DAG architecture with a totally unique design
Consensus Based on Gossip and Merit?
DAG architecture with a totally unique design
There is no doubt that blockchain technology has given birth to a universe of new and exciting possibilities.
But there are some major issues that have become painfully obvious in the past year. In fact, they were predicted for years and some in the community feel that, try as we might, they may be inherent to the blockchain architecture.
In fact, the founders of Constellation began their journey on Ethereum with a DAPP named Rakugo. But it dawned on them quite quickly that the limitations of blockchain would not permit them to realise their vision. And thus Constellation Labs was born.
To fix major issues, Constellation was developed using DAG architecture and with a totally unique design from the ground up.
DAG technology is an alternative system. DAG tokens function similarly to cryptocurrencies born from blockchains, but without the need for blocks or resource exhaustive miners to verify transactions.
Instead, DAG deploys the very transactions that users make in order to verify neighbouring transactions. The upside ? The more new transactions on the network, the more scalable the network and this throughput can increase indefinitely with mass adoption.
Now some of you are probably thinking why Constellation, if there’s IOTA.
A big reason for me is that, if you like DAG, then Constellation, valued at only a few cents right now, presents an opportunity to get onboard relatively early on another innovative project with the same potential. If you feel you missed the train with IOTA, you just got another chance in Constellation.
There are also significant differences in their tech that I think give Constellation a competitive edge over IOTA (see the overview yourself).
Constellation also has an unbeatable customer acquisition strategy, of which you can read more on below.
DAG vs blockchain, what makes DAG better?
Constellation’s payment and smart contract like solution — HyloChain — is a lightweight and horizontally scalable consensus architecture, compatible with existing mainstream software and consumer appliances like smart phones and laptops.
Through HyloChain, these interconnected devices form a constellation, where each device contributes bandwidth and resources to the ever-growing host network — a “potluck”, where everyone brings resources to the party (in the case of blockchain, the host alone provides for everyone).
Layered on top of this is a distributed application layer, that functions similar to smart contracts in blockchains, but with an important difference — resources on this layer are gathered into microservices which allows for many operations to run at the same time.
Sounds simple, right?
We are used to how seamlessly our laptops and smartphones run multiple tasks that we have grown to expect concurrency as the standard for technology and consumer focused applications today.
But, believe it or not, applications are unable to run at the same time on many blockchains as a preventative measure against DDOS attacks and messaging spam to the network. In other words, they operate synchronously.
Due to synchronous execution, distributed applications are constantly short for resources. When network is busiest on Ethereum, you pay 6000$ in gas to get past CryptoKitties to the front of the transaction queue.
Obviously then, current public blockchains, consensus mechanisms and smart contract architecture cannot scale to a level that is required for commercial success.
As concurrency is key to providing competitive consumer applications, the Constellation architecture chains smart contracts into microservices.
This permits multiple operations to run at the same time (asynchronously), improving network latency, speed and provisioning resources as and when needed.
A truly decentralized ecosystem of not just resources, but also code.
By chaining smart contracts together into composite applications (microservices), developers can also create whole new functionality.
With this, another constellation is hence created — this time of computational logic — with high throughput and the security of a blockchain.
At times of high activity, network speed is another common issue in all blockchain based systems. Inherently, the usage of block confirmation leads to scalability problems and increasing block size is not a long term solution to this issue. But real-world application needs high throughput to provide a competitive service.
A large pool of connected devices can achieve consensus on Constellation at a scale unheard of on current blockchains.
Constellation’s Hylochain processes 4,000–4,800 transactions per second for every 1,200 devices connected to its network. As Constellation’s resources increase with adoption, with 1 million devices connected, throughput can already grow to 4.5 million.
MasterCard and Visa don’t stand a chance anymore.
Next up, traditional proof of work cryptocurrencies are experiencing growing centralization through increasingly powerful mining organizations that control the security of the network and also reap the the majority of the mining rewards.
This is making individuals within the network able to take advantage of the system (eg. the infamous 51% attack). And so, disagreements over the legitimate governance of the network have factioned Bitcoin into separate yet influential political groups, like Bitcoin Cash.
With the increase in the popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the cost and demand for hardware is shooting through the roof, placing further control into the hands of the wealthy and connected few.
Proof of stake cryptocurrencies are not immune either. There is a democratic imbalance in this architecture, where, again, those with the most money get to choose the state of the network through consensus.
Constellation’s main feature is that their DAG architecture has no need for miners.
Rather than solving complex mathematical equations or staking tokens, connected devices in the network keep track of their neighbours and when one receives a message, it “gossips” it out to all of its neighbours for consensus. The device chosen for communicating consensus is based on reputation alone (Proof of Meme).
Most strikingly, transaction fees between users are thus completely eliminated as the network’s financial incentives are divided on merit only. A blockless asynchronous system is also hard to fork.
Cryptocurrency is primarily reserved for those with expensive hardware, engineering skills and a foundational knowledge in blockchain technologies.
Mass adoption, in contrast, requires an environment for conventional people that is familiar, convenient, fast as well as easy to use.
Constellation’s customer acquisition strategy to attract a large user base:
- Create an easy way for individuals to become earners and participate
- Empower every device the ability to participate in distributed computing
- Enable the seamless transaction between people and devices
- Enable cross chain transactions between blockchains, currencies, and services
As already mentioned, the network has no transaction fees, making it a cost-effective means of transferring value. But Constellation still has a financial incentive to rewards those that participate in the network with their devices too.
As users discover all of this, it will no doubt create a powerful network effect for their project and a larger and more diverse pool of general blockchain and cryptocurrency supporters.
It’s safe to say that many developers don’t want to take the time to learn a new language when they have spent years in other coding languages, especially within enterprise organizations. But blockchain protocols require engineers to learn wholly new languages, like Solidity for Ethereum or Ivy for Bitcoin.
The JVM (Java Virtual Machine) language is an industry standard for distributed applications. As there are over 9 million JVM developers around the world, it makes more sense to tap into this already existing talent pool.
Constellation’s interface is wisely built on the Scala programming language that can be implemented by any JVM language and is already familiar to developers.
As of still, distributed blockchain protocols are cut off from existing mainstream software. It’s expensive and time-consuming for enterprises to develop and maintain. As such, there is a high barrier to entry.
With Constellation, however, SMEs, developers and entrepreneurs that seek distributed ledger technology, decentralized architecture and democratic validation of transactions can seamlessly tap into Constellation’s supply of consumer device bandwidth and computing power.
And here’s some interesting stats:
- There are roughly 5 billion retail consumers that have access to connected mobile devices and computers
- It’s estimated that there will be 75 billion connected devices by 2022 (including also servers, cars, sensors, etc)
A solution that unites the unused power in millions of devices can be extremely attractive to businesses.
Innovators will be able to tap into this power in order to manage areas such as machine learning (AI, cryptography, ML) and CPU/GPU rendering (AI, VR, AR, 3D and video rendering).
The world economic forum has identified that we are well underway in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and it requires an entirely new frame of mind. Enter the new Internet through distributed ledger technology.
In the context of DAG architecture, Constellation is particularly noteworthy for both its introduction of an interesting new consensus methodology and for its implementation of smart contracts as microservices.
In the context of the wider movement of distributed ledgers, Constellation holds a number of competitive edges over blockchain, including dynamic scalability, an ability to connect to a global population of existing smart devices, a more democratic consensus mechanism and an attractive architecture for developers, businesses and consumers.
So you might want to grab Constellation while it’s still at a good price.
See the testnet for yourself here.