DxChain CEO Allan Zhang and Chief Scientist Wang Wei recently spoke at a JRR Crypto Livestream event. Read on for more from the Q&A. The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: There are many projects in the market, but DxChain has a so-called “Silicon Valley DNA”. According to your promotional material, DxChain is working on big data and machine learning. It is pretty difficult for me to understand the project, especially about its technologies. Could you give me an easy-to-understand brief description of DxChain?
Moreover, what issues are you going to address? In what field do you want to make a breakthrough?
DxChain CEO Allan: We believe blockchain has bottlenecks today. Even Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two most successful blockchain applications, are not providing storage services or computing resources. Ethereum appeared to address some issues, but its amount of computation is still in short — only 3 million gas per block. That means Ethereum can merely enable a small amount of computation. The existing smart contracts can only perform preliminary functions.
Technical bottlenecks are hindering these projects from reaching its full potential in industries except for money transfer and information tracking of logistics. That is to say: The blockchain world does not have a real and effective fundamental infrastructure.
DxChain is a next-generation public chain devoted to blockchain storage and computing. Simply put, DxChain aims to make computing power and storage sharing a reality through the blockchain technology. This will reduce the computing power and storage costs while promoting the use of big data and machine learning on algorithm research, model iterations, and AI development.
DxChain can build a data transaction market for companies with high-quality data needs to more efficiently obtain data at a lower cost, and for users to not worry about their data privacy and make money by contributing their data. This is a win-win situation. In the age of the traditional Internet, data is often monopolized by large platforms, and users are not rewarded by contributing their data.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: Why are you working on decentralized storage and computing? Is it because the team has a solid background in this field? There are also some public chains working on storage and computations. What are DxChain’s advantages?
DxChain CEO Allan: Our biggest competitive advantage is the “chains-on-chain” architecture, which is designed to solve the blockchain storage and computing problems.
Let’s take a look at Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two most successful blockchain applications. They are not designed for storage. 85 percent of their storage is used for transaction-related data. The rest of the space is for data storage. That’s why many startups and projects are committing to blockchain storage today.
When it comes to storage application in blockchain, IPFS is the first thing that occurs to me. It is a project that uses the unused storage space of thousands of individuals to build indefinite storage space. In 2017, its funding set a record in the blockchain world.
In storage, DxChain’s approach is similar to IPFS — a file is uploaded and split into small pieces and is then randomly distributed on different mining machines. As for which mining machines are randomly distributed, these data are stored in the blockchain.
In other words, comparing Bitcoin and Ethereum, DxChain does not keep data on chains, but in a decentralized distributed file system. Our chain stores the original data (metadata) or as you can say “the data for data search.” This makes data storage efficient.
Meanwhile, DxChain can enable computing, which is unavailable for Filecoin. We don’t believe storage and computation can be separated. Before the blockchain applications seamlessly seep into the whole Internet, we have to solve the fundamental infrastructure problem of computing and storage. For example, the centralized cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides services of both storage and high-performance computing. It is the same in the blockchain.
Bitcoin uses the blockchain technology to store all transaction records in a consensus network, which requires more than half of its active nodes to give consent.
It is impossible to host all states of computations in blockchain to ensure consensus.
However, with the chains-on-chain architecture — one master chain and two side chains — DxChain can write each transaction, i.e., storage and computation requirements, on its side chains. The master chain performs computational tasks and data storage to track each transaction in DxChain. As long as side chains take over the subdivided storage and computational tasks, DxChain can ensure the performance of the master chain.
Compared to other computing-related projects, DxChain is striving to explore a new direction.
The existing projects, such as Golem, a supercomputing platform, can provide technology solutions such as 3D rendering. Dfinity, a cloud computing platform in the blockchain, cannot solve the problem of “where the platform’s data comes from.”
DxChain can perform fine-grained operations on stored data. Moreover, this kind of fine-grained data storage and computation enables a new business model.
For example, let’s say a researcher hopes to collect data of “a male, under 35 years old, resides in California”. This kind of data transaction can only occur when a platform has data and can perform fine-grained operations on it. DxChain can also enable data to be traded and circulated by protecting its sensitive information.
Blockchain offers a fair value trading model for internet information. Also, it happens to be the direction in which DxChain is putting efforts.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: How to stand out from the competition is a critical topic for startups. So, what is DxChain’s biggest innovation?
DxChain CEO Allan: Our innovations come from architectural breakthroughs and traditional storage and computing models that have been validated by the industry for more than a decade.
The so-called “chains-on-chain” architecture includes one master chain and two sides chains for data storage and computation. The computing chain is used for parallel computing applications to process large volumes of data, which eventually powers machine learning and business intelligence. The data chain is used for storing data, protecting users’ privacy, and supporting the computation chain. The master chain is used for operating blockchain transactions while coordinating the computation and data chains.
It should be emphasized that our model is built upon the idea of Hadoop.
Over the past decade, Hadoop has addressed the issue of distributed data storage within an organization or a company. However, the problems of how to achieve trust between different organizations and participants to make distributed storage remain unsolved. Blockchain provides a perfect solution.
We integrate Hadoop’s fortes, which has been validated in industries over the past decade, with the blockchain’s unique mechanism to eventually solve the problems of distributed storage and computing in a decentralized environment.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: There are many public chain projects today, but probably only a few can survive after one year or two. Why did DxChain choose to dig into the underlying public chain? How to differentiate from others?
DxChain CEO Allan: In our opinion, there are three main types of public chain projects:
The first kind is to optimize throughput and latency. One of the most significant challenges for Bitcoin and Ethereum is low throughput and high latency. People want to solve the problems, with the aim of ramping up the transaction per second and lowering the latency. Most projects, such as Raiden Network and Lightning Network, are dedicated to optimization for Ethereum and Bitcoin.
However, DxChain believes that the increase of TPS only solves the problem of the payment speed and capacity. It won’t make blockchain function as a computing unit. This is the problem DxChain tries to work out.
The rest of public chain projects are focused on storage and computation Relatively well-known projects include Filecoin for storage and Dfinity for computing resources. These projects have different emphasis and are still under development.
We DxChain believe that: To make blockchain embed into each application areas of internet and provide useful services, it is necessary to break through the limitations of storage and computing simultaneously, which is what DxChain is doing now.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: What are the characteristics of the chains-on-chain architecture? Is there any relationship between the verification game algorithm and the game theory? What are the advantages and disadvantages of DxChain’s consensus algorithm?
DxChain CEO Allan: Like I just said, the “chains-on-chain” architecture includes one master chain and two sides chains for data storage and computation. The computing chain is used for parallel computing applications to process large volumes of data, which eventually powers machine learning and business intelligence. The data chain is used for storing data, protecting users’ privacy, and supporting the computation chain. The master chain is used for operating blockchain transactions while coordinating the computation and data chains.
The verification game algorithm is not related to the game theory. Game theory refers to the study of the use of related parties in a game between multiple individuals or teams under specific conditions. Verification Game is used to reduce the number of malicious nodes computations by adding more questions.
The algorithm can provide useful computing power. The downside is that you don’t know much about these algorithms as they have not been widely used and verified yet.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: Seeing that the DxChain team has a large number of Silicon Valley talents in the fields of network security, big data, and machine learning only, how do you combine the blockchain with big data and artificial intelligence? What problems have you encountered and how to solve them? What level have you achieved now?
DxChain Chief Scientist Wang Wei: The blockchain is based on network security. We integrate Hadoop and blockchain to naturally solve the big data storage and computing in the blockchain.
Hadoop is a distributed data storage and computing in a centralized environment. The difference lies in the network environment, and blockchain provides such a decentralized environment. We just released out first MVP demo. You can find the video on YouTube.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: I want to know how DxChain built up its overseas community. How big is the community now? Any tips or experience you want to share?
DxChain CEO Allan: My experience: To treat our community with unpolished sincerity. We encourage our followers to share their concerns with us, and we always release our announcements to our followers for first. Also, we are a technology-based project. Many followers in the community are familiar with the technology. They are very nice people and always support us.
Besides, we have recently developed a, a robot system, telegraph group operations, public offerings, and community incentives. For example, our self-developed systems were running the recent public offering. The human team is just answering questions.
Some stats about our community: we have 180,000 users on Telegraph; 36,000 followers on Twitter; 1000 subscribers on Youtube.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: The Silicon Valley companies also create a first impression of “tech-driven, geeks, entrepreneurship, a lot of P.hD.” On the other side, many Silicon Valley companies seem not to be good at operation, marketing, and public relation. So tell me about DxChain’s current operation and marketing. What is your roadmap then?
DxChain CEO Allan: DxChain has its public relation and operation team. In less than a few months, we have gathered nearly 180,000 community users from all over the world. These users are supporting DxChain’s future growth. We believe a Silicon Valley team can also work well in operations and promotions.
The growth of the community far exceeds our planning and expectations. Regarding the technical roadmap, we have achieved the first phase as scheduled. We released our MVP not long ago. The next step is to test our chains by the end of this year.
JRR Crypto Li Wei: I would like to know how many blockchain projects are there in Silicon Valley, and what is the current status of the blockchain industry in Silicon Valley or the whole United States?
DxChain CEO Allan: There are many projects in Silicon Valley, but we are paying more attention to technical projects. QuarkChain is one of them with the primary purpose of improving TPS. We recently teamed up with QuarkChain to co-develop some projects. Celer is another project that focuses on the off-chain and also recently joined the force with DxChain.
IoTex, like what its name tells, is a great project working on IoT. Today, the US blockchain projects tend to put more focuses on the underlying technology.
Li Bing Todd: One question: Is there any plan for big data regarding bandwidth?
DxChain Chief Scientist Wang Wei: Our economic model will motivate storage miners. The more storage you contribute, the more rewards you get. Therefore, the bandwidth is invisibly included in the storage reward.
Li Bing Todd: Today, the best storage project should be IPFS, but it is said that the project has no real breakthroughs regarding bandwidth. How do you solve this problem? What is your core advantage? Thank you.
DxChain Chief Scientist Wang Wei: IPFS is just a decentralized distributed file storage system with no incentives involved. Besides, the problem with IPFS is that its responding time is too slow. This is the bandwidth problem you just mentioned. So we will add a role that can help retrieve files and speed up file transfer.
Zhang Yichuan: Do you have strategic cooperation with traditional institutions in big data?
DxChain CEO Allan: This is a big part of our business cooperation. We are now working as a partner in medical big data to help them get the data on the chain, including the DNA data.