June 2018 was both busy and fruitful for NKN, and our progress has been made in both R&D and community development. For more details, please refer to the following.
NKN launched on Gate.io, opened NKN/USDT and NKN/ETH trading pairs
NKN launched on Gate.io (https://gate.io/), a world-famous digital asset trading platform, on May 28, 2018, and opened NKN/USDT and NKN/ETH trading pairs. Order trading was started simultaneously. This launch represents NKN as the world’s first public-chain infrastructure to blockchainize network transmission resources, and has taken important steps in establishing a new type of network infrastructure and ecosystem that is open, decentralized, shared and owned by the community.
R&D Monthly Update
NKN core source code is officially open-sourced 3 weeks in advance of schedule and roadmap is updated
On June 12, 2018, Dr. Yilun Zhang, CTO of NKN Labs, announced that the NKN core code was officially open-sourced, which was 20 days ahead of schedule. At the CPC Devcon, NKN technology highlights were introduced as : Decentralized Data Transmission Network (DDTN), MVCA consensus algorithm, proof of relay (PoR), relay path verification (RPV) and full-node NKN address scheme.
The NKN team has always been focusing on product development, releasing the most complete features in the shortest possible time. The NKN core code repository was open-sourced (https://github.com/nknorg/nkn) 3 weeks ahead of schedule greatly exceeding expectations.
The significance of NKN’s open source is to gain community consensus. This is the essential characteristic of NKN as a public blockchain. Just like the Bitcoin ecosystem, the value of NKN lies in its users and ecosystems. Open source is also a manifestation of NKN’s confidence in its technology and community building. Only open and transparent technologies can be publicly recognized by the community. Only projects in which the community recognize value, can grow and thrive.
This is the latest NKN development roadmap (updated at https://nkn.org/), which can be divided into two phases: testnet and mainnet. We will be able to provide a full-featured testnet before January 2019. An early version of the NKN mainnet will be released in March 2019 and will be officially launched in June next year, which is three months ahead of the previous plan.
The new roadmap started in May 2018. The main task of this phase was to develop the Testnet preview of Decentralized Data Transmission Network (DDTN), Proof of Relay (PoR), and Cellular Automata Consensus subsystems, including:
- Implemented decentralized data transmission network base on Chord DHT
- Implemented proof of relay using signature chain
- Implemented the first version of cellular automata based consensus algorithm
- Redesign and unify REST/RPC/Websocket api
- Improve building flow and add Docker support
- Many other improvements and bug fix
Now NKN is in the development phase of the testnet, and released the v0.1 version testnet, “Firefox” on June 16, 2018. This is the first testnet that contains all of the core subsystems, enabling the globally deployed nodes to work and test in real time. The main tasks at this stage are:
- Release the design and preliminary implementation of distributed data transmission network based on Chord DHT;
- Release the design and initial implementation of Proof of Relay (PoR);
- Release the design and initial implementation of the decentralized public ledger based on PoR and CA consensus algorithm;
- Launch a prototype blockchain system with data transmission capacity and PoR;
- 15 node testnet deployed in 15 regions globally;
- Develop clients with graphical user interface (GUI) to provide network connectivity and user interaction;
- Preview of SDK for dAPP experiments.
The next stage is the release of the v0.3 version of the testnet in August 2018, “Lemur”: Optimizing system scalability and efficiency, the alpha version of the SDK. The main tasks at this stage are:
- Optimize NKN system design to improve scalability and efficiency;
- Further develop and improve NKN core system;
- Develop public protocols and interfaces of NKN for other applications including decentralized applications (dApps).
In October 2018, NKN will release the v0.5 testnet, “Koala”: enhanced anti-attack capability, a larger scope of testnet, and SDK Beta version. The main tasks at this stage are:
- Introduce anti-attack mechanism to prevent malicious party and collusion attacks;
- Build test network with hundreds of nodes for testing and demonstration.
In January 2019, NKN will release version 0.7 testnet, “Meerkat”: full-featured test network, complete implementation and performance, and SDK version 1.0. The main task of this phase is to introduce a fully functional NKN testnet, including fault tolerance, data transmission and routing, relay path verification, and a complete implementation of the consensus algorithm. This consensus algorithm will enable fast convergence in large-scale networks.
In March 2019, NKN announced the release of the v0.9 of the mainnet at the end of the testnet phase, “Beluga”. The main tasks of this phase include:
- Further develop and improve NKN core system based on status of the testnet;
- Develop network-intensive dApps based on NKN ecosystem.
Finally, in June 2019, NKN will officially release the v1.0 of the mainnet, “Narwhal”, which mainly includes:
- Launch NKN mainnet;
- Launch NKN ecosystem.
Release NKN Testnet Preview Demo
Bruce Li demonstrated NKN testnet preview at the NEO London meetup (v0.1 Firefox is the first version of the evolving testnet), including 15 nodes deployed in 15 regions worldwide. He introduced the details of the NKN testnet preview.
As you can see in the Internet Topology section, NKN testnet includes 15 nodes running globally. You can see the location and IP address of each node by hovering on the blue dots in the map. The orange line shows the trajectory of packet when it’s being relayed in our network. Orange dots are connected clients. Usually a packet originates from a client, relayed by a few nodes, and finally delivered to another client.
When a packet is being transmitted, a signature chain is generated as the proof of relay for all the relayer nodes along the route, as shown in the Signature Chain section. Relayer nodes may get token rewards from the client that sends the packet. The price is determined by sender and relayers, similar to how gas price is determined in Ethereum. The signature chain with lowest last signature will be selected to produce ledger node, similar to Bitcoin mining, but in a useful way. When a signature chain is selected, the ledger node is chosen from the relayer nodes in the signature chain using the modulus of the last signature. The ledger node will propose the next block and get mining rewards if successful. A complete list of signature chains and more details can be found in the signature chain tab.
Each node and client in NKN network has a NKN address, which is represented by a point in the virtual ring in the DHT Mapping Topology section. NKN is an overlay network, so all the topology and routing is done in the virtual space. The orange line shows the path of the signature chain above in the virtual space. For a detailed preview of the testnet , you can refer to this video:
NKN and Dr. Whitfield Diffie / Cryptic Labs June Workshop
Dr. Diffie and the Cryptic Labs team discussed the progress of the NKN project with the NKN team and provided cryptographic technical guidance based on the Cellular Automaton concept and the Ising model consensus algorithm. We were very much in agreement with Diffie’s suggestions for improving the efficiency of verifiable random functions (VRF) and optimizing the connection with clients and servers. We believe that with the joint efforts of experts in cryptography, distributed information processing systems, and the commercialization of telecommunications and technology, NKN will radically change the traditional network and rebuild the Internet we have always wanted. We are honored to have three members of Cryptic Labs join us to review the status of our project: Humphrey Polanen (one of the heads of Stanford Blockchain Security Accelerator), Herman Collins (Director of Human Capital), and Hilarie Orman (Bachelor of Mathematics, MIT/Former Chairman of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee)
Progress of NKN Ecosystem Development
The NKN ecosystem has three major goals:
- Ultra open. Anytime and anywhere, any device can easily access the NKN network.
- Share network resources. Participants receive rewards from the NKN system by sharing idle network resources with others.
- Co-building network facilities. NKN encourages individuals and enterprises to deploy equipment to provide services for other nodes, benefiting from automatic settlement while enhancing network connectivity and throughput.
The NKN ecosystem has four major elements: user devices, network infrastructure equipment vendors, Internet service providers, and decentralized application developers.
As part of our business strategy, NKN has been actively engaged with Internet Service Providers in the US, EU, and Asia as well as with infrastructure and device vendors to identify and develop useful Proof of Concepts (PoC) using NKN’s technology. As such, we have identified a number of use cases in areas such as IoT, SDN, Medical, and more that have resonated with operators and vendors and could offer growth opportunities for NKN. In addition, while NKN’s open source software has only been available to the public for a short time, we have seen significant interest from application developers in using our platform.
In the transformation of traditional network infrastructure, NKN pays attention to the advantages of its own blockchain technology and cooperation with traditional telecommunications and the Internet. Recently, NKN has joined TIP (Telecom Infra Project), a telecommunications alliance founded by Facebook, Deutsche Telekom, Intel, Telefonica, Nokia, Vodafone and British Telecom. NKN will play an important role in working groups such as Edge Computing Group, OpenCellular Group and TIP Community Labs. NKN’s innovative economic incentive model combined with blockchain in the field of network transmission will promote faster and broader acceptance of technological innovation by members of the TIP Alliance.
In addition, NKN is also a member of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). ONF is a non-profit organization composed of telecommunications giants such as AT&T, Google, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, NTT, and Turkish Telecom, aiming to introduce open source innovation technologies into formal commercial deployments. One of the organization’s most important tasks is the research and exploration of new business models and application scenarios of SDN (Software Defined Network), which coincides with NKN’s innovative model of combining SDN and blockchain. NKN will focus on participating in ONF’s projects: SDN, ONOS, CORD, P4/Stratum, and other major related projects.
Sponsor, judge and key participant in DoraHacks Hackathon
DoraHacks and NKN worked together to combine hacking and blockchain technology to solve a series of problems such as the allocation of Internet resources. In the future, the two sides will create a better Internet environment and infrastructure for hackers to create a better tomorrow for the Internet. On June 26th, NKN’s CTO Dr. Yilun Zhang participated in the DoraHacks roundtable discussion and participated in the hackathon evaluation.
The cooperation between NKN and DoraHacks reflects the desire of both parties to use blockchain technology to create a better future for the Internet. DoraHacks will work with NKN to bring together industry experts in developing new advanced technologies in order to solve the internet’s most complex problems.
NKN Joins Blockchain Connect 2018 Conference
NKN CEO Yanbo Li presented the NKN testnet preview and interacted with the audience at the Blockchain 2018 conference.
At the Blockchain Connect 2018 conference, Bruce gave a keynote speech addressing “From Turbo Code to Blockchain: Telecom Innovation” and shared the concept of the new Internet and NKN’s new roadmap.
ABC Blockchain Community Meetup
NKN founders Yanbo Li, Yilun Zhang, and Bruce Li were invited to attend the meetup by ABC blockchain Community, initiated by developers from Google. They had a very technical discussion about how to use blockchain to solve challenges in the Internet and networks, and how to bring off-chain real time data transmission capacity to decentralized applications and devices. The talk covers true peer to peer routing using Chord DHT, proof of relay using signature chain, and extremely scalable consensus algorithm based on Cellular Automata.
NKN Community Helps Release Japanese White Papers and Translation of Japanese and Korean Websites
As NKN attracted more and more Japanese partners, community volunteers helped translate a Japanese version of the white paper ( https://www.nkn.org/doc/NKN_Whitepaper_jp.pdf ). At the same time, we also launched a webpage for Japan and South Korea this month. We welcome more friends from Japan and South Korea to participate in the NKN community.
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