Our TOP Mission: To Enable Real-World Business on the Blockchain
This year marks a crucial crossroad in the blockchain industry. As the hype surrounding Bitcoin price and ICOs fizzles out, the digital ledger finds it confronted by a tough question: How can blockchain attract real users, support real businesses and make real money?
No project has yet cracked the code. Although the global blockchain market is expected to reach $7.68 billion by 2022, a huge leap from $411.5 million in 2017, users and use cases on current public blockchains are too scarce to generate any real revenue sustainably. On Ethereum, among over 1,200 decentralized apps (Dapps), mostly focused on crypto trading, game or gambling, only about less than 20 have over 100 daily active users.
TOP Network, a true believer in distributed computing and disruptor in the communication industry, offers an innovative solution to the burning issues plaguing blockchain. Backed by an array of cutting-edge technologies, an established global user base and a dream team of entrepreneurial developers, we aim to create a public blockchain platform to enable real-world business of any type, size or volume. On our blockchain, Dapp developers can build full-featured apps as easily as on the centralized platforms.
TOP did not intend to create its own blockchain at first, but we soon realized we had to.
When we launched TOP Network last year, we were building a decentralized communication network to provide communication services such as messaging, VPN and VoIP and offer developers full-stack cloud infrastructure. We then began looking for a public ledger to clear and settle transactions on our network and incentivize users, developers and service providers with tokens.
Sadly, no existing blockchain could meet our needs.
First, the scalability dilemma. Today’s blockchains are too slow to handle safely the colossal-volume transactions generated by businesses serving large numbers of consumers. Bitcoin and Ethereum can process solely between three and 30 transactions in a second, lagging far behind the centralized networks supporting PayPal or Visa, making them unable to carry our established communication apps, which has millions of users worldwide, let alone the numerous products built in the future by us and developers on TOP Network. Platforms like EOS attempt to speed themselves up by using a few permission-based nodes to execute consensus algorithms on behalf of the entire network, but this method would compromise the principle of decentralization and consequently put data security on our network at risk.
Second, the lack of service-level infrastructure. The existing blockchains focus heavily on crypto-asset transactions, leaving all other development tasks to Dapps. While open-source tools and cloud services that help developers build full-feature centralized apps can be found conveniently, Dapp developers on most blockchains have to code almost everything, even the simplest messaging function, from scratch by themselves, leading to high costs and long development cycles.
Finally, the gas fee. Computation on current blockchains is expensive. Users or Dapp developers have to pay much more for settling the services on the ledger than what the users pay for the actual services, an awkward situation that renders blockchain-based Dapps economically unwise.
In the end, we had no choice but decided to create a new ledger — a high-performance, general-purpose public blockchain to carry not only our cloud communication service but real-world businesses of any type, size or volume.
TOP Network, a permissionless blockchain platform that hits 300K TPS, offers pluggable service chains and application-level smart contracts, supports instant transaction confirmation and charges no gas fee, is realized by a powerful arsenal of cutting-edge technologies.
Three-layer ledgers. TOP consists of one main chain, multiple service chains and the off-chain processor. The main chain processes only transaction settlement, while service chains, pluggable and customizable, process different types of business logic independently each. Transaction execution is pre-processed on the off-chain processors to reduce the workload on the ledgers.
Two-layer sharding. We adopt sharding to scale up TOP, but too many shards can lead to massive volumes of cross-shard transactions and consequently block cross-shard routing. To improve the efficiency of routing, we divide the entire system into multiple zones, and each zone is dynamically split into multiple shards.
Two-layer lattice DAG. To avoid getting slowed down by an avalanche of unorganized transactions flooding in at the same time, TOP simplifies the DAG structure, using unit lattice to organize transactions and block lattice to synchronize account states across shards and zones. Compared to other DAG-based blockchains, TOP is far more decentralized, safer and faster.
Three-layer network. TOP consists of Edge Network, Routing Network and Core Network. Edge network relays transactions, routing network audits transactions and manages shards, and core network executes consensus mechanism. Transactions go through edge network and routing network before reaching core network, which perfectly protects nodes on core network from malicious attacks.
PBFT-DPoS*. We upgrade DPoS consensus by redefining “stake.” A node’s stake on the TOP, called Comprehensive Stake, is determined by multiple factors such as asset stake, accumulated reputation and computing power. Among nodes with the highest comprehensive stake, a VRF algorithm randomly selects nodes to form shards that validate transactions and produce blocks with a PBFT algorithm. This mechanism ensures the fairness of node selection and protects the security and integrity of TOP.
(Check out our whitepaper to learn more about our technologies!)
Before TOP Network, the core development team has been in the technology sector for over 20 years. Fully understanding how painful it is to build an app from scratch, our engineers cannot wait to make Dapp developers’ job easier with our business-friendly infrastructure.
On TOP Network, we make it super easy for developers to build communication features and functions, which almost all apps are required to have. We offer full-stack cloud communication services, including messaging, voice/video, VoIP, VPN, streaming/CDN, IoT data sharing and more, freeing developers from the headache of building communication stack and deploying network by themselves, significantly shortening the development cycle and driving down the costs by over 60%. We provide API and SDK that wraps all the building blocks of communication features and functions, such as modules of audio and video signal processing, codec, special effect and network IO, into one package, which developers can utilize efficiently. In the near future, we will offer tools to facilitate the development of Dapps in various other categories through in-house development and strategic partnership.
We are technologists, but TOP is never just about technology. We are as good at establishing revolutionizing yet practical business models and attracting consumers as at technical development.
Before launching TOP Network, our CEO Steve Wei, a serial entrepreneur who has been active in the technology sector for over two decades, co-founded Dingtone, a technology firm that has developed Dingtone, CoverMe and SkyVPN — communication apps that altogether have attracted 50 million users worldwide. Last year, sensing that the nascent digital ledger, if combined with the communication industry, has the potential to challenge Dingtone’s products in a few years, Steve decided to venture in the blockchain and crypto arena based on the established market position of Dingtone.
In an era when most blockchain projects fail to make money because they cannot find sufficient consumers to use their tokens, TOP Network has already secured a huge user base. The 50 million users on Dingtone’s popular apps will migrate seamlessly to the digital ledger upon the launch of TOP, generating from day one over one hundred thousand transactions per second in our ecosystem.
Embracing the revolutionizing token economy, we will issue TOP Token to incentivize participants and boost business. When Facebook and Twitter users get nothing for making new posts, users of the decentralized apps on TOP Network can get rewards in tokens for their app use. We are ready to disrupt the traditional revenue distribution structure and share profits with end users, because we firmly believe that with decentralized technology and decentralized ownership, TOP Network is creating a vibrant, sustainable community where all participants, including users, developers and service providers, get the maximum benefit. We can find the most gold only when everyone is digging.
We started from the niche intersection of blockchain and the communication industry, but TOP, a high-performance, general-purpose public blockchain platform, has unlimited potential in other sectors such as social & networking, big data, finance and health care. Backed by competitive technologies, solid user base and a large, experienced development team, TOP Network is confident to bring real-world business to the blockchain.
 ReportBuyer. “Blockchain Market by Provider, Application, Organization Size, Industry Vertical And Region — Global Forecast to 2022.” December 2017. https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4226790/blockchain-market-by-provider-application-organization-size-industry-vertical-and-region-global-forecast-to-2022.html
 PwC. “Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet.” September 2018. https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/sustainability/assets/blockchain-for-a-better-planet.pdf