Special Update from the Dev Cave: Keeping Things Simple With IPFS
This week’s Update From the Dev Cave includes some big news, even if you’re not someone who builds Geo dApps or codes in Solidity.
There were a few big hurdles we knew we’d need to overcome in order for the XYO Network to become a functional, useful tool. Initially, we planned to create our own blockchain protocol — the XYO Mainchain — to solve these problems. As development on has progressed, we’ve found a better solution.
Diviners on the XYO Network answer queries by analyzing the Bound Witness Interactions of Sentinels and Bridges. Nodes with a longer history of interactions can be provided more weight. This means that the answer to a single query could include hundreds of Bound Witness Interactions. While each interaction on its own is small, the combined total can really add up.
This is an issue, because the more data you pass in a transaction, the more expensive that transaction is to process. If a transaction includes all of the Bound Witness information a Diviner used to answer a query, the price in gas to answer the query could quickly become astronomical if you decide to use a popular chain like ethereum as your mainchain!
However, if the transaction doesn’t include all of this data, we wouldn’t be providing trustless data. Since providing trustless information is one of the essential benefits of the XYO Network, we obviously needed to solve this problem.
While the XYO Token launched as an ERC-20 Ethereum token, it has always been our intention to be “platform agnostic” and compatible with blockchain that supports smart contracts. Initially, we planned to this by creating our own blockchain platform, the XYO MainChain. This would bring down the transactional cost on our network. In essence we would be “swapping” the XYO ERC-20 tokens for a distinct XYO Coin to pay for these transactions, which would then be awarded to the miners. While this would provide cross-platform compatibility, it’s a complicated process that presents its own technical challenges and slows down our time to market.
The Solution: The InterPlanetary File System
The InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS, is an open-source, decentralized, peer-to-peer data storage system. Using IPFS, a Diviner can store the answer to every query, including all the Bound Witness Interactions used to generate the answer, and generate a unique hash. This hash is then included in a transaction on the original Smart Contract platform (like Ethereum), and the XYO tokens are distributed to the nodes that contributed the data.
This allows us to make all the data available while keeping the actual transaction costs low.
What this means:
The XYO Network, as a platform, will be more robust and versatile
By not tying the project to a specific blockchain protocol via our mainchain, we will not be limited by the restrictions of that protocol. Similarly, we’ll be able to take advantage of new developments in blockchain and crypto without making a complicated fork or pivot. This means that if, in 2021, there’s a project that’s vastly superior to Ethereum (or EOS, or NEO, or…), we won’t be left in the dust.
The XYO Network, as a platform, will be more secure
Creating our own blockchain, whether we do it from scratch or by forking an existing project, can open the platform up to security issues. Earlier this year, a project called Pigeoncoin suffered a double-spend attack because the Bitcoin protocol it was based upon included an unpatched security flaw. By not being tied to a single project or protocol, we can avoid these sorts of security concerns.
No more token swaps!
Holders of the XYO token no longer need to worry about a token swap. The XYO ERC-20 token will be used in any ETH-based XYO queries. We’re still working out the specifics of how exactly we’ll reward transactions on other smart contract platforms — there are a few implementations available, like creating a shapeshifting tool to generate tokens for the other platforms.
Arie goes into more detail in the video below — take a look! There will be more information on the XYO TestNet and MainNet coming out at Spatial, so stay tuned.
Head of Community