A Note on Recent Events
Right as I sit down to write this article, the entire crypto market has seen its most substantial downturn in history. Over $200 billion of market capitalizations, gone in a just a couple of days, and the charts showed nothing but red, red, and more red.
BitConnect was revealed to be nothing more than a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, something many experts, including Litecoin founder Charlie Lee and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, had warned. Another possible contributor to the crash was that it was the Bitcoin Futures settlement date, and the short sellers cashing out exacerbated the problem.
The bottom line is that it wasn’t a good day for many cryptocurrency investors. But in the grand scheme of things, the correction may have been painful but necessary medicine to flush out Bitconnect and other pumped up but worthless altcoins.
Despite this (massive) correction, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies continue to plow on. Don’t let this event prevent you from paying attention to blockchain projects and ICOs that are trying to accomplish something worthwhile.
Bluzelle – Looking to Become the Oracle of the Blockchain
The idea behind Bluzelle is decentralized data storage via the blockchain. This may sound similar to other projects such as Filecoin and Storj, but Bluzelle is complementary rather than competition. Specifically, Bluzelle intends to be an enterprise-grade decentralized storage application for ‘decentralized apps’ or dApps.
To use an analogy, Bluzelle wants to be the decentralized version of what Oracle is doing now (the Filecoin equivalent would be Amazon Web Services). Of course, by bringing the power of blockchain to data storage and management, Bluzelle will improve upon the current system as it will be:
- Efficient to scale
- Have no points of failure
- Have maximum privacy
- Have no performance limitations
You can view Bluzelle’s whitepaper here.
Does Bluzelle Satisfy a Market Need?
At present, blockchains are not designed to handle massive amounts of data. And make no mistake, as the Internet of Things becomes ever more commonplace, the amount of data that will need to be stored and managed will be mind-boggling.
Consider that a single self-driving vehicle can generate 1GB of data per second. Large amounts of data are necessary to ensure that self-driving vehicles can drive safely in all conditions. Data is already big business, but as self-driving technology improves, it will be an even bigger business.
Leading research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020 the number of things connected to the Internet will number 20.8 billion. In 2016, that number was 6.4 billion. Total spending from both the consumer and business sides is forecast to reach $2.9 trillion.
So the good news is that yes, Bluzelle does satisfy a market need. If Bluzelle is successful in what it claims to be able to do, then it stands to profit greatly from our increasingly interconnected and data-driven future.
How Will Bluzelle Work?
Since the data that Bluzelle plans to store using its services is far too large to be stored on a single blockchain, Bluzelle will be using the computing space of producers. Producers are one of the two types of Bluzelle users, and consumers are the second.
The consumers are those who want to use Bluzelle’s database services; the developers they target. Consumers spend tokens for these services. The producers are those who give their computing space resources to the network in return for tokens. They also have to stake tokens to guarantee the reliability of their services.
Each producer’s computer forms a node, and each large group of nodes forms a swarm. Bluzelle is, at its core, a swarm comprising of other swarms, a ‘meta swarm.’ Here’s how Bluzelle solves the current problems associated with current enterprise-level database storage options.
The Problem of Scalability
On the blockchain, every piece of data is replicated along the entire chain (total replication). This makes scalability a problem. Bluzelle attempts to make things more scalable by implementing only partial replication. Pieces of data are delegated to certain swarms and are replicated only within those swarms. This is similar to the system that Content Delivery Networks such as Cloudflare use.
The Bluzelle technical paper also claims that it uses a type of distributed hash table known as Kademlia Hashing to maximize the scalability. Using Kademlia hashing, each node on the Bluzelle network will be able to reach every swarm on the network within a certain number of tries while only storing a certain amount of data. This is to maximize scaling efficiency.
While partial replication makes the Bluzelle system easier to scale, keep in mind that this is by no means infinitely scalable.
The Problem of Reliability
As mentioned above, Bluzelle replicates each piece of data only in its assigned swarms. This means that each piece is replicated along very high numbers of nodes, and thus all the nodes will have to fail for the data to be lost. Again, while a good solution, it is not perfectly reliable.
The Problem of Performance
In Bluzelle terminology, the smallest unit of data is a shard. Each shard is stored on multiple nodes in various geographical locations, and the system can retrieve the information in parallel and in the most efficient way possible. This is known as load balancing.
The BLZ and BNT Tokens
There are two types of tokens in Bluzelle, the BLZ external token, and the BNT internal token. The BLZ token is an externally tradeable ERC20 token while the BNT (Bluzelle Network Token) is used to power the Bluzelle storage ecosystem. Bluzelle created this two token system as ERC20 tokens are not fast and cheap enough for real-time database accounting.
The BLZ and BNT tokens can be exchanged for each other at a 1:1 ratio through the Bluzelle Token Gateway. Fees are deducted at point of conversion, estimated at around 0.1%.
The Team behind Bluzelle and Their Track Record
The Bluzelle team is currently based in Singapore but have team members from all over the globe. More importantly, they have a track record that reflects positively on the project. The founding members successfully launched a Canadian Ripple Gateway that directly connected to the Canadian Banking debit network in 2015.
In 2016, the team also built a Ripple-based cross-border payment POC for Temenos as well as an Ethereum-based consumer mobile insurance application for AIA. In 2017, they produced an Ethereum-based KYC ledger for a consortium of international banks and another Ethereum-based platform for an Asian insurer.
Award-wise, Bluzelle was also named to the Global Fintech 100 by H2 Ventures and one of the Technology Pioneers of 2017 by the World Economic Forum.
Bluzelle Token Sale Details – Jan 18, 2018
The total BLZ token supply is 500 million, of which 33% will be made available via the private and public token sale. The hard cap for this sale is only $19.5 million, which is quite low for the scale of this project. Since this figure includes both the private and the public sale, the actual amount available to the public will be even lower.
You can see the latest ETH price for each BLZ token on their latest blog post here. If you are just reading about Bluzelle now, it’s too late to participate. Only whitelisted participants are allowed, and the final whitelisted group registration ended on Dec 18, 2017.
What’s the Long and Short Term Potential for Bluzelle?
Data will drive our futures, so there is a clear market need for a service like Bluzelle. If the token sale is successful, then there’s a good chance that Bluzelle’s accomplished team will be able to take this project all the way to completion. This bodes well for the project’s long-term potential.
In the short term, Bluzelle’s whitelist registration closed early, indicating strong demand. It also managed to raise $1.5 million in VC funding in last year. Coupled with the fact that the ICO hard cap is relatively low, and Bluzelle’s short-term potential looks just as good.
Nevertheless, Bluzelle is still relatively early in its development roadmap. Further, it has yet to establish the necessary partnerships that will ensure a successful launch. And if the token doesn’t do well after ICO, it might make it difficult for Bluzelle to secure future funding and put the future of the project into question.
What do you think of the Bluzelle token sale? How do you think the token will perform post-sale? What are Bluzelle’s long-term chances? Let us know what you think in the comments below!