Blockchain + supply chain, medical, gaming, Internet of Things… Blockchain + everything has become a slot in the industry. But at the same time as the Tucao blockchain +, I asked myself, have we seriously studied the application?
Today's Babbitt Entrepreneurship + brings you to know the blockchain + Internet of Things (IoT) public chain Taraxa. Tarpua's co-founder, Steven Pu, is a straight blockchain entrepreneur who tells us:
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“Taraxa is a public chain that serves IoT devices, making IoT devices more reliable and highly automated.”
It sounds like nothing special. And the Internet of Things, like artificial intelligence and blockchain, are at an early stage. Why did Taraxa choose to combine the Internet of Things? Has the application been implemented? What are the characteristics of the team? Everything starts with Steven's own experience.
Three times by the Amway blockchain, why is the preferred IoT application?
The first time I gave Steven Amway Bitcoin, I believe most people are no strangers. He is the former BTCC founder Bobby Lee. Bobby is Steven's senior. When he founded BTCC in 2013, he suggested that he buy Bitcoin. Steven still remembers that the price of the currency was only about 5 yuan, but because he didn't understand Bitcoin, he finally lost it.
In 2015, another classmate suggested that Steven go to the blockchain. He also talked to Vitalik several times during the offline event, but at the time everyone was talking about the alliance chain and the private chain. Steven thought it was no different from enterprise software.
In 2017, Steven was told the value of the public chain. Because he has had some experience dealing with multinational companies, he realized the important role played by decentralization . As a company grows bigger and bigger, there will be more and more resources to be coordinated, and more and more interests will be involved, which inevitably leads to efficiency problems. Steven said:
“In 2017, when I came into contact with the blockchain, I knew that decentralization was actually a very important thing. Because the economic structure of human society is developing in a very bad place, and it will only get worse. I think decentralization is very important."
So why do you want to do IoT applications? In addition to learning about hardware and doing things related to the Internet of Things, Steven said that because there is no trust mechanism in the world of machines, this is where the blockchain needs to work.
But Steven believes that the era of machine to machine economy is far from coming, and blockchain is not used for real-time transactions in the Internet of Things.
"I don't think blockchain is something that is used for real-time trading, because the blockchain itself is a very slow technology. There is no free lunch in the project. You can't both decentralize and speed. This is It's not very likely. So I think the decentralized system is probably the most helpful."
He said that in the future, transactions between machines and machines are more likely to be carried out under the chain, and then the signed transactions are placed on the chain. Therefore, the use of the blockchain is a system that supervises centralization as a proof of ex post auditing and dispute resolution.
Taraxa is not the first blockchain startup to do Internet applications. What are its advantages? Steven gave a very "simple" answer:
"Our advantage is that our chain management is as simple as that."
In addition, the Internet of Things ecology is also inseparable from anonymity. The concept of identity does not exist in the machine, the only way to prove that its identity is the manufacturer, but for privacy reasons, the owner of the machine may not want to disclose his information. Then a certification process is required to allow the manufacturer to prove the identity of a machine, but at the same time it will not disclose other information. (Sounds similar to zero-knowledge proofs, you can poke here to review recent interviews with Bulletproofs authors by Babbitt.) The identity of these machines can be chained and regularly updated to prevent fraud.
Aspect of consensus mechanism
Taraxa uses Block DAG's data structure to achieve horizontal parallel processing (ie, parallel division between nodes), speculative concurrency to achieve vertical parallel processing (ie, parallel processing of smart contracts), and specifically designed light nodes for IoT devices, It reduces the dependence on the whole node, and also invents an algorithmic mechanism that can automatically evolve the technical parameters on the chain. Taraxa's consensus mechanism addresses several industry challenges.
- By optimizing the Block DAG data structure, an inclusive and fair approach was made to improve the throughput of the overall network without sacrificing security and decentralization.
- Breakthrough technological innovations have been made on the ordering of blocks and the overlapping of block content encountered by DAGs.
- A true finalization signal is provided for smart contracts through a fast, VRF-driven PBFT voting process.
Steven tells us that the consensus mechanism is divided into three parts.
The first part is the most basic consensus to determine whether the transaction is valid. And these can be divided into two types: implicit consensus and explicit consensus. The former refers to the default process without voting, such as bitcoin; the latter refers to the process of verifying the validity of a transaction by voting.
The second part is ordering. Different transaction orders determine completely different transaction outcomes, and determining the transaction order can solve the double flower problem.
The third is finalization. Taraxa finally confirms the transaction by voting, and Bitcoin and Ethereum do not actually have a finalization step. Usually, they need to wait for a few blocks to know if the transaction is confirmed.
Application case: How should the blockchain + Internet of Things be used?
Taraxa's applications are basically concentrated in Japan, and Steven shared several of them.
1. Game machine rental. The business model of the game machine distributed in the mall is very simple, and the division is made by recording the records used by the machine (between the game machine owner and the renter). How to judge the authenticity of the usage record? The answer is to install wireless sensors on the machine, upload the collected data to the cloud, and also sign the data, put the hash into the blockchain, to ensure the accuracy of the data source, and prevent data from being tampered with.
2. Decentralized data trading platform. The Japanese government is vigorously promoting large enterprises to do data banking, because data and privacy have become an increasingly important area in the world, and the business model in this area may change greatly in the future, so Taraxa partners hope to have a reserve plan. Come and respond to all changes at any time.
3. Smart parking. The parking lot management industry is very fragmented, and the information between operators is not interoperable, which affects the efficiency of parking spaces. By de-centering the system to share sensor data, you can know if a parking space is in use or not, so you can maximize asset utilization.
4. Infrastructure projects. The partner found Taraxa and said that he wanted to build a hydropower plant in Indonesia. He had problems finding a bank loan in Japan because the bank could not confirm the information it provided and the authenticity of the data. Similar to the above application, this problem can be solved by installing sensors on the site where the infrastructure such as the hydropower plant is located and uploading the data anchored by the blockchain.
Team survival guide: relying on strength and luck
What is the configuration of the Taraxa team to do blockchain + IoT applications? Steven tells us that their team has several characteristics. First, the founding members are all hardware engineers who understand the “wrongness of the hardware” and therefore help the industry reduce friction. Second, the Taraxa team members are also good at deep academic thinking and have great execution. In addition, due to the experience of dealing with large enterprises earlier, Steven not only has a certain understanding of technology and business.
"I feel that there is a very keen business sense in the market, and there are very few teams with technical capabilities, or they are completely flickered, purely commercial. This is not a business or a purely technical one. It seems like two. There is a good combination, relatively few."
Steven said that his experience in talking about the project is that he sees the customer's first sentence and does not mention the blockchain. "You don't talk about the blockchain with the customer in the first sentence. You talk about the blockchain business." The first sentence is biased. It is possible that you talked to him for three hours. He didn't understand it. He didn't care about you later." Because in his view, the blockchain is still only one for the mainstream industry. New words, and what we have to do is to find the pain points of our customers.
Taraxa went through two rounds of financing last year, and Steven bluntly lived for a long time. Does this mean that a high-profile start-up company needs funds, a viable business mechanism, and a professional team?
"It's going to be lucky. Most people won't say this to you, but luck is the biggest determinant of a successful startup team. This luck can come from many sources, such as timing."
Luck and strength are equally important , and Steven ended our conversation with his entrepreneurial guide.