According to the BIoXroute Labs team, there is one part of Bitcoin that is not censorship resistant, and this is its relay network.
BloXroute Labs just brought its relaying information network between blockchain nodes out of stealth with a powerful group of investors including Flybridge Capital, 1confirmation, AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, and Metastable. With these investors’ help, the firm raised $1.6 million in an equity round.
However, the new network is more ambitious than the capital indicates. The project is called BloXroute and it aims to make relay networks censorship-resistant against any number of powers. This is possible by blinding the system from acknowledging how nodes connect with each other. The team claims that this is an improvement on the current infrastructure, which is mostly built by volunteers over the years
For understanding this, it is good to know where relay networks originated, coming about as miners’ networks willing to share profit or mining pools.
The smaller mining pools see a higher number of orphan blocks (these that were not eventually added to the blockchain) as they were usually not the ones that found blocks. This means that they spent time working on the wrong blocks because the information took some time to propagate to them. Therefore, in a try to level the playing field, relay networks let faster for the faster propagation of information over the network.
BloXroute Lab’s CEO, Uri Klarman said that If the protocol depends on the relay network for scaling, then this ends up that everybody has to trust the relay network for that work. He added that then the blockchain is pointless, so we can leave the bank in the middle.
In order to eliminate this issue, Klarman collaborated with Soumya Basu and Cornell’s Emin Gun Sirer for building what they call a BDN or Blockchain Distributed Network.
According to Klarman, the neutrality of BloXroute Lab is based on its ignorance of what it carries. In other words, the protocol does not know what is the data it is propagating. Actually, it does not even aware of what network it is serving. The project is not meant to privilege any blockchain, but instead to make it easy for every blockchain to scale. The project’s white paper describes the methods that enable its blindness.
Except for the censorship-resistance the team has implemented into the system, the scalability is another benefit of BloXroute Labs. Mr. Klarman stated that the majority of people don’t understand completely the scalability problem. The BloXroute team’s main argument is that the scalability problem is actually a networking problem.
Further, the company’s white paper mentions a token for providing a way to invest in BloXroute Labs (and not to access the system). We still do not know when the tokens will be on sale.
At first, BloXroute will be totally free to use. Nodes are going to pay BloXroute by implementing a small extra charge to transaction processing fees to users. These fees will be negligible, but 50% of all fees collected will go into a fund backed by the company’s token.
How can this project affect the current popular cryptocurrencies?
Klarman claimed that they can remove the scalability for all cryptocurrencies, reaching the point where cryptocurrencies could start to compete over real-world traction. He added that each cryptocurrency can make its own decision what to do.