NULS: Detailed review on the project

Introduction

NULS is a global blockchain open source community project, which provides a customizable blockchain infrastructure. It consists of a micro-kernel and functional modules. With innovative ideas on reducing the burden of main blockchain and decoupling events and services, modularization on all NULS underlying operational components is architected and implemented. Thus, NULS is fully capable of providing functional mechanisms to conduct smart contracts, to integrate main chain and sub-chains, to yield cross-chain consensus and to reduce costs in development and operation of business applications.

Technology

NULS Technical Design

Conesus Mechanism — Proof of Credit (POC)

The modular architectural design of NULS supports the insertion of new functional modules as well as the replacement of the core functional modules in the consensus mechanism. The user can set the rules for their sub-chain and customize them to their needs.

The main-chain will use the Proof of Credit (POC) protocol that is the first of its kind designed by the NULS team. It works like Proof of Stake where a certain number of tokens will need to be locked before the user can run a node on the network. To be approved for block creation rewards you must have 200,000 NULS voted upon your node. To create a Node, you will need a minimum deposit of 20,000 NULS. You may vote for a node if you have 2,000 NULS. All voters will receive rewards proportionally along with the Node Operator receiving an extra amount for maintaining the Node. When a user wants to stop running a node, they can immediately unlock their tokens.

Yellow Card Alert

When a user generates a block during internet disconnection, computer crash or when experiencing network issues, this will not be considered as a violation of the networks rules. However, because this will affect the entire system, a warning will be given with the coins frozen for a period (e.g. 72 hours) and the credit ratio downgraded.

Red Card Alert
In the case of hostile attacks, double spend attacks, attempts at forking the system or deliberately trying to attack the system, the NULS network will be able to detect and protect from vulnerabilities and exploits. Any hostile nodes will have their coins frozen for a longer period (e.g. 1 month) and their credit ratio will be downgraded again meaning they are no longer able to meet the minimum amount to participate in the
network.

Credit Rating

The crediting system is the coefficient that is used to determine user’s integrity and trustworthiness in the network. Credit ratings are between -1 and 1 and are automatically calculated based on the behavior of the node using the credit rating algorithm.

Credit Evaluation Formula
Credit Cardinality = Coefficient of Capacity + Coefficient of Duty
Coefficient of Capacity: Calculated based on the number of blocks generated in the past

Coefficient of Duty: Calculated based on violation cases and accuracy of blocks generated

Consensus Reward

To ensure balance and fairness of the entire NULS system, the consensus reward is computed based on the amount of staked coins and the node credit submitted by all consensus nodes.

Sub-chain Consensus Mechanism

NULS provides the underlying infrastructure for all sub-chains and allows applications to be built on top on their own sub-chain. NULS gives the user the building blocks required to easily customize their own sub-chain with their own token and own rules in relation to consensus e.g. (POW, DPOS, POS, PBFT, POOL) so that users can decide how their chain will operate.

Modular architecture

The design structure of NULS was born out of the understanding that technology is going to continue to advance at a rapid rate and static technologies will be left behind. NULS incorporated the modularity of the Linux kernel to give the flexibility of a dynamic blockchain. Since everything is a module, technical upgrades can easily be made to add the latest improvements to the Blockchain.

NULS Modular Structure
NULS Kernel: the NULS kernel consists of module manager, service bus and event bus. The kernel manages all the following modules:

Modular components: Smart Contract, Account, Storage, Account, Consensus, Processor

NULS built-in modules
Service Module Pack: RPC service module
Processor Module Pack: event processor module → smart contract processor module
Basic Module Pack: consensus module→ network module→ storage module→ news module→ account → account book

NULS Module and Module Manager

The module manager is where all modules can be managed, loaded and unloaded from the chain. Once a module is loaded, it is able to communicate with other modules and allow for various actions to be performed. From a standard technical point of view, NULS is like a program that has been designed with the open-closed principle in mind. Open for extension but closed for modification.

Multi-Chain System

The verification of blocks will occur through cross-chain consensus and NULS can circulate through both the main-chain and the sub-chains. Sub-chains report to the main-chain and the main-chain audits and verifies the block headers.

Cross-chain Consensus Domain (C3D)

Partial nodes of the main-chain and the sub-chain make up the cross-chain consensus domain (C3D). The nodes agree on cross-chain transactions between each other and share the data with other nodes in their own chain.

Main-chain consensus domain (surrounded by nodes of main-chain) Sub-chain A consensus domain (surrounded by nodes of chain A) Sub-chain B consensus domain (surrounded by nodes of chain B) overlapped /connected area: Cross-chain consensus domain A, cross-chain consensus domain B

Cross-chain Consensus Node (C3N)

Nodes that join cross-chain consensus need to load modules that are operable across both chains such as the cross-chain network module and the cross-chain protocol processor module.

NULS Nodes
Main-chain module pack: operates main-chain logic 
Cross-chain module pack: NCM network control module, processor module Communication, protocol
Sub-chain module pack: operates Sub-chain Logic

Safety

Cross-chain consensus protocol consists of two policies to guarantee safety for the network.
-Minimum node requirements for cross-chain consensus to prevent centralization of the domain.
-Dynamic adjustment (rotation) to prevent a single cross-chain node from broadcasting information continuously to the network.

NULS Smart Contract

NULS has a built-in smart contract virtual machine (NULSVM) that is structurally between the external service module (e.g. RPC module) and the underlying infrastructure module (e.g. network module, storage module or account module). The smart contracts are used by the higher-level applications, interpreted by the interpreter, stored by the storage module and computed by the NULSVM module. It also supports various higher-level programming languages to cater towards the developer that wants to develop in their desired language and compiles the program through the interpreter so that the VM can understand and read the application.

Source.

Data struceture

NULS events can be published and/or subscribed among nodes or among modules within one node. The data protocol stack is set up on top of the TCP protocol, which is followed from bottom to top as NULS Network Layer, NULS Event Layer and NULS Logic Layer.

Logic Layer
Logic Layer defines the business logic of each upper module. Module developers who extend modules only have to focus on the business logic and data of their own modules.

Event Layer
Four digits’ bytes are added prior to the business data as the event header (NULS Event Header). An event header contains a module identification number and an event identification number. Each event owns a unique event header. Modules will publish and/ or subscribe an event based on the event header.

Network Layer
Ten-digit bytes added prior to the event layer data from the network message header (NULS Message Header). Such a header includes magic numbers, data length, an odd-even parity bit and data encryption type.

Source.

In order to allow ease of participation to the open-source and technical community for developing on NULS, and to establish ease of use provided by the “Module Repository”, which is an important part of the revolutionary product “Chain Factory”, the following difficulties had to be overcome:

1. Loosened coupling and removal of dependencies between modules;

2. Modules must be easier to extend, modify and replace. Each module must be simple and basic; and modules should not encompass the overall complexity of blockchain applications;

3. Complete elimination of programming language limitations.

The core team introduces an innovative microservice concept in the infrastructure design of blockchain, which designs software applications as service suites that can be deployed independently. This concept introduces the most advanced ideas in the 1.0 architecture and transforms them with enhanced flexibility into a new modular design, making modules as flexible as programs that can start independently. This new modular architecture enhanced with microservice suites, that have no programming language limitations, is called NULS 2.0. Modules in this architecture enjoy even more decoupling, while the feature of multi-language development greatly improves the contribution of code and the convenience of users. At the same time, it is even easier to extend, since the enhanced design of modules supports distributed deployment and hot module replacement. Both Chain Factory and Cross-Chain Modules are being developed in coordination with this architecture.

During the design of NULS 2.0, the NULS team and technical community also established the NULS CCC (Code Craft Council), to provide the first stage of autonomy for the technical community. Around this time, and as a matter of coincidence, Berzeck, a member of CCC, had been considering the idea of refactoring the NULS architecture with microservices, a problem which he worked on in former projects of considerable size. After reading the design proposed by Berzeck, the core team was very pleased to find that his version encapsulated an even more complete micro-service design, which coincided with the more flexible blockchain infrastructure the team was working to achieve. Berzeck’s design is divided into a three-layer system of architecture: the micro-service infrastructure layer, basic service layer of the blockchain and DApp application layer.

This architecture allows for the development of more advanced applications built on the second layer (such as the distributed system of exchanges, the data service system, and systems similar to DiDi, all of which can be built on the second layer). Another significant benefit of the architecture is that the NULS system will not only build out multiple chains and multiple DApps, but also other large and medium-sized non-blockchain commercial systems, such as Internet, mobile Internet, Internet of Things, car networking — the possibilities are endless!

The new design empowers NULS to be more than just the underlying infrastructure of the blockchain and instead transforms it into a distributed system infrastructure that seamlessly integrates with the blockchain system. It will be a platform for seamless communication between different systems (blockchain and other systems), which will enable businesses built around NULS to flourish more quickly while greatly reducing development costs. This overall optimization gives NULS innate, and undisputed competitive advantages.

Source.

Team

The core team members are highly experienced professionals who are well versed in blockchain technology and community building. The catalyst which brought this team together is the shared vision of blockchain, and a desire to create an open, innovative and technologically advanced platform. Source.

At the moment NULS team is comprised of over 40 specialists.

Source: Nuls.io

Liesa Huang — CEO.

Education: Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München (Linguistic), Technische Universität Dresden (Linguistic). Industry Knowledge: International Marketing, Market Analysis, Marketing Communications, Budgeting and Marketing Management.

Isaac Kim — COO.

Isaac majored in Economics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and has native proficiency in English and Korean. Previously, he worked for the Boston Consulting Group and ezCaretech. As a result, he has a holistic understanding of how businesses grow and scale.

Jason Zhang — Technology research institution and technical community Director, Founder.

With over 7 years of experience in the programming field, 6 years’ experience in the banking security sector Jason has designed security systems for dozens of Banks in China, he is familiar with nearly all cryptographic algorithms, PKI Standards, PKCS standards. He has worked for KeYou which is partnered with most of the Chinese Banks and boasts 200+ employees, Jason was in charge of the Treasury Payments Security, Smart Card (EMV) Security, Mobile Banking Device Security and contributed in PC Banking Security. He also worked on Cross-border payments in which 17 banks in China participated in building.

Niels Wang — Product Development Director.

With 9 years of programming experience Niels has long been engaged in Internet Application Research and Development, he is proficient in Software System Architecture, processes and related technologies. With rich distribution, large data and large concurrent system architectural experience. He has participated in the Electronic Commerce Platform, Vehicle Networking Platform, Internet Of Things Cloud Platform, Intelligent Environmental Protection industry solutions and other large architectural projects.

James Barnes — Senior Director of Marketing.

James has an award-winning background in digital marketing and business development, with an emphasis on cutting edge technology, social engagement and start up organizations. Bringing a tenured background with many different business verticals including finance, entertainment military/defense, software, CPG, analytics, competitive intelligence and large-scale events, he has helped many start-ups strategically grow into brands. He is founder of ministryINSIGHT. Previously he worked as Director of Marketing for Fotona Lasers USA, Fotona Lasers USA and in Daystar Television Network and as CMO for Coming Home Global/Sony.

Vivi Zhou — Architect.

Vivi has 7 years of Internet Application Development experience including 4 years of internet banking experience, Vivi has developed accounts systems for a well-known Consumer Finance Company MaShang Consumer Finance Co., Ltd. His fields of expertise include rich distribution, big data, and high concurrency architectural work.

Davi Yang — JAVA Engineer.

With 9 years of programming experience, Davi is sufficient in clientele development and architectural design, he is active in numerous open source communities and is proficient in various development languages and platforms. He is familiar with Windows directUI development, driver development iOS development, and Android development.

Lily Wang — Co-Founder.

Lilys past experiences are working for Chongqing TV & Science Educational Channel and also Weijingtong which provides the Chinese community with daily news. She is the Co-Founder of the InChain project and Co-Initiator of Nuls. She is proficient in negotiation and strategizing. Her main focus is creating a multilateral cooperation with all nations. Lily is dedicated to promoting the construction of the Nuls community and business affairs to excel Nuls and spread it across the globe.

Reaper Ran — Community Management Director, Co-Founder.

Reaper has been studying blockchain technology since 2013. Reaper has a very in-depth knowledge of community operations working and building in various communities such as BitShares community in which he was well known in the community and was on the NEO community board. Reaper is in charge of community operations and affairs of the Nuls project. His main goal is to maintain the Nuls community.

Penny Childers — Community Manager in USA.

Penny is a retired business owner and entrepreneur with a background in psychology. She specializes in B2B sales, marketing, social sentiment, data analytics, and communications. She also holds a professional membership with the Government Blockchain Organization and is a current member of the World Blockchain Organization.

David Wasson — Regional Director in USA.

David is skilled operations and business development executive working with and founding multiple emerging technology companies as well as large, established companies with EBITDA responsibility. David’s experience includes leadership roles with Raytheon, Oracle, IDG, RCM and DXC Technology.

Omar Elmir — Regional Director in Australia & New Zealand.

Essam Elmir — Community Manager in Australia & New Zealand.

Jang Yoon Kang — Community Manager in Korea.

Rui Zhao — Technology Advisor.

Pierre Luo — Architect.

Moonlight Zeng — JAVA Engineer.

Charlie Li — JAVA Engineer.

Angang Tang — JAVA Engineer.

Wave Tan — Front End Development Director.

June Wang — Front End Engineer.

Jelly He — Test Engineer.

Alvin Tang — Operation Engineer.

Emerson Hu — Product Manager.

Pen Luo — Product Manager.

Anna Yang — Chief Designer.

Rita Zhao — UI Designer.

Dasher Chen — UI Designer.

Andy Tang — Marketing Manager.

Alicia Huang — Commercial & PR Department Director.

Susu — Finance Manager.

Sue Li — People Operations Director.

James Xie — Overseas Operations Management Supervisor.

Boris Tang — Overseas Operations Management Assistant.

Cody Lan — Technology Manager, Shanghai office.

And others.

Lin Yang — Angel Investor.

Lin has been following blockchain technology and is a pioneer in the blockchain space in China. Lin Yang is the creator and founder of InChain. He completed around 70% of the programming work done on InChain. He has extensive knowledge in all areas of coding languages such as Java, Scala, Golang, and PHP with having 8 years of programming under his belt. Lin was devoted to creating a top-level blockchain project which is why he founded InChain and now Nuls. Previously Lin lead the team to research and develop a new consensus mechanism (PoC), a new system framework and a number of innovations and breakthroughs.

NULS Code Craft Council

Source: Nuls.io

Josh Welham — Full Stack Engineer | England.

Moshe Malawach — Full Stack Engineer | France.

Berzeck — Full Stack Engineer | Bolivia.

Claudio Pascariello — UI/UX Designer | Belgium.

Naveen — Java Engineer | Singapore.

Angel — Full Stack Engineer | Spain.

Edward — Architect | China.

Advisors

Source: Nuls.io

Ken Huang — Former Huawei blockchain expert.

Andy Chae — Executive director, Global business division, ezCaretech.

Douglas Foo — Chairman and founder of Sakae Holdings Limited.

Changyong Liu — Ph.D. in Economics, Peiking University.

Feng Han — Co-founder and board member of Elastos.

Rui Zhao — Executive consultant of technology strategy.

James Bilitski — Ph.D.associate professor in computer science, University of Pittsburg.

Sky Qiu — Advisor in Finance.

Partnerships

On June 8th, 2018, NULS signed a strategic partnership with MC Payment, one of the largest payment collection providers in Asia Pacific. More information can be found here.

Superlinks joins forces with NULS to create a decentralized social networking DApp built on blockchain. More information can be found here.

NULS has entered into a strategic partnership with Ulysses and will be collaborating in the future to promote NULS platform for various ICO projects. More information can be found here.

NULS Foundation headquartered in San Jose, CA has entered into a new strategic partnership with San Francisco based ZS Blockchain this week. More information can be found here.

PRISM, a medical data and research company, is the first large scale project to receive funding from the NULS Investment Department. After several rounds of negotiations and research, NULS decided to invest in PRISM, a visionary project dedicated to the management of mass personal health data. The project will use blockchain technology to enable individuals to take control of their personal data, profit from that data and store it safely. Source

Introducing three projects that will be building on the NULS ecosystem: HENA — a mobile blockchain platform that incentivizes users for mining or watching targeted ads on their smartphones, JYA — an organization focused on high-end offline speech and activities. Their Director Hyun-jin Jung, specifically talked about a special feature for “voting for speakers with tokens”, and VICS — company which accumulated decades of experience in secure payments and providing asset security services to most of Korea’s banks. More information can be found here.

Devery — “We are proud to announce that we will be working with http://Nuls.io, a modular blockchain solution!” More information can be found here.

Morpheus Labs is proud to announce the introduction of NULS into the Morpheus Labs ecosystem and community. By onboarding NULS, enterprises and developers can experiment with various combinations of chains using the cross-chain consensus and multi-chain mechanism provided by NULS. This allows different industries to conduct their businesses with ease of integration, and cohesion among the cooperative chains. More information can be found here.

NULS continues to develop its strategic USA presence, announcing today its new partnership with Pink Sky Group. Pink Sky Group is a blockchain advisory and consulting firm. The founders, who are also the managers of a blockchain focused investment management firm, use their background in technology, tokenomics, and crypto investment knowledge to help companies reach their goals. More information can be found here.

Use case

“Cross-chain is a crucial part for NULS to develop Chain Factory and build the ecology. It provides a secure solution for one blockchain to connect with other chains in the same ecosystem, allowing interoperability and scalability without the need to compromise on privacy and security. Interoperability will be the key driving force behind the growth of the NULS ecosystem, allowing the free circulation of assets and value from chain to chain. The cross-chain solution enables companies to collaborate and grow together instead of competing for market share. Innovations can spread quickly in the platform, resulting in a truly global enterprise ecosystem which benefits all those who participate. It also widens the scope for cryptocurrency usability.”

“Our Satellite Chain lies at the center of the NULS cross-chain solution, which organizes the cross communication. It is set to be a separate blockchain from the NULS main-net, and details of transfer from one chain to another will be stored in the Satellite Chain, ensuring accountability and security. The aim is to allow transfer and free circulation within the entire ecosystem. Blockchains which originate outside of the NULS ecosystem (Ethereum or Bitcoin based chains for example), will be able to join the system through different protocols.

Liesa Huang, Chief Executive Officer

Source.

Social metrics

GitHub metrics
Developer activity (from Coinlib.io)
Social media activity

Markets and volume

Information from Coinmarketcap.com
Information from Etherscan.io
Information from Coinlib.io

TA

On a daily price fully retracted to the lows of last year. Structure can be seen as complete but further lows can be seen if market decided to go south. On a bright side a clear divergence on RSI formed on a daily chart. Our advice is a careful approach.

BTC analysis is non applicable. Only RSI divergence can be seen on a daily chart

Competitors

Other platforms for consumer Dapps: ETH, EOS, Cardano, Quantum, Lisk, RChain, GXChain, Nuls, Orbs, OST, IOST. Satellite Chain will allow NULS to compete with interoperability projects such as Wanchain and Aion as well.

Roadmap

ICE:

WATER:

STEAM:

Source.

Token Mechanics

Where do the rewards come from and what are they?
To ensure there is fairness and trust in the blockchain Node Operators and voters receive a stake of 5M NULS minted per year. Similar to bitcoin block creators receiving a reward for creating and packing a block NULS rewards stakers the same way. This will in turn gradually grow the total supply.

What functions will the NULS miners perform?
As a Nuls “miner” it will using a consensus called Proof Of Credit specifically designed by the team which similar to Proof Of Stake, with the added improvements such as a rating system weighing how long you have contributed and helped the network and also mitigating bad behaviour and penalizing bad nodes.

What are the requirements to operate a NULS nodes/masternodes?
To be approved for block creation rewards you must have 200,000 NULS voted upon your node. To create a Node, you will need a minimum deposit of 20,000 NULS. You may vote for a node if you have 2,000 NULS. All voters will receive rewards proportionally along with the Node Operator receiving an extra amount for maintaining the Node.

What are NULS nodes/masternodes?
Masternodes are similar to any other masternode for example where in order to participate in receiving rewards you must put tokens up as “collateral” these tokens can be retrieved anytime without penalty.

Source.

At the moment, 30% of total supply are already staked.

Token Metrics

Circulating Supply
40 000 000 NULS

Total Supply
100 000 000 NULS

The issuance of NULS:

a) Airdrop

40% of the tokens will be airdropped (40 million) to owners of the ERC20 placeholder token (tokens were airdropped to Inchain ICO (anti counterfeiting project) contributors who did not seek a refund after China banned ICOs. Inchain will be one of the side chains on NULS)

b) Development funding

20% of the total tokens (20 million) will go towards continued development. Once the main net is live, these tokens will be unlocked at the rate of 5% (1 million) per month over the course of 20 months.

c) Community funding

20% of the tokens (20 million) will be allocated for building the community, and no more than 4 million tokens will ever be used per year.

d) Business Cooperation

20% of the tokens (20 million) will be used for business partnerships and to support high quality NULS based third party projects. No more than 4 million tokens will ever be used per year.

Network maintenance

5 million NULS will be created through the Proof of Credit (POC) consensus each year to reward miners and secure the network.
Source.

Summary

Team: Strong team
Idea: Linux-like open source modular infrastructure project with cross-chain capabilities
Development stage: mainnet, smart contracts are still in development
Whitepaper: good, outlines all of projects main points

Roadmap: projects mostly meets milestones, but now is a little behind

This year was pretty busy for NULS, they have successfully launched mainnet this year, made few new partnerships, reviewed projects architecture, participated in a number of meetings and events. Can’t say that this supported their price though, it went down more than 20 in USD from this years ATH. TA also doesn’t show much, this project is simply behaving the same way as market. From the coding perspective, NULS team proved to be one of the most productive on the market. It’s one of the first projects with Proof-of-Stake-like working mainnet.

As for their competitive advantages, few can be outlined: well-designed modular architecture, multi programming language will be supported by smart-contracts, working PoS, sidechains.

From the perspective of ecosystem, even though this project made new partnerships it doesn’t change the fact that they didn’t bear real fruit yet. Now that the mainnet is out it is interesting to see what kind of DApps will be launched, what kind of working product will be made, how will those partnerships develop NULS ecosystem. Ecosystem development on mainnet will determine if this project will live or not, since network effect isn’t on NULS’s side and right now everything looks quite grim with such long bear market.


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