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Missions at the Edge

Within eight years of the existence of the network, the issuance marks an inflexion point: the theoretical limit at which the growth of the total network rewards issued for nodes will start slowing down as they are outpaced by smart missions on the network.

Smart missions stem from a massive pool of use cases broadly described as swarm computing. In the first years of its existence, it is expected that the network will be used primarily by the IoT industry, providing connectivity to smart devices at the edges. Essentially, the network leverages nodes to connect things with things. As of 2022, the network is also seeing developments to leverage its ability to connect things with people through nodes, where people are the owners of the smartphones acting as the nodes.

Most smart missions will rely on a specific feature of the Nodle network: Proof of Connectivity.

The Economy of Mission Builders

Smart missions are written and deployed on the Nodle Parachain. Consequently they are open-source and their inner workings transparent. Smart missions can then be reused. Nodle Service Providers who create services on top of the chain can write their own smart missions or reuse existing smart missions published by mission builders.

Mission builders are developers who write the code for smart missions. As they create this code, they can include royalties to be paid as their code is used for smart missions, enabling an economy for smart mission builders. It is likely that some smart missions will include royalties and others will not, all in the spirit of the free software movement.

It is expected that revenue generated by some smart missions will decrease until they disappear, as some NSPs will reuse them to accelerate the creation of their service, but will internalize and rewrite the smart mission after a while. This means being the first to write code that develops the ecosystem creates value, which is rewarded but does not automatically create annuities on the network for an indefinite period of time. Other smart missions, on the contrary, will rely on access to specific resources accessible only by the mission builder, which means copying the contract will not provide the same value of the original mission. In the long run, these mission builders will enable revenue for themselves without the need to set up their own NSP and having to deal with customers for that NSP.

A Decentralized Network for IoT

Compared to 5G networks or dedicated Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) provided by telecom operators (which includes technologies such as LoRaWAN, NB-IoT or Sigfox), the Nodle network generates no cost to deploy new hardware infrastructure. It thus creates an economically viable long term opportunity to connect a new array of devices, including pallets, vehicles, packages, meters, containers, actuators, cameras, and sensors.

Until now, companies with major logistics challenges (e.g. transportation, delivery, distribution, urban services such as waste management, water or energy supply, traffic monitoring, stock optimization) could only connect devices carrying high economic value. The smartphone infrastructure also enables use cases inherent to its properties: because edge nodes are mobile, one edge node can provide connectivity to devices along their whole journey - for example, tracking a package entails a handful of smartphones from key employees onboard the Nodle SDK, whereas a fixed network would require antennas in all areas crossed by the package.

Because edge nodes follow population density, it scales in urban areas, whereas 5G networks need to deploy thousands of antennas in such areas. This network has worldwide coverage (no roaming), high bandwidth, high precision from the geolocation of the smartphone, and the potential of the Nodle virtual machine able to execute code at each node to interact with your devices.

The Asset Tracking Contract

The first dApp to run on top of the Nodle network is an asset tracking service provided by the Nodle team, currently (July, 2022) in closed beta. Partners of Nodle provide a fleet of smart devices they own, communicating through Bluetooth Low Energy. This provisioning takes the form of a smart contract of smart mission, where the organization controlling the smart device creates a bounty for interacting with the device. With asset tracking, this bounty specifies the data to be gathered (the payload defined in the iBeacon specification, which encapsulates the encrypted identifier of the device along with its geo-location provided by the Nodle network), as well as the reward for capturing the data. Various use cases will value different frequencies and timeframes in which data will be gathered. The reward is defined in the smart contract to take it into account. Each node running the SDK at the edge can access the smart contract, including the list of target nodes and their rewards, and pick the missions they want to participate in. Edge nodes frequently performed BLE scans to identify the target devices through their payload. Once located, the data is sent back to the owner of the device, along with the Proof of Connectivity, through an API. If the Proof of Connectivity is valid, the payment is delivered from the smart contract to the node. Beyond asset tracking, the Nodle network will become an open ecosystem for innovation at the edge. Any IoT developer will have the tools to write smart missions on the chain that will then be executed at the edge by the nodes of the network, enabling complex interactions between smart devices and the nodes through the Nodle Virtual Machine.

Using Proof of Connectivity to Bring People Together

IoT connects machines to machines and things to things. Through smartphones and apps such as the Nodle Cash App in which users consent to connect to the network, Nodle can also connect things to humans, or humans to humans, which creates a whole new category of demand. The Proof of Connectivity guarantees that the connection happened. Without Proof of Connectivity, most of the following use cases are purely marketing, in which users are ignorant of what happens backstage, becoming in effect “the product” in an exchange of value between an advertiser and a publisher. With Proof of Connectivity, users become economic players.

Use Cases Include:

  • Foot traffic through direct payment: the client of the service is a business that wants to increase foot traffic. It pays the user in NODL for coming to their place. If the brand is strong enough, it can also reward the user with NFTs either for their value as a unique work of art or as the key to a loyalty program. The proof of connectivity is established between a smart device set up by the business owner or a QR code scanned by the user.
  • Sponsored activities and event management: the client of this service is an event organizer who wants to provide a unique conference experience to their attendees. Example: a crypto project wants to sponsor a conference and airdrop digital goodies' to the attendees. When the attendees purchase a ticket, they receive an NFT from the conference organizer on their Nodle Cash app wallet. The sponsors of the conference have added benefits to the NFT, such as a NODL allowance.
  • Proof of Participation (PoP): The clients of this service are the ones who get paid, and the participants are the ones who pay in NODL, while they earn a PoP. For example, a street performer wants to get paid for playing guitar when people enjoy her music. The street performer uses the Nodle Cash app to create an “Activity” labeled “Guitar Street performance” at a specific location. People can earn a PoP NFT if they are around and thus reward the performer.

Combined, these use cases draw the picture of an ecosystem for Nodle that goes well beyond IoT. The Nodle network creates an economical and technical framework to enable secure and private digital connection between any physical entity, whether a thing or a person, through the nodes that compose the network.