While some may argue that the currents markets are outpacing the underlying technology, there is no question that both individuals and institutions are beginning to find expanded utility in the blockchain. Given this increasing usage, it is important to identify some of the fundamental limitations facing the most popular blockchain platforms.
Among these challenges is the inability of blockchains to self-evolve and adequately implement upgrades to their networks. This challenge is a direct result of the inherent difficulty related to decentralized systems enforcing users to upgrade clients and protocols. What is ultimately required to implement protocol upgrades are either hard or soft forks that resulting in huge losses for the community, which further limits the application of the system.
Additionally, properly assigning a value to applications and system users, which is essential for the long-term health of any blockchain ecosystem, is no easy task. Together, these issues could prove to be significant barriers to full-scale adoption of the blockchain, and a few projects are actively looking to build solutions.
One such project is Nebulas, which is building a next-generation public blockchain that leverages a number of unique elements to create a self-evolving system. These include a core ranking algorithm that works to value entities on the blockchain, a custom incentive system using Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP) and Proof of Devotion (PoD) algorithms for faster consensus, and a system architecture where the base protocols are part of the data on the blockchain and achieve upgrade through the addition of data. Together, Nebulas aims to build a fully-scalable, efficient and searchable blockchain ecosystem designed for mainstream adoption.
Interested in Nebulas? Here’s a quick rundown of the project:
Platform & Development
In short, Nebulas achieves its self-evolving blockchain platform through a number of key features, including what they call Nebulas Rank (NR), Nebulas Incentive (NI) and Nebulas Force (NF).
Nebulas Rank is the blockchain’s core ranking algorithm which is based on liquidity, propagation of users’ assets, and the interactivity between users. NR is used to rank user’s addresses, smart contracts, decentralized applications and other major entities on the blockchain. You can think of NR as similar to Google’s PageRank, meaning it could have huge potential for search, recommendations, and advertising.
Building off of Nebulas Rank is Nebulas Incentive, which incentivizes developers with the Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP), and users with the Proof of Devotion (PoD) consensus algorithm. This new algorithm makes for a more efficient method of consensus by integrating Proof of Importance (POI), which evaluates the comprehensive account influence, with Proof of Stake (PoS), which involves strict economic penalties. All incentives are paid out in NAS, which is currently an ERC-20 token that will be converted when the Nebulas mainnet is launched.
Finally, Nebulas Force provides the Nebulas blockchain and its distributed applications built on top the ability to upgrade smart contracts, enabling the capability to ‘self-evolve’. With NF, developers are able to make changes, incorporate new technologies, and fix bugs without needing to hard fork.
To further build out its ecosystem, Nebulas created ‘Nebulabs,’ an incubator program that supports startup blockchain projects building on the Nebulas blockchain. The first application-level protocol built on to participate in this program is Atlas Protocol (ATP), a tokenized marketing protocol.
The Nebulas roadmap indicates that the majority of platform features will be rolled-out within the calendar year. It is notable that in Q4, Nebulas plans to release the Green Paper for NF, transition to PoD and activate DI. Additionally, Nebulas has long-term goals to integrate Zero-knowledge Proofs for improved transaction privacy.
Nebulas (NAS) currently has a market cap of ~$235 million with a circulating supply of 35,500,000 NAS, a total supply of 100,000,000 NAS and a max supply of 100,000,000 NAS.
The Nebulas blockchain has the potential to solve a number of fundamental issues facing the majority of top platforms. Given its strong team and unique approach, 2018 should hold a significant number of value-driving events for this project.
Related: Nebulas Enters Strategic Partnership with Dolphin Browser to Integrate the Nebulas Blockchain within its 200m User Ecosystem.
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Disclaimer: The author(s) of this article may have a position in one or more of the cryptocurrencies mentioned above. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.