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Weekly Updates|11 MIN. READ

Elastos Weekly Updates-30 November 2018


This week Feng Han spoke about Elastos at MIT while the team attended a blockchain conference in China. Interested in a Carrier update? Then don’t miss our Carrier Status Report with Jingyu Niu below.

Technical Dynamics

The React Native framework for creating Elastos DApps is now in development. We welcome everyone to contribute to the framework by visiting: https://github.com/cyber-republic/elastos-ReactNative-framework The Elastos testnet is officially open for public use. If you are a developer, you can now view our repositories on GitHub. More information can be found here: http://elanews.net/2018/07/26/elastos-developer-news-testnet-launch/ The following has been published to aid Elastos developers working on the testnet. Testnet coin request address: https://faucet.elastos.org/ Testnet web browser address: https://blockchain-beta.elastos.org/ *Testnet wallet address: https://wallet-beta.elastos.org/ *Please note that this wallet is strictly for the testnet ELA tokens, sending your mainnet ELA to this wallet will result in them being lost forever!

Useful links: A Developer Beginner’s Guide Developer Portal in Cyber Republic Developer Documentation on Github Elastos Smartweb Alpha Elastos Community Elastos Community Global

Cyber Republic

Check out the latest Cyber Republic Weekly Report here: https://blog.cyberrepublic.org/2018/11/26/weekly-report-nov-26th-2018/

Community News

Donnie Bullers’ comments on the recent market fluctuations were featured in Reuters, MSN and US News Nov 30th is the final day to provide feedback on the Elastos DPoS Supernode Protocol, we look forward to your valuable feedback in order to allow our global community to participate in the construction of the Elastos ecosystem and to broadcast the vision, mission and value of Elastos.

November 20

Elastos co-founder, Feng Han, attended the MIT Sloan School seminar lunch where he gave a keynote speech – Blockchain will succeed if it is used to build a second generation internet. It is Elastos’ mission to make sure that everyone’s data is fully protected by the internet, and everyone’s data becomes their own digital assets.

November 22

Elastos system team manager, Jingyu Niu, attended the 2018 Blockchain workshop at the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). It was co-hosted by BC Spark developer community and BIT graduate student association. Jingyu Niu shared the topic “DApp and Blockchain” to the attending BIT students and developers to introduce the basic ideas of blockchain technology, and the applications of using blockchain in the real world. He encouraged attendees to participate in good open source blockchain projects and make contributions.

November 24

Elastos as a public chain attended the “Blockchain Hackathon ” that was hosted by Shanghai Computer Trade Association (SCTA),  co-hosted by Shanghai Zhangjiang Lingang Investment Co., ltd, and Subsidiary of Shanghai Zhangjiang (Group Limited Company). It was supported by Shanghai International Intellectual Property Protection office and SCTA  Judicial Expertise Department, and sponsored by Shanghai LieRui Business Management Co., Ltd. The goal of this Hackathon is to enhance an innovation culture, encourage entrepreneurship, combine technology and finance, and select top blockchain talents. Attended players chose Elastos related topic or technology to develop new programs. Once selected, players could win 100~300 ELA as a special Elastos reward. The event was a success.

November 28-30

Elastos is attending the 2018 International Blockchain Conference co-hosted by The Chinese Institute of Electronics (CIE), Changsha Government and China Electronics Corporation. The topics of this conference are “Gathering Wisdom, Fostering Innovation and Empowering Skills.” Many experts from the industry and academia in the blockchain fields were invited together to discuss strategic planning and policy directions, basic research and pioneer research, market direction and investment trends, industry dynamics and landfall of applications.

Elastos Carrier Update

This talk was part of an educational series in the Chinese Telegram that takes place every Friday. Guest: Jingyu Niu, Technical Advisor of Elastos. Hello everyone, I am Jingyu Niu, and I am in charge of the Elastos system team. We have introduced some basics of Carrier in WeChat groups before. Today, we are sharing the latest progress of Carrier and some of its DApps. Before I start, I’d like to briefly introduce what Carrier is. Carrier is a decentralized communication infrastructure on Elastos’ platform and it provides communication services for DApps on Elastos’ platform.   When talking about DApps, people may assume that DApps run directly on the chain. However, Elastos Runtime can support DApps to run independent of the chain and Runtime support a variety of decentralized Apps. The purpose of Carrier is to provide a completely decentralized communication infrastructure towards blockchain philosophy for DApps. When talking about decentralization and blockchain philosophy, here’s what I think. First of all, Carrier doesn’t have a centralized server to provide communication service in between apps. It is a network that fully runs on its own, and it has a fundamental difference when compared with QQ, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and many other similar applications. Although those apps are all IM, they are loaded through a centralized communication service infrastructure, which is run by its service providers. Those communication infrastructures are not only used on IM apps such as QQ, but also used by Tencent to support IoT devices. Carrier does not have centralized servers, therefore the concept of service provider does not exist in Carrier. Second of all, communication on Carrier is not only decentralized, but also anonymous to some extent. The anonymous feature is similar to blockchain anonymity that users or apps can keep a certain anonymity based on their needs. In the meanwhile, Carrier itself uses asymmetric cryptography technology to ensure that peer-to-peer network is transparent and encrypted. Each node’s ID has its own public key, and its private key is privately owned. Communication data between two nodes can only be properly read by these two nodes. In addition, apps can link Carrier ID and DID together which authenticates the identity of nodes. Anyone who is also interested in DID should check out the Elastos DID service. Now that we have briefly introduced Carrier, let’s focus on today’s topic – the latest progress status of Carrier. Previously, Carrier was able to support basic peer-to-peer information transfer, peer-to-peer data transfer and streaming, and multiplexing protocol encapsulation for running Apps purposes. Our recent progress includes the following: First, we upgraded the compiler system. We changed Shell script and Makefile to CMake, which is more simple and convenient for developers. Second, there has been a high demand of a Windows platform from the community. Previously, we lacked a Windows platform supported by Carrier. Currently, we have added the Carrier support for Windows. Third, Carrier supports group broadcasting messaging which is similar to the concept of group messaging in WeChat. Lastly, we received frequent requests for file transfer from the community. We have therefore recently added assistant API for file transfer which also supports breakpoint resuming. Among the new progress updates, let’s first talk about file transfer API. About file transfer, our previous interface could actually support it well. It’s just that we did not provide a designated API and developers had to realize the file transfer function on peer-to-peer streaming on their own.  This time we provided a designated API specifically for file transfer and made it easier for developers. We also supported breakpoint resuming on the API layer so it’s much easier for developers if they use this new set of API to transfer files compared to the old streaming approach. Another update is the group broadcasting messaging support. Group broadcasting messaging can support broadcasting between Carrier nodes. It’s similar to WeChat or groups on Telegram. The big difference is that Carrier is a decentralized infrastructure and there is no centralized server to cache and transfer messages. In the future we will continuously improve the support in this aspect to provide optimal experience for apps run in different scenarios. The above is the main progress updates that were completed by our engineering team. Besides that, we have also optimized certain function details and stability. In the meanwhile, there are also some other functions being developed, such as offline messaging, IPv6 support and more. Offline messaging is a tough problem in a decentralized world. Our engineering team is working hard on that. Please refer to the timeline in the Roadmap published on Elastos official website regarding the specific plan for it. Please be assured, our engineering team is progressing according to the original plan. A formal version will be released by the end of the year, and it will include all the updates mentioned above. If developers are interested in learning about it earlier, you can always visit Github to acquire the latest main codes and start coding to experience it. You can also get the latest binary instruction packet from Travis CI on Github.   In the following, we will discuss potential apps Carrier can be applied to and how to make the landfall of those apps. The goal of Carrier is to solve communication problems among DApps using a decentralized approach. The communication needs from DApps will vary in many scenarios, and let’s discuss a few typical scenarios. The first thing that came to my mind is the decentralized IM.  Just a few days ago we had a heated discussion about Carrier-based ElaChat in the community. A lot of community members already experienced the ElaChat. Nowadays, the mainstream IM apps are all based on centralized servers. However, in the decentralized blockchain world, we all feel we should have a decentralized IM app. Carrier’s current functions can well support the development of IM apps. The ElaChat team was on the right track and announced their progress in this matter in the community. Once the core function of an IM app is well developed, there’s so much room for its growth. The mass adoption of WeChat and QQ is a great example.   The second scenario would be IoT. We’ve mentioned before that a centralized IoT platform has many drawbacks, such as problems involving dependency, security and privacy to service providers. Currently, we have collaboration partners as well as community developers who are exploring the approach of using Carrier as a fundamental part of the network for IoT devices. The ioeX team already started using Carrier as part of the device network and building apps and services on top of that. ioeX is using the to B model. Carrier can also be used in the to C model such as smart home aspects. We welcome all interested developers and community members to explore Carrier uses in the smart home industry.     The third scenario is the general need for DApp communication. For example, our collaboration partner Shijiu integrated Carrier inside of TV boxes and mobile apps in order to remote control the TV boxes. That means when seniors and or youth are at home and need help regarding the TV box, a remote assistance will be able to help them. Another example is the popular decentralized exchanges. Carrier might be suitable to support communication needs on mobile ends for decentralized exchanges. As much as we want, we can’t list all scenarios that Carrier might be applicable to. It’s up to the developers and community to come up with new ideas based on needs. The goal of our engineering team is to support the needs from developers, and make the landfall of both Carrier and Carrier-based apps.   Last but not least, Carrier as a decentralized communication platform has its advantages and disadvantages. There’s no perfect person in the world, and a perfect technical solution does not exist either. Since the business model for Carrier is decentralized, and there’s no centralized server to interfere and help, it will behave differently compared to centralized communication infrastructures in terms of communication capability, feature and performance. Those differences do not necessarily mean one is better or worse than the other. As long as we use Carrier properly in a reasonable way,  there’s so much we can imagine about Carrier-based DApps.


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