Another year of chaos and innovations, 2019 was filled with bullish signals, Facebook’s gigantic ambition in blockchain, and the prosperity sparked by China’s endorsement. 2019 was a remarkable year for TOP: we vigorously branched into the global market, having global blockchain hackers build real-time applications based on TOP Chain’s technical stack. We also seized the opportunity to reach our most significant milestone — launching TOP Mainnet in November right after China’s call to action to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology. This is the second year since TOP’s official launch, and it has been a year full of glory and achievements.
TOP Chain Technological Breakthroughs
We successfully achieved a comprehensive sharding technology that incorporates network sharding, computing sharding, and state sharding, making TOP the world’s first full-state sharding public chain that provides high-performance scalability capable of handling real-time business. Compared with Ethereum 2.0 — which adopts sharding technology as well — TOP Chain has not only implemented more advanced technologies but has overcome the challenges two years ahead of Ethereum.
Different from most of the other public chain projects, we are adopting a progressive strategy; starting from a closed-loop ecosystem in the early stages, and then using this base to transition to an open transparent ecosystem in the long term. Our outstanding technological competency has laid a solid foundation for us to achieve this goal.
We launched Testnet 2.0 in March 2019, which was an updated version of Testnet 1.0 that allowed for higher TPS and supports WASM smart contracts and decentralized communication services. Meanwhile, we enabled more functionalities such as decentralized messaging and decentralized lucky draw, which incentivized more users to participate in our beta version ecosystem. The launch of Testnet 2.0 was a signal that the development of TOP Chain was coming to fruition.
In the past year, we have made a series of significant technological breakthroughs following the roadmap depicted in our whitepaper. One of the most important is multi-layer scaling(Layer 0, 1, 2) technology. With extensive experience in the communications industry, we optimized the p2p transfer network (Layer-0) and used Gossip protocols to increase the efficiency of consensus. We not only utilized state sharding, compute sharding and network sharding on the Mainnet layer (Layer-1) to achieve dynamic sharding and horizontal scale-out, but made the sharding technology pervasive in the network to increase scalability. We implemented Beacon Chain, where secure and significant data including the information, stake, and punishment rules for nodes are stored. This acts as the backbone upon which to build the sharded architecture. We also set up a committee composed of Zones to select consensus nodes, and ensured the security of transactions through layered network and Verifiable random function (VRF) algorithm. And the optimized pBFT consensus algorithm, used to select nodes on a random basis, increases both the security and performance of TOP Chain.
Moreover, TOP adopts an innovative three-layer consensus network architecture to ensure airtight security of the Mainnet. The Edge Network, at the outermost layer of the architecture, is merely responsible for relaying transactions to the Routing Network to protect the internal network composed of consensus nodes. The Routing Network audits transactions validated by shards for added security, and synchronizes state between shards. The Consensus Network, composed of many shards, validates transactions.
We officially started global node recruitment on Sept. 16, 2019, when the development of TOP Mainnet was coming to an end. Operating a node on TOP Chain only requires a small deposit and simple hardware, and can earn up to 65% yearly rate of returns. Two days later, we began the process of open-sourcing our code. We write every line of code from scratch, and designed all the algorithms and architectures on our own — this is the biggest advantage of TOP Chain, an utterly innovative platform based on our tireless work.
We collaborated with our strategic investor Rockaway Blockchain to successfully host a global blockchain hackathon in Prague, a grand showcase for our technical team and an opportunity to have our technologies tested by blockchain hackers around the world. Our CTO Taylor and Senior PR Director Charles introduced TOP’s technical architecture to get the hackers well prepared for the competition. As two teams named Defy and Backstreet Hodlers stood out in the final competition, this hackathon is the first time that external developers have the hands-on experience to deploy their applications on our public chain and test our technological innovations in a real-time environment.
On November 8, we officially launched TOP Mainnet at the second “World Blockchain Conference” held in Wuzhen, China! TOP Chain is the world’s first full-state sharding chain, a permissionless public chain that allows for full horizontal scale-out powered by network sharding, compute sharding and state sharding.
Backed by our solid technical team and massive user bases carried by the pre-existing Apps, TOP Network is more than confident to execute our progressive strategy: To build an open, transparent ecosystem starting from a closed-loop ecosystem.
In October, we launched HiWallet, a cryptocurrency wallet in our ecosystem serving as an access point to all TOP DApps. Equipped with multi-layer encryption and a series of advanced technologies to ensure data security and reliability of nodes, HiWallet is a truly decentralized wallet where users have control of their private keys and access to their assets. HiWallet will become the biggest entry point to generate huge traffic in the TOP ecosystem.
In the past year, the TOP Network team kicked off the development of blockchain games, including several large-scale games and a series of smaller-scale games. We will progressively port the three pre-existing communication Apps — Dingtone, CoverMe and SkyVPN — to TOP Mainnet, which will bring in a large number of users to the ecosystem.
Nevertheless, we cannot achieve such an ambitious path without the support and trust from our community, partners, and third-party organizations.
In March, TOP Chain passed rigorous security audits carried out be CertiK, a blockchain cybersecurity company providing audits of smart contracts and blockchain code. CertiK formed a specific group to conduct audits independently on TOP smart contracts, and found no vulnerabilities in the system after auto-scanning and smart-labeling the source code. This indicates the source code of TOP Chain is mathematically secure and the platform is completely reliable.
In the meantime, TokenInsight, a global data analytics and rating organization for blockchain, published a report and gave the rating of Positive Outlook on TOP Network. According to TokenInsight, the development of TOP Network went really fast and transparently. TOP has a well-established token economy mechanism, an experienced founding team, and an active community.
The Mainnet launch beefed up our confidence. Equipped with high TPS and security to handle fast transaction validations, TOP Chain is well suited to empower a lot of emerging industries, ranging from communications, gaming, social media, big data, artificial intelligence, IoT, and more. With the progressive updates of TOP Chain, we believe the mass adoption of “blockchain+” is not far away.
This year we were not only engrossed in the development of TOP Chain, but vigorously expanding into the global markets to embrace the upcoming era of the “blockchain+” application. We hosted a meetup in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in July, followed by one in Seoul, South Korea in September. We have gained a lot of attention and support from the local markets and have established relationships with the local KOLs and institutions to further our expansion in the local markets.
We showed up at countless global conferences to introduce the cutting-edge technologies of TOP Network to blockchain enthusiasts around the world. From Consensus in New York, World Blockchain Forum in Singapore, CloudExpo in Silicon Valley, to the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai and Los Angeles, TOP has continuously turned heads with its outstanding technologies and promising use cases.
We have established close relationships with top-notch blockchain projects and institutions. Yale University and Ewha Womans University, one of the most prestigious colleges in South Korea, visited our offices and made further discussions with our co-founders. Moreover, we have developed strategic partnerships with many renowned blockchain projects including Algorand, Conflux, Ultrain, and more, aiming to jointly accelerate the blockchain industry by sharing our resources in technology, business, and community.
Our achievements are highly recognized by media outlets around the world. Our stories were not only published on mainstream media outlets including Forbes, CGTN, Mergermarket and Technode, but also leading publications in the crypto industry including CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, Crypto Briefing, and more.
It is the best of times: an epoch full of innovations, potential, and opportunities for the blockchain industry. It is a year of challenges and achievements for TOP, but it is not the end of our endeavors. We are ready to set the stage for more: another year full of energy and excitement.