Loki combines a private transaction network based on Monero with economically incentivised service nodes to create a trustless quorum based networking protocol. This protocol allows anyone to route small packets of data in an anonymous and decentralised way. The front end applications that use this packet routing system are private-by-design, and are known as Service Node Apps “SNApps”; the first of which is the Loki Messenger - a decentralised, anonymous and private messaging service.
Loki uses a hybrid of Proof of Work and Proof of Service, in a similar fashion to how DASH is secured by PoW but also has a reward for masternodes through a Proof of Service.
The total token supply is 150 million coins however, there is a tail emission of 0.5 per annum after the cap is hit. The current supply can be seen at https://lokiblocks.com
The Service Nodes form a second layer network that allows for anonymous networking using a novel garlic routing technology. SNApps are the front-end views enabled by this network, such as the Messenger and other applications such as a generalised mixnet. SNApps do not run on the blockchain, but rely on the consensus rules of the blockchain to enforce Service Node behaviours. This also means that SNApps do not impact blockchain scalabilty.
Service Nodes don't mine blocks but do propagate and validate blocks like regular full nodes.
The unique property of the Service Node network is that because of the staking requirement, it becomes very expensive to collect enough Loki to do effective temporal analysis on the network. Therefore, users are afforded protection against this kind of analysis, but only if the network only allows routing to be done by the Service Nodes.
Yes, they are called Service Nodes in Loki.
Loki Messenger will be a decentralised, end-to-end encrypted private messaging service. There are already applications that provide a platform for users to send messages without revealing their contents, however they rely on centralised servers that governments or third parties can target. By leveraging the power of public-private key cryptography and the Service Node architecture on the Loki network, we can create a service similar to Signal, a secure messaging application with the added benefit of decentralisation and network anonymity.
In the sense that their core function is 'decentralised,' yes. However, unlike most DApps, SNApps do not rely on on-chain execution or computation. All SNApps are computed client-side, and the networking is handled offchain by the Service Node network.
Aside from some minor changes in approach to the core currency, we implement a Service Node network that performs a variety of functions, including an anonymous networking layer, trustless quorum-based instant transactions through a system called "Blink," and a range of functions that leverage the networking layer to do things like secure, private messaging.
Loki provides both private transaction and private communication functionality, so the use case presents itself to users who want the highest level of privacy in their communication channels. As more SNApps are developed we imagine Loki will present it self as the network to run privacy-centric applications on top of.
It is not an ERC20 token. Loki is it's own coin running it's own mainnet. See https://lokiblocks.com
This number has not been finalized, however it will be change depending on the block height. The collateral requirement will adjust downward over time.