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Ankr Network (ANKR)
A Shared Cloud Economy Utilizing Idle Processing Power.
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Ankr Network is building a full-stack cloud infrastructure and marketplace for container-based cloud services.
Data center owners can monetize on idle computational resources through the Ankr cloud platform.
Node operators can utilize idle cloud resources from data centers to run blockchain nodes at favorable pricing. A list of supported node types can be found here.
The ANKR token is used as an incentive, payment, and staking asset within the Ankr Network.
1. What is Ankr Network (ANKR)?
Ankr provides a management platform for cloud computing resources, building an ecosystem of resource demanders, resource providers, application developers, consumers, and more.
Its team believes that cloud computing is the future, and instead of being monopolized by tech giants like Amazon AWS, Google Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud, it should be affordable for everyone.
Ankr is building a marketplace for container based cloud services using shared resources. Ankr will provide developers and enterprise clients with the ability to deploy 100+ types of blockchain nodes.
Ankr aims to provide a pragmatic business solution, where node operators can utilize idle cloud resources from high-specification data centers to run a variety of services, such as running blockchain nodes, while data center owners monetize their idle resources through the Ankr cloud platform.
Some of its key elements include:
One-click node deployment.
Automated management with the use of cloud-native technology and Kubernetes.
Public Sale tokens comprise 5% of the total token supply.
Private Sale 1 tokens comprise 3% of the total token supply.
Private Sale 2 tokens comprise 12% of the total token supply.
Private Sale 3 tokens comprise 15% of the total token supply.
Team tokens comprise 17% of the total token supply.
Advisor tokens comprise 1.5% of the total token supply.
Future Advisors Reserve tokens comprise 1.5% of the total token supply.
Marketing tokens comprise 5% of the total token supply.
Mining Rewards tokens comprise 40% of the total token supply.
ANKR token distribution (%)
3.2 Token sale overview
Private Sale 1 overview: the first private sale was conducted from May 2018 to June 2018. for 0.033 USD / ANKR (300,000,000 ANKR in total) at an average rate of 596 USD = 1 ETH and 7,907 USD = 1 BTC, and raised a total of 990,000 USD, for 3% of the total token supply. Private Sale 1 was conducted in ETH, BTC and USD, and raised a total of 157,454 USD, 21.7 BTC and 1,109 ETH.
Private Sale 2 overview: the second private sale was conducted from June to July 2018 for 0.044 USD / ANKR (1,200,000,000 ANKR in total) at an average rate of 479 USD = 1 ETH and 7,121 USD = 1 BTC, and raised a total of 5,280,000 USD, for 12% of the total token supply. Private Sale 2 was conducted in ETH, BTC and USD, and raised a total of 756,322 USD, 130.5 BTC and 7,503.9 ETH.
Private Sale 3 overview: the third private sale was conducted in July 2018 for 0.0055 USD / ANKR (1,500,000,000 ANKR in total) at an average rate of 452 USD = 1 ETH and 7,474 USD = 1 BTC, and raised a total of 8,250,000 USD, for 15% of the total token supply. Private Sale 3 was conducted in ETH, BTC and USD, and raised a total of 717,205 USD, 244 BTC and 12,630.3 ETH.
Public Sale overview: the public sale was conducted from 16-22 September 2018. for 0.066 USD / ANKR (500,000,000 ANKR in total) at an average rate of 219 USD = 1 ETH and 6,374 USD = 1 BTC, and raised a total of 3,300,000 USD, for 5% of the total token supply. The Public Sale was conducted in ETH, BTC and USD, and raised a total of 62,344 USD, 31.6 BTC and 13,864.1 ETH.
3.3 Token governance and use of funds
As of April 2019, the Ankr team has used 6.00 million USD, or 33.70% of its funds according to the allocations below:
40% Product development
20% Business development
5% Legal and compliance
Ankr holds its fiat funds in USD, in a bank account that requires the approval of two of the co-founders for outgoing payments.
Ankr holds its cryptocurrency funds in various currencies, such as BTC, ETH and BNB in multiple single-signature wallets held by the 3 co-founders. Spending of cryptocurrency amounts above 1,000 USD per day requires the signature of 2 of the 3 co-founders. Transaction history is visible at all times for the 3 co-founders.
The following chart represents the number and breakdown of all ANKR tokens that are to be released into circulation on a monthly basis.
ANKR token release schedule
ANKR token overview and use-cases
The Ankr token is the main method of payment on the Ankr Cloud platform. Node operators can pay node hosting fees with Ankr tokens through the built-in wallets for Ankr ERC-20 and Ankr Native tokens. Payments are handled by a Tendermint-based smart contract which releases tokens from the wallet proportionally and warns the user when the wallet is about to be depleted. Crypto native enterprise customers of the Ankr cloud can also pay for their hosting fees in Ankr tokens. Examples of such enterprises are cryptocurrency exchanges, staking platforms, investment funds and custody providers. . Ankr tokens can also be used for donations to nonprofit cloud computing organizations, for example BOINC. At last, Ankr tokens can be used for other payments which are compatible with Ethereum or Binance BEP. Other uses of the ANKR token include:
Data centers: Ankr authorized reputed data centers and small data centers to join as part of the cloud platforms. Examples of these include DigitalOcean and Telefonica, who will stake ANKR tokens in order to get new computing jobs.
Cloud consumers: cloud consumers can use ANKR tokens to buy cloud computing services.
Donation: supporters of BOINC can use the ANKR token to donate to scientific research projects.
Integrate multi-hub system to improve stability and availability.
Implement smart contract on Tendermint.
Ankr Chain & Platform upgrade.
Offer hardware based mini-servers to serve as miners/edge computing resources.
Increase the types of blockchain nodes which thk Ankr platform supports.
Launch referral program for node operators and resource providers.
Improve mobile cloud node deployment solutions.
Launch GPU cloud mining solutions for Grin and Beam.
Integrate Edge devices as resource providers to the Ankr cloud.
4.3 Commercial partnerships and business development progress
Matic Network: Matic Network aims to bring scalability to the Ethereum blockchain, using an adapted version of Plasma with Proof-of-State-based side chains. Matic and Ankr are exploring low cost and high throughput on-chain settlement of micro-payments on the Ankr Cloud. Ankr provides affordable hosting solutions for Matic testnet nodes. Matic and Ankr will work together on expanding the Matic node network to blockchain communities. Matic also acts as local market partner for future product launch in the India market.
Harmony: Harmony is an innovative open infrastructure for scalable consensus, designed to power decentralized economies worldwide. Ankr and Harmony are working on the integration of Harmony-based dApps on the Ankr distributed cloud. Ankr also helps Harmony expand decentralization by adding distributed running servers through the Ankr cloud and providing easy and affordable node hosting for Harmony Open Staking and mainnet nodes.
LTO Network: LTO Network is building a hybrid blockchain for data security and collaboration. Ankr has provided the LTO node community with an affordable and easy deployment for LTO Public nodes.
Vite: Vite is a public chain and smart contract platform that facilitates lightning fast transactions at zero fees. The ANKR/BTC pair is listed on Vite’s decentralized exchange, ViteX. Ankr and Vite have been working together on the development of a one-click hosting solution for Vite nodes, which is available in the Ankr node market.
Fetch.ai: Fetch.ai is a decentralized connectivity platform that enables devices to connect directly with digital agents delivering autonomous solutions to complex tasks. Ankr has built a node hosting application where users can easily run its Fetch.ai masternodes in a few steps. Ankr and Fetch.ai will work together to expand the Fetch.ai mainnet masternode network.
Zilliqa: Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications. Zilliqa will utilize the Ankr cloud infrastructure to run its staking-based seed nodes.
BOINC: The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing is a grid-computing network. Ankr integrated SGX-based high security computing and container based computing with BOINC and deployed BOINC client and BOINC server to the Ankr cloud testnet. Ankr also supports Covid-19 research through the BOINC Rosetta project.
Bluzelle: Bluzelle is a decentralized database for web 3.0, combining blockchain and edge computing to deliver an instantly scalable, auto-managed, and cryptographically secure database service. Bluzelle and Ankr are working together to provide space for storing data and plan to package the tech stacks together to provide enterprises with the all-in-one solution. Ankr will also host Bluzelle nodes on the Ankr distributed cloud.
Troy Trade: Troy Trade is a global prime broker specialized in crypto trading and asset management. Troy will utilize the Ankr platform by adding new applications in areas such as trading and settlement to the Ankr app store.
BOID: BOID is building a social supercomputer, which relies on the BOINC technology, where individual contributors work on complicated tasks and get paid for the work their computer does. BOID will host individual applications on the Ankr cloud.
Lambda: Lambda is a decentralized scalable data storage blockchain infrastructure which facilitates the allocation of distributed storage space through the Lambda Marketplace. Ankr and Lambda are working towards building a unique solution, where Lambda provides the storage space on the distributed compute power through the Ankr DCCN.
BetProtocol: BetProtocol enables entrepreneurs and developers to create betting platforms in minutes, with no coding required. Ankr provides BetProtocol with compute resources to run its blockchain-based betting dApps.
Telefonica: Telefonica it is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. Telefonica and Ankr will work together on a pilot to leverage existing Telefonica data centers to build proof of concepts and monetize idle compute resources.
DigitalOcean: DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure provider with data centers worldwide. DigitalOcean will utilize Ankr's distributed network to channel idle computing capacity and enable end users to save up to 15% with improved service uptime as well as reduced latency.
Linux Foundation: Ankr is an official Silver member of the Linux Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Ankr has partnered with Linux Foundation to offer mature networking between data centers, as well as storage solutions inside data centers or clusters. The Ankr team states that this partnership also helps to get the project up-to-date to the best Kubernetes security practices.
SAP: SAP is an enterprise software solution company. SAP will offer Ankr's cloud computing platform in the SAP App Centre to be utilized on the platform (e.g., to accelerate the data analysis of time-series data).
Dorahacks: Ankr collaborates with Dorahacks to organize hackathons such as the Hacker Arena in San Francisco.
MultiVAC: MultiVAC is a flexible blockchain platform based on trusted sharding, which supports ordinary PCs to participate in mining with idle computing resources. Ankr and MultiVAC are exploring the integration of MTV mining as a service within the Ankr platform and the integration of sharding on the Ankr blockchain.
Blockcloud: Blockcloud is a blockchain-based advanced TCP/IP that aims to improve and upgrade the existing Internet. Ankr and Blockcloud collaborate on blockchain and network technology and research, and on community operation and global market development.
Celer Network: Celer facilitates off-chain resolution of on-chain transactions, in order to achieve high transaction speed. Ankr and Celer are working together to explore high-speed and low-cost transactions within the Ankr network.
Prometheus Network: Prometheus Network is a secure and decentralized protocol for data exchange and storage. Ankr and Prometheus are working together to integrate the Prometeus dApp on the Ankr Distributed Cloud Computing Network. The two projects are also exploring how Prometeus AI can optimize the cloud brokerage to provide better matching for providers and consumers of distributed computing.
5. Project team
Former CTO of CitySpade, Software Engineer at SAP, Amazon, Research positions at Berkeley and DiDi.
Former Senior Software Engineer and Tech Lead at Amazon, Ms in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Entrepreneur with experience as an investment bank analyst at Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and China Renaissance.
Front-end Team Lead
Product Manager & UX Lead
Lead Product Designer
Front-end Team Lead
Senior Cloud Engineer
Senior Cloud Engineer
Senior Web Desiger
6. Products and metrics
Ankr is a cloud computation platform that aims to provide prices which are more affordable than traditional data centers or public cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.
For a computing power consumer, Ankr automatically finds the computing resources that are closest to him, allowing the user to access cloud computing services anywhere in the world. For a computing power provider, Ankr matches his computing power with the most suitable tasks, allowing the provider to capitalize on idle devices.
The first active use case is created to facilitate consumers to deploy any blockchain node in just a few easy clicks. Running nodes can serve staking or developing purposes.
The screenshots below show the different functionalities of the Ankr Cloud platform.
In the dashboard users can see all their deployed nodes and information about new features and campaigns.
The node market shows an overview of all available blockchain protocols and nodes. Users can choose out of a variety of node types to deploy.
The Clusters overview presents the user with all available data centers around the globe which provide their idle compute resources to host the nodes.
On the billing page, users can find their billing history and payment specifications.
In the Ankr node market, users can choose from a wide variety of blockchain protocols and node types. To provide the very best user experience, Ankr has a strong focus on the UX and UI side of the cloud platform as well as the individual node deployment applications. This is an example of the user experience of deploying a Binance Chain node.
Payments are facilitated fast and easy with Ankr tokens or other cryptocurrency such as USDT.
The Ankr DCCN system is deployed and distributed over the computing resources managed by Kubernetes across various geographic locations. Resources configured into clusters in Kubernetes are connected to each other via a specialized type of clusters called Ankr Hub. Hubs at this time are fully set up and controlled by Ankr and serve as key nodes to relay and dispatch the computing tasks to other working clusters. The working clusters are the units actually running users' computing jobs.
Ankr aims to create a user experience on DCCN similar to that of centralized computation platforms such as AWS or Azure. Through Ankr's GUI or CLI, users can easily configure and deploy infrastructure, services, or applications.
6.3 Resource Scheduler and Fairness Algorithms
The core task of a Resource Scheduler is to select and assign tasks to nodes for user applications. These nodes will then run in the desired states.
In a multi-node, multi-user, and multi-task scheduling environment, a Weighted Dominant Resource Fairness Algorithm ("WDRF") evenly distributes the available resources of each node to each task based on resource availability and where services are most needed.
The WDRF algorithm has three main steps:
Filter: for each resource provider, eligible node instances are filtered according to the specification of the App resource request. These specifications include definitions of CPU, memory, disk, bandwidth, GPU and so on.
Prioritize: the final node instance is selected using the weighted sum of the node instance's price score and the resource provider's reputation score. If the node instance is low-cost, it will have a higher price score. The resource provider's reputation score is calculated by the proportion of idle resources, number of resource allocation tasks that have been scheduled, rating score, system stability, and current running status.
WDRFSche algorithm: the WDRFSche algorithm is adopted for resource-request task scheduling for each resource provider. The allocation for each user will be determined by the user's dominant share, which is the maximum share that the user has been allocated of any resource. In addition, each user is associated with a weight vector, which is used to allocate more resources to those users who are running high-importance jobs or who have a high reputation score. The next application task of user with the lowest dominant share will be picked to run, and resources will be allocated to the application task.
7. Blockchain and network data
The goal of the Ankr blockchain is to provide payment and metering kinds of services for Ankr cloud service, rather than provide services for dApps of customers.
Each data center or mining machine will be a node for the network. As of writing, the team claims the network can support about 1,000 TPS, with each node supporting 900 connections. Both send rate and receive rate are 5 MB. The transaction fee currently is fixed at 5 ANKR tokens. Maximum blocksize is at 22 MB. The Ankr blockchain does not use hash puzzle, and therefore has no hashrate. The block period is about 1 second for blocks containing transactions. If there is no transaction being proposed in 15 seconds, the network will be forced to create an empty block.
7.1 Edge node design
In Ankr there are three types of nodes, including:
Seed peer: generates new blocks, and is deployed in Ankr Hub.
Persistent peer: synchronizes blockchain, and is deployed in data center.
Access peer (or Ankr Miner): accesses Persistent Peer and reports the workload. Ankr Miner also provides computing services as an additional edge computing node to data center.
Since the mining equipment is also used for resource sharing and calculation, the graphics card mining machines with CPU, disk, and memory are selected to deploy.
With the ever-growing development of 5G technology, the modern network has much higher bandwidth and much lower latency. This allows for the implementation of a variety of real-time coordination applications using Ankr Miner, such as IoT, machine learning, distributed storage systems, and VR/AR.
7.2 Blockchain network structure
Ankr's blockchain network is divided into four layers:
Core layer: the core consensus layer of the Ankr network. The consensus calculation this layer uses is the Proof of Service Level and Stake Byzantine Fault Tolerance ("SLSBFT"), which defines the service quality of bandwidth, computation, and storage in the distributed cloud computing service market. Within this layer, blocks will be produced until a consensus is reached by the Block Producer ("BP") nodes. In essence, the Core Layer includes 2 types of nodes, namely Regular Nodes and Validator Nodes. Regular Nodes can synchronize blocks, relay new transactions, respond to Remote Procedure Calls, etc. Validators are Regular Nodes that serve as Block Producers.
Relay layer: th layer for fast network routing. All nodes in this layer will not produce blocks or take part in the consensus. Users have the ability to add a better network on top of the layer, and can earn ANKR token reward based on proof of a network contribution ("PNC"). The PNC calculation is based on the node's relayed packet number, network steadiness, network bandwidth, and the node's quality of service.
Access layer: it contains data center nodes, mining nodes, and edge computing nodes. All of these are light nodes and can control illegal node access.
Micro-node layer: it contains device nodes and some transaction hashes. If a micro-node needs to retrieve network proof, it will ask the access-layer node. If the access-layer node is unable to provide a proof, the request will pass through the relay layer to the core layer.
The provider of the network, the computation, and the store will provide proof periodically to the access layer. The access layer will then verify the proof, and the result will be passed to the core layer. If the proofs are verified, the resource provider's service level will be increased, which in turn increases the probability that the provider will be elected as a BP node.
Using the supernetting technology, Ankr's blockchain network can aggregate idle networks and provide more bandwidth. To do this, a supernetwork IP is formed by routing two or more networks into a larger network. The new routing prefix for the combined network represents each constituent network as a single routing table entry.
7.3 Expandable and organizable network
The Ankr blockchain network imports distributed sloppy hash tables based on the traditional Kademlia distributed hash table.
The node can retrieve physical neighbor nodes, allowing packets to be transmitted faster and more nodes to join the Ankr blockchain network.
Ankr has also expanded network organization by using the tag model, in which nodes with the same tag are clustered into the network organization.
Using a Proof of Work ("POW") node ID generation calculation, Ankr's blockchain network avoids Eclipse and Sybil attacks. The blockchain network also avoids hostile routing attacks by using disjoint path-finding algorithms.
7.5 SLSBFT consensus algorithm
Ankr's blockchain consensus is called Proof of Service Level and Stake Byzantine Fault Tolerance ("SLSBFT").
For verification, the consensus has three phrases:
Ankr's blockchain consensus sequence can be visualized in the following diagram.
The difference between SLSBFT consensus and standard BFT is the Block Producer ("BP") node election. BP node election is based on service level and stake, so that not only large token holders, but also nodes who contribute positively to the conmutational power of the platform, can become Block Producers.
The user's service level is calculated by the DCCN resource provider's Quality of Service ("QOS") and the resource consumer's credit. The first step for all satisfied account nodes is to become a candidate node.
For security, all validator nodes are randomly selected from a pool of candidate nodes. During each cycle, the proposal node is randomly selected from all validator nodes.
7.6 Smart contracts
The diagram below is a visualization of how smart contracts work in Ankr's blockchain.
Ankr's smart contract system is characterized by the following traits:
The virtual machine ("VM") of the smart contract complies with WebAssembly 1.0.
During the execution of smart contracts, Ankr's blockchain can invoke the contracts' API via a service bus.
In the smart contract development tool, the responding language's IDE plugin will be supported.
Ankr's blockchain will charge transaction fees based on the smart contract instructions.
It supports the smart contract's communication with Ankr blockchain.
It supports the smart contract's direct communication with the off chain system. For example, the DCCN's edge node.
7.7 Incentive mechanism
In order to promote the healthy development of the Ankr cloud computing platform and to provide customers with high-quality services, an incentive mechanism is provided to all relevant participants in the ecosystem.
Rewards for participants are calculated with several factors, including:
Rewards for ANKR stakeholding.
Rewards for ANKR stake consumption.
Rewards for resources and services provision.
Rewards for reputation.
For example, an application end user chooses to use the resources of a data center provider. The reward for both parties will computed by using the formula mentioned in the white paper. Stakeholding, consumption, resources and services provision, and reputation are part of the formula.
7.8 Incorporation with DCCN
The Ankr DCCN blockchain serves Ankr's DCCN in several ways, including:
It provides the payment interface for cloud users and providers.
It rewards resource providers and computing users when they successfully finish their computing tasks.
It rewards validators when they help maintain the blockchain and handle transactions.
It provides smart contract functionality.
The relay network secures communication between DCCN hub and DCCN daemon.
The resource provider can provide proof to Ankr DCCN blockchain, and the Ankr DCCN blockchain can verify it.
In addition, the Ankr blockchain provides APIs to DCCN services and front-ends. These APIs include wallets, transactions, history, validator management, metering, and smart contracts.
8. Ankr Network's activity and community overview
8.1 Development activity
8.2 Social and community data
Ankr's current community growth strategies include:
Running co-marketing campaigns with popular blockchain protocols to engage their communities
Educating blockchain communities about the benefits of hosting blockchain nodes on Ankr through various communication channels such as Telegram AMA’s in various blockchain communities
Participating in local meetups.
Attracting and closely working with local community leaders and influencers to educate their audiences.
Bi-weekly technical updates.
Creating local online communities to engage with local supporters and create more awareness around the world.
Ankr's future community growth strategies include:
Conducting Local ambassador programs.
Referral programs to increase word of mouth and C2C customer onboarding.
Publish articles in mainstream media to create more awareness around the product and benefits of Ankr.
Engaging with pre-sale investors, and incentivizing them to run nodes after public node launch.
Collaborate with enterprise clients such as cryptocurrency exchanges, staking platforms, investment funds, custody providers and other blockchain native projects to increase awareness across their customer base.