Since July’2018, NKN project has achieved so much both by the team and the community that we feel compelled to compile all our deliverables over the last months into a comprehensive report to share with you.

We are truly thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Chapter 1: Key product and technology achievements

In early November, NKN public testnet reaches 5,878 full nodes participating in consensus and relaying p2p traffic. Vast majority were run by community around the globe.

Implemented all core functionality of testnet

With V0.5 Koala release, we have implemented and field tested all the core functionality of NKN’s protocol and systems. This is functionally equivalent to V0.7 Meerkat (final testnet release). In the remaining months, we will carry on code refactoring and performance improvements.

According to the official NKN whitepaper, the core functional components of NKN network are

  • Decentralized Data Transmission Network

  • Proof of Relay

  • MOCA Consensus

Below are more details about how the current V0.5 Koala release solves the technical challenges highlighted in NKN’s official whitepaper:

1A) Decentralized Data Transmission Network

Now v0.5 Koala already has comprehensive network functionalities as demonstrated by the decentralized real-time multiplayer game Spacecats, which was developed by our community members and has indistinguishable user experience from centralized games.

We have rewritten the entire network layer (25% of the code) from scratch and are now offering this network layer as a new top-level repository called nnet ( Nnet is also integrated into nkn v0.5 release. With the new network layer, NKN now has the near-complete network functionalities with extremely high tolerance to network failures tested in one of the largest open p2p networks ahead of the original schedule. Some highlighted new features are:

  • We worked closely with Cryptic Labs and developed a novel broadcasting algorithm that can achieve optimal throughput and near-optimal latency. This improvement is a necessary step in achieving high TPS for public Internet usage and will boost TPS by an order of magnitude in typical network conditions.
  • We have made tremendous research and engineering improvements to the original Chord DHT protocol and has proven to be one of the world’s most robust DHT protocols. In our tests with thousands of nodes running worldwide, a sudden loss of 90%+ of nodes will not present a network failure. In comparison, the original Chord protocol could not tolerate a failure of O(N) level nodes.
  • Extremely high relay success rate: the client-to-client packet loss rate within the public testnet with ~6k unstable community nodes is less than 0.5% in a single path. Combined with our multi-path protocol we can achieve (essentially) zero packet loss rate.
  • Support NAT traversal.
  • Support mixed transport protocol with both TCP and UDP.
  • Native implementation for name service, multicasting, packet buffering for offline client. These features have been used and tested in the multiplayer game Spacecats.

1B) Proof of Relay

Proof of Relay using signature chain has been fully implemented and tested in the public network for several months without any issues. The Signature chain has been shown to be an efficient way to prove the relay work done by nodes and a secure way to randomly select nodes based on the work done by nodes.

1C) MOCA Consensus

MOCA, or Majority vOte Cellular Automata, consensus algorithm has been fully implemented and tested in our public testnet at scale. NKN’s testnet with MOCA implementation is one of the world’s largest open p2p networks with nearly 6k nodes today (3x BCH nodes already!), Of these nodes, more than 5k+ were provided by the community. At this scale, the whole network is able to reach consensus for every block in just a few seconds, and every block is finalized in 20s (technically it could be much faster).

MOCA consensus is shown to be extremely scalable and efficient, each node in the testnet only consumes ~ 2% CPU, < 200M RAM and < 50KB/s data transmission overhead on a personal laptop even when network size is around 6k nodes! As far as we known, it is the most scalable and efficient consensus algorithm available and our testnet already has the largest scale among all non-PoW blockchain testnets or mainnets.

Significant stability and scalability improvement on core software and public testnet

  • Scalability: up to 5,878 full nodes (participate in mining & consensus) reaching consensus within 1–2 seconds. Most of them are run by community members all over the world. The current total node count is regularly above 2,000:
  • Stability: nodes are running almost perfectly without the need to be restarted due to any critical error since we launched V0.5 Koala (October 31st to now).
  • Global coverage and node diversity: we have a global footprint covering nearly 30 countries or regions, where community miners run nodes on all kinds of hardware and software platforms and network connectivity. From AWS, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean to home computer (Windows, Mac OS, Linux), to Raspberry Pi.

From above screenshot we can see the total node count reached 5,878 in early November and the geographical distribution of NKN full nodes globally on our public testnet. This is more than Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) combined. The number is automatically generated by our network crawler and refreshed in real time. Link to tool:

Re-write and open source nnet networking stack, aiming to be the indispensable network foundation layer for all Web 3.0 applications

  • nnet is a fast, scalable, and developer-friendly network stack/layer for decentralized/distributed systems; in the same league as IPFS’s libp2p but with better performance, stronger verifiability and easier to use interface.
  • Over 25% of total NKN core code is rewritten

Beta release of Client SDK and Wallet SDK to support real-time applications

  • Adding the following new features to reduce traffic and latency: multicast, message cache for offline client, name service register and resolve.
  • Client SDK: any application developer can use 4 lines of Javascript code within their application for truly decentralized p2p network communication via the NKN Network. No tokens, no smart contracts, just works.
  • Wallet SDK:

User facing products to simplify user onboarding

  • 1-click GUI Miner for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux:

  • NKN Dashboard (blockchain explorer, network monitoring):

  • NKN official wallet:

New applications: Space Cats 3D game, NKN Chat, etc

Watch demo video with NKN blockchain explorer on the side:

Chapter 2. Key Community achievements

  • Experimental mining on NKN’s public testnet proved to be very popular, and has become a global phenomena
  • Community contribution surges as illustrated by the detailed list below. Not only are the community developers developing software and tools for NKN, but also generating technical documents and instructions to help newcomers.
  • We have an active Telegram group and Discord channels where community angels support newcomers and each other. The discussion shifts from mostly price talk to a more balanced conversation around application, use case, network mining and other meaningful topics.

Mining Dashboard, web wallet, and blockchain explorer

Applications by community:

Client Implementation by community:

Technical documentation and tutorials by community:

Chapter 3. Key business achievements

Forging high quality and meaningful partnerships backed by joint solution

Typically we have a joint MVP or PoC before we announce partnership. We pursue quality in partnership.

IoTeX partnership on co-creating IoT solution for smart homes.

Portal Networks partnership for NKN Name Service and integration of associated toolkits (Kaizen, MUMEI)

Generate brand awareness and new business leads at top Telecom industry events

Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Summit 2018 London:

  • Organized by Facebook, this is the largest annual gathering of open source hardware and software in the telecom space.
  • NKN was a Silver Sponsor of the TIP Summit 2018 London.
  • NKN showcased its overall technology vision, telecom use cases, public testnet, and several live demos including IoT solution for smart homes (in collaboration with IoTeX), Space Cats 3D peer to peer gaming, and embedded miner with Linksys home WiFi router.
  • NKN team met delegates from many participating companies including Facebook, BT, Telefonica, Tech Mahindra, Ofcom, MobileEdgeX, OpenSignal, Nokia, Redhat, Huawei, and Zeetta Networks.
  • Medium post:

Telecom Council Carrier Connect (TC3) Summit 2018 Silicon Valley

  • NKN was selected as the fast pitch speaker out of 100+ applications
  • Blockchain in Telecom was one of the main topics at TC3 this year, with many major telecoms collaborating with companies like NKN to address issues such as mobile payments, roaming, and IoT.

Continue PoC projects with telecom carriers

  • IoT PoC planning with US cable company for smart parking meters
  • Edge computing PoC planning with tier-1 European carriers
  • Roaming and billing settlement solution with tier-1 APAC carrier

New focus on cloud service providers

We are in different stages of partnership discussion with leading cloud service providers such as: Amazon Web Service (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Digital Ocean (DC)

About NKN

NKN is a new kind of network connectivity protocol & ecosystem powered by blockchain for an open, decentralized, and shared Internet. By blockchainizing the network layer, NKN is providing the missing third pillar of internet infrastructure. Just as Ethereum has done for compute and Filecoin for storage, NKN will decentralize network connectivity and transmission.