High Performance Blockchain (HPB) – News Update
A little more than a month ago, we analysed High Performance Blockchain. In a few words, HPB aims at building a network using a hardware solution to solve blockchain’s scaling issue to enable BaaS (Blockchain as a Service) implementation. Since then, the project has evolved, with new partnerships released, the testnet being released by the end of the month, and the partnership between HPB and UnionPay (and its UnionPay Smart subsidiary) becoming increasingly plausible. Here’s some of what has happened in this time.
New Partnerships and new hints towards the UnionPay partnership
In the analysis, we mentioned that HPB is partnered with Bibox, which intends to leverage HPB the same way Bitfinex does with EOS, and in close relationship with NEO, Cpchain, and Nebulas. Since then, the team further developed one additional partnership and opened the door to a second one. The first one is with Bottos (read our Bottos analysis here), concerning marketing synergies. The second concerns Banyan Network (BBN).
Banyan Network is a new project evolving in the big data sphere working on top of current blockchains. The team describes the DApp as a “data value network based on the blockchain technology” that wants “to provide solutions for reconstructing the traditional data value chain and maximize the demands and interests of the participants in the field of data analytics” – decentralizing what UnionPay Smart does (or IBM, to name a few competitors). Not only does the team have a solid vision, but also an experienced team with Kelvin Long, the founder of UnionPay Smart, as a core member. (We analysed Banyan Network extensively, click here to read the analysis).
In their whitepaper, not only does Banyan Network mention that they might consider the HPB blockchain as a platform for their services, but they also state that HPB is an angel investor in the project. The fact that HPB’s CEO is an advisor to BBN and that Kelvin Long is an advisor to HPB is indicative of the relationship between the two projects. As we’ve explained in our Bottos analysis, data analytics needs sufficient computational power; therefore, to be on a blockchain, it needs to have a solution which has high TPS and low latency (which is what HPB offers). The high TPS and low latency combination of HPB is something of interest for BBN’s BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service) offering, as being able to quickly handle large amounts of data is critical to any projects aiming at being used by businesses.
Ref: Banyan Network’s Whitepaper1x
Reading between the lines, Banyan network is the proposed decentralized version of UnionPay Smart – a platform aggregating the transactional data gathered by UnionPay (the largest card payment provider in the world) and which provides the company and its clients (Nike and Chanel, among others) with business insights, big-data applications, consulting, and market research22.
To give you an idea of the scale of the data that UnionPay deals with – all cards in China are operated by UnionPay, meaning that all transactions are known by them (salaries, purchasing habits, etc). We won’t speculate on the scope of the UnionPay partnership, but seeing both projects mentioning the company, and having the founder of the Smart platform endorsing both projects is positive. Moreover, UnionPay Smart, handling thousands of data per seconds, we see the need for HPB for the success of its decentralised version, contrasting with the 15 transactions per seconds achievable on the Ethereum blockchain, problematic for business adoption.
Infrastructure (Hardware and blockchain)
In its February update, the team reported what progress had been made on its hardware accelerated board31. First, a BOE (Bill Of Material) – meaning the sketches and the details concerning the hardware built – have been sent to manufacturers. Secondly, the consensus mechanism has been built, as well as all the other variables needed for the testnet to be run43.
Additionally, in a Weichin (WeChat) conversation, the VP of technology, Shanlin Lou, provided some explanation regarding the upcoming testnet. 54He first confirmed that the testnet will be released by the end of March as shown in the roadmap, and provided useful information regarding the tests that will take place on it. Most importantly, he mentioned that the tests will be verifiable by anyone, bringing legitimacy to the project as we will be able to see if the promised TPS are reached, or are at least close to being reached.
The first phase of the test will look at the feasibility, security, and scalability of the network, while the second phase will incorporate the hardware component of the project and test the TPS throughputs of a mix between nodes running through cloud-based computers, and nodes incorporated with the hardware developed by the team6x.
What we like regarding this testnet, is that the team is very transparent about what they intend to do with it. March will be a month in which we will deeply analyse the HPB ecosystem from an infrastructure and technological perspective, as we will be able to verify the utility and feasibility of the hardware-software mix architecture which HPB intends to build.
Not as important as the other news discussed above – the website will soon be redesigned. Seeing the team starting to engage in their marketing efforts is positive, especially when looking at the current website which looks like it was made in the 90s, especially for a project aiming at revolutionizing the blockchain ecosystem. To see previews of the design, visit the following website: https://hpb.kf5.com/hc/kb/article/1125851/
Also, from the 15th to the 17th of March the team will attend the TokenSky Conference in Seoul, with Xiaoming Wang, HPB’s CEO, doing a 20 minutes speech on the 16th, of which the topic is currently unknown. Among other speakers at the conference, we have Da Hongfei and the COO of VeChain among others. Attending a conference is not ground-breaking news; however, it is positive to see the team attending conferences outside of Shanghai and in places other than Universities76.
Lastly, a Q&A will be conducted around the 15th of March. To ask your questions, head to the HPB Subreddit (here).
Disclaimer: We are long on HPB.
As always, this is not financial advice. This article is based on personal opinion, and we invite everyone to read HPB’s white paper, available on their official webpage, before investing. Do your own research, contact the team on their Telegram channel, and consult a financial advisor if needed.
(1) Banyan Network, BBN official website. Retrieved from: http://www.banyanbbt.org/
(2)UnionPay Smart, Official website. Retrieved from: http://www.unionpaysmart.com/
(3) HPB, February 2018 HPB project progress report. Retrieved from: https://hpb.kf5.com/hc/kb/article/1128800/?lang=en
(4) HPB, Conversation Wechat. Retrieved from: https://hpb.kf5.com/hc/kb/article/1128237/
(5) TokenSky Conference, Conference Timetable. Retrieved from: http://www.tokensky.net/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=meetingrc&id=88