Grants, and What's Next for Livepeer Research


#1

The Livepeer mainnet launch on May 1st marks the end of the Snowmelt phase. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the project. We couldn’t have done it without your support!

Livepeer has been fortunate to have a strong community from the beginning. Over the past 18 months, there have been many collaborators who have help the project in different ways. In order to support research efforts in the Livepeer ecosystem, we are excited to announce the Livepeer Development Grants and its first recepients. From now on, these grants will be funded by the independent Livepeer Community Node.

  1. Supermax for creating the Livepeer protocol explorer (1500 LPT)
  2. Team Truebit for continued collaboration in decentralized computation verification research (1250 LPT)

Now that the protocol is live, we can start working on the next phase of the network. In this phase, research will continue to be an important part of the project. Here are the research tracks that community members can participate in -

Decentralized Transcoding Verification
The Livepeer team has been collaborating with the Truebit team on this. We plan to be one of the first Truebit implementations in creating a fully decentralized computation verifier. Github Issue | Discord Discussion

POA Chain For Scalability
One of the biggest bottlenecks in the current system is the high cost of Ethereum transactions, and POA chain is likely the most immediately available scalability solution. However, this is a trade off between centralization, security, and scalability. Github Issue | Discord Discussion

Cosmos / Ethermint For Scalability
Cosmos is another scalability solution for the Livepeer protocol smart contracts. It offers more decentralization and security than POA, however, seems to require more engineering effort. Github Issue | Discord Discussion

Offchain Job Negotiation
Currently, transcoding jobs are assigned to transcoders by the protocol, based on the proportional stake of the transcoders. While this mechanism makes it easy for transcoders to calculate their expected earnings through transcoding fees, it takes away the option for a broadcaster to pick its own transcoder. An alternative approach is to allow broadcasters to negotiate with transcoders offchain, similar to how 0x offchain orders work. This changes the cryptoeconomic assumptions of the network, therefore needs more research & discussions. Github Issue | Discord Discussion

Gas Accounting
The accounting for video transcoding jobs are currently done in 4s segments. This makes it easy to calculate a fee based on the video length, however, doesn’t account for different video resolutions and settings. Github Issue | Discord Discussions

Non-deterministic (GPU-based) Transcoding Verification
GPUs are 2-4x more efficient than CPUs at video transcoding. However, they use floating point calculation, and therefore don’t fit into the current verification scheme. Instead of verifying the transcoding result based on a hash that requires bit-wise exact output, we can use a combination of video fingerprints, gop size, resolution, and video quality to verify a transcode output. Github Issue | Discord Discussions