DECENT

The DECENT Revolution

True innovations are rare, especially in the media world. Revolutions that upset the system, are even rarer still. DECENT is just that, a revolution, the future of digital distribution. Like Wikipedia changed the way we live and access information, DECENT seeks to provide a better, more open and fair method for encouraging and rewarding content creation. DECENT Network is easy to use, more secure and ultimately the fairest distribution method available.

Whether you create text, images, music or videos, DECENT automatically secures your content when you upload it to your account. You can then set up your product page, set prices, previews, content descriptions, etc. Then you publish. Whenever your content is purchased online, DECENT Network immediately transfers DCT from the consumers account to the content creators account. DCT is DECENT’s own crypto-token and, like bitcoin, expected to raise against all standard tokens.

DECENT lives off of the endowment raised through one of the largest crowd-fundings to date. The project has been created and is being developed daily by a core team, united in the pursuit of redefining how we treat digital content creators and rewarding them as they have never been before. Furthermore, DECENT is an open-source project. This means other developers can build functionality and application on top of the existing architecture. DECENT represents a decentralized network of connected individuals and organizations who can share their work, information or ideas without being dependent on any middleman or 3rd party.

So join the revolution. Become a seeder, mine for DCT or upload your creations to DECENT Network and enjoy the harvested fruits of your innovative imagination. Not sure how to get started? Check out the HowTo.

DECENT In Depth

General information

So, DECENT is a next-generation platform for digital authors and content consumers. It is blockchain-based, decentralized and open source. An easy to use solution to the problem of how to more fairly and directly reward content creators.

Content creators can offer, distribute and tokenize their creations within a custom built, crypto-token powered system that currently features the following:

  • a custom independent Blockchain,
  • a simple API,
  • high IOps performance,
  • a community driven consensus mechanism,
  • cloud storage,
  • an easy to use GUI application.

Notably, DECENT's blockchain is a publicly distributed ledger of all the transactions that have or will occur, back to the genesis block (first use of DECENT protocol). As a public ledger, any transaction can be explored by anybody via the transaction browser, also known as the Blockchain Explorer.

The presented blockchain operates with two main types of transactions; first there are content-based transactions and second you have token-based transactions.

Splitting transactions into the two equal types allows us to optimize space usage in blockchain database as well as to efficiently handle client vs. core network interactions. This solution overcomes additionally required pointers, variables and conditions, thus mitigating sparsity in the blockchain DB.

Putting this together lead us to the roles operating within the core network:

  • User level (content-based):
    • Author: content maker, writer, music producer, media creator
    • Content Consumer: reader, listener, viewer, subscriber
  • Network level (token-based):
    • Seeding node: backend storage provider
    • Mining node: validators, consensus handler
    • Access node: access gateways, handles peering and connection brokers
    • Witnessing node: API interfacing node with core network, holds local blockchain replica.

It is important to note that authors produce content and upload it to the core network in two ways simultaneously. The first way represents upload in the form of metadata, embedded in the blockchain and on the other hand, in the form of payload, which is encrypted and stored in distributed and decentralized storage. Access nodes serve as an initial gateway to the core network and will broker direct and indirect peering. Miner nodes and Seeder nodes are the key element roles for keeping core network healthy, i.e. up and running. The incentive for their time and resources are DCT digital tokens, similar to BTC sent to Bitcoin miners. Further details are provided in the separate story.

Consequently, DECENT operations follow the schematic:

DECENT flow diagram

Looking at the schematic: Authors, during the publishing process, encrypt their work with strong encryption (AES) and store it in the data distribution layer. The decryption key is stored in a safely within the blockchain, so only authorized consumers can access to it. The encrypted content is stored via seeder nodes, willing to trade their space contribution and network bandwidth for an advertised reward in DCTs. To top it all off, seeders are selected by publishers based on the quality of their services. So this relation is purely market-backed.

Publishing

Publishing is the process of uploading new content and making it available on DECENT Network. The process details are as follows:

  • An author creates content in the form of a computer file(s) and sets up the product offering including price, duration, preview description, etc.
  • At the point of upload, the author’s client application generates an unique AES key and it encrypts the payload “not free to read” content.
  • The author’s client application splits the original AES key into key particles that are required to retrieve content.
  • The author’s client application selects a sufficient number of seeding nodes based on number of key particles, seeding prices and past performance. Seeding nodes are thereafter listed in the content metadata and can be referenced when necessary. The author then create a distribution package containing the 'free to read' package (metadata and samples) and encrypted content (main payload).
  • The author’s client application creates a content share for every seeder node via its public key.
  • The author’s client application refers seeder nodes to download share of the originating content.
  • The author’s client application generates the content-based transaction. The transaction will contain the content’s metadata.
  • The publishing fee is deducted from the author’s account. This fee is directly related to the requested storage size and duration of storage. This fee is used to pay seeders for providing storage and bandwidth. It also acts as spam prevention in that publishing large amounts of content will soon become prohibitively expensive.
  • Seeder nodes will download the content and issue the proof-of-retrievability transaction to confirm that content has been successfully published.

Consuming (buying)

Buying is the process used for a content consumer that has decided to purchase content that has been published on DECENT Network. It represents a contract. Starting with a promise to deliver keys and finishing with token transfer from the consumer to the author. The contract is valid only if the consumer is able to decrypt content delivered by seeder nodes. The main procedure follows these steps:

  • The client application of content consumer generates the request-to-buy transaction. This transaction will effectively hold in reserve the required amount of DCT on the consumer's account.
  • The seeding nodes responds to the request-to-buy transactions when parsing new blockchain transactions. Then, they decrypt the content shares with their respective private keys and next, they will encrypt it again with content consumer’s public key.
  • The seeder nodes will generate delivery transaction containing consumer’s key and proof-of-delivery.
  • The consumer's client then sends the reserved tokens to the author. The decryption key is then reconstructed via key particles and the content is decrypted and readable by the consumer.
  • Finally, the content consumer can rate the content by submitting a rating transaction into the Blockchain. These transactions can be further collected by different rating and classification engines and used to generate independent recommendations for other content consumers.

Seeding

Seeding is the intermediating storage handler for publishers and consumers and is purely market-driven:

  • The author's client application pushes encrypted content into provided storage of seeding nodes.
  • The seeding node is tested in predefined intervals for proof-of-retrievability, proof-of-delivery and for providing promised storage.
  • The seeding nodes receive every 24 hours adequate compensation in tokens for their hosting service.
  • The seeding nodes respond to the request-to-buy transaction and they prepare stored content for delivery to consumer.
  • The author's client application consumes encrypted content by providing the owners keys.

Mining

DECENT Network has implemented a Delegated Proof-of-Stake Consensus (DPOS) mechanism with 2 MB block size and 5 seconds block time interval. Mining validates all transactions that are embedded in blockchain, including proof-of-retrievability and proof-of-delivery. The specific operations for mining are as follows:

  1. Oversight for token transactions to the author (see consuming).
  2. Oversight for token transactions to the seeder nodes respecting their publishing fee for providing content (proof-of-retrievability).
  3. Oversight for token transactions to the publishers based on the delivered keys (proof-of-delivery).
  4. As reward for a service, miners keep some tokens distributed by the network, for themselves.

Mining serves to establish the decentralized nature of the network and receive DCT rewards for doing so. Responsible for transaction verification, timestamping and generating blocks, mining provides the infrastructure for transactions across the network.

Unlike proof-of-work based mining algorithms that require hashing power, with DECENT, miners are voted by the community proportionately to their stake (amount of DCT held) regardless of their computing capacity. The allocated reward pool is distributed among the selected miners every 24 hours. There is no difficulty increase within the system as the parameters do not change over the time. DPOS can be described as a more real-time system as the block has to be generated within 5 seconds.

The usage of DPOS mechanism enables DECENT to scale according to the network’s needs and lets users to keep control over those who validate and record transactions.

Intermediate concluding remarks

DECENT Network really can provide a cutting edge, affordable and forward­-thinking solution for media publishing and consumption. Illustration of the holistic view of DECENT Network:

DECENT app diagram