Yoav Vilner

@YoavVilner

A Step Towards Mainstream — Stanford Hosts Blockchain dApp Showcase

June 28th 2018

Have you ever opened up an internet browser and entered the site you wanted to go to only to see that darn hourglass endlessly flipping over? We’ve all been there, and we all know how frustrating it can be. After all, who has the time to waste waiting for a page to load?

With the amount of technology available today and the increasing demand for high-quality online streaming, the internet has become extremely congested. And it doesn’t appear that we have been able to keep up.

Today, over 225,000 petabytes per month are demanded in video streaming alone. Users are frustrated with long buffering times and errors. In a world where convenience is a high priority to people who work, play and get entertained online, waiting for content delivery isn’t going to cut it.

This is where a content delivery network (CDN) can help. A CDN is simply a collection of proxy servers working together to cache the content on a website so that the content can be distributed to users. CDNs drastically improve load times and user experiences.

Problem solved, right? Well, not really. CDNs have become essential, but they have their own problems. They are expensive. Installing a large number of new services is not cheap, and most businesses cannot afford their own CDNs or the third party costs associated with attaining them.

The current internet infrastructure will not work for us as we move into the future.

Stanford recently hosted an event showcasing dApp blockchain projects from students. This year, the event was attended by a significant number of Bay Area venture capitalists and others interested in hearing creative solutions to the problems plaguing our world. Marlin Protocol received the highest ratings out of the 16 projects presented.

“I was impressed by the courage and boldness in the students of CS359B to solve difficult and meaningful problems. For some projects, at first, even some of the course staff and mentors didn’t think they’d be possible in 10 weeks, but the students made them happen. For example, Marlin wanted to improve a core infrastructural element of the internet, which was not feasible to build exclusively on Ethereum. Instead of being confined by the environment, they dared to strike out and build their own peer to peer protocol from scratch,” Dr. Nicolas Kokkalis, instructor of the course at Stanford commented.

They have developed a solution that leverages unused bandwidth within a secure, P2P network where both ISPs and publishers benefit along with every day users. Marlin’s solution is like the Airbnb or Uber of the online experience. They take advantage of streamlining and decentralizing content delivery so that spare bandwidth is shared among users who are active on the same network.

Unlike the existing P2P CDN architecture where a user can only serve previously requested content, a decentralized CDN on the blockchain uses several smart caching and prepositioning techniques with reinforcement learning and reduce congestion through dynamic algorithms. This means that the end users get a much better experience.

More people than ever before are working from home online, starting their own businesses and launching out as entrepreneurs. This trend is seen around the globe. And because of this, more people are relying on the internet to sustain their businesses.

The internet is powerful, and our future relies upon it. However, we need to truly leverage the power behind the internet and deliver content consistently and reliably to all the people who rely on it, regardless of location or financial ability. The solution is blockchain.

Blockchain is already revolutionizing our world — from the way we bank to the way we vote. From healthcare to money and everything in between, blockchain is poised to improve the way we live. As we begin to take advantage of blockchain in all facets of our lives, we will finally be able to keep up with the advancement of technology.

Content delivery is extremely important and will become even more important in the future. The blockchain is ready to make sure that we are able to get our content when we need it.

I’m happy to see Standford showcasing dApp and blockchain platforms infront of a live, mainstream audience. It’s all another brick in the wall of acceptance.

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