For a generation that prides itself as progressive, it is surprising that it has relied on a slowly failing internet architecture for far too long. The perceived inefficiencies of the current TCP/IP model have encouraged a wide goose chase for the innovative jump that will propel the next generation of internet architectures. Although there have been countless architectural ideas being proposed, however, a decentralized model has been the most popular option. As such, it is no surprise that several established companies and startups have joined the blockchain Web 3.0 craze that is currently sweeping across the tech space.
One of the promising projects in that niche is Tachyon Protocol. It proposes an alternative protocol that intersects several standard communication and security recommendations that could eliminate the flaws of the TCP/IP protocol. Here, we will dissect Tachyon’s proposed internet design and highlight some key points that could change the way we distribute information. But first, let’s discuss what Tachyon connotes, and why it has chosen to tread this path.
The company has proposed layouts and protocols that would contribute to security, speed, data storage, and internet freedom. For one, it argues that the centralized nature of existing architecture has negatively affected the efficacy of the internet. In its place, Tachyon suggests a decentralized model that will eradicate the client-server design which attackers constantly capitalize on.
To achieve this tall order, Tachyon is leaning on the expertise of popular VPN provider, X-VPN, as well as that of the team behind the budding V SYSTEMS blockchain. By so doing, Tachyon is looking to merge X-VPN’s experience in the cybersecurity industry and V SYSTEMS’ know-how in blockchain to offer a network that proffers safety, uninterrupted connections, accountability, and anonymity. While these goals could come across as unattainable, Tachyon has argued its case by describing features that could propel the network’s viability.
4 New Technologies Tachyon Protocol is Building
From details of Tachyon network’s core infrastructures, it is clear that the team is making huge modifications to the TCP/IP protocol. Tachyon’s protocol comprises of Tachyon Booster UDP (TBU), Tachyon Security Protocol (TSP), Tachyon Anti-Analysis (TAA), and a Software Development Kit (SDK).
1. Tachyon Booster UDP (TBU)
According to Tachyon’s website, the Tachyon booster UDP is the “bottom layer protocol of the model”. It enables a protocol similar to that of the TCP/IP model, albeit with UDP, blockchain, and DHT techniques. TBU, which has undergone preliminary testing, is “capable of 200%~1000% transmission acceleration in a centralized network with over 90% connection success rate in a complex network environment.” In essence, this claim suggests that TBU is faster and more reliable than conventional designs.
The TBU consists of a data link layer, internet layer, a transport layer, and an application layer. It is worthwhile to note that the team has made tweaks to the designs traditionally adopted for each layer. For one, the network opts for a unique distributed addressing and storage layer between the internet and the transport layer. Incorporating this technique ensures that the P2P network is robust and secure. Here, the team implements a distributed hashing table (DHT) for routing and addressing. This system enforces the node to node property of blockchain technology for decentralization.
As such, terms like nodes voting, key ID, and K-bucket data structure comes to play in the interaction and security of clients.
2. Tachyon Security Protocol (TSP)
On paper, the Tachyon security protocol takes care of some of the security issues associated with the TCP/IP protocol. This technology offers an “asymmetric end-to-end encryption scheme and protocol simulation.” The latter operates as an attack preventing mechanism that also takes care of firewall-elusive threats. On the other hand, asymmetric end-to-end encryption eliminates man-in-the-middle attacks and network sniffing threats.
Owing to the presence of a protocol simulation functionality, the Tachyon protocol can conceal the true nature of the IP packets. Subsequently, it can simulate FTP, UDP, SMTP, TCP, HTTP, and HTTPS traffic.
3. Tachyon Anti-Analysis (TAA)
Although utilizing a distributed design has it pecks, yet it also carries certain risks. One of these risks is the easy access it presents attackers who only need to capture a node to monitor the network. Tachyon is aware of this threat, and it has included an anti-analysis tool to restrain these security deficiencies. To do this, the TAA introduces a concurrent multi-path routing scheme and a multi-relay forwarding scheme.
The former divides a piece of information into several IP packets before sending them through multiple paths to effectively cripple single-point attacks. Likewise, the latter incorporates the onion routing where multiple encryptions ensure that contributing nodes cannot determine the content of the message and its routing path.
4. Tachyon SDK
While noting that the blockchain ecosystem is one of its target markets, Tachyon will look to provide a software development kit (SDK). This SDK will allow developers to integrate its protocol effortlessly. In other words, dapps interested in implementing the protocol will be able to bypass resource-consuming procedures.
Let’s Talk About Tachyon’s Competitors
One of the largest competitors is TON, a startup that has dedicated its resources to create a decentralized web with VPN, TON DNS and other features. Another project worth mention is Unstoppable Domains that introduced a blockchain based solution for creating websites that are irresistible to traditional domain providers or governments – no one can take down such domains. Unstoppable Domains co-founder Brad Kam said: “For global free speech to work, you need to be able to say what you want and you need to be able to operate a business as you want”.
Substratum is creating a decentralised WEB where users can allocate spare computing resources. They claim that their worldwide collection of nodes can securely deliver content without VPN or Tor. Skycoin and Madesafe are creating their versions of decentralised networks as well. Ideas of decentralised internet is very popular, there are also Mysterium dVPN and Privatix Network.
Also, it is worthwhile to mention Lite.pm who shares and is working towards a web 3.0 solution. This platform aims to eliminate intermediaries from crypto payments, made BTC payments available on Telegram. And Dreamr creates the network around a users’ dreams and aspirations giving power to their hands. 7bitcoins news media writes about the project: “Dreamr is creating a new age social network that is targeted not on feeding users with content, but empowering their dreams.”.
There are a lot more start-ups worth mentioning, but I think there are enough here to show Tachyon Protocol will have to fight for their ideas, and it will not be easy to build a strong community. However, it is never easy.
From what we have learned so far from the potential workings of the Tachyon protocol, it could offer an efficient alternative to the standard model, albeit with a focus on decentralization. Hence, speed, safety, anonymity, and stability are some of its projected benefits.
However, since this architecture is still a hypothetical viewpoint amidst many other speculative innovative designs, Tachyon has a lot to do to establish itself as a contender in the race to establish Web 3.0.
For one, there is the recurring theme plaguing the efficacy of blockchain networks, especially the small ones. A single entity can easily hack or take control of a percentage of the network’s nodes. Doing this will expose the ecosystem to various manipulations.
Also, it is still unclear the standing of the tachyon ecosystem when it comes to data regulations. Questions bordering on the compliance of this design with privacy-conscious and state-favored frameworks in different regions are bound to arise. When this happens, will Tachyon find the right system to ensure that it continues to serve a global market? Or will it be forced to select users based on the data transfer, storage, and ownership laws governing their location?
Tachyon’s answers to these drawbacks would go a long way to determine whether it will succeed where others have failed.