Tierion Review: The Blockchain Proof & Verification Engine
Tierion is one interesting blockchain project that’s taking on an area unique from others. They are working on data verification but on a massive scale.
More specifically, the team has taken the idea of notarization and the safekeeping of documents, and has shifted it to the protection of digital data. They are trying to make the process of this verification simple and most importantly, cheap.
However, can such a grand vision be realistically achieved?
In this Tierion review we will give you everything that you need to know about the project. We will take a look at their technology, development and team members. We will also analyse the potential for the TNT token to secure more adoption in the long term.
What is Tierion?
Complete verification of data and documents is indeed quite a challenging affair. While there are standard procedures for doing this, these are sometimes dated and have not kept up with the pace at which technology moves. Tierion is trying to make use of immutable blockchain technology to verify this data.
Other companies have tried to do something similar by anchoring data to blockchains, but every one of them ran into the challenge of scalability and were unable to get past this hurdle. These early attempts used the Bitcoin blockchain and published just one document hash alongside each Bitcoin transaction. The problem is Bitcoin doesn’t have nearly enough network throughput to accommodate all the document hashes that needed to be recorded.
And using the Bitcoin network and blockchain became prohibitively expensive, with the cost of each document rising to more than $3 by 2017. As if all this wasn’t enough, the delayed block time from Bitcoin meant the timestamp on the documents weren’t accurate. Tierion’s team has found a way to get past all of these hurdles.
Tierion Use Cases
There are many industries that will be able to benefit massively from a blockchain solution that is capable of verifying and securing data. Healthcare, financial services and insurance are just a few of the industries that spend tens of millions of dollars to authenticate and securely store data every year. Tierion could both simply the process and make it far less expensive. And by transferring all this data to the blockchain it becomes immutable as well.
Tierion was on the right path long before it’s ICO in the summer of 2017. In the short two years of its existence to that point it had already formed a collaboration with Microsoft on data integrity. In addition to that it has also done Internet of Things data work with Phillips, as well as credential verification and auditing work with other companies.
In truth, when you consider the scope of data integrity, data verification, auditing and credential verification, the range of what Tierion can be used for become nearly limitless. Various companies and industries will be able to use it for notarization, for verifying credentials, to provide proof of process, and to timestamp transactions.
Moreover, there are a number of different industries that could make use of the Tierion protocol. They can provide cryptographic proof of order, integrity and timestamp of numerous business processes. These include the likes of supply chains, financial transactions, insurance claims, medical records and KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures.
How Tierion Works
Tierion uses the Chainpoint technology to create what they’ve called the “proof engine”. Through this use of Chainpoint Tierion says it can use blockchain technology to verify data. That includes everything from medical records to financial trades and legal contracts. Their ultimate goal is to simplify the process while making trust less expensive.
Tierion works by anchoring data to a transaction on the blockchain using the proof engine. This allows anyone, at any time to verify the integrity and timestamp of the data simply by looking it up on the trustless blockchain. This removes the need for third party trusted sources such as notaries. Currently Tierion provides this ability for both the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.
Chainpoint is the open standard that can be used by any developer for linking data with a blockchain to create a timestamp and proof. Chainpoint includes several developer tools, and has been used by hundreds of companies to create applications that utilize data linking. Chainpoint is also the foundation of the Tierion Network.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the Tierion Network is its Proof application that is expected to launch in early 2019. The Proof application runs on Chainpoint, which will allow it to scale to millions of daily proofs. A proof is where a business verifies the integrity of data and timestamp without using a third party trusted source. Businesses will be able to get started in just a few mouse clicks, and data verification will be quick, simple and inexpensive.
Team & Investors
When taking a look at the viability of a project, it is really important dig into the background of the core team members. The Tierion team seems to be quite an impressive mix of business and engineering experience. Tierion was co-founded by Wayne Vaughn (CEO) and Jason Bukowksi (Lead Developer).
Vaughn started his career in the mid 1990s with a digital marketing agency and was responsible for creating one of the first SaaS marketing automation platforms. He is also on the Advisory Board of Blockchain Capital.
Bukowski has been primarily involved in developing highly scalable software. He developed one of the very first real-time web analytics platforms and now serves as the Lead Developer for Chainpoint. The two are joined by VP of Engineering Glenn Rempe who is the principle architect of Tierion, as well as VP of Business Development Pierre Wolff and Head of Marketing Adam Evers.
There are also some high profile companies in the blockchain space that have invested in Tierion. These include the likes of blockchain capital, the Digital Currency Group and Fenbushi Capital. The Digital Currency Group was founded by Barry Silbert and they are the owners of Coindesk, the largest media business in the crypto space.
For a project that began in 2015 I wouldn’t call the Tierion community either large or strong. Probably that’s because Tierion never focused on building a community as they are more interested in selling their solution to other businesses. In any case, the Tierion blog hasn’t been updated in over a month, and on Twitter, where there are 17k followers of Tierion there are gaps of 7-10 days between tweets.
The Tierion Reddit boasts just over 2,500 readers. The largest active group is on Telegram, where the team is also mist active, and there are currently 4,319 members of the Telegram group.
The TNT Token
Tierion conducted its ICO in July 2017, with a hard cap of $25 million. That was a pretty ambitious figure at the time, but it took just 1 day to meet the $25 million hard cap, with 350 million of the total supply of 1 billion TNT tokens sold for $0.0710 each. An additional 350 million were kept as future incentives to the ecosystem, 290 million were retained by Tierion, and 10 million were used to cover the cost of the token sale.
Anyone can earn TNT tokens by running a node. These node operators receive TNT as a reward for securing the network and improving its scale and reliability. TNT tokens will also be used to access network services such as Chainpoint and the upcoming Proof.
TNT tokens rallied immediately following the ICO, with the price nearly reaching $0.23 by late August 2017. Price then dropped all the way to $0.047 by October and November, which was surely disappointing for the ICO investors. They got a second chance however when TNT rocketed higher in December along with the broader cryptocurrency markets.
The token hit its all time high of $0.445170 on January 8, 2018 and has since headed steadily lower until the beginning of February 2019, where it trades at just $0.014759 and is ranked #303 by market cap on Coinmarketcap.com.
If you aren’t interested in running a node but still want to hold some TNT tokens you can buy them on several exchanges. Binance is by far the largest, and controls nearly all the trading volume in TNT. There is also a very small trading volume on Huobi Global, and the token is listed on a small number of other exchanges, but there is no trading volume to speak of at these smaller exchanges.
To get a sense of just how much work is being done on a project it is helps to take a look into their GitHub. This is generally a rough reflection of how much code is being pushed and committed by the developers.
In the case of Tierion, there are two GitHubs of interest. These are the Tierion project and that of Chainpoint. Taking a deeper look at the code commits, it is quite clear that the Chainpoint one has had the most activity of the two. Below are the commits of the most active Chainpoint repositories.
While this is a good sign that the project is still working on their protocols, there is way less activity than in other projects that we have seen in the space. For example, the project currently ranks at 297th in code tracking sites.
Of course, there could be other reasons for the relatively low levels of activity. Perhaps the protocols are already well developed and are just being maintained. The Tierion team is also busy working on other projects like the Proof application.
This application is due to be launched sometime in the next few months so it will be interesting to see exactly what the technology involves and whether it can really entice enterprise and business clients.
With several years under its belt and key partnerships with several global technology companies it looks like Tierion is positioned well for the future. Tierion was the first company to make it possible to anchor data to the blockchain in a scalable fashion, which should lead to applications across a wide variety of industries.
While the community behind Tierion doesn’t seem too active and remains small, it isn’t a large community that the company is after. Rather it has focused on partnering with companies who can use the technology, and plans on growth by that route.
While some people might be concerned about the drop in price for the TNT token, we do want to note that the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem has been in a year-long bear market. Once the bear market dissipates and the Tierion ecosystem grows larger we should see a commensurate rise in the price of TNT.
Overall it looks like a strong project that has been able to deliver and is ready to move into the future as a supporting blockchain across nearly every industry.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.