There are a lot of cryptocurrencies out there. CoinGecko has around 7,500 listed while CoinMarketCap lists a mind-boggling 10,000. Altogether, they make up a nearly $2 trillion market cap that is growing by the day. With so many cryptocurrency coins and tokens, it’s easy to overlook projects that are providing truly revolutionary, paradigm-shifting, and innovative solutions to problems that exist within various sectors of society. One of those is Nexus.
What Is Nexus?
Emerging on September 23, 2014, Nexus is different from most cryptocurrencies out there. It has its own blockchain and was mined into existence without any ICO or pre-mine. The project itself is completely community-driven and lacks the artificial hopium you see all too often in the crypto space. Instead of creating a cult of personality around a founder or fudging the truth about how many transactions per second (TPS) the blockchain can manage, the team behind Nexus diligently works to create a blockchain and ecosystem that directly solves numerous pain points that exist in the cryptoverse.
This ambitious crypto project was launched by Colin Cantrell and is being supported by eight other core developers. The view of this project is that the more people who contribute to a decentralized system, the more secure, resilient, and robust it becomes. That means people like you and me are key to strengthening and expanding the ecosystem. When you learn more about what exactly is part of this ecosystem, you will probably want to dive in and be a part of it to help build a better tomorrow.
The word "nexus" itself is defined as a connection or series of connections linking two or more things, which is quite an apt name for what this blockchain does. Overall, Nexus was created to simplify the lives of people, empower communities, and streamline business. It has been focused on this while embodying the original foundational principles that Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator of Bitcoin, expressed.
This community-focused technological and financial evolution is designed to bring integrity and connectivity back to the forefront of society. Humanity has become a collection of tiered societies of haves and have nots, in which income inequalities have grown significantly during the last past two decades. The majority of the world’s societies have also moved towards more centralized and authoritarian systems of control.
In response to the growing trend of centralized systems, Nexus has designed, and has begun to develop a truly decentralized, quantum-resistant three-dimensional chain (3DC) to solve the so-called “blockchain trilemma”, which uses a unique time-based weighting mechanism called ‘Trust”. You simply don’t see this winning combination anywhere in the crypto space, making Nexus a remarkable hidden gem at the moment that is sure to make its mark soon enough.
There is a lot to know about Nexus, so we will go through everything one-by-one. Here are the various elements of the Nexus ecosystem:
NXS is the abbreviated name and symbol for the native currency that is used in the Nexus ecosystem. It is completely independent of central banks and governments. As of this writing, it is currently ranked 409th on CoinGecko, although it has been amongst the top 100 in previous years.
Let’s take a look at the NXS tokenomics.
Total Supply: 78,000,000
Circulating Supply: 68,164,965 out of 78,000,000 (as of 5/26/21)
Market Cap: $61,065,684 (as of 5/26/21)
There is a great deal of utility when it comes to NXS, but it can also be traded as a speculative token in exchanges like Binance and Bittrex, and swapped on Changeangel. NXS transactions are fee-less if you only send one transaction per 10 seconds. That means you are able to send and receive NXS to anyone located anywhere in the world for free! Even if you send more than that in under 10 seconds, the fees are incredibly minimal. For a cryptocurrency that is as decentralized as Nexus is, that is a big deal.
What's more is that you can earn more NXS by staking. You start out at 0.5% and can work your way up to earning a 3% annual staking rate. However, to get that enticing 3%, you currently will need around 20,000 NXS, and are required to stake consistently for approximately one year.
As far as how the Nexus network is secured, both Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) are currently used - Two PoW channels (Prime and Hashing) and one PoS channel. Consensus is balanced between all three channels, making the network more resistant to 51% attacks. The prime algorithm is optimized for use by your computer’s central processing unit (CPU), while the hashing algorithm runs optimally on the graphics processing unit (GPU). This makes Nexus incredibly resilient, helping it avoid potential attacks that other blockchains in the crypto space have succumbed to over the years.
While a multidimensional blockchain may sound metaphysical, it is actually based solidly within the physical world. Nexus founder Colin Cantrell explains it like this:
Let’s use the planck length to determine what a single value is, given it is indivisible.
Let’s say you’ve got a point. What can you store in that point? One value.
Let’s say you’ve got a line. What can you store in that line? We can say that it can store something like 10 values.
What happens when we add another dimension to the chain by making a square? If we started out with 10 values in the one-dimensional chain, we will now have the potential to store 100 values.
What happens when we add yet one more dimension to make a cube? We would then be able to store 1,000 values.
It's as simple as that. You can store a significant amount more without really changing your spatial requirements much. Given that the amount of information that can be stored grows significantly when you add dimensions, why stick to storing information in a single dimension? That's the question that Nexus has pondered, and has taken it upon itself to design a three-dimensional one that can store an enormous amount of information, and which scales transaction processing as more nodes join the network. As briefly mentioned earlier, the 3DC is designed to solve the "blockchain trilemma" by chaining together cryptographic primitives into essentially a 3D block. It has three core dimensions:
- Reputation Channels (X)
- Immutability or Authenticity (Y)
- Time (Z)
This architecture is being deployed through what is called the TAO framework (Tritium, Amine, Obsidian).
Speaking of things that seem metaphysical but are very much grounded in the tangible, Nexus has created an extraordinary blueprint for what it can do that can be dubbed a use-case fractal.
As you can see, it looks awesome. The geometric outline of how Nexus works showcases all of its use-cases, which are legion. When you study this use-case fractal closely, you will realize that the Nexus blockchain could not only help streamline a plethora of operations on Earth, but could also one day be used on an off-world colony that would exist on Mars (hello, Elon), or a base on the moon. However, let's stick to focusing on Earth for now because there are plenty of pain points and inefficiencies in systems existing here and now that could benefit from becoming optimized through Nexus.
One of the great features of cryptocurrencies is their rock-solid security thanks to public key cryptography. However, as anyone who has a crypto wallet knows, it can be next to impossible to remember the long string of letters and numbers that make up a private key. Normally, crypto wallets place all of a user’s keys into the wallet.dat file that are used to access coins. This is a problem.
Mass adoption of cryptocurrencies will not happen if people are unable to easily log into their crypto wallets with easy-to-remember usernames and passwords. Already, around 20% of all Bitcoin in existence is lost and unrecoverable due to people not having their private keys anymore. People may have also deleted their wallets, lost their phones, or gotten rid of their old computers, along with their crypto. Human error, when it comes to sending crypto to another address, is also prevalent.
Nexus decided to solve this issue hindering mass adoption by developing technology that enables easy access to a crypto wallet, whilst still using cryptographic keys. They call it Signature Chains.
With a Signature Chain (sigchain for short), you can log into your Nexus wallet by simply entering a username, password, and PIN. Public key cryptography is still used but it becomes significantly easier to access your crypto that even grandma can figure it out!
Another feature of sigchains is that they decouple the private key from your account. This means you are unbound by the possession or security of a single private key. The key becomes obsolete every time another transaction is generated. This results in an even higher level of security when compared with private keys that are continually reused, as is the case with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Any DApp that is built on Nexus will have users log in to their account using a sigchain. Sigchains can be compared to a “personal blockchain” and chain together the entire transaction history of a user. Therefore, they are very suitable for the management and recording of a chain of history of any type of digital asset or non-fungible token (NFT).
The Sigchain technology that Nexus has developed hashes a user's public key and won't reveal it until the next transaction is initiated. it is only revealed for 200ms before it's then received by the nodes that are performing signature verification. This means that even a quantum computer wouldn't be able to break the encryption in this time or transact an attack before nodes receive the original. This makes Nexus perhaps the most well-positioned blockchain for a future where quantum computers may be used to try to attack crypto.
Mobile Lite-Node Wallet
The mobile wallet for Nexus may be one of the easiest, if not the easiest, to use in the entire crypto space.
While currently in beta for both iOS and Android, the Nexus mobile wallet is also turning heads in the crypto space. It was built with reliability and security in mind, and follows in the footsteps of the framework used for the desktop wallet. When the full release is out, you will be able to manage coins, tokens, and assets from the palm of your hand.
While Nexus is certainly not the first cryptocurrency with its own mobile wallet, it is one that differs from others. Other mobile wallets rely on a central node that is run by a wallet designer to communicate with the rest of the network. This centralized node acts as a trusted proxy and is the sole provider of information regarding the state of the blockchain.
The Nexus wallet works a bit differently. It operates as a lite node by downloading a list of peers from the network seed nodes, then forms connections to several of its peers. This enables the wallet to broadcast transactions directly to the network and detect confirmations by checking for inclusion against block headers.
Also, there is an added layer of security thanks to the wallet being able to verify block headers provided by multiple peers instead of relying on a single central node. In geek-speak, this is called Simplified Payment Verification. Every transaction gets processed and packaged on your smartphone before being broadcast to the rest of the network. Your phone essentially acts as a de facto node, taking decentralized mobile payments to the next level!
Thanks to this novel design, DApp developers will have a framework to develop native mobile DApps that can scale more given local mobile lite nodes will be able to bear the burden of most of the processing, and do so without needing to resort to having full nodes or proxies. Even though the mobile wallet will be as secure as a full node, it will only take up as much space as your garden-variety app. Finally, DApps built on top of the Nexus blockchain will be able to share a local node that's bound to a wallet as a shared library. This allows for the rapid development of mobile DApps in ReactJS, with full blockchain functionality across any device.
To summarize, the Nexus mobile wallet offers the following:
- Fast sync time
- User-friendly interface
- Cutting-edge “lite node” technology
- Local API for DApps
With the advancement of quantum computers, it's essential for cryptocurrencies to start thinking about how to protect themselves from "bad actors" that may or may not include nation-states. Quantum resistance is going to increasingly become a major issue and threat to the security of all blockchains. The team behind Nexus wants to be a few steps ahead of potential issues regarding the use of quantum computers to hack blockchains. This will help protect public keys.
You see, most crypto addresses are created by hashing or hiding public keys. Whenever someone makes a transaction, their public key becomes viewable on the blockchain. Normally, this isn’t a big deal. However, these keys will become vulnerable if a quantum computer is designed to crack them. An advanced algorithm called Shor’s algorithm will have the ability to break the majority of public key cryptography incredibly fast. This means potentially trillions of dollars in crypto could be stolen.
Current estimates on the arrival of this threat range anywhere from 5-10 years. Not leaving this up to chance, Nexus has future-proofed its blockchain by integrating several cryptographic innovations that support increased levels of quantum resistance.
Here is what’s in the quantum-resistant arsenal that Nexus is packing:
- Sigchains (enhances the security of existing Digital Signature Algorithm)
- FALCON (a second-round contender for the NIST Post-Quantum cryptography competition)
- Argon2 (winner of the password hashing competition and superior alternative to S-Crypt or B-Crypt)
- Keccak (winner of the SHA3 competition)
With their powers combined, these cryptographic functions ensure Nexus is one of the few blockchains that will be safe in the brave new world of quantum computing.
Tokenized Assets (Tokenized NFTs)
Any asset on Nexus can be tokenized. This means that the ownership of an asset can get transferred to a token instead of a single sigchain. A token can then represent partial ownership or rights to an asset. Anyone that has the token is then a partial owner of the asset and has rights to it. You can compare this to owning shares in a company. This means that Nexus tokens can be used to facilitate the transparent and automatic payments of royalties and dividend payouts.
Current systems that want to distribute revenue are archaic, slow, and expensive to run. This P2P system of token allocation distributes revenue and pays it out to holders quickly and efficiently.
An asset is used to create a record of a digital or physical asset on the blockchain. They can be used to record and track ownership and facilitate P2P exchange. This enables developers to build DApps to register different assets to create a plethora of decentralized and automated services.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea of what kinds of assets can be registered on the Nexus blockchain:
- Standards Certificates: Organic, Fair Trade, Sustainable, and Quality Assurance.
- Authenticity Certificates: Branded and Luxury goods.
- Supply Chain Logistics: Agricultural Produce & Fish, Minerals, Timber, Livestock, Electricity, Pharmaceuticals, and Electrical Goods / Components.
- Collectibles: Art and Antiques.
- Legal Documents: Certificates of Incorporation, Memorandums, and Articles of Associations.
- Public Records: Birth Certificates, Digital Identification, Educational and Professional Certificates, References (Landlord, Employment), Insurance Records, Marriage Certificates, Driving & other Licenses, Automotive Titles, Property, and Land Titles.
- Private Records: Medical Records.
- Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks, and Internet Domains (DNS, TNS).
- Digital Media and Software Licenses: Music, Audio Books, E-books, Graphics & Photography Film, TV shows, Games, Software, and apps.
- Gaming Assets: In-Game Virtual Assets.
The Nexus roadmap shows everything that Nexus is planning to roll out. The biggest upgrade to the network came with the introduction of the Tritium Protocol. It is the first of four major protocols, the others being Tritium++, Amine, and Obsidian. If you look at the roadmap, you will see all of the core features of the TAO Framework, which also includes the deployment of the innovative 3DC mentioned earlier.
There is a lot to know about the Tritium Protocol, given how advanced and capable it is, so let’s break it down and look at each part briefly.
This milestone marked the introduction of a new trust key decay rate, with trust decreasing three times faster than it accrues. The new rate gives staking wallets greater ability to retain trust, and more accurately reflects the effort invested by someone when it comes to securing the blockchain.
The Nexus Core has been fully updated to be able to run Legacy Mode. This mode features fast sync times, instant loading, and a small memory and disk space footprint.
Contract layers are the core of the Tritium software stack. These layers provide access to functions that include the recording of assets, management of accounts, a decentralized exchange (DEX), and the creation of tokens on the Nexus blockchain.
Nexus' API provides developers with access to a wide set of features that are available through a simple HTTP interface. This provides easy access to smart contracts that can be embedded directly into web applications and existing login systems.
LISP, or the Locator/ID Separation Protocol, is an important network protocol that lets someone control their IP addressing without needing to rely on an internet service provider to get one.
The Nexus interface supports one of the most beautiful wallets in the entire crypto space. Modular functionality allows for the use of custom themes and add-on modules like Binance trading, multi-coin storage, a block explorer, Tritium features, and anything that module developers might dream up.
Everything that is a part of the Tritium Protocol is already integrated into Nexus. The next phase is Tritium++ which is expected in Q2 or Q3 of 2021. Here are some of the amazing features and elements Nexus will have:
As mentioned earlier in this guide, Nexus has a lite node mobile wallet. It essentially runs the desktop wallet, with changes made to the interface so that it is more mobile-friendly. There are also daemon packages that will be incrementally improved over time to enable more contract functionality and staking. As with the desktop wallet, developers will get to extend it with their DApps by simply deploying new modules to the wallet.
A DAO is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. The DAO that will exist in the Nexus ecosystem will create an on-chain governance system in order to regulate funding proposals through a democratic vote. This organizational structure is vital to maintain a strong community, consensus-oriented budget allocation, and make improvements to the overall governance of the entire network.
There will initially be three groups within the DAO:
Voting will be ongoing and based on both ‘Weight’ and ‘Trust’ when it comes to how much voting power someone has. Voting will be zero-sum, which means that you have to select what portions of your voting power go to which proposal. This allows your voting power to be spread across all proposals, leading to greater decentralization and discernment within the voting process.
As of right now, you'll need around 20,000 NXS to effectively stake at 3% annual staking rewards. The more people that jump in on the staking process, the more secure the network becomes due to the increase in the Trust channel difficulty. While this is great for the network, it does mean that you will need more and more NXS to maintain a Trust key and get those staking rewards you are after.
Enter: pooled staking. If you're invested in other cryptocurrencies that do pooled staking, you already know how this works. If not, it benefits you to be a part of it because you don't need to have a massive amount of a coin in order to get in on some sweet staking rewards. You can also help make the network more secure as a result. There is no centralized service involved in the pooled staking on Nexus since it will work as a sub-network within Nexus. It's as decentralized as a staking protocol can get!
There will be a full-fledged P2P Marketplace that will use conditional contracts (provided by the Operations and Register Layer of the seven-layered Nexus software stack). Once the P2P Marketplace is up and running, you will be able to trade tokens and assets that are listed on Nexus, similar to a DEX like Ethereum’s Uniswap. The Nexus P2P Marketplace will promote the development of other decentralized marketplaces where any type of asset or token can be traded in a truly free and peer-to-peer manner without needing any sort of custodial service. No authority will exist to designate the process of listing, and there are no other parties involved in the P2P Marketplace other than a buyer and seller.
An augmented contract is another type of contract that will be available once Tritium++ rolls out. This is a type of contract that extends the Conditional VM, which is a virtual machine that processes Conditional Statements. This provides more benefits that include methods, functions, operation overloading, and encapsulation. Since augmented contracts add a layer of complexity and processing, they cost more to execute, which is to be expected. While there will be more on-chain processing necessary, it will make the contract engine more powerful overall.
Hybrid mode provides the tools to developers to create an individual network right out of the box, which is very attractive to businesses or DApps developers wishing to use Nexus’ blockchain technology while retaining a high level of privacy.
This feature will extend the API layer so that developers can model their Object Registers in languages like XML. It will also help advanced developers work with their lower-level object operations. These could include the use of specific data types and specifiers, along with the development of more complex object behavior through Augmented Contracts, or even the creation of additional conditions that regulate an object’s overall behavior.
A protected asset is a type of asset that a 'Master' owner retains that right to revoke access to. Basically, the creator of an asset can have permanent access to it, which is something that is a must for securities, collateralized loans (DeFi), non-transferable assets (tickets, educational/professional awards and certificates, certificates of insurance, licenses, etc.). Protected assets can also protect assets from getting transferred to unqualified parties who don't fulfill the requirements that were set by an asset's creator.
There is already headway being made for the phases beyond Tritium++. However, since they're still several months away at the very least, you probably only need to know about the general targets for now, unless you really want to know what's in store for the future of this revolutionary blockchain. In that case, check out the roadmap. For everyone else, here's what you can expect:
- PBFT + Reputation Channels (L1) – Processing of transactions in parallel
- Network Data Sharding – Nodes can run in “shard” mode
- LLD Global File System – Supports secondary files that record assets
- Domain-Specific Languages – Contract-specific programming languages
- DAO Voting Groups - Adds more groups to the consensus mechanism
- pBFT + PoS Trust Network (L2) – PoS extension increasing scaling and decentralization
- LISP Multicast Links for (L1) and (L2) – Packets and transactions route in constant time
- App Store – Apps can be shared and sold in a decentralized marketplace.
- Extended Data Sharding – Data sharding extends to critical network functions
- Decentralized Mining Pool (L3) – Consensus is determined by the largest value of shares
- Miner Reputation to improve BFT – Offers variable rewards to miners based on reputation
- Extending DAO Voting Groups – Six voting groups that ratify agreements
- DAO: L1 Voting Group – Provides voting rights to validators, with voting based on reputation
- DAO: L2 Voting Group – Extends Tritium’s Ambassador DAO and updates voter weight
- DAO: L3 Voting Group – Provides voting rights to miners and updates voter weight
- LISP Multicast Links for L3 – More efficient broadcasting of mined shares
A Thriving Grassroots Community
Something else that sets Nexus apart from many other crypto projects is its community. The main Telegram channel is especially active, and fosters conversations that go deeper than the "when moon" ones you often see on hyped-up projects that have dumped a lot of their pre-mine or ICO money into their marketing budgets.
The people attracted to Nexus are often those who believe in the more philosophical underpinnings of why Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin in the first place. The cypherpunks who were around back in the 2000s saw the significant problems with the centralized fiat financial system and believed a cryptographic decentralized digital currency that had a limited supply could help free humanity from the financial oppression it has been under for arguably millennia.
Nexus strongly believes in crypto, when done right, being able to greatly improve virtually all aspects of society. The amount of headway the project has been able to make since 2014 is remarkable. While this project may not be that well known about yet, the team behind it has been very busy developing everything mentioned in this guide, and more. When some people say that this is the best project in crypto, you may find it difficult to disagree with them.
Believe it or not, this isn’t even everything that Nexus can do. There is a lot more, which will be more apparent in the coming years, that involve both terrestrial and off-planet opportunities that ensure that Nexus will be here to stay and play a vital role in the improvement of many industries and the way things are done. History has shown that those who have a long-term vision and know how to implement that vision will thrive the best. We are at a nexus point in human history where the decisions and groundwork being made and set up today will define the foreseeable future that can liberate humanity like never before.
Now that you know a whole lot more about Nexus, you can be a part of the new paradigm revolution in the world of blockchains and cryptocurrency. The future is now. Are you ready to make history?
Visit the official Nexus website to learn more.