MATRIX is merging Artificial Intelligence with blockchain technology to create a fast, secure, and more intelligent platform. Their goal is to change the user experience of executing smart contracts through high flexibility, continuous adaptive self-optimization, and multi-chain collaboration. This is where AI comes into play, it allows for an “intelligent blockchain”: something that is easier, safer, faster, and more flexible than any other network currently out there. Sounds ambitious, let’s have a look.
What Problem does Matrix AI Network solve?
Scalability, Interoperability, and Security are the major problems of current blockchain platforms. 3rd generation blockchain platforms try to address these 3 aspects to some degree, but end up focusing on just one of them, which then becomes their USP. For example, EOS focuses on speed and ICON focuses on interoperability, they all found a niche or problem they are trying to solve, but don’t have the time and resources to go beyond that.
Through the utilization of Artificial Intelligence, MATRIX is able to overcome a big part of the inefficient processes of other blockchains. AI will continuously search for approaches to update the platform, making it very adaptable, no more guessing whether increasing block size is better or not, it will be proven via AI if it’s necessary. Because of this, the MATRIX platform promises continuing advancements. The platform is always evolving and will never need to be forked. Hard forks are unnecessary when the platform can be optimized as demand changes. Therefore, AI has the potential to increase scalability, increase user accessibility through natural language programming, enhance the security of smart contracts, and introduce more flexibility. Therefore, solving all 3 issues at once, which is something, none of the existing blockchains has been able to achieve yet. If they can really make all the above work, MATRIX would easily become one of the best platforms in the crypto world.
“The challenges facing today’s blockchains have to be resolved before the ideal of cryptocurrency can really become reality. We believe the artificial intelligence technology, which has received an unprecedented growth in the past decade, provides out-of-box solutions to address the challenges. MATRIX is designed to be an intelligent chain to unleash the potential power of the blockchain technology.”
Through the use of AI, MATRIX completely separates itself from other blockchain platforms. It is a very unique system, reliant on artificial intelligence. Its self-optimizing features are also used for automatic security audits to detect errors in smart contracts before deploying. This security audit would prevent exploits like the DAO hack or the current problem with Ethereum where it is/was possible to generate Coins by an integer overflow. If a smart contract does not pass the security audit, it can’t be deployed on the blockchain, adding another layer of security to the network.
But the ambitious plans don’t end here, MATRIX also plans to be the most user-friendly blockchain out there, because they are one of the very few platforms where users can create Smart Contracts without any knowledge of programming language. AI converts a user’s native language into code and ultimately into the desired smart contract.
Product and Vision
First of all, there are a lot of technical details that won’t be covered in this report because they would go beyond the scope of what is possible in this format. However, the first significant innovation I want to talk about is how the network is operating the nodes and how consensus is reached among them. MATRIX is taking a unique approach here. Their consensus algorithm is actually a hybrid model of Proof of stake as well as Proof of Work. The network is continuously split into random clusters, and a so-called delegate node within each cluster carries out the PoW calculation. MATRIX is using an entirely new kind of mining algorithm called the Bayesian Mining, where computations can require millions of random samples to be taken, meaning it’s challenging to compute. The only downside here is that miners will need special hardware, because standard CPUs are not good enough for these computations, limiting the number of people who can take part. To prevent this from becoming an obstacle for miners, the team decided to design a new type of mining hardware, resulting in less competition in the hardware market but ensuring, that the hardware matches the requirements of the algorithm. The chance of becoming a delegate node is determined by a PoS calculation amongst other things.
Because of this unique consensus Algorithm the waste of energy is getting significantly reduced because only the nodes which are selected by the POS are mining a Block instead of the whole Network. It also solves the issue of having to broadcast all transactions to the entire network which is the main hurdle for scaling. The MATRIX teams state that they will be able to reach 1 million transactions per second.
We have already talked about how users of smart contracts no longer need to know how to do coding with a programming language. MATRIX Smart Contracts only require the user to type in the purpose of a smart contract, and the AI will convert it into code. This technology is called deep learning. Deep learning algorithms are already used by many tech companies to assist coding. So this is not an impossible goal, it is very real, and it’s just around the corner. Moreover, it could become a complete game changer for mass adoption and usage of smart contracts and blockchain in general.
The MATRIX team does not only want to achieve scalability and security, but they also want their blockchain to be the most flexible and adaptable out there. There are two ways they accomplish this: Through a multi-chain structure, the MATRIX blockchain is capable of hosting other data-chains (e.g. one data chain to support Bitcoin and one to support Ethereum), these chains can then interact and exchange data through MATRIX smart contracts, this allows interoperability between different blockchains. The other aspect is the learning based parameter optimization engine that is embedded into MATRIX blockchains. A so-called value network continuously learns the long-term rewards of fine-tuning various parameters, thus adapting and implementing the best metrics, given the current structure and environment, and keeping the Blockchain flexible and adaptable to changes in requirements and circumstances. To sum up this brief overview of their technology, I have to say that in theory, MATRIX is possibly one of the best blockchain platforms out there. If they are able to implement the impressive features they have planned, this could become a game changer.
To be honest, I tried to cover the scope of all technological details behind MATRIX as good as possible in the short amount of words I have available in this report. I highly recommend you to take a closer look into their whitepaper and website to gain a better understanding of what they are trying to achieve and why this is such an innovative approach.
Ambitious plans require a great team to turn them into reality. MATRIX is managed by an all-star team, especially in the field of AI, with team members having won several awards in this area, the most important person of this project is not their CEO but Steve Deng their Chief AI scientist. At least that’s what it seems like.
However, if you look through the all the team members listed in their white paper and on their website, you will notice, they are extremely educated, intelligent people, and they all have some very impressive histories.
Steve Deng has a strong track record in computer architecture, machine learning, and data analytics. He has written over 50 peer-reviewed papers. He also wrote a book on AI that is widely accepted in higher education. His team has also won several AI competitions and awards including “Best Paper” at the International Conference on Computer Design in 2013, the “NVIDIA Partnership Professor” Award and the Tsinghua University “Key Talent” Award. And he has contributed to many national-level research projects in China.
Before working on MATRIX, CEO Owen Tao held CEO positions in several high-tech startups, he has rich experience in managing product development. He supervised the development of the 3D virtual community, China’s first embedded game advertising system, and other Internet technology products. He also has strong skills in product operation and promotion. He led the development and operation of China’s first cross- border e-commerce platform, which attracted 20 million users around the world.
The Chief Network Architect is Bill Li, a leading expert in communication and IC design. He is a major contributor to 3G, 4G, and 5G standards in China and was the chief architect of China’s first wifi transceiver. Dr. Li’s work on Commutation IC Design has won numerous national awards. His book, Communication IC Design, was the best-selling textbook in its field and is currently used by many prestigious universities.
I’ve read, that 25 people are working on MATRIX full time, but I can’t find any further information on all them. The ones that are listed on the website and social media have gained experience at large multinationals such as Alibaba, Huawei, or Microsoft. They also seem to have some new PhDs coming in from prestigious universities, which brings in additional academic backing to Prof. Steve Deng and his ex-students he hired. Given the high standard of the leading figures, I’d expect the rest of the employees to be very strong as well.
Tokenomics: What is the MAN Token?
The MATRIX Mainnet launched in March 2019, and with it, the MAN token was born. You could compare the native MAN token to Ether, they are pretty similar at their core. MAN is used to pay for transaction fees and to access applications and services published on the main chain, as well as any of the many AI features the platform will offer in the future. In the future, MAN will be used as a payment method similar to Alipay. With support online and offline, you can use MAN as a token to buy coffee at a coffee shop, or buy daily necessities at a supermarket. MAN’s functionality in the daily life, as well as a means of payment for services on the platform, will significantly increase MAN’s demand and circulation. The total supply is 250.000.000 MAN of which 150.000.000 MAN are currently in circulation.
Growth Potential and Roadmap
The team indicates that they’re ahead of schedule and expanding the range of projects they are working on. The first application on the MATRIX platform will be a diagnosis system for hospitals assisting with cancer diagnoses, a Liver/Thyroid detection process that is already used in Chinese Hospitals. Furthermore, the state-owned Belt and Road Development Centre has partnered with Matrix to be their blockchain and AI supplier.
Their partners and associations include hyperledger and the Linux Foundation, among a number of Chinese companies I don’t recognize. The team has indicated that they will have cooperations with several banks, although the names of these banks remain unannounced for now. They also announced a mutual research fund with the Tsinghua University. Strategic contributors include a number of Venture Capital firms which is essential for a project of this magnitude, and it means professional investors are also paying attention to MATRIX. All in all, where most platform blockchains have to settle with a few collaborations, the MATRIX AI Network has established an impressively strong network of partners even before the launch of its mainnet.
Ethereum remains the big general purpose smart contract platform, but as we’ve seen over the last 2 years, more and more competitors are aiming for their spot. If we assume, the MATRIX team can deliver on their promises and the platform is able to prove itself on a larger scale, it has a considerable upside potential in market cap and adoption. I think over the next few years it is actually very possible, that we see another platform rising and taking Ethereum’s spot. It does not necessarily have to be MATRIX, but they have the fundamentals, technology, and team to at least try it.
I think the last section pretty much summed up my view on this project. The combination of blockchain and AI, a field in which the team has superior knowledge and expertise, makes the platform could stick out from its competition and gives it huge growth potential. However, the concerns I have with MATRIX are:
- There may be a second token sale in the future. The team is looking to develop the hardware required to do the MCMC computations on the platform, and they’ve said that they may need to raise additional funds to finalize the development of this.
- A high number of tokens that are yet to come into circulation. They will need some serious demand. The supply schedule is not optimal.
- MATRIX is operating in a very crowded space. Unique features might not be enough to win the battle with competitors. In the past, we’ve seen companies and devices with the best technology losing out to far more basic competitors, not only on Crypto. As good as their technology seems to be, MATRIX has no guarantee of being one of the long-lasting protocol.
- MATRIX probably need to up their marketing game a little, if they want to appeal to western investors, partners and companies and significantly boost valuations in the future.
MATRIX AI NETWORK (MAN)It’s safe to say that Matrix, if they achieve all of what they are aiming for, will be an incredibly impressive project. They will have a future, how bright this future will be, depends on a number of factors but their starting point couldn’t be much better.