Marconi () Network Protocol - ICO Review, Rating and Details of Marconi ICO (Token Sale) - Rating: Gamble

The Marconi protocol is designed down to the ethernet level and powers a decentralized networking stack that provides privacy, security, net neutrality and upgradability.

Problems & Solutions

The Problems:

  • Connecting Hybrid Clouds: If your organization is using cloud hosted services today, there's a good chance that you're using more than one provider. Sometimes this is because a single cloud provider is missing important products or services so some mixing and matching is required. In other cases, the motivation is cost driven because not all providers have the same pricing. Other organizations may bring another cloud provider into the fold to reduce their dependence on a single provider. No matter the reason that necessitates a multi-cloud or hybrid setup, the networking challenges that are associated with it are almost always the same. Instances in each cloud provider are typically in their own private network and can't see each other (let alone communicate) without significant routing or firewall configurations. Each instance essentially lives in a silo without any interconnection. If the instances do get bridged, it's an entirely different challenge to make sure that communication is secure and safe from attacks such as eavesdropping or man in the middle.

  • Protecting Online Activity: Protecting online activity is becoming more essential every day. This is particularly true for journalists in hostile countries, but it's even true for your typical user just trying to live their life. Public Wifi is notoriously dangerous and with the repeal of net neutrality ISPs are now free to collect and sell data about your browsing activity. It's also a very sensitive topic for anyone operating blockchain nodes. Recently an Ethereum core developer called out how the light clients that many people use to connect to the network depend on a discovery protocol which can reveal IP addresses to anyone who's looking. As worrisome as this is there is (some) hope.

  • Connecting Branch Offices: Many businesses today operate from multiple locations. These can be retailers, restaurants, or service companies that operate locations in the same market. Corporations, of course, also have multiple locations and it's only becoming more common. With the increase in globalization many companies opt to have local offices to better understand the market. Companies based in major cities may opt to open offices in other regions with lower cost of living and less competitive labor markets. The rise of remote workers has also motivated a large shift to a world in which there's no longer a single office. With all of the branch offices opening there's a greater need to securely connect them in a way that's easy to manage and can rapidly scale as more branch offices open.

  • Securing Blockchain Deployments: There are multiple ways to contribute to your favorite blockchain project whether it's mining, staking or operating nodes (masternodes, full nodes or lightweight nodes). Regardless of what you're doing, these private deployments require an investment of time, money and effort to set up so the last thing you want is to fall victim to hackers. Unfortunately, if you haven't also invested in securing your blockchain deployment then that risk is very possible. Various attacks have already been seen on mining software and the tokens in staking wallets make very attractive targets. You may not even realize you have been hacked since savvy hackers are careful to cover their tracks and siphon only a portion of your tokens without you noticing. Another emerging theme in the crypto community is the potential for sensitive metadata to be exposed through common actions like checking balances, initiating transactions or just receiving block updates. This was recently called out by Ethereum Core Developer Peter Szilagyi. While metadata may seem harmless, it could be used to expose the physical location of a blockchain deployment which is something most would prefer to avoid.
  • Load Balancing: As businesses scale today it’s not uncommon for high traffic websites to serve hundreds of thousands, or sometimes millions, of simultaneous requests. The industry standard solution to this challenge is to use load balancers that can listen for client requests and then route them to a pool of servers where the request can be served quickly and reliably. Unfortunately, the industry standard solution has also been to use hardware load balancers which are expensive and inflexible. If more servers are needed or if an environment changes (a common scenario in today’s fast paced environments) then new hardware usually needs to be purchased.

Marconi's Solutions:

  • The Marconi Protocol offers a much simpler software based solution for bridging cloud providers into a flat network where each node can securely peer with every other node in the network, regardless of geographic location, cloud provider, or even whether it's a shared/dedicated/container instance. It's now possible possible to create and manage an overlay network that is completely agnostic of the underlying network architecture. Additionally, each Marconi Network has a built in DHCP server which creates a private IP address for each node in the network to peer as if they are sitting right next to each other in the same data center. Marconi's support for mesh networking enables peer to peer connections to minimize latency and all communication is secured end to end which eliminates the need for a separate VPN.

  • The Marconi Protocol enables anyone to quickly and easily spin up their own secure gateway which essentially acts like a VPN. Since the user is managing everything there's no need to place any trust in a 3rd party VPN provider who may be logging data or worse behind the users' back. Like a VPN, all user traffic is routed over a secure connection (in this case a Marconi Pipe protected with 256-bit mutating encryption) to a separate exit node which protects the user's original IP address. As an added bonus, this exit node can be hosted inside of a datacenter which may actually result in a performance increase since all user traffic can now traverse the high speed connections employed by most datacenters.

  • The Marconi Protocol offers a simple solution for connecting any number of branch offices. With the Marconi Protocol, each connection is secured with mutating AES keys for extra security and can be configured as a mesh network for greater resiliency in case a hub goes down. All endpoints are secured with asymmetric key identities keys instead of usernames & passwords which can be easily cracked.

  • The Marconi Protocol establishes secure connections between all nodes in a network and supports custom filters which can help secure any deployment. With the Marconi Protocol, it's easy to deploy pre-configured filters which serve as a Firewall to block all non-blockchain traffic on your network. That ensures that the only activity happening on your blockchain deployment is the traffic you expect. Any extra ports will be locked down which blocks attackers from accessing your system. With the Marconi Protocol it's also extremely simple to proxy your network traffic to another location to obfuscate your actual location.

  • With the Marconi Protocol organizations can gain many of the benefits of software based load balancers without the expensive per instance licenses or vendor lockin. Marconi’s open source platform can be deployed on any number of systems as needed without any additional costs and the robust development platform means these load balancers can be easily updated with new configuration or functionality as needed. More importantly, a Marconi based load balancer, leverages the built in connectivity & security features so that the upstream servers for the load balancer can live in a multiple data centers or cloud providers without any additional connectivity headaches. Due to the low level at which Marconi is implemented, almost any protocol (including UDP) is supported.

Features & Highlights

  • Marconi Pipe: A secure communication channel for transporting network traffic between peers. The pipes are established all the way down to layer 2 of the OSI model and provide encryption, routing, and processing capabilities. Marconi Pipe works with wired standards to allow the Marconi Protocol to be used as an overlay on existing internet infrastructure.

  • Programmable Packets: Network packets can be routed and processed using Marconi’s programmable packet design. This technology unlocks numerous use cases for smart decentralized networking applications such as securing blockchain networks, connecting branch offices, hybrid cloud connectivity and load balancing.

  • Global Chain: This global chain facilities the creation of new networks and the management of nodes on that network. It also houses protocol components such as smart contracts for facilitating network functionality like DHCP.

  • Marconi Link: An extension to Marconi Pipe called Marconi Link that is designed to work with wireless standards to power scalable mesh networks, both public and private.

  • Proof of Network Element: A decentralized metering protocol that captures network node availability and bandwidth over time, and incentivizes network bootstrapping and continued network participation.

Token Allocation

"IEO","Seed & Private Sale","Marketing & Ecosystem","Foundation","Advisor","Team","Future Reserve","Mining & Protocol Development" {"name": "IEO","value": 1.9},{"name": "Seed & Private Sale","value": 12.3},{"name": "Marketing & Ecosystem","value": 19.1},{"name": "Foundation","value": 7.9},{"name": "Advisor","value": 0.6},{"name": "Team","value": 22.9},{"name": "Future Reserve","value": 1.9},{"name": "Mining & Protocol Development","value": 33.3}

Roadmap & Updates

  • 2018 December
    • Testnet Launch
  • 2019 February
    • Blockchain Network Security & Multi-Cloud Support
  • 2019 March
    • Mining support
  • 2019 May
    • Mainnet Launch
  • 2019 October
    • Staking on Marconi subnetworks
  • 2020
    • Marconi Link, an extension to Marconi Pipe, designed to work with wireless
  • 2021
    • Networking metering to capture server availability and bandwidth contributions

Team Members

  • Jong Kim, Chief Architect, Bitcoin miner, blockchain developer & investor since 2011. Founder of HashLayer (2014-15) - one of the first multi-blockchain explorers. Led teams at Google that built networking technologies. CS from USC. Linkedin.

  • Terence Kwan, Infrastructure, Architected and led development of data center infrastructure at Google for scaling high density and wireless networks. Previously held engineering roles at Microsoft, Netscape and Yahoo. CS from UWaterloo. Linkedin.

  • Albert Yuen, Security, Developed security systems and cryptographic services to secure consumer and internal data at CreditKarma. Software Engineering - UWaterloo. Linkedin.

  • Di Wu, Platform, Led engineering teams that created big data platforms at Credit Karma and Service Now. Previously, software engineer at tech giants like Microsoft and Intel. Software Engineering - UWaterloo. Linkedin.

  • Peter Lai, Operations, Blockchain investor since 2014. Executive and management roles at startups and corporations like Zynga and Microsoft. Computer Engineering from UWaterloo, MBA from Wharton. Linkedin.

  • Chris Lee, Product & Marketing, Developed APIs and SDKs at Apple for Mac OS X and Objective-C. Led product teams and launched apps at startups like Dropbox. CS from UCSD and MBA from Wharton. Linkedin.

  • DoHoon Bang, System Administrator, ZCash miner and early blockchain adopter. Extensive experience with networking and infrastructure setup. BSc from UCSD. Linkedin.

  • Sora Bai, Project Manager, Senior project manager on flagship products with 20M+ daily active users at Zynga, CNET and start ups. BSc from UCD. Linkedin.

  • Dr. Whitfield Diffie, Advisor, Father of public key encryption. Winner of the 2015 Turing Award, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Computing, and other awards including Fellow of the Royal Society and member of National Academy of Engineering. Previously at Sun Microsystems as CSO. Linkedin.

  • Dr. Lixin Gao, Advisor, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering researching internet routing, network virtualization and cloud computing. Fellow of IEEE and Association of Computing Machinery for contributions to network protocols and internet routing. Ph.D from UMass. Linkedin.

  • Dr. Jay Srinivasan, Advisor, Co-founded Appurify - mobile platform (acquired by Google) and Spoke - workplace AI (backed by Greylock and Accel). Accomplished researcher with 2000+ IEEE & ACM citations and recipient of IBM Invention Achievement Award. EE from IIT, PhD from UI Urbana Champaign. Linkedin.

  • Dr. Joyce Kim, Advisor, Pioneering researcher and author in machine learning comfort prediction using IOT. Previously, researcher in smart grids at Berkeley Labs. Awarded best paper for 2018 by industry journal Building & Environment. Engineering from UWaterloo, PhD from UC Berkeley. Linkedin.

  • Tom Pageler, Advisor, Security expert and Chief Security Officer at Bitgo - leading blockchain security platform and a pioneer of multi-sig technology. Previously, CSO at Neustar and DocuSign. MPA from Harvard. Linkedin.

  • Tom Pageler, Advisor, Security expert and Chief Security Officer at Bitgo - leading blockchain security platform and a pioneer of multi-sig technology. Previously, CSO at Neustar and DocuSign. MPA from Harvard. Linkedin.

  • Roger Lim, Advisor, Experienced entrepreneur and blockchain investor. Founding partner of NEO Global Capital and Webvisions - one of the largest Asian cloud hosting providers with 40,000+ clients. Linkedin.

  • Matthew Liu, Advisor, Co-Founder of Origin - protocol for creating sharing economy marketplaces using Ethereum and IPFS. Backed by Pantera Capital. Previously at Google. EE and MS from Stanford. Linkedin.

  • Glenn Entis, Advisor, Co-Founded PDI (studio that produced the Shrek and Madagascar series) and VanEdge Capital. CEO of DreamWorks Interactive. Advisor for corporations including Zynga & Citigroup. Linkedin.

  • George Li, Advisor, Co-Founder of WeTrust - blockchain insurance platform backed by Vitalik Buterin, Bo Shen and Fenbushi Capital. Previously at Google and McKinsey. MS from Stanford. Linkedin.

Partnership Overview

  • DHVC - Danhua Capital is a venture capital fund that invests primarily in early stage and growth stage companies with disruptive technologies or innovative business models, big market opportunities and strong management team. Their fund focuses on innovations in high-tech space, including mobile Internet, big data, cloud computing, wearable computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, smart devices, gaming and entertainment, medical devices and other disruptive technologies. They invest in companies from early stage to growth stage, and they occasionally participate in later rounds of financing for extraordinary companies.

  • Floodgate Fund - Floodgate Fund is a venture capital firm based in the United States created by Mike Maples Jr. and Ann Miura-Ko. It was originally named Maples Investments but was renamed Floodgate Fund in March 2010. It is focused on investments in technology companies in Silicon Valley.

  • NGC Ventures - NGC Ventures was founded in December 2017. NGC Ventures strives to become one of the best venture capitals in the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) space by professionally adopting best practices from traditional investments combing rich experience from technology lines.

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