Fluence 2022 Update
We are excited to share updates for the Fluence project progress in 2022.
What is Fluence
Fluence is a decentralized serverless platform & computing marketplace powered by blockchain economics. Fluence is a global, permissionless, scalable, and secure alternative to centralized cloud computing platforms.
Using Fluence, developers can build and deploy natively decentralized applications to a network of compute providers where providers range from professional data centers to home computers. Providers compete on price and performance and constantly prove that they serve applications to earn rewards.
Fluence is powered by a cryptographic token which serves as both collateral for provider participation and as a monetary incentive. Providers earn both the Fluence token and payment origin (usually stablecoin) for serving applications.
Over the past year we have achieved huge progress in development of the core platform. Generally, we think about the core Fluence technology as consisting of the following components: Development Platform, Computing Marketplace, and the DAO. All together, they enable the globally scalable, permissionless serverless platform managed by its community via the DAO.
Under the hood, the Fluence platform runs entirely on the Aqua protocol which we designed to enable secure and scalable distributed execution without centralized coordination. Aqua coordinates application execution over the network and provides cryptographic guarantees for the execution: all computation steps are auditable and verifiable.
Last year we were focused on delivering Aqua to its near production state and other necessary underlying components to enable the fully decentralized and scalable network. These components include Aqua programming language, AquaVM, Marine, Registry, Trust Graph, as well as tooling such as Fluence reference peer implementation, Fluence JS client, and Fluence CLI.
The public non-incentivized network was launched and has been running for more than one year.
Marine and Aqua also serve as analogies to the serverless stack: cloud functions (e.g. AWS Lambda) and workflows on top of them (e.g. AWS Step Functions). Both Aqua and Marine became much more stable this year, and we developed more mature tooling for using them.
We have introduced Fluence CLI which is intended to be the main entry point for developers to start building with Fluence. It encapsulates everything around the project initialization, scaffolding, deploy, Aqua & Marine compilers.
We started building a blockchain based computing marketplace of providers who will rent out their resources to host and run customers’ applications to enable best prices and quality of service on the Fluence platform. Providers will be able to enter deals with customers, negotiate price and collaterals. Providers will have to constantly prove that they keep serving customers’ applications to receive reward and keep participating in the marketplace.
Our vision is that a public and decentralized cloud should be controlled by the community, instead of a centralized company. The Fluence DAO will control the protocol updates and treasury allocations via on-chain votes and will be represented in a real world legal space as a Swiss Association to reduce liability for all DAO members. Earlier last year we engineered and prepared everything required to launch the DAO, but pushed it back until other parts of the Fluence platform were launched.
Plans for 2023
We are shifting our focus from underlying tech to feature completeness: adding fault tolerance and security to the serverless platform, creating a Computing Marketplace to lift up price/quality of service, building UI, and aiming for the production releases.
We want Fluence to provide fault-tolerance for any code deployments by default and to enable this we are going to introduce subnets. All deployments on the network will be organized as subnetworks formed from a bunch of nodes to handle unavailability due to hardware fault, network disruption, or malicious activity. Subnets will enable failovers, load balancing, will be able to synchronize state, or anything else required for an application and fully customizable by the application owner. Subnets also will provide reliable access to external storage networks (e.g. Filecoin or Arweave), blockchain RPC access, or caching/indexing.
We are moving Fluence towards the fully trustless computation model, where every code execution will be provided with an auditable proof that this computation was done correctly. Computation proofs are distinct for Aqua and for Marine: we started the implementation for Proof of Processing in Aqua and are in the research stages for Proof of Execution for Marine.
Additionally, to keep the network secure while opening Computing Marketplace for any providers, we are adding permission management and cryptographic signatures across the stack: Marine service calls in Aqua Particles, Registry permissions, Fluence peer resource management.
We are working on dramatic improvement for Fluence CLI which will enclose the whole lifecycle for working with Fluence: from scaffolding and configuring the project, to spinning on-demand subnet, deploying there and setting up payments and choosing providers.
The goal is to make Fluence usable as easily as traditional clouds or even better, which is why the CLI and new web console will be our focus for 2023.
Who is using Fluence?
Reliability, security, and performance are key requirements when choosing a computing platform. As we are building an entire solution from the ground up and not just leveraging existing cloud technologies, achieving feature completeness takes time and customers are unlikely to adopt a solution that isn’t complete in all three areas.
While we see a lot of interest in private conversations, on industry events and hackathons, we have held off pushing on customers and partnerships until the tooling was further advanced and the security model was complete. Starting in Q2 2023, Fluence’s tooling and security will be in place to pick up those conversations, and we welcome introductions to projects and companies who would benefit from having their hosting outside of the cloud providers.
We are planning to launch the Computing Marketplace in conjunction with proofs of computations and the DAO this year.
The launch will be in stages and the closest milestone is planned for the end of February. We will be announcing the milestone during the EthDenver Buidlweek and will update how everyone can get involved.
We keep focusing on the Web3 developer crowd and regularly sponsor and talk at Web3 developer events, conferences, and hackathons.