Lightstreams is designed to support responsive and privacy-centric decentralized applications.
To build powerful Decentralized Applications (DApps), Lightstreams has the following features.
The flow of an application between its different states needs to be fast in order for the user experience of a DApp to feel responsive. This requires fast confirmation times of blockchain transactions so that there are no long waiting times are experience by a user when the application persists information. Lightstreams provides an Ethereum-compatible blockchain called Lightchain that uses a Tendermint Byzantine Fault Tolerance(BFT) consensus mechanism to achieve fast consensus on new block proposals. Transaction throughput is 50x faster with near-instant settlement times.
Lightchain is a public blockchain like Ethereum. Any device can connect to the network without requiring permission and begin interacting with the blockchain.
The Ethereum network has reached capacity causing bottlenecks for processing transactions. This has resulted in longer processing times making DApps feel painstakingly slow. Settlement of transactions is also not guaranteed. The current recommendation is to wait for 6 blocks (approx 96 secs) for confirmation that a transaction has been included in the blockchain.
The personal information and activity of application users must remain private and the content they share by consent must remain confidential.
Lightstreams provides the Smart Vault to bring privacy and confidentiality capabilities to DApps. The Smart Vault is a decentralized datastore with privacy controls for sharing and selling digital content. The Smart Vault harnesses the IPFS Network, an offchain distributed data storage system.
The Smart Vault has enhanced the IPFS client with a security layer that prevents access to protected. This includes encrypted data stored within the Smart Vault. The data owner has complete control over who can access data when permission was granted and can revoke permissions at any time.
Smart Vault can be used to:
- Sell digital content (e.g. video, music, images).
- Transfer ownership of digital assets (e.g. land titles, vehicle registrations).
- Trace the custody of goods within a value chain. (e.g. the supply chain of food).
- Share content within a private group.
- Store a user's personal information and activity.
Data saved to the Ethereum blockchain is public available and is impractical for storing data beyond a few bytes. The default IPFS protocol has no security mechanism for restricting access to data. The Smart Vault extends the IPFS protocol with a security layer for controlling access to protected data.
The gas fees for running a DApp on Lightchain are priced at a fraction of the cost of running on Ethereum.
Lightstreams also permits gasless transactions where app creators provide free transactions so that users can begin using a DApp without needing to have a digital wallet or tokens.
By using gas station relays, app creators pay the transaction fees on behalf of their users for trying out their DApp. After certain conditions, the user can then choose to begin paying the fees.
Paying transaction fees on behalf of users is similar to an app creator having to cover the infrastructure costs for a traditional application (e.g. hosting on Amazon Web Services).