KR1 Spotlight: Bluzelle

KR1 Portfolio Spotlight is a new format to highlight the work and focus that’s going on with our portfolio companies and projects. Bluzelle is a distributed Open Source database service using blockchain technology for Serverless and Distributed Applications. It launched amidst the ICO craze, and is one of our favourite crypto projects due to the team’s dedication and hard work to deliver on its vision. Here Bluzelle CEO and coFounder Pavel Bains gives us an update of what’s going on with the project.

Portfolio Spotlight: Bluzelle by Pavel Bain

Data is a sixty billion dollar industry and will continue to grow as it plays a major role in technology. But current databases do not meet the needs of the next generation of software applications. Bluzelle combines blockchain with database technology to create a decentralised database that meets those needs. Bluzelle takes spare computer storage held in data centralised, personal computers, company servers, mobile devices and consoles to give B2B companies a database that is faster, globally accessible and costs less than centralised databases.

Using Decentralization to Meet Commercial Needs

The market is behind in valuing the ideological benefits of blockchain and decentralization as compelling features. You can’t just expect people to use it because it’s decentralized. They are looking for benefits that will make an impact on the sales and costs of their products. This is where we find three major trends:

  1. Companies no longer want to have IT departments and manage back-ends. Developers want to focus on the product and have the back-end handled by specialist providers.
  2. Data privacy issues are now coming to light, especially with consumers as concerns about how companies are managing consumer data are arising.
  3. Software products now target global audiences and current databases are not able to support them without costs escalating extremely quickly.

This is where Bluzelle shines as we use decentralization to bring a number of commercial benefits that current databases cannot do:

Instant global scalability with super speed performance

As a product takes off all around the world, the company needs to deploy new nodes in specific regions. This takes a lot of time and can end up costing a lot while the end users get frustrated. Being decentralized, Bluzelle has nodes already deployed around the world so the company needs to do almost nothing. Speed never slows down as it feels like the database is next to the customer. Bluzelle is clocking 40x faster than centralized solutions.

Geo-fencing to provide data privacy

All software now has to consider the impact of GDPR and assure end users that their data isn’t being mis-handled. Bluzelle can set up mini-networks within Bluzelle that gives B2B customers the country compliance they need plus all the speed and security that comes with decentralization.

Predictable lower costs

Databases from AWS and others are assumed to be cheaper but that is only when you get started. As a product gets more users, there are about 5–10 parameters that companies need to think about to estimate their costs. Often they get a bill much higher than they thought. Bluzelle makes it easy to understand as the extra costs that centralized systems charge are already built into the Bluzelle protocol. This will lead to 5–10x savings.

Customer Groups and Use Cases for Bluzelle

There is a growing global movement where developers want to focus on what they do and leave major infrastructure to be handled elsewhere. With that Bluzelle is great for:

  • Serverless Applications — Software development went from owning your own hardware to renting from the cloud and is now moving to serverless. These products don’t want to manage computing and storage and have it done by serverless framworks.
  • Blockchain products — The common mis-conception is that blockchains are a database. But blockchains are a terrible place to store data. 1GB can cost more than $100,000 on Ethereum. Dapps needs databases that are integrated into the blockchain they build on to have off-chain storage.

Diving even deeper, Bluzelle is designed well for two of the fastest growing sectors in tech, IoT and gaming/media. They are two excellent Bluzelle use cases as they need super performance, global scalability and lower costs.

Internet of Things

5G networks is going to exponentially increase the number of IoT devices in the world. IoT devices are limited in their computing and storage ability. IoT use real-time data to make decisions. Bluzelle being globally distributed allows for high performance and storage at the edge point and solves these problems.

Gaming and Media

Streaming media and video games are now used by a global consumer base. Any delays in performance will frustrate consumers and get them to switch providers. Bluzelle ensures that the network performance is blazing fast (30x faster than current providers) and the system is always available.

How it All Comes Together

Bluzelle’s Technical Architecture

Bluzelle is a highly connected network of components that consists of layer one and layer two technologies. This ensures speed and consistency is maintained on a global level that centralized databases cannot do. At its core, Bluzelle is a network of master nodes and replica nodes run by Bluzelle and qualified partners and operate consensus for all writes to the DB and regulate the replica nodes. Replica nodes are run by the public and allow for massive numbers of storage points around the world. Both master and replica nodes have staking to encourage best behavior.

Instead of relying on centralized services to manage the nodes, Bluzelle created an Ethereum Swarm Registry (ESR) through a smart contract to keep everything in check. The nodes are then connected to specific blockchains or software platforms where applications and dApps are made. Salesforce-Heroku is an example software platform that Bluzelle currently is running a beta with. Bluzelle also works with smart contract oracles so that we can save time integrating with different blockchains.

The Bluzelle token (BLZ) is used by the applications and dApps to pay for using the Bluzelle database service.

What’s next for Bluzelle

We’ve been keeping with our roadmap and are currently running the database network in private mode with select customers. With a working product now we are building out the ecosystem above. In the coming weeks we’ll be fully integrated to Ethereum and other blockchains. We also are currently testing with data center partners who we will announce. This gives us the solid foundation to on-board more customers across the select platforms and categories we identified.

As the world moved from on-premise to cloud, it is now moving to decentralized and to win at global level, we must address the needs of not just blockchain projects but the wider world of general software. Blockchain projects are early adopters and great catalysts to bring about this new paradigm, but making sure we provide an immediate benefit to the non-blockchain world is where the major revenue will come that drives the token economy we all envision.

KR1 plc is Europe's leading publicly listed investment company focused on blockchain and decentralised technologies (KR1:AQSE). KR1 was founded in March 2016.