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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation


In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.



Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:

Offline Multi-Signature

Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.

Regular Transparent Audits

Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.

Insurance Requirements

Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.


Background and Justifications


Cold Storage Custody/Management
After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems:
• Funds stored online or in a smart contract,
• Access controlled by one person or one system,
• 51% attacks (rare),
• Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or
• Some combination of the above.
For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program.
The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms.
• 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective.
• The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated.
The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II.

On The Subject of Third Party Custodians
Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems.
However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies.
There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both.

On The Subject Of Insurance
ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC.
However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline[] to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance.
In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework.
A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians.

On The Subject of Fractional Reserve
There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds.
There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past.

Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability
Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis.
The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users.
Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit.
The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided.
Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense.

Hot Wallet Management
The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets.
However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process.
A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage.
Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.

Current Draft Proposal

(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage.
(a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet.
(b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time).
(c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.
(d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds.
(e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers.
(2) Regular and transparent solvency audits.
(a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row.
(b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored.
(c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process.
(d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify.
(e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible.
(3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions.
(a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets.
(b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy.
(c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage.
(d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange.
(e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.

Steps Forward

Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized.
The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges.
The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Bitcoin (BTC)A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.

Bitcoin (BTC)A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that aims to function as a means of exchange that is independent of any central authority. BTC can be transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable, and immutable way.
  • Launched in 2009, BTC is the first virtual currency to solve the double-spending issue by timestamping transactions before broadcasting them to all of the nodes in the Bitcoin network. The Bitcoin Protocol offered a solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem with a blockchain network structure, a notion first created by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta in 1991.
  • Bitcoin’s whitepaper was published pseudonymously in 2008 by an individual, or a group, with the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”, whose underlying identity has still not been verified.
  • The Bitcoin protocol uses an SHA-256d-based Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm to reach network consensus. Its network has a target block time of 10 minutes and a maximum supply of 21 million tokens, with a decaying token emission rate. To prevent fluctuation of the block time, the network’s block difficulty is re-adjusted through an algorithm based on the past 2016 block times.
  • With a block size limit capped at 1 megabyte, the Bitcoin Protocol has supported both the Lightning Network, a second-layer infrastructure for payment channels, and Segregated Witness, a soft-fork to increase the number of transactions on a block, as solutions to network scalability.

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1. What is Bitcoin (BTC)?

  • Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that aims to function as a means of exchange and is independent of any central authority. Bitcoins are transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable, and immutable way.
  • Network validators, whom are often referred to as miners, participate in the SHA-256d-based Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to determine the next global state of the blockchain.
  • The Bitcoin protocol has a target block time of 10 minutes, and a maximum supply of 21 million tokens. The only way new bitcoins can be produced is when a block producer generates a new valid block.
  • The protocol has a token emission rate that halves every 210,000 blocks, or approximately every 4 years.
  • Unlike public blockchain infrastructures supporting the development of decentralized applications (Ethereum), the Bitcoin protocol is primarily used only for payments, and has only very limited support for smart contract-like functionalities (Bitcoin “Script” is mostly used to create certain conditions before bitcoins are used to be spent).

2. Bitcoin’s core features

For a more beginner’s introduction to Bitcoin, please visit Binance Academy’s guide to Bitcoin.

Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model

A UTXO transaction works like cash payment between two parties: Alice gives money to Bob and receives change (i.e., unspent amount). In comparison, blockchains like Ethereum rely on the account model.
https://preview.redd.it/t1j6anf8f3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=33bd141d8f2136a6f32739c8cdc7aae2e04cbc47

Nakamoto consensus

In the Bitcoin network, anyone can join the network and become a bookkeeping service provider i.e., a validator. All validators are allowed in the race to become the block producer for the next block, yet only the first to complete a computationally heavy task will win. This feature is called Proof of Work (PoW).
The probability of any single validator to finish the task first is equal to the percentage of the total network computation power, or hash power, the validator has. For instance, a validator with 5% of the total network computation power will have a 5% chance of completing the task first, and therefore becoming the next block producer.
Since anyone can join the race, competition is prone to increase. In the early days, Bitcoin mining was mostly done by personal computer CPUs.
As of today, Bitcoin validators, or miners, have opted for dedicated and more powerful devices such as machines based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (“ASIC”).
Proof of Work secures the network as block producers must have spent resources external to the network (i.e., money to pay electricity), and can provide proof to other participants that they did so.
With various miners competing for block rewards, it becomes difficult for one single malicious party to gain network majority (defined as more than 51% of the network’s hash power in the Nakamoto consensus mechanism). The ability to rearrange transactions via 51% attacks indicates another feature of the Nakamoto consensus: the finality of transactions is only probabilistic.
Once a block is produced, it is then propagated by the block producer to all other validators to check on the validity of all transactions in that block. The block producer will receive rewards in the network’s native currency (i.e., bitcoin) as all validators approve the block and update their ledgers.

The blockchain

Block production

The Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Merkle tree data structure in order to organize hashes of numerous individual transactions into each block. This concept is named after Ralph Merkle, who patented it in 1979.
With the use of a Merkle tree, though each block might contain thousands of transactions, it will have the ability to combine all of their hashes and condense them into one, allowing efficient and secure verification of this group of transactions. This single hash called is a Merkle root, which is stored in the Block Header of a block. The Block Header also stores other meta information of a block, such as a hash of the previous Block Header, which enables blocks to be associated in a chain-like structure (hence the name “blockchain”).
An illustration of block production in the Bitcoin Protocol is demonstrated below.

https://preview.redd.it/m6texxicf3151.png?width=1591&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4253304912ed8370948b9c524e08fef28f1c78d

Block time and mining difficulty

Block time is the period required to create the next block in a network. As mentioned above, the node who solves the computationally intensive task will be allowed to produce the next block. Therefore, block time is directly correlated to the amount of time it takes for a node to find a solution to the task. The Bitcoin protocol sets a target block time of 10 minutes, and attempts to achieve this by introducing a variable named mining difficulty.
Mining difficulty refers to how difficult it is for the node to solve the computationally intensive task. If the network sets a high difficulty for the task, while miners have low computational power, which is often referred to as “hashrate”, it would statistically take longer for the nodes to get an answer for the task. If the difficulty is low, but miners have rather strong computational power, statistically, some nodes will be able to solve the task quickly.
Therefore, the 10 minute target block time is achieved by constantly and automatically adjusting the mining difficulty according to how much computational power there is amongst the nodes. The average block time of the network is evaluated after a certain number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, the difficulty level will decrease; if it is less than the expected block time, the difficulty level will increase.

What are orphan blocks?

In a PoW blockchain network, if the block time is too low, it would increase the likelihood of nodes producingorphan blocks, for which they would receive no reward. Orphan blocks are produced by nodes who solved the task but did not broadcast their results to the whole network the quickest due to network latency.
It takes time for a message to travel through a network, and it is entirely possible for 2 nodes to complete the task and start to broadcast their results to the network at roughly the same time, while one’s messages are received by all other nodes earlier as the node has low latency.
Imagine there is a network latency of 1 minute and a target block time of 2 minutes. A node could solve the task in around 1 minute but his message would take 1 minute to reach the rest of the nodes that are still working on the solution. While his message travels through the network, all the work done by all other nodes during that 1 minute, even if these nodes also complete the task, would go to waste. In this case, 50% of the computational power contributed to the network is wasted.
The percentage of wasted computational power would proportionally decrease if the mining difficulty were higher, as it would statistically take longer for miners to complete the task. In other words, if the mining difficulty, and therefore targeted block time is low, miners with powerful and often centralized mining facilities would get a higher chance of becoming the block producer, while the participation of weaker miners would become in vain. This introduces possible centralization and weakens the overall security of the network.
However, given a limited amount of transactions that can be stored in a block, making the block time too longwould decrease the number of transactions the network can process per second, negatively affecting network scalability.

3. Bitcoin’s additional features

Segregated Witness (SegWit)

Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, is a protocol upgrade proposal that went live in August 2017.
SegWit separates witness signatures from transaction-related data. Witness signatures in legacy Bitcoin blocks often take more than 50% of the block size. By removing witness signatures from the transaction block, this protocol upgrade effectively increases the number of transactions that can be stored in a single block, enabling the network to handle more transactions per second. As a result, SegWit increases the scalability of Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
SegWit also makes transactions cheaper. Since transaction fees are derived from how much data is being processed by the block producer, the more transactions that can be stored in a 1MB block, the cheaper individual transactions become.
https://preview.redd.it/depya70mf3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6499aa2131fbf347f8ffd812930b2f7d66be48e
The legacy Bitcoin block has a block size limit of 1 megabyte, and any change on the block size would require a network hard-fork. On August 1st 2017, the first hard-fork occurred, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”), which introduced an 8 megabyte block size limit.
Conversely, Segregated Witness was a soft-fork: it never changed the transaction block size limit of the network. Instead, it added an extended block with an upper limit of 3 megabytes, which contains solely witness signatures, to the 1 megabyte block that contains only transaction data. This new block type can be processed even by nodes that have not completed the SegWit protocol upgrade.
Furthermore, the separation of witness signatures from transaction data solves the malleability issue with the original Bitcoin protocol. Without Segregated Witness, these signatures could be altered before the block is validated by miners. Indeed, alterations can be done in such a way that if the system does a mathematical check, the signature would still be valid. However, since the values in the signature are changed, the two signatures would create vastly different hash values.
For instance, if a witness signature states “6,” it has a mathematical value of 6, and would create a hash value of 12345. However, if the witness signature were changed to “06”, it would maintain a mathematical value of 6 while creating a (faulty) hash value of 67890.
Since the mathematical values are the same, the altered signature remains a valid signature. This would create a bookkeeping issue, as transactions in Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks are documented with these hash values, or transaction IDs. Effectively, one can alter a transaction ID to a new one, and the new ID can still be valid.
This can create many issues, as illustrated in the below example:
  1. Alice sends Bob 1 BTC, and Bob sends Merchant Carol this 1 BTC for some goods.
  2. Bob sends Carols this 1 BTC, while the transaction from Alice to Bob is not yet validated. Carol sees this incoming transaction of 1 BTC to him, and immediately ships goods to B.
  3. At the moment, the transaction from Alice to Bob is still not confirmed by the network, and Bob can change the witness signature, therefore changing this transaction ID from 12345 to 67890.
  4. Now Carol will not receive his 1 BTC, as the network looks for transaction 12345 to ensure that Bob’s wallet balance is valid.
  5. As this particular transaction ID changed from 12345 to 67890, the transaction from Bob to Carol will fail, and Bob will get his goods while still holding his BTC.
With the Segregated Witness upgrade, such instances can not happen again. This is because the witness signatures are moved outside of the transaction block into an extended block, and altering the witness signature won’t affect the transaction ID.
Since the transaction malleability issue is fixed, Segregated Witness also enables the proper functioning of second-layer scalability solutions on the Bitcoin protocol, such as the Lightning Network.

Lightning Network

Lightning Network is a second-layer micropayment solution for scalability.
Specifically, Lightning Network aims to enable near-instant and low-cost payments between merchants and customers that wish to use bitcoins.
Lightning Network was conceptualized in a whitepaper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. Since then, it has been implemented by multiple companies. The most prominent of them include Blockstream, Lightning Labs, and ACINQ.
A list of curated resources relevant to Lightning Network can be found here.
In the Lightning Network, if a customer wishes to transact with a merchant, both of them need to open a payment channel, which operates off the Bitcoin blockchain (i.e., off-chain vs. on-chain). None of the transaction details from this payment channel are recorded on the blockchain, and only when the channel is closed will the end result of both party’s wallet balances be updated to the blockchain. The blockchain only serves as a settlement layer for Lightning transactions.
Since all transactions done via the payment channel are conducted independently of the Nakamoto consensus, both parties involved in transactions do not need to wait for network confirmation on transactions. Instead, transacting parties would pay transaction fees to Bitcoin miners only when they decide to close the channel.
https://preview.redd.it/cy56icarf3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=b239a63c6a87ec6cc1b18ce2cbd0355f8831c3a8
One limitation to the Lightning Network is that it requires a person to be online to receive transactions attributing towards him. Another limitation in user experience could be that one needs to lock up some funds every time he wishes to open a payment channel, and is only able to use that fund within the channel.
However, this does not mean he needs to create new channels every time he wishes to transact with a different person on the Lightning Network. If Alice wants to send money to Carol, but they do not have a payment channel open, they can ask Bob, who has payment channels open to both Alice and Carol, to help make that transaction. Alice will be able to send funds to Bob, and Bob to Carol. Hence, the number of “payment hubs” (i.e., Bob in the previous example) correlates with both the convenience and the usability of the Lightning Network for real-world applications.

Schnorr Signature upgrade proposal

Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (“ECDSA”) signatures are used to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
https://preview.redd.it/hjeqe4l7g3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=8014fb08fe62ac4d91645499bc0c7e1c04c5d7c4
However, many developers now advocate for replacing ECDSA with Schnorr Signature. Once Schnorr Signatures are implemented, multiple parties can collaborate in producing a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.
This would primarily be beneficial for network scalability. When multiple addresses were to conduct transactions to a single address, each transaction would require their own signature. With Schnorr Signature, all these signatures would be combined into one. As a result, the network would be able to store more transactions in a single block.
https://preview.redd.it/axg3wayag3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=93d958fa6b0e623caa82ca71fe457b4daa88c71e
The reduced size in signatures implies a reduced cost on transaction fees. The group of senders can split the transaction fees for that one group signature, instead of paying for one personal signature individually.
Schnorr Signature also improves network privacy and token fungibility. A third-party observer will not be able to detect if a user is sending a multi-signature transaction, since the signature will be in the same format as a single-signature transaction.

4. Economics and supply distribution

The Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Nakamoto consensus, and nodes validate blocks via Proof-of-Work mining. The bitcoin token was not pre-mined, and has a maximum supply of 21 million. The initial reward for a block was 50 BTC per block. Block mining rewards halve every 210,000 blocks. Since the average time for block production on the blockchain is 10 minutes, it implies that the block reward halving events will approximately take place every 4 years.
As of May 12th 2020, the block mining rewards are 6.25 BTC per block. Transaction fees also represent a minor revenue stream for miners.
submitted by D-platform to u/D-platform [link] [comments]

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191026 (Market index 53 — Neutral state)

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191026 (Market index 53 — Neutral state)

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Chinese Encryption Law To Come Into Force Next January China has passed the Encryption Law during the 14th session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) on Oct 26, which will take effect on January 1, 2020.
Libra’s Threat To Central Banks Raises Questions About Its Launch According to AMBCrypto, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, President of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, is the latest think-tank professional to shed some light on Libra’s positive impact. In a recent interview with CNBC, di Mauro admitted that Libra may not receive a green light from lawmakers, adding that it had however managed to sow the seed for the introduction of another global digital currency.
YI Huanhuan: There Will Be National-Level Digital Bank, Digital Asset Exchange, Digital Investment Bank And Digital Asset Management Services Beijing Financial Association Research Institute Dean Yi Huanhuan commented on this politburo study session. YI has made nine predictions on governments’ action and industrial trend based on XI’s remarks. 1. The Cyberspace Administration will likely oversee this [blockchain] field; 2. To establish a national association of blockchain; 3. A large number of blockchain pilots will appear first in the financial industry, and then in government administrations; 4. Chinese national digital currency will play an important role in the world; 5. There will be state level digital banks, digital asset exchanges, digital investment banks and digital asset management; 6. The global blockchain network standards are likely to be set by China; 7. China will generate a large number of world-class leaders, entrepreneurs, and scholars in blockchain; 8. The performance of blockchain will be improved significantly in the next three to five years; 9. Mathematics, cryptography, and computational theory will become the most popular subjects.
Former Deputy Of BOC Governor: China has high blockchain visions, but should be careful with the trading risks and speculations Former Deputy Governor Of Bank Of China WANG Yongli shared his thought with CoinNess that China shows its ambition of establishing a leading global position in blockchain by researching and developing blockchain technology and applications. However, the blockchain technology is on an initial development stage. He urges investors to be careful with the trading risks and speculations as the definition of blockchain hasn’t been clarified, and there are existing issues like “decentralisation, security, high energy consumption” to be solved.
Video Lessons Targeting Blockchain Technology Go Live On CCPPD’s Platform Following the news that XI Jinping, Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, addressed the importance of blockchain in making technological breakthroughs at the eighteenth group learning event organized by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee Oct 24, the Xuexi.cn platform led by the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, or CCPPD, announced Oct 26 the launch of the video lessons targeting the blockchain technology. The videos with a total of 25 lessons mainly include the preliminary introduction to the blockchain technology, the consensus agreement, Bitcoin, Ethereum and smart contracts, blockchain performance improvement, blockchain security, the basic knowledge of big data, in-depth analysis of blockchain instances, as well as the concrete programming code examples.

Encrypted project calendar(October 26, 2019)

KAT/Kambria: Kambria (KAT) Kambria will host the 2019 Southern California Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Conference in Los Angeles on October 26th with IDEAS. BTC/Bitcoin: CoinAgenda Global Summit will be held in Las Vegas from October 26th to 28th Horizen (ZEN): 26 October 2019 (or earlier) ZEN 2.0.19 Upgrade Zen 2.0.19 upgrade at block #610000, which is expected around October 26. IOTA (MIOTA): 26 October 2019 Taipei Workshop “Sam Chen, our Software Engineer, will explain how to use IOTA C Client library & will demonstrate 3 IoT projects running on ESP32 at…” Streamr DATAcoin (DATA): 26 October 2019 Data Union Demonstration “This Saturday, Streamr will hold the first demonstration of data unions, with a community built plugin for users to crowdsell…”

Encrypted project calendar(October 27, 2019)

ICON (ICX): 27 October 2019 Money 20/20 USA Event Money 20/20 USA in Las Vegas from October 27–30. Aeternity (AE): and 5 others 27 October 2019 CoinAgenda Conference CoinAgenda conference in Las Vegas from October 26–28.

Encrypted project calendar(October 28, 2019)

LTC/Litecoin: Litecoin (LTC) 2019 Litecoin Summit will be held from October 28th to October 29th in Las Vegas, USA BTC/Bitcoin: Mt.Gox changes the debt compensation plan submission deadline to October 28 ZEC/Zcash: Zcash (ZEC) will activate the Blossom Agreement on October 28th Stellar (XLM): 28 October 2019 Protocol 12 Upgrade Vote Horizon v0.22.0 has been released, which supports Protocol 12. This gives everyone ample time to prepare for the Protocol 12 upgrade vote Celsius (CEL) and 3 others: 28 October 2019 Litecoin Summit “…The Litecoin Summit offers two fun, jam-packed days with something for everyone.” XFOC (XFOC): The IDAX platform will be online XFOC and will open the XFOC/USDT trading pair at 13:00 on October 28. MEDIUM (MDM): The IDAX platform lists MDM and will open MDM/BTC trading pairs on October 28th at 15:00. ZB/ ZB Blockchain: The “2019 Hamburg Intercontinental Dialogue Conference” hosted by ZB.com will be held from October 28th to November 9th at the Four Seasons Hotel Hamburg, Germany. BQT (BQTX): 28 October 2019 Down for Maintenance BQTX.com will be down for maintenance on the 28th of October from 7 to 12am UTC.

Encrypted project calendar(October 29, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 2nd World Encryption Conference (WCC) will be held in Las Vegas from October 29th to 31st. ICON (ICX): 29 October 2019 Decentralization “As a result, the decentralization schedule of the ICON Network has been changed from September 24, 2019 to October 29, 2019.” Ark (ARK): and 10 others 29 October 2019 WCC 2019 Second annual Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technology event, World Crypto Conference (WCC), October 29th — October 31, 2019. Insifa (ISF): 29 October 2019 Prototype Alpha “We from Insifa have decided to be more open. Our Prototype will be developed in scrum. This means new releases every two weeks.” Enjin Coin (ENJ): 29 October 2019 EnjinCraft Stress Test “Join us Oct. 29 at 7:00pm GMT for a stress test. Let’s try to break #EnjinCraft!” IOTA (MIOTA): 29 October 2019 IOTSWC Barcelona IOT Solutions World Congress Digitalizing Industries conference in Barcelona from October 29–31.

Encrypted project calendar(October 30, 2019)

MIOTA/IOTA: IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 30th at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the topic “How to store data on IOTA Tangle.” TRON (TRX): 30 October 2019 SFBW19 Afterparty “TRON Official SFBW19 Afterparty from 7–10:30 PM in San Francisco.” Horizen (ZEN): 30 October 2019 Horizen Quarterly Update Join our first Quarterly Update on October the 30th at 5 PM UTC/ 1 PM EST. Deeper look into Engineering, BD, Marketing, and more. Aeternity (AE): 30 October 2019 Hardfork “The third hardfork of the æternity Mainnet is scheduled for October 30, 2019.” Valor Token (VALOR): 30 October 2019 Transaction Fees Resume “It’s September and the SMART VALOR Platform is still waiving transaction fees for all members, until October 30th!” Aragon (ANT): 30 October 2019 Singapore Meetup “Aragon on DAOs and DeFi” from 6:30–8:30 PM. Kambria (KAT): 30 October 2019 Outliers Hashed Awards Outliers Hashed awards from October 30–31. Ethereum Classic (ETC): 30 October 2019 Cohort Demo Day “ETC Labs hosts it’s 2nd Cohort Demo Day. Learn about the companies and project being accelerated through the Ethereum Classic ecosystem.”

Encrypted project calendar(October 31, 2019)

Spendcoin (SPND): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Cross Ledger Mainnet “Cross Ledger Mainnet Release and SPND Token Swap,” during October 2019. Spendcoin (SPND): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blkchn University Beta “Blockchain University Beta goes live,” during October 2019. Stellar (XLM): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Minor Release “We will have 6 Minor Releases in 2019; one each in February, March, May, June, August, and October.” Bitcoin SV (BSV): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) BSV Conference Seoul No additional information. Seele (SEELE): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Public Network Mainne launch has been moved to Oct 31 . Howdoo (UDOO): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Howdoo Live on Huawei Howdoo begins its exciting partnership with Huawei with listing as a featured app starting in October. Chiliz (CHZ): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) App Soft Launch Soft launch of Socios App by end of October. Dent (DENT): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Loyalty Program “Afterburner loyalty program launch for all 21,6 Million mobile #DENT users will be in October!” IceChain (ICHX): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Wallet Release IceChain releases wallet during October. Chiliz (CHZ): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Partnerships New sports and new teams joining Socios (+more updates and events) will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Horizen (ZEN): 31 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA. PCHAIN (PI): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Website No additional information. IOST (IOST): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Game on IOST “Eternal Fafnir, a new role-playing game developed by INFUN is coming to you in Oct.” Achain (ACT): 31 October 2019 Mainnet 2.0 Launch “… The main network is officially scheduled to launch on October 31.” Mithril (MITH):31 October 2019 Burn “MITH burn will take place on 2019/10/31 2pm UTC+8. “ Aergo (AERGO): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Aergo Lite V1.0 Release AergoLite, which brings blockchain compatibility to billions of devices using SQLite, released during October 2019. TE-FOOD (TFD): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Complementary Product “Development of a new, complementary product with a new partner, which we hope to be launched in September-October.” Edge (DADI): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Full Open Source Code base for the network fully open-sourced in September or October. BlockStamp (BST): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing. Perlin (PERL): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) SSA Partnership “Perlin has partnered with the Singapore Shipping Association to create the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS)” Skrumble Network (SKM): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Exchange Release “3rd dApp: Exchange Release,” during October 2019. EDC Blockchain (EDC): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blockchain Marketplace “As you already know, our ECRO blockchain marketplace is ready for release, and will open to the global community in October!” BlockStamp (BST): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing. XinFin Network (XDCE): 31 October 2019 Homebloc Webinar “XinFin — Homebloc Webinar 2019” from 9–10 PM. Akropolis (AKRO): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Alpha Release “Delivers the initial mainnet implementation of protocol. All building blocks will be united to one product.” Hyperion (HYN): 31 October 2019 (or earlier) Economic Model The final version of the HYN Economic Model launches in October.

Encrypted project calendar(November 1, 2019)

INS/Insolar: The Insolar (INS) Insolar wallet and the redesigned Insolar Block Explorer will be operational on November 1, 2019. VeChain (VET):”01 November 2019 BUIDLer Reunion Party BUIDLer Reunion Party in San Francisco from 8–11 PM. uPlexa (UPX): 01 November 2019 Steadfast Storm — PoS/PoW split (Utility nodes ie. master nodes) — Upcoming Anonymity Network much like TOR — Privacy-based DApps — Reduced network fees. Enjin Coin (ENJ): 01 November 2019 MFT Binding “ICYMI: On Enjin Coin’s 2nd anniversary (November 1), Enjin MFTs will be bound to hodlers’ blockchain addresses…” Auxilium (AUX):01 November 2019 AUX Interest Distribution Monthly interest distribution by Auxilium Interest Distribution Platform for coinholders. Also supports charity. Havy (HAVY):01 November 2019 Token Buyback “Havy tokens buyback, Only in 1 exchange between Idex, Mercatox & Hotbit. The exchange depends on the most lower sell wall.” Egretia (EGT): 01 November 2019 Global DApp Contest SF 2019 Egretia Global DApp Contest in San Francisco.

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Kambria (KAT): 02 November 2019 VietAI Summit 2019 Kambria joins forces with VietAI for the annual VietAI Summit, with top experts from Google Brain, NVIDIA, Kambria, VietAI, and more!

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Stellar (XLM): 04 November 2019 Stellar Meridian Conf. Stellar Meridian conference from Nov 4–5 in Mexico City. Cappasity (CAPP): 04 November 2019 Lisbon Web Summit Lisbon Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal from November 4–7.

Encrypted project calendar(November 5, 2019)

Nexus (NXS): 05 November 2019 Tritium Official Release “Remember, Remember the 5th of November, the day Tritium changed Distributed Ledger. Yes, this is an official release date.” NEM (XEM): 05 November 2019 Innovation Forum — Kyiv NEM Foundation Council Member Anton Bosenko will be speaking in the upcoming International Innovation Forum in Kyiv on November 5, 2019. TomoChain (TOMO): 05 November 2019 TomoX Testnet “Mark your calendar as TomoX testnet will be live on Tuesday, Nov 5th!” aelf (ELF): 05 November 2019 Bug Bounty Program Ends On Oct 24th, 2019 aelf’s biggest bug bounty will launch with a large reward pool. The event will run for almost 2 weeks.

Encrypted project calendar(November 6, 2019)

STEEM/Steem: The Steem (STEEM) SteemFest 4 conference will be held in Bangkok from November 6th to 10th. KIM/Kimcoin: Kimcoin (KIM) Bitfinex will be online at KIM on November 6, 2019 at 12:00 (UTC).

Encrypted project calendar(November 7, 2019)

XRP (XRP): 07 November 2019 Swell 2019 Ripple hosts Swell from November 7th — 8th in Singapore. BTC/Bitcoin: Malta The A.I. and Blockchain summit will be held in Malta from November 7th to 8th.

Encrypted project calendar(November 8, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 2nd Global Digital Mining Summit will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from October 8th to 10th. IOTX/IoTeX: IoTex (IOTX) will participate in the CES Expo on November 08

Encrypted project calendar(November 9, 2019)

CENNZ/Centrality: Centrality (CENNZ) will meet in InsurTechNZ Connect — Insurance and Blockchain on October 9th in Auckland. HTMLCOIN (HTML): 09 November 2019 (or earlier) Mandatory Wallet Update Mandatory Wallet Update: there will be a soft fork on our blockchain. This update adds header signature verification on block 997,655.

Encrypted project calendar(November 11, 2019)

PAX/Paxos Standard: Paxos Standard (PAX) 2019 Singapore Financial Technology Festival will be held from November 11th to 15th, and Paxos Standard will attend the conference. Crypto.com Coin (CRO): and 3 others 11 November 2019 Capital Warm-up Party Capital Warm-up Party in Singapore. GoldCoin (GLC): 11 November 2019 Reverse Bitcoin Hardfork The GoldCoin (GLC) Team will be “Reverse Hard Forking” the Bitcoin (BTC) Blockchain…”

Encrypted project calendar(November 12, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The CoinMarketCap Global Conference will be held at the Victoria Theatre in Singapore from November 12th to 13th Binance Coin (BNB) and 7 others: 12 November 2019 CMC Global Conference “The first-ever CoinMarketCap large-scale event: A one-of-a-kind blockchain / crypto experience like you’ve never experienced before.”

Encrypted project calendar(November 13, 2019)

Fetch.ai (FET): 13 November 2019 Cambridge Meetup “Join us for a @Fetch_ai #Cambridge #meetup on 13 November @pantonarms1.” Binance Coin (BNB) and 5 others: 13 November 2019 Blockchain Expo N.A. “It will bring together key industries from across the globe for two days of top-level content and discussion across 5 co-located events…” OKB (OKB): 13 November 2019 Dnipro, Ukraine- Talks Join us in Dnipro as we journey through Ukraine for our OKEx Cryptour on 11 Nov. Centrality (CENNZ): 13 November 2019 AMA Meetup “Ask our CEO @aaronmcdnz anything in person! Join the AMA meetup on 13 November in Singapore.” OKB (OKB): 13 November 2019 OKEx Cryptotour Dnipro “OKEx Cryptour Ukraine 2019 — Dnipro” in Dnipro from 6–9 PM (EET).

Encrypted project calendar(November 14, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 2019 BlockShow Asia Summit will be held at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore from November 14th to 15th.

Bitcoin (BTC) bulls seem to have decimated the bears. As of the time of writing this article, the leading cryptocurrency is at $9,800 — up over $2,500, some 38%, in the past 36 hours. This is around $800 short of the daily high of $10,600.
Chairman of China’s top leadership announced that China should be expected to take the lead in the global blockchain, so that the exchange rate of Bitcoin against the US dollar rose sharply, and the support level exceeded $10,500.
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Slack log for Ark token's value proposition discussion 16-07-18

Please find below a log of the discussion we had in slack regarding the ark token's value proposition. Some of the community members who happen to be long term holders of ark feel that the ark token's value proposition isn't clearly communicated by the team so they asked about it. I'm posting the entire discussion it here to make a permanent record since slack wipes messages after a while.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
arigard [7:21 PM]
Hey team, so I'm curious. Is there any update on a new white paper at all that was being mentioned? I've been holding Ark since it hit Bittrex and I personally don't really have a clear idea about how the token is going to work in the overall picture, or what really the direction is for the project once v2 is out. It feels like things have gone a bit flat recently, are there any updates on direction and what the plan is once V2 is live? Is there any idea about when it might go live? Or how the Ark token will fit into the economy (will it be a gas?). I see a lot of other projects i'm invested in coming up with very clear roadmaps/dates and direction about what they want to be and I still personally feel Ark's message is a little confused and hard to read especially for people who are not coders/developers.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:22 PM]
the roadmap is on the site, arkdirectory.com/kits has nice presentations and other goodies
roks0n (deadlock) [7:23 PM]
@Matthew_DC mentioned a couple of days ago that he’s preparing several blog posts which should explain most of these @arigard
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:23 PM]
the Blog also goes into lots of v2 details
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hi everyone.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:24 PM]
Ark is Ark, not like Eth with gas, hence no gas.
Hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) welcome back
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hey rob, hi Rok :slightly_smiling_face:
roks0n (deadlock) [7:25 PM]
Rob, I think he means how everything will be connected with ArkVM etc.
similar conversation as the one few days ago (edited)
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:25 PM]
It's been a while, but I was head on in the project, sorry for not showing more often.
arigard [7:25 PM]
Yeah my main question is really I still don't know what will give the actual Ark token value .
goldenpepe [7:25 PM]
we dont know how the arkvm will work
All we can do is wait
Doubled1c3 (ArkStickers.com) [7:26 PM]
uploaded and commented on this image: bucket.jpg
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)
goldenpepe [7:26 PM]
We can make assumptions but that's all they'll be
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
@arigard this was the discussion: https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531422791000216
roks0n (deadlock)
definitely, I’m not blaming anyone :slightly_smiling_face: Was just curious if there were any developments in terms of the updated whitepaper because I was reading one of the threads on reddit from 6 months ago where it was mentioned you’re looking to hire someone write it up.
Posted in #generalJul 12th
arigard [7:26 PM]
And I kind of feel this is such a big elephant in the room for people in the long run.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
click on the link and read from that post on (edited)
arigard [7:26 PM]
ok
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:27 PM]
I saw that there has been some drawbacks with the V2 ?
(Not sure if it's exact, I only came a few times and seemed to understand it was so)
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There are just some incompatibilities between v1 and v2 in devnet
which is why devnet is currently down
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
ArkVM may be unnecessary as more modern approaches to handling contracts are available, one of the main issue is having them be distributed just like the tokens.
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There's a community run v2-only devnet though #devnet_unofficial
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
it's more like drawback with v1
arigard [7:30 PM]
I mean I've seen a lot of stuff in that discussion discussed over the past year and there still seems to be no concrete answers coming out and that is a bit of worry to me personally. It makes it look like the team doesn't even know. I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air. In other projects I know what gives those tokens value, but in Ark I don't, so it's hard for me as an investor to really sell to someone else the benefits of the token when there is a big question mark still on it.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:33 PM]
do you know that Ark Deployer has been available for quite some time?
arigard [7:34 PM]
Yes, that doesn't really answer any questions though.
mak [7:34 PM]
Ark deployer helps the main chain's business case somehow?
arigard [7:35 PM]
What gives Ark token actual value? Like what is the reason people need to buy and hold the Ark token? That is my question.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
@mak what you're saying is kinda like answering you can use a hammer when asked what a nail do.
arigard [7:36 PM]
You don't need to buy the Ark token to deploy a chain. You can just do it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
I mean, the Ark Deployer doesn't answer what's the Ark.
mak [7:36 PM]
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) my point was directed towards rob's comment. I think you misunderstood it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:37 PM]
@mak My bad then. I apologize.
Blockhunter [7:38 PM]
:boogieark9:
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:38 PM]
" I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air."
This is why I wrote that.. there is no mystery of how that works. You are mistaken or uninformed.
arkenstone [7:38 PM]
That's the problem here because team is programming orientated but there hasn't been alot done on business aspect of the token and marketing investor point big view
mak [7:38 PM]
That only explains the value of the ark codebase not the blockchain though
arigard [7:38 PM]
I think you seem to be trying to turn the argument in a seperate direction.
It's a simple question.
What gives the Ark token value.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:39 PM]
The market does. It's on 19 different exchanges.
arigard [7:39 PM]
Seems like you are being unhelpfully obtuse. I'll rephrase.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:39 PM]
so one thing that is clear to me is interoperability using ACES, where ARK is used as a “middleman” between two different chains, so if there’s high volume between those chains, it means the volume of ark increases as well .. what I’d like to know is how things will work with arkvm and how it will all work with sidechains (on eth, all the side chains will basically link back to the main chain which will be the one responsible for security afaik?)
arigard [7:39 PM]
What gives the Ark token value in the Ark ecosystem.
Blockhunter [7:40 PM]
Vote for Pedro he will make all your dreams come true
arigard [7:40 PM]
Eth is a gas, Waves is a gas. Ark is... what?
mak [7:40 PM]
ACES can work with any chains though. Doesn't have to be ark main chain. So I guess tomorrow persona can become the settlement layer for the Ark ecosystem and there's no incentive to stop it from happening.
arigard [7:40 PM]
^
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
Mak, correct but if there are already lots of chains connected between ARK, it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:41 PM]
As I understand it, ACES could be using any given blockchain as the middle man...
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
it doesn’t mean that it can’t be copied tho
arigard [7:41 PM]
But there are no chains connected through Ark atm
That have any real value anyway
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
eth and btc are
arigard [7:41 PM]
And they can be connected through any Ark clone.
bangomatic [7:41 PM]
I'd love to hear the Ark team chime in on this discussion
arigard [7:42 PM]
So anyone can come along and make another chain that can instantly overtake Ark at this present time if there isn't a failsafe reason for Ark to be the defacto currency.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:42 PM]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
arigard
That have any real value anyway
Posted in #generalToday at 7:41 PM
Blockhunter [7:42 PM]
Interoperability to the moon
mak [7:42 PM]
"it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly"
Currently Ark is the only mature chain because it's been around longer but the moment persona or some other bridge chain gets listed on an exchange that dynamic is no longer there. So why would you prefer Ark over persona when that happens. That's the question as far as I understand it. (edited)
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:43 PM]
Persona has other goals, not duplicating Ark goals
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:43 PM]
@bangomatic Hi!
arigard [7:43 PM]
What current sidechain of Ark has real value/position in the crypto market? Persona?
bangomatic [7:43 PM]
hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)!
mak [7:43 PM]
The blockchain as a transaction medium doesn't care about secondary goals.
It still has all the capabilities that Ark has.
Colby [7:43 PM]
What has value right now? :thinking_face:
rob [ Ark Labs ]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422
Posted in #generalToday at 7:42 PM
arigard [7:43 PM]
Ark's ecosystem at present is not big enough to be a reason not to just take the tech and start your own.
To think otherwise is ludicrous.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:44 PM]
that's a fine opinion
Jarunik [7:44 PM]
it is harder than you think :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:44 PM]
We aren't Eth with multi $100mn + start ups and even if we were, what's currently to stop one of those just overtaking Ark and leaving it behind?
Jarunik [7:45 PM]
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Colby [7:45 PM]
Same here!
Jarunik
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Posted in #generalToday at 7:45 PM
Blockhunter [7:45 PM]
HODL ROCKET TECHNOLOGY
mak [7:45 PM]
Same here but then there's no reason to hold Ark over something else
arigard [7:45 PM]
i hope so too if there is some reason for Ark to always be there at the top considering it's the Ark platform.
Colby [7:45 PM]
But the thing is that I am wondering, if ark clones get successful, what benefits does it give back to ark
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:45 PM]
@Jarunik to create an ecosystem?
mak [7:45 PM]
Right now we have to consider Ark's value not the other bridge chains
arigard [7:45 PM]
But if there isn't a reason for Ark to exist at the top, why are we all holding it?
Colby [7:45 PM]
Haha I think we are all thinking the same :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:45 PM]
It's a terrible business plan
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:46 PM]
the point of BridgeChains is to allow new projects with no access the market a path to them through Ark, and hence gain value.
Other blockchains connections are through ACES, such as BTC, LTC, ETH, and more coming..
Persona has a way to trade Ark <> Prs
arigard [7:47 PM]
What is to stop them from getting their own exchanges in the future and just using Ark as a stepping stone to becoming their own platform operator?
mak [7:47 PM]
Sure rob, but there's now 10 different projects doing the same and they are faster in development than the ark team is
arigard [7:47 PM]
^
Blockhunter [7:47 PM]
Ark is the Yoda of blockchain and they need a better catchphrase. Better than ark gives no dates or point click blockchain
arigard [7:48 PM]
This attitude seems horribly naive if this is the value proposition.
mak [7:48 PM]
All of us believe in the vision that Ark brought us but I personally am not sure if Ark is the best option to execute that vision in time
arigard [7:48 PM]
The issue is, we don't know what the value proposition is.
mak [7:48 PM]
Other projects seem much faster
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:48 PM]
if you are into speculation, which it seems you are, then on paper all of your projects with no code are better and have more value than Ark
arigard [7:48 PM]
That's not true at all. lol.
Matthew_DC [7:49 PM]
At the most base level, ARK is a common currency token that is essentially automatically compatible with every bridge chain that is built based on ARK and is optimized for transaction volume and throughput to avoid bloat of other mechanisms introduced by the other chains. That is at the most basic level. By holding the ARK token itself, you will be able to enact the functions of multiple bridged chains both issued by our team and others. You will also be able to utilize the ARK chain as a pegged token to many bridged chains but that process will be transparent to users as it will be done behind the scenes without the user needing to do any functions. To think that someone will fork the code and generate a more effective ARK main chain means you have no confidence in the ARK team as the primary developer of the technology itself. In this case, if we are not and someone pushes a better version of the network, then I would argue maybe they SHOULD be chosen. That is the point of a free and open market. Not to mention the potential for registering and providing snapshot hashes to the main ARK blockchain to provide added security measures to a bridge chain with lower security due to lower market share etc, those are just baseline reasons.
As I mentioned the other day, at face value, consider this. What brings value to Litecoin or Bitcoin or Doge? In essence, ARK is a more effective currency and base network than all of these aforementioned networks with all of the added benefits being added for additional use cases.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:50 PM]
will ark based chains be bridged via arkvm?
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
They cant be
You'd need the VM on both sides
Matthew_DC [7:50 PM]
I am currently on a conference call and have a lot going on so I can't respond too much.
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
You can use AIP11's new tx types to do a sort of escrow between chains though i think
mak [7:50 PM]
@Matthew_DC Are you saying that the bridgechains deployed by ark-deployer don't have the same features?
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:50 PM]
ArkVM is not for bridging chains
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
It can be
Coinme [7:51 PM]
And ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
But both chains will need to be running the VM
Matthew_DC [7:51 PM]
The ARK main chain will have specific methods of allowing token transfer and utilization between chains to include quasi-centralized methods through aces, decentralized aces based intermediary networks, Time locked transfers, among custom built smart contract like logic built into the core technology itself that doesn't make the network susceptible to the bloat and mis-utilization an vulnerabilities of full VM use.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
(which the main ark chain wont be)
mak [7:51 PM]
"ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token"
Or any other bridgechain that's listed on exchanges
@Matthew_DC So will all of the bridgechains, no? I could start an ACES node today for persona and it will have no difference from what you describe.
Matthew_DC [7:52 PM]
@mak no, we promised ARK would be open source and everything we build for the core ARK blockchain will be open source.
arigard [7:53 PM]
You can be open source and still protect your value..
Matthew_DC [7:54 PM]
The point of ARK from day 1 has been to create a better base layer blockchain technology and protocol for everyone everywhere to be able to use to create anything they can dream up.
The ARK token is a core payment layer for the ecosystem including any applications we build ourselves, sponsor, partner with, or support.
mak [7:54 PM]
It seems like the team's vision for Ark is as a software product only and there's no business plan for the main chain. Which is fine but it's not explained as such. (edited)
Blockhunter [7:55 PM]
Great to see such active discussions
goldenpepe [7:55 PM]
I think what Matt is trying to portray is this:
A single universal Ark Ecosystem wallet holding ARK that has a nice UI with a list of dapps in the ecosystem
You select a dapp
You send a tx from the wallet using Ark
----------------Everything below this line is transparent to the user-----------------
The Ark transaction has instructions in the smartbridge field
The Ark gets converted to dappCoin via an intermediary like ACES (trustful) or a trustless escrow smart contract
The intermediary received Ark and uses the dappCoin on the dapp chain to do whatever it is the user wanted to do using the instructions in the smartbridge field
The dappchain responds to the request to the intermediary
Intermediary sends an Ark tx with the results of the dapp computation/action in the smartbridge field
---------------Everything above this line is transparent to the user-------------------
After 8+ seconds, user's wallet shows them the result of their interaction with the dapp bridgechain
That's where the value of Ark will come from
The Ark coin will be a universal "omni-coin"
Matthew_DC [7:56 PM]
:this: This
goldenpepe [7:56 PM]
That will instantly shapeshift into bridgechain coins to interact with the bridgechain dapp
mak [7:58 PM]
I understand what your point is and I agree it will work but only as long as none of the bridge chains are on an exchange
when for example persona gets listed on binance the scenario changes
and now either chain can become the backbone of the ark ecosystem
arigard [7:58 PM]
Yes. We see that. But hypothetically what is to stop a bridged Ark chain from becoming bigger than Ark and then going on to become that gateway? At this point it just seems to be hopium that the Ark network will always be the one people look to. But in one year, or two, or five, it might not be the case. What is to stop Ark being just sidelined if another team come along with develop on what Ark has built and propel it forward and take the mantle?
goldenpepe [7:58 PM]
What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin
Would you rather hold a coin that can do one thing and is forever tied to a single chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
But in other crypto's an app becoming sucessfull is a benefit. In Ark's network it could be a negative.
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Or would you rather hold a coin that can interact with that single chain and 3232523432 others
arigard [7:59 PM]
But why can't another coin become an omnicoin?
If there are no limitations against it
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Why can't another coin become ethereum?
mak [7:59 PM]
"What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin"
Or if it gives out better staking returns etc like persona because of higher inflation rate
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
if there are no limitations against it
You can literally go on AWS right now and deploy an ethereum clone chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
It can, but an ETH token can't oust ETH
That's the difference. We are giving people an easy route here.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:59 PM]
do you often think your children should not surpass you? Or is that the hope?
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
Well it's about security, trust, potential vulnerabilities due to added functionality, the ability of the bridgechain team to create interactions and focus on use cases for their token outside of their core use, etc.
But that's the point of open and free markets
goldenpepe [8:00 PM]
There is a solution to your concern @arigard
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
What is to stop someone from being better than Bitcoin?
arigard [8:01 PM]
I think all these strawman arguments are fun, but they still aren't adressing the issuel
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
Instead of having Ark Deployer literally cloning the ark codebase, have it be a turnkey solution to run a layer 2 chain
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
bridgechain dapps can be "colored coins"
that are forever tied to the main chain
arigard [8:01 PM]
Yeah but you wouldn't have those businesses on the chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
but that would introduce bloat
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
So you are saying the utility of Ethereum is adoption.
arigard [8:01 PM]
And those businesses won't have the potential to become the main ETH.
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
Which is the case for the value of any token.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
@arigard It sounds like you want ark to become Ethereum Plasma
arigard [8:02 PM]
I just want an answer.
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
How many companies are pulling their ERC20 tokens off of Ethereum because of the issues?
Colby [8:02 PM]
Yeah but correct me if im wrong
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
There is no answer that will satisfy what you are asking
arigard [8:02 PM]
And i keep getting strawmanned.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ethereum projects NEED eth for gas
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
We talk to people almost every day that are looking to leave Ethereum.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ark is needed for?
arigard [8:02 PM]
^
Colby [8:02 PM]
This is all I am wondering, where does the ark coin fit into it
I love the idea
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
@arigard You want ark-based coins to rely on Ark
The team wants the Ark chain to not be bloated
The solution to this is unironically ethereum plasma and sharding
Colby [8:02 PM]
but have been waiting for a while to know how the Ark coin will actually be used
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
Shards in ethereum are basically "bridgechains"
arigard [8:03 PM]
Ok, and those teams might be big enough and clued up enough to eventually knock Ark from being the de facto omni coin. That's the worry.
If this is in fact the possibility.
Then it should be clear.
mak [8:03 PM]
"You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain."
@Matthew_DC Ethereum has value because all the dapps live on it which is not true for ark
arigard [8:03 PM]
Because as an investor it worries me, a lot.
I don't know where the value of Ark as an investment is 100% right now.
Jarunik [8:03 PM]
Ark is basically the inverse approach to Ethereum. Eth goes for big one-fits all first and tries to shard ... Ark is creating shards and then combines them
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
There is no solution to what @arigard and @mak are saying right now
Literally no existing solution
Only proposals like sharding
arigard [8:04 PM]
And all this noise about defensiveness doesn't help. These are legit concerns.
Matthew_DC [8:04 PM]
When was it not clear that if a company comes along and builds a better more used product it could potentially take over market share?
That's how all free markets work.
You can't believe in open source and build and open source product without that risk.
arigard [8:04 PM]
But that isn't the same thing. Ark is literally building THE tools for people to then do that.
mak [8:04 PM]
@Matthew_DC Just to clarify I appreciate the work you guys are doing but I want to make an informed investment decision about holding the ark token
arigard [8:04 PM]
As a platform.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
yes ... that is the idea how to grow
arigard [8:04 PM]
if you cloned Bitcoin back in the day you were a seperate currency.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
provide good tools for others to create chains
arigard [8:04 PM]
This is a platform, its totally different.
And what we are discuswsing here is who runs that platform.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
If someone launched an Ethereum chain right now and gained adoption there is a huge potential that all tokens decide to move their ERC20 tokens to the new chain and it becomes the new Ethereum and you have in essence lost all value because Ethereum is not capable of being used on the bridge chain as a currency.
ARK maintains it's value if for no other reason than the pegged value to any chain we personally create to include VM chain, token issuance chain, etc.
arigard [8:05 PM]
If it's built by Ark, does Ark always retain control? if not, why? What happens if Ark ends up building tools for a subsidary project that propels itself above them. Investors will just move to that coin.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
Because it's an open decentralized system.
The problem is people don't actually believe in decentralization if it possibly harms their potential for monetary gain.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [8:06 PM]
we hope bridgechains get popular because that also means more for Ark in many ways.
arigard [8:06 PM]
You can be decentralized without being 100% altruistic. It's not mutually exclusive.
mak [8:06 PM]
@goldenpepe Since you guys claim that there's no solution for this how about I present one which @Matthew_DC can decide if it's useful or not. Make delegate voting for the ArkVM happen on the main chain. So anyone who wants to become a delegate for the VM needs to hold money on the main chain.
arigard [8:07 PM]
It just seems people are being dogmatic about this.
And if this isn't about investment. Why have an ICO?
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Ethereum being the core chain for all ERC20 token based businesses centralizes the industry in a massive way. Not only is Ethereum itself centralized in the way it's mining structure was developed, but it also is centralized in that if the Ethereum network is compromised, thousands of companies assets and business are now compromised.
We don't believe that is the future.
mak [8:07 PM]
I'm not saying that this should be done for all sidechains. Just for the VM and it will be a special case.
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
We believe in a different business model.
That has been at the core of every description and explanation I have given from day 1.
arigard [8:07 PM]
Ok and that's fine, but my point is this should be made very clear if it's the case.
From the team officially.
goldenpepe [8:07 PM]
@mak now you're strawmanning me
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Where is it not clear?
goldenpepe [8:08 PM]
I was addressing the fact that the idea that bridgechains shouldnt be independent and should be tied to Ark being in conflict with the Ark team's idea that the main chain should not be bloated with dapps
The only plausible solution to that right now
is Ethereum Plasma
Sharding
yokoama (thefoundry Delegate) [8:09 PM]
Sharting
mak [8:09 PM]
"We believe in a different business model."
I respect that. But it changes the ark's value proposition to just being a source of funding to the ark team and a means of speculation.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
Shards in ethereum are like bridgechains but the coins are all erc20s that rely on ethereum
Matthew_DC [8:09 PM]
People said ARK's DPoS mechanism would be a failure when we changed the voting structure because they said it wouldn't be secure enough. It has turned out to be massively secure compared to the centralized cartel run solutions of other DPoS chains. This is another fundamental issue where we believe we have a model that will work and will create value and thousands of use cases for the ARK token in a seamless way for the average user.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
and the shard blocks dont interfere or bloat up the "main" eth chain
mak [8:09 PM]
@goldenpepe I'm not suggesting deploying dapps on main chain. Just that the voting should take place there so there is always incentive to keep money on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:10 PM]
At no point did we say ARK was gas and have constantly made sure to outline the differences between ARK and Ethereum.
I believe the Eth model is flawed.
goldenpepe [8:11 PM]
The current ethereum model is flawed
If sharding works then it's going to solve a lot of its issues
(i dont hold any ethereum btw)
arigard [8:12 PM]
At no point have we actually had an updated white paper discussing this question in detail, clearly. It's not on the website and if it is it's buried somewhere in a blog post. The fact these discussions keep cropping up is proof of this.
nukacolaplease [8:12 PM]
I think we don't understand clearly what makes Ark important after the launch of the sidechains, Ark will be only an "exchange token"? The sidechain doesn't need Ark for operating
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
+1 on needing a new whitepaper
Matthew_DC [8:12 PM]
replied to a thread:
This is a means of centralization of the network. Instead, by utilizing a form of pegged bridge chains, we can maintain a similar effect without creating centralization and reliance on 1 chain for others to properly function.
arkenstone [8:12 PM]
I think these things should be clearly written in a new WB and officially made public and promoted
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
A new whitepaper would clear up so much FUD
pieface [8:13 PM]
Yeah I think a new WP is needed for sure
arigard [8:13 PM]
So don't start going "Oh everybody knows this, it's clear" Show me where on the front page of the website it tells you how the token mechanics will work in the ecosystem? It's not good it being on some powerpoint on a google drive, or hidden in comments in the slack.
mak [8:13 PM]
I though there wasn't going to be a new whitepaper.
arigard [8:13 PM]
It needs to be clear to investors how it works, exactly.
goldenpepe [8:13 PM]
I agree with arigard here
I only know what I know because I live on slack
Matthew_DC [8:13 PM]
The solutions are still in development and there are always opportunities to continue to adapt the model, that's why I have these conversations and ask for feedback regularly, but the core fundamental belief of how open and free decentralized markets should work most likely won't change.
arkenstone [8:13 PM]
Same here
goldenpepe [8:14 PM]
The vast majority of ark holders have no idea
they just bought bc of the cool red triangle
arigard [8:14 PM]
Stop playing cute, this is people's money you are asking for. So at least give them the benefit of being honest that there is no inherent business model reason why Ark will be necessary in the future.
And let them make their decisions.
roks0n (deadlock) [8:14 PM]
I agree, it took me months of following discussion on slack and digging around reddit to get information
arigard [8:14 PM]
With proper information.
mak [8:14 PM]
replied to a thread:
It's centralizing value onto one chain but doesn't bottleneck the ecosystem so I don't see anything being wrong with that.
Matthew_DC [8:15 PM]
replied to a thread:
I'm not arguing with you and I made a clear post here within the last 2 days that our website messaging is shit and needs completely redone.
If the ARK network is compromised or the consensus mechanism of the ARK main net is compromised then all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well.
mad4thrash [8:15 PM]
In my opinion Ark's value come from (in the future) the fact that by holding one coin I can interact with every bridgechain plus any ACES services
Matthew_DC [8:16 PM]
So what I am saying is that we have to be cautious of these kinds of decisions and ensure that we aren't inadvertently creating attack vectors to take down partners, businesses, and other industries using the technology.
I'm sorry guys, I have to go, but I would love to continue this conversation on Reddit or here at a later time.
mak [8:16 PM]
"all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well"
^ Correction: only the VM chain will be compromised since I'm not advocating that all bridgechains should vote on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:19 PM]
In an isolated case, if we can map it out and vet the concept, I'm more than happy to hear it out and have the conversation.
Solowatch [8:19 PM]
So I think we can all agree an updated Whitepaper is due
Matthew_DC [8:20 PM]
This is a community project and we are shaping pieces of it together as we continue to build. We have already made changes based on community feedback on many occasions.
So I would love to see someone post a proposal to reddit or even as an AIP at some point that we could discuss.
Jarunik [8:20 PM]
If you write a white paper it will be outdated soon :smile:
Solowatch [8:21 PM]
Well a V2 whitepaper shouldn’t be outdated soon
I don’t care about a V1 or V1.5 whitepaper lol
I want a whitepaper for V2 that’s clearly explaining all these concerns that the community has
arkenstone [8:22 PM]
:this:
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
I wrote a few questions down that I’ll post in here later today that @rob [ Ark Labs ] asked for. Please add to it if I missed anything once I do.
arkenstone [8:23 PM]
And I think now it's the time do it. Present it with full package on mainet launch.. (edited)
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
Or PM and I’ll add them before posting
mak [8:25 PM]
Anyways thanks for listening and responding @Matthew_DC. Some of us have been trying to discuss this with the ark team but didn't get much feedback until today.
arigard [8:25 PM]
Yeah +1
arkenstone [8:28 PM]
Alot of early investors are getting worried
submitted by moazzam2k to ArkEcosystem [link] [comments]

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