Development Update #55

There will be a blockchain reset soon. There are some minor last minute changes to block header and I dont want to delay the distribution event further to fix this.

Skycoin is designed so that we can:

This means that balances will be preserved. Bitcoin had a lot of bugs that could not be fixed because they would change hashes and break the blockchain going forward. In Skycoin we plan to fix these errors and then roll over the transactions. The balances should always be the same at the end and there should be tools to verify this.

There are several scheduled changed that will change binary format and require blockchain resets:

Meshnet Update:

We have a new group working on meshnet hardware.

Most hardware today is OEM and off the self. Apple gets sames from dozens of companies, tests them and then chooses best one for the price. Then they put the hardware into a nice looking case. We are now looking for off the shelf modules or chips for 5 Ghz and 24 Ghz that give us control over the beam direction or other options. This is being handled by separate people, so wont slow down software development anymore.

We are talking to contracting firms who can source chips, do prototypes or keep us informed of new hardware. There are two groups in San Francisco with same hardware requirements as us, working on a similar project, so we work with them.

5 Ghz is 6 cm band. It is line of sight. It is blocked by leaves, but bandwidth is 150 Mb/s to over 1 Gb/s. There are single chip radios implementing the 5 Ghz band 802.11n/802.11ac protocol with beam forming or a raw 5 Ghz radio with 40 Mhz channels and 4 antennas outputs. We can attach an FPGA to this and a trace antenna or commercial antenna and test it. This is line of sight, so it might have to be placed a pole, on a roof or out the window. However, the antenna direction can be re-positioned electronically and potentially connect to multiple others.

For point-to-point and backhaul, Ubiquity has 24 Ghz hardware. “AirFiber”. It has two antennas, one with horizontal and one with vertical polarization. The latency per hop is 1 ms. It is full duplex, so the latency does not increase if other side is transmitting. The cost is $150 per unit. The speed is 150 Mb/s to over 1 Gb/s. However, it requires installation on a pole. The antenna requires alignment to within eight degrees and it is point-to-point only. Wind can knock the antenna out of alignment. However, it also runs linux.

There is another version used for WISP (wireless internet service providers). It can connect four to twelve users at 150 Mb/s. A directional panel beam, with beam forming.

The meshnet is viable now. The technology is here for small scale meshnets, over some geographies. The equipment available is advancing rapidly. Our initial assessment was significantly more pessimistic than reality.

The hardware for meshnet mass adaption will be ready commercially within five years. It will only improve from there.

We looked at the athens meshnet. We determined that the barrier is currently software, not the hardware side. Commercial Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) are essentially commercial meshnets. There is a growing market for hardware aimed at WISPs and the first meshnets will be using this hardware.

Their networks are structured hierarchically. The depth max is three. There is a large microwave uplink to a location they have roof or tower access. Then they beam point-to-point 1.5 Gb/s connection to another roof. then they have directional antenna covering a 60 degree to 120 degree arc that services four to sixteen customers at up to 150 Mb/s each. The network fans in, to fatter and fatter pipes. These are small companies, with usually less than 1000 premises (50k/month revenue).

What Skywire provides WISPs is two things
For testing:

After the prototype for Skywire is done, the meshnet part and the internet part will split and need to be staffed by separate development teams.

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