New breakthrough on Layer 0! Continue Capital made strategic investment in BloXroute — assisting in break the bottleneck of network propagation efficiency in blockchain

Continue Capital
6 min readSep 12, 2018

The Perspective of Continue

The problem of using existing Internet protocol in blockchain

Bitcoin brings the storage platform of native currency — Blockchain. The scalability of blockchain is still the bottleneck after 10 years of development. A large number of projects habitually rely on existing Internet transport protocols (TCP/IP) to build blockchain networks. However, the Internet protocol is not fully applicable to the existing information propagation of blockchain. On the one hand, the Internet protocol sets up the seven-layer OSI network model to ensure the reliability propagation, but blockchain has inherent data verification function. These redundant network layer designs bring extra inefficient cost to blockchain propagation. Also, the bottlenecks of internet transport protocols indirectly limit the performance of the blockchain.

What kind of protocol model is needed for the information propagation of the blockchain?

BloXroute is a protocol designed specifically for the propagation of the blockchain. Considering the characteristics of blockchain, BloXroute only provides communication modules necessary for blockchain propagation — providing blockchain with a proprietary underlying infrastructure even under the blockchain consensus protocol.

Bitcoin, Ethereum and others are all looking for scalability solutions of Peer-to-peer payments. Currently, most of the scalability solutions try to find better consensus mechanism on Layer 1, some try to look for solutions in the sidechain, sub-chain or state channel on Layer 2. BloXroute utilizes a Layer-0 (transparent layer) scaling with the Blockchain Distribution Network (BDN) to speed up. BloXroute is also the first blockchain scalability solution that use a decentralized communication system.

Continue Capital believes that BloXroute can provide a general-purpose protocol and help all blockchain projects to breakthrough block propagation’s bottleneck.

About BloXroute

Overview of the project

BloXroute combines a peer-to-peer network and a global BDN to improve the efficiency of the propagation efficiency of nodes from the underlying layer. This model can be applied on different blockchains and increase a blockchain’s on-chain throughput by more than three orders of magnitude via an effective broadcast primitive. This protocol can compatible with any off-chain scaling solutions and boost the effect of other solutions. BloXroute addresses the bottleneck of network communication on the blockchain without protocol changes or approval from developers and miners, which can be applied by the nodes from bottom to up. Also, the more nodes that adopt BloXroute and get the benefits, the faster the blocks will propagate for the entire network.

The project was announced by BloXroute Lab, and the founding team includes professors and PhD students in Cornell or Northwestern’s computer science department.

Analysis of core technologies

Transparent Layer( Layer 0) Solution

The OSI model of the Internet protocol has seven layers, and there are many legacy problems in the underlying protocols which included layer 1 to layer 4. Instead of solving the problems of the underlying layer, most Internet products are designed to achieve faster propagation speed by

perfect the relationship between the server and the client. In this field, there are many opportunities worth exploring.

In the same way, Layer 0 in blockchain network can be compared to the 1–4 layers of OSI, the underlying protocol. When most of the projects focus on the Layer 1 and Layer 2 but encounter various resistances, Layer 0 scalability solutions seems to have more potentials and possibilities.

BloXroute uses a number of decentralized nodes (compared to the severs of internet) to form an efficient, LAN-like architecture for blockchain nodes as a gateway in the network blockchain distribution network (BDN) blindly serves for the nodes without the knowledge of the blocks it propagates, their origin, or their destination. At the same time, the nodes audit the behavior of the BDN so that he cannot treat a single node, block, or transaction differently. Although such design puts the BDN at the disadvantage of the node, its robustness allows it to withstand dishonest and malicious behaviors. BloXroute can shorten confirmation time for transaction and realize thousands of transactions per second on- chain. Let us talk about how to construct this system:

System components

Two types of operational networks:

1. Efficient, low-latency, global blockchain distribution network BDN.

2. Peer Networks are P2P networks of nodes which utilize BloXroute to propagate transactions and blocks.

The components of the BloXroute system includes BloXroute BDN, and the Peer Network nodes utilizing it. Each Peer Network node runs a Gateway process as a mediator between its blockchain application and the BloXroute BDN.

Approval neutrality and its counter-discrimination mechanisms

Firstly, in order to prevent the discrimination of BDN of the content propagated by the nodes, all of the content (such as wallet information, address, etc.) will be encrypted before being propagated, and even the size of the block and the sum of the number and size of transactions will be changed.

Secondly, in order to prevent the discrimination of BDN to the individual nodes, the nodes do not directly propagate the block to BloXroute. The nodes firstly propagate to a peer on the Peer Network, which will relay it to BloXroute, obscuring the block’s origin from BloXroute.

In this system, it is obvious that BloXroute can block or stall blocks arriving from some nodes. In order to detect and prevent such behavior, nodes must be capable of continuously monitoring BDN’s service. All nodes can directly send test- blocks to BloXroute, and measure the time required for peers to report the arrival of the test-blocks.

Sending invalid test block for monitoring seems to cause waste of resources. However, in this system, the number of nodes will increase exponentially. The bandwidth required for test-blocks increases, while the bandwidth required to support higher TPS does not increase. This also explains why this network is more efficient when it comes to more nodes.

The audit mechanism of Peer network nodes to BloXroute is the key factor in this network, BloXroute or colluding can relay the block information only to its immediate peers instead of the whole peer-to-peer networks. To avoid this trap, the peer network nodes do not display all the nodes they know. In addition, nodes hide half of what they know, including half of their direct peers.

About Continue Capital

Founded in 2016, Continue Capital focuses on investing in global blockchain technologies, early-stage technology startup and providing Quant-Trading service. We are built to incubate and partner with those ambitious enterprises that promote technological innovation and advance business model revolution. Our investment strategy covers USA, Europe, China and Singapore worldwide. Our core team members are early Bitcoin community members, including top Venture Capitalists, professional Blockchain Developers and technical Talents from Internet Giants, located in China, Japan, and USA.

Our mission is to act as the pioneer to widespread blockchain adoption and innovation, reduce the cost of mutual trust, improve the efficiency of large-scale collaborative operations. We hold the view that flattening trend of thought will further deepen the hearts of people as the blockchian technology changes the productive relationship.

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Continue Capital

Founded in 2016, Continue Capital focuses on investing in global blockchain technology, early-stage technology startup and providing Quant-Trading service.