Cool Startup: BlockCDN, The Blockchain-Powered CDN

BlockCDN is a Chinese company headquartered in Hong Kong with five core team members whose intention is to combine blockchain “with the sharing economy model… to disrupt the traditional CDN industry”. Its token sale opening date was Nov 25, 2016. It aims to have mining clients online by March 2018, and for the smart contract trading system to be online by May 2018.

BlockCDN is a decentralized CDN powered by blockchain technology and distributed technology with an in-built trading platform. The company applies a P2P multi-point service technology to effectively create “a self-service trade CDN market”, which is “fully transparent, open and fair”.

BlockCDN is based on an Ethereum smart contract system. Through chain work and an online checkout system, it allows global Internet users to share their idle Internet connection via their idle network devices (from smartphone to computer to TV boxes) as data caching nodes, thereby providing data uploading services for Internet users, and deriving a profit themselves “without doing anything”.

Disclaimer: We don’t vouch for any blockchain startups that have/or will raise funds via ICO. Investing in ICO’s, cryptocoins and tokens is very risky. The market is highly speculative and unregulated, therefore, be prepared to lose your entire investment if you decide to play this market.  

Application Scenario: Instant Acceleration

BlockCDN claims to be particularly suited to situations in which high acceleration is necessary, in particular for streaming, file distribution and page acceleration. Users can purchase instant acceleration for particular websites. Website owners can also pay for acceleration of their domains by inputting the IP address and traffic capacity, along with the number of BCDN tokens in the BlockCDN platform.

Working Principles

BlockCDN is based on open-source Squid software, combined with SDK and P2P technology. It can upgrade smart devices to a CDN node.

BlockCDN enables anyone to become either the “Sharer”, earning rewards for lending their idle devices to the network, or the “Demander”, borrowing those resources for “acceleration tasks”. The system combines CDN mining, smart contract settlement and the CDN trading market in one.

Fees

BlockCDN charges a 5% fee on all transactions to cover its core costs.

What is the BCDN Token

BlockCDN has its own cryptocurrency, BCDN, to help easily facilitate the payment transaction between node sharers and service users. As of the time of writing, it is trading at USD $0.17.

Each user has a digital wallet in which they collect and spend tokens. They can purchase instant CDN acceleration for particular websites. They can also purchase and sell BCDN tokens directly through third-party trading platforms. The Sharer obtains BCDN tokens by uploading their acceleration traffic. BCDN tokens are used as income and circulation receipts.

The total number of BCDN tokens is fixed at 1 billion and is divided into five parts:

  1. 400 million (40%) is freely available
  2. 400 million (40%) is reserved for node development fund (BCDN mining)
  3. 130 million (13%) is reserved for initial investors
  4. 50 million (50%) is reserved for the development team
  5. 20 million (2%) is reserved for tax “and others”.

Blockchain technology maintains records, or blocks, so that each one is timestamped and linked to other blocks; no single block can be modified without changes to all blocks in the chain, providing security against tampering for its users.

How does Mining work with BlockCDN

Sharers do not need to add hardware devices to participate in BlockCDN. They just need to run a mining client on their devices that can share traffic. The number of BCDN tokens they get is dependent on the volume of the providing traffic.

However, “high-end players” can purchase mining hardware from BlockCDN called “BlockCDN mining treasure”, which after set-up (predicted to take one day), only requires the player to configure their etheric wallet address and connect to the Internet, at which point BlockCDN mining will automatically initiate. Part of BlockCDN’s business plan is to create “super nodes” aimed at those high-end players who want to obtain the fastest acceleration experiences.

Conventional CDNs vs. BlockCDN

BlockCDN makes the following claims as to why it is superior to traditional CDNs:

  • Traditional CDNs cannot easily expand their data centers and number of nodes in their computer rooms without increased cost, thus their acceleration capacity is limited without marked extra cost. Distributed CDN skips the cost of building a backbone network.
  • Traditional CDNs are centralized, meaning “the company that operates [the] CDN collects the cheap traffic from the user, and then sells it to the user who needs the CDN acceleration at a higher price”. The decentralized nature of BlockCDN simplifies the supply-and-demand chain.
  • Centralized data storage can lead to lesser security, according to Block CDN, as it leaves open the possibility of “backstage data counterfeit”. BlockCDN claims to be “the first distributed CDN built on the blockchain where all traffic data and acceleration data are recorded and no one can tamper with it”.
  • BlockCDN allows users, when accessing an accelerated website, to be assigned to the nearest node in real-time.

Overall, BlockCDN claims that it offers the same services as the traditional CDNs for “only 10%” of the price whilst also offering faster access, a better quality of experience (due to a larger number of cache modes) and greater security.

How does BlockCDN Work

The BlockCDN trade platform deploys Solidity to operate smart contracts on Ethereum.

The seven characteristics BlockCDN uses to define how it works are:

  1. Immutable Timestamp Data Store
  2. Secured from Data Tampering
  3. Decentralized Trust
  4. Cryptography intensive
  5. Symmetric & Asymmetric Cryptography
  6. Key splitting and Off-chain Data Distribution
  7. Transactions recorded in Blockchain

Who is the BlockCDN Team?

BlockCDN’s Hong Kong based team describe themselves as “fans and technical experts of the CDN industry”. They have a core team of 5 entrepreneurs, including:

Tony Long – Founder and CEO

Tony Long has 15 years of experience in venture capital and founded two companies previously, including one focused on computer hardware.

Lance Su – Co-founder

Lance Su is described as an experienced investor, holding a position as Senior Investor in Distributed CDN.

The Chinese company’s technical team members include Paul Zhan, CDN Developer and Rimon Jiang, Liao Wei and Weisong Shi, Blockchain Developers.

Related Background

The research agency, MarketsandMarkets, predicts that in the context of the continued rapid growth of the Internet worldwide and the explosion in data consumption, CDN global market size will grow from $7.47 billion in 2017 to $30.89 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32.8% during the forecast period.

Within this context, BlockCDN predicts user demand growth for faster, better service and the need for new ways of meeting this demand, including its own free trade platform. In an August 2016 blog for Medium, BlockCDN claimed, “Because its design is so competitive, we expect that BlockCDN will become the dominant way to manage CDN services in the mid-term”.

BlockCDN claims to be an invention of the age of the sharing (or peer-to-peer) economy, a social economic ecosystem built on the sharing of human and material resources. BlockCDN claims that its own “specific running model… is in full accordance with the economic thinking of [the] individual in modern society”. The company compares itself to Uber’s business model, which “also deeply implements the principle of the sharing economy in the Internet field”, predicting that it will have a similar impact on the CDN industry.

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