On Decentralization and 5GB Block Sizes: An Interview with Norbert Goffaby@czai
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On Decentralization and 5GB Block Sizes: An Interview with Norbert Goffa

by Ma. Czarina mai Delos ReyesDecember 22nd, 2019
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Norbert Goffa is a co-founder and the Executive Manager of ILCoin Blockchain Project, whose mission is to prepare the blockchain technology for wide adoption and create the first fully scalable on-chain data storage solution. 

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Norbert Goffa is a co-founder and the Executive Manager of ILCoin Blockchain Project, whose mission is to prepare the blockchain technology for wide adoption and create the first fully scalable on-chain data storage solution. 

With the help of their unique approach, ILCoin Development team managed to solve the scalability issue. In this interview, we discussed the new RIFT protocol released by the project in the second part of November 2019, the idea of decentralization, and the ways blockchain can change our lives in the nearest future. 

Q: Blockchain's popularity is not waning, but advancements to the tech have been snail-pace. How far has the technology come since Satoshi brought to mainstream?

This is an excellent question. If we have a look at most of the criticisms of Bitcoin, we will see that they are basically not correct. Vitalik Buterin once said that Bitcoin was only a pocket calculator, while Ethereum was rather a smartphone.

But what exactly can we use this “smartphone” for? Real-life practices suggest that Ethereum’s most significant achievement was tokenization, which has resulted in their blockchain system housing thousands of frauds during the hype. 

Do not get me wrong, I am not against Ethereum; but it’s hard to find the truth in Vitalik’s statement - and the same goes for other prestigious projects’ giant advancements that we are constantly informed about through the media.

How come that some believe that Ripple or EOS is better than Bitcoin? Admittedly, they come with higher TX speed, but what about safety or security? Ethereum may be easier to use, but it is far from delivering the same stability that Bitcoin represents.

All of the enterprises that are developing for Ethereum’s system opt for off-chain based solutions, which implies that decentralization is not their main concern. If we take an objective view of today’s market, we will see many projects who make promises and construct theories, but don’t actually deliver.

Yes, the market is advancing, still - where are all those remarkable breakthroughs? The ILCoin Development team is undoubtedly an exception; is it possible to question a 5GB block that anyone can see on the live net? I don’t think so.

Q: Despite the demand for and global research on blockchain, why isn't it globally accepted and adopted? What are the obstacles to widespread adoption?

I don’t think that decentralization is really favored those who are in power today. I would stay away from conspiracy theories, but data market is one of the largest in the world. Facebook, Google, and Amazon all make a profit from the data they collect.

A system where data is managed centrally will create a monopoly; it’s impossible in case of decentralized data management. You cannot misuse or abuse data in a decentralized system.

It is crystal clear to me that one of the reasons why developers rather opt for the off-chain route is to maintain the unity of power. It is not a conspiracy; it is only business. However, it is also apparent that more and more companies and governments are becoming interested in the blockchain technology.   

Q: How is ILCoin solving these blockchain problems with C2P and RIFT Protocol?

These two pieces of technology are not necessarily used together. However, when we combine C2P and RIFT, they provide ILCoin with a level of efficiency and security that no-one else on the market is able to compete with at the moment.

Security is the most prominent aspect of C2P: it prevents block and network corruption. Introducing C2P was a necessary step from our side, and that’s one of the reasons why we are a hybrid (partially centralized) system. In our system, there are three types of nodes, two of which - Admiral and Bridge - are centralized.

Admiral nodes provide the system with protection through digital signatures. C2P is the basis of our strategic development, and, altogether, the frame of our system.

RIFT protocol covers other important aspects, even though it too carries huge potential in terms of network security. The protocol works with two interconnected chains of blocks: the first contains standard blocks, and the second one - mini-blocks, which are not mined but generated. Mini-blocks play a key part in data transmission.

Although the blockchain network has technical limits by its nature – and that’s something that we cannot change – we can handle this limitation to push a large amount of data through the network. This is what the RIFT is about.  

Q: Can you give a couple of examples of how RIFT optimizes network performance?

One of the biggest problems we’ve solved with RIFT is bottlenecks. In the case of a standard FIFO (First In, First Out) approach, a larger block would hold up the smaller blocks following it, which would cause network congestion and severe delays in block confirmation.

Our development team has come up with a solution to this issue. ILCoin has become the first project to introduce simultaneous block synchronization, where last blocks in the sequence would synchronize at the same time. 

I could also add that RIFT – with its 5GB block – has an up to ten times faster transaction speed than VISA does. However, this is not the point, as we are not really interested in winning the war of numbers. The fact which is most important to us is that, by RIFT, we have established the foundations for economically efficient on-chain data storage. 

All in all, we can say that C2P is the running gear while RIFT is the engine, and now we need to construct the car. Fortunately, we already have the plan for it, and we are going to introduce the DCB platform by the end of next year.

It will feature the world’s first fully scalable on-chain data storage system, where all information will be stored inside the blockchain, in a decentralized manner.  

Q: ILCoin has introduced the biggest block size available in the market -- 5GB. How did this come about; and how does it change the landscape of Blockchain?

The idea itself came from wanting to solve the scalability problem. We’ve seen other projects fail at finding a solution to it, and we knew we needed a new approach that would be different from those of Lightning Network or Sharding.

Our philosophy is actually based on common sense: the data should not get out of the block. I believe that it is only a matter of time before everyone chooses on-chain solutions. That is why off-chain was not an option for us. 

The stable 5GB block in our live net clearly proves RIFT’s excellence. I also hope that RIFT justifies that ILCoin is far more than a cryptocurrency project, as our developments help to improve blockchain technology and pave the way for its wide adoption.

Q: With RIFT Protocol and the 5GB block, you have solved problems with on-chain data storage. Why are we putting so much effort into improving this system - How does this improve current industries?

This is a tough question because off-chain is the current trend. Obviously, the low cost of off-chain is the main justification for it, but another major reason why we were stuck with this approach was the incapability to overcome technological obstacles on the way to creating efficient on-chain solutions.

We don’t ignore the question of cost either - on the contrary, we already have a solid plan for it; a short detail of which is already available in the executive summary on our website.

We are currently working on a system where both users and those who participate in utilization may exploit the benefits delivered by decentralized data storage. Of course, we could talk about how on-chain based data storage is not too profitable at the moment, but, in that case, there is no justification for the market existence of neither SpaceX nor Blue Origin, correct? 

The value of innovation simply cannot be expressed through current approaches. We are pioneers, and we are taking on all the ups and downs that come with it.

What truly matters to us is the creation of a system where the data is in safe hands and is not stored centrally, and this goal of ours will clearly not become popular straight away. When this solution lands in the data storage market, its cost will gradually subside - in the same way we’ve seen for any type of data storage. 

Q: With limitless block-size possibilities, is it safe to say that ILCoin is helping pave the way for a decentralized future? Is this the plan?

Yes, indeed. We all peaceful rebels of a sort - obviously, in a good way. And I do believe that our technology will play a major role in shaping the future in education, health, and public administration, too. Moreover, the social impact of our developments could also be enormous: let’s just imagine a digital library system where every university may function as a full node.

Everyone can upload data, share scientific achievements, and their theses. Since all data is decentralized, transparency and accessibility will be the key features of these solutions.

And now, imagine a platform where ideas, images, and texts can be uploaded to, and be stored and shared in a decentralized manner on the network. Timestamps will protect the authorship, and violation of copyright will become a thing of the past.

Q: From C2P and RIFT Protocol, what is the future for ILCoin?

We have lots of plans for developments: games, payment modules, and other DApps. However, the main direction we follow is the DCB, a.k.a. Decentralized Cloud Blockchain. 

For us, the upcoming year will be primarily about this development. DCB is a decentralized on-chain data storage and smart contract platform where the data is stored in a way so it can be transparently verified. If you wish to do business on DCB, the smart contract will not only be connected to the data as a simple record, but the data itself will be included in the smart contract.

This way, a smart contract makes sure the data changes hands. Why is that important? In the case of an off-chain system, you can never be a hundred percent sure that you will receive the data, whereas, in an on-chain system, it is guaranteed.

This system will open new doors toward a new world - with decentralization and transparency, improving many aspects of our life.