bloXroute – Due Diligence Report

Pros

 

  • Experienced team
  • Token incentivization
  • Very useful product that aims to solve one of the biggest pain points of contemporary crypto-currencies

 

Cons

 

  • No big community or activity of community so far
  • Core team are only 4 people now

 

75%

 

Team: 5/5

Project: 5/5

Token use case: 5/5

Token Metrics: 2/4

Roadmap: 1.5/3

Community and marketing: 2/5

Hype: 2/3

 

Description

 

BloXroute is a provably neutral transport layer which runs underneath cryptocurrencies. bloXroute allows to safely increase the block size and to cut down the time interval between blocks, without increasing the risk of forks and provides real-time support for immediate transactions with zero-confirmation (0-conf). The use of bloXroute requires no consensus, nor a protocol change, beyond adjusting system parameters. It is compatible with any off-chain scaling solutions, complementary to the native consensus protocol used, and can be gradually deployed by any node wishing to receive blocks at a higher rate. With the networking bottleneck removed, each cryptocurrency community is free to adjust its protocol to best leverage this newfound capacity, in order to increase its real-world impact and value.

Note that the payments to bloXroute are utterly voluntary, yet they incentivize miners to require a significantly smaller fee. bloXroute is thus designed as a Win-Win-Win scenario, benefiting users, miners, and the bloXroute system alike, with 99.9% of the value created being captured by the users and the miners.

 

Team

 

Uri Klarman – CEO

He is the most vocal proponent of bloXroute, which is his doctoral dissertation work at Northwestern University. Uri is an interdisciplinary networks researcher, and his work encompasses innovative uses of Computer Networks, disruptive blockchain networking schemes, alternative content distribution networks, trustless peer coordination, and security.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/uriklarman/

 

Prof. Emin Gün Sirer – Chief Scientist

He has been involved in the field of crypto from the very start. He had pivotal roles in characterizing the Nakamoto consensus, the DAO detection, and aftermath. He is a pioneer in on- and off-chain scaling, and, most importantly for this project – he is the inventor of the Falcon backbone relay.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/emin-gun-sirer-0a921a4/

https://twitter.com/el33th4xor

 

Prof. Aleksandar Kuzmanovic – Chief Architect

He is a Net Neutrality expert and a full Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University, where he is currently on leave of absence. Prof. Kuzmanovic’s work on Net Neutrality had awarded him an NSF CAREER Award, and he is one of the founders and a member of the steering committee of Google’s Measurement Lab initiative for monitoring global Net Neutrality. His work and systems on congestion control, traffic analysis, and content distribution have been widely disseminated on the Internet, finding its way to millions of users.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/aleksandar-kuzmanovic-45260b7/

 

Soumya Basu – CTO

He is a member of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3) group at Cornell University. He is most well known for creating the Falcon Network, which has been operational in the Bitcoin network since April 2016. Soumya’s work aims to remove trust without reducing performance in cryptocurrency systems. He was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a paper award at ACM SIGCOMM.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/soumya-basu-a31bb746/

https://github.com/soumyabasu

 

Advisory board:

 

Product

 

The system is the first to combine a legacy peer-to-peer network and a novel global BDN where the peer-to-peer network is used to audit the BDN (Blockchain Distribution Network) and its neutrality. Nodes need not place any trust in the BDN. Instead, the BDN blindly serves the nodes, without knowledge of the blocks it propagates, their origin, or their destination.

BloXroute is protocol-, coin-, and blockchain-agnostic, capable of simultaneously supporting any number of blockchains.

The bloXroute system consists of two types of operational networks, as shown in Figure 1:

  • bloXroute is a high-capacity, low-latency, global BDN network, optimized to quickly propagate transactions and blocks for multiple blockchain systems.
  • Peer Networks are P2P networks of nodes which utilize bloXroute to propagate transactions and blocks, while carefully auditing its behavior. Each Peer Network consists of all the nodes using a specific protocol. For example, all the Bitcoin nodes utilizing bloXroute form a single Peer Network, while all the Ethereum nodes utilizing bloXroute form a different Peer Network.

 

bloXroute utilizes:

  • systemwide caching that enables faster propagation and Gigabyte-size blocks
  • cut-through routing that enables swift and efficient transmission of blocks through the network.

 

In essence, bloXroute implements and provides an efficient broadcast primitive to the blockchain nodes, via a network of Gateways, making them operate as if they are on the same Local Area Network, while in reality, they might be residing at opposite parts of the globe.

 

BloXroute propagates blocks in the exact same manner for every user of the system. In particular, bloXroute propagates blocks without knowledge of the transactions they contain, their number, and the “wallets” or addresses involved. Miners are free to include arbitrary transactions in a block. Furthermore, bloXroute cannot infer the above characteristics even when colluding with other nodes, or by analyzing blocks’ timing and size. bloXroute cannot favor specific nodes by providing them blocks ahead of others, and cannot prevent any node from joining the system and utilizing it. In short, bloXroute can only propagate all blocks to all its Gateways fairly.

 

To achieve neutrality and enable its auditing, bloXroute supports encrypted blocks, which prevent it from stopping the block propagation based on its content or any other feature. A block’s encryption key is only revealed after the block has been propagated through the network. To ensure bloXroute is not discriminating against individual nodes, Gateways do not propagate blocks directly to bloXroute, but relay them via peers in the P2P network to obscure a block’s origin from bloXroute. Nodes can actively audit bloXroute’s service and performance by sending test-blocks to bloXroute. Lastly, bloXroute incorporates peer-controlled measures to sustain blockchain operations even in the event of a complete system failure.

 

Regardless of the consensus protocol, every honest peer must obtain information about each transaction in the system. bloXroute focuses on this particular problem, which is fundamentally a broadcast problem since every valid piece of information (transaction/block) must be propagated to every honest peer in the system. BloXroute is thus complementary to a native consensus protocol used, and it is capable of boosting up the performance, often dramatically, for any blockchain.

 

bloXroute – Provable Neutrality:

  • Encrypted Blocks: blocks are propagated after being encrypted. BloXroute’s encryption also alters the block size, hiding the number of transaction and their total size.
  • Indirect Relay: preventing individual nodes from propagating their blocks, nodes do not propagate blocks directly to bloXroute. Instead, a node wishing to propagate a block will first propagate it to a peer on the Peer Network, which will relay it to bloXroute, obscuring the block’s origin from bloXroute.
  • Test-Blocks: nodes must be capable of continuously monitoring bloXroute’s service. Such monitoring is achieved by allowing nodes to send encrypted invalid blocks, test-blocks, directly to bloXroute, and measuring the time required for peers to report the arrival of the test-blocks.
  • Sustainability through Peer Auditing: To assure bloXroute’s sustainability, transactions may include a minuscule, optional and voluntary payment to bloXroute, which provides greater incentives for miners to include them.
  • Partial Disclosure of Peers: Peer Network nodes do not reveal all the nodes they are aware of. Instead, nodes conceal half the nodes they are aware of, including half of their immediate peers.

 

Token use case

 

To support the development of the network, bloXroute launches its own capped-supply ERC20 token – BLXR, which supports bloXroute’s goal: promoting the success of all cryptocurrencies, rather than competing with them.

 

BLXR was designed with two goals in mind: to align the incentives of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem and to be a vehicle for investment in bloXroute. Each BLXR is exchangeable for a proportional portion of a unique cross-cryptocurrency reserve, the BLXR-Reserve, which consists of multiple cryptocurrencies. Thus, the holder of 1% of the entire BLXR supply can “cash out”, and exchange it for 1% of the funds currently held at the BLXR-Reserve.  Even when BLXR are “cashed out” and funds leave the BLXR-Reserve, the “cashed out” BLXRs leave the circulation, leaving the price floor of BLXRs unaffected. The value of BLXR is affected by the valuation of other cryptocurrencies since such valuation would affect the value of the funds held at the BLXR-Reserve. Thus, an investment in BLXR has some similarity to a diversified investment in all the cryptocurrencies which utilize bloXroute, since bloXroute will receive payment from them.

 

For each transaction, bloXroute’s optional payment is 10% of the miner fee. Note that bloXroute’s payment is dwarfed by the costs saved and by the capacity enabled, which translate to orders of magnitude less fees per transaction, the order of magnitude more fees collected by miners while maintaining bloXroute’s profitability and sustainability.

 

By passing 50% of all funds received by bloXroute to the value of BLXR, the success of BLXR becomes tied to bloXroute’s success, and to the success of all other cryptocurrencies. BLXR thus aligns the incentives of the entire ecosystem: bloXroute, cryptocurrencies, users, miners, and investors.

 

Assuming a mining fee of 0.005 USD, i.e., half a cent, a payment of 0.0005 USD to bloXroute (10% fee to bloXroute), and broad bloXroute adoption (200,000 TPS across all cryptocurrencies), bloXroute revenues would amount to over 3.1 Billion USD per year. 50% of these earnings will be immediately directed to the value of BLXR.

 

Token metrics

 

So far no information about the token sale metrics is provided by the team.

 

Community

 

Their Github profile is not yet created but promised:

On Twitter https://twitter.com/bloXrouteLabs they have 1117 followers, their Medium https://medium.com/@bloxroutelabs has 247 readers and so far 3 blog post, on introductory and two others about scalability issues. Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/bloXrouteLabs/ has 148 readers, last activity there seem to be almost 3 weeks ago.