Discovering Proof-of-Time and Omnichain Interoperability with Analog
Analog is a proof-of-time (PoT)-enabled, trustless omnichain interoperability network. The network uses PoT consensus and threshold cryptography to achieve complete decentralization and security.
Vested Interest Disclosure: The author's an independent contributor, and while HackerNoon has reviewed the story for quality, the claims hereon belong to the author. #DYOR
Interview with Victor Young, Chief Architect at Analog
Ishan Pandey: Hi Victor, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Analog?
Victor Young: I’m a CS graduate and serial investor with decades of experience in guiding early-stage startups (web 2.0/web 3.0) into successful companies. While working on various algo-trading bots in DeFi, I stumbled upon a problem that gave birth to Analog.
What if we could have time-driven smart contracts in algo-trading platforms to trigger actions for efficient signal trading automatically? After conducting extensive research and sharing thoughts with my colleagues, I realized that validated event data is crucial for algo-trading platforms and other DeFi and metaverse protocols.
Besides fixing these platforms with validated event data, we noted that the Blockchain sector is in dire need of interoperation. The problem with many current platforms is they sacrifice at least one of the key properties of security, decentralization, and scalability. Together with interoperation, these problems led us to create a new consensus mechanism called proof-of-time (PoT) which now serves as the current solution for the sector post-2020.
What if you don’t necessarily need to bridge and pool assets together on one super chain? If you can see what is happening on each chain, you can automate transactions on multiple chains; then, you can trade multi-chain via a centralized order book that queries data from Analog. For example, I can be on Uniswap (Ethereum), and you can be on Serum (Solana), and we should be able to trigger automatic transfers between two chains.
Ishan Pandey: Please tell us a little bit about Analog? Further, what is proof of time and how does it work?
Victor Young: Analog is a proof-of-time (PoT)-enabled, trustless omnichain interoperability network. We believe that the most significant challenge that current cross-chain bridges face has to do with centralization and associated insecurities that we see with PoA- and PoS-based consensus mechanisms. In our view, a truly decentralized consensus mechanism—backed up by sufficient security guarantees—is the single most essential attribute of any interoperability process.
At the core of the network are two critical technologies that achieve complete decentralization and security: proof-of-time (PoT) consensus and threshold cryptography. We have built PoT from the ground up, using the ranking score as a variable to determine who becomes a validator. Through PoT, we are creating a consensus mechanism where all users have an equal opportunity of participating in the interoperability consensus, as opposed to typical PoS- or PoA-based bridges that have high barriers to entry.
We have also incorporated threshold cryptography with very high thresholds where a group of tesseracts partially signs the fetched transaction. For example, over 90% of the tesseracts must partially sign a transaction for it to be validated on Analog’s network through PoT.
Ishan Pandey: DeFi is gradually establishing itself as the key source of funding, with multi-billion dollars already committed. What is the future of DeFi according to you? Further, how will omnichain blockchains impact the DeFi industry?
Victor Young: Blockchain has fundamentally altered the internet landscape as we know it, changing the way we run businesses, financial systems, and societies. On this basis, DeFi—a sector that was non-existent a few years back—has now metamorphosized into a full-blown industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and it keeps on growing every day.
However, despite the benefits associated with DeFi, we’re still stuck in the “early majority” phase due to the lack of an interoperable framework. We have already seen multiple Blockchain platforms and layer two scaling solutions joining the space. At this pace, the current web3 and DeFi space are in danger of balkanization, where interoperability is sacrificed as organizations race to demonstrate their own Blockchain’s superior features and use cases.
In our view, the opportunity in the DeFi industry hinges on seamless interoperability among all the Blockchain networks. It is only by ensuring that all DeFi applications interoperate—whether unrelated or fiercely competitive with one another—that the capabilities of the technology can be realized.
Ishan Pandey: The next version of digital network infrastructure is Web 3.0. What are your views on Web 3.0, the Metaverse and the up and coming digital economy?
Victor Young: The future is definitely bright, if only an interoperability infrastructure exists to allow DApp developers to build cross-chain applications that can take advantage of multiple siloed liquidity in different chains. Users could also take advantage of such an infrastructure to directly interact with all DApps across the Blockchain ecosystem from their wallets.
Ishan Pandey: Do you think more NFTs projects will shift from Ethereum to other blockchains due to gas wars?
Victor Young: We’re going to see many Blockchains and layer two solutions emerging with different propositions on tackling network congestion and high gas fees. As of now, most NFT projects are Ethereum-based, and currently, the platform has extremely high transaction fees. It is nonsensical to pay up to US$70 to create an artwork that you would sell for US$ 50. Unless the Ethereum network finds a way out of these issues, we’re likely to see more NFT users shifting their projects to more cost-effective and scalable platforms like Solana, Algorand, and Avalanche.
Ishan Pandey: What are your views on Elon Musk buying Twitter? According to you, what impact would it have on crypto Twitter and free speech?
Victor Young: As Elon Musk rightly pointed out, free speech is the cornerstone of any functioning democracy, and Twitter is a crucial platform to facilitate that. Therefore, it’s a welcome move that Elon alluded to because he intends to “democratize” Twitter.
However, in my opinion, I don’t think matters of openness, transparency, and democracy should be left to one individual. I believe that a truly decentralized platform—and social media in that case—should allow all its users to have more control over their own data, something that Twitter cannot deliver in the current setup, even if Elon has good intentions.
Don’t forget to share and like the story!