Nexus project purpose and description
What is Nexus?
Nexus is a decentralized computer network created in 2014 to help improve security, scalability, and blockchain protocols accessibility. The Nexus idea is derived from the term Nexus which implies connecting two or more things. Nexus also has its own native coin referred to as Nexus (NXS). The founder of Nexus is Colin Cantrell, the son of Jim Cantrell of Space X fame.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum that have fixed coin supply, Nexus is different. There is no cap on the total NXS to be minted. Instead, Nexus is following a ten-year distribution plan where 78 million NXS will be distributed.
The ten year period ends on 23rd September 2024. Once this time lapses, the NXS supply will inflate annually by a maximum of 3% via the holding channel and additional 1% via the hashing and prime channels.
What is the problem that Nexus Solves?
The society is fast gravitating towards decentralized types of governance. This type of operation was demonstrated to be possible by the first blockchains network, Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto. While the idea is noble and has been demonstrated to solve many issues that had refused to go away such as big data, it has been held hostage by serious bottlenecks. Here are some of the main issues that most blockchain networks face and that Nexus was designed to address.
- Scalability: As more people come to the blockchain systems to reap associated benefits, most of the networks are easily getting overwhelmed. This has resulted in massive inefficiencies and even rising cost of transactions. At Bitcoin, the system can only handle one block every ten minutes which translates to about 60 transactions per second. Even the second highest placed blockchain network, Ethereum, can only handle about 15 transactions per second. These figures are dwarfed so much by financial transaction leaders such as Visa that can handle up to 45,000 transactions per second.
- Security: Every person joining the blockchain industry rarely feels completely secure. Some blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Gold have been victims of attacks and huge losses as hackers up their games. Other security issues include sole reliance on a public ledger, the risk of 51% attacks especially for those using POW (Proof of Work) consensus, and politics of execution.
- Protocols accessibility: Even as blockchain technology gains speed, accessibility, especially for people away from major cities, is a big issue. The poor accessibility now acts as a serious bottleneck threatening adoption, application, and success of blockchain technology.
How does Nexus Solve the problem?
To address the outlined problems and help with faster adoption of blockchain network, Nexus uses quantum resistant 3D blockchain with space satellites.
When this is combined with the native Nexus coin (NXS), the Nexus founder, Colin Cantrell and his development team, want to decentralize the decentralization (taking decentralization completely free from mining pool monopolies and governments).
- Three-dimensional chains
Nexus employs not one or two, but three consensus mechanism to create and drive its unique three-dimensional blockchain. This system helps reduce the issue of mining centralization and promote on-chain scaling.
- The prime channel: This is a proof-of-work channel where miners are required to search for 308-digit Dense Prime Clusters. This form of mining is more ASIC resistant compared to traditional hashing models. It implies that even those with strong CPUs can still mine Nexus.
- The hashing channel: This is another proof-of-work channel that utilizes Hashcash as opposed to Dense Prime Clusters. It closely resembles the mining used in Bitcoin but differs slightly because miners look for Nsha-3 (with Skein) while those in Bitcoin look for SHA-256. The Nexus block hashes are better because it is 4 times the block hashes of Bitcoin. Users can use GPU to mine this channel.
- Proof-of-Holding: This protocol is used as a method of securing the network. It is the same as proof-of-stake such as the one used at NEO. What this implies is that you earn some Nexus coins by simply holding a stake in the network. What will determine the amount of the reward for staking Nexus include interest rate, block weight, trust weight, and stake weight.
To further decentralize the operations, Nexus uses a three-pronged distributed telecommunication system.
- The Mesh Networks: Since Nexus utilizes 3 different mining systems, it implies that almost any person in the globe can indeed run a node and help in securing the network. The nodes in the entire network work together to help solve every block as opposed to competing. Nexus is also working on producing antennas that can help nodes run locally based networks.
- Cube satellites: Nexus partnered with Vector Space Systems to design LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite network of nodes. These, together with the ground mesh network will host the mesh network and the decentralized applications (DApps).
- The Ground Stations: These stations connect with the Nexus mesh networks and run the downlink/uplink operations. These are things such as address endpoint route defining and caching. The ground stations also operate own instances of Daemon.
What makes Nexus better than it’s competitors?
Nexus is one of the most ambitious blockchain projects in the market today. Its design and operations have set it far apart from peers. Most technologies such as the use of side-chains and decentralized applications that are considered latest additions by other networks had already been figured out by Nexus team back in 2014. Here are other things that make it better than competitors.
- The growth of Nexus has defied myriads of factors in the industry to deliver huge ROI (return on investment) to investors. For example, a person who invested in Nexus June 2015 when the price was $0.001 enjoyed a mammoth growth of more than 249,000% early June 2018. Most of the other cryptocurrencies reported negative growth or very limited ROI during the same period.
- Unlike other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash among others that have a fixed quantity of tokens, Nexus will continue releasing new coins even after the initial 78 million NXS enter the circulation. This will help the network to cater for losses from people who lose their tokens and others who drop off without returning the coins to the network.
- The platform has a clear system of reaching every user across the globe. By employing various mining models, and the Nexus hardware, it implies that more people including those with standard CPUs can now mine the network and participate in its governance.
- The Nexus transaction requires a total of 6 confirmations. This sets it apart from most blockchain networks that only require one confirmation before funds or other transactions are completed on the network.
- Though the Nexus platform charges a fee, they have indicated that sending value on the network will be free once the initial ten years after launch are completed. This will make it even easier for users to send funds across the globe.
How can Nexus be categorized?
Nexus can be categorized as a truly decentralized network that will define the next generation blockchain application. While the value of NXS has not grown fast enough to rival Bitcoin or even Ethereum, the underlying technology tells a different story. But it is its focus on decentralization that has made more people keep trooping to there. Here are the main things that make Nexus the most decentralized network in the market.
- The three channels chain model makes it easy for anyone with interest in blockchain to join and participate in consensus building.
- By including the proof-of-holding protocol, it implies that even those who do not want to get involved in complex computational mathematics can still get rewarded by simply holding some stake.
- The design of Nexus makes it a perfect model for empowering the nodes. For example, the ground stations allow nodes on the network to even run their own instances of Daemon.
Nexus’s vision on Security?
One of the primary concerns for the Nexus team was how to guarantee optimal security for users in the network. Being launched at a time when huge losses via attacks on Mt.Gox and Silk Scandal among others were shaking the blockchain network, a reliable solution had to be sought. The Nexus adopted the following methods of securing the network.
(i) Use of larger keys to address the risk of brute force attacks
One thing that Nexus team appreciated when working on the platform was that most algorithms in the blockchain network can be violated by brute force attacks. In most of the networks, the minimum recommended key length is 224 bits for the Standard Elliptic Curve algorithm. For example, Bitcoin uses 256 key length which is longer than the 224 bits requirement. Now, Nexus has opted for different elliptic curve parameters as well as varied hashing algorithms. Longer keys that are twice as the recommended length imply that a quantum computer will require four times longer to find. Here is the comparison of a Bitcoin and Nexus private keys.
- Bitcoin private keys:
- Nexus private keys: 6Wuiv513R18o5cRpwNSCfT7xs9tniHHN5Lb3AMs58vkVxsQdL4atHTFVt5TNT9himnCMmnbjbCPxgxhSTDE5iAzCZ3LhJFm7L9rCFroYoqz
(ii) Protection from side channel attacks
As indicated earlier, Bitcoin utilizes the 256-bit Secp256k1 elliptic curve domain parameters. These are outlined in the Standards for Efficient Cryptography. What this implies is that the Bitcoin Private keys can be generated following the same classical computer in less than 200 signatures (ECC already leaks private keys classically with side channel).
In addition to adopting set571r1 (571 bits), Nexus has opted to implement keys with different curves. They have also committed to adding support for multiple curves in order to provide users with the opportunity to adopt multisig with many curves.
(iii) Protection from 51% attack
In networks that employ the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm such as Bitcoin, the threat of mining domination by a few individuals has become a serious security threat. Because only a few people can afford the expensive ASIC mining equipment, the danger of most tokens (51%) falling in the hands of a few entities/ mining pools is very high.
To prevent such a problem from occurring in Nexus, the founders and the development team employs three methods of generating a valid Nexus block and minting NXS. Nodes can opt for the proof-of-work channels that allow miners to look for the Dense Prime Clusters of 308 digits. The other channel, proof-of-holding requires users to have some stake in the network. The multiple channels help to guarantee even distribution of NXS to reduce the threat of 51%.
(iv) Nexus puts a lot of weight on trust
Nexus places a lot of weight on building trust. The network is based on the premise that people who can be trusted can help to protect the network. To be a trusted node, you are required to do two things; hold a significant stake in the network and be active in producing new blocks. The network attaches a key to this trust. The development team believes that the strength of the Nexus ecosystem, as well as its reliability, can grow progressively by promoting truthfulness.
Examples of Nexus’s use cases/applications.
- You can use NXS tokens to pay for transaction fee on the native Nexus platform. You can also use the tokens to pay for transaction costs in different exchanges when trading in the markets.
- If you want to make direct purchases with NXS, simply check for stores that accept the tokens. Once you have placed all the items on the cart, pay with Nexus. If the store only accepts other coins such as Bitcoin, you will be required to convert NXS to that coin.
- Sending value across the network both locally and internationally. This is one of the main goals for people coming to Nexus and other cryptocurrencies. As a decentralized network, it implies that you can send NXS directly without involving third parties such as banks and credit card companies.
- Nexus is a great investment platform. You can buy the tokens and hold them waiting for the price to appreciate. For example, those people who bought NXS in June 2015 enjoyed a mammoth growth of more than 249,000% by June 2018. You can also invest in the token today and hold them waiting for the price to grow in future.
- Trading the tokens in the cryptocurrency markets. Like other cryptocurrencies or even fiat currencies, Nexus tokens can also be traded in the markets. This is a very profitable option that allows users to optimize on regular price changes to get more profit.