Constellation Industry News Update 12/10

Dear Constellation Community,

Another week is upon us, and with it, lots of exciting news to share from the blockchain, DLT and crypto space. Read on for a look at the top news stories from around the web.


Tech News

Facebook Seeks Blockchain Talent for Five New Company Roles – The ads, for roles on the Facebook blockchain team, characterize positions as “technically” and “intellectually challenging” work, which “will have massive global impact.”

Blockchain startup raises $24M for digital rights management – Bluecoat is a blockchain company specializing in digital rights and royalties distribution. It’s funding is backed by notable personalities in the music industry.

Swiss Post and Swisscom to Develop Hyperledger Based Blockchain Platform – The two state-owned entities have come together to form a “simple, secure, and sustainable” platform for blockchain applications in Switzerland.

Crypto News

South Korea’s National Assembly to Engage in First Crypto Debate: Possible OutcomesOn December 10, South Korea’s National Assembly along with several members of the Congress are set to hold the country’s first official debate around crypto involving high profile government officials.

PayPal Rewards Employees Using Own Blockchain and Cryptocurrency – PayPal has created its own Blockchain-Based Innovation Reward System including a cryptocurrency token to reward employees.

Binance Tops the World of Cryptocurrency Exchanges with 51 Million Unique Visitors Monthly80% of visits are direct with an advertising traffic of 2% in total of all the volume. This also includes paid search traffic and traffic from advertising networks.

Investor News

Crypto Trading Platform ErisX Hires Serial Exchange Founder Matt Trudeau – The news comes a week after ErisX closed a Series B funding round that raised $27.5 million from firms such as Bitmain, ConsenSys, Fidelity Investments, Nasdaq Ventures and Monex Group.

Binance launches sub-accounts to service institutional investorsThe new feature will allow institutional account holders to create up to 200 subsidiary trading accounts under their main account.

How institutional investors are embracing cryptocurrency Institutional businesses are developing frameworks for their customers to interact with blockchain technology and digital currencies which are being recognised as permanent and viable alternatives to traditional assets and investment structures.

Institutional Investors Still Interested? Bitwise Releases Bitcoin and Ethereum FundsThe Bitwise Bitcoin Fund and the Bitwise Ethereum Fund are available in two share classes, Institutional Shares and Investor Shares.

Institutions Still Bullish On Crypto: Grayscale Owns 1% of All Bitcoin – Institutional players continue to express interest in crypto assets, making it more than palpable that institutions see immense value in cryptocurrencies,

Use Cases

Real estate blockchain set to go live in early ’19 – New York-based ShelterZoom is going live soon with its blockchain-based real estate offer-and-acceptance application; it’s one of several ways companies are testing out the distributed ledger technology.

Top US Hospital Considers Blockchain for Patient Data  – Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are working with MediBloc, a South Korean blockchain start-up, to find a way to securely store and share medical and patient data using the blockchain technology.

Chinese Internet Court Claims It Will Use Blockchain to Protect Writers’ Intellectual PropertyAn “Internet court” in Hangzhou in Eastern China will soon allow evidence logged on blockchains (or distributed ledgers) to be admitted in cases of alleged infringement on a writer’s copyright.

Coinbase CEO: Crypto in VR is the Next Big Application of Blockchain VR could become a tool to expand virtual payment technologies – participants could earn virtual money which they can take back to the real world and spend them like any other fiat money, taking virtual reality from a hobby or entertainment to a full time job or lifestyle.

That’s it for this week. If you have a minute, please take a quick moment to fill out the questionnaire below. Your answers will allow us to better tailor our weekly content output to include more of what you want to see!

Sincerely,

The Constellation Team



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Constellation Industry News Update 12/3

Dear Constellation Community,

It’s a new week filled with lots of interesting happenings in the space. Read on for a look at current news and stories related to blockchain and DLT from around the web.


Tech News

Newly Formed US Healthcare Alliance to Trial Blockchain for Improved Data Quality – Major U.S.healthcare companies have formed an alliance to trial blockchain solutions in order to improve data quality and reduce costs, hoping decentralized storage will keep information more accurate thanks to the system’s security and the ability to track all copies almost in real time.

Amazon Introduces Managed Blockchain and Quantum Ledger Database – Amazon announced a new fully managed service for creating and managing scalable blockchain networks. The project currently supports Hyperledger Fabric.

Can Blockchain Technology Save The Environment? – The World Economic Forum issued the Building Block(chains) for a Better Planet report in September 2018, identifying 65 existing and emerging blockchain use-cases that could repair some of the world’s global environmental challenges.

First Blockchain Smartphones Appear on the Market: Sirin Labs’ Finney Unboxed -The smartphone had a $157.8 million token sale and is endorsed by Lionel Messi, and features a built-in cold storage wallet and DApp ecosystem.

Investment Funds Network to Migrate Entire System to Blockchain in 2019 – Calastone, a founding member of the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Project, is shifting its entire system to the blockchain, as investors are seeking faster transaction speeds and transparency.

Crypto News

Swiss blockchain startups can now handle up to $100M – just like banks – Local cryptocurrency startups can now apply for a new license that would allow them to handle deposits of up to $100 million, a right normally reserved for banks – though strict regulations will apply.

Crypto exchange Koinex to diversify into blockchain solutions for fintech, govt – Unsure about the future of cryptocurrency in India, leading crypto-exchange Koinex is planning to get into blockchain solutions.

BitPay Implements First Major PoS Solution in Canada – A Canadian luxury jewelry brand has partnered with Bitpay to accept Bitcoin.

SEC’s Next Move: Social Media Influencers Who Promoted Crypto ICOs – According to the SEC, “Any celebrity or other individual who promotes a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion”.

Bitcoin Is ‘Here To Stay’ Says Wall Street Boss Amid Crypto Rout – “Often times in finance, it’s not about being the best — it turns out to be about being the broadest and the most commonly accepted and for whatever reason bitcoin has become that.”

Investor News

Ohio tech funds to pump over $100M into blockchain startups – The state also recently became the first US state to accept payments for taxes in Bitcoin.

Bitmain Launches Crypto Index for Investors, Provides Data on 17 Digital Assets – The new price index has been tailored to institutional and individual investors alike.

Coinbase Launches OTC Trading for Institutional Investors – The launch comes in response to the increasing demand for OTC crypto trading.

Is Bitcoin (BTC) Being Accumulated By Institutional Investors to Cause Panic? – It’s been suggested that while individual investors or retail traders are selling in the crypto exchange market, the institutional investors are accumulating.

Use Cases

GM Patent Touts Blockchain As Data Solution for Self-Driving Cars – GM is also a member of Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), which aims to push innovation in the blockchain-auto space.

Can Blockchain Drive Growth In The Transportation Industry? – According to Craig Fuller – managing director of Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) – blockchain technology is ideal for deployment in the transportation industry.

How Blockchain can lead an energy revolution in Africa – Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa.

A review of 2018, a preview for what’s next: Blockchain in travel – Distribution, loyalty, identity and operations will be the top focuses.

Around The Web

Top 7 Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Books To Read – Because people need to understand crypto in order to fundamentally build and develop the ecosystem on all fronts.

What Is Cryptocurrency? “Jeopardy!” Features Entire Category on Crypto – You know crypto has become mainstream when a gameshow devotes a whole category to it.

That’s it for this week. While you’re here, please take a moment to fill out the questionnaire below so that we can better tailor our weekly content output to include more of what you want to see!

Sincerely,

The Constellation Team



Constellation Update – Token Distribution, Airdrop 5, The Blockchain University and Recent Events

 

Dear Constellation Community,

November has flown by, with exciting news and announcements happening back to back . Earlier in the month, our Engineering team hit a milestone with the stabilization of our Testnet, and we published a new token model favoring community and validator rewards. In the last couple of weeks, we spoke at events, hosted our first Ambassador on-boarding call, and announced a new partnership. We’re closing out the month and starting December by  finalizing documentation for node operators, a token distribution, and Airdrop 5. Read on for the details of all that and more…

Investor & AirDrop Distribution Announcement.

Today, the lock-up expires on tokens issued to certain purchasers in our pre-sale and TGE. This distribution has begun.  The distribution marks the momentum towards further liquidity as we near Testnet v2.

We’re delaying Constellation AirDrop 5 distribution until December the 7th.  Given it is the last AirDrop of the year we’re allowing a few extra days for community members to resubmit their KYC details. If you’re one of the stragglers check your inbox for an email reminder 😉

Ecosystem Observation with Mathias Goldman

There are a lot of unsung heroes at Constellation. Our VP of Finance Mathias is one of them.  He’s been active in blockchain since BTC was less than $3 and provides a wealth of knowledge from his traditional banking  background. Mathias goes into his past experience, role at Constellation as well as giving his insight and observations into the current market landscape.  Video below. Enjoy.

Recent Events

Scale By The Bay Talk

Scale By The Bay is the premier conference for developers, software and data engineers. Wyatt and Ryle spoke this year alongside the likes of Martin Odersky (creator of Scala) and Neha Narkhede (Co-Creator of Apache Kafka).

In their talk, “Optimizing Network Topologies with Monadic Execution Contexts”, Wyatt and Ryle discuss real issues in distributed systems recording data in an immutable append-only log in such a way that you cannot forge it. Check out the video below:

 

The Blockchain Society Conference SF

Earlier this week, CEO Ben spoke at a special conference exclusively for investors, regulators, corporate and blockchain thought leaders, hosted by The Blockchain Society’s Executive in partnership with  Deloitte. Later in the day, he also spoke on “The Future of Mobility Panel” alongside Chris Ballinger (CEO, MOBI) and Zaki Manian (Executive Director, Trusted IoT Alliance). Thanks to all who participated! 

Blockchain Coalition Advocacy Brunch

Earlier in the month, COO Altif was invited to brunch to discuss the regulatory concerns of the blockchain and cryptocurrency community with the Treasurer for the state of California in the United States, Fiona Ma. The event followed the recent election and was a unique opportunity to have in-depth conversations with policymakers and help shape the future of California’s blockchain economy.

Blockchain University Announcement

We are excited to announce that Constellation has partnered with The Blockchain University. We will be utilizing their blockchain certification platform to deploy the Constellation Ambassador Certification test.

 Check out our blog for the full announcement:

Constellation Partners with The Blockchain University

Community Survey

We’d like to get to know our community better in order to tailor our weekly content output.  Please take a few moments to fill out a quick questionnaire:

Constellation Community Survey

Running a Node

Our Testnet recently stabilized and we are finalizing documentation for node operators. Get a jump start on running a node by registering via the form below:

Register to Run a Node

 

Engineering Updates

  • Added the facilitator selection logic for partitioning and added the data model and data store to contain header data.
  • Now adding partition logic to the criteria for snapshot formation and beginning testing.
  • Have already added partitioned facilitator selection into our end to end test.
  • Working partitions in unit test (screenshots below)
Here we have peer address info for our different partitions:

Here we have statistics on our new header (signed observation edge) updates:

Upcoming Events

Developer Week, February 20-24th 2019, SF Bay Area, California 

Recent Articles

 

Until Next Time,

 

The Constellation Team

 

Become a Constellation Member

 

 

Constellation Industry News Update 11/28/18

Hi Constellation Community,

Welcome to the first edition of the Constellation Industry News Update. In this weekly series, we’ll be updating you with current news and stories  related to blockchain and DLT from around the web. Read on for more…


Tech News

MDW Blockchain Platform Announces AI Algorithm Marketplace at RSNA 2018 –  The medical imaging blockchain platform is an artificial intelligence (AI) marketplace that enables radiologists to preview and purchase verifiable algorithms to enhance their practices. The marketplace is envisioned to be a sort of an app store for algorithms.

New Blockchain Platform for Autonomous Vehicles – The blockchain is called Blocklet for Trusted Vehicle Operations and comes from U.S. Company Filament. The technology is described as the first end-to-end automotive blockchain platform.

7 Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google Staffers That Went Full Crypto – Blockchains are now sucking in top-tier Silicon Valley tech talent faster than any boom since the Internet.

Blockchain Startup Modex Launches New Platform for Developers – The launch of a pack of free tools is designed to provide easier access to developers to blockchain technology. The program rewards the first 1,000 developers that join the platform with a total of 1,000.000 free tokens, while the best programmers could be given the opportunity to join the team. 

Crypto News

Ohio First State to Accept Bitcoin: Calling Crypto Secure, Transparent, and Low Cost – Beginning Nov. 26, Ohio will begin accepting Bitcoin payments for twenty-three kinds of business taxes. The state will become the first in the United States–and one of the first governments in the world–to accept cryptocurrency. 

Crypto Market Adds $12 Billion in Sizable Recovery; Major Assets Surge 10% – The valuation of the crypto market increased from $115 billion to $127 billion as Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and many other cryptocurrencies recorded gains in the range of 6 to 12 percent.

Investor News

Crypto and Blockchain Venture Capital Investment Skyrockets – VC investments have surged 316% from a total of $900 million in 2017 to over $3.85 billion in 2018.

Binance CFO: Two Major Catalysts Can Boost Bitcoin and Drive Adoption of Crypto – One is the ease of purchasing cryptocurrency, and the other is the need for more high-quality projects in the ecosystem.

Beyond Price: Why We Need a Better Way to Value Crypto Assets – The most commonly cited number for comparing the worth of different crypto projects is market capitalization. It is an extremely flawed metric. Critics note that poor liquidity, combined with lax rules at many exchanges, let founders and large holders easily manipulate market cap quotes at sites such as CoinMarketCap making for all sorts of abuses during the ICO mania of last year.

Use Cases

Automakers Embrace Blockchain Technology to Prepare for Future Mobility Market – The automotive blockchain market is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 65.80% starting in 2018 to reach US$1.57 billion in 2026.

Blockchain Technology Will Revolutionize the Gaming Industry – Blockchain will give in-game assets more value, and the games will be able to transfer items to each other serving as an incentive for players.

Healthcare Blockchain Could Solve Industry’s Biggest Problems – Healthcare blockchain could solve some of the biggest problems in healthcare, such as compliance, interoperability, and data security issues, according to a recent study by CB Insights.

Bosch India Strengthens Smart Solutions Portfolio – Bosch is turning itself into an innovation hub for the world by developing solutions based on AI, Blockchain, sensors and other futuristic technologies to build sustainable ecosystems across industries for the future.

Boeing Launches Blockchain, AI Drone Venture – SkyGrid will develop software for “aerial urban mobility” for autonomous cargo and passenger air vehicles. A blockchain will be used to store flight and unmanned air vehicle data.

Automotive Cybersecurity: Partnerships, Blockchain & Securing Mobility – Arilou, Apline, Filament made news this week in Automotive Cybersecurity and Mobility. Filament, provider of blockchain solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) and the enterprise, announced its next-generation blockchain technology designed to facilitate data transactions on industrial and enterprise machines and sensors. 

Around The Web

‘Mafia’s Banker’ Creates An Elite Members’ Club – Via Blockchain –  Home Noir brings private members clubs into the 21st century using blockchain technology. The mostly online community sees itself as a home for those in the blockchain industry while also encouraging innovation and investment.

Yahoo Partners with Crypto Gameshow to Bring Blockchain to the Masses -The Contentos team believes that facilitating a high energy game show centered around the education of blockchain technology will attract a new demographic of enthusiasts, which will be a step forward towards mainstream adoption.


 

That’s it for this week. While you’re here, please take a moment to fill out the questionnaire below so that we can better tailor our weekly content output to include more of what you want to see!

Until Next Time,

The Constellation Team


 

Become a Constellation Member

Constellation Partners with The Blockchain University

Constellation Labs is excited to announce our partnership with The Blockchain University. With over 1,500 certified developers, they boast one of the worlds largest certified blockchain communities in the world. Here’s what The Blockchain University’s CEO and Co-Founder, Sahil Parekh, had to say on the partnership: “Building the Web 3.0 starts with quality blockchain education working alongside quality partners, and we’re excited to work with Constellation on this initiative to grow and educate the community on their up and coming distributed security protocol.”

Constellation Update – A Look at Recent and Upcoming Events, Engineering Updates and Recent Articles

Dear Constellation Community,

There’s been a whirlwind of activity as we head into the end of November.  The engineering team have been presenting at some of San Francisco’s leading tech conferences, connecting with some of the brightest minds in the valley while continuing to deliver against our roadmap as we move closer to Testnet V2.  The Constellation ambassador program continues to grow, with Sebastian Spitzer presenting on our behalf at the Honda Blockchain Summit in Berlin. For a summary of the events, node registration and links to recent press, read on.

Recent Events

Scale By The Bay

Last week, Wyatt and Ryle presented at Scale By The Bay in San Francisco. In their talk, “Optimizing Network Topologies With Monadic Execution Contexts”, they discussed the real issues in distributed systems recording data in an immutable append-only log in such a way that you cannot forge it.  We’ll have a video of the presentation coming your way soon, but in the meantime you can check out the slides from the talk here.

Wyatt was also asked back by SBTB to speak on the closing panel this past Saturday which discussed Cloud, Edge, and IoT. Other participants included Haoyuan Li (Alluxio), Roman V Shaposhnik (Rhatr), Holden Karau (Google Cloud), and Alexy Khrabrov (Trusted IoT).

Honda Blockchain Summit

Also last week, Constellation Ambassador Sebastian Spitzer attended the Honda Blockchain Summit in Berlin and presented on our behalf. The event focused on the adoption of DLT in the automotive space. Other participants included Mine Spider, IOTA, and Ocean Protocol, just to name a few. A big thanks to Sebastian for attending!

Community Survey

We’d like to get to know our community better in order to tailor our weekly content output.  Please take a few moments to fill out a quick questionnaire:

Constellation Community Survey

Running a Node

Our Testnet recently stabilized. If you haven’t registered to run a node already, you can do so now by filling out the form below:

Register to Run a Node

Upcoming Events

Blockchain Society SF Conference , November 28th, San Francisco, California

CEO Ben will be speaking at a special conference exclusively for investors, regulators, corporate and blockchain thought leaders, hosted by The Blockchain Society in partnership with Deloitte.

Developer Week, February 20-24th 2019, SF Bay Area, California

 Engineering Updates

  • Cluster size increasing – Testing on 15 and testing larger sizes throughout the week.
  • Improvement:Snapshot misalignment – Snapshot misalignment caused by download.
  • Operator Rollout Testing – Tested across 7 regions (globe). Multiple join/leaves and cluster stable.
  • Download – Small incremental fixes/improvements as we test different scenarios. Getting faster and faster.

Recent Articles

Biomimicry in Blockchain: How Constellation’s Design Is Based On Natural SystemsWe recently sat down with Wyatt (CTO) to understand what fuels his underlying engineering ethos based around integrating natural law into Constellation – a revolutionary and unlike any other approach in the blockchain space.

How Constellation is Different Than Blockchain–  In a followup to our recently published business whitepaper, Wyatt (CTO) explains how Constellation verifies and validates transactions.

Until Next Time,

 

The Constellation Team

 

Become a Constellation Member

Biomimicry in Blockchain: How Constellation’s Design Is Based On Natural Systems

This piece is largely based off an interview I had with our CTO, Wyatt Meldman-Floch, where we took a deep dive into what inspired him to create Constellation, and more specifically, what fuels his underlying engineering ethos based around integrating natural law. Enjoy!

In our interview, we covered everything from thermoeconomics and dendrograms, the origins of Constellation and the universe, to DaVinci and Dutch string theorists and everything in between, so please forgive me while I attempt to properly formulate a jump off point for this quantum roller-coaster ride inside the mind of Wyatt.

The bulk of this piece is meant to illustrate how Constellation’s network can be compared to existing complex structures in nature. Wyatt breaks down how he approaches Constellation’s architecture by taking inspiration from and in some cases, mimicking, natural orders. Read on to find out how this approach is revolutionary and unlike any other approach in the blockchain space.

Constellation’s Inspiration

 

Constellation was spawned in part from many deep talks that Wyatt and Ryle would have after a days work during their time together at Radius, hanging out around the E-Trade building in downtown San Francisco. They were working in the midst of the big data boom, and they’d spend a lot of time discussing how they’d ideally envision things being done differently in the big data space.

Wyatt had also created a program called Big Fish, Little Fish, where nodes would host data and merge data like a little fish getting eaten by a big fish, whereby the big fish would represent increasingly trusted data points which had a greater idea of the network’s state. The creation of this program served as a sign of things to come:

“We spent a lot of time looking at patterns within primitives. If you’re looking at planet earth, it would be chemicals. If you’re looking on the internet, it would be points of data (the chemicals and data being the primitives) and looking at patterns in between them. That’s sort of how we started forming the ideas that would later become Constellation.”

Fields Medal winner Stephen Smale

Wyatt cited many mathematical geniuses as sources of inspiration for Constellation. From Fields Medal winners (which is essentially the Nobel Prize equivalent for Mathematicians) Stephan Smale, who did pioneering work in the 60’s tying Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) to economic markets and Alexander Grothendieck, to Dutch String Theorist and Nobel Prize winner Gerard’t Hooft. Maurice Herily, a Professor Emeritus at Brown, was also cited as a significant influence for Wyatt. “Herily analytically modeled distributed systems and proposed that we treat distributed systems in the same way we treat particle systems,” said Wyatt. All of these theorists, thinkers, and academics influenced Wyatt and the engineering team’s approach regarding the structure of Constellation.

If Herily could be seen as putting the “math on paper,” the creators of Twitter’s Algebird library for creating data models based on abstract algebra could be seen as turning that “math on paper” into “math on code.” Wyatt cited them as his modern-day engineering inspirations, saying “I’m really inspired by algebraic data types and projects like Cats and Algebird which extend the use of abstract algebra to create data structures that allow data processing to be reasoned about like a math problem.”

Taking all the influences into account, with Constellation, Wyatt and Ryle wanted to do things a bit differently than what was happening in the big data space.

Taking Cues From Nature – Entropy, Biomimicry & Thermoeconomics

 

Reverse engineering at it’s finest

Before we dive into the technicalities of how natural law is built intoConstellations tech, I asked Wyatt what inspired him to turn to nature for inspiration in the first place. “Often, it’s easier to try and reverse engineer a solution to a problemthan to start from scratch. We do this in programming every day. Fortunately, in many situations, we can see anomalies in nature, be it biochemistry or physics, which give us clues to the underlying structures that make solutions work.  The inspiration for most people who come up with new paradigms of understanding, like pure mathematicians, often comes from reasoning about natural phenomenon independent of existing frameworks.”

One aspect of natural law that is heavily featured in Constellation’s approach is thermoeconomics. For those who aren’t familiar (don’t worry, I wasn’t either) with this field, it’s a school of thought that maintains that human economic systems can be modeled as thermodynamic systems. Wyatt primarily integrated this in regards to thinking about the underlying utility of our utility token, $DAG. “I spent a lot of time thinking about what the ‘utility’ of a ‘utility token’ was, and it seemed to me that the utility of a token was actually the quantization of a good or service that the token represented. If that were the case then what is the underlying value of any cryptocurrency? It certainly has something to do with ensuring the validity of data.”

How can you communicate an exchange of value without an intermediary? In our society, that intermediary typically comes in the form of money, but in nature and physics, that unit is typically entropy. Wyatt thinks entropy (as it is a topologically invariant measure) is indicative of an underlying homotopy type hierarchy that the universe follows with regards to scaling. This notion is codified into Constellation as the underlying connective thread that ultimately normalizes the network’s data, allowing all processes to speak the same language. Speaking to this point, he described how this plays out in the network itself:

“Let’s model the actual dynamics of our distributed system based upon these physical and economic laws. It allows us to directly connect every operation that a network does directly to a unit of value. Every operation of a network, not just every unit of data, can be stored and maintained. People who care about the validity of their data, who care about encryption and privacy and using a blockchain, who want that provenance over their data… they care about whether it is true or not, and how we achieved that conclusion. If every bit of data that leads up to that conclusion is based on entropy, then you can build a model on that. You can normalize the data, and then you have all different processes speaking the same language. The same way an ecosystem or an economy communicates.”

Davinci’s flying machine sketch

In Wyatt’s presentation at De:Centralize 2018 (linked below), he said: “If you want to solve a problem, the smartest thing you can do is just copy what nature did.” The popularized term for this notion is biomimicry,  which is defined as the “imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems.” A famous example of biomimicry can be seen in Davinci’s early sketches of a flying machine (as seen above), based upon his observations of birds. I asked Wyatt to follow up with some other examples of how this is evident in the architecture of Constellation, and he shared several other fascinating parallels.

“Constellation’s network topology resembles a scale-free network. This structure pops up in the natural ecosystem or the cosmos (correlation does not imply causation, but the universe looks like a dendrogram, so does a neuron and a tree, etc.) because they are systems that are continuously applying some sort of optimization rule, typically based in the reduction of entropy. It’s an optimization problem that acts effectively like a balancing act. In the same way that plants and animals die, are reborn and transmuted into different forms of energy, our network needs to autonomously reorganize itself, like an ecosystem adapting to climate change.”

We see this same resilient autonomous pattern play out in modern day economics, as major corporations die out, get bought up or get swallowed whole by a different entity. “That’s why people model economics after thermodynamics, because it’s just like nature,” said Wyatt. In regards to Constellation’s Proof of Reputable Observation protocol, which assigns a reputation-based score to nodes based on prior accuracy, validity, and trust, Wyatt once again looked at nature for inspiration. “If you’re creating disorder within the greater system, the system will self- correct you and put you in your place to find its equilibrium.”

In Wyatt’s eyes, each blockchain protocol can be viewed as a different species, and with Constellation, he envisions the network serving as a baseline “pollinator” for any potential use case. “Bitcoin is like the crocodile, that has existed since the time of dinosaurs. We want to be like a pigeon—the most common, adaptable species that flourishes and finds utility in any ecosystem. Alternatively, we want to be the bees, something that helps to pollinate all potential use cases and be that underlying infrastructure.”

Fractal-ly Speaking…

 

In Wyatt’s presentation mentioned above, two notions popped up a fair amount — Homotopy Types and the dendrogram structure of a hierarchical DAG, which minimizes entropy in a system. I asked Wyatt for a layman’s breakdown of how these concepts appear in nature, and how they each factor into the design of Constellation.

John von Neumann, AZ Quotes

He started by sharing the work of the foremost mathematician of the early 20th century, von Neumann, who essentially came up with the basis for Constellation’s dynamic partitioning scheme a long time ago. Wyatt, take it away:

“What that question asks is ‘how can we model higher dimensional spaces that generates something abstract like a fractal?’ Without getting too into it, the methods used in fractal geometry (what pure mathematicians use to understand recursive, self-similar structures [like a hylo/metamorphism]) are primarily focused on something called measure theory, which is important, but they don’t translate explicitly to non-linear structures in programming like the f-algebra of a recursion scheme.”

What Wyatt and the engineering team did was extend that idea to something called Homotopy Type theory, which is how they think about the structure of data and processes in functional programming. In Wyatt’s words, “there’s this thing called the Curry-Howard Correspondence which ensures that a ‘Typed’ program is actually a proof. In this regard, by implementing these ideas with functional methods, we can assume that our code implements a model like something from continuous geometry.”

Illustration of the close-packing of equal spheres in both hcp (left) and fcc (right) lattices via Wikipedia

Why on earth would we want to have a fractal structure like this? According to Wyatt, “it’s because fractals have special space preserving properties which help us embed (store) information efficiently, and storing information efficiently is at the root of how we approach scalability.” A 2D fractal is a way to infinitely put information in a space and pack it in there, and this fractal structure is what allows Constellation to create an infinitely unbounded space to pack data into.

Constellation’s logo itself echoes this notion as the solution of closest packing of spheres (a hexagon) represents what we’re trying to do, which is “expand the closest packing of all information in all dimensions.”

I followed this up by asking Wyatt about the fractal nature of Constellation’s DAG, and if any other existing DAG based protocols, such as IOTA, are designed with a similarly fractal nature in mind. “Holochain is close, but Holochain is built for API level servers, nothing more, nothing less. Constellation is built for everything. We want to be the glue to connect the bottom line with something as slow and store-valuey as Bitcoin.” For a more thorough breakdown of how Constellation’s hylochain differs from the likes of a typical blockchain or other DAG protocols, check out the infographic below.

Constellation (via SpecRationality)

Conclusion

 

Hopefully, you’ve just gleaned a telescopic look inside the mind of Wyatt and the origins of Constellation, and how much of its underlying architecture is inspired by biomimicry. I hope this piece fully conveys how unique Constellation’s architecture truly is while giving you some further insight into Wyatt’s inspiration for creating Constellation.

Until next time,

Anthony

 

Become a Constellation Member

How Constellation is Different Than Blockchain

Over the past few years, Blockchain technology has taken the world by storm. It has been extended to a broader category of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Constellation proposes an enterprise grade DLT that is scalable, secure, and inclusive. We recently published a detailed business whitepaper discussing our technology. In this post, we dive particularly into how the technology in Constellation is different than a traditional Blockchain.

Constellation Update – Testnet Stability and Tokenomics Update, Upcoming Events, Engineering Updates and Recent Press

Dear Constellation Community,

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks. Our Engineering team has hit a milestone with the stabilization of our Testnet and we published a new token model favoring community and validator rewards.  Moving into next week Wyatt and team are presenting at Scale by the Bay and our first Hyperledger meet-up. For details on all the above and more read on…

Network Stability Update

We’re excited to announce that our testnet has stabilized. Utilizing a DAG framework, we sent over 120 Million test transactions throughout the weekend across remote servers. This marks a major engineering milestone as we move closer to The Node Operator Program via Testnet 2.0. You can view a snapshot overview of confirmed tps, transactions sent, balances, etc. below.

 

This first test gives us the baseline for the lowest level ‘rank’ in our network.  It only goes up from here.” – Wyatt CTO

Despite not having fully optimized networking calls and data structures for memory or lightweight devices, we’re seeing consistent and predictable CPU loads across the network with no memory issues on the second cheapest cloud VM tier. Nodes are running at one quarter load (25% CPU) and using roughly 500 MB heap memory. We are easily seeing 500-1000 tps on a single partition with further optimizations to come.

Seen below is the the size of the snapshot folder on one of the nodes. It works out to 1500 TX per MB of storage. More specifically, 1.25e8/8e4 = 1562 TX per MB. This is a little larger than BTC’s average transactions size, but it includes extra metadata collected during testing and will be optimized further.

“There’s still a lot of work to come, but this is a major stability improvement. We’re trying to ensure node operators can run cheap instances and still participate in the network at high load, and we’ve made major strides in demonstrating that. This is still only on a single partition and resource offering type, which means as we expand tests to higher partition counts and more diverse node types, we should see even more dramatic speed improvements.”

Ryle – VP of Engineering

Interested in becoming part of the Constellation network? We are looking for  node operators who will host some of the early nodes on the network (in a testnet environment). You’d be providing valuable feedback, and earning $DAG tokens for doing so. You can register to run a node here.

 

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