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HPB (High-Performance Blockchain) Whitepaper breakdown

If you'd like to read the first article I published on reddit on HPB, please take a look here
https://redd.it/7qt54x
 
People often skim over white papers as they simply cannot be bothered to read through them. Let’s be honest, most of them are as dull as dishwater and even more so when full of technical blockchain related buzzwords that most people new to cryptocurrencies simply don’t understand.
 
Well as someone now invested in High-Performance Blockchain (HPB), I want to know and understand what the company is trying to achieve, so I’ve spent some time dissecting the white paper and actually gathering the information behind the buzzwords to determine if the company offers real key differentiators and unique selling points that allow the proposal to stand separately from the competition.
 
So here is my breakdown of some of the key sections from the soon-to-be-updated HPB whitepaper
 
TPS
 
Ok so TPS stands for “transactions per second” and is reasonably well recognised in the world of blockchain but often misunderstood or under-appreciated. Essentially HPB are stating in their white paper that TPS is a bottleneck for all current blockchain solutions and this bottleneck restricts development and simply will not meet future business needs.
 
So let’s just explore this for a minute. Anyone who knows Bitcoin and Ethereum and have tried to transfer their coins from a wallet to an exchange or vice-versa, may at some point have experienced slow transfer or “transaction” times. This is usually when the network is congested, and transactions which usually take a few minutes, are suddenly slowed down considerably. Let's say you are transferring some Eth to an online exchange to buy another coin as you’ve noticed that this other coins price is dropping, and you want to catch the low price to buy in before the bounce……so you setup the transfer, increase your Ether Gwei to 50 to get things moving quicker, and then you wait for your 12 block confirmations to be confirmed before the Eth appears in your exchange wallet. You wait 10-15 minutes and the Eth suddenly appears, only to find the price as already bounced on the coin you wanted to buy and it’s already up 10% on what it happened to be 15 minutes ago! That delay has just cost you $500!
 
Delay can be extremely frustrating, and can often be expensive. Now whilst individuals tend to tolerate slight delays on occasion, (for now!) It will simply be unacceptable moving forward. Imagine typing in your pin at a cashpoint/ATM and having to wait 4-5 minutes to get your money! No way!
 
So TPS is important….in fact it’s more than important, it’s fundamental to the success of blockchain technology that TPS speeds improve, and blockchain networks scale accordingly! So how fast are current TPS rates of the big crypto’s?
 
Here is the estimated TPS of the Top 10 cryptos. I should point out that this is the CURRENT TPS speed. Almost all of the cryptos mentioned have plans in the pipeline to scale up and improve TPS using various ingenious solutions, but as of TODAY this is the average speed.
 
  1. Bitcoin ~7 TPS
  2. Ethereum ~15 TPS
  3. Ripple ~1000 TPS
  4. Bitcoin Cash ~40 TPS
  5. Cardano ~10 TPS
  6. Litecoin ~56
  7. Stellar ~3700
  8. NEM ~4 TPS
  9. EOS ~0 TPS
  10. NEO ~1000 TPS
 
Like I say, almost all of these have plans to increase transaction speed and plans to address scalability, but these are the numbers I have researched as of this particular moment in time.
 
Let’s compare this to Visa, the global payment processor, which has an “average” daily peak of around 4,500 TPS and is capable of 56,000 TPS.
 
Some of you may say, “Well that doesn’t matter, as in a few months’ time [insert crypto I own here] will be releasing [insert scalability plan of my crypto here] which means it will be capable of running [insert claimed future TPS speed of my crypto here] so my crypto will be the best in the world!”
 
But this isn’t the whole story….. far from it. You see this doesn’t address a fundamental element of blockchain…..and that is the PHYSICAL transference of information from one node to another to allow for block validation and consensus. You know….the point where the data processed moves up and down the OSI stack and hits the physical layer on the network card and gets transported through the physical Ethernet cable or fibre that takes it off to somewhere else.
 
Also, you have to factor in the actual transaction size (measured in bytes or kilobytes) that is being transferred. VISA transactions vary in size from about 0.2 kilobytes to a little over 1 kilobyte. In order to maintain 4500 TPS, and if we use an average of 0.5kb (512bytes) per transaction, then you need to be physically transporting approximately 2.25mb of data per second. OK so this seems tiny! We all have 100mb broadband at home and the NIC network cards in your computers are capable of running 10gb ….so 2.25mb is nothing…… for now!
 
If we go back to actual blocks on the blockchain, let’s first look at bitcoin. It has a fixed 1mb block size (1,000,000 bytes) so if bitcoin TPS is at around 7 TPS, then we need to be physically transporting 6.83mb per second per block. Still pretty small and easy to cope with….Well if that’s the case then why is bitcoin so slow?
 
Well if you consider the millions of transactions being requested every day, and that you can only fit 1mb of data into a single block, then if you imagine the first block in the queue gets processed first (max 1mb of data), but the rest of the transactions have to wait, to see if they hopefully are in the next block, or maybe the next one? Or maybe the next one? Or the next one?
 
Now the whole point of “decentralization” is that every node on the blockchain network is in agreement that the block is valid…this consensus typically takes around 10 minutes for the blockchain network to fully “sync” on the broadcasted block. Once the entire network is in agreement, they start to “sync” the next block. Unfortunately if your transaction isn’t at the front of the queue, then you can see how it might take a while for your transaction to get processed. So is there a way of moving to the front of the queue, similar to the way you can get a “queue jump pass” at a theme park? Sure there is….you can pay as higher-than-average transaction fee to get prioritized….but if the transaction fees are relative to the cryptocurrency itself, then the greater the value of the crypto becomes (i.e. the more popular it becomes), the higher the transaction fee becomes in order to allow you to make your transactions.
 
Once again using the cashpoint ATM analogy, it’s like going to withdraw your money, and being presented with some options on screen similar to that of, “You can have your money in less around 10 minutes for $50, or you can wait 20 minutes for $20, or you can camp out on the street and wait until tomorrow and get your money for $5”
 
So it’s clear to see the issue…..as blockchain scales up and more people use it, the value of it rises, the cost to use it goes up, and the speed of actually using it gets slower. This is not progress, and will not be acceptable as more people and businesses use blockchain to transact with money, information, data, whatever.
 
So what can be done? …Well you could increase the block size……more data held in a block means that you have a greater chance of being in a block at the front of the queue……Well that kind of works, but then you still have to factor in how long it takes for all nodes on the blockchain network to “sync” and reach consensus.
 
The more data per block, the more data there is that needs to be fully distributed.
 
I used visa as an example earlier as this processes very small amounts of transactional data. Essentially this average 512 bytes will hold the following information: transaction amount, transaction number, transaction date and time, transaction type (deposits, withdrawal, purchase or refund), type of account being debited or credited, card number, identity of the card acceptor (organization/store address) as well as the identity of the terminal (company name from which the machine operates). That’s pretty much all there is to a transaction. I’m sure you will agree that it’s a very small amount of data.
 
Moving forward, as more people and businesses use block-chain technology, the information transacted across blockchain will grow.
 
Let’s say, (just for a very simplistic example) that a blockchain network is being used to store details on a property deed via an Ethereum Dapp, and there is the equivalent of 32 pages of information in the deed. Well one ascii character stored as data represents one byte.
 
This “A” right here is one byte.
 
So if an A4 page holds let’s say 4000 ascii characters, then that’s 4000 bytes per page, or 4000x32= 128,000 bytes of data. Now if a 1mb block size can hold 1,000,000 bytes of data, then my single document alone has just consumed (128,000/1,000,000)*100 = 12.8% of a 1mb block!
 
Now going further, what if 50,000 people globally decide to transfer their mortgage deeds? Alongside those are another 50,000 people transferring their Will in another Dapp, alongside 50,000 other people transferring their sale-of-business documents in another Dapp, alongside 50,000 people transferring other “lengthy” documents in yet another Dapp? All of a sudden the network comes to a complete and utter standstill! That’s not to mention all the other “big data” being thrown around from company to company, city to city, and continent to continent!
 
Ok in some respects that's not really a fair example, as I mentioned the 1mb block limit with bitcoin, and we know that bitcoin was never designed to be anything more than a currency.
 
But that’s Bitcoin. Other blockchains are hoping/expecting people to embrace and adopt their network for all of their decentralized needs, and as time goes by and more data is sent around, then many (if not all) of the suggested scalability solutions will not be able to cope…..why?
 
Because sooner or later we won’t be talking about megabytes of data….we’ll be talking about GB of data….possibly TB of data on the blockchain network! Now at this stage, addressing this level of scalability will definitely not be purely a software issue….we have to go back to hardware!
 
So…finally coming to my point about TPS…… as time goes by, in order for block chains to truly succeed, the networking HARDWARE needs to be developed to physically move the data quickly enough to be able to cope with the processing of the transactions…..and quite frankly this is something that has not been addressed…..it’s just been swept under the carpet.
 
That is, until now. High-Performance Blockchain (HPB) want to address this issue…..they want to give blockchain the opportunity to scale up to meet customer demand, which may not be there right at this moment, but is likely to be there soon.
 
According to this website from just over a year ago, more data will be produced in 2017, then in the entire history of civilization spanning 5000 years!
https://appdevelopermagazine.com/4773/2016/12/23/more-data-will-be-created-in-2017-than-the-previous-5,000-years-of-humanity-/
That puts things into perspective when it comes to data generation and expected data transference.
 
Ok so visa can handle 56,000 TINY transactions per second….Will that be enough for block chain TPS in 5 years’ time? Well I’ll simply leave that for you to decide.
 
So what are HPB doing about this? They have been developing a specialist hardware accelerated network card known as a TOE card (TOE stands for TCP/IP Offload Engine) which is capable of supporting MILLIONS of transactions per second. Now there are plenty of blockchains out there looking to address speed and scaling, and some of them are truly fascinating, and they will most likely address scalability in the short term….but at some point HARDWARE will still be the bottleneck and this will still need to be addressed like the bad smell in the room that won’t go away. As far as I know (and I am honestly happy to stand corrected here) HPB are the ONLY Company right now who see hardware acceleration as fundamental to blockchain scalability.
 
No doubt more companies will follow over time, but if you appreciate “first mover advantage” you will see how critical this is from a crypto investment perspective.
 
Here are some images of the HBP board
HPB board
HPB board running
Wang Xiaoming holding the HPB board
 
GVM (General Virtual Machine mechanism)
The HPB General virtual machine is currently being developed to allow the HPB solution to work with other blockchains to enhance them and help them to scale. Currently the GVM is being developed for the NEOVM (NEO Virtual Machine) and The EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) with others planned for the future.
 
Now a lot of people feel that if Ethereum were not hampered with scalability issues, then it would be THE de-facto blockchain globally (possibly outside of Asia due to things like Chinese regulation) and that NEO is the “Ethereum of China” developed specifically to accommodate things like Chinese regulation. So if HPB is working on a hardware solution to help both Ethereum and NEO, then in my opinion this could add serious value to both blockchains.
 
Claim of Union Pay partnership
To quote directly (verbatim) from the whitepaper:
After listening to the design concept of HPB, China's largest financial data company UnionPay has joined as a partner with HPB, with the common goal of technological practice and exploration of financial big data and high-performance blockchain platform. UnionPay Wisdom currently handles 80% of China's banking transaction data, with an annual turnover of 80 trillion yuan. HPB will join hands with China UnionPay to serve all industry partners, including large banks, insurance, retail enterprises, fintech companies and so on.
 
Why is this significant? Have a read of this webpage to get an idea of the scale of this company:
http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-10/10/content_33060535.htm
 
Now some people will say, there’s no proof of this alliance, and trust me I am one of the biggest sceptics you will come across….I question everything!
 
Now at this stage I have no concrete evidence to support HPB’s claim, however let me offer you my train of thought. Whilst HPB hasn’t really been marketed in the West (a good thing in my opinion!) The leader of HPB Wang Xiaoming is literally attending every single major Asian blockchain event to personally present his solution to major audiences. HPB also has the backing of NEO, who angel invested the project.
 
Take a look at this YouTube video of Da Hongfei talking about NEO, and bringing up a slide at the recent “BlockChain Revolution Conference” on January 18th 2018 – If you don’t want to watch the entire video (it’s obviously all about NEO) then skip forward to exactly 9m13s into the video and take a look at the slide he brings up. You will see it shows HPB. Do you honestly thing Da Hongfei, the leader of NEO, would bring up details of a company that he felt to be untrustworthy to share with a global audience?
Blockchain Revolution 2018 video
 
Here are further pictures of numerous events that HPB’s very own Wang Xiaoming has presented HPB…..in the blockchain world he is very respected after releasing multiple whitepapers and publishing several books over the years on blockchain technology. This is a “techie” with a very public profile…..this is not some guy who knows nothing about blockchain looking to scam people with a dodgy website full of lies and exaggerations!
Wang Xiao Ming presentation at Lujiazui Blockchain event
Wang Xiao Ming presenting at the BTAS2017 summit
Wang Xiao Ming Blockchain presentation
 
I won’t go into some of the other “dubious” altcoins on the markets who claim to be in bed with companies like IBM, Huwawei, Apple etc, but when you do some digging they have a registered address at a drop-mail and you can only find 3-4 baidu links about the company on the internet, you have to question their trustworthiness
 
So do I believe in HPB…..very much so :-)
 
Currently the HPB price sits at $6.00 on www.bibox.com and isn’t really moving. I believe this is due to a number of factors.
 
Firstly, the entire crypto market has gone bonkers this last week or so, although this apparently happens every January.
 
Secondly the coin is still on relatively obscure exchanges that most people have never heard of.
 
Thirdly, because of the current lack of expose, the coin trades at low volume, which means (in my opinion...I can’t actually prove it) that crypto “bots” are effectively controlling the price range as it goes up to around $9.00 and then back down to $6.00, then back up to $9.00, then back down to $6.00 and over and over again.
 
Finally the testnet proof of concept hasn’t been launched yet. We’ve been told that it’s Q1 this year, so it’s imminent, and as soon as it launches I think the company will get a lot more press coverage.
 
UPDATE - It has now been officially confirmed that HPB will be listed on Kucoin
The tentative date is February 5th
 
So, for the investors out there….. It’s trading at $6.00 per coin, and with a circulating supply of 28 million coins, it gives the company an mcap of $168,000,000
 
So what could the price go to? I have no idea as unfortunately I do not have a crystal ball in my posession….however some are referring to HPB as the EOS of China (only HPB has an actual working, hardware-focussed product as opposed to plans for the future) and EOS currently has an mcap of $8.30 billion dollars…… so for HPB to match that mcap, the price of HPB would have to effectively increase almost 50-fold to $296.4 - Now that’s obviously on the optimistic side, but even still, it shows its potential. :-)
 
I believe hardware acceleration alongside software optimization is the key to blockchain success moving forward. I guess it’s up to you to decide if you agree or disagree with me.
 
Whatever you do though…..remember that Most importantly of all…… DYOR!
 
My wallet address, if you found this useful and would like to donate is: 0xd7FAbB675D9401931CefE9E633Ef525BfBa7a139
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