A Crash Course In The Nervos Blockchain

By Curry Botter | CKB | 12 Jul 2020

The Nervos blockchain (Common Knowledge Base, or CKB) is the base layer of the entire Nervos network. 

A good way to understand blockchain is to imagine a digital database that’s not connected to one computer (it’s distributed). Each sort of record in the database is called a block. People can only edit the part of the database (the blockchain) they have access to with a private key.  

Some databases are made to crunch numbers. Nervos’ blockchain is designed to verify and store “common knowledge” information.

In a blockchain context, common knowledge information is verified by global consensus. 

Nervos Represents The Next Wave Of Public Blockchains.

Nervos’s CKB is designed to be an evolution from many previous public blockchains. 

While some blockchains do change and are upgraded, their general structure usually remains the same. This can be a problem for those with truly innovative or big projects who need a bit more flexibility.

Flexibility is one of the key elements of the CKB. Cells in Nervos’s blockchain can be used to process information, send a message, or just store important knowledge. They also can’t be changed once created. 

A System Design For The Future 

This versatility means those who aren’t happy with a signature algorithm or hash function can build what they need. At its core, the CKB is designed for flexibility and sustainability. 

This is a big help as different networks grow and change. It also makes it much easier to insert new algorithms without a hard fork. 

A hard fork, in the blockchain world, is a radical change to an entire network that means everything has to upgrade. Obviously, this can be an intensive and large process – but that’s set to change with Nervos.

The next level of Nervos (Layer 2) is where a lot of computation takes place. The CKB helps optimize the work done in this second layer by serving as a stable base. 

What’s the relationship between Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Nervos? 

The Nervos team intends for the CKB to fix some of the economic incentives for Bitcoin (like it’s capped supply), and to address Ethereum’s security risk since the token isn’t directly tied to the value of applications on the second level. 

A Creation That’s Not Traditionally Engineered

The name Nervos reminds me of derivatives of the word nerve and cell, two important components of the body that work together.  

Overall, the Nervos blockchain is designed to let the entire network evolve based on the musing of Charles Darwin, who said “the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment.”


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Curry Botter
Curry Botter

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