Vespertine x CESS AMA — Recap

Vespertine Capital
10 min readMar 2, 2022

We recently sat down with Molly Zhang - the Marketing Lead at CESS - to talk about the CESS Cloud Data Network. If you missed the AMA on Vespertine Capital telegram, read on to learn all about how CESS is building the next-gen decentralized storage network.

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: Molly, thanks for joining us today.

Molly Z | CESS: Thank you for having me today. Really glad to be here!! 😉🙌

I would like everyone to join us to our telegram group, scan this QR code and to win a reward!!

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: To get started, can you introduce yourself and the CESS team to our community and give us a quick view into your crypto background?

Molly Z | CESS: Absolutely. Hello everyone, I’m Molly and I am the marketing lead at CESS. It is my pleasure to be here with you all today.

I joined the crypto space a year ago with my transferable marketing skills gained from working for high end luxury brands like Cartier, and also with my technology background as a Data Analyst in Silicon Valley. I am extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to work for CESS to promote this elaborate project.

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: Great to hear about your background. Can you introduce CESS to our community? What does CESS stand for and what’s the use case that it solves in the storage space?

Molly Z | CESS: CESS stands for Cumulus Encrypted Storage System–a decentralized cloud data storage network. It aims to become the first to support large scale commercial applications.

As an open-source public blockchain, CESS securely provides a high-speed and high-throughput storage system that is widely applicable for businesses and projects both for Web2 and Web3.

The network with full data services can be conveniently used through our user-friendly APIs. So far we have already been collaborating with some major businesses, including a new Broadway (on stage in 2023), Hollywood’s Marvel movies for their NFT markets, meanwhile we are also building close relationships with businesses in the medical field for their data sharing needs, etc, much more are coming soon.

This is a brief introduction of CESS and its use cases

There are more details we will get into Since CESS is a technology-heavy project, so everyone so buckle up 🔥🔥🔥🔥

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: Absolutely. That’s what we like to deep-dive into. Can you tell us about how CESS exactly works and what the key features are that make CESS unique

Molly Z | CESS: CESS is a full-stack solution built on Substrate (a blockchain SDK framework), and the whole network consists of three layers:

  • Data Storage and Discovery Layer

It provides complete data services: data preprocessing (replication, redundancy, slicing, encryption, etc.), data storage, retrieval and display. This layer with our fair consensus mechanism is the foundation for data security, rapid data handling and retrieval. The critical premise can satisfy large-scale businesses’ data storage needs for efficient high-volume data transmission.

  • Blockchain Layer

The Blockchain Layer provides strong technological support throughout the whole network with high delivery performance.

  • Application layer

So far there is not a decentralized storage protocol that has its own application layer!! Any project or business can build and deploy their apps/dApps directly on CESS chain through this layer with the built-in user-friendly APIs (WASM & EVM compatible). Users can get the full benefits including complete data services, high-speed data transmission, and data ownership protection and much more from the network. The usability and easy integration to our management layer and smart contract platform encourage commercial users of any size both in Web2 and Web3 to join, making the network widely available for most commercial applications.

CESS key features are:
- High data security and availability
- Fast data retrieval and return
- Data Ownership Protection
- Cross-ecosystem, cross-platforms, cross-chain
- Huge Monetization Opportunities
- Low gas fees

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: Very excited about this use case and its potential. Are there any projects / dapps already in development? And will you be building your own dapps as well?

Molly Z | CESS: Very good question

We are already have a few dApps getting developing and they are for NFT, for lottery, film and many other fields

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: Nice. Nothing like bringing on real-world use cases!

Molly Z | CESS: Definitely. We have been engaging with many potential users to use our storage services.

We have already confirmed our partnership with a Broadway show and the visual effect studio for Marvel movie’s as I mentioned earlier with

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: Sounds good. Look forward to CESS on broadway. 😀

So, we all use cloud storage in some way or the other (photos, files, and more). How do you see CESS competing in the commercial storage sector — both traditional cloud storage options like Google Cloud and other decentralized protocols like Filecoin and Arweave?

Molly Z | CESS: So most of the existing decentralized storage options are far from impressive, even IFPS + Fil as one of the biggest projects, still suffers from slow data uploading and possible data loss.

Arweave is good for data archiving in the permanent storage track, but the underlying protocol design and the flaws in its economic model caused Arweave’s inability to provide services for large-scale commercial applications.

Centralized storage providers are infamous for their low data security, longer migration time, data loss if the data centers are physically damaged.

CESS firmly chose the decentralized commercial storage track from day one. We believe succeeding in the decentralized commercial storage track will provide CESS more commercial opportunities, generate a stronger cash flow, and gain more profitable monetization opportunities compared to the projects in permanent storage track (i.e. ARWEAVE, SubSpace). As for now CESS is directly competing with IPFS+FIL on the same track, CESS’s goal is to become the strongest player in this market sector.

CESS provides complete data services with powerful performance at a low cost. CESS achieves this goal by deploying proprietary technologies and having our own application layer.

I will only elaborate a few key points since the complex technologies can get really complex and detailed.

  • High Data Integrity and Data Availability:
    CESS ensures data integrity through multi-copy technology and a complete data storage scheme, making data loss that often occurred in IPFS almost impossible (CESS’s goal is 99.99% availability). CESS also provides data rights confirmation as a service, providing a fair and transparent trading environment for the data trading market. CESS will be the first decentralized storage project to provide data rights confirmation for users.
  • Fast Data Retrieval
    Added two miner types (cache miner & retrieval miner), who alleviate the heavy network traffic. Each miner type performs duties and gets incentivized individually to prevent manipulation by giant nodes, promoting a fair and fast network.
  • Dynamic pricing
    CESS has a dynamic pricing mechanism to offer real-time price inquiry (in every block epoch) to ensure CESS’s storage price is always competitive as compared to FIL. Please note FIL can’t utilize CESS’s pricing mechanism because it requires the fundamental changes of the entire protocol.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for explaining CESS’s performance, so you can join us in our telegram to get all the details.

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: The value proposition is crystal clear! So how can folks like us participate in CESS (both on the supply and demand side)? Can we be a part of the CESS storage network?

Molly Z | CESS: Yes, we encourage everyone to join us. Anyone can join CESS as miners, developers to build on the CESS chain, or as our business partners.

We have low requirements for storage miners, simply with 1T of hard disk space can become a storage miner. Miners who meet the incentive level will be issued CESS tokens.

1) Storage mining
Miners with storage capacity join either the storage network or content delivery network to earn tokens proportional to their bandwidth and storage capacity.

2) Consensus mining
Miners/nodes with qualified computational resources can deposit collaterals in the form of CESS tokens to become candidate consensus nodes. If selected by CESS random consensus mechanism as 11 on-duty nodes, these nodes can earn rewards.

3) Community contribution
To further promote the CESS network, developers, community members and partners can submit their proposals and receive community votes. When a quorum is established, corresponding rewards will be issued from the blockchain system.

4) Token governance will adopt the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) to achieve on-chain governance capability. The CESS community transparently operates the Community Development Fund (CDF) through the votes.

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital: Nice. Looks like a great way for everyone to participate and strengthen the CESS ecosystem while earning lucrative rewards 🙂

Now tell us about the CESS token and the utility it plays within the CESS ecosystem.

Molly Z | CESS: They play different rules with different duties. It should be noted that the consensus miners not only undertake the task of validating and producing blocks, but also the task of storage scheduling and distributing data file segments to storage nodes. CESS has designed a dynamic incentive plan, based on the progress of project development.

Overall, 55% of tokens are allocated to miners. Different roles need to provide specific resources to get rewards.
* Storage miner: 30%
* Consensus miner: 15%
* Retrieval miner: 5%
* Cache miner: 5%

In the early stage of the project, in order to build a stable network, token allocation will be 30% to consensus miners and 15% to storage capacity miners. Thereafter the block height of 12,614,400 (about 1+ years and the block interval is 5s), every month consensus token allocation will be reduced by 10% and re-allocate to storage capacity miners until 15% of tokens are fully shifted to storage capacity nodes.

CESS is not intended to join the arms race of storage space. This design will help to achieve the goal of resource efficiency to be adjusted to the project progress.

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital : Very well thought out utility, with the incentivization towards building a robust, stable network.

Last question and I’ll turn over to our community for a few more. Can you share with us the CESS roadmap including the product launch and the future expansion.

Molly Z | CESS: We joined Polkadot last Oct in 2021, currently we’ve been focusing on testing for the testnet launch in Q2 2022. Our mainnet will launch in the second half of the year, after that quite a few dApps will launch as well, including NFT, lottery, social, film and video, etc.

CESS won 1st place in Polkadot Hackthon last Dec!

Recently CESS just joined the Substrate builder program

We passed all 3 miles stones of W3F to receive a grant, so a lot of great news and achievement lately

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital : That’s great news. I’m very excited with the vision, the use case and all the development progress. I’ll open up the chat now for a few questions from our community.

Please feel free to pick 4–5 questions to answer (more if you have time :))

Qn 1: What approach are you taking to provide security and anonymity to customer data, as well as to protect the node operators from malicious files?

Molly Z | CESS: Each data upload would go through a thorough data preprocessing (replication, redundancy, slicing, encryption, etc.) before distribute to different nodes. This makes it extremely difficult to hack the data. 1. Only encrypted data segments are stored in each node 2. all data segments scattered on different nodes 3. the system makes 3 copies of each data files every time by default.

We are able to make sure that even malicious attack or natural disaster that wipes out the hardware, we can still gather all the data segments back from our decentralized system to retrieve the compete data files for users.

Qn 2: How does CESS cloud storage system optimizes the traffic, as in sometimes users can increase drastically and other times users can drop, how does CESS optimizes the best possible for all these scenarios. Thank you.

Molly Z | CESS: CESS assigns two additional miner types: cache miner and retrieval miner, who are responsible for fast indexing, discovering, and returning data promptly and securely. Each miner type performs duties and gets incentivized individually to prevent manipulation by giant nodes, promoting a fair and efficient network.

Qn 3: Will I be able to build my own storage node (any size I want from that 1TB minimum etc) or will you guys sell pre-made nodes that meet these certain standards?

Molly Z | CESS: Anyone or organization can contribute their used hard disk space (1TB minimum) to CESS network to become a storage node 🙂

Qn 4: since the competition of crypto projects getting more tough, can you indicate the strength of your project to compete with the other competitors? what is your hidden gem features that will attracting the user to using CESS system?

Molly Z | CESS: To compete with others we have 2 core value propositions:
1. To provide chain-agnostic decentralized cloud storage function. CESS is dedicated to providing the decentralized storage function for extensive commercial applications. CESS is a full-stack solution, from the bottom layer to the application layer, each layer reflects the strong support for commercial applications. Whether traditional web2.0 or crypto-native applications, businesses of any size can access CESS’s storage through our comprehensive APIs, a crucial feature allowing us to become a key component of web3.0 infrastructure, which IPFS+FIL lacks.
2. To build a CESS ecosystem. CESS has a smart contract platform that supports WSAM and EVM, allowing crypto-native applications to launch directly on CESS chain. NFT, blockchain game, and metaverse applications that need decentralized storage can become the native applications of CESS while having technological support from CESS’s underlying infrastructure, helping CESS form an ecosystem.

You guys asked really good questions! Thank you all for being so engaging! 💛

TwilightMaster | Vespertine Capital : Thanks so much for your time today. We learnt so much about CESS today! It’s a crash course on decentralized storage and how CESS is reinventing the commercial storage space.

⚙️ Find out more about CESS:
Website | Twitter | Telegram | Discord | Github | Medium