Blockchain technology has often been proposed as a solution to the problems inherent with centralized systems. Blockchain projects are being developed to provide decentralized computing, storage, and a suite of applications to realize a decentralized future. However, these projects all continue to build atop the same underlying network infrastructure consisting of switches and routers connected by Ethernet, a foundation which remains fragile due to being insecure, difficult to manage, and centrally controlled.
Marconi is a networking and blockchain protocol that allows smart contracts for network packets and is designed to meet these challenges. The protocol has been designed down to layer 2 of the OSI model and works with wired and wireless standards. You can read the white paper to learn more about systems and methods for processing network packets using smart contracts, forming secure mesh networks with decentralized traffic auditing and metering, virtualizing and binding OSI layer 2 connections, ranking peer nodes, and performing decentralized distributed network routing.
Network packets can be routed and processed using programmable packets. This technology unlocks numerous use cases for smart decentralized networking applications such as anti-phishing and anti-malware protection, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and distributed virtual private networks.
Programmable packet data will be stored in branch chains as described in the white paper to help offload data from the global chain. While branch chains are under development, a preview of programmable packets is being made available now so developers can start experimenting with networking applications. These programmable packets still provide powerful networking features like support for packet filters that can intelligently block or allow individual network packets. These filters enable developers to create applications such as intelligent Firewalls for securing network traffic.
In the future, additional APIs will be released for increased functionality like packet inspection which can enable other applications like intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS).
To create a Marconi Network Filter, developers simply need to define an object which implements the Filter interface. Developers define an Execute method which is invoked for every network packet going through the smart contract processor. This interface allows developers to process individual packets based on attributes such as header content and then return a response which drops or allows each packet. For clarity an accompanying message can also be associated with each response.