[ICO REVIEW] Ankr Network - another player on cloud service


Ankr shares the same idea about plasma and sharding update to improve blockchain operation like Ethereum. Can Ankr fulfill what Ethereum and Vitalik are trying to do?

Cloud service is a booming market with a growth rate of 51% in Q1/2018 compared to the same period of 2017, according to Synergy Research Group. Cloud computing market is projected to reach 141.43 billion dollars in market value by 2018. The market is now dominated by some tech giants, namely Amazon Web Service (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud. In such a highly competitive market, Ankr appears to introduce a new approach to cloud services built on blockchain.

In general, Ankr creates a blockchain infrastructure for Distributed Cloud Computing (DCC) and data feed system on trusted hardware. To make it simple, Ankr will become a marketplace where users share their idle computing power and data.

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Business model

As mentioned above Ankr provides two basic services, including:

  • Distributed Cloud Computing (DCC)
  • Data feed from Native Oracle Service (NOC)

Any businesses can exploit Ankr platform and database to create their dApps for specific demands.

The idea about sharing computing power is nothing new, but it’s always attractive to developers who want to find the best alternatives for centralized cloud services. We have already known about typical cases like Siacoin (ranking 39th on coinmarketcap), Filecoin, IPFS, or Genaro network. Each of them proposes a wide range of solutions in order to improve transaction speed, scalability, and security of public blockchain. Ankr also wants to tackle these current issues of blockchain by using Proof of Useful Work (PoUW), instead of traditional PoW.


Saving energy with PoUW Consensus Protocol

Consensus mechanism for mining in Ankr is Proof of Useful Work (PoUW) which can secure transaction and save computing power at the same time. Miners will be rewarded after executing useful works for client so they can get tokens through both transaction fee and computing subtasks from clients.

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Mining scheme will be conducted by three players on Ankr Network: clients (normal users), miners, or blockchain agents.

  • Clients: are computing power and data buyers who provide useful tasks that need verification from miners. Useful tasks can be transactions of data or token exchanges.
  • Miners: fulfill the tasks from clients and give results  to them after gaining consensus. At the end, they submit their accomplishment to the Blockchain agent for rewards.
  • Blockchain Agent: is a coordinator in the system who will validate the proofs provided by miners, collect all transactions to form a new block and publish it on blockchain. They will assure the trustworthiness as a supervisor/policeman in Ankr Network.

Native Oracle Service (NOS)

In order to support businesses in terms of database, Ankr network is also integrated with Oracle Service with standardized APIs and numerous ways of storing data that will make Ankr network a fully-equipped system for any businesses. As you may know Oracle is one of the biggest computer corporations on cloud and database service; almost all business applications are based on Oracle database or operated on Oracle platform. Therefore, Ankr users can have access to enormous data storage and necessary tools from Oracle. Moreover, it’s very convenient for existing businesses to switch to Ankr with Oracle APIs.

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Multi-chain structure for network scalability

In order to improve storage capacity and operational efficiency, Ankr applies Plasma protocol and Sharding,  that’s exactly what Vitalik Buterin and Ether developers are trying to do with Ethereum network. Basically, they will create various child chains (or Plasma chains) for individual applications and connect all of them to a single main chain (or root chain).

Each child chain can be customized to meet specific technical requirements with an individual smart contract. Transactions will be processed and confirmed on child chain. Besides, each child chain can connect to off-chain entities for data feeding so that Ankr network will not be overloaded with the same information on every users’ space.

The main chain with DDC will moderate and allocate computing power to child chains in the most efficient way. Blocks submitted from child chains will be validated and published on main chain.

It is obvious that multichain will help release capacity for the blockchain and improve network speed. However, the ideas about plasma and sharding are still on paper, and no application or improvement on Ethereum blockchain has practical effects until now. Last July, community was disappointed when Casper updates using sharding and plasma were delayed and, as a consequence, the protocol is doomed to miss the deadline in 2020. So how can Ankr team surpass Ethereum team and realize their ambition? There’s a high chance that the ideas are too good to come true.

(to be continued)

Written by nami.today