As explained in my previous article, Ethereum LiveNet blockchain transaction mining time and gas costs are two major limitations to deal with in order to create an easy-to-use auction solution. To overcome these two issues, DomRaider has chosen to use a private Ethereum blockchain in its initial product release.
It is a blockchain based on Ethereum open source code, through Go implementation (aka Geth). It allows you to build a blockchain based on proof of authority, with zero gas cost and a 1-second consensus delay.
We actually studied many solutions such as Hyperledger, Byteball, IOTA, New, Waves, Open Bazaar, BigchainDB, Multichain or Ethereum. We needed a way to quickly deploy a first version of our product and we also needed a smart contract solution to guarantee a transparent auction process. Here’s a list of the features we were looking for:
We discarded quite a few solutions along the way as they did not allow us to add our auction intelligence to a smart contract. This meant we would have had to either fork them and modify their transaction handling logic or run our auction protocol off-chain.
Geth and Parity could not run on the same Ethereum blockchain when not using PoW. While Parity was more efficient for mining (about 500ms versus 1 second for Geth), its web socket was slower to react (300ms versus 30ms for Geth). What finally made the biggest difference was the number of transactions a single node could manage simultaneously. Geth was steady (dispersion of 500 milliseconds) while Parity wasn’t (dispersion of 2.6 seconds), this is the reason why we went for Geth.
This process is a way to quickly iterate on issues regarding the auction process on the blockchain. DomRaider will first deploy this solution in order to obtain feedback on auction behavior but we will of course be leading extensive research on a decentralized solution to replace this option of a private Ethereum blockchain. Meanwhile, we will also develop the various features required in the auction process including payment guarantee, proxy bidding and step auctions.
DomRaider will be able to present a Minimum Viable Product by the end of January 2018. It will allow people to run a simple auction protocol on a transparent private Ethereum blockchain. As you can imagine, this is just one part of the big picture and DomRaider will bring payment guarantee and DRT integration to this solution further along the way.
The pieces are coming together and a detailed roadmap will soon be revealed.