Blockchain technology has been the main topic of discussion in both the financial and technological sectors worldwide and for good reasons. Blockchain technology has been lending its hand to a number of varied use-cases in our everyday lives, with seemingly no end in the near future. Many blockchain projects have been developed over the last few years, to tackle the problem of Big Data. Constellation (DAG) is one such project, – which is also the focus of this review.
What Is Big Data?
The term Big Data refers to the large volume of structured and unstructured data which inundates a business on a day to day basis. Big Data is analysed mainly for the insights they provide, which are used to take better decisions and other strategic business moves. Thus, Big Data plays a part in almost all major industries of the world, including banking, education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and Government.
What Is DAG & How Does It Work?
Constellation has been developed with the aim of tackling the problems in the infrastructure for an increasingly open decentralized data marketplace, through an enterprise grade software solution meant for data provenance and integrity. It acts as a distributed ledger, implementing a technology known as the direct acyclic graph or DAG along, utilizing the Proof of Reputable Observation, a novel reputation based consensus model.
The team behind Constellation includes CEO Benjamin Jorgensen and CTO Wyatt Meldmanfloch, both of whom have a strong technical background. They aim to resolve the three main problems in the current Big Data infrastructure, which are explained in brief below.
- Scalable Interoperability: Constellation is made up of a micro-service framework. This enables convenient plug and play functionality when working with existing applications employing JVM Languages like Scala and Java.
- Validation of Big Data: Constellation provides a multi-checkpoint solution which is cryptographically secured, to validate data pipelines at scale. As a result, networks become significantly more secure.
- Notarization of Big Data: Constellation’s unique protocol can notarise data in dedicated transaction logs to form a usable audit trail.
What Are They Trying To Do?
The Constellation project is targeted at a fast growing market which increasingly faces demand for big data solutions. It provides an easy degree of integration with other existing systems. Furthermore, apart from Big Data, this project also works on solving the two main limitations of blockchain technology, both of which are described in brief below.
- Transaction Costs: High transaction costs have always been a major limitation of some blockchain networks, with current transaction fees on the majority of blockchain networks being too steep. This becomes a problem for a thriving ecosystem of users and applications. Although there are several projects which have presented solutions for a higher data throughput, they had to sacrifice in some degrees when it comes to the scalability, security or the decentralization of the particular project. This creates a hindrance when it comes to enterprise adoption due to the lack of clear economic incentives for companies. As a result, they tend to move away from such solutions, which results in the overall lack of trust in a DLT.
- Scalability: Scalability is another problem which has been plaguing blockchain technology for quite some time now. A degree of high data throughput is required for increasing the mass user adoption of distributed ledger technology, which is currently being hampered by scalability limitations. As it stands, widespread adoption can only happen when there is no downtime or friction.
How Do They Plan on Achieving Their Goals?
Constellation’ solutions to the above existing problems make it different from the likes of other similar projects which proof-of-stake protocols. Infact, Constellation has its own system called the Proof of Reputable Observation.
By utilising this system, Constellation’s interconnected set of hierarchically structured nodes help to secure the network and provide additional resources through the DAG token, which is the project’s main token. Thus, the trustworthiness of a particular node is determined by a network imposed score which takes into consideration, the history, commitment and behaviour of the node within the network. This is radically different than most other projects where node trust is determined by the number of tokens a particular node holds.
Nodes within the Constellation Network are required to send DAG to other nodes with no transaction fee required. This transaction in turn, is validated by other neighbouring nodes whose job it is to route transactions. As a result, high transaction throughput is achieved, while maintaining a high level of uncompromised security and decentralisation. These micro services are called State Channels, which form the basis of the architecture. The verification process thus becomes faster, as the number of nodes grow.
What Makes Them Unique?
Constellation’s overall technology, namely the Directed Acyclic Graph or DAG, is an alternative to blockchain technology. Much of this has to do with the fact that there are no miners and the concept of block generation is absent. Users instead confirm each other’s transactions through the DAG. The debate around block sizes and block debate which plagues other cryptocurrencies are thus removed.
When it comes to the data structure of the Constellation project, it seems to resemble a flow chart where all points are in one direction. It is almost comparable to the concept of folders and subfolders, as transactions are not grouped into blocks but rather as circles. Here, the lines represent the confirmation link between a previous transaction and a new one.
Benefits and Concerns (Good or Bad) of the Constellation Project
The main aim of this project is to enter into the Big Data market, which currently faces issues related to security, validation and the law. They tackle this issue by presenting an enterprise and consumer grade application as an alternative. Thus, there are a number of benefits if the Constellation project is correctly implemented, including the following:
- Ease of Adoption: Constellation works with programming languages such as Python, Scala and Java which have a large working community behind it, with a network of more than nine million developers worldwide. This increases the reach of the project and the chances of adoption.
- Security is improved: The whole point of blockchain technology in the first place was to focus on decentralisation. This mitigates the network away from having any single point of vulnerability. Constellation builds on this concept even more, allowing organizations to choose between off chain and on chain data management.
- Data processing Becomes Cost effective: Transaction fees stay at a bare minimum.
Token Utility: The platform’s native token, DAG, allows the value of data to be bound to a token. Big data processing and exchanging would require DAG tokens as payment.
Even though there are several benefits that can be realized from this project, Constellation faces some risks and concerns as well:
- The inability to market themselves more and to develop new partnerships within the industry can make them fall behind their competitors.
- Although the project does not face any direct competition, a growing number of projects such as IOTA, Hash graph and Fantom have already developed similar use cases.
The year 2019, has been impressive for Constellation, with the DAG token making some impressive and significant gains over the year which has made it one of the hottest investment options in the crypto-world. However, there have been a series of developments behind the scene that has contributed to the projects, sudden rise in popularity.
One of the incidents that have had a tremendous impact was the announcement of the partnership with the United States Armed Forces. Apart from that, Constellation also announced a partnership with Chain Link and became a node operator in its network.
Constellation appears as a concrete and well-thought out project which has laid the ground works for a successful future. The DAG token is currently valued at $ 0.013565 USD according to coinmarketcap, ranked 285th as of 28/10/2019. The token has a total market cap of $11,638,927 USD and is already listed in 8 markets across exchanges such as Kucoin, Hotbit, IDEX and HitBTC.
The project is well on its way in delivering an efficient product which was initially undervalued but is slowly getting the attention it deserves. They already have a very detailed structure, outlined in their whitepaper and roadmap. With a mix of market experience, market potential, professional business development and new technology, Constellation is well on its way to become a major player in the Big Data market.
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