Insolar (INS) Blockchain Platform For Enterprises

Blockchain technology has been in the news for the last two years, with public and private blockchain network being a matter of debate among experts. Both public and private blockchain networks have been contributing immensely to the emerging use case in different industries. However, public blockchain networks are expected to be less confidential as compared to private blockchain networks, but the reality is somewhat different.

Over the past few years, the development of underlying public blockchain networks to serve as solutions to enterprises, has been in full flow, with many projects lining up to provide solutions and ecosystem support. The majority of public blockchain networks, however, are still plagued with persistent problems including high development costs, deployment cycles which are lengthy as well as compatibility issues with other existing systems.

One such project that aims to counter this problem is Insolar, which provides complete and secure blockchain tools for quick deployment of enterprise level applications.

Let us delve into some details related to Insolar to get a thorough understanding.

What Is Insolar?

Insolar has been developed as an open-source, blockchain-as-a-service platform, which aims to provide several blockchain services for both users as well as enterprises. The vision is to ensure seamless interactions between different companies as new opportunities for growth evolve. Insolar aims to increase the number of new growth opportunities that are overshadowed by the performance bottleneck of public blockchain networks. The various issues of processing speed, private data storage and interactivity can largely be avoided by Insolar. The goal is to provide businesses access to different services and features which help them in launching new applications easily and quickly.

The Project, which was initiated in 2017 and rebranded in 2018, expanded from being an e-commerce platform to an enterprise grade blockchain platform. With a high degree of code updates and an active GitHub community, it has scheduled its mainnet launch for the end of September.

On January 22, 2019, Insolar launched its first testnet to affirm the hypothesis of a fast blockchain platform. At that moment, it was expected that Insolar would be able to handle over 10,000 transactions per second. After being launched on nodes controlled solely by the insolar development team, Insolar was tested in different scenarios under a controlled environment.

About Insolar Domains

In simple terms, domains are a set of rules to be applied to smart contracts, and can be considered as subchains in this context, formed by developers. They are formed from low-level nodes, and are used mainly for administration, adjusting platform functionality and internal management. All domains can only be registered or cancelled by the Root Domain.

Inside the Insolar network, both private and public domains operate together, with each domain having their own set of rules, consensus mechanisms, nodes, and smart contract execution and data storage measures. Insolar allows different domains to communicate with each other, which is one of the major issues in private domains. By using Insolar, communication and data exchanges between private and public domains can readily and effectively be executed.

About Insolar Clouds

In the Insolar Network, a cloud is considered as an independent network, built by an enterprise and functions similarly to a server. Different from the public clouds as defined by the platform, private clouds are established enterprises. They can also form cloud alliances through interactions with other clouds, bringing about the development of a mixed network ecosystem. Thus, it provides significant benefits for enterprise application deployments, as compared to simple private chain protocols.

About Insolar Smart Contracts

Insolar’s smart contract design differs greatly from normal smart contracts, as it supports a range of different smart contracts languages as well as virtual machines including Java and Go. This in turn reduces the running cost of Insolar. Insolar also addresses the existing problem of requiring large number of nodes to process all the smart contract agreements. Because this practice consumes a significantly greater amount of resources, Insolar uses only a single node to execute smart contracts. The other nodes are used for validating the correctness of the results instead of executing all of the logic. The Insolar network also randomly selects nodes for contract executions, ensuring a greater degree of security.

About Insolar‘s Dynamic Consensus Mechanism

Scalability is the top most priority for the Insolar project, which is achieved by its dynamic consensus mechanism. This means that the consensus is defined in the respective domains. The value of the network transmission to reduce the cost of the transmission is the prime determinant for the notary required for participation.
Confirmation, domain orders can decide the number of confirmers needed for executing a smart contract, as well as decide the nature of the consensus to be achieved between them. Since the transaction computation and verification occurs at different times, the platform is kept scalable and fast. After processing the transactions, validator nodes confirm them.

What Is The Use-case For The INS Token?

The original token for the Insolar was INS, an ERC20 based token used on the platform. All this changed with the announcement of Insolar’s mainnet launch, which is scheduled for a September 30 release date. Users are required to swap the old INS tokens for the new XNS native coins that are to be introduced.

The XNS token is designed for serving some specific functions which are described in brief below:

  1. Staking: The XNS token can be utilised both as a medium of exchange as well as a store of value. The aggregate commitment of the network towards its security is represented by the total value of tokens locked up in the staking system. The total value is also evident of the total revenue accumulated by the participating nodes.
  2. Governance: The launch of Insolar’s mainnet will usher in a higher degree of decentralised governance, with the ultimate aim of creating a mature, self-sustaining ecosystem consisting of an autonomy governance system.
  3. Payments: As mentioned before, the XNS token can also act as a medium of exchange, being able to transfer value from one party to another. Such payments may include application fees and resource fees and various kinds of subsidies.

The potential of Insolar allows it to be applied to several different use cases in several industries. Few of them are mentioned below.

  • Manufacturing: Blockchain can be applied to the manufacturing sector, by combining 3D printing and distributed manufacturing. By implementing projects such as Insolar, significant monetary resources can be saved by replacing the existing inefficient processes. Insolar also tackles the problem of plagiarism, high costs, thefts and low speeds. This is because Insolar has the capacity to process 19000 transactions per second as compared to Ethereum’s 15 transactions per second speed. Insolar additionally provides the support to embedded smart contracts to work towards developing distributed applications for distributed manufacturing.
  • Energy and Utility: The trading of electricity over blockchain networks is executed when a producer supplies a unit of power back to the grid, with a corresponding smart meter creating a smart contract for the said units of power. The Consumer gets the right to extract power from the grid by purchasing a token.
    To make the system more functional and to avoid any mismatch, Insolar has introduced Globulas, a cluster of nodes that share common characteristics and configurations. This reduces both the verification time, as well as the overhead costs.
  • Retail: Product tracking, loyalty point management, fraud prevention, privacy and hassle-free processing are some of the issues faced by the existing retail industry. Insolar, with it is multi ledgered framework, handles the gamut of transactions to track products and verify them. The consensus algorithms used by Insolar can be chosen by the users themselves which help in detecting fraud. Additionally, Insolar can create smart contracts which can be used to create utility tokens to ease the process of loyalty point management.
  • Supply Chain and Logistics: Blockchain in supply chain management is nothing new, with Ethereum previously using smart contracts in supply chain management. However, Insolar improves this by providing a degree of private-public interoperability. Here, product creators and modifiers are in the private network while consumers or customers are included in a public network. Thus, every member of the network does not have to verify the changes, with each stakeholder defining its own policy for management and verification. The requirement of storing very high volumes of blockchain data is largely eliminated.

About the Insolar Team

The Insolar team is based in Russia, headed by Andrew Zhulin and Peter Fedchenkov. Both of them have had prior experience in the grocery industry. The team currently consists of almost 70 full time employees, with technical developers accounting for more than 60% of the team. The core members of the team have a combined experience of working for brands such as PWC, Goldman Sachs, and IBM etc.

Name Experience
Andrey Z. PWC and Goldman Sachs
Dmitry Z. Rothschild and VTB Capital
Pavel S. 10 years of experience in largescale high-load systems development
Kirill I. Over 25 years of development experience; expert in financial technology and blockchain technology
Ekaterina M. Over ten years of experience with companies such as Sberbank CIB and LLC Aton
Elena D. 7 years’ worth of experience in Human Resource Management
Fedor S. PWC Strategy Consultation

What Other Projects Is INS Competing Against and How Does It Compare?

There is fierce competition among enterprise level applications for dominance, with some projects already cutting in rows into the industry. Perhaps the biggest threat for Insolar comes from the various alliance chain projects in existence. Projects such as Hyperledger Fabric and Corda have already gone through extended periods of development, forming a number of wide ecosystem alliances.

  • Hyperledger Fabric: Hyperledger was developed as a collaborative effort for implementing blockchain solutions on a cross-industry basis, changing the way business transactions are conducted worldwide. It is open source; permission based and has a modular blockchain framework. Technology giants such as Intel, IBM and Cisco have already joined Hyperledger.
  • Corda: Corda is developed as a decentralised data base platform aimed at aiding the storage and automation of legal agreements between two parties. Even though it is primarily targeted towards the financial industry, the underlying architecture is being used in a broad range of applications.

However, the above mentioned projects are based on the traditional cloud service enterprise model, the majority of which still; use the Ethereum Network. Thus, even though they have made a significant impact on the industry, they still suffer from a lack of transparency and high deployment costs.

If the theoretical performance of Insolar in its testnet is any indication of its potential, the functional richness and development shown by Insolar cannot be easily matched. It also aims to introduce inter-compatibility with projects such as Hyper ledger Fabric and Corda .

The following comparison has been prepared to highlight Insolar’s performance as compared to both HyperLedger and Corda.

Project Corda Hyperledger Fabric Insolar
Blocktime 0.5s-2s 0.5s-2s 10s
Smart Contract Language Java, Kotlin Go, Java Go, Java
TPS 1700 400 10000
Transaction Costs Free High Low
Rapid Deployment No No Yes
Main purpose Enterprise Finance Enterprise (general) Enterprise(general)
Open-source Yes Partially Yes
       
       

Future Plans

With the launch of Insolar’s mainnet scheduled, Insolar has been concluding partnerships and other contracts in quick succession. Many Fortune 500 companies have already started integrating it into their systems. The launch of the mainnet on September 30th would allow it to host multiple products. The Insolar wallet is also slated for release.

With the release of Insolar’s mainnet, several changes have also been made to the smart contracts design structure. Multiple stability and fully implemented saga transactions have been carried out as tests. A new consensus model has also been introduced, which allows the network to reach a complete state.

The Insolar project is considered part of the Information Technology service industry, which is growing at a very fast pace. The INS token is valued at $0.261420 as of 9/3/2019, with a total market cap of $8,496,141 USD. It is traded in 11 active markets across exchanges including Kucoin, IDEX, mercatox, Bithumb and OKEx.

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