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Elastos

Elastos is a public blockchain project that integrates blockchain technology to build a 'modern Internet' infrastructure which provides intrinsic protection for privacy and digital asset ownership. It is described as the world’s first internet operating system that uses the internet as the base-layer infrastructure rather than an application. Elastos enables users to access any decentralized application (dApp) without needing the internet. [1]

Overview

Elastos is a blockchain-powered Internet in which users have complete control of their digital assets. Elastos is building an infrastructure needed for modern day Internet services and applications. It is more of a network operating system project powered by blockchain technology as compared to traditional blockchain projects. It aims to solve current trilemma of blockchain projects - security, scalability, and decentralization. Elastos is not competing with other blockchains rather it can work in tandem with them and form an ecosystem, where the decentralized applications run directly on the device instead of running on the blockchain along with decentralized peer-to-peer network to transfer digital assets in a completely closed sandboxed environment. It prohibits application programs from directly accessing the network in order to eliminate most viruses and attacks (especially DDoS attacks ) on the internet.

So using this way, Elastos addresses problem of security by running dApp in the trusted runtime environment, scalability using the main chain sidechains solutions and decentralization using the peer to peer network. According to Elastos, network communication should be separated from application computing. It is building a decentralized smart web powered by blockchain implementing p2p economic infrastructure while also providing digital asset ownership and management through smart contract. [2]

The Elastos OS can be installd onto any smart device in the world and these smart devices can be connected using peer to peer network, to form a global supercomputer having only one operating system for the entire network.

Company and History

Elastos is developed by a China-based Elastos Foundation Ltd. The organization is founded by an ex-senior officer at Microsoft, Rong Chen, and professor Sunny Feng Han in 2017. The company is registered in Singapore and has a principal office in Shanghai, China. It currently has 51-200 employees working for them.  [3]

History

Elastos is in making since 2000 when Rong Chen left Microsoft, USA and returned to China. In 2006-07, He completed the kernel and graphics and built a complete smartphone using Elastos operating system. In 2009, China Unicom used Elastos’ middleware as a fertile phone operating system framework. In 2013, Elastos open-source project received investment of 200 million RMB from Foxconn to build a distributed, cross-internet industrial Internet of things and a smart home network operating system.

In 2017, Rong Chen teamed up with Feng Han and established Elastos Foundation to support and grow Elastos project and transform into a blockchain-drive Internet project, attempting to create a new digital smart economy model that turns numbers into wealth. 

Elastos Smart Web

As mentioned Elastos development started way back in 2000. In 2017, blockchain technology was integrated into Elastos, enabling development of the Elastos Smart Web. Elastos smart web is composed of 4 major components namely, Elastos Blockchain, Elastos Runtime Elastos Carrier and Elastos SDK.   [4]

Elastos Blockchain

Elastos aims to build a decentralized smart web, where each device, individual, web site and digital asset has a trustworthy ID. Similar to the operating system on a mobile device, users need a trustworthy location to store their important data and the Elastos blockchain technology enables the establishment of trust zone for the entire Elastos network operating system.

It introduces main and sidechain solutions to facilitate the smart economy and a healthy decentralized application environment. It built-in, complete, easy-to-use sidechain support and any application can create customizable individual sidechains. This allows clients to use a different consensus mechanism depending on their use case. Sidechain can also have their native tokens and these tokens can participate in two-way asset transfers across the main and sidechains.[5]

Structure and Mining

Elastos Block mining

The Elastos blockchain structure is based on the Bitcoin structure and so it has same characteristics, including requirements for block authentication such as the previous block hash, the merkle tree root hash, a nonce for the consensus algorithm, timestamps, difficulty goals, and more. It also introduces a sidechain design philosophy and can adopt features that improve sidechains such as removing validation scripts from the transaction structure. The sidechain structure is the foundation for running dApps on Elastos, while the Elastos main chain structure provides infrastructure and support for the sidechains and enables convenient asset transfer.

The consensus mechanism for Elastos blockchain is AuxPoW+ Dpos. It utilizes proof-of-work consensus mechanism for mining and can be mined along with Bitcoin using merged mining method. In this case, the Bitcoin blockchain works as the parent blockchain to Elastos, with the Elastos chain as its auxiliary blockchain. By using merged mining, energy consumption will be minimized to avoid vast electricity costs and mining will be more efficient. This method makes full use of existing Bitcoin computing resources to get more efficiency from the same amount of energy. The other benefit is that it transfers trust over multiple chains and this method can be extended to the sidechains as long as the sidechains adopt the same proof of work consensus. In this way layers of chains can be merged mined recursively, which establishes a hierarchy of trust among chains.

The mining reward distribution is 35% for AuxPoW, 35% for DPoS, 20% for Ecosystem Application Reward and 10% for Foundation Running and Development. The native currency of the Elastos blockchain is ELA and It can be used for trading, investing in digital assets, paying for blockchain processing fees and so on.[6]

Elastos Runtime

In general, DApp platforms execute smart contract and run associated applications directly on the blockchain. This strategy is not user-friendly and can be problematic when the user tries to use Dapp on a mobile device. Elastos, tries to address it by running DApps with runtime environments while still using the blockchain to enable smart contracts.

In simile words, Elastos Runtime is a lightweight operating system that prevents applications and services from directly accessing the Internet. It runs on the top of operating systems of user’s devices such as mobile or PC. The apps are free to run and their performance is comparable to existing mobile apps. Elastos Runtime supports traditional programming languages, making it easy for developers to write code. It also supports popular programming frameworks. The Elastos runtime includes runtime environments for Android iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Ubuntu, and despite the DApps are running on these operating systems, they don’t have access to user's digital assets, preserving user ownership.

Elastos Carrier

Elastos Carrier is the decentralized peer-to-peer Internet service. it works on similarly to other decentralized internet networks based on blokchains where user rent out computation and storage space to others. The Elastos nodes may be executed within any internet-connected environment and by using User Datagram Protocol (UDP) - based Network address translation (NAT) transparency techniques, the nodes have the power to establish direct connections with one another. This method allow s exercising of every node's individual capacity to full extent, which can help to increase the effective horse power of the network collectively. The services Elastos carrier offers include decentralized domain names, decentralized computation, and decentralized storage. It will also support the development of Dapps. Using this environment, the users can posses privacy protection for their data and at the same time, they can rent their own equipment and earn rewards for that.

Elastos Development Kit

The Elastos Software development kit (SDK) connects applications to it's Smart Web. This is very useful for non-Elastos apps, especially Android or iOS apps and using the SDK, these apps can receive their Smart Web ID and access the Smart Web without having to use the Elastos virtual machine. hey can also keep their non-Elastos app data in their Elastos cloud storage.

Elastos Sidechains

Elastos Mainchain and Sidechain illustration
Elastos aims to scale their blockchain system by providing support for sidechains, which will help meet requirements for running applications with high Input/output operations per second (IOPS). It implements sidechains that have a very specific purpose, and function independently of the Elastos mainchain or other sidechains. The Elastos main chain will be responsible for the small but very important role of trading and transferring ELA, thus providing stability to the blockchain system and only major infrastructure upgrades will take place on the main chain. All other smart contracts can be directly implemented on sidechains, making main chain more scalable..This structure differs from the partial technology of singular consensus algorithms and chains. The sidechain can use PoW, it may merge-mine with Elastos, and thus with Bitcoin. Effectively, any Elastos sidechain can leverage the unparalleled hash-power of the Bitcoin network and tap into the robust security it provides. Using hybrid pow consensus algorithm, Elastos forms a resilient network without sacrificing scalability potential in the process and it also remains decentralized and autonomous at the same time. 

These sidechain have various advantages

  • Scalable Sidechains : In spite of its ubiquity in the blockchain lexicon, TPS (Transactions Per Second) is in fact irrelevant to most scalability solutions. Elastos offers a unique solution to the challenge of scalability.

  • Smart contracts : The Elastos can form Ethereum Sidechain using smart contacts and it will continually update, making it to be fully backwards-compatible with Solidity smart contract. A redefined ETH sidechain draws on Elastos Dpos (Delegated-Proof-Of-Stake) supernodes to replace the slower PoW consensus with super fast block confirmation.

  • All Purpose Sidechains: These sidechain prototypes are developed to handle specific transaction types and to execute different smart contracts. The transaction volume is distributed across the sidechain network and doesn’t slows down the mainchain.

  • Dedicated Sidechains : The sidechains are customizable and dedicated TPS can be allocated to a customized sidechain, giving developers the freedom to create their own scaling solution.

DID SIdechainEthereum Side ChainToken SidechainNeo Sidechain
This sidechain issues decentralized IDs to users, apps, and devices, and provides the capability to store data and information for each DID. This sidechain’s only function is to mimic the ethereum blockchain in running smart contracts written in solidity, issuing ERC20 and ERC-721 tokens to projects, and other basic functions as well. Anything a user or developer can developer or perform on the Ethereum blockchain, they can also do u the same sing the Elastos Ethereum sidechain. Its sole function is to issue fungible and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for projects and dApps.This copies the NEO blockchain, running NEO smart contracts and all other basic functions of the public NEO blockchain.

Smart Contracts

When smart contracts are deployed on the main chain, every node in the network needs to constantly update to sync with the network and ultimately results in slow transactions. This puts a burden on pure verification nodes, as mining nodes can still receive the fees for processing transactions. To avoid this, the Elastos main chain limits smart contracts usage and delegates them to sidechains. Each sidechain can design smart contract functionality independently, in similar way NeoContract supports the NEO blockchain.[3]

Tokenomics

The Elastos Token is denoted by ticker symbol ELA and It is the intrinsic token on the Elastos blockchain. It can be further divided into Satoshi ELA (Sela) just like Bitcoin (BTC) is divided into Satoshi (or sats). Satoshi ELA (Sela) is the minimum currency unit for ELA. and 1 ELA = 108 Sela. The Elastos token has a total supply of 33,000,000 ELA. It registered all time high of $93.96 USD on Feb 24, 2018 and All Time Low of $0.8392 USD on Mar 13, 2020. It is available to trade on popular cryptocurrency exchanges that includes KuCoin, Bittrex, LBank, Huobi, CoinEx, and many others.   [3]

Token Distribution

The ELA token will be distributed as below- 

Beneficiary% of total ELA tokens
EcosystemDevelopment50%
Angel Investors15%
Private & PublicCrowdfunding24%
ElastosFoundation11%

Fundraising

In the initial stage, Elastos received 200 million RMB grants from Foxconn. In January 2018, it raised total $94,070,000 USD via Initial Coin Offering (ICO) crowdfunding. The team sold total 33,000,000 ELA tokens at a price of 800 ELA = 1 BTC. They payments were accepted only in BTC and NEO. 

Elastos Wallets

The ELA tokens can be stored on Elastos web wallet, Elastos wallet (android and ios) wallet and Elephant wallet. Web wallet can be accessed using any browser and used to send/recieve ELA tokens. Elastos wallet is an official wallet new from Elastos Foundation for both android and iOS. It is also a \decentralized and open source wallet. It is dedicated to store only ELA. In the future, if there are any new features that are supported by the Elastos blockchain, this wallet will be the first one to receive updates. In future Supernode, ledger and voting integrations will be added to it depending on the developers. Elephant wallet is available for android and iOS and it can also store other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and also ERC20 Tokens. It will also support any other token generated via the Elastos token sidechain, Ethereum sidechain, and NEO sidechain. It also integrates DID (authorization) and provides a set of APIs other developers can interact with. Third party apps can also use Elephant wallet using Elephant API and send, receive, or store ELA.  [1]

Elastos Hive

Elastos Hive is a tool that enables users to access and leverage decentralized distributed data storage services. It is a basic data storage infrastructure that provides storage capabilities to dApps with decentralized characteristics.The Hive Cluster uses InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and IPFS-cluster as the base infrastructure to save and store Elastos data. It is a stand-alone application like IPFS Cluster but it consumes less computation resources compared to IPFS daemon. It also maintains a bog IPFS pinset for sharing and can serve numerous virtual IPFS peers while only requiring that one runs a real IPFS peer.[2]

In association with Elastos DID services, Elastos Hive enables applications to store user data in a distributed way and that can be accessed by its owners only. This service helps developers with an all-inclusive package when they set out to develop on Elastos. It allows them to build their entire platform within the Elastos ecosystem.  [2]

ElastOS

ElastOS is a container that provides an Elastos DApp running environment. It provides a reliable running environment for applications to protect digital contents. It combines all the services that Elastos provides and puts into a singular mobile application/framework for DApp developers to use and it is available on both Android and iOS. The developers only required to develop their application using one set of code in order to run on both platforms, inside the elastOS app. ElastOS can be downloaded onto a smart phone via Google Play or App store just like any other application. [2]

It benefits developers and requires them only to write their application using the ionic JavaScript framework and have only one set of Runtime APIs to manage it. It interacts with all the Elastos services such as Elastos mainchain, Ethereum sidechain, DID sidechain, NEO sidechain, token sidechain, Elastos Carrier, Elastos Hive, etc while preventing applications from accessing any APIs or plugins that are not supported by the Elastos runtime. So by using ElastOS user have access to Dapps and they can run smart contracts that general users can do only using specific interfaces. ElastOS provides on-chain and off-chain scalability solutions into one and also packs up data in such a way that developers don’t need anything extra to develop their DApps on its platform. [3]

Cyber Republic

Cyber Republic (CR) is the Elastos community platform. CR comprises ELA token holders, Elastos Foundation members, Elastos ecosystem partners, and any other individual and teams that contribute to development of Elastos’ technologies and community. CR runs on its consensus mechanism known as The Cyber Republic Consensus (CRC) and It is the third Elastos consensus mechanism after PoW and Dpos. CRC is incorporated to provide a consensus-based community governance model for elastos platform and ecosystem. It will power both technological and ecosystem development, dispute resolution, and management of community assets, and establish an incentives structure to grow community participation in the Elastos governance and community development.   

Team

Elastos have around 51-200 team members currently and they are divided to small teams. Some employees and contributors work for multiple teams. The notable team members include- 

NameDesignation/Department
Rong ChenDirector, Elastos Foundation
Feng HanDirector, Elastos Foundation
Ben LeeDirectors, Elastos Foundation, Operations Lead
Shunan YuBlockchain Team Lead
JingYu NiuCarrier and Runtime Lead
Zhilong TangCarrier Lead
Zhiming RaoRuntime Lead
Shijun SongConsulting team lead
Kiran PachhaaiDev Studio Lead
Clarence LiuDev Studio Lead
Donnie BullersDeveloper Experience Team Lead
Rebecca ZhuOperations Team Lead
Zach WersavageCommunication Team Lead

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