ICO REVIEW: CHAINSPACE

Hi everyone, it’s CryptoGabby from Crypto Round Table.

I’m VERY excited about Chainspace, which is a project that’s been under the radar. For those of you who missed out on Harmony or find the valuation of Harmony too inflated, Chainspace is the original innovation which Harmony implemented in their own project. There is even reference to Chainspace in Harmony’s whitepaper: http://simple-rules.com/tech.

Please note that this review is based on my own personal opinion and research and I have not been paid in any form. This review is also not to be taken as financial advice and it is recommended you do your own research to factor in your own personal circumstances.

What is Chainspace?

  • Chainspace is a sharded smart contracts platform. Existing platforms are too slow for real-world applications and they aim to fix this by improving throughput and lowering latency

Main Features of Chainspace

  • Sharding is used to execute parallel contracts that allow linear scalability.
  • Their new leaderless consensus protocol called Blockmania can achieve extremely fast and scalable consensus within each shard. They have already achieved 100,000 tx/s during testing.
  • Below is the main difference between Zilliqa Sharding(1st Gen Sharding) and State Sharding(2nd Gen Sharding) of Chainspace, Harmony, Ethereum 2.0
  • State Sharding that is used by Chainspace, Harmony and Ethereum 2.0 is the future. Zilliqa does what is called network or transaction sharding. With Zilliqa you have to store 100% of the latest state of the entire blockchain on each network node. (For example, 100% of the entire state of bitcoin blockchain is the balance in all the wallets of the users of bitcoin blockchain). With state sharding, you have to store just 1/x of the state of blockchain on each node, where x is the number of shards/nodes (in a simplistic network).
  • Zilliqa does not do state sharding, so, inter-shard communication is minimal. A shard communicates asynchronously with other shards only to transfer the transaction data. State sharding has fast and fault proof intershard communication.
  • Running smart contracts on a sharded network without state sharding is a big challenge. Chainspace implements state sharding, and it even shards the smart contracts. It also uses a unique consensus of Block DAG, called Blockmania.
  • Blockmania is a mechanism to achieve consensus with several advantages over the more traditional PBFT protocol and its variants. In Blockmania, nodes in a quorum only emit blocks linking to other blocks, irrespective of the consensus state machine. The resulting directed acyclic graph of blocks (block DAG) is later interpreted to ensure consensus safety, finality and liveness. The resulting system has communication complexity O(N2) even in the worst case, and low constant factors as compared to O(N4) for PBFT. It is leaderless; and nodes do not need to commit beforehand to whom is in the quorum or the value of their stake making Blockmania ideal for flexible and non-interrupted proof- of-stake protocols. We also present O(N) communication cost variants of Blockmania, with higher latency O(log N). The underlying technique of interpreting block DAGs can be adapted to other distributed systems problems such as consensus under crash failures or reliable broadcast.

Token Metrics

  • Hard Cap: 25–30m, the exact raise would be decided after the completion of seed round.
  • Total Token Supply: TBC
  • Token Distribution: Estimated to be in March 2019
  • Vesting: Tokens will start releasing 6 months from the closing of the seed round (within few weeks). Tokens will released daily over a period of 18 months. They will distribute mainnet tokens if the mainnet is launched by then or ERC20 tokens if mainnet isn’t launched by then

Community

  • There is no community at the moment as they do not own a Telegram channel or groups and can only be reached via email
  • Mentioned 0/17 bloggers on top7 ICO.
  • Although there is currently no community do keep in mind that this is still the early stages for Chainspace and it has been under the radar. Recent projects like Chromaway have shown that hype can be achieved even without an existing community.

Roadmap

  • October 2018: Testnet (Permissioned)
  • December 2018: Testnet (Unpermissioned)
  • Q1 2019: Mainnet

Team:

  • The team consists of 10 people with 6 of them being co-founders.
  • The two co-founders that stand out are below as these guys are actually capable of original innovation unlike teams that simply copy existing research
  • Shehar Bano, CO-Founder, Researcher: She is a post-doctoral researcher at UCL. She is a member of IC3, the Centre for Blockchain Technologies, and helps run the London Infosec Group. Made MIT’s 2018 Innovators under 35 list.
  • Mustafa Al-Bassam, CO-Founder, Researcher: A former LulzSec hacker, he is now a PhD researcher in computer security at UCL. He made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in technology for 2016.
  • The rest of the teams profile can be found on their official website.
  • This is a great team which has actual distributed ledger technology experience. All the team members have long history of working together and successfully executing projects. The CEO and CTO have worked together and even sold off a company. The technical team has also worked together on multiple academic projects and with the CTO on the chainspace whitepaper.

Advisors:

  • Blaine Cook: Original technical director at Twitter. He’s co-author of the OAuth (v1) protocol (i.e. “Log in with Facebook”, “Log in with Google”), as well as the Webfinger protocol, a decentralised web scale identity system leveraging OpenID.
  • Bryan Ford: leads the Decentralized and Distributed Systems (DEDIS) lab at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. He’s one of the main brains behind OmniLedger, a sharded cryptocurrency. He also writes on Liquid Democracy, a set of governance structures designed for distributed democratic deliberation.
  • Klaus Kursawe: Expert security consultant on critical infrastructure, including smart devices and energy grids across the globe. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of Byzantine distributed consensus and distributed trust, and has been publishing papers on these subjects since the turn of the millenium.
  • Ben Laurie: A founder of the Apache Software Foundation, Ben wrote the SSL implementation in Apache HTTP server. He’s also originator of Certificate Transparency, an internet-scale distributed ledger securing SSL against MITM attacks. Ben is Head of Security and Transparency at DeepMind.

Investors:

  • We are aware of a couple of funds who have invested however we cannot reveal them at this time as they have chosen to remain private.

Pros:

  • Chainspace has original innovators in their team as we all know Harmony lifted off the Chainspace whitepaper
  • The Chainspace has been peer reviewed. All the assumptions in their whitepaper have been tested out with an MVP so it’s theories are all tested. Peer review is a very strict process in which subject masters attempt to disprove the theories in the whitepaper.
  • Their consensus algorithm Blockmania (Block DAG) is also a completely original innovation. This tells us that the team has the ability to solve problems potentially better than other teams as they are pioneers with the ability to find their own solutions to the technical issues they face.
  • The team have had a long working relationship as the CEO and CTO have sold a business together

Cons:

  • Roadmap currently states that mainnet would be in Q1 2019 but it may take longer than that to launch

Summary:

  • Short term: This project will do well in the short run as they have a strong team that is well known for being the original innovators for state sharding. They have also stated that they will release ERC20 tokens after 6 months from now if the mainnet has not been launched, which could lead to easy trading on idex.
  • Long term: This project has the capability of performing well in the long run due to its strong team of innovators, who have shown that they can come up with a ground breaking consensus algorithm like Blockmania in matter of months. They are one of the best projects that implement state sharding (the holy grail of sharding) and have the ability to keep innovating. I’d keep an eye on Chainspace!

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