Gearing up for IRIS Network’s Hackathon “Game of Genesis”

With all of the developments taking place within the blockchain space, 8 Decimal Capital is launching a new feature this year: “8 Questions with 8 Decimal.” Our hope is to generate more conversations with the thought-leaders of this technological revolution for our audience and learn about where the industry is going, what is holding it back and what the future holds for blockchain developers. This week, the team sat down with @IRISnet to learn about their work with side-chain and their upcoming global hackathon event that seeks to develop IRIShub. Suyu @Kidinamoto2008 gave great insights into the industry. We hope you enjoy this rich discussion:

1. What is the IRIS Network story?

IRIS Network is an interchain service infrastructure and protocol for building next-gen distributed applications.

IRIS Network

By incorporating a comprehensive service infrastructure and an enhanced IBC protocol into the Tendermint & Cosmos stack, IRISnet enables service interoperability as well as token transfers across an internet of blockchains. IRISnet provides SDKs for easy construction of iServices. Developers can create application-specific blockchains or services through the implementation of one or more iService definitions, on top of which also support integration of consortium chains, as well as legacy systems.

In this way, a wide range of business services can be invoked by heterogeneous systems, including public & consortium chains as well as legacy systems. Those business services include value transfers and computation services.

At the start of this year, IRIS Network embarked on a mission to develop the centerpiece of IRISnet, IRIShub. For now, Fuxi, the testnet of IRIShub, is running.

2. IRISnet is solving an industry problem. What is that?

IRISnet aims to accelerate the adoption process of blockchain within the industry. Developers can create application-specific blockchains or services through the implementation of one or more iService definitions. The IRIS SDK will provide some build-in services. IRIShub will provide some global iServices, like storage and will work with other public blockchains to expose document authentication service. By combining some existing service modules and their own modules together, developers can create a customized blockchain quickly. The idea of iService will provide a very modular and reusable development experience.

Additionally, IRISnet will support better-distributed governance. For example, the core development team of IRISnet, Bianjie, is also developing BEAN (Blockchain Edge Analytics Network), which will provide privacy-preserving data analysis services among hospitals, medical centers, and insurance companies. This blockchain network needs to be a consortium chain for better management of participant IDs. It is not possible and not right to keep BEAN as a public chain for anyone to join. However, through iService it is still possible for BEAN to expose some suitable data services to specified blockchains through marking a parameter in the service binding definition.

As shown in the above chart, MediShares is a permissionless public blockchain, which provides a mutual aid marketplace for everyone. Using BEAN data services can help to reduce potential fraudulent activity since medical expenses can be signed for by the medical service provider directly. We can see the value of data analysis services amplified by the invocation of inter-chain services between public blockchains and consortium blockchains.

IRISnet aims to break the boundary between silo blockchains by making resource-consuming services available across blockchains.

3. Tell us about your upcoming hackathon. Why are you running this competition?

In October, IRISnet will be running a global hackathon for community members to assist in the highly anticipated launch of IRIShub. Suyu said that “the most important asset of IRIShub is our validators: the people who are willing to stake their tokens to secure the safety of network.”

“We need to train potential validators how to build a secure infrastructure and keep their staked tokens safe.” — IRISnet

This inclusive and educational event will simulate the IRIS Hub environment upon launch. The most interesting (and interactive) part of the hackathon is that they will be hiring white-hat groups to “attack” the competition participants. The participants will have to come up with solutions to protect themselves from danger.

“We believe participants can develop some tools for future validators to secure IRIS Network.”

In the blockchain space, Suyu emphasized the risk of “Denial of Service” attacks (DoS) or other such attacks. “Validators can deploy a whole set of monitoring tools to keep track of their validator nodes,” she said. The hope, then, is to give these participants tasks and experience in facing “real” crises — the same kinds of attacks that could happen in the real world of blockchain.

4. Tell us about your first couple of workshops? How did they go and what are your overall take-a-ways thus far?

Leading up to their October Hackathon competition, IRISnet has hosted two workshops for global developers to teach the participants the ideas of IRISnet.

As Suyu explained, we need to understand the differences between proof-of-stake and proof-of-work consensus algorithms. To protect the security of IRISnet, the validators need to prepare for a range of attacks: denial of service attacks, Sybil attacks, eclipse attacks, routing attacks, crypto attacks, block discarding/withholding attacks, double spend attacks, and long-range attacks.

“The IRIS Network will keep generating values when its validators could keep the whole network secure. IRISnet believes hackathons will generate the most impressive solutions for protecting a Proof-of-Stake blockchain.” — IRISnet

Their hackathon event in October already has 30 global teams signed up. Each team typically has one to three members total. With already 50 people signed up, IRISnet expects this number to grow daily leading up to their event. They are looking forward to a large turnout and fostering rich discussions on the future of the IRIS Network ecosystem.

5. Do you typically hold competitions or events like this?

Suyu told us that this event would be IRISnet’s first hackathon event, especially the first kind of event supported by the IRIS Foundation. “Lots of public blockchains have their own hackathons,” she explained. “It lets people use their products and build applications on top of it.”

The hackathon will take place before the launch of IRIShub. She told us that IRISnet was looking for reliable system architecture solutions for validator nodes. Cosmos would be hosting a hackathon as well. For now, the hackathon will try to incentivize people to find bugs in the software code. In the future, IRISnet will host additional hackathons to let people use the IRIS SDK to build their iServices on top of IRIShub.

6. What are your insights on the current state of Blockchain following your workshops?

One of the difficulties blockchain developers run into is the steep learning curve. Suyu told us that overall, “People are very excited about the idea of blockchain.” However, she told us that it was this steep learning curve that could dissuade developers from trying to build their own chain.

IRIS SDK can make the platform more user-friendly in hopes of people using iService as adapter between blockchain world and existing systems, like ERP. In this way, different kinds of services can be open to customers within the trusted channel. You can see a kind of interoperable computation and data services across the IRISnet ecosystem. Developers can develop application-specific blockchains or services through the implementation of one or more iService definitions on top of which also supports the integration of consortium chains as well as legacy systems. Ideally, this will lead to a blockchain service market, something highly sought-after in the industry.

7. Within the mission of your project, you mention the three core passions Can you tell us what excites you about these core areas?

The three core passions are: service-oriented infrastructure into Cosmos, integration of business services offered by heterogeneous systems, and interoperability of these services across an internet of blockchains. By incorporating a comprehensive service infrastructure and an enhanced IBC protocol into the Tendermint & Cosmos stack, IRISnet enables service interoperability as well as token transfers across an internet of blockchains.

“Once we deploy a distributed application service on the blockchain, the same service can be invoked across the ecosystem. IRISnet will support multiple tokens, more people can use these services easily.” — IRISnet

IRIS Network would represent an increase in scale and diversity of blockchain use-cases.

8. How would you describe your relationship with Cosmos?

In our last question of this conversation, we were able to hear from Suyu about how they were working with Cosmos. “Actually as shown in the earlier chart, the IRISnet ecosystem is also a component of the larger Cosmos ecosystem, actually IRISnet’s core development team Bianjie is also participating directly on Cosmos’s code development and is the second development team of Cosmos besides the Tendermint team,” she told us.

The Tendermint team is the original founding team of Cosmos, and is also the inventor of Tendermint Consensus System. “Actually the Tendermint team is also supporting IRISnet’s development too,” they explained. For IRISnet, the IRIS team is working on extending the Tendermint ABCI and the IBC technologies. By enhancing the IBC processing logic to support service semantics, the IRIShub is intended to allow distributed business services to be available across the internet of blockchains.

After the launch of Cosmos Hub and IRIS Hub, they will be able to use IBC to solve the interoperability problem — a core issue affecting the blockchain industry. Once IBC is successful, we will be able to see tokens flow around and services invoked across an internet of blockchains.

To learn more about IRISnet’s upcoming hackathon and workshops, please check out the following links and information below:

For more information: read IRISnet’s Medium blog post here




Originally published at from 8 Decimal Capital on September 26, 2018.