While entrepreneurs identify Blockchain as a revolutionary technology and a prospective business area, what are the challenges associated with the actual implementation of Blockchain technology?
Cointelegraph spoke to the founders of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) node support company Node40 to learn the most challenging aspects of their business since launching in 2015.
Node40 is the premier Dash masternode service provider, focusing on automating the commissioning process and supplying a monitor for their customers to view the health and valuation of their nodes.
Perry Woodin, Founder at Node40, says:
“We have so many ideas for value-added services it can be difficult at times to prioritize. Our focus is stability of the Node40 platform, but we are constantly coming up with ideas that we want to implement right away.”
Challenge 1: Stability of the system
According to the Principal Developer at Node40, Sean Ryan, their ceaseless uptimes - stability - is Node40’s biggest achievement to date. “We have put a great deal of effort into providing a stable platform. Running masternodes can be trying at times,” says Ryan. “The software (daemon) can crash so you need to make sure there is a way to bring it back without getting dropped from the network. Then there is the hardware.”
Node40 claims that its primary function is to ease the barrier for anybody who wants to participate in supporting P2P networks like Dash.
“Node40 had to build custom monitoring software for the hardware,” says Ryan. “If a hardware issue is detected, we need to insure the node is migrated before its standing with the network is compromised.”
The system is being constantly tweaked to ensure a continued passive revenue stream. “If a node goes offline, the customer’s revenue stream is broken,” explained Woodin and Ryan.
Challenge 2: New York, a tough state to do business in
The Founders claim that operating in New York has also sharpened the company’s nose for compliance.
“New York is a tough state to do business in. The regulatory climate isn’t particularly friendly to startups in the Blockchain environment,” says Woodin. “Operating in New York makes us a stronger company because it forces us to focus on compliance,” notes Ryan.
Challenge 3: Customers and their little knowledge of Blockchain technology
A key challenge, explains Ryan, is education:
“We are seeing more customers who have interest in incentivized Blockchains, but are fresh to Blockchain technology. The on-ramp for new people is still quite steep so we find Node40 playing a big role in education.”
Removing barriers to entry is pivotal and a crucial part of the Node40 model. Contributing to this is the company’s recent adoption of a Telegram chat bot.
“It has already been a big help. Sometimes existing or potential customers are hesitant to reach out via phone or email. The Telegram bot offers a secure communications platform for people who have questions and want to chat with a real human being.”
The bot directs all inquiries to someone at Node40.
Challenge 4: Keeping up with software updates
Being a key part of the Dash masternode network, Ryan and Woodin contend that keeping up with updates with the cryptocurrency can also be difficult.
“The Dash network has been very stable for over a year now, but behind the scenes, development is happening at a rapid pace,” says Woodin, who was also an early Dash investor and is a Foundation Member.
Node40 must nevertheless maintain a finger on the pulse of what is happening at Dash, at every turn. “When new software updates are released by a Blockchain such as Dash, we have to be ready to support it,” says Ryan.
“We do this in part by maintaining an excellent relationship with the Dash Foundation and staying active in the community,” they explained.
Challenge 5: Staying focused
Node40’s focus is on incentivized nodes — nodes that pay operators for participating in the network.
Despite a robust selection of ideas bubbling to the surface, the company has set its sights on a few upcoming developments: a new user interface for its application, more insight (via metrics) of what is happening in the Dash blockchain and the addition of other incentivized blockchains.
The latter speaks to a glimmering reality, one of peer-to-peer networks operating under capitalistic principles to incentivize ownership and encourage sustainability.
When asked why incentivized nodes are the path forward toward Blockchain network sustainability, Woodin and Ryan both imparted: “Point to an example where relying on free labor is a good business model.”