Rong Chen – 1/22/2020
An Elastos Telegram Community member, Fire-Fade, recently asked on January 22, 2020: Is this (following linked article) perhaps evidence of the Ethereum Whisper team slowly realising now what Rong realised years ago, and why he created the carrier network?
“Scalability estimate: How many users can Waku and the Status app support?” on the Status Network by oskarth.
The suggestions in the article sought to resolve issues with Performance Bottlenecks, but while they drew on sound analysis, I found a great deal of the broader perspective to be misdirected. I have produced this writing in order to introduce the four major pillars responsible for supporting dApps and their consistent performance, and to outline the functions of each. After highlighting the major development challenges I see arising across the industry, I lay out Elastos’ four pillars, which support dApp performance and address bottlenecking issues at the infrastructural level.
Neither a decentralized BitTorrent nor Consensus Computing sidechains are very difficult to imagine, especially given the advent of the first two generations of blockchain technologies, Bitcoin and Ethereum. Nonetheless, the actual implementation of this so-called third generation, i.e., the general-purpose mobile dApp platform, presents very formidable challenges:
(1) dApps cannot DIRECTLY send or receive messages because such a capability would enable them to leak user data and launch network attacks. All messages must be delegated through a network OS – in the case of Elastos, through Elastos Carrier.
(2) As in the evolution of an ecosystem, OS runtimes in all virtual machines and physical machines must be able to perform upgrades independently, while also maintaining interoperability – in the case of Elastos, its first runtime is the elastOS Browser for HTML5/JS. OS runtimes then require a fixed number of APIs and must be void of OS fragmentations. Forty year-old UNIX/Linux will not cut it – period.
(3) Decentralized Personal Cloud Computing (PCC or PC²) must allow users to own some form of “supercomputing” power via a Raspberry Pi-like device so that the users’ ownership of their data cannot be relinquished to web sites and other third parties.
(4) The very realization of the Value Internet implies that to transfer value is to transfer code. However, in transferring code, security issues (viruses) and scarcity issues (data theft) always arise.
(5) There must be an effective, decentralized governance model in place to manage and propel the growth of the Value Internet – that is, the Value Internet Computer.
Elastos has addressed these challenges in advance, and has incorporated solutions into its core infrastructure so that its teams do not need to implement band-aid solutions down the road. Here are the four pillars supporting Elastos:
(1) The Elastos Blockchain, including the mainchain, sidechains, multi-layered consensus, and consensus computing platforms;
(2) The Elastos Smartweb, which may be treated as a Network Computer that includes the Carrier P2P messaging bus, HIVE/IPFS/PersonalCouldDrives for mass storage, DID, WebRTC, CDN, and more;
(3) Personal Cloud Computing (PCC or PC²) Runtimes (aka Elastos Virtual Machines), such as elastOS Browser for HTML5/JS, Java, C#, native programming language runtimes, Elastos Dockers running in public clouds, and smart-home device-hosted Elastos Runtimes;
(4) Elastos Services, which are decentralized data services frequently used by the majority of dApps, including weather, map, search, decentralized GitHub (code-named Gitella), e-business, dApp store, exchanges, and others, where individual data contributors may be rewarded.
In my opinion, everything boils down to a Modern Internet Computer which hosts virtual machines that, in turn, run dApps. One could perform an analogy: Windows supports multiple users, and has multiple, built-in background services to facilitate application executions. Windows could host Linux virtual machines, or vice versa. The same goes for Elastos. However, Windows can be shut down by the owning party, whereas Elastos cannot be. Also, whereas a Windows PC can host seven users, the Elastos Smartweb may host more than seven billion users. Forty years ago, all user data was saved in their respective PCs. The mission of Elastos is to enable users to save all of their data in their respective PC²s.
In examining Elastos’ development personnel, I must say that the workflow, efficiency, and execution of the Elastos core teams is on par with or significantly eclipsing that of the strongest teams in the blockchain space. At this stage, I merely serve as a cheerleader and mentor to the teams. And really, if the development of the Smartweb were being supported by a single individual or team, it would be bound to fail.
There’s no need to comment on any other crypto projects; we are focused on building a new virtual nation – Cyber Republic – and as one of the very first taking on this task, we face challenges both in designing the technical infrastructure and convincing businesses and consumers to migrate. But we see past the near-term obstacles; we see the trends and we understand where the world is moving. That’s why our core teams continue to push forward and remain focused in the present: everyone involved in this project knows that radical change is built on gradual, unrelenting efforts, and that understanding is reflected in our own efforts. I could not be more proud of the attitudes and progress of our core teams as they advance in building and populating the Smartweb.
Lastly, I would like to share my comments related to EF’s biweekly report:
(1) Elastos Feeds runs on Elastos Carrier, which means that micro websites hosted in consumer homes as a peer in the decentralized Smartweb are advancing rapidly. When we publish elastOS, we also need platforms to publish content.
(2) WebRTC runs on Elastos Carrier (Android only at this moment), so automatic, bandwidth-adjusting P2P video calling is right around the corner.
(3) Elastos’ fourth pillar is referred to as “Elastos Services”, which includes a suite of services such as decentralized versions of search engine, code repositories, etc. that enable the decentralized sharing of big data. This foundational layer, which will mostly contain community-led projects such as Gitella, will be unofficially launched as soon as the Smartweb begins to take shape.