How Blockcloud is about to unite IoT with blockchain, and take it to phenomenal new heights even smartphones can’t reach.
Have you heard of the term Internet of Things (IoT)? To many people, this term may sound unfamiliar, despite the fact that all of us have in one way or another benefited from it. Some of the more familiar Internet of Things applications include the Smart Home (e.g. Google Home, Amazon Echo, Philips Hue), Intelligent Health (e.g. Fitbit, Apple Watch), Edge Computing (e.g. smart manufacturing) and Internet of Vehicles (e.g. Tesla — autonomous driving, self learning and safety centric technologies). They have changed our lives in ways that we could not even imagine, and this is only the beginning.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a part of our everyday lives. The number of IoT devices increased 31% year on year to 8.4 billion in 2017 and it is estimated that this number will grow to 30 billion by 2020. IoT is huge because pretty much any physical object can be transformed into an IoT device if it can be connected to the Internet. Even non-tech companies such as Nike (smart shoes) and Fossil (smart watches) have launched IoT devices which provide additional revenue streams and growth in new innovative market segments.
IoT market size is expected to overtake global smartphone sales by 2020
Growth Enabler, a data intelligence firm specialized in disruptive technologies and digital innovations, predicts that the global IoT market will grow from $157B in 2017 to $457B by 2020. That is an astonishing 28.5% compounded annual growth rate. This is just one of the many reports published by top market intelligence firms in recent years. In order to get an idea of how big $457B is, we looked at the global revenue from smartphone sales in 2017 — which was $478.7B!
Trust, security, and economic incentives via the Blockchain
While growth prospects are exciting, the future of IoT is under siege due to poor connectivity, and lack of proper scalability, trust and security. To help address these threats, researchers have proposed resorting to Service Centric Networking (SCN). SCN is an Internet technology that provisions service aware network stacks — applications are able to communicate directly with service names as opposed to IP addresses. While SCN provides a solution for interface failover, scalability and device mobility, it faces shortcomings in areas of trust, security and economic incentives – this is where Blockchain technology can help.
The blockchain model provides working proof of decentralized trust. However, there remains a reliance on the underlying network for reliable connectivity and scalability, meaning that the blockchain can only play a limited role in real IoT scenarios.
Blockcloud’s revolutionary solution to scaling the IoT
Blockcloud is a blockchain-based advanced TCP/IP that provides constant connectivity for dynamic networks. It provides a tailored technology system for IoT that is scalable, evolutionary, affordable, real time and fair. Blockcloud aims to revolutionise the IoT industry by introducing a new type of IoT service marketplace. The company aims to develop a service pricing and distribution mechanism that fairly protects the profits from IoT service providers and users of the network. This is achievable by incorporating unique technologies including Compacted Directed Acyclic Graph (CoDAG) and Truthful Continuous Double Auction (TCDA), both designed and developed by the company.
Blockcloud will provide an incentive-driven marketplace for IoT Services. IoT service providers will publish their services to Blockcloud and become discoverable by users. Like most decentralized economies, there will be no intermediary, instead the transaction is protected by the service pricing and distribution mechanism. Service providers that contribute to the marketplace will be rewarded with tokens, resulting in the creation of a sustainable and self-growing economy.
A four layer design embedding blockchain into the service centric network has been proposed:
- The top layer, the Service Layer, enables service based communication. This is where the services are housed. A Proof of Service (PoS) mechanism will be in place to ensure service reliability, with the help of verifiers.
- The Routing Layer is the layer where the routing tasks, such as discovering a service, are performed. Unlike a typical web service, the separation of the Routing Layer from the Service Layer allows multiple service providers to exist at the same time.
- One layer down is the Service-chain Layer. This is where the logic to process Blockcloud operations is being housed. It also houses two state machines — a global service management system and a service and pricing matching system. It also houses the marketplace, where the Blockcloud team implements Truthful Continuous Double Auction (TCDA), to allow users to bid for service. With TCDA, traders would not manipulate prices as there is no incentive to do so. Fairness is guaranteed whereby buyers and sellers are treated equally. Also, trading maintenance cost can be optimized as TCDA will scale the system to support large amounts of concurrent trading.
- The bottom layer is the Transaction-chain Layer. The global ledger is stored here consisting of the encoded transactions of the network. Blockcloud utilizes Compacted Directed Acyclic Graph (CoDAG) guaranteeing higher TPS as well as higher elasticity needed for dynamic IoT scenarios.
Roadmap to 2019
Blockcloud’s testnet is scheduled to launch in Q2 2019, with an impressive roadmap leading up to its launch.
Blockcloud Token (BLOC)
The BLOC token will be utilized for transactional value between subscribers and service providers. Tokens will also be awarded to service providers when they contribute to the marketplace. Additionally, tokens can be rewarded to verifiers who help to verify the service delivery as part of Blockcloud’s Proof of Service mechanism.
Blockcloud aims to raise a total of $15m of ETH. $12m is allocated to be raised in the private sale. A total of 10 billion BLOC tokens will be minted initially, with 2 billion, or 20% being sold to investors
The Blockcloud team is aiming to sell 1.5 billion BLOC tokens at a rate of 1 BLOC = $0.008. The token vesting mechanism is as follows: 20% of tokens will be released before the exchange listing, and two months after listing 10% of tokens will be released monthly.
Mining rewards will be released at an annual rate of 5% over 6 years.
The Blockcloud team consists of world-class experts in the fields of computing, IoT and networking, both professionally and academically. The team members have highly impressive backgrounds, which includes Princeton, Tsinghua, Peking University, and Huawei, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent. They participated in the development of the first international standards for the next-generation Internet in China and have published more than 50 academic papers, which have been cited over 300 times worldwide.
It is important to note however that this is not just a team of academics — they have clearly proven themselves in the business world again and again, and include a number of successful entrepreneurs. The parent company Oudman is an established player in the IoT business for the past six years and they have applied for over 80 patents.
Zhongxing Ming is the CEO. He serves as a visiting Scholar to Princeton University and as assistant professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Dr Ming is a member of the Blockchain Special Committee of China Computer Federation. Dr Ming has worked as the Team Lead for Intel Technology to Market Accelerator and acts as CTO of Shenzhen Oudmon Technology. He has a PhD in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications from Tsinghua University.
Shu Yang is the Chairman / SCN Lab Principal. Dr Yang is also a member of the Blockchain Special Committee of China. He is an associate professor at Shenzhen University, and has previously served as a visiting scholar to Case Western Reserve University. He has a PhD in Computer Architecture from Tsinghua University and has recently completed a Postdoctoral from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Dai Pan is the co-founder and COO at Blockcloud. He is the COO of Shenzhen Oudmon Technology. He holds a Master’s degree from Peking University in Information Technology.
Dong Huo is a strategic scientist. He has worked for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and as research assistant for the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in Japan. He has a Master of Engineering in Computer Networking from Tsinghua University and a PhD in Technology Management for Innovation from the University of Tokyo. He is an expert in networking and currently acts as assistant professor at Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen.
Qi Li is an expert of network security and cryptography. He is a network security expert who is on the editorial board of IEEE/TDSC and has written over 60 publications for well respected journals such as ASM and IEEE. Dr Li is a veteran in the field and his experience includes acting as a visiting scholar to Intel. He completed his PhD in Network and protocol design, computer and network security at Tsinghua University where he now serves as an associate professor.
Other notable senior team members include:
- Peter Ran who acts as North American Commercial Director. He has worked extensively in the finance sector, including at Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns and Southern Fund Management. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Kun Liu is the head of Marketing. Liu has 8 Years of Experience in Marketing and his experience includes working as customer manager at Alibaba and Baidu. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Renmin University of China.
- Kun Hu is the head of development. He has 7 Years of project development experience which includes working as senior architect in Huawei. He acts as head of development at Shenzhen Oudmon. He holds a bachelor’s in Computer Science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
The Blockcloud advisory board is filled with some of the greatest minds in their respective industries which include networking, Internet technology and distributed systems.
Fred Baker. Baker is one of the Internet Pioneers who helped shape the Internet we know today. He published his first patent — “Method and apparatus for bridging local area networks” as early as 1984 and many followed thereafter. He has served as chair of IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) from 1996 to 2001. He was on the Internet Architecture Board from 1996 to 2002. He became chair of the RFC Series Oversight Committee in 2009. Baker is a true veteran and expert in his field.
Roger Lim. Lim is an investor and serial entrepreneur with a heavy interest in Information Technology. Lim is a well renowned angel investor particularly in the field of blockchain technology. He founded Webvisions, an Asian cloud hosting company based in Singapore. He has acted as advisor for a number of well known ICOs including Bluzelle, Qlink, CoinFi, Switcheo and Tomocoin. He is the founding partner of NEO Global Capital and sits on the board of Qlink.
Hoan Soo Lee. Dr. Lee was the managing director of TusPark Ventures, and is currently Assistant Professor of Finance in Tsinghua University. He served as an Economist in the Council of Economic Adviser (CEA) during the first term of Barack Obama’s presidency. He is also a partner at CMB International and a co-founder and COO of Give2gether. He completed a bachelor’s in Mathematics and Economics at Berkeley and a master’s and PhD in Economics at Harvard University.
Ahmed Alsayadi. Alsayadi co-founded Big Dream Entertainment, a big data consultancy service based in Beijing. As one of the very first foreigners who obtained the revamped permanent resident card in China, he co-founded companies with expertise in blockchain technology including Sigma Technologies and Prochain. He holds two postgraduate degrees — a master’s from Tsinghua University in Computer Science and a master’s from UC Berkeley in Technology Entrepreneurship.
Alex Likhtenstein. Likhtenstein gained fame in the cryptocurrency world by being the co-founder of the first restaurant/bar in the world to accept bitcoin which was opened in Midtown Manhattan and saw investment from the likes of Charlie Shrem. Ever since then, he has been venturing into various blockchain tech companies as an active investor and advisor. He acts as CMO of Yinc.com, a service for hire trading platform built using blockchain technology and is a Managing Partner in digital marketing company Digittality.
While Blockcloud has been a relatively closed book on partnerships thus far, it is rumoured to have secured over 30 partnerships via its parent company Oudmon. Oudmon has operated in the IoT space for the past six years and boasts more than 8 million users. Blockcloud’s leadership team also has strong connections with Morgan Stanley, BAT, and Huawei, so while details are sparse, we expect to see a growing list of partnerships announced in the very near future.
Blockcloud also has an impressive range of institutional investors including some of the biggest names in the space, including Origin X Capital, Node Capital, MW Partners, Neo Global Capital, Genesis Capital, Innoangel Fund, OK Capital, BK Fund and more. These strategic investments will provide Blockcloud with the capital and industry connections it needs to succeed in the blockchain space.
Please be aware that no portion of this article should be construed as financial advice or a solicitation of investment. We strongly recommend that you consult a licensed financial advisor before investing, speculating or trading in any digital currency or in any other asset class.
Also published on Medium.