Celer ICO Overview
The Celer ICO and CELR Token offer an off-chain network solution to bring Internet-level scale to blockchain. The Celer Network is not a standalone blockchain but a networked system layer that utilizes generalized state channels for off-chain transactions. The Celer ICO targets both performance and flexibility through innovations in off-chain scaling techniques and token economics designed to maximize the network-effect.
‘Celer’ is short for ‘celeritas’ – the Latin word for speed – and a c in physics represents the speed of light. This is not to be confused with a C in Physics, which represents a passing score for a mediocre student.
Celer ICO Value Proposition
On the Celer Network, end users are connected to a decentralized and trust-free network of Celer Nodes via the cChannel, which functions as a generalized state channel. Between Celer Nodes, cRoute is used to route generalized states (e.g. conditional payments) in a high-performance, trustless manner between end users. cOS, the native development framework, provides a convenient means for developers to create dApps (or “cApps”) that are both large-scale and low cost.
cChannel forms the foundation of the off-chain scaling platform. It is a generalized state channel and sidechain suite utilizing a DAG to supports offchain state transitions. The conditional state dependency DAG on top of the state channel and sidechain network supports complex, high-performance use cases like gaming, insurance, prediction markets and decentralized exchanges.
cRoute is used to route generalized states (e.g., conditional payments) in a trustless and efficient way between end users via state routing algorithms. Celer report a x15 improvement in performance on the shortest path algorithms used by offchain scaling solutions Lightening Network and Raiden.
cOS is the mobile-based off-chain operating system of the Celer Network, complete with a development framework to quickly build and operate scalable off-chain dApps. cOS provides design templates and handles the operation, storage, tracking, and dispute of off-chain states, offering simple to use APIs for the incorporation of functions like conditional payments.
As an analogy, the team compare cOS to the in app building system on WeChat, which enables APIs for developers to build mini-apps inside the platform. Moving beyond off-chain payments, cOS also provides the API and design framework for more complex off-chain state transitions, expanding the use case applicability of the Celer Network.
The CELR token is the sole means of transacting value on the Celer Network. The Celer Network utilizes a Proof of Liquidity Commitment (PoLC) mechanism, which works like a staking protocol, to create sufficient liquidity for state channel service providers to function.
Participants can lock their idle liquidity, for example ETH, in a Collateral Commitment Contract (CCC). Once a CCC is constructed, it will start to receive newly generated CELR token. The Celer ICO proposes the incentive to receive CELR through this mechanism will help create an abundant and stable liquidity pool crucial for the Celer Network’s function and expansion.
Another incentivized liquidity mechanism is the Liquidity Binding Auction, or LiBA. LiBA enables state channel service providers to access liquidity through “crowd lending”. For example, a state channel service provider can host a LiBA on the network to access liquidity for a certain amount of time through a bidding mechanism. The channel provider pays interest to the lender for the amount of time the liquidity is available.
Finally, on any off-chain state channel, availability monitoring provides an essential insurance function in case users go offline. The State Guardian Network (SGN) is a special compact sidechain to “guard the states” when users go offline and bring the most recent states back on-chain when necessary. The SGN is monitored by “Guardians”, who submit a stake of their CELR tokens to the network. Users can then pay CELR to Guardians, which they receive over the period of time they guard the user’s state when offline. The more CELR that is staked, the higher the likelihood of becoming a Guardian.
With the implementation of PoLC mining, LiBA and the SGN, Celer aims to create a more nuanced tokenomics model, known as the cEconomy, to maximize the function and growth of the network. In addition to direct payments, the CELR token functions as a tool for liquidity and an incentive to guard states.
Celer ICO Team
Mo Dong was the founding engineer and product manager at Veriflow, where he developed formal verification algorithms for distributed systems. He has an extensive academic background in computer science and teaches full-stack smart contract programming courses. Mo received his PhD in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. His complete resume is available here.
Junda Liu is a 7 year veteran of Google, where in 2011 he developed their data center networking infrastructure. He continued at Google as a Senior Android Engineer, where he contributed to developing the Project Fi mobile service. Junda received his PhD in Computer Networks from UC Berkeley.
Xiaozhou Li specializes in developing scalable algorithms and protocols that achieve high performance at low cost. His solutions have become core components of Google TensorFlow, Intel DPDK, and Barefoot Deep Insight. Xiaozhou holds a PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University.
Qingkai Liang holds a PhD in Computer Networks from MIT and as a researcher there spent 4 years developing and optimizing networked systems. His high-performance routing algorithms have been applied to products at Raytheon BBN Technologies and Bell Labs.
Celer ICO Strengths and Opportunities
Celer has placed a particular emphasis on tech development and keeping their community informed on the relevance of the various innovations deployed by the network. To demonstrate the full-stack MVP, the team released a video of their first cApp built on the Celer Network called cGomoku.
With the release of the MVP demo, the team have shown their commitment to developing the Celer Network by showcasing the viability of their innovative architecture at this early stage. As the first cApp built with cOS, the demo of cGomoku both highlights the functionality of the development framework and the network itself.
The team draw directly on their experience researching and building innovative tech solutions for developing the architecture of the Celer Network. Mo Dong developed formal network verification algorithms at his previous company, Veriflow. Junda Liu, Qingkai Liang and Xiaozhou Li have ample experience developing high-performance distributed systems and network infrastructure for applications at the enterprise level.
The team have a history of transforming theoretical knowledge into functional applications and with that, foster a high level of confidence in their ability to deliver on their ambitious vision.
Celer ICO Weaknesses and Threats
Off-chain scaling solutions are in no short supply, but their market caps illustrate that some have fallen out of favor with the investing community to a degree. Lightning Network, Raiden and Trinity all take aim at providing off-chain payment scaling. Beyond pure payments, solutions like Plasma and Loom Network provide a pathway for the development of computation intensive applications.
The Celer Network has several aspects that distinguish it from other off-chain scaling solutions: x15 faster transactions than Lightning Network or Raiden; a developer suite and token system designed to incentivize adoption; and blockchain agnostic compatibility.
But the adoption of Celer is not just about developer suite functionality and token economics.
Community building and marketing strategies to drive real adoption are crucial for the success of the Celer Network. Up until this point, the team have made clear their focus remains on product development. Yet as we know, the road to onboarding developers, contributors and users is not as straightforward as producing even the most technically viable solution for offchain scaling.
For Celer to take a lead role as a scaling solution, serious attention must be paid toward building an ecosystem of users. While the team members are highly-qualified tech experts and even have experience with startups, marketing Celer to the wider community will require additional expertise and resources. A more balanced team with personnel specifically dedicated to building partnerships and spreading awareness would further strengthen the project as it progresses.
The Verdict on the Celer ICO
The Celer ICO offers one of the most viable layer 2 projects for bringing scalability to the blockchain. On a technical level, Celer employs novel solutions for accessing liquidity and maintaining availability of user states; two issues facing all off-chain scaling networks. With the right strategies to promote adoption of the Celer Network, the project could be a top contender in the scaling race.
We have been in discussions with the Celer ICO team and our ratings are based on conversations and information that they have asked us to keep confidential. While it may seem premature to rate their ICO highly, we have been made privy to insights that suggest a very strong project, and we will update this review when the Celer ICO team is ready to share further data.