Creative economy, micropayments and Bitcoin - Daily Fintech
Bitcoin is Now Useless for Micropayments, But Solutions ...
Syndicoin — bitcoin micropayments
Micropayments – Coin Center
Bitcoin: A store of value, A P2P ‘anonymous’ e-cash system, or a micropayments network for data?
Seems like there’s plenty of room for debate. BTC has take the ‘store if Value’ direction, BCH the ‘medium of exchange’ direction and BSV the ‘unit of account’ direction. Seems like the modern world is geared towards needing a micropayments network for data most, since it’s ‘the information age’ and they fourth industrial revolution etc. Seems like BTC is limited to just being a pyramid token thing which regulators ‘can’t shut down’ and BCH well... I can’t work out of their cash is for coffee shops or weed by mail first and foremost, but BSV genuinely seems to have a use-case, and an economic model behind it. What’s the consensus here? If you think BCH or BTC is better, why?
Thomas Hunt from World Crypto Network in April 2013 promoting Bitcoin as a micropayment network. Why is Bitcoin now being pushed as purely a store of value Thomas, did the check from blockstream clear?
Thomas Hunt from World Crypto Network in April 2013 promoting Bitcoin as a micropayment network. Why is Bitcoin now being pushed as purely a store of value Thomas, did the check from blockstream clear?
Thomas Hunt from World Crypto Network in April 2013 promoting Bitcoin as a micropayment network. Why is Bitcoin now being pushed as purely a store of value Thomas, did the check from blockstream clear?
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments. It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Limited Supply - There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly deflationary. The halving countdown can be found here.
Open source - Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read the source code yourself here.
Accountable - The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
Decentralized - Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works. You can even run a node on a Raspberry Pi.
Censorship resistant - No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
Push system - There are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoins reside has the authority to move them.
Low fee scaling - On chain transaction fees depend on network demand and how much priority you wish to assign to the transaction. Most wallets calculate on chain fees automatically but you can view current fees here and mempool activity here. On chain fees may rise occasionally due to network demand, however instant micropayments that do not require confirmations are happening via the Lightning Network, a second layer scaling solution currently rolling out on the Bitcoin mainnet.
Borderless - No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
Portable - Bitcoins are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can even be transported by simply memorizing a string of words for wallet recovery (while cool this method is generally not recommended due to potential for insecure key generation by inexperienced users. Hardware wallets are the preferred method for new users due to ease of use and additional security).
Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage. Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
If you prefer to "Be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, then you will need to create your own wallet and keep it secure. If you want easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger or ColdCard is recommended. Alternatively there are many software wallet options to choose from here depending on your use case.
If you prefer to let third party "Bitcoin banks" manage your coins, try Gemini but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email! 2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".
Where can I spend bitcoins?
Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out. If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.
The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
1,000 per bitcoin
used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
1,000,000 per bitcoin
colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
100,000,000 per bitcoin
smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki. Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval. Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
Thanks to all who submitted questions for Shiv Malik in the GAINS AMA yesterday, it was great to see so much interest in Data Unions! You can read the full transcript here:
Gains x Streamr AMA Recap
https://preview.redd.it/o74jlxia8im51.png?width=1236&format=png&auto=webp&s=93eb37a3c9ed31dc3bf31c91295c6ee32e1582be Thanks to everyone in our community who attended the GAINS AMA yesterday with, Shiv Malik. We were excited to see that so many people attended and gladly overwhelmed by the amount of questions we got from you on Twitter and Telegram. We decided to do a little recap of the session for anyone who missed it, and to archive some points we haven’t previously discussed with our community. Happy reading and thanks to Alexandre and Henry for having us on their channel! What is the project about in a few simple sentences? At Streamr we are building a real-time network for tomorrow’s data economy. It’s a decentralized, peer-to-peer network which we are hoping will one day replace centralized message brokers like Amazon’s AWS services. On top of that one of the things I’m most excited about are Data Unions. With Data Unions anyone can join the data economy and start monetizing the data they already produce. Streamr’s Data Union framework provides a really easy way for devs to start building their own data unions and can also be easily integrated into any existing apps. Okay, sounds interesting. Do you have a concrete example you could give us to make it easier to understand? The best example of a Data Union is the first one that has been built out of our stack. It's called Swash and it's a browser plugin. You can download it here: http://swashapp.io/ And basically it helps you monetize the data you already generate (day in day out) as you browse the web. It's the sort of data that Google already knows about you. But this way, with Swash, you can actually monetize it yourself. The more people that join the union, the more powerful it becomes and the greater the rewards are for everyone as the data product sells to potential buyers. Very interesting. What stage is the project/product at? It's live, right? Yes. It's live. And the Data Union framework is in public beta. The Network is on course to be fully decentralized at some point next year. How much can a regular person browsing the Internet expect to make for example? So that's a great question. The answer is no one quite knows yet. We do know that this sort of data (consumer insights) is worth hundreds of millions and really isn't available in high quality. So With a union of a few million people, everyone could be getting 20-50 dollars a year. But it'll take a few years at least to realise that growth. Of course Swash is just one data union amongst many possible others (which are now starting to get built out on our platform!) With Swash, I believe they now have 3,000 members. They need to get to 50,000 before they become really viable but they are yet to do any marketing. So all that is organic growth. I assume the data is anonymized btw? Yes. And there in fact a few privacy protecting tools Swash supplys to its users. How does Swash compare to Brave? So Brave really is about consent for people's attention and getting paid for that. They don't sell your data as such. Swash can of course be a plugin with Brave and therefore you can make passive income browsing the internet. Whilst also then consenting to advertising if you so want to earn BAT. Of course it's Streamr that is powering Swash. And we're looking at powering other DUs - say for example mobile applications. The holy grail might be having already existing apps and platforms out there, integrating DU tech into their apps so people can consent (or not) to having their data sold - and then getting a cut of that revenue when it does sell. The other thing to recognise is that the big tech companies monopolise data on a vast scale - data that we of course produce for them. That is stifling innovation. Take for example a competitor map app. To effectively compete with Google maps or Waze, they need millions of users feeding real time data into it. Without that - it's like Google maps used to be - static and a bit useless. Right, so how do you convince these big tech companies that are producing these big apps to integrate with Streamr? Does it mean they wouldn't be able to monetize data as well on their end if it becomes more available through an aggregation of individuals? If a map application does manage to scale to that level then inevitably Google buys them out - that's what happened with Waze. But if you have a data union which bundles together the raw location data of millions of people then any application builder can come along and license that data for their app. This encourages all sorts of innovation and breaks the monopoly. We're currently having conversations with Mobile Network operators to see if they want to pilot this new approach to data monetization. And that's what even more exciting. Just be explicit with users - do you want to sell your data? Okay, if yes, then which data point do you want to sell. Then the mobile network operator (like T-mobile for example) then organises the sale of the data of those who consent and everyone gets a cut. Streamr - in this example provides the backend to port and bundle the data, and also the token and payment rail for the payments. So for big companies (mobile operators in this case), it's less logistics, handing over the implementation to you, and simply taking a cut? It's a vision that we'll be able to talk more about more concretely in a few weeks time 😁 Compared to having to make sense of that data themselves (in the past) and selling it themselves Sort of. We provide the backened to port the data and the template smart contracts to distribute the payments. They get to focus on finding buyers for the data and ensuring that the data that is being collected from the app is the kind of data that is valuable and useful to the world. (Through our sister company TX, we also help build out the applications for them and ensure a smooth integration). The other thing to add is that the reason why this vision is working, is that the current data economy is under attack. Not just from privacy laws such as GDPR, but also from Google shutting down cookies, bidstream data being investigated by the FTC (for example) and Apple making changes to IoS14 to make third party data sharing more explicit for users. All this means that the only real places for thousands of multinationals to buy the sort of consumer insights they need to ensure good business decisions will be owned by Google/FB etc, or from SDKs or through this method - from overt, rich, consent from the consumer in return for a cut of the earnings. A couple of questions to get a better feel about Streamr as a whole now and where it came from. How many people are in the team? For how long have you been working on Streamr? We are around 35 people with one office in Zug, Switzerland and another one in Helsinki. But there are team members all over the globe, we’ve people in the US, Spain, the UK, Germany, Poland, Australia and Singapore. I joined Streamr back in 2017 during the ICO craze (but not for that reason!) And did you raise funds so far? If so, how did you handle them? Are you planning to do any future raises? We did an ICO back in Sept/Oct 2017 in which we raised around 30 Millions CHF. The funds give us enough runway for around five/six years to finalize our roadmap. We’ve also simultaneously opened up a sister company consultancy business, TX which helps enterprise clients implementing the Streamr stack. We've got no more plans to raise more! What is the token use case? How did you make sure it captures the value of the ecosystem you're building The token is used for payments on the Marketplace (such as for Data Union products for example) also for the broker nodes in the Network. ( we haven't talked much about the P2P network but it's our project's secret sauce). The broker nodes will be paid in DATAcoin for providing bandwidth. We are currently working together with Blockscience on our tokeneconomics. We’ve just started the second phase in their consultancy process and will be soon able to share more on the Streamr Network’s tokeneconoimcs. But if you want to summate the Network in a sentence or two - imagine the Bittorrent network being run by nodes who get paid to do so. Except that instead of passing around static files, it's realtime data streams. That of course means it's really well suited for the IoT economy. Well, let's continue with questions from Twitter and this one comes at the perfect time. Can Streamr Network be used to transfer data from IOT devices? Is the network bandwidth sufficient? How is it possible to monetize the received data from a huge number of IOT devices? From u/EgorCypto Yes, IoT devices are a perfect use case for the Network. When it comes to the network’s bandwidth and speed - the Streamr team just recently did extensive research to find out how well the network scales. The result was that it is on par with centralized solutions. We ran experiments with network sizes between 32 to 2048 nodes and in the largest network of 2048 nodes, 99% of deliveries happened within 362 ms globally. To put these results in context, PubNub, a centralized message brokering service, promises to deliver messages within 250 ms — and that’s a centralized service! So we're super happy with those results. Here's a link to the paper: https://medium.com/streamrblog/streamr-network-performance-and-scalability-whitepaper-adb461edd002 While we're on the technical side, second question from Twitter: Can you be sure that valuable data is safe and not shared with service providers? Are you using any encryption methods? From u/ CryptoMatvey Yes, the messages in the Network are encrypted. Currently all nodes are still run by the Streamr team. This will change in the Brubeck release - our last milestone on the roadmap - when end-to-end encryption is added. This release adds end-to-end encryption and automatic key exchange mechanisms, ensuring that node operators can not access any confidential data. If BTW - you want to get very technical the encryption algorithms we are using are: AES (AES-256-CTR) for encryption of data payloads, RSA (PKCS #1) for securely exchanging the AES keys and ECDSA (secp256k1) for data signing (same as Bitcoin and Ethereum). Last question from Twitter, less technical now :) In their AMA ad, they say that Streamr has three unions, Swash, Tracey and MyDiem. Why does Tracey help fisherfolk in the Philippines monetize their catch data? Do they only work with this country or do they plan to expand? From u/ alej_pacedo So yes, Tracey is one of the first Data Unions on top of the Streamr stack. Currently we are working together with the WWF-Philippines and the UnionBank of the Philippines on doing a first pilot with local fishing communities in the Philippines. WWF is interested in the catch data to protect wildlife and make sure that no overfishing happens. And at the same time the fisherfolk are incentivized to record their catch data by being able to access micro loans from banks, which in turn helps them make their business more profitable. So far, we have lots of interest from other places in South East Asia which would like to use Tracey, too. In fact TX have already had explicit interest in building out the use cases in other countries and not just for sea-food tracking, but also for many other agricultural products. (I think they had a call this week about a use case involving cows 😂) I recall late last year, that the Streamr Data Union framework was launched into private beta, now public beta was recently released. What are the differences? Any added new features? By u/Idee02 The main difference will be that the DU 2.0 release will be more reliable and also more transparent since the sidechain we are using for micropayments is also now based on blockchain consensus (PoA). Are there plans in the pipeline for Streamr to focus on the consumer-facing products themselves or will the emphasis be on the further development of the underlying engine?by u/ Andromedamin We're all about what's under the hood. We want third party devs to take on the challenge of building the consumer facing apps. We know it would be foolish to try and do it all! As a project how do you consider the progress of the project to fully developed (in % of progress plz) by u/ Hash2T We're about 60% through I reckon! What tools does Streamr offer developers so that they can create their own DApps and monetize data?What is Streamr Architecture? How do the Ethereum blockchain and the Streamr network and Streamr Core applications interact? By u/ CryptoDurden We'll be releasing the Data UNion framework in a few weeks from now and I think DApp builders will be impressed with what they find. We all know that Blockchain has many disadvantages as well, So why did Streamr choose blockchain as a combination for its technology? What's your plan to merge Blockchain with your technologies to make it safer and more convenient for your users? By u/noonecanstopme So we're not a blockchain ourselves - that's important to note. The P2P network only uses BC tech for the payments. Why on earth for example would you want to store every single piece of info on a blockchain. You should only store what you want to store. And that should probably happen off chain. So we think we got the mix right there. What were the requirements needed for node setup ? by u/ John097 Good q - we're still working on that but those specs will be out in the next release. How does the STREAMR team ensure good data is entered into the blockchain by participants? By u/ kartika84 Another great Q there! From the product buying end, this will be done by reputation. But ensuring the quality of the data as it passes through the network - if that is what you also mean - is all about getting the architecture right. In a decentralised network, that's not easy as data points in streams have to arrive in the right order. It's one of the biggest challenges but we think we're solving it in a really decentralised way. What are the requirements for integrating applications with Data Union? What role does the DATA token play in this case? By u/JP_Morgan_Chase There are no specific requirements as such, just that your application needs to generate some kind of real-time data. Data Union members and administrators are both paid in DATA by data buyers coming from the Streamr marketplace. Regarding security and legality, how does STREAMR guarantee that the data uploaded by a given user belongs to him and he can monetize and capitalize on it? By u/kherrera22 So that's a sort of million dollar question for anyone involved in a digital industry. Within our system there are ways of ensuring that but in the end the negotiation of data licensing will still, in many ways be done human to human and via legal licenses rather than smart contracts. at least when it comes to sizeable data products. There are more answers to this but it's a long one! Okay thank you all for all of those! The AMA took place in theGAINS Telegramgroup 10/09/20. Answers by Shiv Malik.
Summary of Tau-Chain Monthly Video Update - July 2020
Karim Agoras Live: Five functionalities complete: 1. Registration 2. Login 3. User Profile Page 4. Calendar 5. Categories List 6. Wallet Screen Payments: Decided that implementing lightning would be too complex. Instead, we decided to implement our own micropayment mechanism using the native BTC multisig addresses. We are going to use the Omni wallet for payments. TML: Continued debugging, getting a TML demo and test cases ready. Hiring: More hiring efforts to increase team size. Timelines: Committing ourselves to a release of Agoras Live and a basic version of discussions in TML in 2020. Umar: Been working on making improvements to the context free grammar parsing. We now are able to add constraints to productions in the grammar, allowing us to recognize grammars that are context sensitive. Developed test cases for that, too. Tomas: Fixed issues in TML and ran several steps in a TML program. Now adding more tests to make sure everything is stable and won’t break. Also been working on a TML tutorial, a recorded script based on the intro to TML which was contained in the TML Playground. Also new features are going to be covered such as arithmetics. Kilian: More outreach & follow-ups to potential partner universities. Positive response by a professor based in Toronto, presented to him our project. Also, response by KULeuven, Belgium, who unfortunately don’t see a good fit in our project. We’ve had one applicant for the IDNI Grant program and currently are evaluating his proposal. Also, we’ve had an applicant from Bangalore, India for the IDNI Ambassador program and we also have been discussing his proposal. Translation Bounties: We’ve had the blog post “The New Tau” translated to Chinese and have been reviewing the translation. We are going to publish the translation on our website and on the Bitcointalk Chinese forum section. Still to be claimed: German translation of “The New Tau”. Done more effort on reach out to potential tribe channels: Research groups, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups. Most represented keywords: Complex Adaptive Systems, NLP, Computational Linguistics. Usual feedback: Likes but no further interaction. Created an FAQ answering all possible questions surrounding IDNI, Tau & Agoras Idea: Hosting a virtual panel to spread the word about our project among the scientific community, as well as to create some visual content for our community. Two professors are interested in participating, one from Argentina with a focus in semantic parsing, the other one from the University of Washington with a focus on human-computer interaction and social computing. First step: organizing a pre-panel discussion where in 1on1 calls with the professors we get an opinion of them about what we are doing. Andrei: Agoras Live: Implemented mail system so users now get their mails (e.g. registration email). Improved UX together with Mo’az, e.g. user profiles. Token creation for accessing calls to identify and charge users. Customized Jitsi interface to suit our needs: E.g. display of how much time passed in a call and how much it costs. Next up: Further improve UX; make sure everything works as intended. Mo’az: Almost finished the IDNI website. Added two more pages: Events & Bounties in collaboration with Fola & Kilian. Agoras Live: Finetuned all the website’s components in collaboration with Andrei. Juan: Continued working on the payments system for Agoras Live. Had some delays due to the complexity of debugging such applications. Still, we made significant progress and got the funding transactions implemented over the Lightning network through the Omni layer. Spent time analyzing the minimum amount of BTC to pay for the fees associated to the Omni transactions. We aren’t using segregated witness native addresses and instead are using embedded segregated witness. So transaction sizes are enlarged and transaction fees are a bit higher. So there is a bit of finetuning analysis needed in order to enable the multisig address to pay for the closing & refund transactions. So to provide payment channels over the Omni layer, the main remaining technical detail we have to solve at this point is the closing transaction & the refund transaction. Fola: Have been continuing to look for great talent in different areas. Continued working on website with Mo’az and Kilian. Been working on the branding for Tau & Agoras. Been getting external support to make sure the branding for Tau & Agoras will be as professional as it can be. Working on marketing efforts needed for the release of Agoras Live to get the media pack for marketing ready. Working together with external people to put a plan together for listing the Agoras token on more prominent exchanges as we get closer to release of Agoras Live. Ohad: Continued working on restricted versions of second-order logic to understand how to implement them. There is a translation in the literature about how to convert second-order logic by Horn into Datalog. Also, I have been revisiting papers that deal with descriptive complexity of higher-order logic. They mention that they have a translation from second-order logic to QBF. I wasn’t able to find where they explain this translation but I wrote one of them and he said he will send me the paper. If so, that will be very good because we already have a QBF solver. Any binary decision diagram is already a QBF solver, so we can just translate arbitrary second-order logic formulas into QBF. This will be very helpful for us to implement second-order logic. Also, those papers mention several aspects that are relevant for self-interpretation, the laws of laws. Apparently, they suggest that certain fragments of higher-order logic may also support the laws of laws. But this is part of the papers that I didn’t have access to, so I have to wait to get further clarification. I also pushed the whitepaper significantly this month and hope we will be finishing it soon. Also, I was thinking about some optimizations for the parser and also was looking into the Lightning network. It was my mistake that I haven’t done so beforehand and if I had done it beforehand, I would have understood earlier, that Lightning is too much. It is too drastic of a change to how traditional payments work and there apparently is no reason to believe that it is secure. So I’m glad I discovered better now than later that it’s not something we’d like to rely on, although we can have it as an optional feature. Q&A: Q: With the project development taking longer than other projects such as Tezos, when can AGRS holders expect something to be released and, how can you reassure us that we made the right decision? A: With regards to when we see some releases, it seems that we will see some releases in 2020. For comparing to Ethereum and Tezos: Let’s first talk about funding. Both projects had a lot of money. For Ethereum, the reason for is that it has probably done one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns in history. It was completely lacking any kind of honesty. It was simply aggressive. None of Ethereum’s visions and promises became true. It simply became an insecure platform for scams. None of their vision of creating a world computer, of creating a better society, a better currency, became true. Because of this aggressive marketing, they not only raised a lot of money, they also took the price to be so high in the market. If you remember the campaign of the flipping, they did a whole campaign on how they would overtake the marketcap of Bitcoin. For Tezos, they made maybe the largest ICO in history in terms of money, mainly because they came at the right time, at the top of the bubble in 2017, and also their promises for better coordination didn’t come true. Their solution is based on voting and based on Turing completeness and the only reason why they managed to gain such a market cap as of today, is not because they offer better currency, better society, better anything. It basically is a Ponzi-scheme because they offer very high interest rate by very high inflation (5,51%). The only reason why people buy Tezos is to get into this Ponzi-scheme. Because both Tezos and Ethereum lack any true economical or technological substance, their value will not sustain and this is true for almost all projects in the cryptocurrency world. In the software, high-tech market, if you come up with good tech and you do all the right things, you succeed big time. But if you don’t have it and you are purely relying on brainwashing people, it will not sustain. Of course, our solution is so disruptive and sustainable. We offer to do advancements for humanity and for economy. Q: What three subjects would you first like to see discussed on Tau? A: Of course, picking three subjects now is a bit speculative, but the first thing that comes to mind is the definitions of what good and bad means and what better and worse means. The second subject is the governance model over Tau. The third one is the specification of Tau itself and how to make it grow and evolve even more to suit wider audiences. The whole point of Tau is people collaborating in order to define Tau itself and to improve it over time, so it will improve up to infinity. This is the main thing, especially initially, that the Tau developers (or rather users) advance the platform more and more. Q: What is stopping programmers using TML right now? If nothing, what is your opinion on why they aren’t? A: There is nothing essentially missing in TML in order to let it release. And in fact, we are now working towards packaging it and bringing it towards a release level. For things like documentation, bug fixes, minor features, minor optimizations. We indeed actively work towards releasing TML 1.0 and then we can publish it in e.g. developers channels for them to use it.
Aave - an open source and non-custodial protocol to earn interest on deposits & borrow assets
Akropolis - an undercollateralised lending protocol aiming at DeFi yield optimisation and interest-rate sharing
Atomic Loans - a lending platform that accepts trustless BTC collateral via custom Bitcoin scripts
bZx - a decentralized protocol that enables lending and borrowing for margin trading
Compound - an open-source money market protocol on Ethereum that lets users lend or borrow assets against collateral
DeFiner - a globally available, decentralized lending marketplace to securely borrow and lend digital assets through smart-contracts
Force Protocol - an open financial platform providing a wide range of financial services including lending, banking and stablecoins
Maker - a decentralized credit platform on Ethereum that supports Dai, a stablecoin whose value is pegged to USD and backed in ETH or BAT
Nitrogen Network - a decentralized P2P network for secured loans
Swap Rate - a DeFi interest rate swap tool built on the Opium protocol
Augur - a decentralized oracle and peer-to-peer protocol for prediction markets on Ethereum that lets anyone create a market around the outcome of any real-world event
ACO - a decentralized and non-custodial options trading protocol
Balancer - a non-custodial portfolio manager, liquidity provider, and price sensor
Bancor - a protocol on Ethereum for non-custodial token exchange using pooled liquidity
DeversiFi - a high-speed, non-custodial Layer 2 exchange built with STARKs technology, allowing for 9,000+ tps with deep liquidity, low fees, privacy and speed.
DEX AG - a trading interface that finds you the best price from 11 different DEXes
dYdX - a non-custodial trading platform on Ethereum geared toward experienced traders
Gnosis Protocol - a fully decentralized trading protocol that allows anyone to add any trading token pair
Hegic - an on-chain peer-to-pool options trading protocol built on Ethereum
Helena - a smart contract platform with gamified prediction markets
Jelly Swap - a peer to peer trading tool across different blockchains using atomic swaps
KyberSwap - a permissionless cross-chain atomic swap protocol, enabling trading of tokens across different chains
Leverj - a secure and decentralized high performance plasma based exchange
Local Ethereum - a non - custodial peer-to-peer ETH marketplace featuring end to end encryption and on -chain escrow.
Loopring DEX - a non-custodial Layer 2 DEX built on top of the Looping protocol
Market Protocol - a protocol on Ethereum which offers tokenized leverage trading of any asset through synthetic pricing
MCDEX - a decentralized derivatives trading platform for perpetuals & futures
MerkleX - a decentralized exchange that uses a decentralized clearing network. Merklex allows traders to set limits on what can happen to their funds.
Nuo Network - a non-custodial platform on Ethereum that provides a decentralized debt marketplace. Users can lend, borrow, or margin trade any supported cryptoasset
Ren - a provider of inter-blockchain liquidity for all decentralized applications
Set Protocol - a protocol designed to create, manage, and obtain baskets of tokenized assets
Synthetix - a decentralized platform on Ethereum for the creation of Synths: on-chain synthetic assets that track the value of real-world assets
Tokenlon - a DEX with off-chain matching, and on-chain settlment via 0x
UMA - a decentralized protocol to enable the creation, maintenance, and settlement of financial contracts for any underlying asset
Uniswap - a fully decentralized on-chain protocol for token exchanges on Ethereum that uses liquidity pools instead of order books
Veridex - a Mesh connected 0x relayer with trading, swap and market making tools
Flexa - a payment network that enables merchants to accept digital currencies without the risk of fraud or volatility through off-chain collateralization.
Fuse - a blockchain payment integration for businesses
Request Network - an open network for transaction requests. It allows anyone to create, store and access invoices and receipts in a universal, decentralized network.
Alpha Wallet - a mobile-based wallet built for Dapps. Do everything with only a few taps.
Argent - a secure smart contract wallet built for simplicity, security and usability.
Ash - a wallet interface focused on DeFi asset management powered by Melon Protocol
Atomex - a multicurrency HD wallet with built-in hybrid atomic swap exchange
Coinbase Wallet - a non-custodial, DeFi enabled mobile wallet that lets you securely store your tokens and collectibles
DEXWallet - a mobile wallet for decentralized finance
Eidoo - a non-custodial wallet that allows users to store, exchange and transact cryptoassets with a wide range of DeFi services and tools
Math Wallet - a multi-chain non-custodial wallet with embedded browser functionality and DApp store
Meet.One - a multi-chain DeFi wallet, non-custodial and easy-to-use
Monolith - a decentralised banking alternative, powered by Ethereum
My Crypto - an easy to use app that helps you create, import, and manage all your wallets
My Ether Wallet - a free, easy-to-use and open-source client-side interface that helps you interact with the Ethereum blockchain
Gnosis Safe - a secure way to manage funds and interact with decentralized applications on Ethereum
HB Wallet - a non-custodial DeFi-enabled wallet available on multiple platforms
Poketto - a wallet that you can actually show to your parents
Bamboo Relay - a 0x relayer built to trade, lend, and borrow tokens directly from your wallet.
Dca.land - an automated & decentralized dollar cost averaging tool
DDEX - Decentralized Margin TradingTrade with leverage and earn passive income in DeFi
DeBank - an all-in-one DeFi wallet with on-chain DeFi stats
DeFi Saver - an easy to use management portal for MakerDAO CDPs and compound protfolios
DeFi Snap - a simple dashboard that helps visualize all DeFi assets and liabilities
dForce Network - a decentralized finance protocol, starting with the first synthetic indexed stablecoin - USDx
Dharma - a peer-to-peer marketplace on Ethereum for non-custodial lending and borrowing of cryptocurrencies built on an extensible open source protocol
EasyCDP - an interface for MakerDAO that vastly simplifies the process of opening and managing a CDP
FiatDex Gateway - a simple browser-based interface to interact with the FiatDex protocol which allows users to trustlessly swap fiat to crypto
Frontier - a mobile interface integrating all DeFi Protocols and Wallets, enabling users to Track, View & Manage positions in real-time without giving away their private keys
InstaDApp - an intuitive interface on top of the MakerDAO protocol that’s optimized for users lacking advanced technical or financial experience
iearn.finance - a simplified aggregator that optimizes lending into the highest yielding protocols
Melon - an open-source, community-run protocol for asset management on Ethereum. Melon lets users create, manage, and invest in decentralized funds composed of ETH and ERC20s
Totle - a decentralized liquidity provider where you can swap and transfer tokens while automatically getting the best prices from decentralized exchanges
Unspent - a dashboard for all crypto and open finance activity: investing, trading, lending & borrowing
Zerion - an easy to use trustless banking interface utilizing popular DeFi protocols
0x - a protocol for p2p exchange of tokenized assets. ZRX is the governance token that allows to vote on protocol upgrades, and earn liquidity rewards shared by liquidity providers.
Ampleforth - a digital-asset-protocol for smart commodity-money.
Augmint - a smart contract platform that issues stable tokens targeted 1:1 to the EUR backed by collateral
Betoken - An open crypto fund managed by code and meritocracy
Connext - a non-custodial layer 2 payment-channel technology that enables off-chain, instant payments with low (or zero) transaction costs, helping scale the Ethereum network and paving the way for use cases like micropayments
DAI - a decentralized stablecoin soft-pegged to the US Dollar
DFOhub - an Ethereum-based Research & Development project that provides a framework for DFO's, on-chain companies with proprietary assets and voting tokens as programmable equities
EPNS - a service that allows dApps, Smart Contracts & Services to send push notifications to their users in a decentralized way
Lightning Network - a Layer 2 protocol on top of Bitcoin that seeks to improve scalability by moving small and frequent transactions off-chain, allowing for fast peer-to-peer transactions and low fees.
Liquidity Network - a Layer 2 scalability solution that enables gas-less, near-instant trustless transactions & token swaps
Loom Network - a DPOS layer 2 scaling solution that allows developers to run large-scale applications on top of Ethereum
Loopring - an open source protocol for decentralized exchanges designed to provide matching-as-a-service, and its orders are unidirectional and do not differentiate takers and makers giving complete control to traders
mStable - a single standard unifying stablecoins swapping and lending that also reduces friction and fragmentation
Neutral - a meta-stablecoin system built using a basket of multiple stablecoins to generate a lower volatility token with a reduced risk profile
Nest - a decentralized and transparent price oracles network
Nexus Mutual - a decentralized insurance platform where people can share risk particularly against smart contract bugs, failure or other black swan events
Opyn - an insurance and risk management layer for DeFi
PhishFort Protect - a crypto open source browser plugin that protects users in the DeFi space from phising
pToken - a trustless and trasparent 2-way peg to teleport tokens across blockchains, without friction
rDAI - a DeFi primitive that splits principal and interest in DeFi investments, and streams accrued interest to chosen addresses
Reserve - a decentralized stablecoin protocol enabling global and frictionless payments
Tokentax - an easy to use cryptocurrency & DeFi taxes calculator
USDx - USDx is a decentralized and synthetic indexed stablecoin introduced by dForce. USDx's underlying stablecoins include USDC, TUSD and PAX
WBTC - an ERC20 token that is backed 1:1 by bitcoin.
xDai - an Ethereum sidechain with 5-second block times, low gas prices, and a native token that’s also called xDai.
0x Tracker - a trade explorer for 0x protocol and decentralized ERC20 token price index
Coin Interest Rate - a dashboard showcasing borrowing and lending rates for USDC and DAI
DefiScan - a read-only DeFi profile explorer for Compound, Uniswap, and SpankChain
Etherscan - a block explorer and muti-purpose analytics platform for Ethereum
Eth Gas Station - a consumer oriented metrics & analytics platform for the Ethereum gas market
Loan Scan - a dashboard showing the best rates to earn passive income or lowest rates to borrow crypto
UniswapROI - a calculator to help you analyze your investments in Uniswap and find the best liquidity pools
Whois0x - a database of wallet addresses and their linked social media accounts that also provides easy to understand DeFi stats for each address
Defi Nerd - a lending & borrowing reviews and rates comparison ressource for crypto assets
DeFi Prime - a list of the best Decentralized Finance Products
Defi Rate - a trusted resource for DeFi research, news and interviews with a strong focus on lending rates
EthHub Weekly Newsletter - a trusted resource on all things Ethereum
Chris Blec - a collection of demos for various DeFi products, targeted to beginner & intermediate users.
Into the Ether Podcast - a podcast focusing on all things related to Ethereum, the leading blockchain for decentralized applications.
Wyre Podcast - a podcast where Thomas Scaria interviews founders of top DeFi projects twice a month. Giving insight to their business as well as the technical challenges that they have overcome.
Bankless - the ultimate guide to crypto finance written by Ryan Sean Adams
DeFi Tutorial - a newsletter focused on teaching and educating readers about DeFi with hands on video tutorials
DeFi Value - a place to better understand and evaluate Decentralized Finance
DeFi Weekly - a weekly in-depth review of technical achievements within decentralized finance
Dose of DeFi - a weekly newsletter that specializes in deep dives on topics in the space
EthHub Weekly Newsletter - a collection of the week's Ethereum and cryptocurrency news curated by the founders of EthHub
The Defiant - a curated list of daily news in the DeFi space explained and conensed down to a digestable level by Camila Russo
Concourse Open Community - an open community of builders, enthusiasts and researchers working towards a free, bountiful and decentralized future for everyone
Dai para principiantes - a spanish-first Dai and Defi educational website, tutorials & active community
DeFi Nation - a DeFi-oriented community featuring discussions, walk-throughs, Q&A calls and more
Ethereum Italia - an Ethereum focused community in Italy with a strong presence on all social media
Hola DeFi - a DeFi product directory for the Spanish-speaking community
The IOTA/Tangle community seems to be the least focused on tokenization. Here's why that's wrong: IOTA may be feeless, but it's not free to use. Users are paying in:
IOTA Volatility (regularly >1% daily)
Exchange fees - moving in/out of IOTA to avoid volatility (0.25 - 1%)
Transaction fees, volatility or exchange fees. Value is lost, it doesn't matter how. "but IOTA will stabilize as it grows" Yes it will, but too slowly for it to matter. Bitcoin isn't stable now at $100 billion, nor was it stable at $300 billion. IOTA won't be either. (IOTA would grow 250-750x in value to reach those market caps. Of course there will be enormous volatility on the way up) Maybe they will be stable enough to use as a medium of exchange (MoE) if they ever reach $trillions. What the Tangle needs most is a stablecoin. Picture this combination:
Ethereum tokens (ERC20/721) - programmable, standardized, plug and play.
Colored coins - every token unit is created 'from' IOTA
Ethereum DAI is supposed to be divisible to 18 decimal places - but gas fees stop you at 2 ($0.01) Tangle DAI (TAI) could be truly divisible, with each unit created from 1i: $1 to $0.01 = 100i ($1 million = 100Mi) $1 to $0.0001 = 10Ki ($1 million = 10Gi) etc This allows for stable micropayments, 100 - 10,000x smaller than what is currently possible. Important points:
TAI would remove the need to ever 'exit' the Tangleconomy.
TAI could be pegged to any single/basket of assets, not just fiat.
TAI Stabilization > DAI's, because of feeless/granular arbitrage. (peg could be $0.99999X, instead of $0.999X)
TAI could have different levels of divisibility ($0.01, $0.0001, etc)
TAI drives IOTA value, making the latter more desirable as a MoE as they both grow.
TAI would accelerate the growth of the Tangle - look at everything that has grown around DAI on Ethereum.
TAI > IOTA for large/normal/micro payments. (volatility is a nonstarter)
IOTA > TAI for nano payments ($0.00001>), unless supply is drastically increased.
This has a couple of effects:
Short/medium term, it removes most of the need for IOTA as an MoE.
IOTA supply will need to be carefully considered/eventually increased. (At $0.10Mi - 1i costs $0.0000001. At $100Mi - 1i costs $0.0001)
Long term, if IOTA grows from billions to trillions, it could become THE medium of exchange.
Is bitcoin really viable as a peer-to-peer electronic cash? Due to high transaction costs and slow transaction speeds, how can we ever use bitcoin to purchase, for example, a Sprite and a bag of potato chips at a gas station? If I want to send a micropayment, for example, of 1000 sats on-chain I can pretty much forget about it because no miner will for and the ftransaction hangs out in the memepool indefinitely. I had a lot of hope for lightning network, but I am now starting to have doubts about its long-term success. What happens when someone using lightning wants to settling a microtransaction on the bitcoin blockchain? How secure is bitcoin really? Remember when cz binance wanted to people to thank him for not ordering a re-org to recover lost funds? Isn't bitcoin mining dangerously centralized? What if in the future there is a terrorist attack by government or other criminal orgs that involve bombing or burning large bitcoin mining facilities. Satoshi writes in the white paper that we propose a solution to the double spending problem, but has this really been achieved? Double spends are still possible with a 51% attack, so what solution to double spending has been achieved. Can't large mining pools conspire to attack bitcoin. These are concerns I have for the long-term viability and intrinsic value of bitcoin.
TERN: Ternio’s own cryptocurrency that is based on the Stellar blockchain. It is a perfect value exchange for instant peer to peer micropayments and often confirms transactions in under 5 seconds for fractions of a penny. TERN can be exchanged peer to peer with any wallet that supports Stellar based assets, but is given even utility as the payment token used on all Ternio products including Lexicon and BlockCard. Use Case: TERN is Ternio’s own digital currency and is the payment token used on all Ternio products. Every BlockCard uses TERN as the default spendable asset. All non-TERN deposits such as Bitcoin are converted to TERN when deposited in the BlockCard dashboard. The value of TERN is tied to usage of the BlockCard ecosystem. As users deposit on BlockCard, the value of TERN increases. As people spend, the value decreases. We have worked hard to build utility of TERN into the functionality of BlockCard. LiveVISA Debit card with 6.38% crypto back on all spend. BlockCard TERN link: https://getblockcard.com/supported-currencies/ternio/ CMC LINK:https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/ternio/ Recent Video (Crypto Crow):https://youtu.be/tustQqYH7nM?t=409 Calling for 140,000% gain
Bitcoin To Reach $397,000 By 2030 According To A Crypto Research Report
Researchers Also Predicted Ethereum To Reach Prices Of Over $3,600 By 2030 The latest report by CryptoReseach made a shocking price prediction that Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, would be over $397,000 by 2030. The researchers also noted that the price movement of the altcoin sector would closely follow Bitcoin. Interestingly, researchers noted that the biggest price surge would be in the following five years, with another five years of steady price increases. Researchers believe that Bitcoin “is still in its early phase of mass adoption”, as the crypto leader is only working with 0,44% of its potential addressable market. “If Bitcoin manages to penetrate and reach 10% of its potential market, we are seeing non-discounted prices of $400,000 per Bitcoin”, the report stated. The CryptoResearch team also took one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies into account. It turns out that Ethereum (ETH) is anticipated to grow ten-fold over the course of the next five years, Litecoin (LTC) would surge from its present $83 price point to $2,252 by 2030. The report also includes Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Stellar (XLM). The price increases mean that Bitcoin would up its price by 4,000% by 2030, while Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash would see a price increase of 1,600%, 5,000%, and 5,400%, respectively. Stellar, however, is set to gain the most, with an 11,000% total price increase by 2030. Source: Crypto Research The research company used the Target Addressable Market (TAM) metric, which is used to “determine the implied future price of crypto assets.” The researchers explained that they use numerous metrics to derive their predictions, such as tax evasion, remittance, store of value, micropayments, online transactions, online loans and gambling, crypto trading, and others. CryptoResearch also noted that the off-chain velocity of the researched crypto assets is increasing, as opposed to their on-chain velocity numbers. Off-chain velocity is referred to as trading on crypto exchanges, while the on-chain velocity is a measure of the amount of transaction on a given blockchain. For instance, Bitcoin’s off-chain velocity and the price moved almost simultaneously. https://preview.redd.it/i0vo86uulu751.jpg?width=1300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cba4cd3dde364869d747a88b3229e6c4e39e5833 “If cryptos see mass adoption in the long run, as well as short-run speculative or retail usage, their prices will definitely go up. However, the increase in off-chain velocity means cryptocurrencies are primarily used as speculation assets, rather than a store of value.” The researchers concluded.
First and foremost, what we have here is a micropayments system that doesn't use the blockchain. .... its a "layer 2 solution".... well, actually, its not. Its like a hyperlayer. Its a hyperlayer solution. What we've done here is notice there is a component of monero's fundamental protocol ( the decentralized proof of work ) that can be useful. Although, if you step back, its really not entirely novel, per se. I mean, obviously, its kinda similar to some of the original ideas with proof of work - like in spam prevention, you would have to do some work before sending someone an email. And this has kinda been done in bitcoin, long ago, when you could mine something reasonable with your home PC, or hell, a phone. But it obviously didn't catch on, because it soon became impossible to do any sort of mining with commodity hardware in bitcoin. Sure, in some future, all devices could come with a built in sha256 ASIC so that you could provide work to access whatever online content you want... shit, im getting ahead of myself. The entire thing here is that we have micropayments - universal micropayments that ANYONE CAN MAKE just using their device - that don't settle on the blockchain... (well they do, but you get my point). So they don't clog up the blockchain. This has been somewhat developed here: https://repo.getmonero.org/selene/primo But yeah, back to the revolutionary point. Everyone has a monero mining device. EVERYONE. If you have some kind of circuitry with at least 2 MB cache and 4 GB ram, you can use that device to pay for content even if you can't access any currency system AT ALL. WUT The revolution will not be centralized. Man, I forgot the point of this post. Just read the title. My point is, we do awesome stuff here. And then we just let it sit there. We need to do some PR, or develop some sexy website that you have to submit hashes so your crypto kitties can mate with some crypto wombats and make jerklenorbs, and we gotta call it something cool. I was thinking HFS, hash for service, but maybe something like....
And no other cryptocurrency can do this! Monero, right now, and hopefully forever, is claiming the silicon space by matchings its proof of work to the ubiquitous silicon already out there! People can send in hashes from their existing phone chips because those hashes actually have value in monero. In an ASIC network, your phones hashes would be useless. And the centralized PoW chains can never get this technology, because the centralized mining forces will always win. Always. So yeah, what should we call it.
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 ablockchainnetwork structure, a notion first created byStuart 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.
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).
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 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:
Alice sends Bob 1 BTC, and Bob sends Merchant Carol this 1 BTC for some goods.
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.
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.
Now Carol will not receive his 1 BTC, as the network looks for transaction 12345 to ensure that Bob’s wallet balance is valid.
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 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.
Technical: A Brief History of Payment Channels: from Satoshi to Lightning Network
Who cares about political tweets from some random country's president when payment channels are a much more interesting and are actually capable of carrying value? So let's have a short history of various payment channel techs!
Generation 0: Satoshi's Broken nSequence Channels
Because Satoshi's Vision included payment channels, except his implementation sucked so hard we had to go fix it and added RBF as a by-product. Originally, the plan for nSequence was that mempools would replace any transaction spending certain inputs with another transaction spending the same inputs, but only if the nSequence field of the replacement was larger. Since 0xFFFFFFFF was the highest value that nSequence could get, this would mark a transaction as "final" and not replaceable on the mempool anymore. In fact, this "nSequence channel" I will describe is the reason why we have this weird rule about nLockTime and nSequence. nLockTime actually only works if nSequence is not 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. final. If nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF then nLockTime is ignored, because this if the "final" version of the transaction. So what you'd do would be something like this:
You go to a bar and promise the bartender to pay by the time the bar closes. Because this is the Bitcoin universe, time is measured in blockheight, so the closing time of the bar is indicated as some future blockheight.
For your first drink, you'd make a transaction paying to the bartender for that drink, paying from some coins you have. The transaction has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, and a starting nSequence of 0. You hand over the transaction and the bartender hands you your drink.
For your succeeding drink, you'd remake the same transaction, adding the payment for that drink to the transaction output that goes to the bartender (so that output keeps getting larger, by the amount of payment), and having an nSequence that is one higher than the previous one.
Eventually you have to stop drinking. It comes down to one of two possibilities:
You drink until the bar closes. Since it is now the nLockTime indicated in the transaction, the bartender is able to broadcast the latest transaction and tells the bouncers to kick you out of the bar.
You wisely consider the state of your liver. So you re-sign the last transaction with a "final" nSequence of 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. the maximum possible value it can have. This allows the bartender to get his or her funds immediately (nLockTime is ignored if nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF), so he or she tells the bouncers to let you out of the bar.
Now that of course is a payment channel. Individual payments (purchases of alcohol, so I guess buying coffee is not in scope for payment channels). Closing is done by creating a "final" transaction that is the sum of the individual payments. Sure there's no routing and channels are unidirectional and channels have a maximum lifetime but give Satoshi a break, he was also busy inventing Bitcoin at the time. Now if you noticed I called this kind of payment channel "broken". This is because the mempool rules are not consensus rules, and cannot be validated (nothing about the mempool can be validated onchain: I sigh every time somebody proposes "let's make block size dependent on mempool size", mempool state cannot be validated by onchain data). Fullnodes can't see all of the transactions you signed, and then validate that the final one with the maximum nSequence is the one that actually is used onchain. So you can do the below:
Become friends with Jihan Wu, because he owns >51% of the mining hashrate (he totally reorged Bitcoin to reverse the Binance hack right?).
Slip Jihan Wu some of the more interesting drinks you're ordering as an incentive to cooperate with you. So say you end up ordering 100 drinks, you split it with Jihan Wu and give him 50 of the drinks.
When the bar closes, Jihan Wu quickly calls his mining rig and tells them to mine the version of your transaction with nSequence 0. You know, that first one where you pay for only one drink.
Because fullnodes cannot validate nSequence, they'll accept even the nSequence=0 version and confirm it, immutably adding you paying for a single alcoholic drink to the blockchain.
The bartender, pissed at being cheated, takes out a shotgun from under the bar and shoots at you and Jihan Wu.
Jihan Wu uses his mystical chi powers (actually the combined exhaust from all of his mining rigs) to slow down the shotgun pellets, making them hit you as softly as petals drifting in the wind.
The bartender mutters some words, clothes ripping apart as he or she (hard to believe it could be a she but hey) turns into a bear, ready to maul you for cheating him or her of the payment for all the 100 drinks you ordered from him or her.
Steely-eyed, you stand in front of the bartender-turned-bear, daring him to touch you. You've watched Revenant, you know Leonardo di Caprio could survive a bear mauling, and if some posh actor can survive that, you know you can too. You make a pose. "Drunken troll logic attack!"
I think I got sidetracked here.
Bears are bad news.
You can't reasonably invoke "Satoshi's Vision" and simultaneously reject the Lightning Network because it's not onchain. Satoshi's Vision included a half-assed implementation of payment channels with nSequence, where the onchain transaction represented multiple logical payments, exactly what modern offchain techniques do (except modern offchain techniques actually work). nSequence (the field, but not its modern meaning) has been in Bitcoin since BitCoin For Windows Alpha 0.1.0. And its original intent was payment channels. You can't get nearer to Satoshi's Vision than being a field that Satoshi personally added to transactions on the very first public release of the BitCoin software, like srsly.
Miners can totally bypass mempool rules. In fact, the reason why nSequence has been repurposed to indicate "optional" replace-by-fee is because miners are already incentivized by the nSequence system to always follow replace-by-fee anyway. I mean, what do you think those drinks you passed to Jihan Wu are, other than the fee you pay him to mine a specific version of your transaction?
Satoshi made mistakes. The original design for nSequence is one of them. Today, we no longer use nSequence in this way. So diverging from Satoshi's original design is part and parcel of Bitcoin development, because over time, we learn new lessons that Satoshi never knew about. Satoshi was an important landmark in this technology. He will not be the last, or most important, that we will remember in the future: he will only be the first.
Incentive-compatible time-limited unidirectional channel; or, Satoshi's Vision, Fixed (if transaction malleability hadn't been a problem, that is). Now, we know the bartender will turn into a bear and maul you if you try to cheat the payment channel, and now that we've revealed you're good friends with Jihan Wu, the bartender will no longer accept a payment channel scheme that lets one you cooperate with a miner to cheat the bartender. Fortunately, Jeremy Spilman proposed a better way that would not let you cheat the bartender. First, you and the bartender perform this ritual:
You get some funds and create a transaction that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig between you and the bartender. You don't broadcast this yet: you just sign it and get its txid.
You create another transaction that spends the above transaction. This transaction (the "backoff") has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, plus one block. You sign it and give this backoff transaction (but not the above transaction) to the bartender.
The bartender signs the backoff and gives it back to you. It is now valid since it's spending a 2-of-2 of you and the bartender, and both of you have signed the backoff transaction.
Now you broadcast the first transaction onchain. You and the bartender wait for it to be deeply confirmed, then you can start ordering.
The above is probably vaguely familiar to LN users. It's the funding process of payment channels! The first transaction, the one that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig, is the funding transaction that backs the payment channel funds. So now you start ordering in this way:
For your first drink, you create a transaction spending the funding transaction output and sending the price of the drink to the bartender, with the rest returning to you.
You sign the transaction and pass it to the bartender, who serves your first drink.
For your succeeding drinks, you recreate the same transaction, adding the price of the new drink to the sum that goes to the bartender and reducing the money returned to you. You sign the transaction and give it to the bartender, who serves you your next drink.
At the end:
If the bar closing time is reached, the bartender signs the latest transaction, completing the needed 2-of-2 signatures and broadcasting this to the Bitcoin network. Since the backoff transaction is the closing time + 1, it can't get used at closing time.
If you decide you want to leave early because your liver is crying, you just tell the bartender to go ahead and close the channel (which the bartender can do at any time by just signing and broadcasting the latest transaction: the bartender won't do that because he or she is hoping you'll stay and drink more).
If you ended up just hanging around the bar and never ordering, then at closing time + 1 you broadcast the backoff transaction and get your funds back in full.
Now, even if you pass 50 drinks to Jihan Wu, you can't give him the first transaction (the one which pays for only one drink) and ask him to mine it: it's spending a 2-of-2 and the copy you have only contains your own signature. You need the bartender's signature to make it valid, but he or she sure as hell isn't going to cooperate in something that would lose him or her money, so a signature from the bartender validating old state where he or she gets paid less isn't going to happen. So, problem solved, right? Right? Okay, let's try it. So you get your funds, put them in a funding tx, get the backoff tx, confirm the funding tx... Once the funding transaction confirms deeply, the bartender laughs uproariously. He or she summons the bouncers, who surround you menacingly. "I'm refusing service to you," the bartender says. "Fine," you say. "I was leaving anyway;" You smirk. "I'll get back my money with the backoff transaction, and posting about your poor service on reddit so you get negative karma, so there!" "Not so fast," the bartender says. His or her voice chills your bones. It looks like your exploitation of the Satoshi nSequence payment channel is still fresh in his or her mind. "Look at the txid of the funding transaction that got confirmed." "What about it?" you ask nonchalantly, as you flip open your desktop computer and open a reputable blockchain explorer. What you see shocks you. "What the --- the txid is different! You--- you changed my signature?? But how? I put the only copy of my private key in a sealed envelope in a cast-iron box inside a safe buried in the Gobi desert protected by a clan of nomads who have dedicated their lives and their childrens' lives to keeping my private key safe in perpetuity!" "Didn't you know?" the bartender asks. "The components of the signature are just very large numbers. The sign of one of the signature components can be changed, from positive to negative, or negative to positive, and the signature will remain valid. Anyone can do that, even if they don't know the private key. But because Bitcoin includes the signatures in the transaction when it's generating the txid, this little change also changes the txid." He or she chuckles. "They say they'll fix it by separating the signatures from the transaction body. They're saying that these kinds of signature malleability won't affect transaction ids anymore after they do this, but I bet I can get my good friend Jihan Wu to delay this 'SepSig' plan for a good while yet. Friendly guy, this Jihan Wu, it turns out all I had to do was slip him 51 drinks and he was willing to mine a tx with the signature signs flipped." His or her grin widens. "I'm afraid your backoff transaction won't work anymore, since it spends a txid that is not existent and will never be confirmed. So here's the deal. You pay me 99% of the funds in the funding transaction, in exchange for me signing the transaction that spends with the txid that you see onchain. Refuse, and you lose 100% of the funds and every other HODLer, including me, benefits from the reduction in coin supply. Accept, and you get to keep 1%. I lose nothing if you refuse, so I won't care if you do, but consider the difference of getting zilch vs. getting 1% of your funds." His or her eyes glow. "GENUFLECT RIGHT NOW." Lesson learned?
Payback's a bitch.
Transaction malleability is a bitchier bitch. It's why we needed to fix the bug in SegWit. Sure, MtGox claimed they were attacked this way because someone kept messing with their transaction signatures and thus they lost track of where their funds went, but really, the bigger impetus for fixing transaction malleability was to support payment channels.
Yes, including the signatures in the hash that ultimately defines the txid was a mistake. Satoshi made a lot of those. So we're just reiterating the lesson "Satoshi was not an infinite being of infinite wisdom" here. Satoshi just gets a pass because of how awesome Bitcoin is.
CLTV-protected Spilman Channels
Using CLTV for the backoff branch. This variation is simply Spilman channels, but with the backoff transaction replaced with a backoff branch in the SCRIPT you pay to. It only became possible after OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY (CLTV) was enabled in 2015. Now as we saw in the Spilman Channels discussion, transaction malleability means that any pre-signed offchain transaction can easily be invalidated by flipping the sign of the signature of the funding transaction while the funding transaction is not yet confirmed. This can be avoided by simply putting any special requirements into an explicit branch of the Bitcoin SCRIPT. Now, the backoff branch is supposed to create a maximum lifetime for the payment channel, and prior to the introduction of OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY this could only be done by having a pre-signed nLockTime transaction. With CLTV, however, we can now make the branches explicit in the SCRIPT that the funding transaction pays to. Instead of paying to a 2-of-2 in order to set up the funding transaction, you pay to a SCRIPT which is basically "2-of-2, OR this singlesig after a specified lock time". With this, there is no backoff transaction that is pre-signed and which refers to a specific txid. Instead, you can create the backoff transaction later, using whatever txid the funding transaction ends up being confirmed under. Since the funding transaction is immutable once confirmed, it is no longer possible to change the txid afterwards.
Todd Micropayment Networks
The old hub-spoke model (that isn't how LN today actually works). One of the more direct predecessors of the Lightning Network was the hub-spoke model discussed by Peter Todd. In this model, instead of payers directly having channels to payees, payers and payees connect to a central hub server. This allows any payer to pay any payee, using the same channel for every payee on the hub. Similarly, this allows any payee to receive from any payer, using the same channel. Remember from the above Spilman example? When you open a channel to the bartender, you have to wait around for the funding tx to confirm. This will take an hour at best. Now consider that you have to make channels for everyone you want to pay to. That's not very scalable. So the Todd hub-spoke model has a central "clearing house" that transport money from payers to payees. The "Moonbeam" project takes this model. Of course, this reveals to the hub who the payer and payee are, and thus the hub can potentially censor transactions. Generally, though, it was considered that a hub would more efficiently censor by just not maintaining a channel with the payer or payee that it wants to censor (since the money it owned in the channel would just be locked uselessly if the hub won't process payments to/from the censored user). In any case, the ability of the central hub to monitor payments means that it can surveill the payer and payee, and then sell this private transactional data to third parties. This loss of privacy would be intolerable today. Peter Todd also proposed that there might be multiple hubs that could transport funds to each other on behalf of their users, providing somewhat better privacy. Another point of note is that at the time such networks were proposed, only unidirectional (Spilman) channels were available. Thus, while one could be a payer, or payee, you would have to use separate channels for your income versus for your spending. Worse, if you wanted to transfer money from your income channel to your spending channel, you had to close both and reshuffle the money between them, both onchain activities.
Poon-Dryja Lightning Network
Bidirectional two-participant channels. The Poon-Dryja channel mechanism has two important properties:
No time limit.
Both the original Satoshi and the two Spilman variants are unidirectional: there is a payer and a payee, and if the payee wants to do a refund, or wants to pay for a different service or product the payer is providing, then they can't use the same unidirectional channel. The Poon-Dryjam mechanism allows channels, however, to be bidirectional instead: you are not a payer or a payee on the channel, you can receive or send at any time as long as both you and the channel counterparty are online. Further, unlike either of the Spilman variants, there is no time limit for the lifetime of a channel. Instead, you can keep the channel open for as long as you want. Both properties, together, form a very powerful scaling property that I believe most people have not appreciated. With unidirectional channels, as mentioned before, if you both earn and spend over the same network of payment channels, you would have separate channels for earning and spending. You would then need to perform onchain operations to "reverse" the directions of your channels periodically. Secondly, since Spilman channels have a fixed lifetime, even if you never used either channel, you would have to periodically "refresh" it by closing it and reopening. With bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels, you may instead open some channels when you first begin managing your own money, then close them only after your lawyers have executed your last will and testament on how the money in your channels get divided up to your heirs: that's just two onchain transactions in your entire lifetime. That is the potentially very powerful scaling property that bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels allow. I won't discuss the transaction structure needed for Poon-Dryja bidirectional channels --- it's complicated and you can easily get explanations with cute graphics elsewhere. There is a weakness of Poon-Dryja that people tend to gloss over (because it was fixed very well by RustyReddit):
You have to store all the revocation keys of a channel. This implies you are storing 1 revocation key for every channel update, so if you perform millions of updates over your entire lifetime, you'd be storing several megabytes of keys, for only a single channel. RustyReddit fixed this by requiring that the revocation keys be generated from a "Seed" revocation key, and every key is just the application of SHA256 on that key, repeatedly. For example, suppose I tell you that my first revocation key is SHA256(SHA256(seed)). You can store that in O(1) space. Then for the next revocation, I tell you SHA256(seed). From SHA256(key), you yourself can compute SHA256(SHA256(seed)) (i.e. the previous revocation key). So you can remember just the most recent revocation key, and from there you'd be able to compute every previous revocation key. When you start a channel, you perform SHA256 on your seed for several million times, then use the result as the first revocation key, removing one layer of SHA256 for every revocation key you need to generate. RustyReddit not only came up with this, but also suggested an efficient O(log n) storage structure, the shachain, so that you can quickly look up any revocation key in the past in case of a breach. People no longer really talk about this O(n) revocation storage problem anymore because it was solved very very well by this mechanism.
Another thing I want to emphasize is that while the Lightning Network paper and many of the earlier presentations developed from the old Peter Todd hub-and-spoke model, the modern Lightning Network takes the logical conclusion of removing a strict separation between "hubs" and "spokes". Any node on the Lightning Network can very well work as a hub for any other node. Thus, while you might operate as "mostly a payer", "mostly a forwarding node", "mostly a payee", you still end up being at least partially a forwarding node ("hub") on the network, at least part of the time. This greatly reduces the problems of privacy inherent in having only a few hub nodes: forwarding nodes cannot get significantly useful data from the payments passing through them, because the distance between the payer and the payee can be so large that it would be likely that the ultimate payer and the ultimate payee could be anyone on the Lightning Network. Lessons learned?
We can decentralize if we try hard enough!
"Hubs bad" can be made "hubs good" if everybody is a hub.
Smart people can solve problems. It's kinda why they're smart.
After LN, there's also the Decker-Wattenhofer Duplex Micropayment Channels (DMC). This post is long enough as-is, LOL. But for now, it uses a novel "decrementing nSequence channel", using the new relative-timelock semantics of nSequence (not the broken one originally by Satoshi). It actually uses multiple such "decrementing nSequence" constructs, terminating in a pair of Spilman channels, one in both directions (thus "duplex"). Maybe I'll discuss it some other time. The realization that channel constructions could actually hold more channel constructions inside them (the way the Decker-Wattenhofer puts a pair of Spilman channels inside a series of "decrementing nSequence channels") lead to the further thought behind Burchert-Decker-Wattenhofer channel factories. Basically, you could host multiple two-participant channel constructs inside a larger multiparticipant "channel" construct (i.e. host multiple channels inside a factory). Further, we have the Decker-Russell-Osuntokun or "eltoo" construction. I'd argue that this is "nSequence done right". I'll write more about this later, because this post is long enough. Lessons learned?
Bitcoin offchain scaling is more powerful than you ever thought.
Transcript of discussion between an ASIC designer and several proof-of-work designers from #monero-pow channel on Freenode this morning
[08:07:01] lukminer contains precompiled cn/r math sequences for some blocks: https://lukminer.org/2019/03/09/oh-kay-v4r-here-we-come/ [08:07:11] try that with RandomX :P [08:09:00] tevador: are you ready for some RandomX feedback? it looks like the CNv4 is slowly stabilizing, hashrate comes down... [08:09:07] how does it even make sense to precompile it? [08:09:14] mine 1% faster for 2 minutes? [08:09:35] naturally we think the entire asic-resistance strategy is doomed to fail :) but that's a high-level thing, who knows. people may think it's great. [08:09:49] about RandomX: looks like the cache size was chosen to make it GPU-hard [08:09:56] looking forward to more docs [08:11:38] after initial skimming, I would think it's possible to make a 10x asic for RandomX. But at least for us, we will only make an ASIC if there is not a total ASIC hostility there in the first place. That's better for the secret miners then. [08:13:12] What I propose is this: we are working on an Ethash ASIC right now, and once we have that working, we would invite tevador or whoever wants to come to HK/Shenzhen and we walk you guys through how we would make a RandomX ASIC. You can then process this input in any way you like. Something like that. [08:13:49] unless asics (or other accelerators) re-emerge on XMR faster than expected, it looks like there is a little bit of time before RandomX rollout [08:14:22] 10x in what measure? $/hash or watt/hash? [08:14:46] watt/hash [08:15:19] so you can make 10 times more efficient double precisio FPU? [08:16:02] like I said let's try to be productive. You are having me here, let's work together! [08:16:15] continue with RandomX, publish more docs. that's always helpful. [08:16:37] I'm trying to understand how it's possible at all. Why AMD/Intel are so inefficient at running FP calculations? [08:18:05] midipoet ([email protected]/web/irccloud.com/x-vszshqqxwybvtsjm) has joined #monero-pow [08:18:17] hardware development works the other way round. We start with 1) math then 2) optimization priority 3) hw/sw boundary 4) IP selection 5) physical implementation [08:22:32] This still doesn't explain at which point you get 10x [08:23:07] Weren't you the ones claiming "We can accelerate ProgPoW by a factor of 3x to 8x." ? I find it hard to believe too. [08:30:20] sure [08:30:26] so my idea: first we finish our current chip [08:30:35] from simulation to silicon :) [08:30:40] we love this stuff... we do it anyway [08:30:59] now we have a communication channel, and we don't call each other names immediately anymore: big progress! [08:31:06] you know, we russians have a saying "it was smooth on paper, but they forgot about ravines" [08:31:12] So I need a bit more details [08:31:16] ha ha. good! [08:31:31] that's why I want to avoid to just make claims [08:31:34] let's work [08:31:40] RandomX comes in Sep/Oct, right? [08:31:45] Maybe [08:32:20] We need to audit it first [08:32:31] ok [08:32:59] we don't make chips to prove sw devs that their assumptions about hardware are wrong. especially not if these guys then promptly hardfork and move to the next wrong assumption :) [08:33:10] from the outside, this only means that hw & sw are devaluing each other [08:33:24] neither of us should do this [08:33:47] we are making chips that can hopefully accelerate more crypto ops in the future [08:33:52] signing, verifying, proving, etc. [08:34:02] PoW is just a feature like others [08:34:18] sech1: is it easy for you to come to Hong Kong? (visa-wise) [08:34:20] or difficult? [08:34:33] or are you there sometimes? [08:34:41] It's kind of far away [08:35:13] we are looking forward to more RandomX docs. that's the first step. [08:35:31] I want to avoid that we have some meme "Linzhi says they can accelerate XYZ by factor x" .... "ha ha ha" [08:35:37] right? we don't want that :) [08:35:39] doc is almost finished [08:35:40] What docs do you need? It's described pretty good [08:35:41] so I better say nothing now [08:35:50] we focus on our Ethash chip [08:36:05] then based on that, we are happy to walk interested people through the design and what else it can do [08:36:22] that's a better approach from my view than making claims that are laughed away (rightfully so, because no silicon...) [08:36:37] ethash ASIC is basically a glorified memory controller [08:36:39] sech1: tevador said something more is coming (he just did it again) [08:37:03] yes, some parts of RandomX are not described well [08:37:10] like dataset access logic [08:37:37] RandomX looks like progpow for CPU [08:37:54] yes [08:38:03] it is designed to reflect CPU [08:38:34] so any ASIC for it = CPU in essence [08:39:04] of course there are still some things in regular CPU that can be thrown away for RandomX [08:40:20] uncore parts are not used, but those will use very little power [08:40:37] except for memory controller [08:41:09] I'm just surprised sometimes, ok? let me ask: have you designed or taped out an asic before? isn't it risky to make assumptions about things that are largely unknown? [08:41:23] I would worry [08:41:31] that I get something wrong... [08:41:44] but I also worry like crazy that CNv4 will blow up, where you guys seem to be relaxed [08:42:06] I didn't want to bring up anything RandomX because CNv4 is such a nailbiter... :) [08:42:15] how do you guys know you don't have asics in a week or two? [08:42:38] we don't have experience with ASIC design, but RandomX is simply designed to exactly fit CPU capabilities, which is the best you can do anyways [08:43:09] similar as ProgPoW did with GPUs [08:43:14] some people say they want to do asic-resistance only until the vast majority of coins has been issued [08:43:21] that's at least reasonable [08:43:43] yeah but progpow totally will not work as advertised :) [08:44:08] yeah, I've seen that comment about progpow a few times already [08:44:11] which is no surprise if you know it's just a random sales story to sell a few more GPUs [08:44:13] RandomX is not permanent, we are expecting to switch to ASIC friendly in a few years if possible [08:44:18] yes [08:44:21] that makes sense [08:44:40] linzhi-sonia: how so? will it break or will it be asic-able with decent performance gains? [08:44:41] are you happy with CNv4 so far? [08:45:10] ah, long story. progpow is a masterpiece of deception, let's not get into it here. [08:45:21] if you know chip marketing it makes more sense [08:45:24] linzhi-sonia: So far? lol! a bit early to tell, don't you think? [08:45:35] the diff is coming down [08:45:41] first few hours looked scary [08:45:43] I remain skeptical: I only see ASICs being reasonable if they are already as ubiquitous as smartphones [08:45:46] yes, so far so good [08:46:01] we kbew the diff would not come down ubtil affter block 75 [08:46:10] yes [08:46:22] but first few hours it looks like only 5% hashrate left [08:46:27] looked [08:46:29] now it's better [08:46:51] the next worry is: when will "unexplainable" hashrate come back? [08:47:00] you hope 2-3 months? more? [08:47:05] so give it another couple of days. will probably overshoot to the downside, and then rise a bit as miners get updated and return [08:47:22] 3 months minimum turnaround, yes [08:47:28] nah [08:47:36] don't underestimate asicmakers :) [08:47:54] you guys don't get #1 priority on chip fabs [08:47:56] 3 months = 90 days. do you know what is happening in those 90 days exactly? I'm pretty sure you don't. same thing as before. [08:48:13] we don't do any secret chips btw [08:48:21] 3 months assumes they had a complete design ready to go, and added the last minute change in 1 day [08:48:24] do you know who is behind the hashrate that is now bricked? [08:48:27] innosilicon? [08:48:34] hyc: no no, and no. :) [08:48:44] hyc: have you designed or taped out a chip before? [08:48:51] yes, many years ago [08:49:10] then you should know that 90 days is not a fixed number [08:49:35] sure, but like I said, other makers have greater demand [08:49:35] especially not if you can prepare, if you just have to modify something, or you have more programmability in the chip than some people assume [08:50:07] we are chipmakers, we would never dare to do what you guys are doing with CNv4 :) but maybe that just means you are cooler! [08:50:07] and yes, programmability makes some aspect of turnaround easier [08:50:10] all fine [08:50:10] I hope it works! [08:50:28] do you know who is behind the hashrate that is now bricked? [08:50:29] inno? [08:50:41] we suspect so, but have no evidence [08:50:44] maybe we can try to find them, but we cannot spend too much time on this [08:50:53] it's probably not so much of a secret [08:51:01] why should it be, right? [08:51:10] devs want this cat-and-mouse game? devs get it... [08:51:35] there was one leak saying it's innosilicon [08:51:36] so you think 3 months, ok [08:51:43] inno is cool [08:51:46] good team [08:51:49] IP design house [08:51:54] in Wuhan [08:52:06] they send their people to conferences with fake biz cards :) [08:52:19] pretending to be other companies? [08:52:26] sure [08:52:28] ha ha [08:52:39] so when we see them, we look at whatever card they carry and laugh :) [08:52:52] they are perfectly suited for secret mining games [08:52:59] they made at most $6 million in 2 months of mining, so I wonder if it was worth it [08:53:10] yeah. no way to know [08:53:15] but it's good that you calculate! [08:53:24] this is all about cost/benefit [08:53:25] then you also understand - imagine the value of XMR goes up 5x, 10x [08:53:34] that whole "asic resistance" thing will come down like a house of cards [08:53:41] I would imagine they sell immediately [08:53:53] the investor may fully understand the risk [08:53:57] the buyer [08:54:13] it's not healthy, but that's another discussion [08:54:23] so mid-June [08:54:27] let's see [08:54:49] I would be susprised if CNv4 ASICs show up at all [08:54:56] surprised* [08:54:56] why? [08:55:05] is only an economic question [08:55:12] yeah should be interesting. FPGAs will be near their limits as well [08:55:16] unless XMR goes up a lot [08:55:19] no, not *only*. it's also a technology question [08:55:44] you believe CNv4 is "asic resistant"? which feature? [08:55:53] it's not [08:55:59] cnv4 = Rabdomx ? [08:56:03] no [08:56:07] cnv4=cryptinight/r [08:56:11] ah [08:56:18] CNv4 is the one we have now, I think [08:56:21] since yesterday [08:56:30] it's plenty enough resistant for current XMR price [08:56:45] that may be, yes! [08:56:55] I look at daily payouts. XMR = ca. 100k USD / day [08:57:03] it can hold until October, but it's not asic resistant [08:57:23] well, last 24h only 22,442 USD :) [08:57:32] I think 80 h/s per watt ASICs are possible for CNv4 [08:57:38] linzhi-sonia where do you produce your chips? TSMC? [08:57:44] I'm cruious how you would expect to build a randomX ASIC that outperforms ARM cores for efficiency, or Intel cores for raw speed [08:57:48] curious [08:58:01] yes, tsmc [08:58:21] Our team did the world's first bitcoin asic, Avalon [08:58:25] and upcoming 2nd gen Ryzens (64-core EPYC) will be a blast at RandomX [08:58:28] designed and manufactured [08:58:53] still being marketed? [08:59:03] linzhi-sonia: do you understand what xmr wants to achieve, community-wise? [08:59:14] Avalon? as part of Canaan Creative, yes I think so. [08:59:25] there's not much interesting oing on in SHA256 [08:59:29] Inge-: I would think so, but please speak [08:59:32] hyc: yes [09:00:28] linzhi-sonia: i am curious to hear your thoughts. I am fairly new to this space myself... [09:00:51] oh [09:00:56] we are grandpas, and grandmas [09:01:36] yet I have no problem understanding why ASICS are currently reviled. [09:01:48] xmr's main differentiators to, let's say btc, are anonymity and fungibility [09:01:58] I find the client terribly slow btw [09:02:21] and I think the asic-forking since last may is wrong, doesn't create value and doesn't help with the project objectives [09:02:25] which "the client" ? [09:02:52] Monero GUI client maybe [09:03:12] MacOS, yes [09:03:28] What exactly is slow? [09:03:30] linzhi-sonia: I run my own node, and use the CLI and Monerujo. Have not had issues. [09:03:49] staying in sync [09:03:49] linzhi-sonia: decentralization is also a key principle [09:03:56] one that Bitcoin has failed to maintain [09:04:39] hmm [09:05:00] looks fairly decentralized to me. decentralization is the result of 3 goals imo: resilient, trustless, permissionless [09:05:28] don't ask a hardware maker about physical decentralization. that's too ideological. we focus on logical decentralization. [09:06:11] physical decentralization is important. with bulk of bitnoin mining centered on Chinese hydroelectric dams [09:06:19] have you thought about including block data in the PoW? [09:06:41] yes, of course. [09:07:39] is that already in an algo? [09:08:10] hyc: about "centered on chinese hydro" - what is your source? the best paper I know is this: https://coinshares.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Mining-Whitepaper-Final.pdf [09:09:01] linzhi-sonia: do you mine on your ASICs before you sell them? [09:09:13] besides testing of course [09:09:45] that paper puts Chinese btc miners at 60% max [09:10:05] tevador: I think everybody learned that that is not healthy long-term! [09:10:16] because it gives the chipmaker a cost advantage over its own customers [09:10:33] and cost advantage leads to centralization (physical and logical) [09:10:51] you guys should know who finances progpow and why :) [09:11:05] but let's not get into this, ha ha. want to keep the channel civilized. right OhGodAGirl ? :) [09:11:34] tevador: so the answer is no! 100% and definitely no [09:11:54] that "self-mining" disease was one of the problems we have now with asics, and their bad reputation (rightfully so) [09:13:08] I plan to write a nice short 2-page paper or so on our chip design process. maybe it's interesting to some people here. [09:13:15] basically the 5 steps I mentioned before, from math to physical [09:13:32] linzhi-sonia: the paper you linked puts 48% of bitcoin mining in Sichuan. the total in China is much more than 60% [09:13:38] need to run it by a few people to fix bugs, will post it here when published [09:14:06] hyc: ok! I am just sharing the "best" document I know today. it definitely may be wrong and there may be a better one now. [09:14:18] hyc: if you see some reports, please share [09:14:51] hey I am really curious about this: where is a PoW algo that puts block data into the PoW? [09:15:02] the previous paper I read is from here http://hackingdistributed.com/2018/01/15/decentralization-bitcoin-ethereum/ [09:15:38] hyc: you said that already exists? (block data in PoW) [09:15:45] it would make verification harder [09:15:49] linzhi-sonia: https://the-eye.eu/public/Books/campdivision.com/PDF/Computers%20General/Privacy/bitcoin/meh/hashimoto.pdf [09:15:51] but for chips it would be interesting [09:15:52] we discussed the possibility about a year ago https://www.reddit.com/Monero/comments/8bshrx/what_we_need_to_know_about_proof_of_work_pow/ [09:16:05] oh good links! thanks! need to read... [09:16:06] I think that paper by dryja was original [09:17:53] since we have a nice flow - second question I'm very curious about: has anyone thought about in-protocol rewards for other functions? [09:18:55] we've discussed micropayments for wallets to use remote nodes [09:18:55] you know there is a lot of work in other coins about STARK provers, zero-knowledge, etc. many of those things very compute intense, or need to be outsourced to a service (zether). For chipmakers, in-protocol rewards create an economic incentive to accelerate those things. [09:19:50] whenever there is an in-protocol reward, you may get the power of ASICs doing something you actually want to happen [09:19:52] it would be nice if there was some economic reward for running a fullnode, but no one has come up with much more than that afaik [09:19:54] instead of fighting them off [09:20:29] you need to use asics, not fight them. that's an obvious thing to say for an asicmaker... [09:20:41] in-protocol rewards can be very powerful [09:20:50] like I said before - unless the ASICs are so useful they're embedded in every smartphone, I dont see them being a positive for decentralization [09:21:17] if they're a separate product, the average consumer is not going to buy them [09:21:20] now I was talking about speedup of verifying, signing, proving, etc. [09:21:23] they won't even know what they are [09:22:07] if anybody wants to talk about or design in-protocol rewards, please come talk to us [09:22:08] the average consumer also doesn't use general purpose hardware to secure blockchains either [09:22:14] not just for PoW, in fact *NOT* for PoW [09:22:32] it requires sw/hw co-design [09:23:10] we are in long-term discussions/collaboration over this with Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash. just talk right now. [09:23:16] this was recently published though suggesting more uptake though I guess https://btcmanager.com/college-students-are-the-second-biggest-miners-of-cryptocurrency/ [09:23:29] I find it pretty hard to believe their numbers [09:24:03] well [09:24:09] sorry, original article: https://www.pcmag.com/news/366952/college-kids-are-using-campus-electricity-to-mine-crypto [09:24:11] just talk, no? rumors [09:24:18] college students are already more educated than the average consumer [09:24:29] we are not seeing many such customers anymore [09:24:30] it's data from cisco monitoring network traffic