Althea is a platform for distributed payments in a cooperative or multi-entity network. It combines a micro-transaction framework for programmatic and near real-time payments between peers. Althea network offers a powerful vision for the future by removing the friction of legacy structures and unlocking access to finance and connectivity for all. It is a solution for the inflexible payment methods and many capital inefficiencies that prohibit infrastructure investment.
The internet is the essence of how we communicate, how we access interaction, speak our truths, conduct business and explore opportunities. It's where we learn, associate with others, and where the opportunities of the future are. So, it’s no surprise that a core use case of the Althea platform is connectivity.
The legacy structures of connectivity and the markets for last mile internet, showcase the inefficiencies common to legacy models. They are capital inefficient, the process creates friction and long sales cycles. The reasons that ISPs have some of the worst customer satisfaction scores isn’t because they are evil and malignant, but because the systems are fundamentally misaligned.
The current models don’t work well for last mile providers either. Take New York City for example, where roughly 29% of households lack access to broadband. That’s a market of over 3,000,000 people that legacy telecom does not serve.
In the core of the internet, however, where carriers charge each other, we create instances where markets are open and packets flow freely over vast interconnected networks. Costs go down, capacity goes up. It works.
Althea is the thesis that we can bring this open marketplace to the user and shift the balance of power, ownership and choice, with systems that work well and align user and provider.
Althea Platform Overview
Althea provides software defined networking in conjunction with tokenized “liquid” infrastructure to create fully democratized, open market network architectures
- A powerful blockchain based platform for micro-transactions, settles payments immediately, programmatically and transparently.
- Althea’s software defined networking algorithms, built into its routers and devices, allow users to select desired cost and performance parameters and the network dynamically routes traffic to meet those requirements
- Tokenizing the infrastructure (Liquid Infrastructure) allows anyone (operators, end users, funds, individuals) to participate in the funding and ownership of the physical assets in the network
- Althea democratizes networks by enabling buyers of any scale to participate in the ownership and economic benefit of network assets – including new assets that potentially create competitive infrastructure or access underserved markets
Under the Hood: The Althea Tech Stack
- Price Aware Routing and micro-transaction billing
- User Focused Experience - Router dash and embedded wallet, plug-and-play implementation
- Network operators: Network support and operator tools, managed routers and transparent metrics
- Hardware Agnostic: Fixed wireless, fiber, NOW KeyLTE
- Blockchain Interoperability: Gravity Bridge and Interchain Accounts
Pay Per Forward: Every router loaded with Althea software contains our unique forwarding protocol, which pays network routers for forwarding service. Creates near real-time settlement of transactions, with stable currencies, programmatically and transparently on the blockchain.
Price Aware Routing: Althea utilizes a dynamic, distance vector routing protocol weighted by user choice of cost or latency. This agile routing system enables resiliency, reliability and modularity.
By default, Althea routing protocols will try to select the route with a balance in quality and cost. From the Althea Router Dashboard, individual users may set their service to prioritize quality and price on a sliding scale.
Operator Tools: Althea’s Operator Tools is an online dashboard with a suite of tools for monitoring, managing, and deploying networks based on the Althea platform. Operator Tools provides a place to keep track of both the technical and financial aspects of your network.
Gravity Bridge: Gravity Bridge is decentralized blockchain, bridging Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystems. Connected to Althea, Gravity enables distributed bandwidth networks to use stablecoins on Althea’s sovereign chain, ensuring telecom level reliability and seamless UX.
KeyLTE: Althea’s KeyLTE revolutionizes the deployment of public and private LTE networks by creating a simple and flexible toolkit for LTE. Easy plug-and-play design and maintenance allows builders to scale their networks to meet their needs and aspirations.
Holistic Network Implementation
This modularity of design becomes the building blocks of holistic networks. Pay-for-forward billing enables a variety of different investment structures, while the service can be maintained sustainably locally. The distributed, capital efficient design and flexible payment implementation opens new markets that were previously siloed behind rigid rental structures.
The network operator support software and plug-and-play design empowers more entities to build and encourages new entrants to the market, blending the distinction of public and private networks.
With KeyLTE and pay-per-forward revenue share, networks can be built and extended nearly limitlessly and used for mobile and industrial applications, including precision agriculture, smart cities, iot and broadband.
User Driven Design
Althea was designed to provide access to the composability and modularity of blockchain systems with an intuitive user interface. Similar to how users can interact with browsers without the educational lift of understanding TCP/IP, Althea created an embedded, easy to use wallet that doesn’t require any special knowledge or expertise.
In the future, this wallet will connect with the Gravity Bridge, an interoperable blockchain bridge between ethereum and the Cosmos ecosystem. Together with Interchain accounts and single transaction signing, Althea users could access other blockchains, DEXs, and utilities all from their dashboard.
Currently, users pay in stable digital currency “digital dollars” which is distributed to entities with infrastructure in the network or who maintain the service components. This creates an equitable, transparent, and programmatic coordination layer for distributing network revenue. An easy-to-use payment widget allows users to load routers using a debit card, and available customer service provides all expected functions of a legacy ISP, with the added benefits of a decentralized network, instead of a monopolistic one.
The Future of the Platform
Althea was founded in 2018 and since its inception, networks using the platform have been built across the US in 8 states, as well as Africa, proving that better systems can not only open new markets in challenging areas, but can flourish.
With the upcoming launch of Althea’s blockchain for telecom, the platform will migrate from it’s home on xdai to Althea chain and connect to the Gravity Bridge, opening up new opportunities for growth and welcoming new ecosystem participants.
Althea is a paradigm shift from brittle and inefficient legacy systems, to open and accessible structures, that unlock the future of finance and connectivity.