How We Built One of The World's Largest Wireless Networks
Leveraging The Power of Decentralized Networks to Build a Better Future
A bit more than 2 years ago I wrote about the birth of a cryptocurrency. When the Nodle Network team introduced the release of the Nodle Cash token, we created a test cryptocurrency called “Love” on the Stellar network and chain. Anyone could send “love” using Love coins to their friends with a simple SMS.
The overarching vision is to build a new economic model for the Internet where each contributing “node” is rewarded for moving data securely and in a privacy-minded fashion. Think of this as valuable data like air quality, temperature, pressure, foot traffic, location, and much more that is sitting in isolation, with little to no value generation. With the number of Bluetooth connected devices all around us growing at a skyrocketing rate, we are looking at exabytes of data that can make cities smarter, more eco-friendly, reduce waste and improve efficiencies while solving massive global problems like pandemics.
This way, we have crowd-sourced a solution to efficiently capturing data that rewards everyone in the process from users to partners who pay for accessing the network. This is laying the foundation for billions of dollars in revenue through data-driven applications built on our network.
In order to begin strategically building this network to scale, we partnered with app developers who could help us quickly build coverage and density. For that, we looked at apps that already had a significant base of user installations and presence on mobile phones. Later, we introduced the token to the general public with the first release of our own app, the Nodle Cash App, in partnership with HTC on the HTC EXODUS, which was the first mass-produced blockchain smartphone.
Thereafter, we released the Nodle Cash App for all Android phones and on iOS. Anyone can become a “node” in what we call The Citizen Network by installing the Nodle Cash App. For app developers, adding the Nodle software library to their app take 3 minutes and transforms phones who install their app into edge nodes. When users are in proximity to an IoT device that is using Bluetooth Low Energy (“BLE”), their smartphones capture the advertising packet and the device can use the connecting smartphone as a relay node to the internet.
Nodle Cash Token
While on Stellar, Nodle Cash reached 1.3 million microtransactions a day, greater than the number of transactions Ripple was making every day. The growth has been sizable, and in order to realize our greater vision, in June 2020, we decided to move to our own chain, the Nodle Chain, which we built on Parity Substrate in the Polkadot Ecosystem.
A New Economic Model Creates Value for All Participants in the Ecosystem
We break down the participants in the ecosystem that fuels the growth as:
The Network Contributors are living at the edge of the network and are comprised of all the devices that can interact with IoT devices. They act as a gateway for the Nodle Network, so such devices are referred to as Edge Nodes. In our current rollout, most Edge Nodes are made of smartphone users of the Nodle Cash App and App developers who are using the Nodle SDK.
Network Subscribers are entities that utilize the services of the Nodle Network to affect communication or related services to targeted IoT devices for a specific purpose. Network Subscribers interact with the Nodle Network by paying a fee that is used to pay for services developed by Network Developers and incentivize the Network Contributors. Examples of Network Subscribers may include enterprises, smart cities, financial institutions, and advertising agencies who would like to leverage data collected to make more informed decisions. As described in the graphic above, an entire smart city could be created on the network in less than 48 hours.
The Network Validators constitute the backend of the Nodle Network. Together, they coordinate the work at the edge, settle the transaction on the Nodle Chain, and deliver the services to the Subscribers. Since the mechanics of the Network are tightly tied to the economic incentivization they are all part of the same layer that forms the basis of the Nodle Chain. We are thrilled to share that Blockchain.com Ventures — the Venture arm of the world's oldest and most widely used crypto Wallet — is a key partner that will run Nodle Chain validator nodes to support the growth of the network.
The Network Developers are technical users of the Nodle Network and its surrounding services. They develop custom applications that rely on the network or run on top of it. Building applications on the Nodle Network will create innovative use cases and unlock many new revenue opportunities for businesses in a hyperconnected world.
Currently, Nodle has more than 5 million daily participating smartphones that are acting as base stations. Every day, more than 25 million IoT devices are discovered and connected to our network using Bluetooth Low Energy. This would never have been possible by building our own hardware, which would hinder this contributes to this massive and rapid growth. Thus we call what we’ve built, “Software-Defined Networking,” which is the key to scaling a decentralized network. Today we support any iOS or Android smartphone, and thanks to a partnership with Cisco Meraki, our app can also run on their Meraki BLE routers.
As it stands, we have built one of the largest wireless networks in the world and we are just getting started.