Although Blockchain technology has the power to impact our lives for years to come, the Cryptocurrency bubble is currently overshadowing it. In a recent Bloomberg article the editors said that, “The problem with bitcoin and other so-called digital currencies is that they’re a misuse of this technology.” Bitcoin is a poor currency since it is lacking in the safeguards that most other financial assets posses. That being said, the real challenge is for blockchain projects to continue to prosper.
How does a blockchain project survive beyond the bubble? To help answer that question, I turn to the aptly named “Prince of Blockchain” Hitters Xu, who is also the founder and CEO of Nebulas, which is a decentralized self-evolving value-based platform that provides a search framework for all blockchains.
At a recent Nebulas and 500 Startups Meet Up in San Francisco he and fellow guest speaker Chris McCann were asked if we are in a Blockchain bubble. They were quick to point out that there are benefits to a bubble, namely that it attracts attention and funding that can provide additional resources to deserving blockchain projects. Also, Hitters added that for a blockchain project to be successful beyond a bubble, it should contain the following criteria:
• Strong reputation of the team
• Team native to the industry
• Token plays an integral part in their platform
• Strong comprehensive White Paper and Vision
• The strength and depth of their community
• Github commits
Let’s apply these criteria to Nebulas to see how it fairs.
Nebulas Founder and CEO Hitters Xu is a pioneer for bringing blockchain to China. His list of credits also include former Director of Ant Financials’ Blockchain Platform (Alibaba’s financial arm) and part of Google’s Search & Anti-Fraud team. In 2013, Hitters founded the first Blockchain/Bitcoin community in China called BitsClub, which is also an incubator for Nebulas, AntShares, Global Blockchain Roadshow and Global Bitcoin Summit. He created ICO365 (one of the largest ICO platforms) and FBG Capital (one of the earliest Crypto funds).
Co-founder Robin Zhong was the former architect of Ant Financial’s Blockchain Platform (Alibaba’s financial arm) and the founder of China’s first blockchain support platform, Tongxinclub.
Both co-founder Aero Wang and Xu were previous co-founders of NEO (formally AntShares) and Wang is an influential entrepreneur in the blockchain space.
The developer team also has a wealth of previous experience in blockchain as well as experience from companies such as Google, IBM, Alibaba, Alibaba financial, Airbnb, etc…
The team’s combined experience and expertise in the blockchain, search engine, Fintech and ICO space speaks volumes about their reputation as leaders in these industries.
Nebulas (NAS) Token
The NAS token was not created to just raise capital as we have seen with other blockchain projects that only focused on tokenization not on the platform or use case it solved for. The NAS Token is instrumental to the Nebulas Decentralized Search Framework. It is the original currency in the network providing asset liquidity among users, and it functions as the incentive token for Proof of Devotion (PoD) bookkeepers and Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP). Finally, NAS will be charged as the calculation fee for running smart contracts on the Nebulas platform.
Nebulas White Paper(s)
Nebulas provides both a non-technical and technical white paper. The former is more of an overview for those not interested in diving into the minutia of the project. The technical white paper describes each part of the project in detail and is quite thorough and long. It is considered by many as one of the most technical white papers written on blockchain technology. It is a true testament to the vision of the engineering minds behind Nebulas. Such attention to detail means it explains all the aspects of their design principles so it is clear what challenge or opportunity they are addressing, why and how they will address it, the benefit it will serve and the process for managing it.
The vision or ultimate mission of the Nebulas Blockchain is to build a self-evolving blockchain system based on value incentive, which will also be the most important development direction in the world of blockchains hereafter. This will lead us to a better life with a higher level of freedom and equality.
To better understand the importance of this development, let’s review the main design principles behind Nebulas.
Nebulas Rank (NR)
Nebulas Rank (NR) is a fair ranking algorithm to define the measure of value. The measure of value is based on three dimensions: liquidity (the frequency and scale of transactions), propagation (the scope and depth of asset liquidity) and interoperability (the interactions between user’s assets, smart contracts and DApps). In the blockchain world, developers can use NR to measure the importance of each user, smart contract, and DApps in different scenarios. NR has huge commercial potential and can be used in search, recommendation, advertising and other fields.
Currently, there is no ranking system or search engine for the blockchain. Thus, you can’t currently run a query on the blockchain like you do with Google on the Internet. Furthermore, there are different use cases between Google and Nebulas. Google is intended for daily Internet information searches, while Nebulas focuses on searches among decentralized applications (DApps), smart contracts, and user’s blockchain assets.
Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP)
DIP provides a positive feedback loop, which rewards developers with NAS to create high quality distributed applications (DApps) on the Nebulas platform. The financial incentive is based on the Nebulas Rank for each developer DApp. DIP is setup to promote fairness while keeping the best interests of the developers in mind.
Proof of Devotion (PoD) Consensus Algorithm
The Proof of Devotion (PoD) algorithm uses NR as the measure of value to identify the accounts with great devotion to the ecosystem, and grant them equal opportunity to be a bookkeeper in order to curb a monopoly in bookkeeping. PoD also integrates the economic penalties in Proof of Stake to prevent malicious damage to public blockchains, facilitating the freedom of the ecosystem. Designed for faster consensus speed and stronger anti-cheat ability than PoS and PoI, PoD is a positive force for the development of blockchain ecosystem.
Hitters Xu said it best when he said, “The Chinese do not use forks they use chopsticks.” Nebulas Force (NF) is the self-evolving of the blockchain system and applications. This means that developers are able to make changes, incorporate new technologies, and fix bugs without needing to hard fork or soft fork. The community will also be able to vote for the evolution and direction of the Nebulas blockchain and its update objectives. NF will include upgradable smart contracts to prevent loss of funds due to bugs. This can save millions of dollars.
The Nebulas Twitter community is over 16,000 members and growing. Their Telegram community has grown to over 9,200 members since the launch of Testnet at the end of Dec 2017. Their PR team frequently responds to member’s questions and concerns and also provides project updates, upcoming events and even contests for members to enter like their Nebulas Blockchain Writing Contest to win NAS and hoodies!
They also have active Slack channels that provide support to different community members from developers to investors and blockchain enthusiasts.
Medium is primarily their hub for blog posts, white paper, upcoming events, videos, contests and their Weekly Report. The Weekly Report provides highlights from recent events their team members have attended or presented at, videos of team members addressing questions about Nebulas as well as covering different topics on the project and Github commits among other things.
Nebulas reports all of their Github commits which include project enhancements, bug fixes and updates in their Weekly Report. This way interested readers can keep up on the latest progress of the Nebulas project as it moves closer to their Mainnet launch at the end of Q1 2018.
As you can see when the above criteria are applied to Nebulas, they not only check all of the boxes, but standout as a key innovator in the development of blockchain. Nebulas also has one of the strongest teams in the blockchain industry.
With the design principles above, the Nebulas project addresses the three major issues that currently exist in blockchain technology: the lack of a universal measure of value (which should measure the value of users/smart contracts/decentralized applications), the inability for system upgrades (often leading to hard/soft forks), and the lack of a healthy ecosystem to support a great user experience.
This holistic approach will aid in the mass adoption of the blockchain and perpetuate a value-based and community-based innovative environment.
Learn more about Nebulas:
Official website: Nebulas.io
Blockchain Hitters Xu 500 Startups Technology