To advance the functionality of the Network Layer we use the LISP (Locator/ID Separation Protocol) Overlay, an important architectural component in regards to blockchain scalability, security and decentralization. The original Internet architecture wasn’t designed to handle the immense growth in the number of devices connected to it. These devices currently depend on IPv4 addresses (the Internet equivalent of phone numbers) which are limited to around 4 billion. As the Internet was designed as an open system with few security parameters, events such as hacking, IP and certificate spoofing, MITM (Man-In-The-Middle) attacks, and DoS attacks are frequently experienced. To address these challenges, Nexus has integrated LISP, which provides the following functionalities, some of which are implemented, and some of which are due to be deployed through the TAO Framework.
Compatibility — To accommodate the growth of Internet-connected devices, IPv6 support is required. Though the technology is decades old, most of the Internet is still only capable of routing for IPv4. LISP solves this problem by introducing IPv6 addressing to end devices. IPv6 addressing allows for cryptographic addresses while LISP allows such devices to communicate to an unconverted IPv4 underlay. This is an incredibly valuable feat as we move into the age of IoT devices.
Mobility — The separation of the identifier and location allows devices or nodes to roam while having a static IP address (an ‘EID’ in LISP terminology). This means that one is always available by the same address no matter their location, traversing NATs with greater success than conventional methods such as UPnP. This gives nodes higher levels of mobility.
Multicast — Even though Multicast is a well established protocol, not all routers provide it natively. This means that multicast traffic doesn’t always reach the recipient if relying solely on routers. LISP bridges this dilemma in places where the routing layer is unsupportive. Consequently, packets route to their destination in a more consistent time, providing better scaling characteristics than a conventional peer-to-peer flood network.
Encryption — LISP supports encryption over the entire network, meaning that one benefits from encryption at both the LISP and the Nexus application level.
Identity — EIDs can be combined with Signature Chains, enabling the reputation on the ledger to compliment the EID or network identifier. This protects against IP spoofing, online identity theft, and MITM.
Privacy — Similar to choosing when to answer your cell-phone, or to respond to a message, LISP provides options of how to interact with other users. This resonates with the Internet’s model of ‘openness’, while simultaneously protecting rights of privacy.
Today the Internet relies on both large cables that run across the ocean floor, and geosynchronous satellites. The main drawbacks resulting from the state of the current Internet infrastructure are as follows:
- 4 billion people are without Internet connection.
- Unreliability in some areas due to natural disasters.
- Intercontinental cables and geosynchronous satellites cost millions of dollars to build, deploy and maintain, and are therefore owned and managed by governments and large corporations.
- ‘Command and Control’ operation and telemetry systems rely on centralized organizations for satellite management.
- ISPs usually have a monopoly over a particular service area, leading to higher service fees and lack of incentive for quality.
- Increased censorship and the ‘throttling’ of information due to lack of ‘Net Neutrality’.
In order for Nexus to be truly decentralized, the infrastructure of the Internet must address all of these issues. Our first step towards the solution is working with Vector Space Systems, a rocket launch company, and Galactic Sky, a nanosatellite company that offers software-defined satellites.