Disclaimer: As the title implies, this is an early first look at Perlin based on their draft whitepaper. While community and investor interest continue to grow, Perlin continue to operate in stealth mode as they focus on product development, but we expect more news to become available in the coming weeks.
When Amazon first launched Amazon Web Services in 2006, it did so with little fanfare. The company saw that its servers often sat underutilized, so it started selling off compute power as an alternate revenue stream. In 2017, Web Services generated an astonishing $17.46 billion in revenue, despite fierce competition from Google and Microsoft. This success story has one major drawback — even massive companies like Twitter, Etsy, and Github are at risk of outages when these services go down. A new blockchain project called Perlin aims to destroy the oligopoly in cloud computing by creating a product that leverages underutilized compute power in everyday devices (smartphones, laptops) via a peer-to-peer network. With their newly released whitepaper draft, we are excited to dig into this ambitious new project.
As Perlin continues to operate in stealth mode, it is working on breakthrough proprietary technology that provides the scalability and throughput necessary to make decentralized compute resource sharing possible. In the company’s first community update, they describe Perlin as a “distributed ledger, hardening and generalizing the Avalanche consensus protocol: a partially-synchronous Byzantine fault-tolerant protocol built on a metastable mechanism over a directed-acyclic-graph (DAG) to achieve extremely high throughput and scalability.” Perlin has set audacious goals for itself, but if its first open-source release, Noise, is any indication, we expect big things going forward.
Perlin utilizes Avalanche consensus, a mechanism that has been generating a great deal of interest in the blockchain community. So what is it? Recently, Cornell University professor and renowned blockchain researcher Emin Gün Sirer revealed a breakthrough discovery of a new family of consensus protocols, which was first published by a pseudonymous group of developers called Team Rocket. This new family of consensus promises to combine the best of both the Nakamoto consensus (e.g. BTC) with the classical consensus model (Lamport-Liskov ⅔ plus one majority). Inspired by gossip algorithms, this new family gains its safety through a deliberate metastable mechanism. Specifically this system operates by repeatedly sampling the network at random and steering the correct nodes towards the same outcome. Perlin is the first project to implement this novel Avalanche consensus protocol.
Miners, Customers, and Validators
Central to Perlin’s product are three types of users: Miners, Customers, and Validators. Users can choose to belong to any of these groups at any time.
Miners provide the compute power from their devices in a virtual machine and are rewarded based on how long their services are available, and how powerful (CPU and RAM) they are. Customers provide tasks that require computational power, and access miner’s virtual machine to perform said tasks. Perlin is also building an SDK to programmatically build decentralized applications. Lastly, Validators provide consensus and log transactions through a distributed ledger, and are compensated with transaction fees.
This simple trio of roles provides long term incentives for network participation, which we believe will catalyze Perlin’s growth and success.
Proof of Compute Availability
Perlin utilizes blockchain technology to verify available computational resources on the network. It utilizes a proprietary mechanism known as Proof of Compute Availability which leverages decentralized clocks to accurately determine uptime, as well as CPU and RAM resources available. This novel use of clocking provides absolute transparency given that it is derived from the computational complexity of an asymmetric verifiable memory-hard cryptographic function. In other words, units of time are agreed upon across the network, forming the basis of Perlin’s trustless computing market.
Token details (PERL)
Perlin will produce an ERC20 utility token, PERL, before launching their mainnet. Final token metrics are yet to be determined, but early stage investment figures breakdown as follows:
- Seed Sale — $0.04 per token, with a 12 month lockup;
- Strategic Sale — $0.12 per token, with a 6 month lockup;
- Private Sale — $0.20 per token, with a 3 month lockup.
We expect additional info to be available in the coming weeks related to hard caps, crowdsale, and other metrics.
Kenta Iwasaki (Founder and CTO): Kenta has an impressive background spanning across robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decentralized applications. Before Perlin, Kenta founded a high throughput cryptocurrency exchange, and worked in several senior roles with a focus on robotics, AI and machine learning at scale.
Dorjee Sun (Project Manager): Dorjee has a solid track record in the blockchain space. Before Perlin he was COO of Santiment a token based big data cryptocurrency project that led Project Transparency. He has also acted as an advisor to numerous projects including Republic Protocol, and Loki. His work has been front page of Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine and covered in Fortune, Forbes, ABC, PBS, BBC, Discovery, CNBC and other media outlets. He has been named as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader of tomorrow, amongst many other accolades.
Mirza Uddin (Head of Business Development): Mirza is a New York based Venture Capitalist with strong ties throughout the crypto industry. He studied at Harvard and MIT with a focus on technology and entrepreneurship. He has acted as an advisor for numerous successful blockchain projects including EdenChain and OneLedger.
As mentioned, Perlin continues to operate largely in stealth mode, and as such has not yet made public its team of advisors and upcoming partnerships. Perlin is however, gaining interest from top tier premier investment funds including Origin X Capital, amongst many others in the 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.