Bitcoin has enjoyed huge success with millions using the network, from all over the world. However, the network still has many limitations, mainly, the network is unable to handle the huge amount of load that its fame has brought. While observing this situation, many other networks have been developed, to address the shortcomings of Bitcoin, while having some additional features.
These networks have their benefits and offer wide range of ingenious services. But, such diversity of networks is not helping the blockchain industry because these networks do not support interoperability. This makes the networks fairly limited and users face difficulty when they have to use different platforms, to achieve different results.
To improve this situation and create an inter-operable environment, Mixin has developed a multi-tier decentralized network. This network comprises of three main components, the central kernel, the dynamic domains and finally, the outer domain extensions. In addition to the underlying public blockchain, Mixin team has developed an Instant Message DApp with wallet function, which is known as Mixin Messenger. Mixin team is also launching a decentralized exchange – OceanONE, which is expected to revolutionize the existing cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
The limitations that we discussed above pose a serious threat to the usability of blockchains in the actual world. That’s why, the solution that Mixin Network is offering, provides a way to actually utilize the different networks and their functionalities, in a single ecosystem. In a way, Mixin Network is the amalgamation of all the different decentralized networks out there, combining their useful features, into one extremely agile platform.
Fig 1: Mixin Topology
The above shown topology describes the Mixin Network’s decentralized architecture. While looking at the topology, few may misunderstand it for a centralized network. However, the main Kernel, acts as a decentralized public ledger, whose sole responsibility is to verify the asset transactions. A single Mixin central kernel acts like the whole Bitcoin network.
At the core of the Mixin Network is the Mixin Kernel, which is an asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerant directed acyclic graph. The main function of the main kernel is to handle the unspent transactions outputs from the limited Kernel nodes. The main kernel uses the UTXO model of Bitcoin for handling transactions and the one-time key derivation algorithm of CryptoNote for privacy.
Since the keys are used for only one-time and are known as ghost address, therefore, this process is known as ghost output.
The Mixin Network has only one central kernel, however, it can have many kernel nodes, 50 to be exact. Each kernel node will have to pledge 10,000 XIN and since there are only 500,000 XIN in circulation, therefore, there can be no more than 50 kernel nodes. The role of kernel nodes is to deal with transaction validation and persistence.
The next component in the multi-tier system of Mixin Network are the Mixin Domains. They are the distributed ledgers that provide assets for the Mixin central Kernal. This is where the agility of the Mixin network comes in, the assets dealt by Mixin Domains can be of Bitcoin, Ethereum or of any other blockchains or centralized organizations, even banks.
The domains provide a gateway to the Mixin Kernel and both communicate with each other through specially built Mixin System Calls. The calls are the only way through which the system can exchange states and are standard JSON-RPC interfaces. To be accepted and registered by a Kernel, Mixin Domains must implement the standard Domain Interfaces. Both the entities communicate using the Intel SGX trusted transport layer and all private keys are copied in the kernel nodes and domain nodes.
The last and the outermost component of the Mixin Network are the domain extensions, which add further agility, in the network. Through the use of Kernel nodes and domains, Mixin supports all the major functionalities that a user may require.
However, to add further functionality, Mixin Network allows domain extensions, which are intended to act like smart contracts. However, domain extensions will be more robust and will perform better. Domain extensions are basically programs running in the domain virtual machine.
Effectiveness of the Platform
These are just some of the main components of the Mixin Network, due to its complex architecture, the network is safe from attacks. The private keys of users are almost guaranteed to be safe from leaking or loss, due to the use of PoS, enforcement by Intel SGX and because of the highly distributed key duplication and secret sharing mechanism, respectively.
The multi-tier structure of Mixin Network provides greater flexibility to developers while they develop their DApps. Other blockchain based networks are fairly less accessible and do not provide the interconnectivity that is offered by Mixin. As discussed above, as Mixin Network’s Domains and Extended Domains support all types of different networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum’s network, therefore, developers will be able to integrate greater number of features and diversity in their DApps while building on Mixin Network.
To explain the real-life application of Mixin Network, here’s what Cedric Fung, CEO of Mixin shared with us, “Bitcoin and Ethereum are widely accepted now. However, the transaction for Bitcoin takes up to 30 minutes and for Ethereum the transition between wallets and confirmation also take a lot of efforts. Through Mixin Network and the payment function built-in in the Mixin Messenger dapp, you don’t need to change your wallet and can experience real-time transaction without any delay. This enables cryptocurrency to be actually leveraged in our real life. Imagine buying coffee with ETH with only few steps, scan the QR code, confirm the amount and key in your password. It can be done in a split second. This is way faster than the process time of Bitcoin and Ethereum. When cryptocurrency is even more widely adopted in our daily life, Mixin Network’s lighting speed becomes fundamental.”
He also added that, “Mixin Network’s trillions of TPS allows both enterprise and consumer facing dapps to run smoothly on our blockchain. The transaction is not only real-time but also free. Mixin Network currently supports 8 public blockchains including BTC, ETH, BCH, ETC, XRP, LTC, SC and EOS and the deposit and withdraw of 37,000+ tokens. The support to Dash, Doge and Zcash will be updated soon.”
For the same reason, OceanONE exchange that is being built on Mixin Network would offer greater service and flexibility to its users, all the while, being decentralized and transparent. This is a new precedent being set, because decentralized exchanges are known for not offering much features to their customers. Similarly, developers can build all types of applications on the Mixin Network and the benefit of it is that the developers will be able to better integrate different services on their DApss, quite easily.
To power the transactions on the network, the users can use the XIN token. Services such as full node collateral, DApp creation and API calls can be used with the help of XIN. To form a full node, at least 10,000 XIN must be pledged on the network. For DApp creation, a fixed amount of XIN is charged as a basic fee, which depends on how much resources the application will use. For API calls, extra XIN will be charged.
XIN will also be used for paying penalties and fees, which will eventually be recycled to the mining pool. A fixed amount of 1,000,000 XIN will be issued, out of which 400,000 XIN have already been distributed. 50,000 XIN were distributed to early XIN Messenger adopters and 50,000 XIN are reserved for development team. The remaining 500,000 XIN will be used as incentives for full and light nodes. The Mixin Network team has shared with us that, they are working on more partnerships with developer communities, further announcement will be made soon.