The recent surge in the block-chain based projects has triggered solutions of everything, from decentralized storage to computer censorship. However, the blockchain is built on internet slack something which the new technology named as “Marconi” has distributed ledger protocol.
Jong Kim, the chief architect of Marconi says;
“All of the blockchain projects are building on the basis of the same network infrastructure, and they consist of the switches and routers which are connected by Ethernet.”
He further adds,
“Ethernet is a network which has been improved by bandwidth but is otherwise had no change whatsoever over the past 30 years.”
Is it Time For an Infrastructural Change?
The problem with Ethernet is that it was designed keeping connectivity as the foremost consideration rather security and privacy. These two (privacy and security) were then addressed in the later models such as TLS and SSL.
However, the lack of subtle privacy and security Is not the only problem with Ethernet. According to Jong Kim, the two major and eminent concerns with the current networking infrastructure are often overlooked. Particularly the core network is found challenging, and it often relies on expensive hardware, which eventually leads to the dominance of internet service providers (ISPs). This lead to ineffective sustainability of net neutrality.
So, how to overcome such a fundamental problem with the whole internet infrastructure? Jong Kim and his colleagues at the Marconi Foundation propose “Smart Ethernet Protocol” named as “Marconi.”
The History and Lessons Learned
The Marconi team comes from a networking background. It has a scaling network for numerous major tech companies, which include Google, Microsoft, and Intel. The company realized that the first-hand experience had issues, especially in the network management and expensive hardware requirements for scaling innovative networks.
As per Jong Kim,
“When building the data centers for a lot of devices at Google, we needed thousands of networking appliances to support the devices. Plus, each network device were made using a specialized piece of hardware which were not only difficult to manage and update but were also expensive.“
The problem is that the centralized controlled drawings need maintenance, and the hardware costs impact directly to the blockchains and its applications.
“In any point in time, only one or two service providers serve as the gateway for all the internet traffic. When the ISP (Internet Service Provider) suffer fiber cuts or equipment failure, then it purposely interrupts the service for maintenance and all users suffer as they lose internet access.”
Relative to the blockchains like the service interruptions be it intentional or not their hang the censorship concerns which leads to the question as if blockchains are decentralized and censorship-resistant?
“Monopolistic control is a problem for countries; they lack neutrality.” Kim’s sentiments direct to the fact of how ethereum blockchain was growing by 416% annually.
Cryptocurrencies are already in the crosshairs of many governments. India is looking to ban the cryptocurrencies, and the position of these cryptocurrencies is pretty precarious in China as well. Russia itself is thinking to shut off the regional internet access, which is precisely what Kim is expounding.
You must be wondering what the solution is?
The answer is to design a new protocol which can enhance or replace the existing network infrastructure.
Introducing the Solution – “Marconi”
Kim and his team have built a network and blockchain protocol at the OSI layer (Ethernet). The result is the new networking management infrastructure which retains connectivity but supplements security and privacy. The most important advantage of Marconi is that it removes the need for hardware for maintaining the network.
The Marconi team is quite hopeful of the fact that network administrators will realize the potential impact of leveraging the protocol. Marconi launched the mainnet after two years of development. It will include some out of the box features which will add features like multi-cloud deployments and secure gateways for preserving the online activity.
To further bolster the impressive technical roster, Marconi has bought a new advisor named Dr. Whitfield Diffie. Dr. Diffie may not ring the immediate bells for many; he is a pioneer of public-key cryptography. Bitcoins use such cryptography as their core component of the design.
“It wasn’t too long ago when blockchain was considered un-crackable, but sophisticated techniques by hackers have turned the tables around.” Says Kim.
Since security and privacy are evolving and so internet protocols, thus the struggle to evolve against malicious entities is on a high. Marconi believes that by restructuring the internet core technologies like Ethernet the privacy and security will once again take the lead.
Internet safety protocols are a barricade between hackers and a user. If steps are not taken as per dire times, we might face a lot of difficulties in the coming years.