After three years of experience with BitShares and Steem, it has become abundantly clear that developing decentralized applications requires much more than a fast blockchain. It also requires infrastructure capable of offering a usable experience to millions of concurrent users. In the early days of steemit.com, users were expected to provide their own image hosting. This made the interface difficult to use and prone to broken images.
With the EOS.IO software, we, at block.one, envision a world where block producers provide general purpose infrastructure that allows developers to build and deploy their applications without having to run any servers themselves. This includes applications as complex as steemit, DTube, and decentralized exchanges.
EOS.IO Storage is a decentralized file system designed to give everyone in the world with Internet access the ability to permanently store and host legal files which are accessible by any browser. Unlike current alternatives, there are no fees for storage or bandwidth on EOS.IO Storage. Built on IPFS, EOS.IO Storage is a service provided by block producers for those who hold a blockchain’s native tokens. EOS.IO block producers will replicate and host token-holders’ files on the IPFS network as well as provide https endpoints allowing anyone with a browser to access the files.
Collectively the producers will reach consensus on how much storage they are willing to provide in exchange for their compensation (block rewards). Block producers who offer more storage for the same reward are likely to earn more votes from token holders.
More information on EOS.IO Storage will be provided in a future update.
EOS.IO Query Services
In addition to hosting files, block producers will be expected to run API nodes that are able to query the blockchain database state on behalf of applications. These APIs will likely be a combination of Graph QL and custom Web Assembly based queries. This makes it trivial for applications to get the information they need without having to run and maintain their own scalable hosting services.
block.one will design and publish open source micro-services that block producers can deploy to map the blockchain database state into more traditional databases for the purpose of scaling read access, maintainability, and additional indexing. This software will facilitate application developers and block producers to build web applications that interact with traditional database APIs.
Applications consume bandwidth, computation, and storage both on the blockchain and for the interface. Block producers will necessarily have to rate limit access to prevent abuse. This is accomplished for file downloading and API queries the same way bandwidth and CPU time is measured for blockchain updates. Users who hold a small amount of native tokens in a staking contract should be able to have a reasonable level of free access to most applications.
The usage model will support balancing resource usage billing to either the individual users downloading the file or to the individual who uploaded it in the first place. This mirrors the model where websites pay to provide hosting but adds the flexibility of transparently moving the bill and rate limiting to the users who ultimately have control over their consumption. This is critical for bandwidth intensive applications like dtube.com .
Custom Application Infrastructure
block.one recognizes that there are limits to what kind of applications can be built using the general purpose infrastructure provided by block producers. Specifically, applications that require server-side rendering (e.g., steemit) or that require custom database indices maintained by custom micro-services (e.g., market history) may require custom server infrastructure hosted by the application developer or other parties. Developers of these applications can benefit from the same scalable architecture used by block producers to deploy their own customized API and Query Services. This will help developers rapidly bring scalable application infrastructure to market.
block.one is a software company and is producing the EOS.IO software as free, open source software. This software may enable those who deploy it to launch a blockchain or decentralized applications with the features described above. block.one will not be launching a public blockchain based on the EOS.IO software. It will be the sole responsibility of third parties and the community and those who wish to become block producers to implement the features and/or provide the services described above as they see fit. block.one does not guarantee that anyone will implement such features or provide such services or that the EOS.IO software will be adopted and deployed in any way.
All statements in this document, other than statements of historical facts, including any statements regarding block.one’s business strategy, plans, prospects, developments and objectives are forward looking statements. These statements are only predictions and reflect block.one’s current beliefs and expectations with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and are subject to risk, uncertainties and change at any time. We operate in a rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time. Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein include, without limitation: market volatility; continued availability of capital, financing and personnel; product acceptance; the commercial success of any new products or technologies; competition; government regulation and laws; and general economic, market or business conditions. Any forward-looking statement made by block.one speaks only as of the date on which it is made and block.one is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise.