validators. The validator nodes in the network must be running compatible versions of software. Node operators rely on software developers (usually hosted on Github) to provide them with the software they choose to run.
"Core Developers" of the MobileCoin blockchain work on the software that implement that protocol. Developers have processes that are supposed to assure the quality of the software they release, and submit changes to the software through the MobileCoin Improvement Proposals. Changes to the software proposed by a developer must be approved by the MobileCoin Foundation's Technical Committee.