How Does Nexusless Work?
In Nexusless, cached content is stored remotely on consumer devices that act as miniature edge nodes, forming a distributed network. Each act of storage and delivery is paid by a microtransaction backed by a blockchain, allowing participants to earn income from their idle devices (edge nodes).
Technology Stack Overview
In order to ensure fast, reliable and secure delivery of web content, Nexusless combines a versioned, content-addressing file system with an incentive layer consisting of a blockchain and micropayment network:
- Transaction infrastructure – an off-chain mesh of micropayment channels for fast and secure settlements (~Lightning protocol).
- Public blockchain for trustless recording and verification of each instance of storage and delivery, based on proofs of retrievability.
- Distributed file system with content addressing, based on the IPFS (in turn based on sKademlia DHT and a Git-like versioning graph).
Network’s Operating Principles
Like in traditional content delivery networks (CDN), the origin server periodically distributes content among the points of presence. In the case of Nexusless, though, these edge nodes are consumer devices spread all around the world and earning income for their services. Audit is performed by peer nodes rather than a centralized authority:
The concept of Nexusless implies that any user can also become a server by installing a dedicated piece of software that enables it to store cached pages from the origin server (or other network nodes) and deliver them to end users, who themselves may or may not be Nexusless nodes serving content to yet other users. Edge nodes compete for content delivery, aligning the motivations of the network participants with the expectations of both clients and end users.
Any modern consumer-grade device (desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones) can become a node of the network and pledge some of its resources to serving content. Because of that Nexusless CDN can be comprised of millions instead of hundreds of PoP-like entities. As more and more user-nodes are added to the network, a decentralized, peer-to-peer “swarm” emerges, possessing several interesting useful properties:
- Extreme proximity to end users: the number of nodes will tend to naturally be higher in places with higher populations of device users, meaning that regions with more demand for web content will also tend to get more capacity.
- Further load reductions from potential network choke points as most of the interchange will be done between the peers themselves.
- Higher service availability through balanced redundancies across arbitrarily many local devices. While the robustness of a single node is considerably lower than that of a traditional CDN’s specialized edge server, the dramatic increase in the number of participating nodes has the potential to more than offset lower individual uptime.
- Lower storage/retrieval costs as the network makes use of existing devices instead of installing new hardware. Scaling such a network implies significantly lower expenditures because no new datacenters need to be added.
The Nexusless legal entity is registered in the European Union (Riga, Latvia) and therefore follows all norms and regulations of the EU. We have obtained official statements from the country’s State Tax Authority and Financial Markets Commission as to the legal compliance of the project, and are cooperating with the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia with respect to improving the blockchain ecosystem in the country.