Request Nodes are HTTP servers exposing an API that allows Request Client to communicate with the Request Protocol. These servers abstract the complexity of IPFS and Ethereum used by the Request Protocol.
The Request Protocol is the underlying protocol that powers Request. It defines how requests are stored on a distributed ledger and how to interpret actions performed on them.
An action is signed data added by a request's stakeholder into the Request Protocol that creates or updates the state of a request. A request can be represented by a list of actions. For example, the creation of a request is an action.
When using a payment network, the balance is the current amount paid for a request. The balance is determined by the payment detection method of the payment network used.
A request with no payment network provided doesn't have a balance.
Request relies on other blockchain technologies to ensure data immutability. Most blockchains don't offer transaction instant finality. This means that when performing an action on the request, this action can't directly be confirmed as effective.
As long as the action hasn't persisted and is not confirmed, the action is marked as "pending". The "pending" state helps have a fast response and a good user experience. Until the request is Confirmed, it should not be relied upon.
A decryption provider is an abstraction of the mechanism that handles the decryption of a request. Depending on use cases, it allows you to give your user complete control or handle some parts for them.
It is not used for clear requests.
An extension is a set of actions that extends the feature of a request. A request without extension is a fundamental request for payment with a payee, a currency, and a requested amount. The extension allows for more advanced features.
The identity defines a stakeholder of a request that allows signing or encrypting the request actions. The identity is the public data that identifies the stakeholder.
Payment detection is a method defined by the payment network to determine the current balance of a request.
A payment network is a predefined set of rules to agree on the balance of a request. The payment network is defined during the creation of the request.
A payment network is generally related to one currency, but it's not always the case (the Declarative payment network is currency agnostic).
The request data is the current state of a request, the data of the request after having applied all the confirmed actions on it.
The request Id is the number that uniquely identifies a request. This number is computed from the hash of the request creation action.
A signature provider is an abstraction of identity management and action signatures. Depending on use cases, it allows you to give your user complete control or handle some parts for them.
A request stakeholder is a party involved with the request. Stakeholders are generally the payer and the payee of the request or any other third-party allowed to perform actions on it. For encrypted requests, stakeholders are any party interested in reading the request content.
A topic is a string that is used to index a request. This topic is used for request retrieval. Several requests can share the same topic.
Every request has its request id and payee identity as topics (and the payer identity if it is defined). Any custom topic can be appended to a request.
Confirmation means that the network has verified the blockchain transaction. This happens through a process known as mining in a proof-of-work system (e.g., Bitcoin). Once a transaction is confirmed, it cannot be reversed.
Ether is the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, which is used to pay for transaction fees, block proposer rewards, and other services on the network.
The Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS) is a protocol and a peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. IPFS uses content-addressing to uniquely identify each file in a global namespace connecting all computing devices.
The Request Protocol uses IPFS to ensure data accessibility.
Multi-signature (multisig) wallets allow multiple parties to require more than one key to authorize a transaction. The needed number of signatures is agreed upon at the creation of the wallet. Multi-signature addresses have a much greater resistance to theft.
A private key is a large number that allows you to sign or decrypt messages. Private keys can be thought of as a password; private keys must never be revealed to anyone but you, as they allow you to spend the funds from your wallet through a cryptographic signature.