Norbert Goffa on Global Blockchain Adoption, Going Against the Mainstream and Solving the Scalability Problem [Interview]

6 mins
29 October 2019, 12:58 GMT+0000
Updated by Adam James
29 October 2019, 13:58 GMT+0000
What does the future of the blockchain hold? Will it ever be fully adopted by our society as the next generation way of storing data, or will the limitations of the technology get the better of it?
We’ve discussed these issues — and a few more — with Norbert Goffa, co-founder and Executive Manager of ILCoin, the project that has been disrupting the industry last year by offering their unorthodox yet working solutions to 51 percent attack and scalability issues. Norbert shared with us his insights on scalability and decentralization, and told us about ILCoin’s new developments  – and what they might mean for the industry in the long run.
Blockchain technology was born to support Bitcoin. But how much more usage potential does it have? Where is the limit?
Blockchain has the potential to improve much more than just crypto and finance. The areas for its application are diverse: from storing data through smart contracts to the decentralized Internet, from keeping civil records to education, from logistics to copyright protection. Basically, every institution that needs to store data will benefit from using blockchain technology. However, conquering these territories sets a big challenge for those developers who are committed to bringing a positive change to the industry. This leads up to another interesting question: how much of an advancement the crypto-market has undergone since the appearance of Bitcoin? I don’t want to sound too pessimistic, but I believe that the technological value of cryptocurrencies has been declining as most of the projects do not invest enough in the development, choosing to ‘clone’ their blockchains and otherwise use existing solutions. In other words, the industry is currently lacking innovation. Breakthroughs are not favored by many, as they are not beneficial in terms of short-term gains and cost-effectiveness. Do not get me wrong — I am not saying that there are no great ideas at all, but, from a statistical standpoint, most of the projects do not contribute to the advancement of the blockchain. But the thing is, in order to fully realize the potential this technology has, we have to think long-term.
Which qualities should a new technology – in this case, a blockchain network – possess so it can be fully integrated into our lives?
The evolution of both the Internet and data storage industry plays an important part in the utilization of blockchain technology. To be fully adopted, a system should have a number of qualities: most importantly, stability, safety, usability and trust. First, the network should have a stable background. We can achieve that by using quality cryptography and bringing up scalability with the help of well-thought-through architecture. Second, it should be secure. By choosing an on-chain approach and always keeping the matter of security in mind, we can limit the possibility of leaks and hacks. Third, the solution itself should be simple from the customer’s point of view. And fourth, without trust, we won’t be getting anywhere. If the users understand the advantages of this technology and trust it, this fact will contribute to its wide integration. Of course, the evolution of both the Internet and data storage also plays a major role in the utilization of blockchain. I am afraid that at the moment decentralized data storage can face notable power opposition since — as opposed to the central approach — the possibility of abusing, misusing data will become tremendously limited. Of course, I am talking about on-chain based data storage now.
You’ve mentioned you are redefining the idea of blockchain. How does it work, and is it difficult for a project to go against the mainstream?
For us, it means approaching decentralization from a completely new angle. Recent years show that the currently prevalent idea of how being decentralized works is naive. What used to look like freedom from control and intermediaries, practically translates into the fact that no one is responsible for what is happening. We, on the other hand, are building an on-chain solution which follows the main principles of decentralization, but at the same time is stable and well-protected from attacks both from inside and outside. Our approach is obviously not perfect either, but I think we can all agree on the fact that putting system security first is necessary to create a sustainable network. The essence of our work is not to look for short-term gains, but to put the emphasis on what the upcoming decades could bring. In a sense, we are constantly going against the flow as we represent an approach that most people cannot identify with. Yes, at times it may be difficult. But it’s worth it, because we are certain: we are headed in the right direction, and we shouldn’t make short-term compromises just to be popular.
What was the biggest challenge ILCoin has faced so far?
I could have mentioned our research on the scalability problem: how we needed a fundamentally new approach, because the old ones did not work – and, in the end, came up with RIFT. However, as I have mentioned before, the biggest challenge that we face lies not in the field of technology but ideology. At the moment, the crypto community is not too well socialized. I believe that in order to succeed, we all have to adopt a growth mindset and start to value technology and development over quick gain. However, at the moment most users’ way of thinking follows a pattern where we do not fit in. Our approach to decentralization and the realization of the on-chain based data storage are both going against the current trends. Therefore, to be successful, we are doing our best to spread our idea more widely and find our way towards those users who possess a similar outlook as we do. Today, we are in the minority, but we know that this situation will change soon.
How exactly does RIFT work? What makes it unique?
RIFT is a two-layer solution. In order to improve scalability and stay efficient at the same time, we’ve introduced the second level of mini-blocks. The mini-blocks are also numbered and interconnected between one another, and they form strong links when needed, so the data they store stays homogenous. Both layers have separate sync processes, so even the synchronization of large files won’t congest the system. Developing this unique structure allowed us to create a stable 5 Gb block in test environment, with transaction speed that leaves even the popular payment systems, such as Mastercard and Visa, way behind. The most significant achievement made possible by this technology is that we can transfer data through the network without any losses or errors. With the help of asynchronization, new sorts of perspectives will open up in blockchain development that would be impossible without this solution – for example, our long-term incentive, Decentralized Cloud Blockchain (DCB) platform, which will offer many useful instruments for individuals, institutions and enterprises.
What functionalities will DCB have?
DCB platform will run on ILC blockchain system. It will feature its own digital wallets, an on-chain data storage where our users will be able to safely store files of any size and type, customizable smart contracts and a dApp constructor. Our aim is to create a convenient, flexible tool that will be useful both for businesses, large and small, and individuals alike.
How will your technologies change the crypto world?
I believe that our role is to create new paths between cryptocurrencies and the utilization of blockchain technology. The role of DApps is also of great importance, but they are, as well, only important if there is a reliable system behind them. Our technology, in fact, gives a solid, stable foundation for the ILCoin cryptocurrency. At the moment, most companies developing blockchain are not using their own crypto systems, and most of them have their own reasons to do so, as the reputation of cryptocurrencies has been undermined. Still, the utilization of digital assets can provide a competitive advantage in an environment where cost-effectiveness is a priority. I hope that our project can help cryptocurrencies receive a new, better judgment that will ultimately result in a shift of direction in the market where the projects with real technological value get more appreciated. I truly believe that we will create a visible precedent and a set a worthy example: after all, ILCoin is the first project to solve the problem of scalability on an on-chain basis.
[Disclaimer: BeInCrypto is not responsible for the validity of the responses provided in this interview and always encourages readers to do their own research.]


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