Off-Chain Messages and Aggregation
Catenis allows our customers to log or send off-chain messages in real-time that get aggregated and logged to the blockchain periodically for cryptographic verification and proof of delivery. This eliminates concerns of high transaction costs or bloating the Bitcoin blockchain with unnecessary information (continuously adding data to Bitcoin transactions increases the size of the blockchain and is considered spamming the blockchain). This is frowned upon by the community that supports the Bitcoin infrastructure. Off-chain messages use Catenis’ aggregation capabilities which is the default, inexpensive and recommended way of sending or logging messages. While you can always use the standard log or standard send methods that directly leverage Bitcoin’s peer network for transaction relaying, the off-chain aggregation technology provides robust functionality at significantly reduced costs. By leveraging the aggregation capabilities customers can send thousands of off-chain messages that get encrypted, hashed, and stored on the blockchain in large batches via a Merkel Tree. The root of this tree is published in a Bitcoin transaction. The content is placed in IPFS, except the blockchain control mechanism is used to anchor the aggregated batch to a bitcoin transaction periodically.
When sending off-chain messages it is possible to also request a read receipt. These read receipts get logged to the blockchain along with their message content, leveraging the same Catenis aggregation technology.
The periodic logging can be controlled at the Catenis gateway level and is presently configured to log four times a day for applications that use the Catenis hub (cloud solution). This period for the Hub is fixed and is subject to change in future versions releases of the system. For gateways, it can be configured based on your preferences.