🚍 Seele’s whitepaper explained Part 3: Value Transport Protocol

Seele is an interesting blockchain project, but their whitepaper is highly technical. I created this multi-part series, as I believe that Seele could benefit from a clearer and easier to understand overview of their innovative blockchain technology. In Part 1, I explained Seele’s Neural Consensus Algorithm and in Part 2, I wrote about Seele’s Heterogeneous Forest Network architecture. This part, will be about Seele’s Value Transport Protocol. In part 4, I will elaborate on how Seele incorporates their Quick Value Internet Connection.

Seele in a nutshell

Seele positions itself as a blockchain 4.0. Their aim is to improve on Bitcoin (blockchain 1.0), Ethereum (blockchain 2.0) and EOS/Dfinity/Cosmos (blockchain 3.0). All previous blockchain generations suffer from the Scalability, Security and Efficiency paradox; meaning that it is difficult, if not impossible, to optimize one or two of these pillars, without comprising the other one. For instance, EOS has to potential to scale up to 1 million transactions per second; but in order to achieve such a high throughput the agent nodes may become susceptible to attacks; hence compromising on security.

Seele is trying to improve upon existing blockchains by building a new network infrastructure from the ground up without compromising on this scalability, efficiency and security paradox. To accomplish this, Seele strives to implement the following features:

➡️ Neural Consensus Algorithm

➡️ Heterogeneous Forest Network architecture

➡️ Value Transport Protocol

➡️ Quick Value Internet Connection

Value Transport Protocol

The older generation blockchains (e.g. Bitcoin and Ethereum) each use different data, transactions, codes and links, that cannot share information nor communicate with each other; hence, forming independent blockchain islands without interoperability between them. In addition, the way Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses are constructed (e.g. a string like: 1F1tAaz5x1HUXrCNLbtMDqcw6o5GNn4xqX) may be well suited for computers and programs; however, such strings are very unfriendly to human cognition and memory.

To solve these pain points Seele draws inspiration from the normative protocols that made widespread adoption of the traditional Internet possible. For instance, IP (Internet Protocol) enables devices and software programs to seamlessly access the Internet and share resources. Also, URI (Uniform Resource Identifier): allows for uniquely identifying Internet resources, such as pictures, text, video clips, etc.; enabling users to interact with any resources through a specified protocol. Thanks to these protocols we are able to connect all kinds of equipment and various networks together, making the exchange of resources extremely convenient.

✅ Following in the footsteps of these traditional internet protocols, Seele proposes a Value Transport Protocol as a solution to the aforementioned pain points of ineffective value exchange between different blockchain projects. Seele’s Value Transport Protocol is based on the heterogeneous forest network architecture that we discussed in part 2 of this series. The protocol handles the uniform identification of the assets residing on the chain and the routing strategy for finding the desired assets.

✅ One important aspect of Seele’s Value Transport Protocol is adopting an appropriate naming mechanism. For blockchain networks, the data on the chain can be considered to be assets. The naming of each asset and the uniqueness of its identity is of great importance to the registration, discovery, transfer and conversion of these assets. Adopting a hierarchical structured naming convention of these assets, would also make it easier for people to remember (as compared to the difficult bitcoin addresses). To facilitate such naming convention, Seele uses the Uniform Asset Identifier, which would look like this: CHAIN://edu.pku.cs/account/data In this example, ‘CHAIN: //’ is the default protocol header, ‘edu’, ‘pku’ and ‘cs’ are the chain identifications at all levels, and ‘account’ is the account on the chain (or contract), ‘data’ is the account of some information, it can be the account balance, notes, and even a contract interface. In heterogeneous forest networks (see part 2 of our series), different namespaces are used between chains, which facilitates the addressing and routing of assets through a parent-child relationship.

✅ When a new sub-chain or asset is added, the sub-chain sends a registration request to the parent chain, and the parent chain records the sub-chain address. The “Meta chain” handles the global configuration and manages the entire forest network entry of new addresses. When a request comes in, the Uniform Asset Identifier first locates the entry from the meta chain, and then searches down the hierarchy, until it finds the desired sub-chain, followed by the specific account and data fields related to the specific assets.

Since continuously putting in requests can put a lot of strain on the network, Seele proposes a route cache mechanism as a way to improve efficiency. In their whitepaper Seele mentions a couple of strategies, which I won’t go into right now (otherwise this article would become too long). Seele mentions the following approaches:

➡️ Replacing strategy based on last interviewed time interval

➡️ Replacement strategybased on access frequency

➡️ Strategies based on the last visit interval and frequency of access

➡️ Strategy based on random replacement

✅ When a cache routing fails the cache is cleaned immediately. When a new sub-chain or asset joins the Seele ecosystem, the information must first be registered with the meta chain, which passes the messages through to the next level and consequently updates the cache routing, so the new asset becomes integrated into the route cache mechanism.

✅ Lastly, to facilitate easy cross-chain access, Seele draws inspiration from the traditional HTTP protocol for the Internet and proposes a Value- HTTP (VHTTP) protocol for Value Internet. This protocol handles the exchange of values between the chains. VHTTP is compatible with the HTTP protocol, enabling users from outside the chain to access the assets and on the chain directly through the HTTP protocol.

✅ I hope this article provided a better picture about Seele’s Value Transfer Protocol. The last in-depth article is about Seele’s Quick Value Internet Connection. If you have questions about Seele’s Value Transport Protocol or Seele’s other technical features, you can always send me a message.

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