GIANT (Global Internet Access Network Token) Protocol is an exciting, new, open-source project that aims to decentralize and democratize access to internet and financial services by tokenizing bandwidth. It is creating a new web3 telecommunications aggregation layer and utilizing a set of protocols that turn connectivity into a global digital asset, and enabling anyone to be a user or provider of connectivity or financial services in the new blockchain-enabled era. Thus, forming a decentralized connectivity economy, accessible to anyone, owned by everyone.
Protocol-based economies are revolutionizing all global industries. These economies reorganize the way participants form open and accessible systems through anonymous, yet trusted incentives based on peer-to-peer protocols with no centralized management. These transparent and secure protocols enable resources to be shared more efficiently.
The conventional model to build a Global Connectivity Economy requires multiple competing mobile network operators (MNOs), banks, as well as governments with conflicting interests to co-operate, making it practically infeasible to exist. Thanks to protocol-based decentralized platforms, distributed ledgers, cryptographic currencies, the economics of building borderless systems is fundamentally shifting.
This paper proposes creating a new internet access layer that aggregates existing telecom networks and transforms internet connectivity into a digital asset, making it is easy and intuitive for the 5.18B mobile phone users that already spend ~$2T annually to access broadband and mobile internet to join the crypto economy and use, own, and access cryptocurrencies, and the new blockchain-based financial services, while enabling the connectivity providers to offer financial services, and leapfrog the banks to enter the web3 era. Thus, forming a Decentralized Connectivity Economy, that is open to all, seamless and secure by design, and owned and governed by the community.
This economy (called “GIANT”) consists of a set of protocols that enable anyone to offer connectivity and financial services globally and anyone to access connectivity and financial services in a simple, seamless, and secure manner, without being locked to any single provider. It is structured as a Decentralized Internet Access Layer (called DIAL), and utilizes a set of protocols, namely, connectivity protocol (called “GIANT Connect”), a protocol for tokenizing data contracts (called “GIANT Teller”), a protocol for generating yield on data balances (called “GIANT Yield”), two cryptographic tokens, called DCT (Data Contract token), and GIANT (native blockchain token). This paper proposes and describes:
Formation of a Decentralized Internet Access Layer (called DIAL) to co-ordinate, tokenize, and financialize connectivity access
Connectivity protocol (called “GIANT Connect”) for instant, simless, internet connection
Airtime exchange protocol (called “GIANT Teller”) for tokenizing data contracts
Airtime yield-generating protocol (called “GIANT Yield”) for earning yield on unused contracts
Proof-of-Connection to cryptographically verify connection was established as promised
Decentralized Autonomous Organization that governs the philosophy and strategic direction of the network
Two cryptographic tokens, DCT and GIANT and their role
Anyone should be able to access connectivity and financial services in any part of the world.
The traditional model for provisioning connectivity as well as financial services relies on closed, centralized, for-profit entities.
For connectivity, this approach has created a radically overprovisioned, yet inefficiently distributed set of overlapping networks which are closed, gated by different competing providers and their paywalls, making the user experience cumbersome, and inaccessible for many. This is in part because there is no inherent trust of security, no incentive to co-operate and offer ubiquitous, global internet access and no simple way to authenticate end users or devices.
Similarly, for financial services, the large financial institutions act as rent-seeking intermediaries that take the end user funds as deposits, lend them out and generate high-yield, yet offer negligible yield in exchange to the end users. These parties also prioritize privileged users over underprivileged users, charge high banking fees, high interest rates, high domestic and international transfer costs, contributing to lack of financial inclusion, and increasing the economic divide.
The connectivity providers’ attempts to offer financial services to their subscribers, including the underprivileged, to make financial services accessible to all, have largely remained unsuccessful, due to the lack of cooperation from the local and regional financial institutions. This is largely because the financial institutions have competing interests with connectivity providers and no incentive or motivation to collaborate with them to provide more open, inclusive, and attractive financial services to all.
The decentralized connectivity and financial services protocols promise more open, inclusive, affordable, and attractive connectivity and financial services, yet greatly remain inaccessible because they’re hard to access, not easy to use, and require understanding of new digital currencies that mostly do not have much utility value in the real world. To put that into perspective, there are more than 5.18B mobile phone users that spend more than $2 trillion to access broadband and mobile internet every year, yet only about 220M crypto users in the world.
These problems require solving:
Connectivity Providers have no incentive to collaborate with each other to provide open, ubiquitous, and affordable global internet access and no easy way to offer financial services
Financial services providers have no incentive to offer high-yield and cooperate with other parties, including connectivity providers
Users have no bargaining power when accessing the internet and no easy way to earn high yield
Decentralized protocols are hard to use and remain inaccessible to the majority
These problems have made decentralizing and democratizing access to the internet and financial services a challenge.
The goal of this project is to build a Decentralized Connectivity Economy that makes accessing the internet and financial services, accessible to anyone, owned by everyone. Providers collateralize GIANT tokens to offer internet access by minting data contract tokens (DCTs), which are bought by users by spending GIANT tokens to redeem them to access trusted, secure, high-speed, internet globally. It utilizes a teller protocol to mint DCTs, a connectivity protocol to redeem DCTs and access the internet, and a yield protocol to generate yield on DCTs.
To attain this goal, the paper proposes to form a Decentralized Internet Access Layer to coordinate, tokenize, and financialize connectivity access using a set of protocols, a verifiable proof, Proof-of-Connection, a cryptographic token (GIANT) to incentivize all the stakeholders, a non-profit foundation to govern the token distribution, and a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to manage, fund, maintain, and expand the network. Finally, the foundation expects to work with third party commercial entities to implement the protocols, manage the user experience and provide an open source reference implementation for all participants.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows:
Section 3: Defines the Global Connectivity Economy and its objectives.
Section 4: Describes the Teller protocol, Connectivity protocol, and Yield protocol to mint, redeem bandwidth contracts and earn yield.
Section 5: Defines the Proof-of-Connection to cryptographically verify connection was established
Section 6: Introduces “GIANT” cryptographic tokens and their role
Section 7: Outlines the purpose of the GIANT Protocol Foundation
Section 8: Describes how GIANT Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) governs the network
Section 9: Defines the purpose of the Company and the open source reference implementation
Section 10: Summarizes, concludes with a discussion of next steps
V. Global Connectivity Economy
The conventional model for provisioning a Global Connectivity Economy requires multiple competing networks, banks, as well as governments with conflicting interests to co-operate, making it practically infeasible to exist. Thanks to protocol-based decentralized networks, distributed ledgers, cryptographic currencies, the economics of provisioning public utilities, is fundamentally shifting. A new class of global economies that are decentralized and protocol-based are emerging. This paper proposes unifying existing networks to form a Decentralized Internet Access Layer, and tokenizing bandwidth to bring Defi benefits to billions, making access to the internet and financial services, accessible to anyone, owned by everyone, backed by two cryptographic tokens, a data contract token (“DCT”), and a native token (“GIANT”).
The main participants include:
Providers represent any individual or organization that provides access to the internet. This includes connectivity service providers, hotspot aggregators, inflight wifi providers, fixed broadband providers, anyone who can provide internet access, including the decentralized internet providers, like Helium, Altheamesh, etc. They earn GIANT tokens for offering bandwidth contracts. A single provider can offer multiple contracts.
Users represent any individual or organization that accesses the Internet (developer applications, IoT devices, etc.). They spend GIANT tokens to access the internet.
Validators represent any individual or organization that runs a node for the GIANT Protocol. Validators collectively provide decentralized consensus and add blocks to the GIANT Protocol’s decentralized ledger in exchange for block rewards.
Community represents any individual or organization that is a native token holder. Native token holders can approve improvements to the protocol, decide allocation of the treasury, vote for members of the Council, nominate Validators, and become members of the Council themselves.
VI. Key Objectives
The GIANT Protocol is designed to fulfill the following key objectives:
The purpose of the project is to allow users to access instant, simless, global internet connection seamlessly with their GIANT tokens that also makes them money, without needing to switch sim cards, asking WiFi passwords, carrying a bulky hotspot device or paying outrageous roaming fees, only to connect to the internet. To achieve this, the protocol abstracts the complexity of discovering the best providers to connect to and automatically establishes connection upon receiving a request. The decentralized governance of the network ensures that any commercial entity implementing the protocol and managing the user experience complies with the objectives and implements a user-friendly client that does not require users to have any prior knowledge of Blockchain and cryptographic tokens. The ideal user experience consists of requiring users to simply download the client reference app on their phone or computer in seconds and allowing them to pay with their credit cards, just like any other non-blockchain app. Similarly, clear and concise step-by-step instructions are shared with providers to instantly offer bandwidth contracts.
The GIANT Protocol is designed to provide security by 1) ensuring all reference implementations (protocol, provider, client app) executed are certified and approved, 2) detecting and flagging rogue networks and 3) encrypting all the traffic end to end. In addition, privacy is intended to be protected by 1) no logging of user traffic and 2) no sharing and storing of provider’s proprietary information, if any.
The GIANT Protocol only allows trusted providers to run and offer services to users. In order for a provider to be deemed “trusted provider”, it is anticipated that all providers will be required to 1) collateralize GIANT tokens to mint contracts (unless approved by the DAO), 2) deploy certified and approved protocol reference implementation. If a community member reports a provider determined to be invalid, it is immediately made inactive.
All providers are eligible to earn GIANT tokens for offering data contracts. To build a decentralized network that works and grows organically, an incentive model is designed such that all providers are rewarded for offering services. Since Wificoin payments are a fixed percentage but the PGT tokens spent by each user vary with each session, PGT tokens earned by nodes also varies with each session. The PGT tokens spent by a user are distributed between all nodes as, WiFi/LTE nodes (50%), VPN nodes (30%), service nodes (10%), DAO (10%). Wificoin earning power is proportional to the grade level of the network. For instance, in certain zones, the top tier of Grade A: high speed (>80Mbps) would earn more PGT tokens compared to the second tier of Grade B: medium speed (15-80Mbps). This creates a powerful incentive for hosts to provide high-speed, high-availability connection to users. It is envisioned that the network will also provide incentives to other community hosts to provide additional services such as identity verification, arbitration, network planning, network monitoring, referral, etc.
The GIANT Protocol is constructed as a public protocol where anyone can freely join. All components of the protocol are identified by their public key hash (which defines a blockchain account User ID). An immutable list of transactions is maintained and recorded on a public Blockchain for anyone to audit. In addition, all providers submit publicly auditable proofs of the service they provided to users after each session. All providers generate proofs of service, Proof-of-Connection (in Section 5) after each user session and record it on a distributed storage platform such as IPFS to allow anyone to cryptographically verify that the provider offered the service in accordance with the smart contract.
These key objectives are enforced by the three GIANT protocols (in Section 4), the GIANT Protocol Foundation (in Section 7) and the GIANT Protocol decentralized autonomous organization (in Section 8).
VII. Design of System Components
GIANT Protocol is designed according to best practices of modular, scalable, performant, and composable components with clear separation of concerns and well defined interface layers.
There are four primary layers of abstraction that aggregate core connectivity infrastructure:
A set of smart contract protocols that trustlessly enable the tokenization of bandwidth and access to connectivity and financial services using those tokens
A services and SDK layer that provides scalability and value-added connectivity and financial services on top of those protocols, and
A decentralized application (DApp) layer through which GIANT Protocol’s stakeholders can engage and interact with the protocols and services.
GIANT is the first-of-its-kind decentralized connectivity network merging non-fungible tokenized bandwidth with DeFi. GIANT blockchain is designed with built-in incentive mechanisms and is governed by the DAO, effectively coordinating between data providers, consumers, and validators to enable global connectivity services with superior reliability and performance. Substrate-based native core with 3-second block production time, deterministic finality, forkless upgrades, and web-based wallet, GIANT network leverages nominated-proof-of-stake consensus (NPoS) and proof-of-connection (PoC) to power Teller Protocol, Connectivity Protocol, and Yield Protocol.
An important component of GIANT Protocol’s governance is the mechanism by which the community reaches consensus on additions to the distributed ledger. In the spirit of building a community-owned asset and enabling anyone in the community to earn, GIANT Protocol’s native blockchain operates based on the Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS) consensus. Through this, any GNT holder may participate in the health and maintenance of GIANT Protocol by nominating a Validator node and earning Validator block rewards in return.
Any GIANT Protocol wallet with a minimum number of GNT tokens staked can become a GIANT Protocol Validator. The minimum number of GNT tokens required is dynamic, based on an auction mechanism as the total number of GIANT Protocol Validator slots will be limited and fixed.
Despite the apparent limitation of a fixed number of Validators, anybody can become a GIANT Protocol nominator by staking their GNT amount on behalf of a Validator, effectively becoming an indirect Validator.
Validators participate in the consensus mechanism to produce GIANT Protocol blocks based on validity statements from other Validators. Any instances of non-compliance with the consensus algorithms results in punishment by removal of some or all of the Validator’s staked GNT, thereby discouraging bad actors. Good performance, however, will be rewarded with Validators receiving block rewards (including transaction fees) in the form of GNT in exchange for their activities.
The core of GIANT Protocol’s design are three sets of smart contract protocols - Teller Protocol, Connectivity Protocol, and Yield Protocol. The Teller Protocol tokenizes bandwidth into a non-fungible cryptographic token on the blockchain. The Connectivity Protocol enables anyone to access internet services using tokenized bandwidth. The Yield Protocol enables anyone to access financial services using tokenized bandwidth. These protocols are described in greater detail in section 9 Protocols.
Services & SDKs
The Services & SDKs layer provides APIs, SDKs, and tools that enable developers to build applications to tokenize bandwidth and access internet and financial services on top of GIANT Protocol’s smart contract protocols. In addition to scalable APIs that encapsulate the protocols mentioned above, there are services for community management through which any token holder can vote on improvement proposals and vote for members of the leadership council. There are also tools for bridging from third party ecosystems and platforms into GIANT Protocol’s connectivity economy, for example bridging from fiat to GIANT Protocol’s native currency or bridging a telco customer identity to a GIANT protocol wallet using their phone number.
The DApps layer provides applications on top of the Services & SDKs layer to enable non-developers to access GIANT Protocol’s services. These DApps provide GIANT Protocol’s stakeholders with intuitive ways to tokenize bandwidth and access internet and financial services without needing to write any code. Data providers can tokenize their bandwidth. Consumers can purchase tokenized bandwidth and access internet and financial services. Community members can vote on improvement proposals and vote for members of the leadership council. Mobile network operators or other connectivity providers can deliver these same features through their own DApps built on GIANT Protocol’s Services & SDKs layer as well. For more information about GIANT Protocol’s reference DApp, see section 11 Reference DApp.
GIANT Protocol revolves around two cryptographic tokens - Data Contract Tokens (DCTs) and GNT tokens - described in more detail below.
Data Contract Tokens
Data Contract Tokens are non-fungible cryptographic tokens that represent contracts for data, for example 15GB of 5G/LTE data in the United States from June 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022 for $25USD or unlimited wifi data through a premium hotspot network valid for 7 days from activation for $20USD. Data Providers may mint DCTs for each of their data offers and sell those DCTs to Data Consumers. Those Data Consumers may then redeem those DCTs to access the internet and financial services.
Each Data Provider that joins GIANT Protocol maintains control of the services they offer - pricing, packaging, period, rollover, transferability, and all other terms of the contract. While this means that each DCT is specific to each Data Provider, it also means existing Data Providers don’t need to change their offers. Any data offer can be tokenized with GIANT Protocol through a Data Contract Token.
From a customer’s perspective, the tokenization of their data contracts is transparent. When consumers buy DCTs they’re purchasing data plans just as they do today, and the DCTs that represent those data plans allow them to seamlessly access the internet. Regardless of connection type - mobile, fixed, inflight, premium hotspot data - the DCT enables zero-touch access to the internet. Each Data Contract Token contains within it all the information required for the consumer to discover and access the Data Provider’s internet service. Data Contract Tokens take advantage of the revolutionary capabilities of eSim to enable mobile devices to discover and access mobile internet services without the need for a physical SIM card. For more about how consumers access internet using DCTs, see Connectivity Protocol below.
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