Lightstreams brings the capability of storing assets (files) in conjunction with Blockchain technology in a efficient, low-priced and decentralized manner. The key innovation is an advanced permissioning system that lets content producers store and monetise their intellectual property (text, images, music, movies).
A new generation of internet applications (known as Decentralised Applications or DApps) can also be developed using this technology. Lightstreams lets DApp developers store and manage access to files needed for their DApps that cannot be privately or cheaply be stored with other blockchains.
Lightstreams is a public blockchain. This means that is 100% open for anyone to connect without restrictions. However, unlike most public blockchains, files on Lightstreams are stored securely and privately and only distributed with permission on a peer-to-peer basis. Each content producer or DApp developer is able to share protected content quickly with granular control and access tracking. This ensures transparency and auditability of when, how, and by whom data was approved and transmitted between users. DApp developers developing smart contracts on blockchain (including but not limited to Ethereum’s public blockchain) can seamlessly reference files stored on the Lightstreams network.
DApps that require high security for managing access to information. Data is protected through ensuring only the correct people (or businesses) can see the information (eg only your doctors or lawyer). Distributed sharing of data with authorised people eliminates any centralised point of weakness that can be breached.
Consumers who want to control their data privacy by allowing them to be (monetarily) rewarded for sharing select information only to the companies they trust (and no one else)
Those selling digital content (eg music/audio) with rights of ownership (and royalties for artists) automatically included.
Business that require confidential legal documents to be digitally signed directly between parties without requiring an intermediary to facilitate execution.
Lightstreams uses its own Ethereum-compatible blockchain for the transparent and auditable management of file-access permissions, and a separate enhanced IPFS protocol for encrypted file storage and peer-to-peer file distribution. The Lightstreams blockchain is based on Ethereum but modified for shorter block times and also replaces the wasteful proof-of-work protocol with proof-of-authority.
Lightstreams allows content producers to monetise their intellectual property. Content producers will be able to share files, images, music and movies and monetise them directly without needing a third party to host the content or broker the details - the smart contracts on the Lightstreams blockchain manage the payments and permissioning.
DApps that use Lightstreams will allow users to access content such as audio, video or images in a fast and responsive manner - currently not possible on Ethereum’s public blockchain. We imagine two scenarios, one being DApps built on Ethereum referencing files on Lightstreams, and the other being DApps built directly on Lightstreams. As Lightstreams’ blockchain is compatible with Ethereum, moving a DApp from Ethereum to Lightstreams is simple.
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol can be described as a standard to create a content-addressable peer-to-peer method of storing and retrieving data in a distributed file system. The content-addressing system guarantees that the data retrieved always matches the address used for finding the data. It is decentralised, meaning there is no dependency on any one computer or entity for hosting the data. Data is be replicated to multiple computers as it is shared, this add many layers of redundancy. In other words, every computer hosting a specific piece of data would need to be compromised to lose the data.
The hypermedia protocol also scales on demand - the more demand there is for a file, the more copies are made and so the faster the data transfer of that file becomes by virtue of the increased number of computers sharing files/content/data at the same time.
Ethereum is a public, open-source blockchain-based computing platform. Its main feature is that of a Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for running modules of application code called smart contracts. A user may think of Ethereum as an operating system for running apps (like a smartphone that can run multiple apps). Ethereum is decentralised. The system or network is not run by one specific entity that owns the infrastructure.
Smart Contracts are used to enact business logic, essential for DApps on the Ethereum network. A smart contract is suitable for small data, they are not suitable for the storage and retrieval of media files.