Blockchain platforms and distributed networks offer a variety of important and innovative new mechanisms that have enormous potential to disrupt traditional industries and constructs. However, there remains the key problem that many of these platforms exist as distinct “walled gardens”. Interoperability and the ability of platforms to communicate with each other is the next major step needed in the evolution of the industry for mainstream adoption.
Block Collider, a mineable, multi-chain decentralized platform provides a novel approach to this interconnectivity of blockchains by using its proprietary blockchain as an environment for bridging together other chains through a truly decentralized mechanism, while offering a unique set of advantages.
What Is Block Collider?
The motivation behind Block Collider is to create a truly decentralized environment for blockchains to interact with each other in real-time without compromising stability, security, or scalability. With a model that removes validators, oracles, and centralized points of failure, Block Collider stands out from other multi-chain platforms through both its conceptual approach as well as the particular underlying technology that it utilizes.
To better understand the concept, an example explained in their white paper refers to the Unix design philosophy. Essentially, this philosophy recommends that each program do one thing particularly well, and that connecting those modular pieces should be simple and efficient. Block Collider provides the opportunity for this in the blockchain ecosystem by creating a model where various blockchains can be added into the system while having the ability to communicate and cooperate seamlessly. The most defining feature of the Internet was the ability to connect people through the exchange of information, so when it comes to the cryptocurrency space, the capacity to provide a solution for blockchain interconnectivity cannot be understated.
Fundamentally, Block Collider works by capturing the current state of each bridged chain into its proprietary multichain. Every block in the Block Collider chain is referenced to the leading block of the bridged chain in what is called its “base tuple”. The Collider chain has the ability to function as a unifying chain by being able to reference any recent valid block on a bridged chain. An important result of this is that the Collider chain becomes faster than the fastest member chain. Basically, a Collider block is mined every time a new block is mined on one of the member chains, no matter how fast it is.
This allows for a key advantage and functionality of Block Collider which is that platform enables inter-block, multi-chain trading. For instance, Collider users can transact with Bitcoin in between Bitcoin chain block times by setting up transactions for Bitcoin that are dependent on blockchains that have a faster block time such as Ethereum. The effect is that Bitcoin can be exchanged between two parties whenever a transaction is executed on the Ethereum blockchain which is roughly ~30 seconds, compared to the ~10 minutes required for Bitcoin. This can be achieved between any transactions on blockchains that are part of the Block Collider.
Currently, the Block Collider multi-chain is compatible with 5 different blockchains along with a yet to be named 6th chain. The identified compatible chains are:
A multitude of use cases are available with the Block Collider platform and are a direct result of its ability to enable seamless interoperability between blockchains. These include decentralized exchanges, cross-chain smart contract hedges, ICOs that accept multiple currencies, and multi-chain distributed applications and meta contracts.
Two of the most unique designs within the platform stem from the proprietary mining and consensus mechanism as well as its two token model, with one of the tokens (called Emblems) representing a macro-token that corresponds to a fixed amount of tokens on the founding blockchains.
Block Collider Mining and Its Proof of Distance Approach
One of the most fundamentally important aspects of the Block Collider platform is its mining and consensus mechanisms designed to foster decentralization. The platform uses a modified version of Nakamoto Consensus called Proof of Distance. The nodes still always consider the longest chain to be the correct one, but Proof of Distance introduces a new algorithm based on string edit distance.
This algorithm changes the filtering of hashes below a certain threshold to filtering for hashes with a specifically defined reference set. Subsequently, each block size is dynamic due to the blocks having a “distance balance” which the sum of the transaction distances much stay below, and as articulated later, is dependent on the amount of Emblems that a miner owns. You can find a more extensive description of Proof of Distance in their white paper.
Additionally, Block Collider utilizes a novel model of separating transaction and block mining from each other. This has some inherent advantages for decentralization and security of the network through both game theory mechanics and computational constructs. The native token of the platform NRG, which is only available through mining is received as a reward for both transaction and block mining.
In transaction mining, a transaction can be pre-mined which makes it easier for a block miner to add the transaction to an already discovered block. This balances the power of miners while also allowing miners with lower computational power to still participate in the network consensus process. Below is a breakdown from the white paper describing the basic components of the two mining systems.
- Many winner per block
- Contributes to network throughput
- Fees in NRG
- Based on an edit distance challenge
- Tilts to network speed and performant databases
- One winner per block
- Contributes to network security
- Fees in NRG
- Based on an edit distance challenge
- Tilts to network speed and hashing power
There are specific advantages in separating block and transaction mining including miner specialization and reduced duplication of work. From a security standpoint, the most important advantage is the mitigation against network centralization. In order for centralization on Block Collider to occur, an actor would need to manipulate mining in the transaction mining as well as the block mining, making it vastly more difficult.
Two Token System
Another unique aspect of the Block Collider platform is its use of a two token model. As mentioned earlier, these tokens are Emblems and NRG. Emblems were available during the ICO while NRG can only be mined. Both have fixed circulations with Emblem being 300 million and NRG being 9.8 billion.
Emblems represent “marked tokens” and are the macro-asset of the platform. Essentially, they represent a fixed amount of tokens on the founding blockchains included into Block Collider and provides a specific advantage to miners who hold them. This advantage comes in the form of an increased block size bonus. As mentioned earlier, the block size in Collider is dynamic due to a certain amount of transactions allowed to be added to a block as long as their distance falls below a certain threshold. Emblems allow miners to increase this threshold, thus enabling them to add more transactions to the block, gaining more transaction fees through NRG. However, it is important to note that to mitigate against centralized control of Emblems, the return from holding NRG is diminishing and the marginal utility for Emblem holding is highest for the lower amount of Emblems one is holding.
NRG is the on-chain currency mined by Block Collider and has a similar function (yet slightly different) function to Gas on Ethereum. It is the primary fee for conducting transactions and rewarding miners and the mining rewards diminish over time similarly to Bitcoin.
Advantages and Innovations of Block Collider
There are numerous advantages afforded by the unique design and concept behind Block Collider. Besides providing an inventive design concept for interoperability for blockchains, a few specific advantages arise as a byproduct while some interesting new mechanisms are employed to achieve those advantages.
Namely, multi-chain distributed applications and meta contracts as a benefit of the platform stand out among the rest. This concept is where each bridged chain that is part of the Block Collider chain not only can exchange value, but knows the current state of the other chain. This has enormous implications in smart contract compatibility across chains as well as allowing for unique features of member chains to be integrated with applications structurally built in the native language of another chain. Additionally, these blockchains can work in parallel and execute contracts based on specific future conditions that are met on another chain seamlessly as a result of the blockchains being aware of each others’ state.
Other unique features of the platform include Rovers and the FIX protocol. Rovers are specific to the Block Collider platform while the FIX protocol is an established tool that is optimized for the Collider platform.
Block rovers assist miners in bridged blockchains back to the miners for processing in order to prevent lagging of blocks being added to the Collider chain. These Rovers may eventually become their own class of network participants that provide a crucial role to the miners. Rovers are automatically built into the mining applications and miners are incentivized to use them.
The FIX protocol is a tool for the real-time exchange of information regarding securities transactions and markets. The implementation of this established protocol distributes the information relating to transacting and rates of transactions being added to blocks in the network. Additionally, the protocol acts as a network-wide data feed including information from all the bridged blockchains, providing an optimal set of information and analytics.
The potential of the Block Collider platform can clearly be seen by analyzing the resources that they have made available. Although they do not actively market their platform, their ICO was incredibly over-subscribed and they have made some promising headway on an ambitious roadmap to provide a novel platform.
With scalability and decentralized network security major contemporary concerns in the larger cryptocurrency space, perhaps multi-chain platforms like Block Collider provide the solution rolled into a seamless environment of interoperability and blockchain connectivity.