What does the company/project do?
As of 2018 blockchain technology faces significant issues that need to be solved before mainstream adoption. Existing blockchain networks do either not offer scalability or are not decentralized. So far no project has managed to overcome the trade off between transactions per second and decentralization. Ethereum is currently an example of a decentralized blockchain with low TPS (transactions per second). Neo on the other hand is an example of a blockchain with high TPS but it is not yet decentralized.
Achieving scalability for blockchain platforms without sacrificing decentralization is currently one of the most urgent challenges in the cryptocurrency space. Celer is targeting this problem and offers a technology architecture that brings speed to existing blockchain platforms through off-chain scaling techniques. Celer Network is designed to support different blockchains that offer smart contracts. The name is derived from the Latin word for speed.
How advanced is the project?
Celer Network has completed the white paper and received funds from institutional investors. It counts with an active Telegram community. In the third quarter of 2018 Celer wants to make important software releases and start building a developer community.
What are the tokens used for and how can the token value appreciate?
The Celer Network protocol token is called CELR. cEconomy is an incentive system designed for aligning the goals of the Celer network participants with the soundness of the platform. The CELR token represents the unit of exchange of cEconomy. In order to enable a sufficient liquidity pool for state channels, Celer has designed a stacking mechanism called Proof of Liquidity Commitment. Participants stake their idle funds for a certain time into a contract and in exchange receive CELR tokens. The amount of tokens they receive is in relation to the amount of funds they staked and the time they committed staking.
On the other hand state channel providers can borrow liquidity through crowd lending paying CELR as interest. A further use case for the token is a reward mechanism for the State Guardian Network. Eventually, the token market capitalization will correlate with the usage of the platform.
Team & Advisors
The Celer team consists of four co-founders. All of them hold PhDs from internationally recognized universities in computer science related fields.
Mo Dong is a co-founder at Celer and holds a Ph.D. from UIUC. He previously worked as an engineer and product manager at Veriflow, a startup specialized in network formal verification.
Junda Liu is a co-founder at Celer and holds a Ph.D. from Berkeley. He previously worked for Google.
Xiaozhou Li is a co-founder at Celer and holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He previously worked at Barefoot Networks, a startup company specialized in designing the world’s fastest and most programmable networks.
Qingkai Liang is a co-founder at Celer and holds a Ph.D. from MIT. He received various academical rewards before starting Celer.
Among the advisors are Christos Kozyrakis, a Stanford professor, Alan Mishchenko, a research scientist at Berkely, and Shoucheng Zhang, a Stanford professor.
The team behind Celer believes that the only way for blockchain technology to deliver the speed required to power all its potential promising use cases is through off-chain scaling. In their opinion on-chain improvements such as sharding which is planned for Ethereum will not be sufficient to meet the required scalability.
Celer Network is an off-chain technology stack that aligns blockchain scalability with security and user privacy. Celer is designed as a networked system running on top of existing blockchains.
Celer Network consists of three layers. The lowest layer is called cChannel which can interact with different underlying blockchains. The next layer is called cRoute which is Celer Network’s payment routing module. The highest layer is called cOS which is designed as a development framework so that developers can easily build off-chain decentralized applications.
Strength and Opportunities
Celer is targeting one of the most urgent problems in blockchain technology, which is scalability. Experienced cryptocurrency investment funds such as Pantera have recognized Celer’s approach and invested in the technology.
Whenever privacy of transactions is needed Celer allows for it by offering decentralized applications to perform the transactions off-chain. This way no records will be kept on the blockchain.
Weaknesses and Threats
Celer is not the only off-chain scaling solution. Lightning Network for Bitcoin was already introduced years ago. Raiden Network and Liquidity Network are off-chain scaling solutions for Ethereum. However, Celer other than Lightning Network and Raiden Network is blockchain agnostic, in the sense that it supports other blockchains as well and not only Bitcoin or Ethereum. While the Lightning Network has its main focus on facilitating low payment fees for Bitcoin, Celer has a much bigger scope offering solutions for decentralized applications running on top of Celer Network.
If Celer Network can deliver on its promise to provide scalability for blockchain platforms the implications for blockchain technology could be huge and the way for mass adoption paved. Nevertheless, just as for any startup Celer’s road to success will be challenging.