The Shenzen-based firm, which was founded in 2003, explained in its press release that ThunderChain was capable of concurrently handling millions of transsactions per second (TPS), and that it was based on a “proprietary homogeneous multichain framework” that allows multiple transactions to be executed in different chains in parallel. Its optimized Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) consensus algortithm enables the generation of one block per second.
Xunlei also added that ThunderChain’s blockchain is based on Ethereum, and so it supports smart contracts written in the Solidity language, thereby making it easy to port Solidity applications written for other blockchain platforms.
ThunderChain improves on the blockchain product Xunlei introduced 10 October 2017 when the company launched its blockchain-based cryptocurrency called “OneCoin” (also known as “Wanke Coin”). This virtual currency later got renamed to “Lianke” (or “LinkToken” in English).
Users would be rewarded with LinkToken by “sharing idle network bandwidth, storage space and computing resources” using a “Network Attached Storage” (NAS) device called “OneThing Cloud” that they would need to buy from Xunlei. Controversially, Lianke tokens were issued by Xunlei only a month after Chinese regulators had banned domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The huge amount of excitement around blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies resulted in the Xunlei stock price rising around 500% within one month to around $20, but the stock price dropped to around $10 in January 2018 after an announcement on 12 Januuary 2018 by China’s National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), a self-regulatory association launched by the People's Bank of China.
NIFA warned the public that Xunlei’s cryptocurrency project amounted to raising financing through an “Initial Mining Offering” (IMO), which is essentially “a disguised ICO”.
This resulted in Xunlei being hit by two class action lawsuits, on 18th and 24th of January 2018. According to filings with the New York Southern District Court, these actions were filed by investors who had bought Xunlei stock between 10 October 2017 and 11 January 2018; the plaintiffs claimed that Xunlei has knowingly misled investors by conducting an illegal ‘disguised ICO’.