Introduction to ProximaX
"ProximaX is a next-generation Integrated and Distributed Ledger Technology (“IaDLT”) infrastructure platform solution powered by blockchain technology. "
Everything in this world is in a process of evolution. It is a natural process. When it comes to the evolution of technology, then this evolution is distinctly visible as a technological domain is a fast-changing & rapidly upgrading domain. When it is about different technologies of the 21st century, blockchain is a distinct and robust technology that has redefined the conduct of business. The trustless transaction without a third party is now a reality. The blockchain technology has also been going through the evolution process since its inception.
The 1st generation, 2nd generation, 3rd generation blockchain technology have already evolved as a result of the evolution of this technology. The blockchain sphere is on its way to offer its 4th generation blockchain solution. But by large the evolution process is also as per the requirement of the real-world applications and business processes. So in order to cope up with the business needs the tech experts are being challenged to provide an infrastructure which can be easily coupled with the business needs.
The blockchain sphere has already witnessed the trustless peer to peer transaction, the smart contract, tokenization of business/services with smart contracts, the DApps to front-run the business solution, highly scalable blockchain infrastructure and so on. 4th generation technology demands something beyond it. Everyone is after optimization, optimization also relates to saving of time. The solution has to be evolved in such a way that it can fit to a large range of use-cases and requirements. A convergent solution with an integrated DLT is what the 4th generation blockchain technology demands which can integrate with various service layers(like storage, database, streaming, etc) so that a business/enterprise can front-run on the top of blockchain technology with minimal development & in quickest possible time.
(1) 1st generation Blockchain
The 1st generation blockchain was mainly for transferring funds from one party to the other without a third party(bank) and in a trustless manner. It uses cryptography to achieve this objective, hence the fund transferred with such a technology is known as cryptocurrency. The transaction is recorded in the blockchain immutably. Example- Bitcoin. The 1st generation blockchain is highly secure, highly decentralized but with low scalability.
(2) 2nd generation Blockchain
The 2nd generation blockchain introduced smart contract and DApps ecosystem. It creates the possibility of a large range of use-cases. Any business or service can be tokenized, the complex transactions of real-world applications other than money(for example- purchasing a house, casting a vote, trading of assets between two parties, uploading a file, etc) can be swiftly done with a coded logic known as a smart contract. The decentralized application can front-run the technology for a variety of real-world business and services. Example- Etherum Blockchain The 2nd generation blockchain is highly secure, highly decentralized, less scalable, but expands the utility of blockchain technology to a large range of use-cases with the introduction of Smart contracts & DApps.
(3) 3rd generation Blockchain
Both 1st generation and 2nd generation blockchain focused on high security, high decentralization. It also explored the potential use-cases of blockchain technology but has very low scalability. The potential of any technology can not be delivered in reality unless it is scalable. Other than that the performance of the DApps ecosystem will always be questioned with less scalable infrastructure. So the third generation blockchain focuses on scalability. It also introduces the multichain system & other 2nd layer scaling solutions to improve the scalability and performance of the DApps ecosystem. Example- EOS Blockchain The 3rd generation blockchain is highly scalable, low to medium-security, low to medium decentralization, but perfect for the performance of DApps ecosystem.
(4) 4th generation Blockchain
Along with a scalable blockchain, ensuring security and the fundamental decentralization, the 4th generation blockchain is an "integrated & distributed ledger technology", which extends the usability of blockchain by integrating with service layers, so offering the blockchain technology for the enterprise application which is analogous to software-as-a-service of centralized architecture. Example- ProximaX Thee 4th generation blockchain is secure, scalable, decentralized & with dynamic service layers(with expandability features). It reduces the development cost, saves time and the business or the individual can utilize blockchain technology with minimal knowledge.
Dynamic Node Selection
The node selection and rejection are again a dynamic process and that depends upon the requirement to deliver a particular service. Out of the several nodes which have been selected, few of them serve a particular service request and that is an automated process, which depends upon the requirement and execution of the contract.
For example, if a storage service request is initiated by a consumer and in the contract the consumer has specified the storage size then the node actors who seek to provide that service must comply with the storage capacity requirement to be considered to provide that service. That means the node must have a capacity equal to greater than the storage capacity mentioned in the contract to be eligible for selection.
Core Service of ProximaX
The different core services offered by ProximaX platform are:-
Blockchain- Sirius chain Storage Unit(Off-chain) Streaming Unit(Off-chain) Supercontracts Content Review Unit
Although blockchain is specified as a unit in ProximaX, it provides a decentralized immutable ledger for all the activities in other off-chain units. Say for example, if a contract for utilizing storage space or streaming is to be executed, then it is to be executed on Sirius chain. When a transaction is to be carried out it has to be on-chain. So the Sirius chain may be considered as a pole for state management, recording and statistics management of all other off-chain service units.
In storage unit, the acceptor nodes propagates the file, the replicator nodes replicates the file. The storage verifiers dynamically check which replicator has gone off-line, in that case, it replicates to the next available replicator. Acceptors charge SM unit, replicators charge SO & SM unit both.
In the commercial part of Storage tokenomics, the consumer or the end-user who wants to rent a decentralized storage service, has to pay in XPX which is the platform’s native token. The automated inner exchange then converts the XPX into service units like SM, SO etc, depending upon the use case.
In the Storage contract part, a contract is offered by the consumer which mentions all the details such as storage size requirement, duration, price, etc which is then accepted by the storage node actors (acceptors, replicators, etc). Once the contract is accepted it must be honored, otherwise just like incentives to provide the service exists, so as the penalty for not honoring the contract. As a part of Proof-of-storage the replicators, acceptors have to stake the required units to be eligible for providing a certain service as per the storage contract. If the contract is accepted and agreed, the replicators and the acceptors must provide and run the service requested by the consumer, else the staked units by the replicators/acceptors are forfeited and the reputation is also degraded.
For allocating replicators and acceptors to a storage contract “self-assigning and discovery” mechanism is used. For providing and running the service the replicators, acceptors are incentivized with SO, SM units depending upon the use case.
The replicators ultimately store the file of the consumer. So storage drive capacity of a replicator is an important parameter. But the “self-assigning & discovery” mechanism always checks the location & reputation of a replicator in addition to storage capacity. Once the mechanism discovers that a replicator is capable to run the service of a storage contract, the public key of the replicator is included in the contract, which is an indication that the replicator is selected for that job.
A consumer can perform all the functions such as upload, delete, modify, rename, copy, etc. in the decentralized storage unit of ProximaX. The relevant command may be used for the respective functions.
In live streaming, the data or content is streamed live, that means recording, transmission, distribution, etc. all happen simultaneously and instantly to the end-users. Here the node actors are many and bandwidth plays an important role for the selection of the node actors. The stream sender broadcasts the streamed data and the stream receiver receives the streamed data, but in between stream sender and stream receiver there are other types of node actors which ensures smooth streaming of data between the two end points.
Stream landing node can receive the streamed data and can broadcast it to multiple stream distributor nodes and/or stream receivers.
1-to-1 live streaming
As a proof of bandwidth requirement the stream verifier nodes first stake their SM units to be eligible for the live streaming.
The stream sender performs the latency and bandwidth check on these stream verifier nodes and select one of them as the stream landing node.
Now the communication between stream lending and stream receiver is established via stream landing node.
The stream lending node is very very important which routes the streamed data from stream sender to stream receiver. If there is some interruption detected in the live streaming that indicates that the stream landing node is a faulty one and that is replaced by another one from the stream verifier node.
The performance is verified by using time tags. The stream sender sends a time tag to the stream landing node which is signed by the stream landing node and sent back to stream sender.
Similarly, the stream landing node sends the time tag to stream receiver which is signed and sent back to stream landing node.
1-to-many live streaming
In 1-to-many live streaming, the real challenge is huge bandwidth requirement. The stream landing node alone may not be able to route the streamed data to a number of receivers. Therefore the streaming from stream sender to stream receiver is routed through stream landing node as well as stream distributor node. Stream distributor node has the capability to route the streamed data to a huge number of stream receivers. If it is about live broadcasting to a huge number of audience, then this type of arrangement is required for using the distributed streaming unit of ProximaX.
Sirius chain & consensus
Sirius chain is the main blockchain of the ProximaX platform. Any business can deploy its decentralized applications on the top of Sirius chain. Unlike other blockchain infrastructure, ProximaX Sirius offered everything to the application at one place so that the on-boarding can be smooth, the development can be cut short and the business can head straight to its goal quickly.
For any traditional business, the domain name, the account, the contracts are a part of the standard framework of business. Everyone needs it. In the decentralized ProximaX Sirius, the business applications can use all these features-
An account is needed by any application & it consumes any of the service they render.
The domain representation of an application can be created through namespace.
Any type of service that is rendered by an application must be quantifiable, so that the digital representation of the business services can be done. In order to facilitate this objective mosaics can be created as contracts on Sirius chain. It can represent anything the application wants to. Say for example, a share, a vote, a coin, an animal or anything the business developer wants.
Accounts, Namespaces, Mosacis are immutably recorded on Sirius chain. That cannot be modified. So in order to have additional flexibility to the business purpose the metadata can be added as an attachment. The metadata can be modified or deleted.
(5) Multilevel Multi-signature-
It is a very useful feature of Sirius chain from a business perspective. The multiple parties at multiple level of a business can reach an agreement and co-sign from their respective accounts using this multi-signature function.
(6) Cross-chain transactions-
It is essential for the business applications developed on the top of ProximaX Sirius to interact with the main chain. From business point of view, it is most important because from time to time it may require interacting with the main chain tokenomics, therefore the interoperability is needed between the applications and the main chain for swapping of assets. Sirius chain supports atomic swap of assets between the main chain and the side chain. This feature will also ensure a healthy business ecosystem.
(7) Aggregated transactions-
Multiple transactions can be batched together & executed by generating a one-time disposable contract. This is known as aggregated transactions in Sirius chain and it saves a lot of time.
An application can onboard, run the service and off-board if it decides to do so. For off-boarding it just requires to close the storage drive.
Node selection & Security
Sirius chain selects the validators based on the stake(PoS) and age of the node. But the security is guaranteed by PoG. So Sirius uses a kind of hybrid consensus which is a combination of PoS and PoG. The generic disadvantage of PoS is nullified by PoG. So this mechanism of consensus makes the network scalable, secure and resource efficient. To become a platform of multiple dApps and to ensure the smooth performance of the dApp ecosystem it is essential to have a liner and scalable consensus, therefore PoS is chosen over PoW. The selection of PoS of Sirius chain is derived from the NXT’s PoS. The block generation time is Sirius is reduced to 15 seconds as against 60 seconds of NXT.
The validator nodes are selected based on the amount of XPX staked by the node and the age of the node. The minimum stake required to become eligible for selection is 250,000 XPX. However, the recommended stake is 2,500,000 XPX.
Once satisfying the eligibility criteria, the nodes are run through validator software which checks the account history of the node, amount of XPX staked and the age of the node. A reputation is given to the node & based on the reputation it is selected as validator node. If selected, the node becomes a validator node and start processing transactions. The validator nodes receive a share of block rewards.
The various types of tokens which are quantifiable in ProximaX platform are XPX, Mosaics, Service Units. All these three tokens are part of the internal economy of ProximaX.
The external economy is upto the decentralized applications who can implement their own payment method. They can choose any crypto asset or fiat as their payment method.
The external economy can interact with the internal economy for various purposes such as using storage unit requires SO unit, using streaming requires SM unit, etc. But it is essential to have the external economy to bridge upon with internal economy. For that “automated inner exchange” facilitates the interoperability between the external economy and internal economy. So not only the dApps can accept any payment method they want to from their consumer base, but also they can have it converted into XPX and subsequently from XPX to other service units such as SO, SM, etc.
The ProximaX Advantage
While the mass adoption was not as per the anticipated pace over past few years, this form of blockchain technology, which is offered by ProximaX by integrating the distributed network with the off-chain service units can at least be more mobile to business and enterprise grade application. The flexibility will not make this platform obsolete in future and it can very well adapt to the changing business needs. The developer friendly platform may encourage adding more units in future. ProximaX really wins it when it is about management of vast and diverse node actors. I can see a great potential of ProximaX to serve the businesses as an underlying platform.