Tritium is the first of three upgrades of the TAO framework. The design of Tritium is based on information gathered from many discussions with Fortune 10 to Fortune 500 companies, developers, and community volunteers over 2017, 2018, and 2019. Through our research we’ve found that most projects built on Ethereum do not use the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for its turing completeness, i.e. its ability to do universal computation. What businesses require from blockchain technology are contracts that function more like real world actions between people, with the addition of an immutable data layer capable of managing rights and ownership.
Therefore, we have developed an easily accessible and versatile Software Stack where data can be operated on, its ownership transferred between users, and whereby conditions define the behavior of actions. Our design not only provides numerous ready-made contract functionalities through elegant design, it is also able to scale with the growing demand of smart contracts.
Unlike other computational engines, our architecture is designed as a verification system built to verify the authenticity of data. The register-based process virtual machine innately performs many useful actions through a set of pre configured operation codes on data stored as registers.
An object register is a programmable object where structured information can be stored. The Nexus architecture uses object registers for managing Accounts, Tokens, Names, and Assets. With the Nexus API (Application Programming Interface), developers can make transactions to create these registers or update / append to the data in them.
Not only does this allow us to validate data changes via consensus rules, but it also allows us to view the entire history of changes to the data in a register and its ownership. It becomes an audit log for data, allowing users to see what that data looked like and who owned it at any point in time.
The technology supports many use cases where a history of the data is required, e.g. supply chains, postal tracking, land/real estate deeds, car titles, certificates of authenticity, digital asset licensing, watermarking, wills, and records.
Our virtual machine follows this architecture as an improvement to other blockchain-powered virtual machines such as the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) that still use the older stack architecture. The improved efficiency gained through the use of registers makes developing on Nexus not only easier, but also much more efficient and scalable.
Contrary to the designs of projects such as Ethereum, EOS, or Cardano, our developer environment is Application Programming Interface (API) driven, meaning that as a developer you can integrate blockchain functionality into your apps with basic web development skills.
Anyone can create Tokens simply via the Nexus Wallet, whilst Asset creation (aka Fungible Token), or programming a Supply Chain, for instance, are accessible by the Nexus API.
The Nexus Wallet is modular, providing a platform for developers to build Wallet Modules with the Nexus API. Wallet Modules embed directly into the Wallet as extensions to the standard logical and interface layers of the software stack.
A basic Nexus contract consists of three layers: data (Registers), programmable actions (Operations), and accounts (Signature Chains). Together, these layers verify the information of a system or Decentralized Application (DApp), following logic that closely relates to agreements and contracts between people.
Conditional Contracts allow a user to set requirements in order for a contract to be fulfilled, such as contract time expiration, the decentralized exchange of an asset, or non-custodial escrow services. More experienced developers can work directly with the operation layers to create new contract templates, which can be submitted to be reviewed to become a Nexus API Standard.
Assets and tokens hosted on Tritium fulfill the requirement of managing and storing ownership rights, and also provide another unique utility: decentralized exchange. Through the use of conditional contracts, anyone is able to transact between different tokens and assets. There is no authority that designates the process of listing, and there are no other parties involved in the exchange other than the buyer and the seller. Nexus is currently developing the Logical/Interface layers for a DEX, which will provide an easy-to-use interface to exchange tokens registered on Nexus.
Tokens registered on Nexus can be used for a variety of fungible (divisible) use cases such as virtual currencies, product certificates, commodities, rights to an asset, or votes.
To create a token on Ethereum, or most other token platforms, users must write a smart contract (code written in a specific programming language) to define the token and how it will be used/distributed. This requires the user to have programming skills, and the task can often be quite complicated. A token created from a traditional smart contract allows developers to define any rules they wish for the distribution and use of a token, which are encoded in the token definition contract. This flexibility is certainly useful, but is overly complex for people without programming skills.
Nexus has taken a different approach by simplifying the process, allowing users to create a token in one short console command / API request. The Nexus Wallet interface goes a step further providing a simple interface to guide users through the process.
Nexus decouples the contract rules from the token definition allowing the token creation to be far simpler, though provides further steps if more complex rules are needed. For those use cases that require more complex token utility, a programmer can add rules in the DEBIT operator overload (which will be available with the release of Augmented Contracts), to define more complex rules.
To read more about creating Tokens please see Guides.
Assets registered on Nexus can be used to create an immutable record for a digital or physical asset, in order to track ownership and facilitate peer-to-peer exchange. In its simplest form, an Asset is nothing more than arbitrary data. Assets are non-fungible, meaning they are non-divisible. The registration of assets can be used by DApps developers to create many different decentralized services. Types of assets include, house deeds, car titles, and company registrations.
All Assets on Nexus can be tokenized, which means that the ownership of an Asset is transferred to a token rather than one Signature Chain. Once tokenized, any user that holds the token is a partial owner of the Asset (has rights to the asset), much like owning shares in a company. Therefore, Nexus tokens can facilitate the transparent and automatic payment of Royalties and Dividend payouts.
To read more please see Tokenized Assets.
The TAO Name System (TNS) is available through the Nexus Wallet. It is similar to the Domain Name System (DNS), allowing users to create and exchange names with one another that point to different objects, without having to use large hexadecimal addresses. These names can resolve to register addresses such as assets and tokens, or become aliases for user identification.
TNS reduces the complexity of sending transactions, as a user only requires a username and account name to send funds to another user (eg. send to paul:savings). Similarly, TNS also simplifies the user experience of managing digital assets. Entries can also point to IP addresses for remote services wishing to explore blockchain based DNS functionality.
With the release of Tritum++, Nexus will support hybrid networks for apps. The combination of a private network and the public network is what we term ‘Hybrid’, whereby the public network generates security and decentralization, and the private network provides autonomy, privacy, and isolation.
All transactions on a private network are naturally free, however there will be a fee charged for the use of hybrid networks. A Hybrid Network is an ideal choice for a company or organization that wishes to manage their own App or private network, without the added complexity of worrying about system or network security and protection of critical user data.
Simple transactions, such as sending NXS and Tokens are free. However, if more than one transaction is made per 10 seconds from one account, a 0.01 NXS fee is applied. The fee for the execution of a Nexus contract is dependent on the primitive, and the complexity of the conditions (how many instructions are involved in the execution), and therefore is predictable. The fee charged for creating a register (a piece of data) is 0.001 NXS per byte, with a minimum fee of 1 NXS. This means that the cost of registering an Asset is between 1 and 2 NXS depending on how much data it contains.
Conversely, users on Ethereum are required to set a GAS price and GAS limit. This results in higher fees in times of high network demand, which can cause contract executions to fail, while the contract user still has to pay the costs of the failed contract.
With Nexus, a user doesn't have to set a GAS price or GAS limit, they simply pay the known cost of the contract execution, without any worry that the contract will fail due to lack of funds.
Learn more about GAS here. What is Ethereum Gas?