Blockstream Devs Depart to Design a Different World Computer

Disrupting the Internet?

Not just fodder for television jokes it's a goal that continues to capture the imagination of developers in the blockchain sphere, and Ben Gorlick and Johnny Dilley do not no exception

It turns out that the developers liked the idea so much that they abandoned one of the most renowned technology companies in the blockchain industry, Blockstream to join a startup called Crowd Machine where they now serve as Technical Director and Head of System Architecture, respectively.

In short, developers believe that today 's cloud services, including most of the Internet leave much to be desired. And, like many other blockchain projects and ICO Crowd Machine think blockchain technology could be crucial to improve the situation.

But with this project, there is a twist.

The long-circulated cloud computer is unique in that it aims to harness the power of blockchain to speed up and reduce the creation of applications, and this, by using "n & # 39; any blockchain ", starting with ethereum.

The idea has already attracted a handful of Fortune 500 companies such as GE and Anthem, who are now clients of Crowd Machine (according to the project website). Other business partners "Big IoT" plan to use it as the main application, which will be revealed in the coming months.

Gorlick tells CoinDesk:

"What we are working on is a real gamechanger with the way software can be built and executed."

That's the reason Gorlick shifts gears. Although he was fond of working with "the best minds of cryptocurrency and computer science" at Blockstream, he thinks it's a problem on which blockchains are so hard to build.

"Empowering people to do this," he said, was one of the main reasons he changed.

Effectiveness of the crowd

To explain how Crowd Machine works, Gorlick came up with the idea of ​​a basic calendar application.

Usually, such an application is deployed on a commonly used cloud platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud, as these tools make it easy to deploy and manage websites. Under the hood, whenever a user updates the calendar, in what's called an "activity," the developer is billed.

Gorlick thinks this configuration is a "bottleneck" that leads to a lot of waste.

The effectiveness of Crowd Machine, said Gorlick, just broke each of these activities into a bunch of pieces and then run them on a network of devices that calculates them all together. "The program runs and runs the program, but the users are not limited to a single provider," he said.

If everything goes as planned, users will be paid to run these programs on all kinds of devices, let's say if people have free space on their laptops, smartphones or even Internet of Things with the help of Crowd Machine. Should be published in the last quarter of 2018.

"It's there that the crowd computer is born," Gorlick said.

But, is this really a bottleneck for users? Gorlick offered the example of banks that use AWS to reconcile their databases at the end of each day, a process that takes about an hour with platforms like AWS.

"What we understood if we did not need to depend on a single supplier for many devices, greatly reducing the time, to 10 seconds or a minute," Gorlick said. , adding:

"It's going to be a huge money saver."

He uses " a strong federation ", an idea that Gorlick and Dilley had with Blockstream, to give guarantees that the nodes will execute the code as they are supposed to – partly motivated by the Crowd Tokens of machine.

Coding without code

In short, the basic idea is to reduce the costs of running, but another important element is that Crowd Machine also wants to reduce the costs of creating the application.

"Writing a smart contract sounds pretty daunting. The barrier needs to be lowered," Gorlick said.

There are some pieces of Crowd Machine, which makes it a bit confusing, almost with a "Rube Goldberg" feel. For example, the idea is that you will not need to know how to code to be able to create blockchain applications because Crowd App Studio allows users to create applications through a visual interface by drag and drop.

An application section even allows users to design ethereum smart contracts without needing to know the ethereum programming language, Solidity, which is notoriously difficult to learn.

Other blockchain languages, such as Bitcoin's script will also be supported someday.

Gorlick went so far as to say that his dream is to make it easier for users in developing countries in Africa and Southeast Asia to carry out their blockchain ideas without the costs of 39; AWS.

Will it work?

If these two pieces look unrelated, they bind in a clever way.

Although the general idea of ​​a distributed computer has been an idea for a long time, Gorlick thinks that creating an easy application with the network will help to solve this problem.

"It's funny, there are a bunch of different companies looking to solve this problem to create some kind of supercomputer or mesh network or on-board computers," Gorlick said.

But he believes that until now, they have missed.

"You have somehow the problem of chicken and egg If you build the best network, but you do not have a development environment to use it, it will not be used and you will not have Network Effect: you must have a compelling reason to use a network in the first place, "Gorlick continues.

He thinks that the missing piece could be a development environment modeled on Crowd App Studio, facilitating the deployment of applications on the blockchain.

He concluded:

"We think that having an environment in which you can run them and run them on a whole series of blockchains is a compelling reason."

Image of the crowd via YouTube


Leader in blockchain information, CoinDesk is an independent media company that strives to meet the highest standards of journalism and complies with a rigorous set of editorial policies . Do you want to offer your expertise or ideas for our reporting? Contact us at news@coindesk.com .

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