New system makes it harder to track Bitcoin transactions

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

The Mysterious Entity that Caused the Bitcoin Network fees to Jump 146% in May

The Mysterious Entity that Caused the Bitcoin Network fees to Jump 146% in May
May 25, 2020
SHARE0
Bitcoin price has yet again taken a dive to $8,800, recording a drop of 4%.
Meanwhile, Network Demand Score which is a metric incorporating network velocity, transaction value, fees, and miner’s rolling inventory, climbed to 6/6 following the bitcoin halving meaning the network is growing stronger which could also be a sign that “we’re in a longer-term bull market.”
Since March 12th, just before the massive sell-off, this score has remained above a 3/6 reflecting growing strength in network activity and instilling confidence in the ongoing uptrend for the bitcoin price.
3 Reasons why fees skyrocketed
One component of this indicator, bitcoin on-chain fees has been surging like crazy.
Last week, Bitcoin average transaction fee climbed to $7, last seen in February 2018. This has the miner revenues from fees rising to the levels not seen for more than 2 years. But this week, it also dropped 55% to $3.13.
The increase in transaction fees, which is increasingly becoming more important for Bitcoin network security, has been because of the unconfirmed transactions piling on in mempool.
A decline in hash rate following halving caused fewer blocks to be found and will continue until the next difficulty adjustment has been one of the reasons behind this jump in fees.
The other reason is the large fluctuations in bitcoin price which has traders sending coins between exchanges.
Ather reason is a “mysterious entity which has been consolidating outputs at the highest fee rates, driving up fees for everyone,” pointed out Serrrgej Kotliar, CEO Bitrefill.
Who is this “Crazy1o1”?
Over the weekend Kotliar shared how, for the past 14 days, this mysterious entity has consolidated a lower-bound of 720 thousand outputs, 5 MB per day, more than BitMEX.
Since May 1st, this entity named “Crazy1o1” has spent around 804k UTXOs and has paid more than 104BTC in mining fees during this time, noted Laurent.
“On some days, these fees are equivalent to 10-12% of all the fees received by miners,” he said.
Laurent along with others suspect this entity to be the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Earlier this month, it was also found that crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is making the bitcoin network expensive for everyone and its own users are paying 6.8% of total daily transaction fees.
Prepare for the next bull market
All of this a “decent fire drill for what might happen if we see another bull market,” said Kotliar. Grubles from Blockstream said,
“ON-CHAIN FEES AND BTC PRICE MOVEMENTS CHART. YOU CAN SEE THAT BIG MOVEMENTS RESULT IN PEOPLE RUSHING TO TRANSACT (ALMOST CERTAINLY TO/FROM EXCHANGES), PUSHING FEES UP FOR OTHER NON-TRADER USERS WHO NEED UNCENSORABLE / IRREVERSIBLE TRANSACTIONS.”
The fees reached its all-time high at over $55 during the peak of the bull market in December 2017. As such in the next bull market, a 5x growth in on-chain transactions should be expected.
But given that batching, one of the many ways the network has been scaled is here, it will prevent the pressure on the network from getting worse than 2017. But exchanges will need to be prepared for this.
submitted by kealenz to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Filecoin | Development Status and Mining Progress

Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
https://preview.redd.it/5bqakdqgl3g51.jpg?width=865&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b709794863977eb6554e3919b9e00ca750e3e704
A decentralized storage network that transforms cloud storage into an account market. Miners obtain the integrity of the original protocol by providing data storage and / or retrieval. On the contrary, customers pay miners to store or distribute data and retrieve it.
Filecoin announced, that there will be more delays before its main network is officially launched.
Filecoin developers postponed the release date of their main network to late July to late August 2020.
As mentioned in a recent announcement, the Filecoin team said that the initiative completed the first round of the internal protocol security audit. Platform developers claim that the results of the review showed that they need to make several changes to the protocol’s code base before performing the second stage of the software testing process.
Created by Protocol Labs, Filecoin was developed using File System (IPFS), which is a peer-to-peer data storage network. Filecoin will allow users to trade storage space in an open and decentralized market.
Filecoin developers implemented one of the largest cryptocurrency sales in 2017. They have privately obtained over $ 200 million from professional or accredited investors, including many institutional investors.
The main network was slated to launch last month, but in February 2020, the Philly Queen development team delayed the release of the main network between July 15 and July 17, 2020.
They claimed that the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China was the main cause of the delay. The developers now say that they need more time to solve the problems found during a recent codecase audit.
The Filecoin team noted the following:
“We have drafted a number of protocol changes to ensure that building our major network launch is safe and economically sound.” The project developers will add them to two different implementations of Filecoin (Lotus and go-filecoin) in the coming weeks.
Filecoin developers conducted a survey to allow platform community members to cast their votes on three different launch dates for Testnet Phase 2 and mainnet.
The team reported that the community gave their votes. Based on the vote results, the Filecoin team announced a “conservative” estimate that the second phase of the network test should begin by May 11, 2020. The main Filecoin network may be launched sometime between July 20 and August 21, 2020.
The updates to the project can be found on the Filecoin Road Map.
Filecoin developers stated:
“This option will make us get the most important protocol changes first, and then implement the rest as protocol updates during testnet.” Filecoin is back down from the final test stage.
Another filecoin decentralized storage network provider launched its catalytic test network, the final stage of the storage network test that supports the blockchain.
In a blog post on her website, Filecoin said she will postpone the last test round until August. The company also announced a calibration period from July 20 to August 3 to allow miners to test their mining settings and get an idea of how competition conditions affected their rewards.
Filecoin had announced earlier last month that the catalytic testnet test would precede its flagship launch. The delay in the final test also means that the company has returned the main launch window between August 31 and September 21.
Despite the lack of clear incentives for miners and multiple delays, Filecoin has succeeded in attracting huge interest, especially in China. Investors remained highly speculating on the network’s mining hardware and its premium price.
Mining in Filecoin
In most blockchain protocols, “miners” are network participants who do the work necessary to promote and maintain the blockchain. To provide these services, miners are compensated in the original cryptocurrency.
Mining in Filecoin works completely differently — instead of contributing to computational power, miners contribute storage capacity to use for dealing with customers looking to store data.
Filecoin will contain several types of miners:
Storage miners responsible for storing files and data on the network. Miners retrieval, responsible for providing quick tubes for file recovery. Miners repair to be carried out.
Storage miners are the heart of the network. They earn Filecoin by storing data for clients, and computerizing cipher directories to check storage over time. The probability of earning the reward reward and transaction fees is proportional to the amount of storage that the Miner contributes to the Filecoin network, not the hash power.
Retriever miners are the veins of the network. They earn Filecoin by winning bids and mining fees for a specific file, which is determined by the market value of the said file size. Miners bandwidth and recovery / initial transaction response time will determine its ability to close recovery deals on the network.
The maximum bandwidth of the recovery miners will determine the total amount of deals that it can enter into.
In the current implementation, the focus is mostly on storage miners, who sell storage capacity for FIL.

Hardware recommendations

The current system specifications recommended for running the miner are:
Compared to the hardware requirements for running a validity checker, these standards are much higher — although they definitely deserve it. Since these will not increase in the presumed future, the money spent on Filecoin mining hardware will provide users with many years of reliable service, and they pay themselves many times. Think of investing as a small business for cloud storage. To launch a model on the current data hosting model, it will cost millions of dollars in infrastructure and logistics to get started. With Filecoin, you can do the same for a few thousand dollars.
Proceed to mining
Deals are the primary function of the Filecoin network, and it represents an agreement between a client and miners for a “storage” contract.
Once the customer decides to have a miner to store based on the available capacity, duration and price required, he secures sufficient funds in a linked portfolio to cover the total cost of the deal. The deal is then published once the mine accepts the storage agreement. By default, all Filecoin miners are set to automatically accept any deal that meets their criteria, although this can be disabled for miners who prefer to organize their deals manually.
After the deal is published, the customer prepares the data for storage and then transfers it to the miner. Upon receiving all the data, the miner fills in the data in a sector, closes it, and begins to provide proofs to the chain. Once the first confirmation is obtained, the customer can make sure the data is stored correctly, and the deal has officially started.
Throughout the deal, the miner provides continuous proofs to the chain. Clients gradually pay with money they previously closed. If there is missing or late evidence, the miner is punished. More information about this can be found in the Runtime, Cut and Penalties section of this page.
At Filecoin, miners earn two different types of rewards for their efforts: storage fees and reward prevention.
Storage fees are the fees that customers pay regularly after reaching a deal, in exchange for storing data. This fee is automatically deposited into the withdrawal portfolio associated with miners while they continue to perform their duties over time, and is locked for a short period upon receipt.
Block rewards are large sums given to miners calculated on a new block. Unlike storage fees, these rewards do not come from a linked customer; Instead, the new FIL “prints” the network as an inflationary and incentive measure for miners to develop the chain. All active miners on the network have a chance to get a block bonus, their chance to be directly proportional to the amount of storage space that is currently being contributed to the network.
Duration of operation, cutting and penalties
“Slashing” is a feature found in most blockchain protocols, and is used to punish miners who fail to provide reliable uptime or act maliciously against the network.
In Filecoin, miners are susceptible to two different types of cut: storage error cut, unanimously reduce error.
Storage Error Reduction is a term used to include a wider range of penalties, including error fees, sector penalties, and termination fees. Miners must pay these penalties if they fail to provide reliability of the sector or decide to leave the network voluntarily.
An error fee is a penalty that a miner incurs for each non-working day. Sector punishment: A penalty incurred by a miner of a disrupted sector for which no error was reported before the WindowPoSt inspection.
The sector will pay an error fee after the penalty of the sector once the error is discovered.
Termination Fee: A penalty that a miner incurs when a sector is voluntary or involuntarily terminated and removed from the network.
Cutting consensus error is the penalty that a miner incurs for committing consensus errors. This punishment applies to miners who have acted maliciously against the network consensus function.
Filecoin miners
Eight of the top 10 Felticoin miners are Chinese investors or companies, according to the blockchain explorer, while more companies are selling cloud mining contracts and distributed file sharing system hardware. CoinDesk’s Wolfe Chao wrote: “China’s craze for Filecoin may have been largely related to the long-standing popularity of crypto mining in the country overall, which is home to about 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin at discretion.”
With Filecoin approaching the launch of the mainnet blocknet — after several delays since the $ 200 million increase in 2017 — Chinese investors are once again speculating strongly about network mining devices and their premium prices.
Since Protocol Labs, the company behind Filecoin, released its “Test Incentives” program on June 9 that was scheduled to start in a week’s time, more than a dozen Chinese companies have started selling cloud mining contracts and hardware — despite important details such as economics Mining incentives on the main network are still endless.
Sales volumes to date for each of these companies can range from half a million to tens of millions of dollars, according to self-reported data on these platforms that CoinDesk has watched and interviews with several mining hardware manufacturers.
Filecoin’s goal is to build a distributed storage network with token rewards to spur storage hosting as a way to drive wider adoption. Protocol Labs launched a test network in December 2019. But the tokens mined in the testing environment so far are not representative of the true silicon coin that can be traded when the main network is turned on. Moreover, the mining incentive economics on testnet do not represent how final block rewards will be available on the main network.
However, data from Blockecoin’s blocknetin testnet explorers show that eight out of 10 miners with the most effective mining force on testnet are currently Chinese miners.
These eight miners have about 15 petabytes (PB) of effective storage mining power, accounting for more than 85% of the total test of 17.9 petable. For the context, 1 petabyte of hard disk storage = 1000 terabytes (terabytes) = 1 million gigabytes (GB).
Filecoin craze in China may be closely related to the long-standing popularity of crypt mining in the country overall, which is home to about 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin by estimation. In addition, there has been a lot of hype in China about foreign exchange mining since 2018, as companies promote all types of devices when the network is still in development.
“Encryption mining has always been popular in China,” said Andy Tien, co-founder of 1475, one of several mining hardware manufacturers in Philquin supported by prominent Chinese video indicators such as Fenbushi and Hashkey Capital.
“Even though the Velikoyen mining process is more technologically sophisticated, the idea of mining using hard drives instead of specialized machines like Bitcoin ASIC may be a lot easier for retailers to understand,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to Feixiaohao, a Chinese service comparable to CoinMarketCap, nearly 50 Chinese crypto exchanges are often somewhat unknown with some of the more well-known exchanges including Gate.io and Biki — have listed trading pairs for Filecoin currency contracts for USDT.
In bitcoin mining, at the current difficulty level, one segment per second (TH / s) fragmentation rate is expected to generate around 0.000008 BTC within 24 hours. The higher the number of TH / s, the greater the number of bitcoins it should be able to produce proportionately. But in Filecoin, the efficient mining force of miners depends on the amount of data stamped on the hard drive, not the total size of the hard drive.
To close data in the hard drive, the Filecoin miner still needs processing power, i.e. CPU or GPU as well as RAM. More powerful processors with improved software can confine data to the hard drive more quickly, so miners can combine more efficient mining energy faster on a given day.
As of this stage, there appears to be no transparent way at the network level for retail investors to see how much of the purchased hard disk drive was purchased which actually represents an effective mining force.
The U.S.-based Labs Protocol was behind Filecoin’s initial coin offer for 2017, which raised an astonishing $ 200 million.
This was in addition to a $ 50 million increase in private investment supported by notable venture capital projects including Sequoia, Anderson Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. CoinDk’s parent company, CoinDk, has also invested in Protocol Labs.
After rounds of delay, Protocol Protocols said in September 2019 that a testnet launch would be available around December 2019 and the main network would be rolled out in the first quarter of 2020.
The test started as promised, but the main network has been delayed again and is now expected to launch in August 2020. What is Filecoin mining process?
Filecoin mainly consists of three parts: the storage market (the chain), the blockecin Filecoin, and the search market (under the chain). Storage and research market in series and series respectively for security and efficiency. For users, the storage frequency is relatively low, and the security requirements are relatively high, so the storage process is placed on the chain. The retrieval frequency is much higher than the storage frequency when there is a certain amount of data. Given the performance problem in processing data on the chain, the retrieval process under the chain is performed. In order to solve the security issue of payment in the retrieval process, Filecoin adopts the micro-payment strategy. In simple terms, the process is to split the document into several copies, and every time the user gets a portion of the data, the corresponding fee is paid. Types of mines corresponding to Filecoin’s two major markets are miners and warehousers, among whom miners are primarily responsible for storing data and block packages, while miners are primarily responsible for data query. After the stable operation of the major Filecoin network in the future, the mining operator will be introduced, who is the main responsible for data maintenance.
In the initial release of Filecoin, the request matching mechanism was not implemented in the storage market and retrieval market, but the takeover mechanism was adopted. The three main parts of Filecoin correspond to three processes, namely the stored procedure, retrieval process, packaging and reward process. The following figure shows the simplified process and the income of the miners:
The Filecoin mining process is much more complicated, and the important factor in determining the previous mining profit is efficient storage. Effective storage is a key feature that distinguishes Filecoin from other decentralized storage projects. In Filecoin’s EC consensus, effective storage is similar to interest in PoS, which determines the likelihood that a miner will get the right to fill, that is, the proportion of miners effectively stored in the entire network is proportional to final mining revenue.
It is also possible to obtain higher effective storage under the same hardware conditions by improving the mining algorithm. However, the current increase in the number of benefits that can be achieved by improving the algorithm is still unknown.
It seeks to promote mining using Filecoin Discover
Filecoin announced Filecoin Discover — a step to encourage miners to join the Filecoin network. According to the company, Filecoin Discover is “an ever-growing catalog of numerous petabytes of public data covering literature, science, art, and history.” Miners interested in sharing can choose which data sets they want to store, and receive that data on a drive at a cost. In exchange for storing this verified data, miners will earn additional Filecoin above the regular block rewards for storing data. Includes the current catalog of open source data sets; ENCODE, 1000 Genomes, Project Gutenberg, Berkley Self-driving data, more projects, and datasets are added every day.
Ian Darrow, Head of Operations at Filecoin, commented on the announcement:
“Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. This data includes 294 billion emails, 500 million tweets and 64 billion messages on social media. But it is also climatology reports, disease tracking maps, connected vehicle coordinates and much more. It is extremely important that we maintain data that will serve as the backbone for future research and discovery”.
Miners who choose to participate in Filecoin Discover may receive hard drives pre-loaded with verified data, as well as setup and maintenance instructions, depending on the company. The Filecoin team will also host the Slack (fil-Discover-support) channel where miners can learn more.
Filecoin got its fair share of obstacles along the way. Last month Filecoin announced a further delay before its main network was officially launched — after years of raising funds.
In late July QEBR (OTC: QEBR) announced that it had ceded ownership of two subsidiaries in order to focus all of the company’s resources on building blockchain-based mining operations.
The QEBR technology team previously announced that it has proven its system as a Filecoin node valid with CPU, GPU, bandwidth and storage compatibility that meets all IPFS guidelines. The QEBR test system is connected to the main Filecoin blockchain and the already mined filecoin coin has already been tested.
“The disclosure of Sheen Boom and Jihye will allow our team to focus only on the upcoming global launch of Filecoin. QEBR branch, Shenzhen DZD Digital Technology Ltd. (“ DZD “), has a strong background in blockchain development, extraction Data, data acquisition, data processing, data technology research. We strongly believe Filecoin has the potential to be a leading blockchain-based cryptocurrency and will make every effort to make QEBR an important player when Mainecoin mainnet will be launched soon”.
IPFS and Filecoin
Filecoin and IPFS are complementary protocols for storing and sharing data in a decentralized network. While users are not required to use Filecoin and IPFS together, the two combined are working to resolve major failures in the current web infrastructure.
IPFS
It is an open source protocol that allows users to store and transmit verifiable data with each other. IPFS users insist on data on the network by installing it on their own device, to a third-party cloud service (known as Pinning Services), or through community-oriented systems where a group of individual IPFS users share resources to ensure the content stays live.
The lack of an integrated catalytic mechanism is the challenge Filecoin hopes to solve by allowing users to catalyze long-term distributed storage at competitive prices through the storage contract market, while maintaining the efficiency and flexibility that the IPFS network provides.
Using IPFS
In IPFS, the data is hosted by the required data installation nodes. For data to persist while the user node is offline, users must either rely on their other peers to install their data voluntarily or use a central install service to store data.
Peer-to-peer reliance caching data may be a good thing as one or multiple organizations share common files on an internal network, or where strong social contracts can be used to ensure continued hosting and preservation of content in the long run. Most users in an IPFS network use an installation service.
Using Filecoin
The last option is to install your data in a decentralized storage market, such as Filecoin. In Filecoin’s structure, customers make regular small payments to store data when a certain availability, while miners earn those payments by constantly checking the integrity of this data, storing it, and ensuring its quick recovery. This allows users to motivate Filecoin miners to ensure that their content will be live when it is needed, a distinct advantage of relying only on other network users as required using IPFS alone.
Filecoin, powered by IPFS
It is important to know that Filecoin is built on top of IPFS. Filecoin aims to be a very integrated and seamless storage market that takes advantage of the basic functions provided by IPFS, they are connected to each other, but can be implemented completely independently of each other. Users do not need to interact with Filecoin in order to use IPFS.
Some advantages of sharing Filecoin with IPFS:
Of all the decentralized storage projects, Filecoin is undoubtedly the most interested, and IPFS has been running stably for two years, fully demonstrating the strength of its core protocol.
Filecoin’s ability to obtain market share from traditional central storage depends on end-user experience and storage price. Currently, most Filecoin nodes are posted in the IDC room. Actual deployment and operation costs are not reduced compared to traditional central cloud storage, and the storage process is more complicated.
PoRep and PoSt, which has a large number of proofs of unknown operation, are required to cause the actual storage cost to be so, in the early days of the release of Filecoin. The actual cost of storing data may be higher than the cost of central cloud storage, but the initial storage node may reduce the storage price in order to obtain block rewards, which may result in the actual storage price lower than traditional central cloud storage.
In the long term, Filecoin still needs to take full advantage of its P2P storage, convert storage devices from specialization to civil use, and improve its algorithms to reduce storage costs without affecting user experience. The storage problem is an important problem to be solved in the blockchain field, so a large number of storage projects were presented at the 19th Web3 Summit. IPFS is an important part of Web3 visibility. Its development will affect the development of Web3 to some extent. Likewise, Web3 development somewhat determines the future of IPFS. Filecoin is an IPFS-based storage class project initiated by IPFS. There is no doubt that he is highly expected.
Resources :
  1. https://www.coindesk.com/filecoin-pushes-back-final-testing-phase-announces-calibration-period-for-miners
  2. https://docs.filecoin.io/mine/#types-of-miners https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/inside-the-craze-for-filecoin-crypto-mining-in-china-2020-07-12؟amp
  3. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/qebr-streamlines-holdings-to-concentrate-on-filecoin-development-and-mining-301098731.html
  4. https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/05/161200-filecoin-seeks-to-boost-mining-with-filecoin-discove
  5. https://zephyrnet.com/filecoin-seeks-to-boost-mining-with-filecoin-discove
  6. https://docs.filecoin.io/introduction/ipfs-and-filecoin/#filecoin-powered-by-ipfs
submitted by CoinEx_Institution to filecoin [link] [comments]

The Mysterious Entity that Caused the Bitcoin Network fees to Jump 146% in May

Bitcoin price has yet again taken a dive to $8,800, recording a drop of 4%.
Meanwhile, Network Demand Score which is a metric incorporating network velocity, transaction value, fees, and miner’s rolling inventory, climbed to 6/6 following the bitcoin halving meaning the network is growing stronger which could also be a sign that “we’re in a longer-term bull market.”
Since March 12th, just before the massive sell-off, this score has remained above a 3/6 reflecting growing strength in network activity and instilling confidence in the ongoing uptrend for the bitcoin price.
3 Reasons why fees skyrocketed
One component of this indicator, bitcoin on-chain fees has been surging like crazy.
Last week, Bitcoin average transaction fee climbed to $7, last seen in February 2018. This has the miner revenues from fees rising to the levels not seen for more than 2 years. But this week, it also dropped 55% to $3.13.
The increase in transaction fees, which is increasingly becoming more important for Bitcoin network security, has been because of the unconfirmed transactions piling on in mempool.
A decline in hash rate following halving caused fewer blocks to be found and will continue until the next difficulty adjustment has been one of the reasons behind this jump in fees.
The other reason is the large fluctuations in bitcoin price which has traders sending coins between exchanges.
Ather reason is a “mysterious entity which has been consolidating outputs at the highest fee rates, driving up fees for everyone,” pointed out Serrrgej Kotliar, CEO Bitrefill.
Who is this “Crazy1o1”?
Over the weekend Kotliar shared how, for the past 14 days, this mysterious entity has consolidated a lower-bound of 720 thousand outputs, 5 MB per day, more than BitMEX.
Since May 1st, this entity named “Crazy1o1” has spent around 804k UTXOs and has paid more than 104BTC in mining fees during this time, noted Laurent.
“On some days, these fees are equivalent to 10-12% of all the fees received by miners,” he said.
Laurent along with others suspect this entity to be the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Earlier this month, it was also found that crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is making the bitcoin network expensive for everyone and its own users are paying 6.8% of total daily transaction fees.
Prepare for the next bull market
All of this a “decent fire drill for what might happen if we see another bull market,” said Kotliar. Grubles from Blockstream said,
“ON-CHAIN FEES AND BTC PRICE MOVEMENTS CHART. YOU CAN SEE THAT BIG MOVEMENTS RESULT IN PEOPLE RUSHING TO TRANSACT (ALMOST CERTAINLY TO/FROM EXCHANGES), PUSHING FEES UP FOR OTHER NON-TRADER USERS WHO NEED UNCENSORABLE / IRREVERSIBLE TRANSACTIONS.”
The fees reached its all-time high at over $55 during the peak of the bull market in December 2017. As such in the next bull market, a 5x growth in on-chain transactions should be expected.
But given that batching, one of the many ways the network has been scaled is here, it will prevent the pressure on the network from getting worse than 2017. But exchanges will need to be prepared for this.
submitted by kealenz to btc [link] [comments]

I don't know where to go from here...

I'm in tears right now and I don't know where else to turn. The worse thing about what I'm about to explain is the guilt... my situation is pretty OK on paper right now and I know I should be grateful for that... but I'm back to not being able to let go of the fact that I lost a tonne of money and worse than that missed out on a glaring opportunity! And its fucking killing me inside.
For a bit of back story I've always struggled with anxiety and depression and difficulty with emotions in general, its always affected my career and relationships (I'm 40 now). It all stems from having a high functioning alcoholic of a mother and a Dad who took his own life when I was 9. I basically probably have generalised anxiety disorder and complex PTSD which I manage with drugs although I've never been officially diagnosed.
Now one of my survival strategies growing up was a belief that whatever shit was happening now I'd be owed some better luck when I was a grown up. Of course this still sets me up for feeling the victim when things don't go my way.
Ironically there has been some luck around money in that my father's death and more recently my grandparents have meant that in no way rich I've always been able to live without debt. My dad's money meant I had a whilst at uni and didn't have to work on top of study. This was great but I did begin to feel guilty about having spent it by the time I graduated. When my grandfathers money came my way in my mid-twenties I thought I'd do the sensible thing of buying a house. Cue the financial crash of 2008 and between that and buying a money pit... I was down £30,000, practically what he'd left me.
I few years later I started to get my head around stock markets and I realised just how much of an opportunity both the market crash would have been for someone who didn't have all his money tied up in bricks and mortar. I even saw how picking an obvious winner like amazon stock would have been such the better investment than that shitty house.
In 2017 I managed to get in on the Bitcoin gold rush but eventually came out even. I felt this close, but this far to having my dream of buying a house outright so I didn't have to deal with this constant anxiety anymore (basically I have a perpetual fear of losing a job, losing a home and ending up having to take the only way out like my father). In 2018 my grandma died and I was looking for the next opportunity and keeping my eye on Tesla stock.
In 2019 I took voluntary redundancy from my job and having sold my flat a couple of years earlier was feeling good moneywise. The money came from my grandmas estate and I invested some of it in bonds and mutual funds and some in tesla stock. The latter ballooned in early February and things were good.
Late last year Id decided to go travelling in 2020 and so I quit my job in January too and because of some dream of transcending some of my shit I tapered off my meds... mostly because I was determined to get my sex drive back (subsequently found out there's a better brand... speak to a psychiatrist occasionally people)
Anyway by now you can see where this is going. Covid struck, the whole world went nuts... I was stuck in a fucking hut in India losing money hand over fist and I was lucky not to be stuck in a foreign country during a pandemic. I fucking hit rock bottom and was having a constant and unstoppable panic attack. I was on the verge of ending it just to escape the feelings. I wanted to fucking die. So I did the only thing I could think to do that was to drug myself up to the gills, sell all everything stockmarket related and jump on a plane home.
I got home safe and stayed with family whilst the drugs kicked in and my mental health slowly came out the gutter. I was still pretty fucked mind, I didn't believe I could get anything like my previous jobs and I was still so scared I wanted out still. I was calling helplines daily just to get through it. I also knew I'd done wrong in selling everything and now I was home I new I needed to buy back in. Even ££ Cost average my way back in. But I would stare and the computer screen at the end of march in tears trying to decide what to do but my anxiety wouldn't let me do anything... Amazon, Tesla, Apple, funds, bonds... just couldn't pull the trigger.
I started looking for jobs and focused on that... it was a grind and I had to pivot a couple of times to figure out what was left of my career was viable on my CV. But eventually it worked... I got a job, moved into my own place and felt like I was getting back on track.
But of course who knew the stock market doesn't care there's a pandemic on. I would try to avoid the news or checking anything but eventually I would get wind of it of course, and every inch of recovery was another mile that it would no doubt fall if I bought back in.
Now I know that Tesla is almost double what in February I would have made back the £40K I lost by selling... I'm so fucking stupid. I listened to others when I knew what I should do, and ignored others when my anxiety was at its worst. Of course the good sense to buy amazon or apple back in late march has been proved correct... except I didnt. The regret, anger, bitterness is eating me up inside... I can't let go... its just not fair. Even this hurts so much I still want out at times. I can't get passed the fact that I've literally been screwed by two fucking slumps, months and weeks after making a decision, like some big joke of the universe at my expense. Worse than that the gift that my family has left me I've managed to turn into a guilt ridden nightmare by screwing each one up. And the gratitude I should feel is just a fucking ton of anger and regret.
Right now I'm on the maximum dosage of my meds, I have new therapy lined up next week, I'm having to make daily calls or texts to support lines just to get through the days and whilst I would never follow through on hurting myself the thought of not waking up is so appealing. I hate everything about my situation and I hate everything about me. It doesn't help that I got attached to someone I met online during all of this, and just like everyone else who I've got close to they reject me when they realise that I'm broken inside.
I just wish I could turn back to the beginning of 2020, I just want the timing of everything to have played out slightly differently... I feel like every turn I made was the wrong one and once again another version of me got the better deal. I just want to give up but I know I can't for the sake of my dog and my family... I'm alone in my flat and I don't know what to do. I can barely muster a day at work or cook a meal... fuck this shit, fuck all of it.
submitted by HooliganCow to Advice [link] [comments]

DFINITY Research Report

DFINITY Research Report
Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
ABSTRACT
The DFINITY blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. At its core, DFINITY contains a decentralized randomness beacon, which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS.
The DFINITY blockchain is layered on top of the DFINITY beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking. A “weight” is attributed to a chain based on the ranks of the leaders who propose the blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to select between competing chains. The DFINITY blockchain is layered on top of the DFINITY beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking blockchain is further hardened by a notarization process which dramatically improves the time to finality and eliminates the nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks.
DFINITY consensus algorithm is made to scale through continuous quorum selections driven by the random beacon. In practice, DFINITY achieves block times of a few seconds and transaction finality after only two confirmations. The system gracefully handles temporary losses of network synchrony including network splits, while it is provably secure under synchrony.

1.INTRODUCTION

DFINITY is building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource. The company’s platform uses blockchain technology which is aimed at building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource with unlimited capacity, performance and algorithmic governance shared by the world, with the capability to power autonomous self-updating software systems, enabling organizations to design and deploy custom-tailored cloud computing projects, thereby reducing enterprise IT system costs by 90%.
DFINITY aims to explore new territory and prove that the blockchain opportunity is far broader and deeper than anyone has hitherto realized, unlocking the opportunity with powerful new crypto.
Although a standalone project, DFINITY is not maximalist minded and is a great supporter of Ethereum.
The DFINITY blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. At its core, DFINITY contains a decentralized randomness beacon, which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS.
DFINITY’s consensus mechanism has four layers: notary (provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers), blockchain (builds a blockchain from validated transactions via the Probabilistic Slot Protocol driven by the random beacon), random beacon (provides the source of randomness for all higher layers like smart contract applications), and identity (provides a registry of all clients).
DFINITY’s consensus mechanism has four layers

Figure1: DFINITY’s consensus mechanism layers
1. Identity layer:
Active participants in the DFINITY Network are called clients. Where clients are registered with permanent identities under a pseudonym. Moreover, DFINITY supports open membership by providing a protocol for registering new clients by depositing a stake with an insurance period. This is the responsibility of the first layer.
2. Random Beacon layer:
Provides the source of randomness (VRF) for all higher layers including ap- plications (smart contracts). The random beacon in the second layer is an unbiasable, verifiable random function (VRF) that is produced jointly by registered clients. Each random output of the VRF is unpredictable by anyone until just before it becomes avail- able to everyone. This is a key technology of the DFINITY system, which relies on a threshold signature scheme with the properties of uniqueness and non-interactivity.

https://preview.redd.it/hkcf53ic05e51.jpg?width=441&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=44d45c9602ee630705ce92902b8a8379201d8111
3. Blockchain layer:
The third layer deploys the “probabilistic slot protocol” (PSP). This protocol ranks the clients for each height of the chain, in an order that is derived determin- istically from the unbiased output of the random beacon for that height. A weight is then assigned to block proposals based on the proposer’s rank such that blocks from clients at the top of the list receive a higher weight. Forks are resolved by giving favor to the “heaviest” chain in terms of accumulated block weight — quite sim- ilar to how traditional proof-of-work consensus is based on the highest accumulated amount of work.
The first advantage of the PSP protocol is that the ranking is available instantaneously, which allows for a predictable, constant block time. The second advantage is that there is always a single highest-ranked client, which allows for a homogenous network bandwidth utilization. Instead, a race between clients would favor a usage in bursts.
4. Notarization layer:
Provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers. DFINITY deploys the novel technique of block notarization in its fourth layer to speed up finality. A notarization is a threshold signature under a block created jointly by registered clients. Only notarized blocks can be included in a chain. Of all RSA-based alternatives exist but suffer from an impracticality of setting up the thresh- old keys without a trusted dealer.
DFINITY achieves its high speed and short block times exactly because notarization is not full consensus.
DFINITY does not suffer from selfish mining attack or a problem nothing at stake because the authentication step is impossible for the opponent to build and maintain a series of linked and trusted blocks in secret.
DFINITY’s consensus is designed to operate on a network of millions of clients. To en- able scalability to this extent, the random beacon and notarization protocols are designed such as that they can be safely and efficiently delegated to a committee

1.1 OVERVIEW ABOUT DFINITY

DFINITY is a blockchain-based cloud-computing project that aims to develop an open, public network, referred to as the “internet computer,” to host the next generation of software and data. and it is a decentralized and non-proprietary network to run the next generation of mega-applications. It dubbed this public network “Cloud 3.0”.
DFINITY is a third generation virtual blockchain network that sets out to function as an “intelligent decentralised cloud,”¹ strongly focused on delivering a viable corporate cloud solution. The DFINITY project is overseen, supported and promoted by DFINITY Stiftung a not-for-profit foundation based in Zug, Switzerland.
DFINITY is a decentralized network design whose protocols generate a reliable “virtual blockchain computer” running on top of a peer-to-peer network upon which software can be installed and can operate in the tamperproof mode of smart contracts.
DFINITY introduces algorithmic governance in the form of a “Blockchain Nervous System” that can protect users from attacks and help restart broken systems, dynamically optimize network security and efficiency, upgrade the protocol and mitigate misuse of the platform, for example by those wishing to run illegal or immoral systems.
DFINITY is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform that is implementing some revolutionary ideas to address blockchain performance, scaling, and governance. Whereas
DFINITY could pose a credible threat to Ethereum’s extinction, the project is pursuing a coevolutionary strategy by contributing funding and effort to Ethereum projects and freely offering their technology to Ethereum for adoption. DFINITY has labeled itself Ethereum’s “crazy sister” to express it’s close genetic resemblance to Ethereum, differentiated by its obsession with performance and neuron-inspired governance model.
Dfinity raised $61 million from Andreesen Horowitz and Polychain Capital in a February 2018 funding round. At the time, Dfinity said it wanted to create an “internet computer” to cut the costs of running cloud-based business applications. A further $102 million funding round in August 2018 brought the project’s total funding to $195 million.
In May 2018, Dfinity announced plans to distribute around $35 million worth of Dfinity tokens in an airdrop. It was part of the company’s plan to create a “Cloud 3.0.” Because of regulatory concerns, none of the tokens went to US residents.
DFINITY be broadening and strengthening the EVM ecosystem by giving applications a choice of platforms with different characteristics. However, if DFINITY succeeds in delivering a fully EVM-compatible smart contract platform with higher transaction throughput, faster confirmation times, and governance mechanisms that can resolve public disputes without causing community splits, then it will represent a clearly superior choice for deploying new applications and, as its network effects grow, an attractive place to bring existing ones. Of course the challenge for DFINITY will be to deliver on these promises while meeting the security demands of a public chain with significant value at risk.

1.1.1 DFINITY FUTURE

  • DFINITY aims to explore new blockchain territory related to the original goals of the Ethereum project and is sometimes considered “Ethereum’s crazy sister.”
  • DFINITY is developing blockchain-based infrastructure to support a new style of the internet (akin to Ethereum’s “World Computer”), one in which the internet itself will support software applications and data rather than various cloud hosting providers.
  • The project suggests this reinvented software platform can simplify the development of new software systems, reduce the human capital needed to maintain and secure data, and preserve user data privacy.
  • Dfinity aims to reduce the costs of cloud services by creating a decentralized “internet computer” which may launch in 2020
  • Dfinity claims transactions on its network are finalized in 3–5 seconds, compared to 1 hour for Bitcoin and 10 minutes for Ethereum.

1.1.2 DFINITY’S VISION

DFINITY’s vision is its new internet infrastructure can support a wide variety of end-user and enterprise applications. Social media, messaging, search, storage, and peer-to-peer Internet interactions are all examples of functionalities that DFINITY plans to host atop its public Web 3.0 cloud-like computing resource. In order to provide the transaction and data capacity necessary to support this ambitious vision, DFINITY features a unique consensus model (dubbed Threshold Relay) and algorithmic governance via its Blockchain Nervous System (BNS) — sometimes also referred to as the Network Nervous System or NNS.

1.2 DFINITY COMMUNITY

The DFINITY community brings people and organizations together to learn and collaborate on products that help steward the next-generation of internet software and services. The Internet Computer allows developers to take on the monopolization of the internet, and return the internet back to its free and open roots. We’re committed to connecting those who believe the same through our events, content, and discussions.

https://preview.redd.it/0zv64fzf05e51.png?width=637&format=png&auto=webp&s=e2b17365fae3c679a32431062d8e3c00a57673cf

1.3 DFINITY ROADMAP (TIMELINE) February 15, 2017

February 15, 2017
Ethereum based community seed round raises 4M Swiss francs (CHF)
The DFINITY Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation entity based in Zug, Switzerland, raised the round. The foundation held $10M of assets as of April 2017.
February 8, 2018
Dfinity announces a $61M fundraising round led by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz
The round $61M round led by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, along with an DFINITY Ecosystem Venture Fund which will be used to support projects developing on the DFINITY platform, and an Ethereum based raise in 2017 brings the total funding for the project over $100 million. This is the first cryptocurrency token that Andressen Horowitz has invested in, led by Chris Dixon.
August 2018
Dfinity raises a $102,000,000 venture round from Multicoin Capital, Village Global, Aspect Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital, Amino Capital and SV Angel.
January 23, 2020
Dfinity launches an open source platform aimed at the social networking giants

2.DFINITY TECHNOLOGY

Dfinity is building what it calls the internet computer, a decentralized technology spread across a network of independent data centers that allows software to run anywhere on the internet rather than in server farms that are increasingly controlled by large firms, such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud. This week Dfinity is releasing its software to third-party developers, who it hopes will start making the internet computer’s killer apps. It is planning a public release later this year.
At its core, the DFINITY consensus mechanism is a variation of the Proof of Stake (PoS) model, but offers an alternative to traditional Proof of Work (PoW) and delegated PoS (dPoS) networks. Threshold Relay intends to strike a balance between inefficiencies of decentralized PoW blockchains (generally characterized by slow block times) and the less robust game theory involved in vote delegation (as seen in dPoS blockchains). In DFINITY, a committee of “miners” is randomly selected to add a new block to the chain. An individual miner’s probability of being elected to the committee proposing and computing the next block (or blocks) is proportional to the number of dfinities the miner has staked on the network. Further, a “weight” is attributed to a DFINITY chain based on the ranks of the miners who propose blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to choose between competing chains (i.e. resolve chain forks).
A decentralized random beacon manages the random selection process of temporary block producers. This beacon is a Variable Random Function (VRF), which is a pseudo-random function that provides publicly verifiable proofs of its outputs’ correctness. A core component of the random beacon is the use of Boneh-Lynn-Shacham (BLS) signatures. By leveraging the BLS signature scheme, the DFINITY protocol ensures no actor in the network can determine the outcome of the next random assignment.
Dfinity is introducing a new standard, which it calls the internet computer protocol (ICP). These new rules let developers move software around the internet as well as data. All software needs computers to run on, but with ICP the computers could be anywhere. Instead of running on a dedicated server in Google Cloud, for example, the software would have no fixed physical address, moving between servers owned by independent data centers around the world. “Conceptually, it’s kind of running everywhere,” says Dfinity engineering manager Stanley Jones.
DFINITY also features a native programming language, called ActorScript (name may be subject to change), and a virtual machine for smart contract creation and execution. The new smart contract language is intended to simplify the management of application state for programmers via an orthogonal persistence environment (which means active programs are
not required to retrieve or save their state). All ActorScript contracts are eventually compiled down to WebAssembly instructions so the DFINITY virtual machine layer can execute the logic of applications running on the network. The advantage of using the WebAssembly standard is that all major browsers support it and a variety of programming languages can compile down to Wasm (not just ActorScript).
Dfinity is moving fast. Recently, Dfinity showed off a TikTok clone called CanCan. In January it demoed a LinkedIn-alike called LinkedUp. Neither app is being made public, but they make a convincing case that apps made for the internet computer can rival the real things.

2.1 DFINITY CORE APPLICATIONS

The DFINITY cloud has two core applications:
  1. Enabling the re-engineering of business: DFINITY ambitiously aims to facilitate the re-engineering of mass-market services (such as Web Search, Ridesharing Services, Messaging Services, Social Media, Supply Chain, etc) into open source businesses that leverage autonomous software and decentralised governance systems to operate and update themselves more efficiently.
  2. Enable the re-engineering of enterprise IT systems to reduce costs: DFINITY seeks to re-engineer enterprise IT systems to take advantage of the unique properties that blockchain computer networks provide.
At present, computation on blockchain-based computer networks is far more expensive than traditional, centralised solutions (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc). Despite increasing computational cost, DFINITY intends to lower net costs “by 90% or more” through reducing the human capital cost associated with sustaining and supporting these services.
Whilst conceptually similar to Ethereum, DFINITY employs original and new cryptography methods and protocols (crypto:3) at the network level, in concert with AI and network-fuelled systemic governance (Blockchain Nervous System — BNS) to facilitate Corporate adoption.
DFINITY recognises that different users value different properties and sees itself as more of a fully compatible extension of the Ethereum ecosystem rather than a competitor of the Ethereum network.
In the future, DFINITY hopes that much of their “new crypto might be used within the Ethereum network and are also working hard on shared technology components.”
As the DFINITY project develops over time, the DFINITY Stiftung foundation intends to steadily increase the BNS’ decision-making responsibilities over time, eventually resulting in the dissolution of its own involvement entirely, once the BNS is sufficiently sophisticated.
DFINITY consensus mechanism is a heavily optimized proof of stake (PoS) model. It places a strong emphasis on transaction finality through implementing a Threshold Relay technique in conjunction with the BLS signature scheme and a notarization method to address many of the problems associated with PoS consensus.

2.2 THRESHOLD RELAY

As a public cloud computing resource, DFINITY targets business applications by substantially reducing cloud computing costs for IT systems. They aim to achieve this with a highly scalable and powerful network with potentially unlimited capacity. The DFINITY platform is chalk full of innovative designs and features like their Blockchain Nervous System (BNS) for algorithmic governance.
One of the primary components of the platform is its novel Threshold Relay Consensus model from which randomness is produced, driving the other systems that the network depends on to operate effectively. The consensus system was first designed for a permissioned participation model but can be paired with any method of Sybil resistance for an open participation model.
“The Threshold Relay is the mechanism by which Dfinity randomly samples replicas into groups, sets the groups (committees) up for threshold operation, chooses the current committee, and relays from one committee to the next is called the threshold relay.”
Threshold Relay consists of four layers (As mentioned previously):
  1. Notary layer, which provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers and eliminates nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks, providing Sybil attack resistance.
  2. Blockchain layer that builds a blockchain from validated transactions via the Probabilistic Slot Protocol driven by the random beacon.
  3. Random beacon, which as previously covered, provides the source of randomness for all higher layers like the blockchain layer smart contract applications.
  4. Identity layer that provides a registry of all clients.

2.2.1 HOW DOES THRESHOLD RELAY WORK?

Threshold Relay produces an endogenous random beacon, and each new value defines random group(s) of clients that may independently try and form into a “threshold group”. The composition of each group is entirely random such that they can intersect and clients can be presented in multiple groups. In DFINITY, each group is comprised of 400 members. When a group is defined, the members attempt to set up a BLS threshold signature system using a distributed key generation protocol. If they are successful within some fixed number of blocks, they then register the public key (“identity”) created for their group on the global blockchain using a special transaction, such that it will become part of the set of active groups in a following “epoch”. The network begins at “genesis” with some number of predefined groups, one of which is nominated to create a signature on some default value. Such signatures are random values — if they were not then the group’s signatures on messages would be predictable and the threshold signature system insecure — and each random value produced thus is used to select a random successor group. This next group then signs the previous random value to produce a new random value and select another group, relaying between groups ad infinitum and producing a sequence of random values.
In a cryptographic threshold signature system a group can produce a signature on a message upon the cooperation of some minimum threshold of its members, which is set to 51% in the DFINITY network. To produce the threshold signature, group members sign the message
individually (here the preceding group’s threshold signature) creating individual “signature shares” that are then broadcast to other group members. The group threshold signature can be constructed upon combination of a sufficient threshold of signature shares. So for example, if the group size is 400, if the threshold is set at 201 any client that collects that many shares will be able to construct the group’s signature on the message. Other group members can validate each signature share, and any client using the group’s public key can validate the single group threshold signature produced by combining them. The magic of the BLS scheme is that it is “unique and deterministic” meaning that from whatever subset of group members the required number of signature shares are collected, the single threshold signature created is always the same and only a single correct value is possible.
Consequently, the sequence of random values produced is entirely deterministic and unmanipulable, and signatures generated by relaying between groups produces a Verifiable Random Function, or VRF. Although the sequence of random values is pre-determined given some set of participating groups, each new random value can only be produced upon the minimal agreement of a threshold of the current group. Conversely, in order for relaying to stall because a random number was not produced, the number of correct processes must be below the threshold. Thresholds are configured so that this is extremely unlikely. For example, if the group size is set to 400, and the threshold is 201, 200 or more of the processes must become faulty to prevent production. If there are 10,000 processes in the network, of which 3,000 are faulty, the probability this will occur is less than 10e-17.

2.3 DFINITY TOKEN

The DFINITY blockchain also supports a native token, called dfinities (DFN), which perform multiple roles within the network, including:
  1. Fuel for deploying and running smart contracts.
  2. Security deposits (i.e. staking) that enable participation in the BNS governance system.
  3. Security deposits that allow client software or private DFINITY cloud networks to connect to the public network.
Although dfinities will end up being assigned a value by the market, the DFINITY team does not intend for DFN to act as a currency. Instead, the project has envisioned PHI, a “next-generation” crypto-fiat scheme, to act as a stable medium of exchange within the DFINITY ecosystem.
Neuron operators can earn Dfinities by participating in network-wide votes, which could be concerning protocol upgrades, a new economic policy, etc. DFN rewards for participating in the governance system are proportional to the number of tokens staked inside a neuron.

2.4 SCALABILITY

DFINITY is constantly developing with a structure that separates consensus, validation, and storage into separate layers. The storage layer is divided into multiple strings, each of which is responsible for processing transactions that occur in the fragment state. The verification layer is responsible for combining hashes of all fragments in a Merkle-like structure that results in a global state fractionation that is stored in blocks in the top-level chain.

2.5 DFINITY CONSENSUS ALGORITHM

The single most important aspect of the user experience is certainly the time required before a transaction becomes final. This is not solved by a short block time alone — Dfinity’s team also had to reduce the number of confirmations required to a small constant. DFINITY moreover had to provide a provably secure proof-of-stake algorithm that scales to millions of active participants without compromising any bit on decentralization.
Dfinity soon realized that the key to scalability lay in having an unmanipulable source of randomness available. Hence they built a scalable decentralized random beacon, based on what they call the Threshold Relay technique, right into the foundation of the protocol. This strong foundation drives a scalable and fast consensus layer: On top of the beacon runs a blockchain which utilizes notarization by threshold groups to achieve near-instant finality. Details can be found in the overview paper that we are releasing today.
The roots of the DFINITY consensus mechanism date back to 2014 when thair Chief Scientist, Dominic Williams, started to look for more efficient ways to drive large consensus networks. Since then, much research has gone into the protocol and it took several iterations to reach its current design.
For any practical consensus system the difficulty lies in navigating the tight terrain that one is given between the boundaries imposed by theoretical impossibility-results and practical performance limitations.
The first key milestone was the novel Threshold Relay technique for decentralized, deterministic randomness, which is made possible by certain unique characteristics of the BLS signature system. The next breakthrough was the notarization technique, which allows DFINITY consensus to solve the traditional problems that come with proof-of-stake systems. Getting the security proofs sound was the final step before publication.
DFINITY consensus has made the proper trade-offs between the practical side (realistic threat models and security assumptions) and the theoretical side (provable security). Out came a flexible, tunable algorithm, which we expect will establish itself as the best performing proof-of-stake algorithm. In particular, having the built-in random beacon will prove to be indispensable when building out sharding and scalable validation techniques.

2.6 LINKEDUP

The startup has rather cheekily called this “an open version of LinkedIn,” the Microsoft-owned social network for professionals. Unlike LinkedIn, LinkedUp, which runs on any browser, is not owned or controlled by a corporate entity.
LinkedUp is built on Dfinity’s so-called Internet Computer, its name for the platform it is building to distribute the next generation of software and open internet services.
The software is hosted directly on the internet on a Switzerland-based independent data center, but in the concept of the Internet Computer, it could be hosted at your house or mine. The compute power to run the application LinkedUp, in this case — is coming not from Amazon AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, but is instead based on the distributed architecture that Dfinity is building.
Specifically, Dfinity notes that when enterprises and developers run their web apps and enterprise systems on the Internet Computer, the content is decentralized across a minimum of four or a maximum of an unlimited number of nodes in Dfinity’s global network of independent data centers.
Dfinity is an open source for LinkedUp to developers for creating other types of open internet services on the architecture it has built.
“Open Social Network for Professional Profiles” suggests that on Dfinity model one can create “Open WhatsApp”, “Open eBay”, “Open Salesforce” or “Open Facebook”.
The tools include a Canister Software Developer Kit and a simple programming language called Motoko that is optimized for Dfinity’s Internet Computer.
“The Internet Computer is conceived as an alternative to the $3.8 trillion legacy IT stack, and empowers the next generation of developers to build a new breed of tamper-proof enterprise software systems and open internet services. We are democratizing software development,” Williams said. “The Bronze release of the Internet Computer provides developers and enterprises a glimpse into the infinite possibilities of building on the Internet Computer — which also reflects the strength of the Dfinity team we have built so far.”
Dfinity says its “Internet Computer Protocol” allows for a new type of software called autonomous software, which can guarantee permanent APIs that cannot be revoked. When all these open internet services (e.g. open versions of WhatsApp, Facebook, eBay, Salesforce, etc.) are combined with other open software and services it creates “mutual network effects” where everyone benefits.
On 1 November, DFINITY has released 13 new public versions of the SDK, to our second major milestone [at WEF Davos] of demoing a decentralized web app called LinkedUp on the Internet Computer. Subsequent milestones towards the public launch of the Internet Computer will involve:
  1. On boarding a global network of independent data centers.
  2. Fully tested economic system.
  3. Fully tested Network Nervous Systems for configuration and upgrades

2.7 WHAT IS MOTOKO?

Motoko is a new software language being developed by the DFINITY Foundation, with an accompanying SDK, that is designed to help the broadest possible audience of developers create reliable and maintainable websites, enterprise systems and internet services on the Internet Computer with ease. By developing the Motoko language, the DFINITY Foundation will ensure that a language that is highly optimized for the new environment is available. However, the Internet Computer can support any number of different software frameworks, and the DFINITY Foundation is also working on SDKs that support the Rust and C languages. Eventually, it is expected there will be many different SDKs that target the Internet Computer.
Full article
submitted by CoinEx_Institution to u/CoinEx_Institution [link] [comments]

The Mysterious Entity that Caused the Bitcoin Network fees to Jump 146% in May

Bitcoin price has yet again taken a dive to $8,800, recording a drop of 4%.
Meanwhile, Network Demand Score which is a metric incorporating network velocity, transaction value, fees, and miner’s rolling inventory, climbed to 6/6 following the bitcoin halving meaning the network is growing stronger which could also be a sign that “we’re in a longer-term bull market.”
Since March 12th, just before the massive sell-off, this score has remained above a 3/6 reflecting growing strength in network activity and instilling confidence in the ongoing uptrend for the bitcoin price.
3 Reasons why fees skyrocketed
One component of this indicator, bitcoin on-chain fees has been surging like crazy.
Last week, Bitcoin average transaction fee climbed to $7, last seen in February 2018. This has the miner revenues from fees rising to the levels not seen for more than 2 years. But this week, it also dropped 55% to $3.13.
The increase in transaction fees, which is increasingly becoming more important for Bitcoin network security, has been because of the unconfirmed transactions piling on in mempool.
A decline in hash rate following halving caused fewer blocks to be found and will continue until the next difficulty adjustment has been one of the reasons behind this jump in fees.
The other reason is the large fluctuations in bitcoin price which has traders sending coins between exchanges.
Ather reason is a “mysterious entity which has been consolidating outputs at the highest fee rates, driving up fees for everyone,” pointed out Serrrgej Kotliar, CEO Bitrefill.
Who is this “Crazy1o1”?
Over the weekend Kotliar shared how, for the past 14 days, this mysterious entity has consolidated a lower-bound of 720 thousand outputs, 5 MB per day, more than BitMEX.
Since May 1st, this entity named “Crazy1o1” has spent around 804k UTXOs and has paid more than 104BTC in mining fees during this time, noted Laurent.
“On some days, these fees are equivalent to 10-12% of all the fees received by miners,” he said.
Laurent along with others suspect this entity to be the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Earlier this month, it was also found that crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is making the bitcoin network expensive for everyone and its own users are paying 6.8% of total daily transaction fees.
Prepare for the next bull market
All of this a “decent fire drill for what might happen if we see another bull market,” said Kotliar. Grubles from Blockstream said,
“ON-CHAIN FEES AND BTC PRICE MOVEMENTS CHART. YOU CAN SEE THAT BIG MOVEMENTS RESULT IN PEOPLE RUSHING TO TRANSACT (ALMOST CERTAINLY TO/FROM EXCHANGES), PUSHING FEES UP FOR OTHER NON-TRADER USERS WHO NEED UNCENSORABLE / IRREVERSIBLE TRANSACTIONS.”
The fees reached its all-time high at over $55 during the peak of the bull market in December 2017. As such in the next bull market, a 5x growth in on-chain transactions should be expected.
But given that batching, one of the many ways the network has been scaled is here, it will prevent the pressure on the network from getting worse than 2017. But exchanges will need to be prepared for this.
submitted by kealenz to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

Bitcoin mining difficulty example. THIS IS CRAZY!! Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Decreases! (Bad News For Your Genesis Mining Dash Contracts) 1 BTC Free Earn Daily With Instant Payout 2017  earn ... Cryptocurrency Mining Difficulty Explained - Mining Difficulty And Analysis Bitcoin Q&A: What is difficulty targeting?

Moreover, the bitcoin whale population is growing, now 1882 entities are holding at least 1000 BTC. The last time, this figure was so high was in September 2017 as BTC made its way to $20,000. Interestingly, the first time these many BTC whales were seen was in March 2016. Homer_Run February 1, 2017. One detail left out of this article is that the bitcoin mining “difficulty” adjusts so that the average mining time for a new block is 10 minutes. The 2017 surge in Bitcoin prices helped, too; even tiny fractions of bitcoin in an investor’s account began to look robust in the midst of a forty-fold increase in the value of the currency. And ... More information: "TumbleBit: An Untrusted Bitcoin-Compatible Anonymous Payment Hub," DOI: 10.14722/ndss.2017.23086 Provided by North Carolina State University However only one blockchain will emerge as the underlying protocol and this will be Bitcoin SV. Thursday, February 23, 2017. I need bitcoins now. PLEASE HELP!! Buying some bitcoins is still very difficult. There is still so much to learn and understand about Bitcoin, but as the price is going up daily the panic and need to getting some bitcoins ...

[index] [409] [31575] [19011] [18569] [19532] [6469] [34747] [30306] [15601] [16417]

Bitcoin mining difficulty example. THIS IS CRAZY!!

Watch in 360 the inside of a nuclear reactor from the size of an atom with virtual reality - Duration: 3:42. EDF in the UK Recommended for you. 360° This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue earn bitcoin 2017, earn bitcoin 2017 february, earn bitcoin 2017 january, earn bitcoin android, earn bitcoin android app, earn bitcoin app, earn bitcoin auto, earn bitcoin automatically, Could difficulty changes (and hence profitability changes) make all miners drop out? These questions are from the MOOC 7.2 and 9.2 sessions, which took place on February 26th 2017 and February ... The Bitcoin Cash difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) was activated in a rush on Nov 13, 2017 to fix some extreme mining profitability and hashrate swings that occurred starting August 1st.

#