Ankr is a project that has been getting quite a bit of attention recently. They are making a cloud computing platform that will distribute idle computing power.
Ankr believes that cloud computing is the future and they see the need for a decentralized alternative to the current monopolies of AWS, Azure and Google. However, they are not alone given the extent of similar blockchain based projects.
So, can they really compete in such as competitive sphere?
In this review, we will give you everything that you need to know about the project. We will also delve into the use cases and long term adoption potential of the ANKR tokens.
What is the Ankr Network?
The Ankr Network was designed to provide a new blockchain solution that leverages the idle computing power from edge devices and data centers.
It’s distributed computing platform allows the sharing economy, where consumers can access cloud resources far more affordably and enterprises can monetize spare computing power.
Ankr network is unique in that it is the first of its kind to use trusted hardware to ensure security at enterprise levels. It is also implementing plasma side-chains so that off-chain computing can be used to improve the throughput and power of the network.
The purpose of Ankr is to truly unlock the potential of distributed cloud computing by embedding computing power within the blockchain technology. This is achieved through the Proof of Useful Work (PoUW) consensus mechanism, where those who are securing the network and promoting block propagation can unlock significant computing resources.
Ankr is one of the novel methods in the Distributed Cloud Computing blockchain space, and with the launch of its mainnet on July 10, 2019, the team feels they are well-positioned to take on any competition. In terms of market cap, Ankr does lag significantly behind Golem (GNT), but it is approaching the market capitalization of iExec RLC and is far more valuable than the SONM project.
ASlthough the distributed cloud computing space is getting crowded, there is still room for the unique methodology being applied by Ankr. The ever-growing size of available data and information calls for a secure data processing and storage platform, and Ankr looks to fill that role to play.
The network model of Ankr provides great promise as it uses a traditional blockchain architecture, but improves on the consensus mechanism and incentive system.
The team took this way to ensure the incentives for enterprise-level networks were strong enough, and that a unique set of actors would be attracted to the platform. By using Verification Nodes in the block validation process Ankr ensures the quality of the network is kept, and that bad actors are removed.
In order to ensure they have a system where only good actors are chosen as Verification Nodes, Ankr employs a reputation-based system that filters actors based on node contributions. A Performance test is employed to fairly distribute among the actors with their differing computational resources.
Ankr is unique in employing the Intel SGX as the major technology component which allows for the execution of applications within the hardware itself. This technology is more secure against certain hardware and software attacks as it processes certain executions inside the hardware.
When it comes to the off-chain data and processing, there is a Native Oracle System (NOS) that transfers between the on-chain smart contracts and off-chain data. The NOS is secure and needs authentication to improve security.
Data source security is also handled in a flexible manner since the platform supports all security levels from no encryption all the way to TLS 1.2/1.3 and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS).
The team knows that by using the Intel SGX technology they are entering a niche market by making their network dependent on a trusted hardware solution. Due to the expense of the hardware, it will necessarily limit the number of users who are able to support a Verification Node.
The Ankr team has chosen this path because they believe it will increase network security and increase the level of commitment from Node owners. This will not only lower the chance of actors joining the network with malicious intent, the team also feels it is necessary when considering the long-term evolution of the decentralized cloud computing ecosystem.
The ANKR Team
The Ankr core team is a group of of members, many of whom are graduates of the University of California at Berkeley. They have a perfect background in engineering and technical disciplines, and some have limited marketing experience, with a few who have successfully made and sold other businesses before joining Ankr. There are also some partners and advisors to the project who provided commercial and entrepreneurial expertise to the project.
The Ankr team has many strong members, like the founder, Chandler Song. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He serves as CEO of Ankr and has several years of experience working at Amazon before Ankr. He was an early adopter of Bitcoin and led development at the P2P real estate brokerage startup CitySpade in New York.
A second founding member of the Ankr Network is Stanley Wu, who spent ten years working at Amazon as a Technology Lead prior to helping found Ankr. He was one of the early engineers with Amazon Web Services, having joined in 2008, which gives him a deep knowledge of cloud computing.
He also worked as part of the Alexa Internet team and he is really expert at full-stack development, browser technologies, search engine technologies, and large-scale distributed systems.
Another important player at Ankr is Ryan Fang, another graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with degrees in Statistics and Business Administration. He is the COO at Ankr after gaining valuable experience as a data scientist at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.
One other key member is Song Liu, who is the Chief Security Engineer of Ankr. He graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, but is in his position at Ankr due to his experiences as an ethical hacker, working with firm like Microsoft to uncover software flaws and bugs.
Prior to Ankr, he gained experience at Gigamon, a distributed security delivery platform, where he were working for 2 years. Prior to that he worked as a senior staff engineer at Palo Alto Networks, software architect at General Electric, a senior server engineer at Electronic Arts and has 10+ years experience as Senior Software Engineer and Tech Lead (LV6) at Amazon.
The ANKR Community
Ankr does not have a vibrant community to support the project. The Ankr sub-Reddit is incredibly small, with just 17 readers and 4 posts since it was created a year earlier. It doesn’t seem to be run by the official Ankr team.
That said, there is also a private sub-Reddit which is only accessible by invitation. That is likely the official Reddit, but since it is private we have no idea how many readers there are, and a private sub-Reddit is not very useful for the community.
Other social media sites show similarly small communities. There are 10,000 followers on Twitter and less than 100 subscribers to the YouTube channel. One area that is popular is the Telegram channel, where there are over 23k members.
It seems like there is a lack of large scale interest from users due to the hardware requirements of becoming a node and profiting from securing the network.
The ANKR Token
Ankr held an ICO for their ANKR token back on September 16-22, 2018 during the depths of the crypto-winter. That didn’t stop the project from increasing $18.7 million over the course of six days.
Most of that was raised in the private portion of the sale, with the public sale raising $2.75 million of the total. Tokens were sold at $0.0066 in the public sale and just $0.0033 each in the private sale. Only 3.5 billion of the 10 billion total tokens were offered for sale.
We were unable to locate price data prior to March 2019, at which time the ANKR token had already more than doubled from its ICO price to $0.013561. It continued higher throughout that month, hitting a high of $0.016989 on April 1, 2019.
It fell quickly from that high and was at $0.10 within a week of hitting its all-time high. Since then it has remained volatile, trading between $0.06 and $0.013 in May, June and July 2019. As of July 31, 2019, it is near the bottom of that range at $0.006157 per ANKR.
With the launch of the mainnet on July 10, 2019, the Ankr team also introduced the native ANKR token. At the time there were also ERC-20 and BEP-2 ANKR tokens. Rather than requiring a token swap to the native token, the team made the decision to keep all three tokens active, so there is no need for holders to swap tokens.
The ERC-20 and BEP-2 tokens are used to provide liquidity and trading on exchanges, while the native ANKR token is required to access blockchain functions such as rewarding compute resource providers, payment for hosting and compute tasks, payment of network fees, and incentivizing stakeholders. The tokens are exchanged with each other across bridges, and there will never be more than 10 billion ANKR tokens across all three token types.
Buying & Storing ANKR
ANKR tokens are trading on over two dozen exchanges, with the largest volume coming from Binance, although Upbit and BitMax also have a huge amount of trading volume. Other possibilities include Hotbit, Bitinka, and Bittrex.
Taking a look at the turnover on these exchange books, they seem to be quite healthy and strong. This means that you have a decent amount of liquidity for your ANKR tokens and you are unlikely to have much slippage on large block orders.
Once you have purchased your ANKR tokens you are probably going to want to take them off the exchange and keep them in an offline wallet. We are all too aware of the risks that come with large centralized exchange hacks.
For storing your ANKR the ERC-20 tokens can be stored in any ERC-compatible wallet, and the BEP-2 tokens can be stored in a BEP-2 compatible wallet. Or you can download the native ANKR wallet, which is included in the dashboard and is available for Windows only.
Ankr brings a new framework to the blockchain solution for distributed cloud computing. Its hardware-based solution provides security benefits, but makes it expensive to become a node operator. Long-term this is expected to be good for the network.
Users of the cloud computing resources can take advantage of the cost-effective, secure solution through a user-friendly dashboard and investors can easily trade ANKR tokens without concerning about the liquidity of platform, because of the inclusion of three different token types.
The team is taking a very unique and interesting approach to cloud computing, and it looks promising, but very much a business-to-business offering.
Ankr definitely has a shot at disrupting the current cloud computing industry, however, they have to find a way to market their product and draw in a large user base.
They do have many things going for them, including a youthful, talented team, and many important partnerships, not least of which is with the BOINC platform.