Nebulas : Building a Ranking Algorithm into the Blockchain

Nebulas is a decentralized ranking algorithm for blockchains. It comparable to Google’s page rank algorithm, but Nebulas is more of a reputation and analytics tool than a search engine. As new Ethereum apps are continuously being developed and other platform like Lisk, ICON, Rchain, NEO and NEM, take off as a second Dapp platform, Nebulas plans to be the bridge between them. Nebulas crawls blockchains and using the culminated experience of previous transactions and parameters like speed and volume, it provides a fair ranking for blockchain users.

What is Nebulas?

Nebulas-Blockchain

Nebulas is an top 100 altcoin that began in June of 2017 by raising 8000 ethereum. Its origins are in post ICO ban China, so they had what was called a  ‘pre-sale’ with a locked price of $2.00 USD per token. Currently, NAS is an ERC20 token, but once the Nebulas cryptocurrency is released, tokens will be swapped 1:1 to native NAS coins. 90% of the 5 million tokens sold are locked up until the mainnet launch.

Is There a Need for a Blockchain Search Engine?

“By one estimate, the global blockchain technology market is expected to be worth US$ 20 bn by the end of 2024 as compared to US$ 315.9 mn in 2015. By the end of 2017, the global crypto asset overall market cap has reached US$ 610 bn, as compared to US$ 18 bn in 2016. At the same time, the user population in blockchains and digital assets is increasing at high speed. At the beginning of 2013, the global users in the industry were 2 million, and by the beginning of 2018, the number had grown to 20 million.” – whitepaper.

Nebulas is used to search smart contracts, distributed applications (DApps) and users’ assets on blockchains.

With the rapid growth of distributed applications (DApps), an efficient search engine for blockchain applications and smart contacts could become one of blockchain’s biggest challenges. Now there are hundreds of DApps based on Ethereum. If one day the number of DApps on blockchains reaches the same scale of the App Store, it will be a big problem to search and find right DApps for users. From this point of view, the blockchain world lacks a measure for more dimensions of information and rank value, which will facilitate discovering the wonderland of blockchains for users.

Nebulas Decentralized Search Framework

Nebulas Rank (NR) is the core ranking algorithm. The algorithm is based on liquidity, propagation of users’ assets, and the interactivity between users. NR is used to rank addresses, smart contracts, distributed applications (DApps) and other entities on the blockchain.

Nebulas will adopt a PoD (Proof-of-Devotion) consensus algorithm.

“PoD gives an “influential” user on the Nebulas blockchain an opportunity to become a bookkeeper and receive Nebulas block rewards and transaction fee as revenue, which will encourage them to contribute to the stability and security of the Nebulas blockchain on a continuous basis.”

Something that I found interesting about the PoD algorithm’s core concept is that users who have a higher than threshold value can take part in the bookkeeper selection. There is an economic incentive to rank well. It also disincentivizes malicious node behaviour. Breaking the network is like biting the hand that feeds you.

“Users with NR values higher than a specified threshold may take part in the bookkeeper selection procedure by paying a security deposit; through virtual mining, each bookkeeper candidate competes to earn bookkeeping rights; users with bookkeeping rights are responsible for block generation, and in return receive block reward and transaction fee as revenue.”

The user’s security deposit will be confiscated and reassigned to other bookkeeper candidates if they misbehave.

Nebulas Token Mechanics

Initially, there will be a finite supply of NAS Tokens (100,000,000) that are intended to circulate among users and within the Nebulas Platform

The intention is to create an internal economy within the Nebulas Platform, whereby NAS will be an integral part which drives this ecosystem.

In order to support the PoD consensus process, Nebulas may from time to time generate additional NAS. Presently, Nebulas expects to generate additional NAS on an annual basis beginning at the end of 2019 at a rate of 3% of total NAS supply in connection with the PoD program.

90% of the persale 5 millions NAS tokens are locked up until the mainnet launch. 20% NAS are reserved for founders and developer teams as incentives. These above mentioned NAS are frozen at the initial stage, and will be vested to founders and core development team for 3 years.

The remaining NAS are community reserved. “These NAS shall be used to Nebulas’ operational expansion and ecosystem construction, which include but are not limited to: the DApps ecosystem incubation, developers community, business collaboration, marketing, academic studying, education, law & regulation, institutional investments. The first announced Nebulas Community Development’s part is 5%”

Should I Invest in Nebulas?

During the January bull run, Nebulas had a total market cap that exceeded 500 million. Currently, it is down at $228 million, but this is a volatile asset that has followed the inflated market cap of cryptocurrency to extraordinary heights, and I think it will do so again. The main net release is days away from when this was written. Short term this could have a massive effect on Nebulas’ price for better or worse.

Other newsworthy events that are going to influence Nebulas are announcement and partnerships. Early adopters of Nebulas are given priority in the ranking. If this gets any kind of momentum, there will be hundreds of partnerships. Partnerships in crypto don’t guarantee an actual commitment to cooperation, but if popular currencies agree to let Nebulas interact with them in any way, people will get excited and prices will go up.

GIFTO, are a blockchain virtual gifting protocol. They have announced a partnership to rank, categorize, and measure the value of millions of blockchain virtual items on the GIFTO protocol network. The goal of the cooperation will be to provide millions of users of the GIFTO protocol and Uplive, one of the largest live-streaming mobile apps in the world with over 30 million users, a framework for easily discovering and sharing millions of high-quality blockchain virtual gifts. That is a pretty big deal.

The Nebulas roadmap isn’t giving much away.

Nebulas Roadmap
Hitters Xu Founder of Nebulas & Antshares

Hitters Xu, founded Nebulas. What are his credentials? Well he also founded another cryptocurrency called Antshares which later became NEO, a top ten cryptocurrency. There is a bit of confusion surrounding this claim, especially in the English speaking world. It says in the white paper, and some confident redditors have convinced me, that this Hitters is the same guy. This makes him one of the first blockchain pioneers in China.

“Since 2013, he has founded BitsClub (the first Blockchain/ Bitcoin innovation community in China), Antshares (the first Blockchain in China), FBG (the first fund dedicated to Blockchain in China), Gempay (the first Bitcoin/Blockchain cross-border payment platform in China).”

Hitters Xu

More about Nebulas

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