LTO Network- A Multi-Layer Approach Towards Blockchain
LTO (Liquid Task Orchestration) Network is a fascinating new approach to hybrid blockchain for decentralized workflows. I’ll dive deeper into that in a minute but to take a graphic from one of their articles on Medium, LTO has created a nice chart to show what different blockchains exist and some examples of the coins/tokens running on them.
As you can see, LTO has positioned itself in a unique area of the blockchain chart shown above. It falls under a private-permissionless layer where individual nodes (computers) will connect to one another rather than an entire network (like bitcoin) in order to maintain same-state records of a work-flow process. To put it simply, they have developed a way for teams to work on their projects in a congruent and seamlessly-updated system, especially when it comes to workflow layout. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this will save me a lot of typing; here is what a simple workflow looks like within an organization:
I want to highlight the workflow above and turn it into a use-case built on the blockchain, but not just any blockchain, LTO’s public blockchain (which effectively acts as the “anchor”) and utilize a private blockchain within the model as I want the information above to be specific and accessible to my organization (hypothetically speaking). We are going to work with the following assumptions:
- The workflow chart above is already in place
- I want to implement this workflow process on the LTO blockchain
- I want to make this information private so that only members of my organization can see it
With the three pieces of information provided above, we can see the current state of the project and where we want to take it… to a private blockchain on the LTO network. This is done by creating what LTO has termed “Ad-hoc miniature private chains”, instead of explaining that one ten times over here is a great infographic from the same Medium article referenced above:
Let us break down this image, on the left we see the public LTO blockchain or network and on the right are the individual nodes that make up the private blockchain for my organization. Each node contains a piece of information but no single node has ALL of the information, as indicated by the red lines flowing in and out of the three nodes in the image above. This is an important part of the validation process and is done internally on the private blockchain then sent out to the LTO public blockchain to become “anchored” which means that the workflow process will be facilitated and backed up on the main LTO network. This is one example of how LTO’s technology can be used in a business setting.
Setting a larger stage, let us take a look at governments and global organizations and how LTO fits into the picture. One thing most governments have is many organizations that are collecting information individually and not sharing it efficiently or completely causing miscommunication/misinterpretation. The question was asked, “How do we collaborate on the but keep the data ourselves?” The answer comes in two parts by LTO and is not-so-simple, but brilliant!
- Horizontal Scalability
- To quote part of one of their YouTube videos “Nodes can simultaneously hold and handle numerous Live Contracts. Since every Live Contract forms a private chain, nodes can spin up more VMs to handle bigger loads”
- Data privacy and GDPR
- “Only the nodes of a particular private process have access to a particular private chain, if required by law, the entire workflow with all related data can be erased.”
The LTO team is extremely robust and speaking specifically about the CEO, Rick Schmitz, this is not his first time starting a company. In fact, he created Firm24 in the Netherlands which does about 10% of the legal work in the business aspect of the law. Firm24 was created from the needs of individuals and companies and created a revenue-stream before without using blockchain. Rick is now able to take that experience and apply his entrepreneurial successes (and corporate ones) to the forefront of the blockchain industry thanks to an incredibly capable team of experts. They are not shy about who they are and what they have done, all team members have LinkedIn profiles and some even have Github links, a great sign of confidence in a project is being proud of your past and demonstrating a track record of success, something that LTO has done quite well.
LTO is born out of a history of success starting in 2014 when Legalthings was created, along with Firm24. The ball kept rolling from there, with a white label release of Legalthings in 2015 and a software buildout of Firm24 in 2016 to include automation of corporation procedures. In September 2016 the Legalthings team began exploring blockchain use-cases and seeing how they could apply it to the work they were doing (digital signing and verification of real estate contracts, amongst other documents). In May 2017 Proof of Concept was achieved on the Ethereum platform using a Smart Contract to self-enforce agreements between parties. However, they still had not solved the problem of legally binding contracts as there are inherent constraints in smart contracts (take a look at point 1a where “Live Contracts” are mentioned). These Live Contracts were born out of a combination of finite state machines and Smart Contracts. This is no small feet and in September 2017, They took first prize in a hackathon sponsored and organized by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, not surprisingly, by demonstrating that a whole legal procedure can be digitized as an FSM and stored on the blockchain. This prestigious award came with the task to put Dutch legislative procedures on the blockchain and in February of 2018 after a successful seed round, they presented their Proof of Concept following up from the hackathon win.
Needless to say, LTO has been a smashing success in both government and corporate environments. They have formed some incredible partnerships, attained GDPR compliance, and hit every goal on their roadmap throughout 2018. Q1 2019 promises to bring a mainnet launch and crowdsale which will simultaneously showcase a working product (something that cannot be emphasized enough in today’s world of false promises and nothing tangible to show for it). LTO is setting the stage for self-sovereign identity, something they aim to accomplish in Q4, 2019 and judging by their past performance, I have no doubt they will succeed.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing and researching it. I want to note that I’ve not interviewed any member of the team and the opinions stated here are purely my own, the references have been documented and linked accordingly. Visit LTO’s website to learn more about this fascinating project and stay up-to-date with the latest news!