In 1962, American spy planes discovered middle and long-range missiles in Cuba with capabilities to reach the United States. This only increased the fear of a global nuclear conflict. But it also did something else…
Back then, scientists were already connecting computers with each other, creating networks. It was still miles or even light years away from the internet that we know today, but it was a start.
Being the simple creatures that we are, humans tend to build and create things in the easiest possible way. Such was also the case with the first information systems of connected computers – the first ones built had a centralised architecture.
Soon people came to realise that whole communication systems with such architecture could be destroyed by removing only one central computer, say with a nuclear missile from Cuba. This was especially dangerous when it came to military systems. The US just couldn’t afford losing their means of communication during a potential conflict.
Centralised systems had to be replaced with decentralised systems.
This would be the perfect solution in case of an attack – a network would still be operative even if a few of its links were destroyed.
History Repeats Itself
This is basically where we are at on the timeline of blockchain development – recently we’ve realised that true decentralisation is the next step. Or should we rather say ‘only the first step’?
There is a popular saying, ‘History likes to repeat itself’. We couldn’t agree more. We also believe that further development of blockchain will mirror the development of the internet.
So, an important question we have to answer before predicting the course that blockchain will take, is: How did the first networks – the cornerstones of the internet – develop after becoming decentralised?
They became standardised.
Standardisation – The Key to Scalability
In order to enable development and growth of any system, the work needs to be based on some type of standardisation. First, to ensure the solution is compatible within the system, and second, to enable the connection of future systems and modules to this solution.
Without such a standard we would end up with one big, disordered mess of modules and frameworks which would be solving just one problem without considering the bigger picture.
To avoid such a hot mess, ‘The Basic Reference Model for Open Systems Interconnection’ (OSI) was developed in the late 1970s, and was published 34 years ago (1984) by the International Organization for Standardization. It’s very purpose was to enable easy scalability of the internet.
Three decades from now, people may very well describe the first standard that laid the foundation of blockchain scalability – the Tritium Protocol of the Nexus blockchain.
How Do the OSI Model and Tritium Fit Together?
Let’s address this one step at a time and focus on the OSI Model first. This Network stack is what the internet is built upon. Why a stack? Because it consists of layers, seven of them to be exact. Its functioning is fairly clear: each layer is served by the layer below it and serves the layer above it. The cooperation of these layers is what allows you to read this article.
The stack translates and interprets the stream of zeros and ones coming through your router, makes sure there aren’t any errors along the way from the server (and in case there are, it corrects them) and it aggregates the data in the correct order to finally be displayed in your browser.
Here is how it looks:
…and here is how it works (please note that this is only a rough explanation for the purpose of simplicity – the actual process is a little more complex):
The first layer is the Physical Layer – it’s responsible for transferring the data via physical means, say radio waves or electricity. Data Link Layer, the second one, is responsible for the communication between two physically connected nodes – it controls data flow between them and possibly corrects errors that might occur on the physical layer.
To manage the communication between devices across different networks we need the Network Layer (IP), i.e. this article is stored on a server which is most probably in a completely different network than your computer and the data must somehow ‘know’ how to get from one network to another.
The next, fourth layer, is the Transport Layer. It’s the one which is actually responsible, as the name suggests, for the transferring and receiving of data packets. Additionally, if packets don’t get transferred at all, or some other error occurs, this layer takes care of correcting such issues.
The next layer is really easy to understand – it’s the session layer. It establishes a session between two different computers of a network to enable the transfer of data. If we think of data as water that needs to get from one place to another, you can think of this layer as a hose.
Bear with us, we’ve almost made it.
Presentation Layer is the sixth one – basically what it does is translate the raw data provided by the previous layers. If one device was using ASCII to decode and encode files and the other was using EBCDIC, the translation would take place in this layer. Nowadays, however, many widely used applications and protocols don’t differentiate between this layer and the last one, which is the Application Layer – the closest one to the end user that can be interacted with, for example, a browser.
What does it all have to do with Tritium?
Well, similar to the OSI Model, Tritium describes a standardised software stack divided into seven layers. Its purpose is to enable scalability among other magnificent features we’re about to get into.
Layer One: Network
Remember the seven OSI layers we’ve just so elegantly outlined? Well we didn’t just do it for the kicks (although it definitely was fun, right?), but to ensure a better understanding of what Nexus is doing.
In the Nexus model, the Network Layer builds upon the first six layers of the OSI Model.
Here is where the true scalability of the blockchain begins.
Imagine you wanted to throw a party with some of your classmates, but not all of them. If you were a node in a decentralised network, you would first need to call every single one of them to let them know that there’s a party going on (regardless whether they’d be invited or not). That’s called unicast.
Nexus replaces unicast with multicast – now you can not only let only the invited folks know but also you can also make all these calls simultaneously. It might be hard to imagine with actual physical phone calls but it’s fairly comprehensible when thinking about sending multiple text messages at once.
Anyway, those are not all of the perks of this layer!
Decentralisation is good but it’s not good enough.
The keyword here is distribution.
Just as the internet ultimately went from decentralised to distributed, so must the blockchain. Otherwise, we’d still be vulnerable to critical single points of failure… cough, mining pools, cough.
Most cryptocurrencies are assumed to be distributed but it’s not all that simple. It’s because some devices (depending on the protocol they’re using) share the same public IP addresses which results in a decentralised network even if the assumption is to be distributed. Nexus realises this problem and adds the Locator / Identity Separation Protocol (LISP) to each node which maintains the desired distributed topology, regardless of the links’ location.
Layer Two: Ledger
This layer is essentially holding the distributed database (i.e. the blockchain) and all the benefits that come with it. It’s the basis for the introduction of Signature Chains which increase on-chain security and form a digital identity system. Thanks to them, users will be able to log into their accounts on any device using just a username, password and a PIN. There will no longer be need for a wallet.dat file.
This is a giant leap towards mainstream adoption of the blockchain technology.
After all, we’re used to being able to use online banking from anywhere and with any device. If we want to make banks obsolete someday, or at least degrade their influence, we have to replace their user-friendly solutions. We’re glad to see that Nexus is taking steps in the right direction.
Furthermore, with quantum computers on the horizon, Nexus makes sure that its system is also resistant against attacks. Nexus is basically untying public keys from the addresses, which means they can be used forever with the same level of security on the millionth use as with the first use. This cannot be achieved with multiple-used signatures, currently implemented in conventional designs.
Additionally, by tying accounts with a user’s signature chain and requiring a minimal ‘Proof of Work’ to create an initial account, Nexus can easily detect conflicting transactions, remove transaction fees, and prevent dust spam attacks.
Last but not least, this layer is also where the user’s reputation and trust are stored. They’re a key component in Nexus’ Proof-of-Stake and in its overall system. By introducing these mechanisms, Nexus incentivizes miners to not behave maliciously. If you’d like to find out more about it, check out our issue on Nexus (NXS).
Layer Three: Register
To guarantee immutability and incontrovertibility, Nexus implements registers that live in the third layer. This layer is registering the changing states of raw data – like your balance or really any other type of data, such as medical records or intellectual property. It can be regarded as an additional level of abstraction.
Essentially, this means that anything stored in the register is gibberish without the proper interpretation of the higher layers – like the Logical and/or Interface layer. Thus we get a very facile way of performing various checks on privacy-sensitive data without actually compromising said privacy.
It’s the layer where all the fancy smart contracts will be saved – transfer of rights, ownership, value, etc. will all be recorded on this layer.
Layer Four: Operation
Any action on the register layer will be performed by the operation layer. You can basically view it as a toolbox to get things done. It implements all the necessary basic functions such as READ, WRITE, TRANSFER, AUTHORISE and so on. These operations will be computed on by nodes processing new data for the ledger, so using operations besides READ and WRITE ensures that you have a distributed computation happening as registers change states.
Layer Five: API
If you ever had anything to do with developing software that is supposed to communicate with another software program, you know how critical Application Programming Interfaces are.
If you hadn’t, well, in simple terms, API in the world of software development is what a waiter in a restaurant is. You sit down at your table, look at your menu, communicate with the waiter or waitress and (after a while) he or she serves you your meal.
To do all that you don’t need to know what happens behind the scenes – that would be the kitchen in our example. All you do is just give a fairly straightforward input and get a more or less complex output.
That’s exactly how APIs work. Well, once again, by ‘exactly’ we mean for the purpose of understanding it without going into the unnecessary technical details.
Now, imagine a restaurant without waiters. It doesn’t really make much sense. Well, neither does the internet without APIs.
A really simple example of an API would be you creating an account on some website by connecting it to your Google or Facebook account. The exchange of data between that website and Google or Facebook occurs via an API provided by either Google or Facebook.
Combining more APIs is even more exciting (if you’re the type of person getting excited by nerdy stuff which you probably are if you’re still reading) – think about that website where you can search for a flight across different airlines. The information you’re provided with after entering your desired location and time frame isn’t stored on that website – instead the website ‘asks’ all the airlines it possibly can via their APIs about your input query and neatly displays their answers as a result.
So what does Nexus do in its fifth, API layer?
Nexus lowers the barriers for adopting their solution. Their APIs will not only be designed with ease-of-use and seamlessness in mind.
The best part: They’re going to be programmable in any language the developer has mastered. Java? Check. C++? Check. Swahili and Latin? Double check on that! Okay, we might be getting a little over-enthusiastic here but it’s definitely justified. It would be like going to any restaurant in the world and being able to place an order in your mother tongue. Wouldn’t that be just mind blowing?
As we know, everybody has a different taste and not every API suits everyone. Requirements from various industries are what drive Nexus’ train of innovation. APIs for industries such as finance, copyright, or medical each have unique ranges of applications. Thus, industry-specific APIs must be developed.
We really appreciate Nexus’ approach on this matter. They’re planning on deciding the course of further API development after regular conferences, where people and businesses affected will get the chance to have a say in their respective matters. That’s what we call real transparency and giving people a voice!
Layer Six: Logic
This layer is the core application of the software stack. It’s where data can be encrypted, decrypted, interpreted and so on. Actions performed on this layer can be seen as the first domino being pushed, causing the next dominos in layers below to fall over.
If you think back to our neat restaurant simile, the API was the waiter. This layer would represent your thought processes before talking to the waiter. You don’t have to know every kitchen process, how the chef cooks, or how the waiter passes your order to actually place your order. This is why this layer can be described as the furthest level of abstraction.
Layer Seven: Interface
This is where you – as a user – actually come in. It’s the layer that allows you to ‘click around’ and interact with your data. For instance, this could be your balance, but as teased previously it could also be your medical record or whatever else that is stored on the Nexus blockchain.
Nexus will develop a stand-alone application so that users will have all the freedom necessary to customise an individual Interface. ‘Customise it with what?’ you may ask. Like anything they build, Nexus also created its new wallet in a modular fashion, enabling development of new modules.
These will cause their ecosystem to flourish, since on the one hand, users will have plenty of modules, and can select the one that best suits their needs. On the other hand, programmers will be able to monetise their work by developing said modules. We believe that that’s another great step in the direction of diversifying the Nexus platform.
Nexus is creating a platform with the potential to become the cornerstone of many blockchain-based applications, businesses, and even whole industries. The Tritium update boosts our confidence that Nexus is on the perfect track to achieve that.
With all the fantastic features and perks, such as fee removal and amazing API considerations coming with this update we’re sure that Nexus, under the lead of Colin Cantrell, is capable of achieving greatness and paving the way toward a transparent, blockchain-based future.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., June 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Nexus, an innovative, open-source distributed ledger and digital currency (NXS), announced today its partnership with Foleum, an inventive blockchain mining project designed to generate the majority of its own power using green hybrid technologies. The organizations share a mutual goal of reducing the environmental footprint of mining. Foleum will measure Nexus’ energy consumption to help minimize their environmental impact as the technology evolves. Nexus is the first Blockchain partnership for Foleum since it launched in May 2017. Foleum has been mining NXS since 2015 which creates a relevant use case for its green technology.
Bitcoin mining demands a high amount of electricity to fuel its technology and Foleum allows this process to be performed with wind and solar hybrid green energy. Currently, bitcoin mining requires more energy to process than the entire amount of energy needed to power countries including Switzerland, Ireland, and more than 150 others, according to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index. This is an important issue for the future of cryptocurrency, and Nexus aims to reduce mining energy consumption through green energy practices as it grows its innovative distributed ledger architecture and creates a mesh satellite internet network.
“I’m really excited to see alternative energy sources power Nexus,” said Colin Cantrell, Nexus Founder & chief architect, “It is aligned with the foundation of this project in finding viable means that create sustainable futures through alternative energy, economics and technology.”
“Nexus is committed to positively impacting the world through its technology. In addition to our economic and humanitarian efforts, this partnership reinforces our commitment to the environment,” said Ajay Ahuja, chief executive of Nexus. “We hope that this collaboration can serve as an example of responsible citizenship in the area of blockchain mining.”
“Nexus’ concern for the environment, and its desire to minimize its carbon footprint, makes it an ideal partner for Foleum, which will generate the majority of its own power with renewable resources. Together, these important steps will help to create a sustainable blockchain future,” said Rahdi Fakhoury, Foleum Founder & CEO.
Nexus is actively seeking partnerships for multiple use cases for the Nexus blockchain technology across many industries. In addition to its collaboration with Vector Space Systems and LISP, Nexus will announce more partnerships throughout the year to further its vision of connecting people and technology to create a better world.
Nexus is an innovative open-source blockchain technology and digital currency designed to improve the world through advanced peer-to-peer networks. Nexus focuses on solving the current challenges of speed and scalability in the blockchain industry and provides world-class quantum resistance through its many innovations. Enabled by its partnership with Vector Space Systems, the future of Nexus will also combine blockchain technology with ground-based MESH networks and satellites to facilitate the formation of a decentralized and distributed internet. Nexus will enable people to take control of their personal and financial freedom, empowering humanity in the process. For more information and to see how you can help build the future, visit www.NexusEarth.com.
About The Nexus Embassy
The Nexus Embassy is a non-profit organization created to be a steward for technological development and education of the public. As a non-profit organization, there are no owners, and it is governed by its board of directors and operated by its management team. It is funded by the network through the mining process of the Nexus blockchain. Everything released by The Nexus Embassy is open-source and given to the general public.
May was one of the most exciting months in the history of Nexus with the release of the Tritium White Paper. Tritium is the first of the TAO update series (Tritium, Amine, Obsidian) and represents a giant leap forward in blockchain technology. Nexus is pioneering unique solutions in order to solve the industry’s most pressing challenges while maintaining the principle of a distributed landscape, hence the term Distributed Ledger Technology.
Through the creation of an innovative software stack, we are tackling the challenges of speed, scalability, ease of integration, and intuitive user experience. Tritium incorporates advanced contracts which will allow for easy integration of financial tools for increased accountability and transparency. Tritium also incorporates LISP technology into the Nexus framework to further ensure the network is distributed, secure, scalable and introduces parallelism on the network layers.
The core team also had a busy travel month with some of the team visiting Australia, where Colin Cantrell spoke at Sydney’s Bitcoin & Blockchain Fair, and others from the team in New York City for Consensus. These trips help us make important connections in the industry and educate key people on the work being done at Nexus.
Last but not least, we would like to remind everyone that we will be hosting the Second Annual Nexus Conference here in Scottsdale, Arizona from September 19th to the 22nd. See you all there!
Development update from core developer Brian Smith:
Our development team has been growing and is now structured into two different groups. The front-end developers are working on the Nexus Interface (wallet) and the back-end developers are working on the legacy code and the new Tritium protocol.
“We’ve been shoring up each of the modules as well as making sure all the Legacy QT wallet features are implemented in the new interface, and cleaning up any loose ends.” said Dillon Dugan who is part of the wallet development team.
We are continuously maintaining the legacy code base as well as working on Tritium. Colin has been working with each of the developers on specific portions of the LLL with the overarching goal of improving the code and reducing the memory footprint. We are also developing a new coder training set with explanations on how Nexus works and how it differs from other blockchain projects. Colin and Brian are additionally building out the Unified Modeling Language (UML) for the Tritium protocol.
Nexus Releases the Tritium White Paper
After a lot of hard work and much anticipation, the Tritium White Paper was released on Tuesday, May 29th. We are pleased to share the blueprint for this revolutionary technology co-authored by Colin Cantrell (Chief Architect and Founder, The Nexus Embassy) and Dino Farinacci (Lispers.net), the next evolution of blockchain scalability, integration, and usability. Just as the Nexus project has continued to grow, building and connecting with many, this paper was an unprecedented collaboration of many. Make sure to read about the amazing White Paper Community contributors, Shea, Jules and April, featured in the Community Contributor section of this newsletter.
The Tritium White Paper is here, our blueprint to the future.
Blockchain is a flourishing technology that is in a constant state of change. In recent years, the global market for blockchain has grown exponentially, yet as organizations race to efficiently adopt and implement blockchain technology, they are encountering numerous scalability and implementation challenges.
Current Industry Landscape
Nearly all blockchains currently in use record information in one dimension, comparable to a single lane highway. When a highway gets congested from mass use, traffic comes to a standstill as it bottlenecks. These limitations prevent blockchains from scaling efficiently, because as more transactions are processed the network slows down. These constraints are already being widely reported via early blockchain adopters. From an enterprise perspective, there is a need for a simple interface with easy integration, thus allowing for broad applications across industries while scaling for worldwide use. Instead of building custom applications on a predetermined platform, businesses are seeking opportunities to collaborate on the design process prior to blockchain development to ensure the technology meets their individual and/or industry needs.
The Nexus Tritium Solution
Nexus is pioneering a new approach to blockchain technology that solves the biggest challenges faced by the industry: scalability, ease of integration, and intuitive user experience. Beginning with the Tritium update, Nexus is creating an innovative software stack containing multiple layers of abstraction that will streamline business integration into the Nexus framework. It will create the foundation of a cryptographic identity system and make smart contracts easily accessible through a feature-rich Application Programming Interface (API) set.
Each API will be developed through a standardization process with input from businesses, industry leaders, and developers, focused on providing a well-designed interface and seamless business integration. This unique customer engagement approach allows businesses that are building on the Nexus software stack to have input on the forward development and standards for each release. This is very important for streamlining the integration between consumers, businesses, and networks.
The software stack introduced by Tritium enables the incorporation of advanced contracts and allows for built-in smart financial instruments, such as stipulations on funds received and their appropriation. Smart financial instruments such as ‘receive signatures’ can be expanded into a form of multi-signature contracts allowing multiple parties to decide how the funds are spent, thereby increasing accountability and transparency. These organizational contracts allow businesses and consumers to function in a more streamlined and connected way.
The integration of LISP (Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol) with Nexus introduces a truly distributed, secure, and scalable infrastructure network. The combination of running Nexus over LISP with the Tritium software stack represents a new evolution of blockchain development that addresses the critical issues facing existing technology. Nexus / LISP also creates a more efficient messaging system, prevents IP address spoofing, and introduces parallelism on the network layers.
Tritium Protocol Features
Modular architecture provides a robust and stable platform allowing for greater use case flexibility and extensibility.
Modular design allows for a powerful range of new use cases where data integration challenges are minimized.
The Nexus Software Stack provides parallel processing, eliminating bottlenecks.
It allows contracts to function at scale by decoupling responsibilities into different layers of operations.
A register-based contract engine allows for data ownership, transfer, lease, publishing, security, and monetization.
The reputation system in the ledger builds digital reputation that couples economic incentives with greater trust.
A relationship system in the ledger determines how nodes interact with each other, strengthening connections.
The Lower Level Library creates easy to use templates for efficient data handling.
Signature chains increase security and establish a digital identity system.
A new wallet includes user-friendly modules and new modular design.
API set designed for ease of use and seamless integration with existing software.
Industry-specific API standardization facilitates enterprise design collaboration and ensures usability.
LISP overlay improves scalability and security resulting in a truly distributed topology.
LISP allows network communication to remain private, preventing eavesdropping.
Supports multi-signature contracting allowing for consensus approval.
The Tritium Protocol, as described in the recently released white paper, is the first of three updates of the TAO framework (Tritium, Amine and Obsidian) that provides utility, scalability, and extensibility to the Nexus Blockchain architecture. It is the first step towards a practical and efficient distributed system that can be tailored to various use cases. Through an intuitive user interface and comprehensive API sets, Tritium enables seamless integration with other applications. With the upcoming implementation of Tritium, there is plenty to be excited about!
The Nexus Conference is Coming!
We’d love to see all of you at The Second Annual Nexus Conference from September 19th – 22nd in Scottsdale, AZ. Make sure to visit our conference website and join the mailing list to be among the first to be updated to reserve your Early Bird Tickets!
At the beginning of May, Colin Cantrell (Chief Architect & Founder) and Colin Forbes (Chief Financial Officer) of The Nexus Embassy traveled to Sydney, Australia to speak at Sydney’s Bitcoin & Blockchain Fair, as well as connecting with the large Nexus Community in Australia. While there, Colin and Colin participated in many interviews (see links below) covering the latest from Nexus including topics like the Embassy’s self-funding mechanism, the 3 Dimensional Chain, and more. The visit included a Facebook Live interview with Alex of ‘Nugget’s News Australia’ and a well attended Sydney MeetUp and a lively dinner with the Australian Community. At the Bitcoin Fair, in addition to having a booth Colin C. spoke on decentralized organizational structures.
A big thank you to Cain Beuchat, Mike Casey, Paul Screen and the rest of the Australian Nexus Community for their organization of the Blockchain Fair, the Nexus Booth, the Sydney MeetUp and the community dinner as well as their continued collaboration on Nexus. Colin and Colin look forward to visiting again.
Check out the interview from CryptoFinder with Colin Cantrell & Colin Forbes:
Members of the Core team visit Consensus: Kierre Reeg, Alex El-Nemer & Ajay Ahuja
In early May, Ajay Ahuja (CEO), Kierre Reeg (Chief Economist), Alex El-Nemer (International Business Development) and Dionna Bailey (Business Development) attended Consensus in New York on behalf of the core team. With over 4,000 in attendance this year, Consensus has become one of the biggest blockchain conferences in the world. Consensus was a great place to connect with leaders in the industry and to gather information, as well as an opportunity to educate organizations looking for a layer one blockchain solution such as Nexus. We are excited to see these relationships materialize in the future. Hot topics at Consensus this year for the Nexus team included potential future regulation of the industry, enterprise supply chain wish lists, and overall market sentiments. The team also had the chance to connect with many Nexus Community members who were attending Consensus.
Nexus Hires another Dev
Core Dev: Francisco Hernandez
Francisco Hernandez Henaine moved to the US from Mexico when he was 16 years old to pursue academic and professional development opportunities. He has always enjoyed a passion for technology and started fixing and building computers at a young age. When he took his first coding class, he felt like he’d found what he was meant to do. Francisco got into the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in 2017 and was truly amazed by its potential, most especially what he saw at Nexus. Some of his hobbies include foosball, pool, soccer, gaming and working out.
Interview with Alex El-Nemer
Alex El-Nemer (International Business Development) of the Nexus team had the pleasure of speaking with Dominic Bennett in an AMA video that took place on May 1st. Alex has been working from London to educate about Nexus outside of the US, including working on international use-cases, sponsorships for the conference, and helping with international press for Nexus.
Tritium White Paper: Shea (@Shea), Jules (@Jules) and April (@chambermaid):
Shea, Jules, and April from the Community worked closely with Colin and Dino to write the Tritium White Paper. These dedicated community members are extremely knowledgeable in mathematics, engineering, technology and economics, and greatly help the advancement of Nexus. They have also collaborated with the team on the Nexus FAQs and the website content, and continue to educate people on the revolutionary advancements of Nexus. Our thanks to each of you for all of your hard work!
TritiumWhite Paper Explained: Spaid (@Spaid), Ahmed (@Medo_NZ), and Peter (@imestin):
Since the release of the White Paper, many Community members have taken the initiative to simplify the technology in order to make it more understandable for many. Thank you for your impactful contributions.
The Nexus Tritium White Paper Seven Layers Simplified:
Community Mining Guide: Vilcu (@Vido) and Glen (@MrProbz)
Vilcu and Glen from the Nexus Community have compiled a comprehensive and very user-friendly Community Mining Guide for anyone who is interested in mining Nexus. The guide includes everything from equipment suggestions to step-by-step instructions on how to setup miners and receive your first reward for securing the Nexus blockchain. The Nexus miners are always available to help and answer questions in our Slack. Please email [email protected] for an invitation.
We’d like to thank the Community for an unprecedented time of collaboration. The Tritium White Paper as well as Nexus’ growing blockchain advancements are proof that we are always better together. As a further testament to our growth, we’ve just reached 20,000 followers on Twitter. Thanks for all you do!