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What is IRISnet (IRIS) All About?

Updated: Dec 21, 2019

IRISnet is a service protocol and infrastructure that is built using Cosmos SDK/Tendermint. It is aimed to facilitate the construction of distributed business applications. IRISnet can be better explained as the internet of blockchains to provide a technology foundation, which facilitates the construction of distributed business applications. The IRIS Hub is at the center of the IRIS network and has its native token called IRIS.

This post will discuss what IRISnet is all about, the reason it is designed for, the team behind it, how it works, and various uses and applications.

What Is IRISnet Designed For?

IRISnet is aimed at establishing a technology foundation that facilitates the construction of next-generation distributed applications. Current blockchains working in the same sector suffer from performance, operability, and governance issues. The team behind IRISnet has come up with clever solutions to these problems.

They have incorporated an enhanced IBC protocol and a comprehensive service infrastructure into Tendermint & Cosmos stack, enabling service interoperability as well as token transfers. On-chain governance allows for future amendments. They have also included Bonded Proof-of-Stake (BPoS) to increase participation, security, and privacy.

Who Is the Team Behind IRISnet?

IRISnet is developed by a three-way partnership between Tendermint, Wancloud, and Bianjie AI. Tendermint is the team that is currently building Cosmos and also developed the Tendermint consensus engine. Wancloud is a subsidiary of Bianjie AI and Wanxiang Blockchain.

Bianjie AI is a Shanghai-based startup that was established in 2016, founded by Harriet Cao. The company focuses on developing innovative products and solutions for the financial and healthcare industries.

Bianjie AI can be called the core development team for the IRIS network. It has experience in building several blockchains and AI technologies in the past, which includes BEAN (Blockchain Edge Analytics Network). BEAN is the permission chain on which the IRISnet team is leveraging their experience to build the network.

How Does IRISnet Work?

The IRIS network is designed to be part of the larger Cosmos network. All zones in the network are intended to be able to interact with each other in the Cosmos network over the standard IBC protocol. The team has introduced a layer of service semantics into the network, which has resulted in an increase in scale and diversity of the Cosmos network.

The centerpiece of IRISnet is a regional hub, called the IRISHub. It works on a variant of Proof-of-Stake consensus called the Bonded Proof-of-Stake (BPoS), where token holders earn additional tokens based on the size of their stake. Validators and delegators can earn an interest rate in return for securing the network.

IRISnet was limited to 100 validators at the beginning, which was selected based on the size of the stake, meaning that their balance plus the amount of IRIS delegated to them. Users can also delegate if they are not interested in acting as validators.

IRISnet offers on-chain governance where IRIS token holders have the additional benefit of voting power to participate in the IRIS network’s governance.

What are Current and Future Applications of IRISnet?

IRIS has several use cases. The token is designed to serve three purposes in the network – staking, transaction fees, and service fees. IRIS can be compared to ATOM in the Cosmos Hub. It is used as a staking token to secure the PoS blockchain. It is also used to pay fees for all transactions in the IRIS network.

Service providers listed with the IRISnet are expected to charge service fees denominated in the IRIS token. The team also intends the token to support all whitelisted fee tokens, listed on the Cosmos network towards paying their transaction fees and service fees.

There are a few projects as well that are already building on the IRISnet. These include:

PlatON: a trustless cryptographic-based computing network

HashGard: a digital finance ecosystem

HashQuark: a blockchain mining pool

The possibilities are endless for IRISnet service infrastructure. Some application areas include distributed data, AI, e-commerce, and also combining consortium chains with public chains.

IRISnet has few strategic partners such as Interchain and Hash key with 30 institutions including 8 Decimal, BK Fund, Huobi Capital, Amino Capital, Bibox, and even Coefficient Ventures supporting it.

IRISnet has been constant and regular in attaining its roadmap milestones. It has already reached the Nuwa stage where fundamental modules to support application development (especially DeFi applications) were to be added. The next milestones are called Kuafu and Huoyi which will witness the integration of IRIS Hub with application blockchains through IBC, along with the addition of further technology innovations to the IRIS network.

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