A small Arizona-based blockchain company has developed open source software that it says could be used by any blockchain using bitcoins to improve its functionality.
Nexus announced Monday what it called its seventh "activation" – a protocol upgrade bringing smart-to-block functionality to the Nexus blockchain, launched as a fork of the original Bitcoin protocol in 2014. Deployed today The activation will take effect from November. 11
If all goes well, other blockchains may feel free to follow by borrowing the code.
"Part of the intention was to use the original bitcoin code from 2014 to bring that up to standard," said Colin Cantrell, founder of Nexus, at CoinDesk. "Any blockchain that uses the old UTXO can actually upgrade smart contracts through their active blockchain without having to reboot or anything like that."
UTXO means "unspent transaction output", but it also becomes a shortcut for Bitcoin-based block strings. The basic idea is that such a blockchain checks that there is money to spend before spending it, which helps prevent the problem of double spending.
"All Bitcoin forks could essentially be upgraded and potentially used," said Cantrell about the latest version of his company.
Even if they did not want to add smart contract functionality, Cantrell argued that the Nexus codebase offers further enhancements for UTXO channels, such as much faster synchronization of nodes and reduced usage of the device. disk space, for example.
What is Nexus?
Nexus was launched in 2014 and has up to now been self-financing by directing some of the newly minted pieces to the team building the network.
With a market capitalization of $ 19.4 million at the time of writing this article and a symbolic price of $ 0.30 since last November, the project had to generate enough value for its tokens issued to support the work of the company. 'team. (The price has briefly risen up to $ 13.00 in early 2018.)
Nexus had no venture capital nor first offer of coins beforehand.
Cantrell said it started as a basic bitcoin fork, but that Nexus has had several activations since it went live. Now he uses two different work proof chains and a proof of attendance system. And with the new Tritium upgrade, it also features a smart contract feature with competitive transaction times.
"One of the most important things we've seen is that scalability is not a feature. It's kind of a requirement, "said Cantrell. The startup claims to be able to handle 2,000 to 25,000 transactions per second. (One of the highest-rate blockchains, XRP, regularly reaches 1,500 transactions per second.)
Nexus uses various strategies to achieve higher throughput, including sharding and proof of participation, but also uses something familiar in basic computer science, but less discussed in the blockchain industry.
"Our smart contracts run on a registry-based virtual machine, which allows us to achieve greater efficiencies," Cantrell said. That is, based on registers rather than batteries. Most existing blockchains are battery-based, which is an older computer style.
"Architecture is much harder to implement, but it's much better if you implement it properly," Cantrell said.
Developers will find that it is much easier to work because much of its functionality is accessible via an API, he said.
And normal users can manage access via a more traditional login allowing them to control a public / private key pair held online for them. "We think the blockchain is still a little complicated to use," said Cantrell.
However, rather than simply storing them in the cloud, the company encrypts the keys to what it calls "mathematical hyperspace".
"There are no users of the central authority who are connecting," he said.
Who will use it?
Nexus has focused primarily on technology and has not made much business development yet.
However, at a technology event in Arizona, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple announced a partnership with Nexus on a new education initiative that will build on the Nexus blockchain.
Cantrell said Nexus was ready to more effectively defend potential business partners because it understood the needs of its customers.
A blockchain is not a good platform for complete computing, he said, but it's a good way to check things such as identity, identity, and more. Authenticity, ownership and logical soundness.
These are the types of use cases on which Nexus was built. "The Internet can have a secure and immutable data layer," said Cantrell.
Nexus founder Colin Cantrell (left) with advisor Dino Farinacci, image via Nexus