CyberVein (CV) has recently open sourced the code to their blockchain-based database project. CV is an organization based in China that has a new take on blockchain and data storage. The technological head of the project is Arthur Yu, formerly of JP Morgan.
CV is an environment for the creation of databases that are decentralized and interconnected. The ability to monetize the data is also a prominent feature with which users will have the ultimate say about who looks at their information. Smart contract capability enables users to create their own database, with its own criteria, and monetize the information. Users can put a price on their data and on databases that they build.
The project has been described as blockchain 3.0, in comparison to Ethereum being described as blockchain 2.0 and Bitcoin described as blockchain 1.0. This is because Bitcoin aims to build decentralized financial transactions, Ethereum aims to build a decentralized internet, while CV aims to build a decentralized internet of interconnected and independent databases. They all operate in different spheres and are aimed at solving unique problems.
CV cites multiple use cases including smart cities, educational research and open source projects. Traditional blockchains are not designed to handle the structured data stored in databases across various sectors of the economy. Using sharded smart contracts and a DAG architecture (similar to IOTA’s tangle but optimized), CV databases are designed specifically to deal with wider data storage issues – namely that the data in current databases is not transparent or immutable. The DAG architecture does not use blocks, and transactions are much quicker with smaller fees. This has been a major problem with other blockchain projects.
CV provides its own programming language (Vein) and its own virtual machine (CVVM). It also has its own consensus mechanism called Proof of Contribution (POC). This eliminates the need for miners, as in the Bitcoin mining ecosystem, which is very intensive on energy. It is also widely regarded as a fairer system. People who verify transactions get rewarded for their storage capacity, as opposed to the hashing power of their machines.
CV is a relatively quiet company despite their far-reaching aims. There is no ICO or mass marketing campaign, but the hype is picking up as news spreads from niche groups of software developers to the wider public. Making the code open source is a step forward for them. It is a sign of transparency that is fundamental to all blockchain-related projects. A smart city with everybody’s data stored in a series of interconnected databases, for example, cannot work when the code to the database environment itself is proprietary.
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