The previous article “A NULS’ community collaborative idea: hosting enterprise-ready and commercial applications on the blockchain using Modules” goes into great detail on the advantages of NULS’ modular design. Some of these advantages are described below;
1. Updates and technological upgrades can be made independently, and at any time in each specific module without affecting the function of the rest of the blockchain.
2. Users can choose and develop certain applications on many different modules.
3. NULS is an open source community project. Once the main net activates the standard interface will improve day by day and it will be easy for community developers to improve modules already on the NULS blockchain, or to develop functional modules using the standard interface.
4. When a bug is found, it is easier to locate and repair it.
Another concept that will help facilitate enterprise on the blockchain is the idea of ‘parallel multi-chains’. Similar to NULS’ modular design, the ‘parallel multi-chain’ extension mode will also work to facilitate and host various enterprise-level applications. If the main chain has to host all the services of the blockchain, then hardware maintenance costs alone would be in the tens of millions, which would be in addition to the funds needed for business development and expansion. The capital investment required is simply not conducive to hosting enterprise applications or for consensus participation. At the same time, the lowering of the participation threshold on the blockchain which is advocated by NULS would not be possible.
In order to solve this problem, after doing some comprehensive research into the technology of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the NULS team has created a ‘parallel multi-chain’ extension mechanism that will link the main chain and sub-chains. This mechanism separates the main chain from the sub-chains. Each sub-chain can host a different type of business service, which lowers the threshold for participation as well as satisfying extremely high TPS requirements. The following figure demonstrates the multi-chain parallel extension mechanism using the anti-counterfeiting tracing chain as an example.
The blue parts in the above figure show the anti-counterfeiting traces registered on the NULS blockchain. The sub-chain manager records data from a module when it is in the sub-chain extension mode. The main chain just performs auditing and verification tasks and does not run actual services. Because the consensus mechanism and the block-time can be freely chosen the sub-chain block header does not have fixed parameters. Every block on the main chain is expected to be able to accommodate about 6000 sub-chains. Taking a conservative estimate at 3000 sub-chains, with each sub-chain using 80 parallel chains to record business data, each themselves being able to carry out 2000 transactions, then the total number of transactions is 3000 (blocks on the main chain) * 3000 (sub-chains) *80 (parallel chains) * 2000 (transactions) = 1,440,000,000,000.
The sub-chain service chains will expand in conjunction with the complexity of the business and so too will the volume of transactions. The sub-chain block header reports to the main chain meaning that the main chain does not have to store all the business transaction data all at once. It also guarantees that the sub-chain data cannot be modified and separates the auditing on the main chain from the business data. Thus, by the logical design of this blockchain, only important resultant data or data for evidence is stored on the main chain, whilst the sub-chain data is verified by nodes on the main chain to ensure authenticity. At the same time, blockchain performance costs are reduced.
Blockchain expert and architect Wu Mengye from the Department of Electronic Engineering at Tsinghua University states that;
“The ideal basic design of a blockchain should have a structure that allows the business to be divided vertically, so it has the ability to flexibly expand and have a practical allocation of services. Take for example Alibaba Cloud Computing which allocates different services such as Cryptokitties and Blockchain Loans to different parts of the blockchain. Each part has its own smart contracts, consensus layers and distributed ledgers. In theory, they are just private chains, but businesses can realize interoperability using the cross-chain digital asset protocol.”
From his statement we can see that the idea of using parallel multi-chains to facilitate expansion on the main chain is a method approved and advocated by blockchain experts. Additionally, previous discussion on the state of blockchain technology had been about removing on chain workload along parallel pathways.
The plan is for the NULS main chain to only constitute 5% of the NULS ecosystem, and most of the remaining 95% of the ecosystem to comprise of sub-chains relating to many different industries. Developers from all over the world are therefore welcome to join the NULS community. Let’s build, share and sustain the NULS’ ecosystem together!