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Skrumble Network Code Review: Decentralized Comms

Skrumble doesn't need a blockchain, and the blockchain doesn't need Skrumble.

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Skrumble Network makes a lot of bold claims about its upcoming ICO and its new communications application, which its tokenizing with the SKM token.

“Skrumble Network is a completely new, innovative blockchain and application that centers on creating the most secure connections for communication possible.”

“Skrumble Network is a secure, communication-centric blockchain, decentralized communication applications and a communication layer for developers to add into any application.”

Bold claims.

A quick note on streaming versus event driven. A blockchain (in the traditional sense) is event driven. Event A triggers event B and this stops. Communication is stream driven, a channel is opened between A and B, and data is constantly streamed. A blockchain, is not communication-centric.

There are quite a few use cases for blockchain, but communication streaming is not one of them. 

“Along with building a proprietary, secure blockchain, Skrumble will also build the first complete full spectrum decentralized communication application that will breakthrough traditional firewalls, enable reputation management while assuring user anonymity, guarantee content and data privacy delivered with features like messaging, calling, video, file sharing, and more. The Skrumble Network blockchain and application will also create opportunities for people to add decentralized communication elements into any ecosystem or platform.”

So, they are building the blockchain, and they are also building the decentralized communication application. So these are two separate things? And how exactly will it breakthrough traditional firewalls? Random port selection? Metamorphic headers? Just being p2p isn’t enough.

No mention of how Consensus is achieved. They mention validation nodes, so I assume authority.

Increased payloads, so expect a lot of bloat.

Secure Real-time Transport Protocol, it aims to be low bandwidth (while adding encryption?), low computational cost (low computational cost = low encryption). This is a trifecta problem, you can’t have security, small payloads, and low computational overhead.

There is a lot going on in this whitepaper, but I’m struggling to tie the pieces together: their core is the p2p messenger, and then blockchain is just strapped on to the back of it. The p2p messenger idea is nice, but I feel the blockchain is pointless. What value does it really add? Identity management? Initiating call sessions? Everything that makes the p2p messenger good is made bad by adding a blockchain. 

But let’s look at the three notable advantages

  1. Skrumble cannot be blocked by conventional firewalls (yes it can, on the current evidence).
  2. Has user-controlled record storage. Sure.
  3. Superior encryption of every conversation (but also being low bandwidth and have low computational overhead).

So I can’t see any reason they need their own blockchain, and more specifically they have no experience with blockchains, they are a messaging company, so do I think they can build a cool p2p messaging app? Sure.

Do they need a blockchain? Well, read our full Skrumble ICO review.

But ok, let’s get to some code: there isn’t any blockchain code, so we will look at the messaging code.

 

 

I expect them to leverage what they know, so it’s safe to assume they will stick to their react-native-js-sdk-demo app (React Native allows you to develop cross-platform for iOS and Android)

So let’s jump into it.

 

 

Initial commit, 12 days ago, interesting timing. Let’s not speculate. This is just a demo, so I will try to not be over stringent. But even in a demo, I like to see the right patterns applied. This is a very raw prototype, no Redux, no dumb/smart components, no state control. At the same time, this demo is probably meant to just quickly show the skills of their js-sdk, so let’s assume that and move on.

 

 

Rest is mostly boilerplate. Let’s look at chatlist.

 

 

Seems rushed. Nothing here and LoginForm is bland as well. Let’s find something else to look at.

 

 

Their js-sdk, let’s have a look, it has seen more attention.

 

 

Not a lot in the repo, and recently modified.

 

 

Started on April 4th. Have they been closed source all this time and only started to release code recently? I was under the impression they were a well established existing company.

Skrumble Android app:

 

 

100 installs. 100 installs. Don’t know how else to say that. 100 installs.

 

 

15 ratings. 15 ratings. Ok, you get the picture.

So, not as established as I had originally thought. Had a quick look at the team as well, lots of mobile developers. No blockchain developers. Starting to look like a company that is just pivoting to blockchain because they needed to reinvent themselves.

Let’s continue with the code.

 

 

REST boilerplate and wrappers. Moving on.

 

 

And SDK wrapper for their API.

I will comment, it’s good commenting, good structure and layout, but there isn’t anything here, it’s just a wrapper. Not more than a few weeks of work.

Rest of the code isn’t available, we could still decode the Android APK, but I think I have seen enough.

Skrumble ICO Conclusion

I don’t see any blockchain experience or skillset on the team, or any real purpose for the blockchain, they look to be an existing application that is pivoting to blockchain to capitalize on the hype.

There are other free p2p messengers out there.

 

Read the full Skrumble ICO Review.

 

Disclaimer: Crypto Briefing code reviews are performed by auditing what is on display in the master branch of the repo’s made available. This was performed as an educational review and any comments in the article are the opinion of the writer. It is normal for code to change rapidly, hence we timestamp our code reviews so that they present a snapshot at a moment in time. Information contained herein should not be used as any comment or advice on the project as a whole.

Skrumble Code Review Timestamp: April 24th, 2018 at 08:12 GMT

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