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101. Constellation (Published: 06th Jun, 2018)

Overview
Constellation is a DAG (directed acyclic graph) protocol similar to IOTA, Hashgraph, and Nano (previously known as Raiblocks).What makes it unique is the implementation of a horizontally scalable blockchain architecture called Extended Trust Chain provided with a peer to peer layer known as a gossip protocol usable on any mobile device.Constellation approaches smart contracts with a microservice architecture facilitating commonly accessible services to be chained and composed into distributed applications through simply understanding each microservice’s SLA  and/or type signature. Constellation has a throughput 10x that of Ethereum and can process 4,000–5,000 transactions per second with only 1,200 nodes. The bigger the network, the stronger it gets.
While many blockchains rely of Proof of Work (PoW) for consensus, Constellation utilizes Proof of Meme (PoM), a reputation based consensus, where each node/user is given a meme score, which can improve as the node established good behavior on the network. This enhances the chance of the node being selected as a delegate, and earning a block reward(mined coins) subsequently incentivizing further good behavior on the network, establishing a sort of meritocracy.

Team
CEO Brendan Playford has 5 years of blockchain experience mining,trading and running ICOs.He is also the founder of Aurora Energy Network, a decentralized smart grid system, as well as the founding partner of The Bureau.The team also consists of Wyatt-Meldman Floch, CTO and Senior Developer with over 5 years of experience as a software engineer and data scientist in the Silicon Valley.

Key Features
The paramount feature of the Constellation protocol is horizontal scalability where the throughput increases linearly with the number of nodes. Transactions on the Constellation network are faster than those in Bitcoin or Ethereum by nearly a 1000 times(with 4000-4800 transactions per second). The reputation based incentives eliminate transaction fees between users and make the network truly decentralized as every participant has the ability to contribute to the consensus. The lightweight, full nodes are compatible with any mobile device, and double sign transactions before broadcasting them to the network. Finally, Constellation uses smart contracts as microservices which structures the application as an amalgamation of different services that implement business capabilities.The Constellation token(CST) functions as a utility and yields access to the network and the membership resources for developers and users. It is also used to reward validators on the network for participating in consensus.Instead of transaction fees, a network incentive will be provided through newly minted tokens after the initial token allocation for ICO participation, and will have diminishing returns upto a fixed date after which token mining will cease.Newly minted tokens will be allocated based on each meme’s reputation.

Future Development
Although Constellation has not officially released a plan for future developments, the official website provides a brief glimpse into the
roadmap, addressing issues such as the Developer Portal,Ambassador Program and Constellation Fund in June 2018. July 2018 will witness the first Airdrop Event and launch of the TestNet Live.Constellation employed a Token Generation Event to create tokens of the company. The TGE that took place in May 2018 distributed only ERC20(ethereum based) tokens which will be used on the TestNet. The Mainnet is expected to launch at the end of 2018 or first quarter of 2019, after which the tokens will be changed by the company’s final tokens.

Risk And Opportunity
Constellation is a very exciting and advantageous project that aims to disrupt and decentralize consensus models. However, apart from the unique aspects like horizontal scalability and a DAG network using smart contracts as microservices, there do exist some concerns regarding this project. The team already had another ICO which ended in September 2017 called Rakugo(launched on the Ethereum platform)providing content creators with copyright management, publishing and monetization.After realizing the limitations of the Ethereum platform, the founders pivoted to create their own DAG platform Constellation which would support projects similar to Rakugo. Moreover, Constellation is not at a first mover advantage neither is it active on GitHub. Meanwhile they do not have a clear tokenomics. Looking over its limitations, Constellation attempts to solve a major problem of the blockchain community seeking new implementations of distributed ledger technology to solve scalability issues.

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