You heard about Elastos, but maybe you wonder why you should use it, and not one of the other hundreds of blockchain platforms? We’re going to try to convince you here. Keep reading!
Secure, Decentralized and Scalable. In order to build a successful blockchain platform, it can have two of these features but not the third. For instance, a Proof of Work blockchain can be secure and decentralized but not very scalable. A Proof of Stake blockchain can be scalable and decentralized but not very secure and even then, it can be argued that PoS is not very decentralized. Some people argue that as long as a blockchain is secure and decentralized, it does not need to be scalable(eg. Bitcoin). While others argue that it just needs to be secure and scalable but not fully decentralized. In either scenario, it’s rather hard to get a 100% on all 3 functionalities: security, decentralization and scalability. Popular projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum are approaching this problem differently. Bitcoin is in the process of implementing Lightning Network whose primary purpose is to extend the capacity of the blockchain so that transactiosn can be cheaper and more frequent while smaller, less signifant transactions are stored “off chain”. Ethereum is also working on its own solution called Plasma where “child chains” are created on the Ethereum Blockchain(main chain), with their own validators so a company could create a plasma child chain on top of the main chain with the agreements through a smart contract on the main chain and these child-chains can spawn their own child-chains who can spawn their own child-chains and so on. The solutions presented are quite fascinating but one simple problem is that it’ll take a number of years to fully test this new system and then adopt in the currently functioning Bitcoin/Ethereum blockchain. And even that has its risks because if a community is divided on whether to implement such solutions or not, it can cause a fork of these blockchains such as the infamous fork of Bitcoin into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and the fork of Ethereum into Etheruem and Ethereum Classic. In short, grass is not always greener on the other side.
Elastos is positioned as a unique platform because first of all, it is not just a blockchain platform. Rather, its blockchain platform is just one of the many components that make up the vast infrastructure for the new Smartweb Elastos is building. Elastos has three major components: Blockchain, Carrier and Hive. Each one of these components is independent and each has their own network infrastructure dedicated for specific purpose. Blockchain has its own set of nodes, Carrier has its own set of nodes and Hive has its own set of nodes and when you combine all three very different networks, a new Smartweb of Dapps is created where developers can build decentralized applications that are secure, decentralized and scalable.
Elastos Blockchain is a blockchain network with its main chain and sidechain structure where the main chain is merge-mined with Bitcoin thereby giving it enormous hashpower to protect its blockchain while the sidechains include DID sidechain(decentralized IDs used for authentication, KYC, etc), Token sidechain(creating fungible and non-fungible tokens with no smart contract capability), Ethereum sidechain(ported Ethereum blockchain platform that runs smart contracts compatible with EVM) and NEO sidechain(ported NEO blockchain platform that runs smart contracts compatible with NeoVM). This component only deals with ELA - the base currency of the entire Elastos ecosystem, Decentralized Identitifers and running of smart contracts among other things.
Elastos Carrier is a peer-to-peer communication relay network that is used to transfer data from one person to another in a completely decentralized manner without going through any intermediaries. The data is end-to-end encrypted and can only be read if you’re authorized to do so. The only way to authorize someone to read this data is for you to add that someone to your friends list first. Everything on Carrier is blacklisted by default. This means that no device can talk to another on this network. It’s only after two devices get added to the friend list by each other that they can start communicating from that point on. This has major implications because this means the data is completely protected as no third parties can listen in nor collect user data if not authorized to do so. This component can be utilized to build apps such as messenger chat apps or to build a completely isolated IoT smart home system where none of the data collected by your smart devices can be leaked nor get hacked into.
Elastos Hive is a storage network that is based on IPFS(Interplanetary File System) that is used to store data in a decentralized manner. Each file or content has a unique hash that you can store on this system that no third party can control or has access to. This is like your cloud storage drive but one that is completely decentralized.
Apps can be built using any one of these 3 components or they can be built using a combination of the 3. Elastos Browser(Trinity) combines all 3 components and gives developers the freedom to develop apps using Ionic framework that is not only secure using blockchain, but also data relay is secure using carrier and data storage is secure using Hive. This is what makes up the entirety of the Elastos Ecosystem.