If we want blockchain to be fully embraced by the public, we need to go beyond making it seem like people need it, because they are not convinced.
That’s the problem with blockchain—we talk about how it will disrupt our industries the way the World Wide Web did back in the New Millenia. But we often forget how many changes it undertook before people it found habitat in the pockets of everyday people. The difficulty with blockchain, and us people that develop or use it, is that we’re all unwaveringly convinced that blockchain will be the way of the future. I don’t deny, the reality is probable.
But our grasp of that and other realities is as tangible as flying cars, talking sweaters, and bionic people. It could happen and we have the technology for it, if not we can develop it. It’s just that we don’t know if the world wants to. I read an interview of a supply chain expert’s comments as she was asked regarding blockchain. She said “Our systems are ironclad enough that it faces the same problem with blockchain, its trust highly depends on the network. If there is nothing wrong with our tools now, why change it?” Or something to that regard. (I paraphrased her general thought a little bit)
Thoughts Regarding Blockchain
In her quote, I took a reflective stance regarding disruptive technologies. What would make total adaptation of a foreign tech with moderate amounts of jargon and required understanding be something the general public would easily use on a day-to-day basis? The supply chain expert is right to a point when she says that her tools now work for her. So why go through all the trouble of changing it when increased value and revenue isn’t certain? It happened to artificial intelligence, it could happen to blockchain.
It’s easy for most blockchain experts as we have been studying it for almost a decade. Yet, think about your parents and how they find it difficult to perform a simple drag and drop on a computer. Now think about how the same people with similar thinking (or lack thereof) and how it’s highly possible they would look at blockchain the same way. In reality, we are so far behind the “blockchain disruption” we’ve all promised. However, some public chains, like IOST, have the answers to some problems. And it’s time we took a deep dive into it.
The Multi-faceted Blockchain Problems
Blockchain has a lot to go up against and it’s quite impossible to list them all. But I will list down problems that I have read, wrote, and encountered multiple times which you might already be familiar with.
For one, blockchain holds a murky reputation. That in itself is a big problem and we know why. Blockchain is an immutable ledger, and its functions are solid. The problems of a specific chain stem from its network. Most people are only familiar with blockchain as a form of cryptocurrency. If that pertains, industries would already have a mental barrier to its capabilities of smart contracts and systems revamp. And with a reputation of it being a scammer’s device, blockchain trust is cracked. However, there is an undeniable trust and attention that blockchain recently received. Deloitte recently released a survey regarding senior executives view on blockchain. And they agree that blockchain is useful to their industry and that they would agree to its use if most people agree to it or if there is a consortium.
Cryptocurrency and Regulation
And regarding cryptocurrency, crypto experts and politicians are on opposite spectrums of this. Take Zuckerberg’s recent conference with the Congress. There has been reasonable doubt from both ends. In fact, regulation policies are either tight or nonexistent and never in between. But this isn’t quite difficult to imagine as a decentralized ledger would obviously challenge whatever centralized entities have control on. In addition, the broken trust blockchain and crypto has hinders adoption to an extent. This article lists down whether a country recognizes whether cryptocurrency is a legal tender or not. And you can see that impression the government has regarding cryptocurrency.
Blockchain developers themselves agree that blockchain still has a lot of ways to go. Decentralizing processes calls for an exaggerated level of transactions and validations. Most experts compare public chains to Visa Network which handles 4000 transactions per second (tps). A typical blockchain is expected to handle 56,000 tps. We have to take note that actions in a chain encompass more than payments. Validation, verification, and other data handling also happen in a chain. If we are looking to have blockchain work for the masses, if we want the general public to undertake the blockchain road, we need a scalable public chain capable of handling more data and TPS.
Things You’ll Love About IOST
In case you missed it, IOST has been considered as one of the big 4 contenders alongside Ethereum, EOS, and Tron when it comes to scalable public chains. Developed by Terrence Wang, IOST has seven (7) major things that it brings to the table. And we are going to take a look at them and hopefully help you see how they help the blockchain sphere:
Also check out this latest interview with Terrence Wang CTO of IOST:
Simplified Verification Payment Nodes (SVPM)
Visa, as we mentioned earlier, is an example of a centralized network that works with a centralized authority. They wouldn’t cross validate node and other transactions with other nodes because that’s not how centralized system works. The nature of a centralized service looks as transactions as a one time validation process. In comparison to blockchain systems, it’s quite different. Here, nodes often cross validate other nodes.
Also for Visa , one process is always a one time process. Disputes can be made in the future when seen where the node will then be reviewed. Compared to blockchain, where one node can cross validate other nodes, That’s what makes blockchain more secure in a sense. But one blockchain node serves to validate multiple nodes that come after it. Over time, this can be difficult to handle. This is why IOST’s SVPM is a good feature. While most blockchains have the same type of first class nodes. IOST creates nodes at different levels, SVMP being a lightweight node for validation only. SVPM node’s purpose is to validate transactions and nothing else, making it easy for the system. Dedicated servers then won’t be overburdened with too much data just to cross check transactions.
The servi/partner Node system
A blockchain network serves to take action of any data on an immutable ledger. Looking ahead, that could impose a challenge similar or eventually overburdening the server. Another thing we can add to previous section of multi-faceted blockchain challenges is sometimes a node or a hash is referred to as a bad actor. It’s named so not because of poor performance, but because it harms the network or technology purely for its own benefit.
For example, a small transaction of low fees are often low priority, hence no ferocious action is taken immediately. But as users of a network, we create a hash for small transactions to get the job done, which would clog up the system with multiple, low fee low priority transactions. Aside from the SVPM, IOST uses a different kind of rewards system that is more accessible by all users. The Servi/partner Node system is one of them. Rewards for blockchain mining is important because it motorizes the network in IOST there are partner nodes and Servi nodes. When users take voluntary action on any process in the blockchain, they are rewarded through being rewarded as a partner node. The Servi Node is an active node in the network and helps to secure the network.
Also if you want to be a node and join the global IOST network, you can always ask BlockDevs Asia to support you as a node in the network. Click on this link for more in depth information about how to become a partner/servi node in the network.
Proof of Believability (PoB)
The best part about rewards and mining in IOST is that validators are randomly selected, compared to other public chains. An algorithm to determine the next set of validators through a user’s Proof of Believability Score. A higher score would entail trust and will most likely be selected for validation, but is not a guarantee. This is to encourage new validators to become good actors and to also encourage the network to increase with number and trust. The PoB score will be based on the following things:
- The amount of IOST in the node.
- The number of earned Servi tokens.
- The previous actions/transactions of the node.
As previously said, the Servi tokens and the FTFS system is important for a user’s PoB. And since the validation system is more random than most public chains, the Servi token, FTFS and PoB collectively encourages the network to act as good actors until such time that they will be chosen as a validator again.
Efficient Distributed Sharding (EDS)
Aside from the SVPM, IOST allows the splitting and monitoring of workload across nodes. Simply, when a node is overworked, the Efficient Distributed Sharding (EDS) system would allocate some of its work to another node create a linear scale of network. This encourages efficiency compared to having a single node work on so much data similar to what Visa does.
Atomic Unit System
Working at a fast rate, sometimes blockchain transactions on a single entity may occur at the same time. This would create malicious or false results. That is why IOST uses an atomic unit system wherein these transactions will be taken as a whole rather than individually. A bundle of transactions for a single atomic unit must commit or else would fail and no transactions would take place. In that way, we can ensure that no false results would yield when similar transactions would process at the same time.
Micro State Blocks is something that IOST proposes as a solution to the ever-scaling degree of data blockchain will eventually experience. There is no such thing as null when it comes to blockchain. Even if a transaction or action is blank, the blockchain stores it in hash as that data. Looking forwards, this would make data size larger than it ever would be. And downloading the system would be difficult and inefficient. IOST’s Micro State Blocks is the solution to that problem but is yet to be explained by them in the future.
What We Mean by Complete Trust
IOST and Terrence Wang isn’t just merely sitting down and hoping for the best. They have launched and held multiple events across Asia like in Singapore, Philippines, and Japan with some partner companies who share his vision. They have been undertaking the role of introducing IOST to blockchain communities, incubating IOST developers, and asking the public of their own opinion of IOST and how they improve it.
When we mean complete trust, it means we are developing a system that developers themselves know would work for the community and for everyone else outside of it. An inclusive tech akin to the blockchain disruption we promised. Like a blueprint for the future, complete trust comes with a robust technology that looks into looming challenges that blockchain will eventually face, adding scalability and diversity in mind. IOST emphasizes the power of blockchain because it imposes trust in multi-faceted angles.
IOST and Blockchain Power—Water It Down, Don’t Bubble It Up
I myself, as the copywriter of BlockDevs Asia, have had the chance to experience IOST in its basic course, a program they call IOST Champ. And I must say, I find it surprisingly easy to use. If IOST would take a royal throne in the palace of blockchain power and governance, people would have no problem in its reign it if it remains that trustworthy and accessible. Considering what IOST has to offer, it’s not hard to imagine if it will eventually be adopted by industries and communities.
But maybe when it comes to talking about blockchain, it’s time we water it down and work on solutions and not bubble up promises. IOST is taking up that route. And in their perspective, a blockchain future isn’t far from reality.
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