What is NKN Cryptocurrency?


With the repeal of existing net neutrality laws, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) now possess the ability to block, throttle, and prioritize online content as per their own whims. Even the issue of uneven bandwidth allocation has become quite glaring since the telecom industry’s skewed supply-demand operational structure is now being exposed by decentralized service operators.

With more than 12,000+ ISPs currently operating worldwide, Tier 1 operators from this pool are not only given the power to direct online traffic but are also able to extract sensitive information regarding a user’s location, application preferences etc.

NKN in its most basic sense is a highly scalable, self-incentivized blockchain platform which when looked at closely, provides customers with a high degree of decentralization and overall operability. It also introduces the concept of ‘self-evolution’ by using a unique methodology called Cellular Automata (CA).

In terms of its internal dynamics, we can see that NKN employs a tokenized economy to promote better network connectivity and data transmission. It uses the widely implemented Proof of Work protocol and lays particular emphasis on decentralizing network resources— analogous to how Bitcoin and Ethereum have decentralized computing power in recent years.

The ultimate aim of the NKN platform is to provide users with a solution that is not only decentralized and efficient but also robust and secure.  

Overview of the Platform

  • NKN makes use of a scalable consensus algorithm (PoR) that has been devised using the concept of Cellular Automata as well as Ising’s two-dimensional square-lattice model.
  • PoR or Proof of Relay allows for a high-level of secure data transmission that is not only verifiable but also impossible to tamper with or forge.
  • By ‘blockchainizing’ its network layer, NKN hopes to usher in a new era of decentralization within the domain of network connectivity and transmission.
  • The platform has been designed to handle a large number of micro-payments in real time.
  • NKN enables network operators and enterprises to dynamically route traffic as per real-time performance metrics and statistics.

Key Features

To start with, NKN relies heavily on the concept of a ‘decentralized data transmission network’ (DDTN) and thus utilizes this scheme to create a blockchain that provides users with quality network connectivity as well as data transmission capabilities.

The system consists of a large number of independent relay nodes who not only minimize the problem of redundant data precipitation on the network but also makes key internal processes smoother and more streamlined.

The four core offerings of the NKN platform

Another key factor which makes NKN stand-out is its use of a discrete mathematical model called Cellular Automata (CA). CA allows users to reconstruct the way in which conventional network layers are generally devised.

Some of the intrinsic characteristics of Cellular Automata include core ideas such as

  • Decentralization
  • Peer equivalence
  • Concurrency

These ideas in conjunction with a CA driven consensus protocol allows NKN to achieve good system efficiency even in large-scale distributed systems.

Also, through the use of a Proof of Relay (PoR) mechanism, this platform encourages participants to contribute to the native blockchain network by sharing their connectivity and bandwidth power. PoR is a useful iteration of the famous Proof of Work (PoW) protocol and allows for the utilization of network resources in an efficient manner.

The NKN ecosystem when compared to traditional blockchain networks

Lastly, with NKN, DApp developers are given access to a vast networking toolkit that allows them to build truly decentralized applications in a streamlined fashion. This networking toolkit is entirely complementary and can be employed for purposes related to blockchain identity, machine learning, payment, storage etc.

How it Works

Simply put, the Cellular Automata (CA) framework that NKN deploys essentially consists of a collection of nodes, wherein each node changes its state following a local rule that depends on its neighbours.

Layered representation of the platform

While each node is surrounded by a few neighbouring nodes, they are able to facilitate transactions by locally interacting with one another— with the intrinsic state of the different actors determining the global behaviour of the platform.

The desired openness of the network is determined by the homogeneity of Cellular Automata where all nodes are identical, forming a fully decentralized P2P (peer-to-peer) network.

Lastly, it is worth noting that each node in the NKN network undergoes regular updates based on its current operational state as well as the functional states of its neighbours. The neighbour nodes are also subject to dynamic changes, thus implying that the network topology is subject to change—  without any changes occurring on the underlying governance infrastructure and protocols.

About the Team

Yanbo Li is the Founder and Core Developer of this project. In addition to being a blockchain enthusiast, Yanbo is also an Open Source advocate who has contributed key programming codes to the Linux Kernel network subsystem.  Other credentials include:

  • Former Co-founder of Onchain
  • Core designer and developer of the blockchain system “DNA”.

Similarly, Zheng “Bruce” Li is the Co-Founder and Head of Strategy & Innovation for NKN. In the past, he has established various multi-million dollars startup projects for companies such as Nokia, Google and has even led several R&D teams across the US, EU and CN.

Lastly, Yilun Zhang is the core researcher looking into the technical aspects of this venture. As per his official online profile, Yilun holds a PhD in physics from the University of California as well as a Bachelor’s degree from Peking University. His expertise lies in niche’ areas such as:

  • Cellular Automata
  • Ising model and distributed information processing systems.

Token Details

Having been in the market for just over a week, NKN has been showcasing a strong bullish trend over the past few of days.

NKN token lifetime performance data (courtesy of Coinmarketcap)

While initially trading at a base rate of $0.37 USD per coin, the currency is now being exchanged at $0.485 (as of June 6).

At press time, NKN has a combined market cap of $73.5 MLN USD. In all, a total of 700,000,000 NKN tokens have been minted by the parent company and out of this number, only 151,503,731 coins are currently in circulation.

Final Thoughts

With NKN fostering a new kind of network that allows for the creation of a highly decentralized, shared internet environment, it would not be surprising to see this platform gathering more momentum and continue to do well in the coming few months.

If you would like to start investing in this platform, NKN trading pairs are currently available on Gate.io and Switcheo Network.

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