Project basic information
NKN, or New Kind of Network, is an open-source protocol for public blockchain-based peer-to-peer Networks to share network bandwidth and Internet connectivity. The project was launched in January 2018 and lists Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha, and Whitfield Diffie, inventor of public-key cryptography as advisors. NKN Mainnet was launched in July 2019 and has up to 25,000 full consensus nodes (more than Bitcoin or Ethereum).
Notable use cases for NKN include:
Content Delivery System (contract with Chinese video giant iQIYI)
Edge computing (contract with China Mobile)
D-chat (secure messaging app)
nShell (secure remote terminal access).
NKN’s consensus algorithm is based on Cellular Automata, A New Kind of Science and Ising Model, where a simple local majority rule can lead to system-level convergence in a small number of iterations. The design goal is to scale to arbitrary numbers of equal consensus nodes.
NKN uses a global addressing scheme based on public keys, in order to enable direct peer-to-peer communication without centralized servers. The routing of packets is based on Chord Distributed Hash Table (DHT), which maps each NKN address to a random and verifiable position on the Chord DHT ring.