Susmit Lavania is co-founder and CTO of Huddle01, a communication infrastructure driving cross-chain audio and video at the convergence of Web2 and Web3 backed by Balaji Srinivasa, Hivemind, Consensys, and more. Before Huddle01, Susmit was co-founder and CEO of OC2, India’s first decentralized exchange, and Lead Blockchain Architect at CoinDCX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Huddle01 offers its own video conferencing Dapp, audio spaces Dapp, and seamless Google Calendar integration for scheduling, trusted by Messari and other high profile Web3 brands. Currently, the team is building the first decentralized real-time communication (RTC) network, emphasizing user-powered nodes, safeguarding privacy and security, and enabling high-quality, scalable interactions.
Would you please enumerate the key differences between traditional WebRTC and Decentralized Real-Time Communication (dRTC) systems, and how do these differences impact performance and security? Moreover, when talking about real-time communications, how do you plan to mitigate the challenges of network latency, especially in relation to a decentralized comms setup?
Well, I don’t want to get overly technical because there are a lot of intricacies involved with these models. However, when talking about traditional WebRTC architectures in general, we can say these systems run on archaic fundamentals, where every individual data stream passes through a central server. This creates a single point of failure and can be a bottleneck for performance as well.
On the other hand, dRTC leverages a decentralized architecture, distributing the aforementioned data streams across multiple nodes, enhancing not only the security of the platform but also making it more robust in terms of end-to-end encryption. Performance-wise, dRTC offers lower latency thanks to its deployment of algorithms like SFU (Selective Forwarding Unit) that help optimize data stream routing.
To mitigate the challenges of network latency within a decentralized, distributed setup, we’re actively developing advanced routing algorithms that can dynamically adjust data paths based on real-time network conditions, allowing us to ensure that each network participant receives only information that is relevant to them.
How does Huddle01 plan to maintain its scalability while ensuring its decentralized nature? Moreover, you have mentioned in your company’s mission statement that you plan to connect 100 million people using Huddle01 by 2026. What technical milestones have you outlined/achieved to make such a monumental task a living reality?
From day one, our mission has been to ensure that Huddle01 remains scalable without compromising on its decentralized nature. To ensure this, we have devised an algorithmic framework that helps us manage our relayed data efficiently. Moreover, our platform is horizontally scalable, allowing additional notes to enter the ecosystem seamlessly and increase its processing capacity.
As for our ambitious goal to connect 100 million people by 2026, we’ve laid out a comprehensive technical roadmap on our website. For starters, we’re working on implementing a host of future-ready technologies to distribute our network load effectively and efficiently. We’re also focusing on enhancing our SDKs to make them more developer-friendly and versatile, thereby encouraging broader adoption. Features like token-gated livestreams and multi-chain wallet support have already been implemented to make the platform more accessible and versatile.
Can you elaborate on how Huddle01’s Simulcast implementation optimizes video quality based on existing network conditions? Moreover, what codecs have you used for simulcast and the mobile app? What are the trade-offs involved between the two setups?
Simulcast is the technological cornerstone of Huddle01’s video streaming capabilities, allowing us to send multiple versions of the same video stream at varying resolutions and bitrates. This is crucial in a decentralized environment where network conditions can be highly variable. The receiving client can select the most appropriate stream based on their current network conditions, thus maximizing their viewing experience.
The selection of codecs was a meticulously calculated decision, derived from comprehensive testing and adherence to industry benchmarks. Our Media Nodes are equipped with premier support for contemporary media codecs, such as H.264, H.265, VP8, and VP9, all bolstered with Simulcast capabilities. The codec deployed in any given meeting is determined by the inherent codec compatibility of the participating client devices.
The codec utilized in a specific meeting is tailored to the built-in compatibility of the attending client devices. Based on our testing, the majority of these devices predominantly support H.264 and VP8 codecs.
How does the use of a decentralized operational framework affect the governance and decision-making processes involved with RTC platforms? Would you please elaborate on how a distributed setup enhances data privacy of these platforms?
In a decentralized operational framework like Huddle01’s, governance and decision-making processes are inherently different from those offered by traditional centralized systems. As mentioned earlier, centralized models often have a single entity making decisions on everyone’s behalf, which is not the case with dRTC systems.
To answer the second part of your question, data privacy is significantly enhanced in a decentralized setup because the information contained in the network is distributed across multiple nodes, each of whom is secured and end-to-end encrypted. Such a distributed style of data storage and management makes it far more challenging for unauthorized access to occur.
On the topic of security, how does one ensure that end-to-end encryption is maintained in a decentralized communications system? What are the challenges involved?
Security is of paramount when it comes to any communication system, but the challenges are magnified in a decentralized environment. In Huddle01’s decentralized framework, encryption is maintained through our robust cryptographic algorithms. Each node in the network is authenticated and encrypted, ensuring that data remains confidential and integral as it traverses through multiple nodes.
In terms of the challenges involved in maintaining end-to-end encryption within a decentralized setup, the issue is extremely multifaceted. One of the primary challenges is the complexity of managing cryptographic keys across a distributed system. Ensuring that each node securely stores and manages these keys without compromising them is crucial. Another challenge is latency; while encryption and decryption processes are computationally intensive, they must be optimized to ensure they don’t introduce unacceptable delays in real-time communication.
What are some of the key considerations that go into making an API (related to a distributed comms ecosystem) developer-friendly?
Creating a developer-friendly API in a decentralized environment poses a unique set of challenges. For starters, the API needs to be flexible enough to accommodate various blockchains. This is something we’ve really focused on with our Wallet01 package. Moreover, the APIs should be modular, allowing developers to pick and choose the features they need.
Speaking a little more broadly, I feel high-quality documentation is an aspect many firms ignore. In my view, system documentation needs to be crafted in a manner that is not only comprehensive but also easy to understand, especially given the complex nature of decentralized systems. My team and I are continually iterating our APIs, taking feedback from our community to make it as user-friendly as possible while maintaining its robust functionality.
Susmit Lavania highlights key differences between traditional WebRTC and Decentralized Real-Time Communication (dRTC) systems. With focus on performance and security implications, he addresses network latency in a decentralized communication setup. He emphasizes Huddle01’s commitment to scalability outlining their technical milestones to connect 100 million people by 2026. He explains the use of Simulcast for optimizing video quality and the selection of codecs, exploring the trade-offs involved. The decentralized operational framework of Huddle01 is discussed, how it affects governance, decision-making, and data privacy. End-to-end encryption in a decentralized system is described, with challenges involved in key management and latency. Touching on making a developer-friendly API in a distributed communications ecosystem, stressing the need for flexibility, modularity, and user-friendly documentation to support developers.