Ever since the World Wide Web (WWW) was first introduced in 1989, a lot of layers have been added and new features have been implemented to improve upon this ground breaking technology. The internet has had a tremendous impact on our society and day-to-day life. It is difficult for most people to imagine a world without internet access and online social interaction.
Almost three decades after its introduction the internet is facing issues that need to be solved in order to continue to move forward. The internet needs to stay a safe place for people to socialize, do business and be able to share information in an efficient, private and highly secure way.
Recently I came across a project called Covalent. Covalent is trying to improve upon the internet infrastructure by creating a decentralized Web 3.0 all-in-one solution. With COVA, the Covalent team is developing a new internet protocol of smarter data that is called ‘Smart Policy’.
Introducing Covalent and the COVA token
Internet with its TCP/IP protocol has defined how data should be transferred, but it did not define the utilization of that data. That is where Covalent steps in.
Floating data is increasing at a rapid pace, with the surge in social media activity by its users. In 2016 a total amount of 16.1 zettabyte (ZB) of data were produced. That’s the equivalent of 16,100,000,000,000 gigabyte (GB).
Storing this data in centralized data centers will immediately show two main flaws with this traditional data storage solution. On the one hand data owners do not trust centralized entities with handling their sensitive information. While on the other hand, there is no value network where people or organizations can monetize on their data.
Covalent introduces a machine-enforceable data usage policy called ‘smart policy’. The following comparison can be made: If smart contracts are machine-enforceable legal contracts powered by Ethereum, then COVA’s smart policies are machine-enforceable date usage policies. The COVA protocol enables users to select a smart policy that dictates a specific policy on how programs operating on the network need to handle their personal data.
COVA is the Covalent network token and its initially launched as an ERC-20 token based on the Ethereum blockchain. After Covalent’s mainnet is finalized and released, which does not have a projected launch date yet, ERC-20 COVA tokens will be swapped for native COVA blockchain tokens.
Covalent and its main technological features
To create a new paradigm shift in internet protocol that improves upon the existing internet protocol, Covalent is developing and implementing the COVA protocol that is comprised of 7 different layers and has 3 main technology advancements into their project.
An overview of the 3 main technical features in COVA:
➡️ Trusted Network Environments (TEE’s). The network environment will be created by appointing several network nodes that have the ability to scale their trusted computing power. The TEE nodes will be rewarded for completing computation tasks.
➡️ Centrifuge is the programming language of COVA. While Ethereum uses Solidity to write smart contracts, Covalent is utilizing their programming language called Centrifuge to write Smart Policies.
➡️ CovaVM (CVM): Covalent is developing an enhanced version of the Ethereum Virtual Machine called CovaVM. As a Policy Enforcement Framework (PEF), CovaVM enforces the policy written in Centrifuge and supports large scale-computations.
Team and investors
Covalent is founded by Raymond Xiang Gao and Vincent Li. Mr. Gao and Mr. Li both have extensive blockchain and cryptocurrency experience as well as business experience, which is a great feature to have as a founder and leader of a project. Furthermore, the Covalent Foundation is comprised of at least 12 members (according to their LinkedIn page). Covalent has hired some of the worlds’ top engineers, award winning computing professionals and mastermind hackers.
Covalent has onboarded several industry professional Venture Capitalist (VC) firms that have cumulatively invested over 10,000,000 USD into the project. Some of these VC’s include: ZhenFund, FBGCapital, IOST/ Bluehill and Node Capital. According to global business and start-up data provider and industry trend watcher, CrunchBase, Covalent recently received funding from digital asset financial service provider Huobi and San Francisco based cryptocurrency fund Long Crypto Group (LCG).
My personal opinion
Covalent seems to have a great plan by developing and launching their data utilization protocol. Their whitepaper is highly technical with all sorts of models and mathematical equations, which might not be digestible for the every-day investor. Luckily, they also have a blog on Medium, where they inform people about Covalent in more of a layman’s termed articles. Covalent is improving upon Web 2.0 protocols and they are doing it in an innovative way, through blockchain technology. Unfortunately, no ICO information has made public yet. This project has gained my attention and I look forward to dive deeper into the technology and tokenomics of Covalent whenever more information surfaces.
For more information on Covalent:
Full disclosure: I have not yet participated in the Covalent ICO. This article is not intended as investment advice. It is just my personal opinion about Covalent and their COVA protocol. You should always do your own research before you invest in a cryptocurrency or an ICO.
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