Fluence new direction and the first Proof of Concept
We’ve got a lot to share! This update is special because we’re not only sharing news and improvements, but we’re also revealing a whole new vision and direction for Fluence.
The Fluence Vision
One year ago, we started Fluence to build a decentralized database network. After half a year of research and development, we not only published the research whitepaper and delivered a private test network with a key-value database implementation but also provided a browser client.
While working on the database, we have also been investigating many use cases through talking with projects in the space, potential customers, partners, and other experts. We realized that the way of building apps in the blockchain space is different from that in the world of traditional apps; the way apps work with data here is different, and, hence, solutions should be different by design.
You may have noticed that we’ve shifted from the pure database concept but haven’t announced it clearly before — although our latest presentations, talks, and technology have been more “data processing” focused.
To explain the updated Fluence vision, we have posted Enter The Fluence introduction post and will have several more releases on both the concept and technology that we’re building (check out the updated website as well).
Now let me give you some in-depth information about different aspects of our progress.
In order to deliver this new concept, we are making significant progress in research and development.
The protocol design is under active work. The research includes digging into networking, virtual machines, consensus, verification layer, etc. Folks from 1kx, Jacob Eberhardt from the TU Berlin have joined in to provide feedback and wrap it up properly. See the current progress here in our GitHub.
Fluence Labs is planning to draft and publish a simplified whitepaper about the decentralized data processing platform based on these specifications and experiments with code.
The Proof of Concept 0
The protocol implementation is going forward rapidly and smoothly. The GitHub has also been updated with the latest code, issues, and documentation that have been developed privately over the last few months. Feel free to dig into open issues and contribute or create your own!
The first Fluence platform implementation was demonstrated at developer workshops along with a demo at the Web3 Summit in Berlin (see video). As a showcase, a tiny open-source SQL database called LlamaDB was deployed to the private test network and enabled to run in a decentralized environment by Fluence protocol. The workshops gained live feedback (more attendees on day 3 as a result) and mentions on social media.
You can try this workshop on your machine using these instructions.
During the last 6 months, we have spoken at various conferences and organized many meetups with high profile blockchain projects like Parity, Polkadot, Aragon, Streamr, Golem, Perlin, Akasha, Nucypher, Quantstamp, Swarm, and Livepeer. We presented Fluence to the blockchain developer communities in San Francisco, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Barcelona, Tallinn, Helsinki, and Minsk.
The goal was to get an early interest from potential users of Fluence, receive feedback and understand real use cases that could be solved.
A vital part of the community are investors. Fluence Labs has secured an additional funding round from crypto VCs that support us in delivering first-class technology. The list of funds that participated in this round includes: 1kx, Dekrypt, INBlockchain, Badwater, 8 decimal as well as a few distinguished individual contributors.
New investors not only bring direct value in terms of funding but also provide connections with key actors and companies across the world and in the blockchain community. We’re happy to have such great people on board!
The development team has been expanded by 2 brilliant engineers: Michael and Alex.
- Alex is a seasoned distributed systems engineer with deep knowledge of functional languages. Previously, he was a long-time key developer of the messenger platform oktos.io, where he implemented end-to-end encrypted communication and key management protocols, and integrated Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet functionality.
- Michael is a reverse engineer and system programmer with a strong knowledge of OS internals and process virtual machines architecture. He is the ex-captain of the CTF (cybersecurity contests) team, a computer security Ph.D. candidate (exploit detection), and is interested in finding public products’ vulnerabilities (he owns a few CVEs).
Howard, Simon, and Addison have joined as advisors.
- Howard Wu is the co-founder of Dekrypt capital, an advisor to Blockchain at Berkeley, and an active researcher in theoretical computer science and computer security. He has been involved with crypto since 2011 and is a major contributor to the cryptographic libraries used in Ethereum and Zcash.
- Simon Kozlov is a Silicon Valley veteran; previously a software engineer at Microsoft and Dropbox, he was director of engineering at Roblox (estimated $2.3B). He is a machine learning and AI expert and the author of deep learning courses.
- Addison Huegel is Managing Partner and Director at BlockPR & Elevator Communications. Over the years, he’s worked with hundreds of companies, from startups to Fortune 500s. In 2015, he served as a communications consultant to the Ethereum Foundation and DEVCON1. More recently, he has served as Head of Communications for Zilliqa, actively works with Binance, advisory to Perlin, Republic Protocol, Origin Protocol, Kyber Network, and many more.
We are delighted to have them on board!
The estimated development roadmap
Development milestones and application showcases strongly define our timeline for marketing, token release and integrations. The detailed roadmap will be published on the website but let me give you an update of the product delivery timeline, from the past to the future:
- Key-value database private testnet — Apr 2018
- Tendermint state-machine — Jun 2018
- WebAssembly code execution — Aug 2018
- PoC 0: SQL database test showcase — Oct 2018
- WE ARE HERE
- PoC 1: Public clusterized SQL database testnet
- PoC 2: Public data platform — WASM based arbitrary data processing
- Token release
- Main network
- Batch verification
- Batch dispute resolution
Application showcase timeline:
- Application PoC: Ethereum index
- Application PoC: IPFS data processing
We have been under the radar of the general crypto-community for a long period of time. We had decided to focus our resources on developing and less so on marketing. That being said, the coming months’ focus will be not only on development but also on the clear message of what Fluence is, how it can be used, and why it is important for the whole ecosystem.
Proof of concepts are a great way to demonstrate progress. However, real value is being delivered to people when it’s broken down to particular use cases. We will integrate with other projects in the space, showcase the use of the platform, and drive adoption to educate the community about Fluence.
We are finishing preparation to release the member panel for FPT holders. In May, we announced that conditionally vested bonuses would be offered to early presale participants as a reward for awaiting the network’s delivery. The member panel for FPT holders will allow members to access the Vesting Smart Contract and convert FPT tokens to the main tokens later.
In a few months, we will start working on the next funding rounds and will then start releasing the tokens. Please be aware that the expected time of token release depends on many variables including some outside our control, and might, therefore, be subject to change.
We understand that some of our early contributors are uncomfortable to wait until the token release. We are sorry to cause you inconvenience and offer a second buyback batch as an option. You can receive back all ETH you contributed to the Fluence Pre-ICO in August 2017.
To get a buyback in ETH:
- Fill this application form.
- We will reach out to you and provide further instructions.
- These instructions will need to be completed within a week, so we could send Ether to your address.
Please read these terms carefully:
- We only can do a buyback if you have an access to the address that participated in the sale.
- We can only do full buybacks: partial buybacks will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but will most likely not be accepted.
- You can apply for the buyback until the 17th December 2018. Please be careful, we can’t guarantee the buyback if your application is submitted after that date.
- If you have already applied for the buyback, you can change your mind at any time until the actual transaction happens. We will be individually reaching out to every person who applied for the buyback before commencing it.