SmartMesh the Network Atop Every Smartphone
In the beginning Men created the Internet.
Men see the Internet is good. Yet, on the Internet, people do not trust each other.
Then Men created the blockchain. It lets people work with each other without trust. The block chain is good, but it’s slow.
Then Men created Lightning, Raiden and Plasma. They let people to conduct business. But it does not work when Internet is off.
Then Men created SmartMesh, said Spirit of SmartMesh, let all be connected together, even where there is no Internet.
SmartMesh Mesh connects Men where Internet does not. Men be always connected together.
Imagine you live in an area that has been stricken by earthquake or tsunami, when the disasters hit, the power grid is cut off, the cellphone towers toppled, the cellphone service is out, what would you do to get contact with your family and friends, discover and rescue people trapped under the rubble.
Imagine again, there are places in Africa where mobile service has yet to cover. People still live in pre-internet age and are deprived of information access, education, and opportunities to improve standard of living. What could be done to deal with such challenges?
The answer is in your hands, the SmartMesh app in your cellphone. You can use it to set up a mesh network with nearby mobile phones with SmartMesh installed even it does not have a SIM card. SmartMesh Mesh let us find our family and save lives; let African villagers connected and make calls without cell towers. Furthermore, if there is one phone connected to the Internet through satellite or balloon, the whole village would be able to connect to the Internet.
SmartMesh is not only useful when the Internet is not available; it has tremendous value in metropolises with Internet access.
Imagine that you are walking with a friend in the Central Park in New York City; you use WeChat to share a photo with this friend. When you hit that share button, the picture will be sent to a cellphone tower near the Central Park, then the data packets are sent to a telco’s data network, and then the data packets are routed across the North American Continent from East Coast to San Francisco or LA in the West Coast, through the Pacific Ocean Seabed Fiber Optic to Tokyo or Hong Kong, and then to a Chinese network operator based in Shanghai, and after multi-level routing to reach one of the WeChat load balancing servers, and then forwarded to a Guangzhou central servers, which will process the message packets and then sent it all the way back to the US network operators through the Pacific Ocean Seabed Fiber Optic, the West Coast and the East Coast, and then through the Central Park cell tower, the photo data packets are finally passed off over the air to the mobile phone of your friend, walking with you all the time.
These data packets have traveled tens thousands of miles through wire cables and optic fibers, hundreds of equipments to reach the mobile phone of your friend, which otherwise would have been done instantly between the two of you in a PEER-TO-PEER manner. All these energy and resources for laying out, maintenance and service of fiber optics, cables maintain would have been saved. It could even have helped saving our planet from global warming.
SmartMesh is a piece of software that connects smart phones without Internet. SmartMesh is embedded with Blockchain Light Node, Raiden Network Extension Protocol to achieve off-Internet micropayment of tokens. With incentives of blockchain tokens, SmartMesh will grow and self-organize into a resilient, decentralized, self-healing mesh network, which provides with higher near field speed and bandwidth and it often comes free. It has the potential to be a network that is parallel to the Internet.
It is conceivable that in the future years; more than 90% of payment made in cryptocurrencies will take place off-chain on Lightning Network and Raiden Network. With SmartMesh Raiden Network Extension, not only payment is made off the Internet, but also to allow near field traffic in the world to be delivered in SmartMesh Mesh, people only need to access to the Internet when they communicate with people afar on another continent.
Internet was first conceived and built in 1960s when PC and mobile phones were nowhere to be found. If the Internet was conceived today, it would have been a mobile mesh network, and it would have been cheaper, faster and much more private. In 2017, there are 7.5 billion people on our planet, and 44% of the world population own smart phones. That amounts to 3.3 billion smart phones. In the most populated metropolises such as Shanghai and Beijing, there are at least 5,500 smart phones in every square kilometer or 5.5 smart phones in every 100 square meters (Imagine a 10m*10m square). In China alone, there are 13 billion smart phones in active use, which means every 100 people of Chinese population own 95.5 smart phones.
With a penetration of that level, a worldwide mesh is not only alternative to the Internet, it is inevitable.
We envision a mesh network that will connect every corner of the world where human being reside, connect people with speed, reliability and privacy, and we intend to achieve this by building a marketplace of nodes, so sharing economy not only let you sleep on beds of strangers, ride in cars that belong to another person, but also let you connect to the world through cellphone of many other people for much less cost, while these contributors will be rewarded in crypto tokens.
Pioneers of mesh network
There are many pioneers in mesh network but obviously the mobile mesh network startups have been the front-runners. The SmartMesh Mesh Network Team is made up technologists and entrepreneurs from San Francisco-based Firechat, China-based NextApp and Australia-based Serval Project. The three startups have optimized Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, ANT and other wireless protocols and their apps for Android and iOS, and had made off-Internet communication a reality.
Each of these mesh chat app has basically done the same thing: they would let you stay in touch with other people when mobile service is not available (Image you are holding a mobile phone without a SIM card or you are holding a mobile phone with SIM card but you are in an area where service doesn’t cover). The use scenarios might vary slightly, one might focus on chat, one might on research and another on social, but together they have tens of millions level user bases as a proof of concept.
They have never scaled up to reach every smart phone of the world separately. But now we could, working together.
Vision: a global mesh network
As pioneers in mesh network, we had faced the dilemma of scalability. A global Mesh Network requires global collaborations of technologists and entrepreneurs to work together, and users need to be incentivized to share nodes, hence to increase user density to make the mesh network to be stable and accessible.
Today three leaders in mesh network decide to pursue the vision together. With progress of the Raiden Network in off-chain micro-payment and SmartMesh Raiden Extension, off-Internet high speed payment is achievable. The team of dreamers and technologists are working together to make this shared vision a reality.
We propose to build a mesh network that connects mobile phones, on which people who share their own mobile phone as nodes are rewarded in crypto tokens.
SmartMesh is a marketplace of nodes, like an Airbnb of smart phone nodes. Anyone with a smart phone can send text messages, photos, or voice to other nodes; and they are rewarded with tokens by helping transfer the data, and of course the data packets are encrypted.
To deal with daunting task like this, the biggest challenge is to transfer crypto tokens between mobile phones quickly so that people can share their nodes and get paid quickly, which was not possible on blockchain. As we all know, transaction confirmation on blockchain is too slow and too expensive to be applied on sharing mobile phone nodes.
Since inception, Bitcoin and blockchain have been plagued with its inherent technical issues, only 7 transactions can be processed per second, and every transaction need be confirmed by 6 blocks deep to be verified as effective. This level of throughput could not be regarded as a currency, by which people can use to conduct business, not to mention the ultra-high speed of micropayments between mobile phone nodes.
Fortunately, since 2015, we have the new technologies that we didn’t have, which are blockchain, crypto token, especially Lightning Network and Raiden Network as an off-chain payment accelerator.
Lightning Network proposes to achieve peer to peer micro-payment transactions off-chain with on-chain validation and settlement. The blockchain processing bottleneck is broken; issues such as latency, finality, throughput and privacy are all solved. Raiden Network is based on the same concept and built on Ethereum. Plasma expands Lightning Network to computation in addition to payment.
Hereafter is the plan to construct the SmartMesh Mesh:
- To create anincentive mechanism by which people are rewarded. This is implemented with blockchain and token.
- To make token transaction fast enough, we needto build a Ethereum based Raiden Network Micropayment
- Raiden Network runs fast enough, butit could not work without access to the Internet. We have designed SmartMesh Extension to enable off-Internet micropayment on mobile phones;
- When off-Internet micropayment is ready, people can participate in SmartMesh Mesh bysharing their mobile phone nodes to co-build the global mesh network we conceive.
In the following passages, we will describe with reasonable technical details about what we have done, what we are doing, where this journey lead us to, you should be able to understand whether you are of technical or non-technical background.
SmartMesh Mesh Architecture
SmartMesh Mesh is a decentralized peer-to-peer distributed network that functions either Internet access is available or not.
SmartMesh embeds the Ethereum light node, which is based on the Light Ethereum Sub-protocol (LES), and is connected to the Ethereum via Geth. LES is a protocol designed for a light client such as a smart phone. It downloads only the block header instead of the entire block when the block chain is synchronized. It provides a fully secured blockchain access function, but does not participate in mining and the formation of consensus.
Decentralized Application, on the top layer, interacts with the SmartMesh contract layer through Web3.js. The user uses Wallet to store their private key, make transfer, and make query and other operations.
SmartMesh uses Swarm to implement to host personal files in shared storage space, uses Whisper to build a peer-to-peer messaging network, off-chain transactions via Lightning Network or Plasma to accelerate transaction confirmation and incentivize users to contribute storage space and network resources through checkbook contracts.
Near-field, peer-to-peer connection based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT and other protocols, with the increase of distributed nodes, this mesh networks will be better, and ultimately becomes a world parallel network to the Internet.
We believe SmartMesh Mesh has the potential to support applications far more beyond off-Internet chat, data transmission and off-Internet payment.
SmartMesh token, or SMT, is a contract token based on Ethereum. Ethereum is an open source, public distributed computing platform that provides a distributed Turing Complete Virtual Machine to support execution of SmartMesh contracts.
SMT is used to incentivize SmartMesh Mesh node contributors and to purchase products and services in the SmartMesh Mesh ecosystem. When users connect their SmartMesh phone nodes to the SmartMesh mesh network, they are rewarded with the SMT tokens. The longer the user stays on the network, the more SMT that they amass on the SmartMesh Blockchain.
SmartMesh Token Contract
SmartMesh Token Contract is based on the ERC20 Token standard. We implemented a number of features on SMT to support SmartMesh Mesh, of which include Signed Authorized Agent Transactions etc.
ERC20 Token Standard has won recognition in the Ethereum community. A large number of well-known Ethereum applications are in compliance with this standard and has proven the ERC20 Token Standard to be successful.
Signed Authorized Payment
The Ethereum-based SmartMesh contract consume gas to run, which is one of the precautions that Ethereum has taken for security, but gas needs to be paid in ETH, which increases the complexity of Decentralized Applications (DAPP) to mainstream users. To help these users, we have developed a Signed Authorized Payment Agent, which is to let a third party to assist a user to pay ETH to cover gas consumption.
The service fee of the third party is paid in SMT. The process requires the user to authorize by providing with a specified format signature to activate the SmartMesh contract to operate on users assets.
Minimal information required for the he user signature include the agent address, service fee and statement of asset change, which means the user, has complete control and it is as safe and sound as if the user is doing it in person.
SmartMesh Micro Payment
With progress of blockchain technologies, the PC based wallet applications are no longer good enough for users. Data on nodes are too large to be synchronized and PCs are not convenient to be carried around.
The present light wallet apps still rely on centralized services, which require the signature data to be sent to servers for the transaction data to be broadcast. If the servers are hacked, the request of service would be denied and this is potential security vulnerability. Plus, in the process of transactions, it would need confirmation of other blocks and consumes gas. This is contradictory to the very idea of decentralization and could not complete micropayment quickly.
SmartMesh App is a truly decentralized mobile node with micro-payment wallet, which uses the LES-enabled Geth node on the smart phone to verify and synchronize the block header. The Light Ethereum Sub-protocol, often referred to as LES, is a sub-protocol of Ethereum, which is designed to maintain the high security of certain instances of Ethereum on the current state in a light client (such as a smart phone).
Meanwhile, SmartMesh App has integrated Raiden Network technologies to accelerate micro-payment transactions. The Raiden Network is a state channel technology based on Ethereum, which increases the processing power of the Ethereum The basic idea, is that users can have transaction with signed messages off-chain, rather than to have all transactions to be processed on-chain.
Through PEER-TO-PEER payment and deposit on Ethereum, Raiden retains the protection mechanism that the Blockchain has provided.
Raiden network has the advantages of scalability, fast transaction, confidentiality, interoperability, low cost, micropayment-ready. It could process up to one million transactions per second. Confirmation and termination of transfer is completed within a 1 second. The cost of transaction could be as low as 1 millionth that of on-chain, which makes SmartMesh a viable micropayment solution.
SmartMesh Off-Internet Payment
Today, electronic payment without Internet remains a technological challenge, even when payment apps such as Alipay and Wechat Pay have become so popular that people living in China could hardly live one day without. Yet, in locations where Internet is either unavailable or the mobile service signal is low, none of these apps could complete a transaction without Internet access until SmartMesh. For the first time, SmartMesh makes crypto payment without Internet possible.
SmartMesh Off-Internet Micropayment is the SmartMesh Payment Protocol based on Raiden Network Extension. Users transfer signed encrypted transaction data through direct peer to peer such as Wi-Fi, aka, to allow Off-Internet payment.
Alice and Brandon establish a channel on Raiden Network through SmartMesh App; they both commit a certain amount of assets as deposits, then they are ready to make payment with SmartMesh Micro Payment.
Alice and Brandon establish off-Internet connection through SmartMesh App
Alice pays Brandon 5 tokens
Alice sends crypto transaction data to Brandon without the Internet, both sides store crypto transaction information.
When there is internet access, Alice and Brandon synchronizes the transaction information up to Raiden Network node; verify transaction settlement within the transaction verification channel.
If Alice closes the transaction channel, Alice submits a signed Update Transaction message to the blockchain contract, which will wait for the Hold Period. During which if Brandon could submit a higher Update Transaction message with a higher sequence number; the contract will confiscate all pledged assets of Alice in the channel and transfer it to Brandon. If there is no objection until wait for Brandon is timeout, the contract will complete the transfer payment and close the channel in the block chain according to the message content. Vice versa.
If Alice closes transaction channel, Alice submit a Update Transaction
Compared to Lightning Network, Raiden Network introduces a more common SmartMesh Condition than Hash Timelock Contract of Lightning Network. In the event of a dispute, the contract can be enforced by presenting the latest version of the Update Transaction message to the SmartMesh contract on blockchain, and requesting SmartMesh contract to process the SmartMesh Condition in the message. If there is no dispute, none of these will appear on Ethereum blockchain, which enhances the privacy as well as performance.
When Alice and Brandon make off-the-Internet transactions, the two sides store encrypted transaction information off-chain, which will be synchronized, verified when the Internet access is available. This guarantees security of the transactions and untamperable.
SmartMesh has integrated Ethereum Light Node, Raiden Light Node and a SmartMesh Off-Internet Extension of Raiden Network, by which a parallel global mesh network incentivized by crypto tokens will emerge and thrive.
Universal connectivity architecture
SmartMesh Mesh aim to enable a Global Mesh Network parallel to the Internet. Every SmartMeshphone is like a SmartMesh. A single spark can start a wild fire on a prairie. With the increase in Fireflies, mobile SmartMesh nodes create a network of their own; the apps would be SmartMesh enough to choose a path for each data packet, over Internet or SmartMesh Mesh.
Blockchain was on PC nodes only, and now they are making their ways to SmartMeshphones with mobile light node technologies, which allows crypto currencies trading whether access to the Internet is available or not. SmartMesh off-Internet Payment lets crypto currencies can be traded even when the Internet is off.
For the future generation of communications, the Internet and SmartMesh Mesh complement each other, SmartMesh Mesh will be carrying a large number of local traffic and it will be the most optimized universal connection.
SmartMesh Use Case
SmartMesh Mesh harness the power of the community to construct a global network parallel to the Internet, based on smart phones with peer-to-peer direct connections. The local traffic is routed to local mesh network, saving traffic and energy, creates connection between people, people and devices, devices and devices to be easier and convenient. Mesh network will be a network that will find more and more user scenarios like what Internet has done in the past three decade.
Humanitarian Rescue Mission
When natural disasters hit, the power grid and telecom network are often destroyed. The mobile phone is often the only electronic devices connected with a mesh network are often the only way to get connected to the outside world when the victims are waiting for rescue team.
SmartMesh Mesh will keep people connected in such catastrophes.
Social and Entertainment
No matter where you are, either on a train, a subway, a plane, camping in back-countries, attending sport events, or music performances, you may often find yourself off the grid, either because of the tower is overtaxed and there is data congestion, or there is no tower around at all. With mesh network, you can always share text and photos wherever you are. When more and more devices join the mesh, the mesh gets better and faster.
In a mesh fog, everyone will have access to the Internet even when there is only one device has uplink to the Internet. Everyone will be able to share information inside the mesh.
Mobile payment platforms such as Alipay and Wechat don’t work without the Internet. SmartMesh Mesh is a Peer-to-Peer Mesh Network based on SmartMesh Payment. Every SmartMesh device becomes a node, which collectively form a network of SmartMeshphone nodes and make off-Internet payment is simple and easy.
In the ocean of the Internet, countless online games have enriched people’s life with entertainment. If there is no network connectivity, online game would no longer exist. SmartMesh Mesh will become a new carrier of off-grid gaming.