Graphene Project Review - GRAVITY.IO
Not a pairing this time, however the format is very similar to our last review post HERE
Gravity.io is also a Graphene project, so we can make comparisons and seek interest as to what makes it unique [compared to BitShares or Steem]. If a project must fork the Graphene technology, that means it introduces some new or hard-coded smart contracts, logic, functionality or modifications not possible on existing versions.
The unique features requiring this project to spawn it's own blockchain are explained on Gravity.io's homepage [a screenshot can be seen below] whereby it states they are in the business of providing ‘out of the box’ blockchain (ledger) solutions for the enterprise space. Absolutely a good idea. In order to do so, they are introducing new types of smart contract along with a new 'proof-of-importance' stakeholder calculations not available on previous graphene implementations. We shall be trying to look into more of what these involve along the way.
UPDATE: Since this post was drafted, Roadmap has been updated with publication of Q4 2018 plans, whilst the link is missing from the website it is linked elsewhere and available here
Below, current Q4 roadmap
Main Website Analysis
Without further ado, we shall just dive into analysis tests and comment as we go along. The aim is to use a simple measure, which will give an idea of the quality and integrity of the main public facing website which can thus provide us insight into the overal project quality and team technical prowess overall.
GTMetrix / SEOSiteCheckUp scores
GTMetrix.com is a popular and free tool to measure a given website / URL performance closely matched to checks the likes of Google or Yahoo undertake with their web crawlers to build search indexes. GRAVITY.IO's website here scores overall D C which is under the passable-rate of B B
Score is D C and pass would be B B
Simple things above such as missing meta-description need to be fixed.
Shown here the missing meta and keyword analytics
Recommendations are image scrapes from either gtmetrix.com or seositecheckup.com, testing the URL https://gravity.io/ on 11th July 2018. Several items would appear incomplete for a live website, and we'd advise rectifying them urgently to avoid further damage to the domain search ranking.
Overall result - Website SEO / Performance = Requires Improvement
Far too many rudimentary errors or missing items for a professional website, this needs urgent work or could potentially be damaging the domain in its current form.
Part 2 - User Experience Simulation
Next we want to jump right into the product, and see the UI/UX including account creation, wallets, and then what dApps or functionality is on offer in the testnet. It was simple to get signed up. Although from there, we struggled to find more than basic functionality. Perhaps early days? There does appear to be a few things, but not actually a lot to do or interact with as a user. There's a wallet with stealth and voting.
Just start the process and follow the steps in creating your password, then storing your brainkey.
After the account is created we are presented with our wallet, and have been gifted 1 token from the faucet. Pass!
Inside your new GRAVITY wallet. Some familiarity here, although we don't see any of the coming features even in beta form.
Result Part 2 - UX Signup = Basic wallet OK
Part 3 - Block Explorer
Simple test. In order to pass, we need to see something a little more than a cloned graphene explorer with new fonts and logos. What we get is in the next screen:
Result: Block explorer
UPDATE Aug 15th - Block Explorer is not loading on default page. Please update in comments if this is a temporary glitch.
Not really telling us anything useful beyond seeing a new graphene blockchain.
Given we should wait for roadmap features to launch, yet there is no beta/alpha or even mockup here on them. Leaving a neutral opinion for now.
[To Be Tested] STEALTH Transactions
Not that I see gravity anywhere claiming this capability as thier own, it is in fact one available on BitShares. Awaiting opinions if you are more technically familiar with Gravity's Stealth implementation - as the current status of it in BitShares was undergoing some history of improvements and there is very recently 6 new BSIPs by @malacandrahyoi which you can check out in the link below. Any experts can comment on this?
BitShares Stealth BSIP: https://steemit.com/bitshares/@malacandrahyoi/stealth-on-bitshares-development-phase-ii
Checkout the BitShares Stealth update in this post.
Further user features
We can note very similar options and features to those seen with BitShares lifetime memberships, under the incentives tab.
Trying out the TestNet - DevNet?
Refer to the following images and annotations. Hope to be corrected and shown more soon. To my non-developer eyes, it looks just like some part of GitHub with a list of issues and bounties in Gravity to work on them. Appears more like a developer bounty program to develop a testnet, than an actual testnet. Is it a net to catch devs?
Next part of the TestNet did indeed appear to barely fall short of suggesting we just take it over and develop it ourselves.
UPDATE AUG 15th: Since we reviewed, the whitepaper has been updated. Therefore notes have been added to our original screenshots, or updates. Previous draft was critically in missing detail. For this actual article we get to see the progress.
Promising features, can they be delivered?
Notes on whitepaper:
Starts vague and doesn't start talking about the actual "Gravity Business Framework" until page 12. From there it delves into a number of topics and directions which don't make for a comprehensive 'gel' of what this project is about. There is a lot of background information on SMEs. From having a number of existing BitShares features (Smart Coins, DEX and more), and adding thier own 'Ricardian Contracts', DAC(DAO), and even 'IoT (Internet of Things). Seems to be a stretch of several functionalities and we are struggling to find a cohesion of the topics. For the Technical Paper, this becomes even more baffling, as it presents some incomprehensible maths for the reader. At the time of publication, we were still awaiting or looking for blockchain+maths expert to give an opinion - however, we will also leave this one open in the comments - is the following some genius maths logic we don't understand? Can it come with some commentary for the layman to follow?
See for reference this screenshot of the technical paper - anyone care to comment or help explain, or identify how workable it is would be welcomed in the article comments.Anyone?
For comparison of a white+tech paper
Looking to make more sense of it. Whereupon a Google search for NCDAware algorithms pulls up the technical paper of NEM, and all I can say is it makes for much more sensible and comprehensible reading, from a known and operational cryptocurrency
The whitepaper goes to extensive efforts to explain the problem, and describe how certain types of programmatic legal and business contracts are to be implemented on the blockchain. However, there needs to be some work on the document, as it is failing to adequetely demonstrate to the normal educated reader, the details of how this project will be delivered.
Community, press, social media
Perhaps indeed it is early days, so we wanted to also find out if there was a decent following or community. Could not find more than 200 people on their Telegram, channels, and there was a new Reddit social media account. There are a number of publications on Medium, seemingly aimed at spreading awareness. Mostly they repeat a lot of what can be found in the whitepapers, provide business 'use cases' yet don't really get to the specifics of how the Gravity blockchain is going to solve them (other than stating it will).
Reddit lacking activity for 29 days and has low engagement.
Telegram public chat
Having some difficulty or waiting for another quarter until we see what Gravity are really able to unleash on the public, as current wallet has some nice fonts and graphics atop otherwise bare / framework of existing technology (Graphene fork). There seems to be much room for advancement. Whitepaper and Technical paper leave us confused, and the roadmap link has been removed from the website. We need a lot more cohesive information from this project especially as it declares to target the SME market, then it must also be easily understood by them. Simply not enough happening beyond confusing papers and a vanilla wallet + block explorer, to rate any score at this time.