Ankr ICO Review by Coincrunch

ANKR ICO Review: Distributed Cloud Computing on Trusted Hardware

If you are reading this review, it’s because you believe in the crypto-space, and you believe in its immense power to change various aspects of our daily lives.

Nevertheless, although many things have improved since the appearance of our beloved Bitcoin, we still suffer from different issues.

For Bitcoin’s ecosystem to run smoothly, large amounts of computing power are needed but with such great power there’s also huge energy consumption during the mining process – proof of work – which will continue to skyrocket before we can see widespread adoption, energy consumption therefore could theoretically get out of hand.

On-chain implementation and On-chain tx´s are creating a bottleneck in scalability. These factors limit blockchain’s adoption, the more users, the more scalability becomes a critical necessity.

Data feed services and other resources are still controlled in a centralized manner and organizations are growing at an exponential rate.

With the exception of projects specifically designed to preserve privacy, blockchain technology – it’s immutable ledger – tends to be open/transparent/exposed. Therefore confidentiality is still on the “to do list”.

Today we are looking at Ankr and how their new innovative solution to Cloud Computing plus hardware and resource efficiency can help organizations, businesses, business owners and individuals alike.

Ankr brings a new blockchain framework which plans to be efficient in resource usage and will bring a user friendly interface for business applications.

Based on this new framework Ankr will deploy a distributed cloud computing solution to address the issues mentioned above; we will go into some of the challenges Ankr plans to address in the next section.


Problem

As mentioned, blockchain technology is progressing forward at a rapid rate.  Each new iteration of a blockchain project is bringing with it new improvements to the tech that moves the space forward (and hopefully towards full adoption).

Our latest reviewed project is no exception.  There are a number of problems that the Ankr team is attempting to resolve with their project including:

  • Resource inefficiency: This includes the proof of work based mining operation carried out by pros miners and dedicated hobbyist.
  • Data insufficiency: There’s limited access to reliable information but also there’s a restriction on the collection of information due to the lack of sharing by larger data collectors
  • Low Scalability: That results from the design of existing blockchains that rely on all transactions to be conducted and recorded on the chain itself.
  • Unfairness: In the current proof of work and proof of staking consensus mechanism models, rewards are given to organizations and people with the most resources at their disposal.
  • Exposure of all transactions: On chain records are accessible to anyone with the technical knowledge and resources to view them and potentially link transactions from a particular wallet address or groups of addresses opening people up to new risks.
  • Security of transactions: One of the latest risks we come across are the use of keyloggers and mini-programs that change items copied to the clipboard.  Potentially capturing passwords, and take over a person’s computer and rerouting peoples funds to a hacker’s address instead of the intended recipient.

Solution

In this section we take a look at some of the solutions Ankr Network is bringing to the market through their technological perspective. Below is a diagram that illustrates Ankr’s approach.

Consensus Protocol:

With reference to the consensus protocol, we will briefly introduce Proof of Useful Work, the new consensus proposed by the Ankr Network team.

Proof of Work, the consensus algorithm that we all know because of Bitcoin($BTC), addresses two main issues:

It determines how to allocate rewards/incentives between parties involved in the protocol, and it also determines who will be the leader within the consensus.

Performing this consensus also requires massive amounts of energy and yet there is no true utility value for $BTC as yet, beyond its limited use as a currency and of course as a scarce Store of Value, which is speculative.

Proof of Stake, which uses less energy and can be used as a base for smart contracts requires a large stake of assets within the blockchain. Furthermore, due to its complex architecture, it is difficult to update.

The main advantage of Proof of Useful Work (PoUW) over the above mentioned mechanisms is that instead of wasting electricity and computing power on hashes they will drive those resources towards useful tasks provided by enterprises and consumers.

Trusted Hardware:

In order to allow miners to participate easily within Ankr´s Network while avoiding mining pools, which over time end up becoming centralized entities, the team will use a technology stack, the Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions) CPU .

It’s a highly secure area within the CPU that limits the exposure of code operating on the host computer but securely running within a  hardware enclave the applications confidentiality and integrity remain in tack and potentially avoid duplication/mass production by competitors.

Distributed Computing:

The use of blockchain technology to provide distributed cloud computing has been explored by many projects in the space like Golem and SONM, to name a few and are innovative ideas in their own right, though none of them are trying to solve the issues that plague the PoW mechanism.

Ankr´s approach is different. It will be the first in the crypto-space to leverage both blockchain and trusted hardware.

Ankr will utilize computing power to improve it’s consensus mechanism, making it more efficient. In this way, they not only incentivise users by mining new blocks, but also by solving computing subtasks of “useful work” for clients using the network and we think the incentives will be the driver to behind the project´s adoption.

Data Feed:

One intent of the Ankr project is to solve some of the data issues that exist today.  Their implementation of Data Oracles will solve problems found today with centralized data sources and move us all closer to decentralized trusted databases.


Main Feature

What do high security standards and energy efficiency have in common? They both exist in Ankr’s Network, who attempts to bring this to life through their Proof of Useful Work(PoUW) Mechanism.

As stated above miners/participants are rewarded for using their computing power to execute useful computations as a trusted hardware agent to earn rewards within the Ankr ecosystem.

So let’s take a look at some of the components that make up the PoUW mechanism.

The Miners:

As outlined in the above diagram, miners are the centerpiece of the consensus protocol – by launching an Intel SGX enclave, miners are able to carry out useful work task, once this task has been completed the miner is expected to meter the useful task and decided whether this work successfully won the consensus leadership or not. If the task was successful at winning the leadership a PoUW is generated and attached to a block template for publishing. As proof of this work:

  1. An Intel SGX-produced attestation to prove the PoUW enclave complies with Ankr’s algorithm.
  2. Another attestation to demonstrate the task was finished at a given difficulty level, which will be used as the baseline for the next iteration of new block.
Blockchain Agents:

The Blockchain agent is the link between the PoUW mining scheme and the rest of the blockchain ecosystem.They collect transactions and generate a block template without proof of useful work and when the miners complete their proof of useful work task and embed it into a template, the blockchain agents are the ones that verify the attached proof and publish it to the blockchain to receive the corresponding rewards.

Useful Work Provider:

Supply miners with the useful work task and receive the task results, which is made up of a PoUW enclave and some task inputs.

Block Generations:

Miners in the Ankr’s network simulate the block generation in a proof of work system, but you knew this already, what is different in Ankr’s ecosystem is that the process they use to decide which instruction deserves the reward is done via SGX’s random number generator (SRNG), which checks to see if this number is smaller than the desired difficulty.

Additionally useful task are divided into smaller sub-tasks with short durations to avoid any prohibitive overhead that could be encountered checking every single instruction as mentioned above.

Useful Work Metering

As useful work task are metered on a per instruction basis, Ankr meters via CPU instruction counting even though it can be prone to some issues.

Process Attestation and Block Validation

Attestation: “To affirm to be correct, true, or genuine”

Intel SGX remote attestation:- is the mechanism that another party can use to verify that the correct software is running within an enclave on an enabled system. Also, PoUW attestation follows a two-layer attestation:

  1. A useful work attestation created by a useful work enclave.
  2. Compiler work attestation to detect and confirm whether or not a useful work task conforms to the requirements of PoUW.
Block Validation

PoUW requires verifications of the attestations in each block


Roadmap


Token Economics

Ticker: ANKR

Token type: ERC20

Fundraising Goal: 16,000,000 USD

Available for Token Sale: 30%


TEAM

Chandler Song – Co-founder & Product Manager

  • Chandler has 2.5+ years work experience as a Researcher, Software Engineer and most notably a CTO.
    • He was a CTO at CitySpade Inc for 5 months.
    • Software engineer for Amazon for 5 months. Skills include Java, C++, Python, C, Java Scripting, SQL, AWS, AI, Data Analysis, Blockchain.
    • Developer at Blockchain at Berkeley for 7 months
    • Researcher at Didi and UC Berkeley College of Engineering for 8 months combined.
  • Obtained an BS, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley
  • Chandler has 1 Publication: https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~kpengboy/cs294-131/proj.html

Stanley Wu – Co-founder & CTO

  • According to linkedin if this is his account, Stanley has 10+ years experience as Senior Software Engineer and Tech Lead (LV6) at Amazon. Skills learnt here:
    • Full project lifecycle experience from Design, Develop, Implement, test, document and deliver large-scale, multi-tiered distributed software applications, tools, system and services using AWS cloud service.
  • Obtained: Certificate in Database Management at UCalifornia, Berkeley.
  • MSc, Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Rochester.
  • BS, Electrical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Ryan Fang – Co-founder COO

  • Ryan has 1+ year of experience work mainly as an Analyst.
    • 3 months as a Technology Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Credit Suisse
    • 3 months as a Enterprise Risk Management Intern at State Street.
    • 2 months as a Investment Banking Summer Analyst
    • 2 months as a Consulting Intern.
  • Obtained Business Administration and statistic at University of California Berkeley and at Haas School of Business. It does not state what degrees where completed.

Song Liu – Chief Security Engineer

  • Song has accumulated 7+ years work experience as an Software/Server/Security Engineer.
  • Notable previous roles:
    • Principal Software Engineer at Gigamon. Technology included: Distributed Security Delivery Platform Inline SSL proxy
    • Senior Staff Engineer at Palo Alto Networks. Technology included: Data path (TCP,SSL) of next Generation Firewall.
    • Software Architect at General Electric. Technology included: Next Generation Firewall.
    • Senior Server Engineer. Technology included: C++, NHL studio.
  • Song obtained a MS, Computer Science at Boston University.

Yan Xiu – System Architect

  • Yan has accumulated 17 years of work experience as a Senior/Principal Engineer.
  • Notable previous stops:
    • Principal Engineer – Traffic Visibility and Protection at Gigamon. Tech covered:
      • Core designer and developer of traffic visibility.
      • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) based NTP Authentication.
    • Senior Software Engineer at UTStarcom, Inc:
      • Design implemented UTStarcom Ethernet over Passive Optical Network(EPON) and Giga-but capacity Passive Optical Network (GPON) system.
    • Senior Software Engineer at Salira Optical Network Systems:
      • He worked on project of Ethernet over Passive Optical Network (EPON).
  • Obtained BS, Management Information System at Harbin Institute of Technology.

Quanlai Li – Blockchain Engineer

Yige Liu – UI Designer

David P. Anderson – Technical Advisor

Ramsey Hanna – Legal Advisor

  • Ramsey has 23+ years experience as an Attorney.
  • Obtained JD, MA, BA at Stanford, Brown, Schiller University

JZ Zhang – Technical Advisor

  • JZ is currently a Founder, CEO/CTO  at PDX technologies. Has a track record of leadership in the blockchain space.
  • Also has worked at CISCO, Yahoo, PayPal, IBM, BlackBerry, AT&T.
  • Obtained Masters, Bachelors Degrees in Engineering at Huazhong University and Technology and Automation Research o Metallurgical Industry.
  • Holds one Patent

Christel Quek – Marketing Advisor

  • Co-Founder of BOLT, Advisor to Zilliaq & Switcheo.
  • Obtained Bachelor of Arts, Geography at National University of Singapore

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