In this second portion of the Ontology breakdown, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the project itself by reviewing some of the assertions made in its whitepaper as well as on its website.
Brief (Formal) Coin Description:
Ontology Network is a public infrastructure chain project and distributed trust collaboration platform. The blockchain/distributed ledger network combines distributed identity verification, data exchange, data collaboration, procedure protocols, communities, attestation, smart contract system support, and various industry-specific modules. The ONT is an NEO-based token that will serve as the utility token within the platform.
It’s worth noting that Ontology is actually a real word as well. It means:
Total Supply: 1,000,000,000
Medium Page: (https://medium.com/ontologynetwork)
This is their home website: https://ont.io/
Brief Whitepaper Analysis
As Satoshi Nakamoto stated in his whitepaper for Bitcoin, the primary purpose of that cryptocurrency was to create a trustless means for transferring value digitally (i.e., internet cash). This is what gave birth to distributed ledger technology (DLT).
By starting out with this premise, Ontology makes it clear that their intentions are to diverge from this model entirely, which I’m not sure is prudent, all things considered.
The concept of ‘three T’s’ is then introduced in the paper:
There are a few ideas that are espoused in the excerpt above that appear to run discordant to the original blockchain philosophy put forth by Satoshi Nakamoto himself.
If anything, blockchain technology has given birth to the concept of us not having to trust each other at all in order to do business with one another or verify the payments that we are making.
The Paper Goes On to Introduce a Section Called ‘Current Issues in Trust Networks’
However, once again, it is worth reiterating that the entire point of Bitcoin and the establishment of distributed ledger technology was to entirely swerve the concept of ‘trust’ as far as person-to-person transactions are concerned.
The Company’s Ethos
According to the whitepaper,
“Ontology has architected a distributed trust system. It incorporates multiple trust types in an integrated protocol system with various blockchains and databases. Multi-source identities and multi-source data exchange protocols have been implemented into the network, building a distributed trust system that is cross-chain, cross-industry, cross-system, cross-application, and cross-device. Ontology aims to develop its trust ecosystem through partnerships to provide distributed services including distributed communities, data verification, data exchange, and credit across industries.”
It is antithetical to the premise of blockchain technology (public blockchains, at least).
Vision and Structure of Ontology
Given the fact that this is the vision and structure of Ontology, and we know that it is built on the $NEO blockchain, it raises the question of whether there is any true security in the structure that $ONT proposes.
It appears that there is no interest or use in building on top of a project that is already built on top of another project that has an idea that mimics a lot of what is already available (ARDOR, Aion, etc.)
If something is decentralized, that means that there is no central point of failure.
This definition means that there can not be ANY trust that is introduced into the system.
Therefore, given the premise of $ONT (the blatant introduction of trust into its structure), it cannot be decentralized.
There are a few points to address here.
In the whitepaper, it is claimed that,
“Ontology’s identity verification system is characteristically decentralized[emphasis added]. Decentralized identity verification is not predefined by industry nor does it come with set features, it is instead built by project-specific requirements.”
Something that is individualized in such a way cannot, by definition, be ‘decentralized’ because, if there are specific requirements/specifications that are relative to a given project/assignment, then the project itself exists as a potential, centralized point of failure.
“Organizational networks can be established using information such as student IDs for academic institutions or employee IDs for businesses. All entities can select a range of identity verification methods in order to create systems free from third party interference. Private information is securely stored in decentralized databases.”
The statements in this portion of the whitepaper also do not make much sense when viewed alongside one another.
The idea of depending upon the identities/IDs issues on a given network (centralized), being used as verification in a process that is somehow decentralized, overall, is almost word soup.
Also, identity theft is rampant. A bad actor could simply print out whatever ID that they wish. On top of this, must systems/databases/companies/academic institutions already have some sort of verification network of their own that they use in order to ensure that they can keep track of everything (ever been given an ID that you needed to swipe to get into a building/place of work?).
Once again — this premise is impossible.
Not only that, but the whitepaper is incomplete as far as the technical side of things.