MultiVAC rather lies on the newer end of the Blockchain spectrum. By implementing Sharding (typical to Emotiq and QuarkChain), the project is purposed to produce high TPS to run dApps. Unlike its counterparts, Emotiq and Zilliqa, which are built off of OmniLedger, MultiVAC utilizes the VRF (Verifiable Random Functions) mechanism for its consensus as well as shard selection. Such projects as Dfinity and Ontology initiate typical randomized approaches in the election of block creators.
Just like Bitcoin, MultiVAC utilizes UXO for its accounting method. Developers will as such be in a position to flex between the tradeoffs within the CAP Theorem, being inclusive of consistency, availability, and partition tolerance. Simply put, decentralized computing at scale is at the moment an unresolved issue in the computer science space. Decentralized networks are able to maximize along 2 corners of the triangle with consistency, availability, and partition tolerance as the representations of the edges. MultiVAC has full awareness of the aforementioned tradeoffs and as such enables developers to customize the settings they require to suppose their use cases.
The web 3.0 stack of technologies aspire to compete and outweigh the extant worldwide web with scalable distributed networks. Such public Blockchain platforms as Ethereum are making a run at layer 2 solutions to bring about scalability. Such sharded networks as Zilliqa make certain security concessions in favor of higher scalability. EOS, which in the recent past instigated its mainnet, leaned towards “sufficient” decentralization with its 21 block creators to come up with a heightened throughput network.
The Team Behind MultiVAC
- Lu Heng:
Lu Heng is the Founder of MultiVAC and also the organization’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is as well the Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Xinrenxinshi.com, a Software as a service product for Human Resource, where he spearheaded a team of more than sixty engineers. He is a former Senior Engineering Director & Manager of Meituan.com, one of the most renowned and established group discount and sharing economy websites in China. As a software developer, his field of specialization is data warehousing and distributed systems.
- Ying Xiang:
Dr. Ying Xiang is the organization’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO). He formerly worked as a Software Engineer at Baidu and is a Computer Science PhD holder from Singapore’s Nanyang Technology University. As a Postdoctoral Researcher, he spent an extra two years at the university (Nanyang Technology University) subsequent to acquiring his PhD. He afterwards took up an Associate Professor position at Tianjin University for three years. He is into parallel algorithms & general-purpose computation.
- Clair Wang:
Clair Wang is the organization’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). She previously worked for just about 3 years as the Director of Marketing at Xinrenxinshi.com. Before this, she served as a Product Manager at Meituan for one year. She is a Master of Arts in Public Administration holder from Beijing Normal University.
- Susan Calvin:
Dr. Susan Calvin attended Columbia University form where she graduated in 2003. She has been extoled for her unprecedented work as regards cybernetics and positronic interfaces. She is at the moment the Chief Robopsychologist at US Robotics.
As for the advisory board, MultiVAC boasts influential advisors from both the Blockchain and enterprise realms. Among them include Neo Global Capital’s Roger Lim and the co-founders of Meituan, Chen Liang & Yang Jun.
The entire team comprises of seven advisors and sixteen members.
Product and Traction
The MultiVAC project is as yet in its development phase and the team has released a GitHub page. Be that as it may, the project has no public repositories available for viewing. As such, we have no option but to take the team’s word that they’re on course and have thus far not only developed the MultiVAC framework model in the 1st quarter, but have as well concluded working on the UTXO Sharding transaction, Sharding Ledger & Storage, as well as the Interactive Transaction (TX) verification design and development in the 2nd quarter.
The team as well mentioned having concluded work on their Merkle-root-based File System’s (MFS) basic data structures and are at the moment pitching into their MFS distributed file system and incorporating their sharded ledger on MFS. What’s more, they are as well building their consensus algorithm, a binary Byzantine agreement for in-shard consensus, whose basis is on VRF and group signature, and have completed implementing their Verifiable Random Functions.
Having concluded work on the protocol design for the v0.1, the team is additionally working on their sharded gossip protocol and have commenced programming on their sharded peer-to-peer network. The testnet and the open-source code were released in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, giving room for the team’s results to be validated.
MultiVAC endeavors to offer a high throughput blockchain infrastructure with an expansive potential to scale and support complex, data-intensive decentralized applications (dApps). Consequently, the project is rivaled by such typical platforms as Hedera Hashgraph, EOS, and Cardano. In addition, the project’s implementation of sharding technology directly brings about competition from projects like QuarkChain, Emotiq, Zilliqa, and Dfinity.
- QuarkChain whose value is $20 Million USD.
- EOS whose market value is $4.5 Billion USD.
- Zilliqa, valued at $300 Million USD.
- Dfinity whose market value is $90 Million USD.
- Emotiq whose market is valued at $39 Million USD.
The project’s team considers the flexibility of their platform a crucial factor in achieving widespread adoption. They also stress that infinite expansion, high throughput, and flexible computation are fundamental in so far as competitor advantage is concerned.
Regardless of the presence of quite a number of projects whose objectives entail dealing with similar concerns as MultiVAC, there still exists a sizeable market to be targeted by MultiVAC. Scalability continues to be a key element in the blockchain economy. As such any project that is in a position to sort out this issue as well as attract users to their platform is bound to experience a reasonable growth in value.
High-throughput blockchains automatically become competitive with such high-value projects as Hashgraph, Zilliqa, and EOS being the competitors. What’s more, such projects as Dfinity that endeavored to raise about $90 million USD amid their ICO indicate that the high throughput blockchain space is one among the industry’s segments with the potential to consistently attract considerable funding.
Most importantly, the predicaments faced by blockchain projects whose focus entails attaining mass adoption and puzzling out real-world problems are yet to be addressed. In this regard, in the event it is successful, MultiVAC could end up an expedient option for firms throughout the expanse of the commercial space looking to incorporate blockchain technology that is highly scalable.
MultiVAC is one among a continuously expanding list of high-throughput blockchain projects that is looking to not only deal with extant scalability problems, but bolster industrial-level decentralized applications and at the same time provide low transaction costs as well as speedy payments. Regardless of the huge no. of competing projects, MultiVAC still has something to offer, as a viable operational solution is yet to be realized and the project can serve as blockchain solution to an expanding no. of decentralized applications as well as aid corporations endeavoring to have blockchain technology integrated into their organizations.
The project’s team is keen to solve the blockchain scalability issue which is at the moment hindering mainstream blockchains from attaining industrial capability, and offer a variety of innovations associated with consensus algorithms, node selection, sharding technology, and blockchain instruction sets. On the assumption that the project is eventually a success, MultiVAC will be a noteworthy factor in helping the blockchain technology at large get closer to mass adoption.
MultiVAC’s whitepaper delineates the fundamental predicaments surrounding leading and challenger blockchain projects, as well as MultiVAC’s approach and crucial processes that will be incorporated in a bid to come up with an efficacious high-throughput blockchain platform.
The whitepaper as well addresses the elemental functions involving Instruction Sets, VMs, Verifiable Random Functions, Transactions and Consensuses, and Sharding using VRF probabilities. In addition, as per the whitepaper, the team also lays out their plans as regards Mining & Storage, including their distinctive Proof of Instruction Execution (PoIE) consensus algorithm, MVM Virtual Machine, as well as BISC Instruction Set.
- Verifiable Random Functions (VRFs) with Sharding:
Verifiable Random Functions are pseudorandom functions in which the function’s user is able to create a proof in which the entirety of validators can speedily verify without the user disclosing the general function itself.
Shards are basically subsections of the whole network. For instance, assuming that the entire network had 2 shards, say A & B, in the event nodes join the network, they’d be required to select one of the 2 shards.
A VRF is used in MultiVAC’s network to assign one of MultiVAC’s shards a node. The underlying mechanism is that a random no. is generated on the primary chain after which it is encrypted using the private key of the unassigned node. The eventual result is a pseudorandom number which is then assigned to a shard as per a probabilistic table.
- Consensus Within a Shard:
A consensus facilitates agreement regarding the state of the blockchain without third-party interference. Contingent on the employed algorithm, various thresholds of network reliability are required for the success of the consensus. There is an abundance of various consensus schemas and variations of the schemas in question to put into consideration. Zilliqa (ZIL), which is yet another sharded protocol, implements the Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) algorithm where every node that aspires to attach itself to the network is tested to resolve a PoW (Proof-of-Work) problem. Extant nodes in the Zilliqa network verify the Proof-of-Work and give approval to the node to join the network. Proof-of-Work consensus serves as the network’s ticket of entry. As such, only nodes that hold tickets that are valid are able to join the network.
For the consensus to be operational, the % of valid nodes within a shard ought to be larger than or equivalent to the margin of safety’s ratio. It is normal for nodes to fall into an asynchronous state for benevolent or malicious (under DDOS attack for instance) reasons. A DDOS attack can be thought of as an individual going to vote in a polling station, but rather finds hundreds of people coming at them to hinder them from reaching their destination. Consensus thresholds ought to take into consideration both the margin of safety, as well as the synced nodes.
MultiVAC gives priority to consensus algorithms that pre-empt forks. As per the project’s whitepaper, each shard may incorporate of 1 of the following algorithms: PBFT, asynchronous BFT, or the Byzantine Agreement algorithm (Algorand).
- Syncing Across Shards is Difficult:
The entirety of sharding implementations are today faced with the challenge of synchronizing not only intra-shard transactions (across nodes within the same shard), but throughout the expanse of other shards within the MultiVAC network protocol as well. A typical solution, utilized by Zilliqa, regards using a global ledger that is shared by each and every shard. The latter’s result is a secure and synchronous ledger, though at the expense of overloading the network with co-ordination costs.
An alternative approach, as implemented by OmniLedger or any other protocol building on it (being inclusive of Emotiq and (or) Harmony) is where its Atomix protocol executes transactions across shards. The Atomix protocol is rather contemporary and will as such have the opportunity to be battle-tested as Harmony and Emotiq become active.
MultiVAC went for a somewhat simpler approach. The protocol’s UTXO accounting only effectuates the moment an account spends. The TX will be stored within the shard the a/c is part of. This distinguishes it from Atomix, in which case the processing of the transactions takes place across shards. On a programming level, MultiVAC streamlines its approach to abate security risks and enhance scalability.
- Thwarting Shard Spamming Attacks:
Shards can be thought of as subsets of the entire network. A distributed network’s strength is its capacity to absorb DDOS or 51 percent of attacks given adequate nodes. Shards will have a lot fewer nodes, hence are exposed to a much higher risk of falling victim of these attacks. To prevent this, MultiVAC utilizes dynamic shard adjustment, in which case miners are allocated a variety of shards. It is compulsory for the random assignment mechanism to be secure so as to hinder the coordination between attackers.
- MVM (MultiVAC Virtual Machine):
The MultiVAC Virtual Machine enables smart contracts to be executed on the network devoid of requiring smart contracts to entirely execute on every machine. MVM’s primary objective entails achieving transparent computations on fewer machines as compared to other smart contract platforms. Other than its BISC (Blockchain Instruction Set Computer), MultiVAC initiates its Proof of Instruction Execution consensus. Thus far, the MultiVAC Virtual Machine supports C computer programming language, though plans to as well support such higher level programming languages as Go and Java.
- BISC (Blockchain Instruction Set Computer):
BISC basically is a blockchain-enabled model of RISC-V with 256-bit instruction processing, signature, and hashing instructions for blockchains. RISC-V, BISC’s predecessor, is an open-source ISA (Instruction Set Architecture). An Instruction Set Architecture is generally a means for software to interact with the elementary computer processor. Simply put, it serves as a bridge between computer hardware and software. MultiVAC breaks ground for contemporary computer chips to flawlessly align with their network. Rather than a virtual machine, the blockchain network’s software can work with the network’s nodes fitted with BISC.
- PoIE (Proof of Instruction Execution) Consensus Algorithm:
PoIE is MVM’s consensus that validates transparent computation of smart contracts. MultiVAC is designed to make sure that each node executing a smart contract is expensive as regards computation. As such malicious actors aspiring to trick the system will be at risk financially by splurging energy since their node would need to execute an “expensive” computer resource.
Simply put, let’s look at the latter from the following angle: In computers, memory can be horded either on the Central Processing Unit’s memory (also referred to as the computer’s cache memory) or the computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory). Cache is used as a storage for program instructions & data intended for recurrent use. It can be thought of as the computer’s muscle memory – it ought to be speedily accessible. RAM, on the other hand, can be likened to the computer’s primary store for memory. Cognitively, this would be where human beings access long-term memories. Reading & writing to RAM is more expensive computationally owing to the fact that it is a rather long process.
The Proof of Instruction Execution consensus algorithm leaves MultiVAC miners with no option but to perform hashing as well as randomly and routinely read huge quantities of data from memory. Such an encumbrance as this contrives a bottleneck for such specialized miners as ASICs. Most noteworthy, ASICs refer to vastly specialized computer systems modeled to run 1 or a very limited series of operations or tasks. By bringing about a speed bump in the mining process, specially designed ASIC mining and malicious miners would sustain heftier costs.
MultiVAC ICO Strengths and Opportunities
A key benefit of MultiVAC regards its level of customization in the hands of its developers. Flexible sharding computation is of the implication that decentralized applications built on the MultiVAC blockchain protocol are able to work as per the parameters set by developers. Developers are in a position to decide on their parameters for the decentralization level, partition tolerance, consistency, as well as availability. The shard size is stipulated via the creator of the contract, that is, a higher quantity of nodes appropriates for security & availability, whilst a smaller amount promotes higher throughput. In addition, developers have control over other parameters like the possibility of forks and the amount of gas required to carry out transactions.
Even though, MultiVAC’s team of developers is rather new in the blockchain space, their experience as regards leading tech organizations and institutions of higher learning is solid. The project’s developer team’s members comprise of former Senior Engineers from such noteworthy organizations as Alibaba, Tencent, and Google, as well as researchers from the University of Sidney, Nanyang Technology University, and Harvard.
The developer team comprises of thirteen full-time members, and aspires to solicit support from the open-source community as the project moves further along.
MultiVAC Weaknesses & Threats
Just as is the case with various other blockchain projects, MultiVAC endeavors to come up with a solution for blockchain scalability. This space in particular is very competitive as there are many other well-founded projects and cryptocurrency startups with similar goals. As such, it won’t be easy be the winner in this race.
MultiVAC’s protocol certainly takes full advantage of the lessons learnt from its predecessors. The protocol’s balance between simplicity & usability is encouraging regardless of whether it is practical or is simply there to be seen. So far as scalability goes, MultiVAC has chosen to utilize sharding with a much simpler UTXO design as compared to its competitors, Zilliqa, which implements a shared ledger mechanism, and OmniLedger, which implements the Atomix protocol. MultiVAC is intended to make it possible for blockchain developers to pick and select between shards to fulfill their needs, be it lower latency or higher security.
In comparison to its major competitors, MultiVAC as yet lies on the newer end of the blockchain spectrum. Nevertheless, the cogent background of its team, advisors, and investors demonstrates a well-founded performance at the ICO stage. The market cap thereafter will be contingent upon how aptly the team is able to execute on the roadmap as well as how comparable the MultiVAC’s blockchain adoption is to its rivals.