Project overview

Celer Network is an Internet-scale, trust-free, and privacy-preserving platform where everyone can quickly build, operate, and use highly scalable dApps. It is not a standalone blockchain but a networked system running on top of existing and future blockchains. It provides unprecedented performance and flexibility through innovation in off-chain scaling techniques and incentive-aligned cryptoeconomics.

Celer Network embraces a layered architecture with clean abstractions that enable rapid evolution of each individual component, including a generalized state channel and sidechain suite that supports fast and generic off-chain state transitions; a provably optimal value transfer routing mechanism that achieves an order of magnitude higher throughput compared to state-of-the-art solutions; a powerful development framework and runtime for off-chain applications; and a new cryptoeconomic model that provides network effect, stable liquidity, and high availability for the off-chain ecosystem.

Token model

To complete the off-chain scaling solution, they introduce a suite of cryptoeconomic mechanisms, named cEconomy, that brings indispensable value and provides network effect, stable liquidity, and high availability through the Celer Network’s protocol token (“CELR”) and three tightly coupled components.

Proof of Liquidity Commitment (PoLC):
PoLC is a virtual mining process that acquires abundant and stable liquidity for the off-chain ecosystem. To participate, one simply needs to commit (locks) his idle liquidity (in the form of 9 digital assets, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies and CELR) to the off-chain platform for a certain period of time with CELR rewarded as incentives to such users.

Liquidity Backing Auction (LiBA):
LiBA enables off-chain service providers to solicit liquidity through “crowd lending” with negotiated interest rates. Lenders are ranked according to their “happiness scores” that are determined by the interest rate, the amount of provisioned liquidity and the amount of staked CELR. In particular, lenders who stake more CELR (as an indicator for their past contributions to the ecosystems) have higher priority to be selected to provide liquidity to off-chain service providers.

State Guardian Network (SGN):
SGN is a special compact sidechain that guards the states when users are offline so that the users’ states are always available for dispute. Guardians need to stake their CELR into SGN to earn guarding opportunities and service fees from the users.

Whitepaper

The Celer Network whitepaper is technically thorough and covers in detail all the different features of the network. It explains clearly the role of the different actors in the ecosystem as well as how the CELR token ties in to these features. The only thing missing would be their go-to market strategy and how they plan to grow and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Team

Dr. Mo Dong – Co-Founder
Dr. Mo Dong received his Ph.D. from UIUC. His research focuses on learning-based networking protocol design, distributed systems, formal verification and Game Theory. Dr. Dong led project revolutionizing Internet TCP and improved cross-continental data transfer speed by 10X to 100X with non-regret learning algorithms. His work was published in top conferences, won Internet2 Innovative Application Award and being adopted by major Internet content and service providers. Dr. Dong was a founding engineer and product manager at Veriflow, a startup that specializes in network formal verification. The formal verification algorithms he developed is protecting networking security for fortune 50 companies. Dr. Dong is also experienced in applying Algorithmic Game Theory, especially auction theory, to computer system protocol designs. He has been teaching full-stack smart contract courses. He produces technical blogs and videos on blockchain with over 7000 subscribers.

Dr. Junda Liu – Co-Founder
Dr. Junda Liu received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, advised by Prof. Scott Shenker. He was the first to propose and develop DAG based routing to achieve nanosecond network recovery (1000x improvement over state of art). Dr. Liu joined Google in 2011 to apply his pioneer research to Googles global infrastructure. As the tech lead, he developed a dynamic datacenter topology capable of 1000 terabit/s bisection bandwidth 53 and interconnecting more than 1 million nodes. In 2014, Dr. Liu became a founding member of Project Fi (Googles innovative mobile service). He was the tech lead for seamless carrier switching, and oversaw Fi from a concept to a $100M+/year business within 2 years. He was also the Android Tech Lead for carrier services, which run on more than 1.5B devices. Dr. Liu holds 6 US patents and published numerous papers in top conferences. He received BS and MS from Tsinghua University

Dr. Xiaozhou Li – Co-Founder
Dr. Xiaozhou Li received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and is broadly interested in distributed systems, networking, storage, and data management research. He publishes at top venues including SOSP, NSDI, FAST, SIGMOD, EuroSys, CoNEXT, and won the NSDI’18 best paper award for building a distributed coordination service with multi-billion QPS throughput and ten microseconds latency. Xiaozhou specializes in developing scalable algorithms and protocols that achieve high performance at low cost, some of which have become core components of widely deployed systems such as Google TensorFlow machine learning platform and Intel DPDK packet processing framework. Xiaozhou worked at Barefoot Networks, a startup company designing the world’s fastest and most programmable networks, where he led several groundbreaking projects, drove technical engagement with key customers, and filed six U.S. patents.

Dr. Qingkai Liang – Co-Founder
Dr. Qingkai Liang received his Ph.D. degree from MIT in the field of distributed systems, specializing in optimal network control algorithms in adversarial environments. He first-authored over 15 top-tier papers and invented 5 high-performance and highly-robust adversarial resistant routing algorithms that have been successfully applied in the industry such as in Raytheon BBN Technologies and Bell Labs. He was the recipient of Best Paper Nominee at IEEE MASCOTS 2017 and Best-in-Session Presentation Award at IEEE INFOCOM 2016 and 2018.

Roadmap

Celer Network Roadmap

ICO terms

Ticker: CELR
Token type: ERC20
Hardcap: 34,500,000 USD
Sold on pre-sale: 30,750,000 USD
Total Tokens: 10,000,000,000 SPARK
Available for Token Sale: 30%

Token distribution

30%: PoLC mining reward, Off-chain ecosystem building
30%: All token generation event
20%: Team and advisors (2-year vesting)
20%: Foundation reserve (2-year vesting)

Community hype

Telegram: 32 036 members
Twitter: 5 849 followers
Reddit: 23 subscribers

Strengths

  • Celer Network can scale out to billions of trust-free, secure, and private off-chain transactions per second.
  • Celer’s off-chain scaling solution will be available for all blockchains, contrary to most scaling solutions, which are focused on one blockchain.
  • Miners don’t necessarily have to stake CELR to receive rewards. They instead have to lock in liquidity (which can be in the form of digital assets, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies and CELR).
  • The team has released a working demo of the Network

Red flags

  • Since the two biggest blockchains (Bitcoin and Ethereum) are already working on their own off-chain scaling solutions: Lightning Network for Bitcoin and Plasma and Raiden for Ethereum, it might be hard for Celer to find a place in the industry; especially if they don’t get to market before those in-house solutions are ready.
  • The liquidity and speed of the platform depends highly on users locking up their liquidity and on service providers joining the Liquidity Backing Auction. This might create some issues in the early adoption stages of Celer Network.

Ratings

Team: 8.7/10

The Celer Network team is impressive. The founders all have PhDs in distributed systems related fields and they have all held important positions in renown enterprises. Also, they are backed by many notable investment funds.

Token Model: 7.75/10

Their token model is interesting. The fact that the different actors on the network are encouraged to stake tokens will help the network grow. It will also reduce the volatility of the token, creating a demand for it, therefore creating an upward pressure on its price in the long run.

Token Distribution: 5.7/10

The token distribution is decent but the fact that Celer Network is not doing an airdrop or a bounty campaign might lead to a more centralized distribution than what would be ideal, especially in the early stages of the network.

State of the Project: 7/10

Celer is still far from having all its main features released (cEconomy’s mainnet release is scheduled for Q2 2019). However, they have a very detailed roadmap and give weekly updates about their progress so its easy for investors/users to see if they are on track.

Market: 9.7/10

Celer Network is one of the only blockchain agnostic scaling solution currently available. This means that it’s well positioned to become the go-to solution for any blockchain that doesn’t want to develop their own custom-made scaling solution.

 ICON score: 7.8/10

Conclusion

At Icon Partners, we consider Celer Network to be a very promising project. If they manage to deliver on all the features in their whitepaper and manage to build an active community, they could become to go-to scaling solutions for all blockchains. Also, the fact that their team is really impressive and that they are backed by over 40 investors means that there is already hype surrounding the project. Their main issue is the fact that Ethereum is currently working on Plasma and Raiden. If those are ready before Celer’s mainnet release, other blockchain could decide to fix their scalability issues by building a solution inspired by either Plasma or Raiden. All because they would have been proven to work.

We encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions when investing in an ICO. All the information in this review are either facts or ICON Partners’ opinions and should not be used as investment advice.

Celer Network Links

Website
Whitepaper
Telegram
Twitter
Reddit

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This document is intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this document are not, and should not be construed as, investment advice or recommendations.