Luniverse Takes Dapps to the Next Level
UDC Story — Insights from UDC 2018
Although you can only find them in museums now, VCR was an innovative video storage technology that was the standard for video recording and home viewing of movies for around 30 years.
VCR was commercialized in 1975 with Sony’s launch of Betamax. The next year, their competitor JVC launched a new technology called VHS. Each company established partnerships to control the market: Sony partnered with companies like Toshiba, Sanyo, NEC, Aiwa, and Pioneer, while JVC joined forces with Panasonic, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sharp, and Akai.
If you look at picture quality, Betamax was better than VHS, and it allowed Betamax to nearly monopolize the market in the early stages. However, the market share reversed to 25% for Betamax and 75% for VHS by 1981 and soon became 10% vs. 90%.
How was VHS able to win this war, even though it was a latecomer with less advanced technology? There are many theories, but the most plausible explanation is the difference in service. Sony did not cater to the adult industry, which was centered in California and growing strong at that time, while VHS actively made their technology the standard for pornographic movies. Initially, the purpose of the VCR was not to record TV broadcasts or watch movies at home; it was to enjoy porn. Adult movies made on VHS invaded the homes of American middle-class families and dominated the VCR market. Catering to adult content swayed the fate of the infrastructure for video. Some believe that the reason ADSL line reached rural areas in the 2000s was due to people’s demand to watch celebrity sex tapes
The outcome of the platform (or infrastructure) wars is not determined by the technology itself, but rather by the services that can be realized on top of the infrastructure. Union Square Ventures echoed this sentiment of their official blog: “The hypothesis of ‘infrastructure first’ is different from how things really come about.”
Let’s take the lightbulb as an example. The lightbulb (app) was invented before the electrical grid (infrastructure) was constructed. The lightbulb was first developed in 1879, and the electrical grid came about in 1882. The electrical grid only became necessary when people began using lightbulbs in various areas. Planes (app) were also created before airports (infrastructure). The first airport was constructed in 1919, 16 years after the first airplane was built in 1903.
The pattern of apps being developed before infrastructure was no different on the Internet, as messaging and email services first began in 1970 and 1972, respectively. Ethernet, TCP/IP, and Internet service were all launched after 1973. Portal sites came into existence when the flood of apps started, and they inspired the creation of other infrastructures such as search engines and web browsers.
◇ Prioritizing apps, even on blockchains
According to Union Square Ventures, blockchain is also advancing through the app first, infrastructure second route. The emergence of the Bitcoin app in 2009 inspired the birth of the infrastructure called smart contracts for the Ethereum in 2015. ICOs took place on top of the infrastructure called Ethereum, followed by games based on the blockchain, such as CryptoKitties.
Developers focus on better performing main chains and interchains, technology that are centered on users, wallets, and browsers. They bet everything on increasing the transaction processing speed (TPS) without reducing the number of nodes. They bury themselves in scalability solutions like the Lightning Network, the Gigablock project, Plasma, and sharding.
Competition for scalability is not the core of the matter. Blockchain has been hailed as the next big technology for quite some time, but no notable successes have emerged. Of course, this is natural for any new emerging technology. Currently, the blockchain market is dominated by early adopters, but for the general public to accept blockchain, there must be services that are useful in everyday life. Similar to how Kakao Talk played a major role in making smartphones even to the elderly.
In order to make a successful blockchain service, a supportive environment and ecosystem, as well as relevant information, must be provided throughout the entire process, including platforms, development, and operations. However, even blockchain platform developers are currently unable to provide proper updates. At this moment, it isn’t too far-fetched to say that the concept of blockchain has failed.
Luniverse, revealed by Lambda 256 during the UDC is a solution created to combat the above problem. Lambda 256 is the blockchain research arm of Dunamu, the operator of Upbit cryptocurrency exchange. Luniverse combines ‘Lambda’ and ‘Universe,’ developing a blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform that allows developers to create and distribute DApps easily.
CEO Jay Park wants Lambda 256 to lead the evolution from the BaaS 1.0 to 2.0, moving from installed blockchain templates to high-performance shared blockchain service platforms and playing a critical role in expanding blockchain technology to different fields.
Park described Luniverse’s three key features as ease of use, self-supported mainnet development (independent blockchain networks/on-premise mainnet services), and cost-effectiveness.
Corporate clients can generate product chains for DApps and use the Luniverse web application tools for token generation (ERC-20, ERC-721, etc.) and tasks related to token circulation. Developers don’t need to create separate smart contracts to implement token transaction processing. API (application programming interface) is automatically generated when the transaction processing pattern is selected, and the necessary parameter values are inserted. Using this API, any web or app developers can actualize a blockchain-based token economy.
“Luniverse provides a highly convenient UI (user interface) and smart contracts allow non-professionals to design a simple DApp. I am confident that Luniverse will help companies focus more on the truly central aspects of their business rather than spending resources on blockchain development, similar to how cloud products from Amazon and Microsoft are helping businesses.”
Clients can also establish a blockchain ecosystem through independent mainnet implementation. If an entertainment company wants to issue a token for content distribution along with other companies in the same field, they could construct and operate an independent mainnet platform using the mainnet protocol technology and governance tools provided by Luniverse.
Above all, Luniverse reduces costs for developers. It handles much of the direct and indirect tasks to reduce overall management costs required by existing blockchain service development and operation service provider, instead offering a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model.
“Luniverse is a highly efficient blockchain service platform,” said Park. “The reason we chose this payment structure is to allow clients to create a mainnet within Luniverse and have the governance to operate freely.”
◇ “Luniverse is a decentralized service platform”
Luniverse aims to be a decentralized service platform. Centralized service platforms such as cloud services by Amazon or Microsoft are operated and managed by a single service provider, who monopolizes the entire value and revenue from the platform’s growth. On decentralized service platforms, the value is shared by the user and its partners.
Partners participating in the Luniverse platform generate blocks equally and operate the service according to the Lambda Consensus Algorithm (LCA). Currently, a maximum of 25 partner companies can participate in the LCA, which is based on the Proof of Authority (PoA) method. The Proof of Stake (PoS) method was partially incorporated as well, with a set amount of stakes provided as collateral to increase the credibility of the verifiers participating in the PoA consensus process and making it possible to retrieve the collateral in the event of actions that harm the Luniverse platform or violate its governance principles.
“We don’t think we can make and provide all the necessary blockchain technology. Our philosophy is to work with partners that have technology with universal appeal like RootOne to grow the Luniverse ecosystem,” said Park.
Park added that while improvement is needed in multiple areas of blockchain technology, he sees many of these issues being solved within a year or two, with blockchain expanding into various fields once a dominant platform emerges.
The first round of applications for Luniverse’s beta service was received until September 18th, 2018, with the second round deadline being October 26th. Park stated that “The first and second beta testing attracted 60 companies. We plan on revealing the very best blockchain platform in the market by the end of this year after finetuning Luniverse with our various partners.”
※ Referenced speeches (The speeches can be viewed in their entirety on the UDC 2018 YouTube page)
- “Introducing Luniverse” by Lambda 256 CEO Jay Park
- “Utilizing Sidechains in BaaS 2.0 Development” by Lambda 256 Technology Manager Martin Oh
*This post is a translated excerpt from Proof of Report UDC 2018 written by Ran Ko, CCO of Join:D, a blockchain media affiliated with JoongAng Daily.