In the world of blockchain technology, the advent of new, innovative decentralized services and applications of smart contract blockchain networks such as Ethereum and NEO is readily apparent. With a growing number of projects in the decentralized landscape, almost all of them offer two main advantages, namely, the ability to aggregate disparate small economic resources and increased transparency.
This entire concept, however, is still in its infancy and lacks some of the basic building blocks that are required to realize the potential of decentralized applications. Phantasma Protocol is one of the projects that are working towards finding a solution to this problem, by presenting a service which allows customizable communication and data sharing between any decentralized applications.
What Is Phantasma?
Phantasma has been developed as a platform that provides content storage. The platform also functions as a protocol that uses smart contracts for sending messages. This protocol aims to provide an efficient framework for data management when it comes to dApps. The protocol can support the exchange of direct messages, e-mails, files and other types of documents, using the blockchain.
Since decentralization adds much value to information security, the team behind Phantasma has built the protocol to specifically support content sharing. The team consists of co-founders, Sergio Flores and Miguel Ferreira, Alexandre Paixao as a marketing expert and Sergio Pereira da Silva as a Head Business Developer.
How Does It Work?
To understand how the Phantasma Protocol works, we need to take a look at the 5 basic components which make up the project, all of them representing different stages of the project. The components are structured to allow easy bootstrapping of the network from the initial components. The system then expands after the remaining components have been developed.
The five components are mentioned and explained in brief below:
⦁ Blockchain: The Phantasma Project initially launched on the NEO blockchain. However, in September 2019, it was announced that Phantasma blockchain was ready for launch. Among the new features introduced in the blockchain, users can now swap NEP5 SOUL token to the native Soul token, among other benefits.
⦁ Software Development Kit: Phantasma provides its users with a software development kit, allowing developers to create their own DApps, using the Phantasma protocol.
⦁ Distributed Content Storage: Phantasma is back-end agnostic, being able to support various backend systems for storage, and store the actual content of messages. Besides adding support for third-party data back-ends such as Bluzelle, Phantasma will eventually release its own data storage mechanism titled “Phantasma Data File System”.It is expected to be released in the third stage of the project as an extension of the Relay Layer.
Thus, some of the possible back-ends that will be supported by Phantasma include,
⦁ Decentralized databases for general data
⦁ A built-in Phantasma incentivized decentralized storage system.
⦁ File storage blockchains
⦁ Core decentralized protocols such as IPFS and Swarm
What Are They Trying To Do?
One of the most challenging developmental problems faced by today’s decentralized application developers is the management of data. Data is one of the main reasons contributing to high transaction costs in various Ethereum and Neo based dApps. Developers are additionally burdened with complex design hurdles, mounting implementation details and limitations, especially when it concerns scaling up and developing more complex dApps.
Phantasma aims to resolve the existing issues concerning privacy and security in existing content distribution systems. By introducing a decentralized platform, it will allow users to control their own content, eliminating the reliance on third party hosting.
Phantasma has introduced a cosmic swap feature which allows automatic token conversions. This also allows developers to build their own exchange on the front end, with the back-end connected to Phantasma. KCAL is one of the tokens currently supported for cosmic swaps.
How Do They Plan On Achieving Their Goals?
Phantasma aims to bolster adoption by increasing interoperability with existing systems, by creating systems for the end users. For instance, for emails, Phantasma’s mailboxes support standard email addresses, allowing it to communicate with email systems outside the blockchain.
When it comes to privacy and security, Phantasma encrypts all data within its network, giving total control to the content owner. Thus, the ownership of all content stored in a particular wallet is reflected by the ownership of all private keys of the specific wallet.
Phantasma Oracle Support
Phantasma announced that it has built its very own Oracle support. This will allow smart contracts to real-world data, and subsequently use it as a fuel for on-chain logic and calculations, automatically reducing the workload of the blockchain.
Phantasma’s Oracle removes much of the hurdles present in first generation oracle systems which are outdated and slow. Phantasma’s next gen oracles are fully integrated into the chain built, to satisfy blockchain interoperability, third party developer support and price determination.
According to the Phantasma team, there are three types of Oracles, explained below:
⦁ Price Oracles: Phantasma price Oracles are used to allow smart contracts obtain real time price data for supported tokens and coins. This is a necessary feature since Phantasma users can use multiple cryptocurrencies as payment for cosmic swaps.
⦁ Third Party Oracles: Phantasma also has third-party Oracles since it’s an open chain blockchain. This allows it to be integrated by third party developers. These oracles can be created by anybody and are actually data feeds. This in turn allows smart data to be available from multiple external sources such as weather reports, government data etc.
⦁ Blockchain Interoperability Oracles: This type of oracle is responsible for allowing Phantasma transactions to read blocks and transactions belonging to supported blockchain networks. It automatically converts the blocks and data from other blockchain networks for use in Phantasma dApps. The oracle currently supports the NEO blockchain, with plans to add others.
What Are The Use Cases of Its Token?
⦁ Digital Commerce: Phantasma can function as an efficient digital commerce platform, allowing the sales of products such as video games, videos, etc. Since Phantasma has programmable sub-contracts which can run on the VM, content can easily be shared and exchanged, with special permissions added to allow functions such as purchase orders and product listings.
⦁ Video Streaming: Content creators who release videos for free can now host them in the network, allowing them to choose who can access them. With Phantasma, the need for flooding followers with unwanted ads is largely removed as hosting costs are decreased significantly. Video streaming is supported by using random access in the PDFS layer, which is possible due to the fixed segmentation of storage into equal blocks. Transferring speeds are increased significantly by using the Phantasma Relays.
⦁ Decentralized Email: Phantasma allows the creation of a full-fledged email like system, with the Phantasma VM script being used. Additionally, it also allows communication with traditional email systems without suffering much of the communication hurdles faced by other existing projects.
⦁ Block producers: The Phantasma blockchain has been launched with the minimum viable amount of active block producers required. To further improve decentralization, there are plans to increase the number of active block producers to 10, with an additional 15 block producers on standby.
⦁ Storage Solution: Phantasma provides an excellent storage option with functionality similar to Google Drive. The main difference is Phantasma’s use of the blockchain to store the data as opposed to Google’s centralized servers. Smart contracts can read the files, unlocking a new method of storing and accessing files within a storage network. Thus, Phantasma storage is ideal for developers to create storage based dApps or to store dApp data.
Advantages & Disadvantages:
- Phantasma provides a larger degree of interoperability allowing it to be used heavily for transacting data between DApps hosted on two disparate protocols.
- Phantasma provides users with the potential to make dApps as they please by making an SDK available for developers.
- A general lack of marketing which poses a problem for projects of this nature especially when they are conducting ICOs.
- Existing competition exists among well-known industry leaders such as Google and Dropbox for data storage and messaging services such as WhatsApp for data encryption.
The Phantasma project looks like a promising one, offering many of the utilities that few can compete with. With a detailed roadmap with future milestones, it’s evident that the team has accomplished almost all of the milestones in a timely and efficient manner. The team, which consists of multiple technical professionals is known for being technically adept and for prior industry experience. With the launch of their mainnet, Phantasma hopes to add more features and dApps onto the ecosystem.
The Phantasma token, SOUL, is currently valued at $0.045319 according to coinmarketcap, with a market cap of $2,643,585 USD as of 11/11/2019. It is currently traded in 9 markets across exchanges such as Bitbns, Gate.io, KuCoin and Hotbit. The SOUL tokens, in addition to other functions, acts as a token permission. The tokens are considered as the fuel of the entire network, required for operations such as the creation of boxes, allocation and renewal of storage space.
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