Cypherium is a global, scalable blockchain infrastructure company whose public blockchain offering is based on proof-of-work and Byzantine fault tolerance consensus for governance—offering a unique architecture that supports processing speeds of a thousand transactions per second, overcoming many of the scalability and performance limitations of other blockchain solutions. Cypherium recently announced a beta version of their upcoming enterprise edition, Cypherium Enterprise.
Before we look more closely at Cypherium, let’s start with a few definitions of common blockchain concepts.
Background: Consensus, Public vs. Enterprise Blockchain and Smart Contracts
Both public and enterprise blockchains are distributed decentralized digital ledgers. Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger spread across a network of computers that each have the same copy of the database—additional records are added and agreed upon using consensus algorithms.
Proof-of-work, PoW, the most commonly used consensus algorithm, put simply, provides the incentive to participate in the blockchain, confirms transactions and adds new blocks to the chain. Unfortunately, the PoW algorithm has inherent issues that are actually hindering the widespread adoption of blockchain. First, transaction speeds are slow due to the way blocks are handled, and, in addition, the PoW algorithm uses large amounts of energy. In short, it isn’t scalable.
While Bitcoin and Ethereum were both based on the proof-of-work algorithms, Ethereum has replaced PoW with proof-of-stake (PoS), another method of validating transactions on the block to achieve distributed consensus. This method entails asking users to prove ownership of a certain amount of currency. While this approach uses significantly less energy than PoW and validation is faster, it does run the risk of being more “centralized”. This approach has the potential for a small group of people to own a majority of the tokens/coins and therefore, hold the power as validators—a situation that really undermines the entire notion of decentralization, a fundamental element of blockchain technology.
Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) is a consensus algorithm that continues to operate despite malicious node failures or the communication of bad information to others in the network. This prevents system failures, while still ensuring that consensus is reached.
Public vs. Enterprise
Public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum typically use cryptocurrencies (providing secure immutable transaction records), are permissionless with anonymous participants, and use trustless consensus algorithms such as proof or work.
Enterprise blockchains, such as HyperLedger and Ethereum Enterprise, differ from public blockchains in that they are permissioned and the participants are known members of an organization or multiple organizations (also known as a Consortium blockchain) and may have permissions granted based on business role. As a result, enterprise blockchains are “private” and secure, with transactions only being shared with those in the network. Private blockchains are designed to be more scalable to support enterprise-type applications, and they typically use fault tolerant consensus algorithms (such as PBFT) that support continuous operation.
A smart contract is code which is stored in the blockchain network that defines the conditions or rules to which all parties using the contract agrees. If pre-defined conditions are met, the agreement is automatically executed. The architecture is decentralized with the smart contract code stored on every computer in the network, and the code handles the verification of the agreement or transaction. Digital assets are added to the smart contract and distributed based on the terms of the contract. Smart contracts automate terms of any exchange of valued good and enable users to create more decentralized apps, including deferred payment, advanced access management, voting applications and user-deﬁned digital assets.
Ethereum pioneered the concept of a smart contract, with an architecture based the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The EVM allows all network participants to access and run a smart contract’s code while ensuring the contract is secure and used for its intended purpose.
A Closer Look at Cypherium Offerings:
Cypherium (public blockchain)
Cypherium, building from the experiences of Blockchain pioneers, Bitcoin and Ethereum, developed a more scalable blockchain platform. According to Cyperium CEO, Sky Guo, “Decentralization is an ideological innovation that goes hand-in-hand with the technological revolution of blockchain. It cannot be sacrificed for a more expedient implementation. With Cypherium, scalability does not surrender to centralization.” Cypherium’s goal is to provide the fundamental building blocks for developers to create groundbreaking applications, and an intuitive interface for users to access these functionalities, offering a comprehensive foundation for the future of blockchain technology
Cypherium introduced a new blockchain that addresses the present shortcomings of current public blockchain infrastructures. Cypherium is optimized for performance, scalability and mineability. Key features include:
- Hybrid consensus separates consensus from the transaction verification process. This means that bandwidth is limited only by the capacity of the individual nodes and latency only by the propagation time of the network. There is no waiting for transaction verification. This reduces the overhead of the network request, making transaction speeds orders of magnitude faster.
- A Turing-complete scripting system supports more advanced and ﬂexible transactions, also known as smart contracts, which run inside a secure runtime environment called the Cypherium Virtual Machine (CVM) an isolated and secure environment in which to execute smart contracts written into the Cypherium blockchain. The Cypherium Virtual Machine (CVM) is based on the register- based Dalvik VM architecture, a lightweight Java Virtual Machine originally adopted by Google’s Android operating system. As a result, Cypherium is able to execute smart contracts on mobile devices.
- Built-in governance mechanisms that reduce the need for hard forks, reducing the need for costly upgrades to ensure compatibility and consistency
- Decentralized federated design, maintaining the integrity of the blockchain architecture
- Duo sandbox custom made for smart contract; one for testing and one for deployment to ensure security
Cypherium Enterprise was created by former software developers from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Tencent, whose expertise encompasses cryptography, network security, virtualization, and artificial intelligence. Cypherium is advised by Cornell University’s Emin Gün Sirer, who co-directs the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3), and leads research in distributed systems and mining techniques.
According to Cypherium, Cypherium Enterprise enables faster transaction speeds than Hyperledger. While Hyperledger can perform 100-200 transactions per second on 10 nodes, Cypherium can perform 2,000 transactions per second on the same setting. As a result, Cypherium Enterprise expands the scope of enterprise blockchain use cases. Here is some additional information on several of those.
Cypherium Enterprise Use Cases
Cypherium’s performance and scalability allows the following innovative use cases for their enterprise customers:
- Decentralized exchanges allow users to fully take advantage of Cypherium’s smart contract capabilities. With cross-chain features, an order record database, and decentralized exchange capabilities that are easily developed though the Cypherium interface, smart contracts are efficient and easy-to-use.
- Transactional copyrights are enabled by querying content information in IPFS, Cypherium’s distributed file system which links all computing devices with the same consolidated system of files. This capability foundation is ideal for external copyright transactions for software, audio, and video. For these applications Cypherium smart contracting provides timely state management, querying and efficient transaction speeds.
- Medium to large-scale collaborative computing applications such as Bitcoin joint mining processes, meteorological calculation and artificial intelligence benefit from the Cypherium smart contract. Everyone has the ability to use their own computers to contribute, making it easy to track and calculate the cost and then distribute profits to the participants.
- Bill transactions using underlying Cypherium blockchain technology solve authenticity problems around bills, deeds of sale, and other forms of authentication and provenance. With blockchain’s transparency, all stakeholders in the transaction network are broadcast visibly. For example, when checking whether or not digital ticketing information is accurate and hasn’t been tampered with, the blockchain can guarantee the records are consistent and correct. At the same time, the value of the bill can be transferred efficiently and conveniently. By constructing a pool of users hosted in smart contracts, new business scenarios such as real-time financing may be possible in the future.
Cypherium Sky Guo explains, “Bills often have the customization of payment systems, such as specifying a bank for hosting, which requires very complex customization processing. Because Cypherium ‘s design separates componentization, calculation, and consensus, the network can adapt well to this complex customization.”.
While Cypherium Enterprise (in beta) is fairly new, the company has gained valuable experience with their public blockchain solution. Many of Cypherium’s unique features will be of significant value to enterprise customers in a range of industries. With Cypherium Enterprise’s ability to collect massive amounts of data, ensure privacy and authenticity, and maintain transaction speeds, it is an ideal platform for artificial intelligence and machine learning, Internet of Things, and high transaction applications. In addition, smart contracts can be used across platforms, including mainframes and smart phones. Introducing Cypherium Enterprise is not just a good move for Cypherium, it is a very positive step for blockchain in general, extending value to a greater number of enterprise applications and users.