PIPE is extremely lightweight by design, because it’s almost impossible to get performance back into heavy code. This also means that PIPE gives developers all the flexibility they need for their use case without having to remove unnecessary presets.

PIPE does not include performance for the sake of performance. We use the word performant instead of fast, because while PIPE is faster than other decentralized alternatives, it’s not focused on absolute speed. PIPE is designed to remain performant and affordable even as it scales to real-world adoption levels. Think of millions of people keeping control over which data they share; billions of IoT sensors in cars, buildings, and devices maintaining their digital twins; or NFTs storing more data than just their artwork.

Furthermore, data transfers to or from PIPE are protected by its flexible security model. This allows developers and users to choose the best balance of security and performance. Because, after all, who are we to tell you how well protected your use case needs to be?

What makes PIPE perform so efficiently?

Besides a lightweight design, PIPE also gets an increase in speed and scalability from being smart with consensus and security. 

  • PIPE has a lightweight core with an extendible architecture
    For starters, PIPE has an open, lightweight design. The PIPE core only does what it needs to do. Not every use case has the same requirements for security or redundancy, so PIPE is dialed in to the lowest possible settings that still maintain a viable network. PIPE’s flexibility to add security and redundancy when needed enables users to set the right balance between safety, performance, and price instead of setting it high as a default.
  • The plugin architecture only consumes resources required for your use case
    Our plugin architecture also means developers can quickly add functionality to their particular use case. This way, developers don’t have to start by stripping out the parts they don’t need. (For those that want to hit the ground running or see examples of what is possible with PIPE, TangleHUB will offer Quickstart Templates.)
  • Borrowing consensus when needed
    PIPE does not have its own consensus mechanism, because it would require every node in the network to see all the data, creating an exponential overhead from data exchange. This is what kills scalability in blockchains and is overkill for most data storage applications. Instead, PIPE anchors on a L1 network to open a data channel or settle a contract. This means most actions happen without invoking network consensus, simply because it isn’t necessary.

Security that scales

PIPE secures data in a flexible way to enable higher performance and affordability at scale.

  • Dial in the appropriate levels of cryptographic security
    Increased security comes at a cost, both in performance and in storing larger signatures. The PIPE hybrid cryptography library can implement different cryptographic algorithms, so that developers can choose which one suits their use case best. The chosen algorithms are embedded in the public key, meaning that any node knows how your data is secured, without requiring the exchange of that information.
    To ensure user-friendliness, by default, the PIPE hybrid cryptography library contains the classical Ed25519 and the Falcon post-quantum cryptography (PQC) signature algorithms. Because allows for long-term storage (many years instead of 3-6 months that other decentralized storage contracts offer), PIPE already provides quantum resistant cryptography to offer data security in the event of a breakthrough in quantum computing. It can also drop in additional schemes, to offer optimal flexibility for any imaginable (future) use case or attack vector.
  • Private data can only be read or revealed by the private key owner
    Data can only be reconstructed by the private key owner (for Private data channels). This is because the exact location of masking and alterations is done in the data buffer and can only be derived from the private key. Because there are no certification authorities (CA) in PIPE, nobody can leak your data by accident or on purpose. Also, CAs are no longer a bottleneck, which is important to scale protection for the billions of data channels that IoT devices need.
  • PIPE protects nodes from DDOS attacks from within the network
    Nodes connect on a service-for-service based concept. Nodes have a sort of debt meter that measures the amount of data that flows to and from their neighbors. Any traffic overrides in one direction must be settled in PIPE tokens. This mechanism prevents DDoS attacks by temporarily disconnecting from a neighbor when excessive data is sent and the override is not settled through tokens. Since nodes are connected to neighbors via their public address, and their reputation is linked to that address, they cannot spam without rewarding their neighbors for taking the traffic or losing their reputation.

Basic, yet simple to use

PIPE is fully open source and, by design, very basic. This choice was made to make sure that the protocol is open and useful for any kind of use case, even ones we can’t think of and therefore can’t plan for.

To compensate for a lack of easy features, TangleHUB will offer modules via HUB, a software-as-a-service, that contains functionality that the majority of users want to easily organize, validate and exchange their PIPE data channels. Examples are Quick Start Templates, Monitoring and Debugging tools, Auditing tools, and Data Market tools.

Conclusion

PIPE has reassessed the security model based on the requirements of IoT, DID, and NFT use cases regarding decentralized storage. As a result, it does not have strict rules about security and consensus. Instead, it has a lightweight core that can add layers of security and consensus based on what the use case demands. 

Its flexibility in safety measures allows developers and product owners to control costs and performance, and scales PIPE to larger data volumes. The design is also modular, so developers can start with the fastest setup and trade performance for more functionality.

To compensate for a lack of features in the open source stack, TangleHUB offers services that let developers focus on building their core product, while still enjoying the benefits of open source software.

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