“What Bitcoin Wasn’t?”
Update: RaiBlocks Rebrands To ‘Nano’. The company went on to explain the rationale behind the new name which you can check here.
RaiBlocks is a system designed to provide similar functionality to Bitcoin (distributed transactions) whilst removing all the problems associated with the BTC network (high transaction fees and long processing times).
The important thing to mention about this system is that it’s not a standard blockchain implementation – with ONLY other system (IOTA) doing something similar, it is built on top of a proprietary “block-lattice” model, which basically allows for more efficient processing of transactions.
Ultimately, the buyers don’t really care. They want Bitcoin because it’s the recognized face of the movement and they will likely not really be bothered about *what* powers the system so long as Bitcoin is the name on the receipt.
What’s vital to understand here is that whilst the RaiBlocks system may be superior to Bitcoin technologically, BTC already has adoption, brand recognition and a market.
Therefore, when considering this product from an investment perspective, what you’re really looking for is the ability for the asset to maintain its value over the long-run. Whether it does this will really be the determinant of its future success. So let’s look inside…
What is RaiBlocks?
The main deal about RaiBlocks is that it’s built on top of an innovative new way to process transactions in its blockchain:
It uses something called a block lattice which essentially means that rather than having one central blockchain database (as is the case with Bitcoin), each user gets their own blockchain database.
The benefit of this is that the user’s blockchain is the only thing which needs to be validated, removing all the unnecessary bulk from the validation & processing system – the main bottleneck causing latency in the Bitcoin network right now.
To give a perspective on how acute the Bitcoin processing time problem actually is – the BTC blockchain file is now over 100GB.
Each time a new block is added to its chain, this entire file has to be rehashed so that the next block can be successfully added to it. If the processor is successful, this will be rewarded with Bitcoins… but as you can imagine, having to process 100GB worth of data and have constant updates being sent over the web to provide fixes / changes to this file… makes the difficulty to process increase exponentially.
Whilst a number of solutions have been proposed to this issue – in the form of Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold amongst others, there hasn’t really been a concerted way to speed up the underlying transaction mechanism properly. This is where RaiBlocks hopes to play a role.
Instead of having to calculate an entire 100GB file each time, RaiBlocks just requires the transactions between each user to be processed. This not only speeds up the transaction time, but because of the low CPU power required, it makes the process near-enough free.
Having explained this – you may be able to see the core proposition of RaiBlocks (a clone of Bitcoin but with innovative processing capacity).
Who created it?
The team behind RaiBlocks consists of the following:
The main creator of the system is Colin Lamahieu, who is described as follows (his LinkedIn is here):
“Versatile Software Engineer with a proven history of being a fast learner and effecting change. Experience taking business concepts from inception through deployment and ongoing maintenance. Willing to learn new skills and take on projects of increasing responsibility.”
With a wealth of experience with such companies as Dell, AMD and Qualcomm, he certainly seems to have the credentials & history to provide the underlying technical prowess for RaiBlocks – whether this will translate into business value is another thing entirely.
Why does it exist?
The core of RaiBlocks’ offer is the ability to offer a system that is able to process financial transactions much quicker and effectively than the likes of Bitcoin. Whilst this is a valid value proposition, it does not mean that the system has economic value (as Bitcoin is widely seen as “the” cryptocurrency)…
Distributed ledgers have been around for several years as of the time of this writing yet adoption of the platforms has been low and initial adopter markets have failed to materialize. The transaction performance of these systems compared to centralized system is significantly worse relegating them to niche markets that can only capitalize on the benefit of decentralization while tolerating slow speed.
RaiBlocks is designed to be a scalable and efficient distributed ledger platform. The design makes several significant improvements over alternatives giving a simple system that can process transactions in seconds making it a useful in a digital world.
You can view the full Whitepaper here.
The big issue for anyone looking to invest into this system is that it has experienced exponential growth in recent weeks – predominantly due to the way in which many speculative traders have jumped onto it…
Whilst it might be easy to jump onto the bandwagon and put some money behind the coins, the big question you need to consider is whether it’s got any long-term potential.
What generally happens in the crypto space is that some new coin will come out and the resulting hype surrounding it pushes its price through the roof. Unfortunately, as is often the case with “pump and dump” stocks – the price will drop off the cliff after several weeks.
The problem with RaiBlocks is that since it’s got not real underlying asset base (as opposed to the many platforms such as Ethereum or Ripple), its position is somewhat tenuous – it could easily be outmaneuvered by a number of other systems.
This is a major problem for the technology driven companies – as RaiBlocks evidently is… they won’t get very far just as a “currency”.
What they *should* be doing is creating an underlying platform through which the likes of businesses and other entities will be able to harness the Bitcoin payments infrastructure in a much more efficient way (typically to provide users with the ability to have a cheaper / more efficient solution).
They’re basically going to struggle with the following:
- BTC has achieved this already. The world doesn’t need another cryptocurrency.
- Without any core “profit-making” potential, the company will go under unless its able to actually get some real dollars through the door. The mirage of tech-first ONLY works if you’re the groundbreaking technology… RaiBlocks is just another “Bitcoin” to the masses, so they don’t care.
- They need to provide a more lucrative proposition to “miners” than BTC.
In the end, the only thing that has to be said is be wary of the various crypto systems displaying such growth as this. It’s normally driven by hype & rampant speculation.
Furthermore, it’s also important to note that currency systems are designed to have a large coin price – they are focused on achieving scale with its network and typically have a limit on the number of tokens they’re able to produce. Whilst this keeps the price per coin quite high, it doesn’t mean that people are actually using the system.
Platform systems may appear to be “worth” less (with token prices mostly under 1USD), but their scale, scope and volume surpass all other metrics.