Skycoin is bringing the decentralized internet to the blockchain with their Skywire, Obelisk, & Skyminer technology. Here's 11 things you need to know about SKY coin.
Skycoin is a blockchain-based project that, aside from cryptocurrency, tackles the development of energy-efficient custom hardware, the elimination of mining rewards, achieving transaction speeds that can hold their own with the likes of Visa, & the development of a “new Internet” that features improvements in terms of privacy & security. The same centralization tendency can also be historically observed with Internet Service Providers. ISPs can also exploit customers further by selling their information to interested 3rd parties. The Skycoin team aims to return to the initial ideals of decentralization put forward by Satoshi Nakamoto while also building a truly decentralized mesh-Internet that puts control into the hands of the users; freeing them from their dependence on ISPs. Skycoin doesn’t rely on Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithms. Its developers use a new distributed consensus algorithm called Obelisk, which they describe as a “Web-of-Trust.” As the central component of Skycoin’s ecosystem, Obelisk improves security & greatly increases transaction speeds. The web-of-trust means that influence is distributed over the network. Since there’s no mining involved, the web is instead made up of nodes; each of them subscribing to a list of trusted nodes and, as such, those with more subscribers have more influence in the network. Every node is given a personal blockchain that essentially represents a transparent “public broadcasting channel,” where each action is recorded & visible. There are no fixed ports, & nodes are addressed by their public cryptographic keys with their IP addresses known only by the nodes they connect with directly. Communication & consensus decisions taking place on a node’s personal blockchain can easily be audited by the community without sacrificing privacy. Block-Making nodes send their input to Consensus Nodes, & even though their algorithms are separate from one another, both node types operate on the same data structures. Both Block-Making Nodes as well as Consensus Nodes perform fraud detection & authorship verification on incoming data. There are no fees for Skycoin transactions. Instead, transactions cost Coin Hours. An exchange is in the works for converting & establishing exchange rates between Coin Hours & Skycoin. Coin Hours somewhat resemble gas in Ethereum; the key difference being that they operate as a parallel currency in the Skycoin ecosystem & are tradeable on exchanges. It aims to create a decentralized mesh network that’s cheaper, faster, more accessible, & that provides a higher quality service. Skywire has been in development for over 4 years, & the project has already taken its first steps towards developing 4 major aspects critical to building a new Internet. These are the communication protocol, the payment protocol, a hardware platform, & an application ecosystem. Skywire moves away from TCP/IP & employs Multi-Protocol Label Switching (or MPLS) techniques to ensure the high-performance & highly-scalable movement of any data across any environment. MPLS means that movement through the network is established before traffic is sent out. MPLS is less computationally-demanding & more secure than the current model. Nodes on the packet’s route will only see its previous & next hop, & not its content, source, or destination. MPLS is also economically stimulating. Source nodes using Skywire will have complete control over routing protocol & will naturally opt to send traffic over routes with low latency, cost, & hop-count. Every participating node within the Skywire ecosystem can benefit from its embedded payment protocol. Nodes basically act as micro-ISPs capable of automatic metering, billing, & settlement, & they earn SKY coins for powering the network. Tthe Skywire mesh network pays users for supporting it. Skywire’s computing power, storage capacity, & networking capabilities are provided by custom-built hardware VPN units called Skyminers. Fiber is presented by the team as the “infinitely-scalable & highly customizable parallel peer-chain architecture of the Skycoin platform.” It enables 3rd parties to develop secure, scalable decentralized apps. The Skycoin team has also created a new deterministic programming language called CX that builds more than just smart contracts. Synth is one of Bitcoin’s earliest developers & he started working on Skycoin around 8 years ago; fueled by the idea of building a decentralized Internet. He has a background in symbolic logic, distributed systems, & mathematics.
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