Blockstream Launches Micropayments Processing System for

What is the future of cryptocurrency?

What is the future of cryptocurrency?
One way to pose this question is to think about the functions of cryptocurrencies – what functions can they fill that is similar to what existing asset classes or instruments fulfill? At the most basic level, it’s three things: The unit of account (like dollars); its store value (like gold, platinum, or any other precious commodity); or as a bet on the future of blockchain,” says Andrew Riem from latest law jobs and author of a study titled Economics of Cryptocurrency’, which compares bitcoin, ethereum, and ripple to already established asset classes such as precious metals and stocks.
However, Riem’s study defines cryptocurrencies in their current form as distinct from everything else, in that the returns do not co-move with the returns of other asset classes. “They are very different but they are still an asset class of their own and in that sense, they’re going to persist,” he says. “So my prediction based on my research is that cryptocurrency is going transform, and is going to fulfill some kind of need which is different from traditional asset classes – stocks, commodities, and currencies.”
The attributes of crypto make it easier than other currencies to use for micropayments, large transfers and sending money overseas. However, it’s still not caught on with consumers. “Right now, cryptocurrencies are still too geeky – you have to know too much about how they work,” says Simon Barnes, senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute and co-founder of the first lingerie line that accepts cryptocurrency as an alternative payment method. “It’s the way computers worked in the 1980s, people would actually change out their own motherboards and put in new cards, people don’t do that anymore. Now, I think we’re moving into the era where we don’t need to know so much how cryptocurrencies work, just what they do.”
Could Blockchain replace national currencies one day?
It’s possible that cryptocurrencies could one day become the de facto mode of payment for internet users. But a different question is vexing economists, future watchers and crypto fanatics the world over – could cryptocurrency one day replace national currencies?
The gold standard currency model provides a weak parallel to cryptocurrencies. For a closer cultural reference point of what crypto replacing national currencies could look like, it’s perhaps better to look at the phenomenon of ‘currency substitution’. This is where a country accepts a different national currency as legal tender. Another country’s currency could be the only legal tender, or it could be accepted alongside a domestic currency.
It’s widely agreed by economists that there were not sufficient adjustments to the banking system or great enough retribution for bankers following the 2008 crash, meaning that we are inevitably heading for another global economy crushing implosion sooner or later. This will be of little consequence to the engineers of such crises – fat cat bankers and the super-rich their systems and institutions serve – but for the rest of us it’s a problem and increasingly, crypto is looking like part of the solution.
https://preview.redd.it/gjyf95hd3s741.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=30585bcce48cbf78e04a6fbba5f84f2ceb510624
The financial crisis is in the past! Invest in ND coins and open new possibilities in your life! https://www.ndmarket.co/
submitted by nd_invest_ico to u/nd_invest_ico [link] [comments]

We are averaging 2,000 new subs daily.

We just celebrated the 350,000 mark 5 days ago and today we are over 360,000. Nice to see this sub and the Bitcoin community in general growing this big and this fast.
If you are one of those many just coming in, welcome! I'm sure you'll find this place very interesting, fun and informative. We are here to help you to better understand what Bitcoin is and and how it works, and for ourselves to keep learning. This is my welcome post for newbies:
When you come asking when is a good time to buy, the answer is: Buy now, always Hodl in FUD times (Bitcoin has "died" many times, but Moneybadger don't care, buy the dips and never panic-sell, stuff like: "China ban Bitcoin...again!" will keep happening again and again.
Here's Bitcoin's response to Jamie Dimon. Stick to the real Bitcoin through all the 'forks' and 'splits' that accomplish nothing but new mediocre, unsafe and centralized altcoins, strengthen/immunize Bitcoin and give you free altcoins to buy more Bitcoin.
All Central Powers look silly trying to control or ban it. Learn from history and listen to this absolute Boss. There will never be enough Bitcoin for every existing millionaire to own just ONE SINGLE BITCOIN, Total number of millionaires (in USD value) worldwide is around 33 million. Get one while you still can.
Also relax, you are actually an early adopter if you start investing today, mentally prepare yourself for healthy and expected market volatility/dips/corrections/"crashes" (check out this amazing 'Corrections Trends Perspective') and remember all this regarding Bitcoin investment:
Never try to time the market. Dollar cost average by buying what you can afford to lose every week.
It is always a good time to buy Bitcoin if you are hodling long term and not just for day trading, so this is a great strategy. Remember that Bitcoin has practically been up most of the time, and the road to the moon is paved with minor corrections (Bitcoin is never really "down" when you zoom-out).
Everybody parroting: "The bitcoin bubble is about to pop" since 2009, don't know that bitcoin is a decentralized system with mathematically fixed, deflatioary and limited supply currency and its growth is exponential.
So is not farfetched to say that it will be at 100,000 by 2020, since it came from less than $1 to $5,000 in less than 10 years, and it hasn't even hit the bottom part of the exponential 'S-Curve' of adoption. Check out this great 2017 MIT study: "The Cryptocurrency Market Is Growing Exponentially". Patience pays, don't listen to the "Expert Analysts on MSM".
Bitcoin is a Moneybadger that get's stronger and immunized with every new attack and this broad picture of its price since infancy (1 year candles on a logarithmic scale) shows Bitcoin growth is not in a "bubble" right now. Learn the difference between Inflation (dollar) and Deflation (Bitcoin) and just take a look at the fiat >20 trillion (and growing fast) debt clock to get a visual shock of unlimited fiat supply (vs limited Bitcoin/Gold supply).
Bitcoin has outperformed every other currency, commodity, stock and asset since its inception in 2009: "2017: Bitcoin Beats Stocks, Bonds, And Gold, Again”. Bitcoin, the Moneybadger, is the first unseizable store of value in human history, unlike gold, equities, or fiat, it can't be confiscated if stored correctly. How banks think blockchain will disrupt their industry.
Also, remember its fixed, limited supply of 21 million coins ever, there are just ~4.5 million (~20%) bitcoins left to be mined till 2140 and the production will keep decreasing ("halving") every 4 years till then. So, remember this and don't wait for the Bitcoin "bubble" to burst or for the price to drop significantly again, because you could be waiting forever:
“The best time to buy bitcoin was a few years ago, the second best time is always now”.
Don't be -- this guy
Here is a good start:
"Introduction to Bitcoin" - Andreas Antonopoulos
Playlists on Andreas own YT channel
Check out this great articles:
"What Gave Bitcoin Its Value?"
"How do Bitcoins have value?"
"Yes, Cryptocurrencies are Valuable"
ELI5: BITCOIN
How to buy Bitcoin?
Where to buy Bitcoin list
Excellent "Crypto 101" by stos313)
Where to use Bitcoin list by Bitcoin-Yoda
Starter Guide "Bitcoin Complete And Ultimate Guide".
Who accepts Bitcoin? List of Companies, Stores, Shops.
Bitcoin is a worldwide-distributed decentralized peer-to-peer censorship-resistant trustless and permissionless deflationary system/currency (see Blockchain technology) backed by mathematics, open source code, cryptography and the most powerful and secure decentralized computational network on the planet, orders of magnitude more powerful than google and government combined. There is a limit of 21 million bitcoins (divisible in smaller units). "Backed by Government" money is not backed by anything and is infinitely printed at will by Central Banks. Bitcoin is limited and decentralized.
Receive and transfer money, from cents (micropayments) to thousands:
And that’s just as currency, Bitcoin has many more uses and applications.
Edit: Fixed some non-working links and added new ones.
submitted by readish to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

New to /r/Hashgraph? Please read this post first! [FAQ & Resource Links]

Welcome to the official Hashgraph subreddit. Hashgraph is a data structure and consensus algorithm that is faster, fairer, and more secure than blockchain.
Please find our FAQ and a directory of resources below.
 
#GENERAL FAQ#
1: How does it work?
Hashgraph uses two special techniques (1) Gossip about Gossip and (2) Virtual Voting to achieve fast, fair and secure consensus.
Gossip is a well-known computer science term, which can be defined as calling any random node and telling that node everything you know, that it does not know. In distributed ledger technology, the “baseline” or minimum bandwidth required is that the transactions go to every node. A gossip protocol can achieve this transfer of information / syncing process exponentially fast. Gossip about Gossip refers to attaching a small additional amount of information to this Gossip / transaction payload, which are two hashes containing the last two people talked to (hence, gossiping about the information gossiped). Using this information, a Hashgraph can be built and constantly updated as more information is gossiped, on each node.
Once the Hashgraph is built, it is extremely easy to know what a node would vote, because we know what each node knows, and when they knew it. We now can use this data as an input to a 30 year old voting algorithm (which have strong security guarantees, maths proofs of being Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant but typically lack the speed necessary for real world implementation), and know which transactions have reached consensus quickly.
The result of using this methodology is that we get the benefit of 30 year old voting algorithms which have have strong math proofs of being Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (meaning that we know when we will achieve consensus, guaranteed, and our math proofs make no assumptions about the speed of the internet, due to firewalls, ddos attacks, viruses or botnets), speed (due to use of a gossip protocol) and fair ordering and time stamping on every event.
2: How is Hashgraph different?
There are five different approaches to reaching distributed consensus. Firstly we have Proof-of-Work, which started with Bitcoin. The second is leader-based systems like PBFT, Raft, and Paxos. Then there is economy-based, commonly referred to as Proof-of-Stake, where forgers stake cryptocurrency on votes in order to reach consensus. Then, there’s voting-based which are too slow to be used in real systems. Finally there’s Hashgraph, which uses virtual voting and is incredibly efficient because it does not actually send any votes over the internet.
3: What is bank-grade consensus?
Hashgraph is the only bank-grade consensus algorithm as a result of the following properties: Mathematical proof of asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerance; Resilience to DDoS attacks, network partitions, sybil attacks and firewall/virus attacks; and Mathematical proof of fairness of ordering, access, and timestamps.
4: Is there a cryptocurrency?
Hashgraph is not currently available on a public network / ledger so there is no cryptocurrency at this time. We have not yet announced our plans for a public ledger, but please stay tuned for updates.
5: Why is Hashgraph patented?
Hashgraph is currently only available on a private network so its patents allow for market advantage in enterprise / commercial applications. This is not designed to stifle creativity or expansion of the emerging ecosystem, but to protect technological innovations that took years to develop.
6: How do I use Hashgraph?
If you want to use Hashgraph on a private network, you can apply for an enterprise / commercial license by contacting Swirlds.
7: What is the different between Hashgraph and Swirlds?
Hashgraph is the technology. Swirlds is the organization responsible for handling the licensing of Hashgraph.
8: Is Hashgraph better than blockchain?
The pitching of Hashgraph against Blockchain is a sensationalist angle that we do not endorse. While we do have some advantages over Blockchain based consensus, our intention is not at all to diminish the significance of Blockchain technology. We consider Blockchain to be like a capable older brother who graciously paved the way by bringing the power of Distributed Ledger Technology to the light of day, for which we are very grateful. Articles, talks etc pitching us against Blockchain are not written by us, nor are we generally consulted before articles go live. There is no reason that blockchain and Hashgraph couldn’t live together. While it is true that we have won some enterprise use cases against Blockchain based solutions (CULedger & Swirlds launch Hashgraph technology partnership), blockchain has a massive network effect which we definitely admire and respect. We respect and value the work and efforts of all developers and scientists in the Blockchain space. We also understand that Hashgraph is less well-known and nascent. That being said, every great movement has to start from somewhere and if you are reading this, it has potentially (hopefully) started with you too.
9: How can I get involved?
If you want to contact us for support or participation, please reach out to [email protected]. You can find more informational resources on the website homepage, where you can also sign up to our mailing list and/or follow us on social media. The Hashgraph Community Telegram Channel is also a great place to ask technical questions.
 
SPEED
10: How fast is Hashgraph?
It’s fast. Very fast. But you don’t have to trust us. We will release formal performance results soon, and at the same time provide the software you can use to validate the results for yourself.
Simply providing the number of transactions per second is meaningless unless all of the details are provided as well: number of nodes, bandwidth, latency, CPU, size of transaction, etc. Our performance results will provide the details needed to characterize results for a range of settings.
11: Does Hashgraph have transaction fees?
Instead of some small subset of participants being responsible for validating transactions and adding to the ledger (like miners in blockchain), all nodes contribute. Consequently, there is less need to incentivize through fees. Transaction fees are therefore expected to be very small, thereby making Hashgraph viable for micropayments.
 
SECURITY
12: What are the major security risks of distributed ledger technologies?
For a DLT, the security risks are an attacker:
13: Where do the main security risks originate?
The security risks specific to DLTs come from both internal and external attacks. An internal threat can include a computer in the network that is infected with a virus or worm other malware, or is run by a malicious party, or honest corporation that has a malicious insider with access to the computer.
An external threat can include a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, where the attacker floods one or more computers with enough messages to temporarily shut it down. Another external attack is if an adversary owns a firewall surrounding some of the nodes in the network, which it can use to block or delay messages.
14: What is Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)?
There are a variety of consensus algorithms and each offer different features and characteristics. A consensus algorithm is characterized as BFT if it guarantees a moment in time where all participants reach consensus, know that consensus has been reached, and they are never wrong. This can be contrasted with consensus algorithms based on PoW, where participants slowly become more and more confident that consensus is near, but may still not be correct. There are different levels of BFT, depending on the sorts of assumptions made about the network and transmission of messages. The strongest type of BFT is asynchronous BFT. Hashgraph is unique in supporting highest degree of BFT while still being very efficient.
15: What is Asynchronous BFT?
When a system is asynchronous BFT, it allows for malicious actors controlling the network, deleting or slowing down messages of their choosing. The only assumption made is that less than ⅓ are attackers, and some messages eventually get transmitted over the internet. Some systems are partially asynchronous, which are secure only if the attackers do not have too much power and do not manipulate the timing of messages too much. For instance, a partially asynchronous system could prove Byzantine under the assumption that messages get passed over the internet in ten seconds. This assumption ignores the reality of botnets, distributed denial of service attacks, and malicious firewalls. If unable to meet the criteria of asynchronous BFT, it is preferable that they be asynchronous less-than-Byzantine, rather than less-than-asynchronous Byzantine. In other words, they should prove they are somewhat secure in the real world instead of proving they are very secure in a fantasy world.
16: How does Hashgraph prevent Sybil attacks?
A Sybil attack refers to an attempt to compromise a network through the creation of large numbers of spurious identities – these are directed to act in collusion to inappropriately impact the network. Sybil attacks are a particular concern for public DLTs in which no special permissions are required to become a node. Protection against Sybil attacks can be provided by appropriately allocating and weighting votes of different nodes. Hashgraph can be deployed in a number of different vote weighting models, e.g. votes could be weighted by a node’s stake in some currency, or its ability to perform some work, or its willingness to risk some value. A more detailed explanation can be found at here.
17: How does Hashgraph prevent DDoS attacks?
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack occurs when it is possible to disrupt the flow of transactions for the entire network by targeting a single or a few computers. Different DLTs vary in their vulnerability to DDoS. Leader-based systems give special permissions to a particular node and are highly susceptible because the current leader is a bottleneck and is vulnerable to being targeted in the DDoS. Even if the role of the leader rotates amongst nodes, other nodes necessarily know the current leader, and so could direct a DDoS. PoW systems are resilient to DDoS because it’s difficult to predict which miner will solve the inverse hash and publish a block. Consequently, the attacker would not know which miner should be targeted. Hashgraph doesn’t use PoW, but neither does it have a Leader. So Hashgraph provides DDoS resilience without the inefficiency and cost of PoW.
 
FAIRNESS
18: What is fairness?
Fairness refers to the ability of DLTs to prevent the ordering of transactions from being unduly manipulated. Hashgraph is fair in that it serializes all transactions with cryptographic timestamping, unlike blockchains where miners determine the order in which transactions are placed within each block. In certain use cases, the transaction order is important. Consider for instance two different people purchasing shares in a stock – the first order to go through will likely get a cheaper price. Hashgraph orders transactions according to the median timestamp of when the population of nodes received them – thereby ensuring they are recorded fairly.
 
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT KIT (SDK)
19: How can I get started developing applications?
Download the SDK and follow the instructions detailed included in the /docs folder, or visit our online version here.
In order to develop a commercial application on Hashgraph using the Swirlds SDK, you will need to contact Swirlds to discuss the appropriate licensing that is required. However, you do not need to ask for permission before downloading the SDK to build small scale, non-commercial applications for personal use and experiment.
20: Why is the platform and SDK written in Java?
Java is a general purpose programming language with a large open source ecosystem and resources for developer support. There are also advantageous security measures in the Java development environment, such as sandboxing, that will allow the platform in the future to run untrusted applications, while protecting the user and their hard drive from those applications.
21: Can I develop applications in other languages?
In addition to Java, we also want the option for developers who would like to develop in other programming languages, such as Python or JavaScript. This is part of the Hashgraph development roadmap.
22: Is there a Developer Chat?
Yes, currently it is on Telegram, but will be likely moving to a new place, as our community sees fit.
 
Main links:
Whitepapers / Technical Documents:
Articles & News:
Videos:
Audios:
Hashgraph Social Links:
For general enquiries please email: [email protected]
submitted by ollybolton to hashgraph [link] [comments]

Critical Misunderstanding: "Bitcoin=Digital Gold (This post was posted to r/bitcoin and removed by their thought police. Gee, these people are assholes.)

Critical Misunderstanding: "Bitcoin=Digital Gold" (self.Bitcoin)
submitted 7 days ago by KingofKens
Bitcoin is not digital gold at all. The asset class, type and characteristic is very different. Bitcoin has a similar characteristic to company stocks than precious metals.
Only finite amount of gold exists. Nobody can't use alchemy to create gold or similar precious metals. On the other hand we can copy & paste the code of Bitcoin and we can create unlimited # of alt coins which have the same or similar function of bitcoin.
We got to think the whole bitcoin network as a DAO. The service that we provide is an alternative money service to government fiat. The value that we transferring is share of the DAO.
It is like a company's services become more popular, the stock of company will go up. Bitcoin price will always follow by popularity. If it become useless and unpopular, the value will go down. This is nothing like gold. There are no alternative to the gold. Gold is gold always.
Bitcoin artificial scarcity helps to establish the value but it won't guarantee the long term value of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is just one of the competing crypto currencies in the completely free market. You can't stop new comers and competitors.
Yes, it stores value, but It only stores the value of popularity of the coin. Facebook's share stores the value. Myspace's share is as well but not much any more.
Cryptocurrencies are far far from gold. It can't be digital gold even that we want. The value is much more dynamic and it can be million also can be 0 as well. That is not gold at all. We got to think through where the value of Bitcoin derives. If we keep providing slow, expensive services with a crazy internal warfare. People simply move one coin to others. Eventually it will be replaced by other coins. Then Bitcoin will be obsolete and won't have much value.
Gold will exist next thousand years? We safely can say yes. How about Bitcoin? This question is same as you are asking google will exist next thousand years or not. Bitcoin will dominate the market next tens of years like google did? Yeah, that is entirely possible, but no guarantee because of the perfect competition of crypto currency market.
Bitcoin is and was design as "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System". The original design of bitcoin is clear, "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System". Not digital gold store values. http://nakamotoinstitute.org/bitcoin/
Satoshi was very clearly thinking on chain scaling to compete with the visa level as well. https://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg09964.html
He invented Bitcoin, “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, to combat to inflationary government fiats which issued by the central banks and fractional reserve banking system. His political intention is very clear. http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/forum/topics/bitcoin-open-source?id=2003008%3ATopic%3A9402&page=1#comments
I don't think the current technician team of Bitcoin DAO, Core, understands this basic design concept and philosophy.
I really hate people so easily dismiss his original vision for security. Engineers are important but they are not CEO or founder who make big visions of the company.
Engineers jobs to make the original vision secure, not alter the original vision. If core members think they are super genius, make the original vision happens safely.
Below are Satoshi's original writings. Read your self and make your mind.
Satoshi on government fiats, central banks and fractional reserve banking system
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.”
Satoshi Nakamoto on February 11, 2009 http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/forum/topics/bitcoin-open-source?id=2003008%3ATopic%3A9402&page=1#comments
Satoshi white paper: "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System"
“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they'll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone. ”
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System Satoshi Nakamoto October 31, 2008 http://nakamotoinstitute.org/bitcoin/#selection-7.4-19.27
Satoshi on Bitcoin scaling
“Long before the network gets anywhere near as large as that, it would be safe for users to use Simplified Payment Verification (section 8) to check for double spending, which only requires having the chain of block headers, or about 12KB per day. Only people trying to create new coins would need to run network nodes. At first, most users would run network nodes, but as the network grows beyond a certain point, it would be left more and more to specialists with server farms of specialized hardware. A server farm would only need to have one node on the network and the rest of the LAN connects with that one node.
The bandwidth might not be as prohibitive as you think. A typical transaction would be about 400 bytes (ECC is nicely compact). Each transaction has to be broadcast twice, so lets say 1KB per transaction. Visa processed 37 billion transactions in FY2008, or an average of 100 million transactions per day. That many transactions would take 100GB of bandwidth, or the size of 12 DVD or 2 HD quality movies, or about $18 worth of bandwidth at current prices.
If the network were to get that big, it would take several years, and by then, sending 2 HD movies over the Internet would probably not seem like a big deal. “
Satoshi Nakamoto Sun, 02 Nov 2008 17:56:27 -0800 https://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg09964.html
submitted by KingofKens to btc [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] The top 10 cryptos to buy for 2018 - discuss!

The following post by broccoleet is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7ngs65
The original post's content was as follows:
Hey guys, just sharing my knowledge as a frequent trader of both stocks and cryptos of a few years now. 10 essential cryptos/coins/tokens everyone should think about owning in 2018. Feel free to share your own essentials.
  1. Rai Blocks(XRB) -- In its simplicity, it currently works beautifully. If it can continue to scale with no fees and maintain the quick tx times, it WILL be a top 5-10 market cap coin by end of year. This is the new litecoin/DASH/original Bitcoin spiritual successor. Very few things have seen the growth that XRB has this year. The only things holding it back are some questions on security, and the need for idiot-proof mobile wallets with good UI for widespread use and adoption.
  2. Ethereum(ETH) -- A strong foundation in place for dApps. With the influx of money, dApps are likely to continue to grow in 2018. Ether also is quickly becoming the preferred all-purpose crypto for exchange sites. They are also the current platform for many popular erc20 tokens going into 2018 such as REQ. Even if other dApp platforms take off, ETH looks like a strong contender to try and remain decentralized and innovative with its approaches to the technology.
  3. Stellar Lumens (XLM) -- When people realize this is essentially a slightly more decentralized version of ripple with half the circulating supply and an IBM backing, it will take off. Huge focus on micropayments and quick tx times.
  4. Bitcoin(BTC) -- Bitcoin is a giant question mark. They clearly have the name recognition and "old guard" status, but their fate relies on being able to reduce their high tx fee and times. Plans are in place, but there are strong arguments for both sides of why this may or may not work considering the emerging tech. Regardless, worth investing a portion of a portfolio in due to its store of value status , being able to acquire practically every alt coin out there, and being the most notable crypto in existence.
  5. Request Network(REQ) -- Despite its current run, REQ has one of the strongest roadmaps for 2018. Their actual product is quite simple and yet desirable, as the world as quickly needing an efficient method to transact both crypto and fiat through a trusted source. The ambition comes from their vision to implement this as effectively as paypal. Support from YCombinator and other strong sources will guarantee this is a finished product that could be one of the first to break crypto into the mainstream for mobile and retail purchases
  6. Neo (NEO) -- Dubbed the "Ethereum" of China, it's clear Neo is the frontrunner for dApps in the East going into 2018. China presents a semi-closed off market, and Neo has the most connections and foundation in place. I am bullish af on dApps as you can tell. Deep Brain Chain was one of Neo's first and it is already taking off. I feel like Neo is highly undervalued at the moment and one of the surest bets to see a steady price increase throughout 2018.
  7. Walton (WTC) /VeChain (VEN) -- take your pick, both focused on RFID integration with blockchain. One of the most practical approaches to applying tech to the business world. Currently undervalued!
  8. ICON (ICX) -- another great platform to invest in that has the backdoor to a closed market (Korea). This would have likely risen in price even higher than it did earlier in December if their Main net release wasn't delayed until January. They are the frontrunner to be the best dApp platform for South Korea
  9. Enigma (ENG) -- with blockchains actually being adopted by businesses and institutions, enigma has the current most versatile program for privatizing data on any blockchain. A year of growth would make them look very undervalued right now if we are to be bullish as a whole on crypto in 2018. I think this is much more promising than the current slew of privacy currencies which will likely maintain their value or only slightly rise.
  10. Dogecoin (DOGE) -- because 1 doge will always = 1 doge, and if the entire market crashes, you will want your money in this. Trust me.
I would love to hear your opinions, I'm sure many will disagree. But my portfolio has strongly grown over last year and I am confident in these choices.
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

Why I don't think there's much growth potential left

Disclaimer: Stepped in around 90 dollar, cashed out around 2600.
Currently, Bitcoin has a market cap of 45 billion dollar. Paypal, has a market cap of 63 billion dollar. It handled 115 transactions per second back in late 2014, today it handles around 150. With Bitcoin, we manage to handle 7 transactions per second right now. We're practically approaching a digital civil war over the question of doubling this transaction capacity.
We can't do what Paypal can do, but if we could at some point in the future, it would justify perhaps at most a 50% increase in value. Some might say that it can also be used as a store of value, but as a store of value Bitcoin is already bigger than the entire silver market today.
Worse, we don't really have practical added value over Paypal when it comes to most payments. Micropayments aren't going to take place on the blockchain. If I wanted to make micropayments right now, I would use an altcoin. Paypal has ease of use, no volatility issues, no serious concerns over hackers stealing your money to the degree that Bitcoin has.
This doesn't mean Bitcoin is useless. It has clear niches, most of them not legal. I know the corporate suits who have to explain at the cocktail parties and to parents in law what they do for a living want to minimalize the subversive potential of Bitcoin, but it was founded by an anonymous hacker for a reason. We use Bitcoin because we don't trust authorities. The big voices you hear talking about Bitcoin don't really mention this.
Bitcoin is used in ransomware, it's used by people who want to exchange illegal substances, it can be used by people living under autocratic regimes. Its value isn't zero. However, its value isn't realistically speaking going to be trillions of dollars either. What I hear at the moment in the media is mostly irrational hype (bitcoin will be 1 million a coin) as a replacement of the ignorant denial we heard in the past (tulip bulbs).
The most important use for Bitcoin is perhaps as a medium of exchange that enables access to other cryptocurrencies. I don't want my bank to know I bought Monero, because we all know what Monero is used for. In other words I would never buy Monero directly, I would buy Bitcoin and buy Monero with it through an exchange.
Another angle to Bitcoin that's not sufficiently discussed is its ability to store value in a place where authorities can't reach. This is mostly useful for people who have reason to fear seizure of their assets, like fraudsters and drug dealers. You want to leave something behind for your family. This is not per definition an enormous niche, but it is a relevant niche.
As a store of value, Bitcoin will never be very relevant for people who have alternative options available. The reason for that is very simple: Bitcoin is too volatile. It will always remain volatile, because the coins are so centralized in the hands of a few owners. We have a few big owners who hold hundreds of thousands of coins. You can see for yourself how little depth the order books have. If anyone were to dump his coins on the market today, we would witness a tremendous price crash. With precious metals, this is not a serious concern.
You might say that Bitcoin will become less volatile as it matures, but I don't think this is guaranteed. The reason for this is because of the recurring hacks of exchanges and the exit scams committed by darknet markets and even exchanges. These incidents place coins in the hands of a small minority of individuals. In addition, the supply of new coins is in decline. If we end up in a situation where very few of the existing Bitcoin are used for legitimate purposes, fluctuation of the price becomes nearly inevitable.
Another long term irresolvable issue Bitcoin faces is its problem concerning miner centralization. Without an algorithm change, the currency will always be controlled by a few big mining pools. This places tremendous power in the hands of a few individuals who are bound by few obligations. A 51% attack is now a very legitimate concern. You might say that a miner has no such incentive, but there is no guarantee for this. As a result of this problem, Bitcoin will always face legitimate competition from alternative crypto's.
So what I would recommend is to look beyond the hype and to look at its genuine potential. In my opinion, its genuine potential is what it's being used for right now. Its potential as a technology is intrinsically subversive, whether we like it or not. Because of the network effect, we have reason to believe Bitcoin will remain relevant for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that technologically superior alternatives exist. If present trends continue, the most likely outcome would be for Bitcoin to become one cryptocurrency among many. The vision of the Bitcoin maximalists is not exactly looking likely at this point as Bitcoin's market dominance continues to decline.
Personally, I would not buy Bitcoin at current prices for investment purposes. Besides the fact that I believe it may be overvalued, I believe there is little potential for growth left. Most people I personally know who own Bitcoin right now don't use it for legitimate purposes, they own it because they expect the price to go up because they've been led to believe this is their only chance to become a millionaire. This is how bubbles form. I expect this bubble will pop too, although the level at which it will pop is hard to say. The enormous rise in prices we've seen in the past is by no means a guarantee for the future.
It might be possible for Bitcoin to increase in value tenfold in the long term as scalability issues are addressed, but the same can be said about various other crypto assets and even regular stock, so I personally see no reason to continue holding onto Bitcoin when I expect alternatives to have a better chance of growth. Any ability for Bitcoin to scale won't significantly broaden the relevant niches for which Bitcoin can be used. I would argue that at the moment, Bitcoin is used for the same niches as it was four years ago. There is no indication of significant growth for legitimate purposes other than speculation by late-comers who expect to get rich quick.
submitted by iuseupyourusernames to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

DEVCON2 report: Day Three - Final day

previous days
Question: the 3 days of devcon are over. Are people interested in reports on the next 3 days of international Blockchain week (demo day + 2 days of global Blockchain summit) http://www.blockchainweek2016.org
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Event update
The buzz during the day was around the "stick puzzle" that Bok Khoo was giving out to people. It is just a stick, with a loop of string. He gets you to turn away, he uses "the trick" to put it onto your bag and then you try to get it off.
The WeChat channel was just filled with everyone asking where they can get it, and the screaming that they can't figure it out. Only about 5 people reported they were able to solve it (I haven't yet)
http://imgur.com/mYfJQP4 http://imgur.com/4Euka1a
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Sessions
I'm biased, but I thought the announcement from Microsoft with the update of cryptlets was a big deal. The morning sessions covered a few different oracle systems, the afternoon had lots of IPFS sessions.
Microsoft - A Lap around Cryptlets
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/cryptletsdd/ https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/templates/ethereum-consortium-blockchain-network/ https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/authomarleyg
Microsoft was a sponsor of Devcon1 & 2 Ethereum is a 1st class citizen Support for community & partners - Bizspark, Meetups, Workshops
Announcing: Bletchley v1 Distributed Ledger stack V1 is a private Ethrerum consortium, that you can spin up for your own enterprise / group
http://imgur.com/olwwd36
Cryptlets are being developed to help with security, identity, etc. How do you get trusted external data feeds injected into the Blockchain? Doing things on a specific interval (every 15 mins) When price of something hits a threshold (oil goes above $40/barrel) Secure IP protected algorithms, but still share with blockchain network. Use libraries for common platforms (.Net, Java, etc)
Cryptlets vs Oracle Cryptlets will have a marketplace on Azure that will allow you to purchase and utilise
Use case: Trigger on an event Wake up on 4pm, if market was open that day, then give me the price of gold for that day.Get signature of attested server, attested sender.
Use case: Control Using smart contract like a traditional DB. Declare data you are keeping track of, and the functions/"stored proc" to update that data. Cryptlet runs off chain, and can be scaled up.
http://imgur.com/ysgL8S2
Utility cryptlet. Use an attribute in solidity contract with cryptlet details Developer references at design time the cryptlet they want the contract to call Contract cryptlet, deploy the cryptlet at same time as contract.
Why would you want Azure to do this? SGX allows you to create "secure enclaves", can have complete isolation on the hardware chip where it is not modifable. Provides a secure enclave at the CPU level. Can give full attestation right down to the silicon. Will be provided as a enclave container on Azure. Will be released for .NET core CLR first, then other languages. Can create cryptlet libraries that you can scale and put into the Azure marketplace. An ecosystem for developers & ISVs to consume and publish.
Bletchley v1 released today will let you spin up a private consortium. Before today, it took a long time to try and deploy a private consortium (can take weeks to read doco, Now takes 5 minutes to deploy! Creates a private consortium, puts each member in its own separate subnet
http://imgur.com/w4yUsqE
Mist Vision and Demo I was too busy sharing the release posts of Microsoft project bletchey v1, missed this talk. It did look interesting, I will watch this one later. Idea: Reward for bandwidth. Providing connection could replace mining as entrance point for desktop computers. Allow you to have a trickle so you can trigger smart contracts. Standardised backends, so that you can swap out the underlying node between geth, blockapps, etc.
Web3.js
https://github.com/ethereum/web3.js Etehereum JS API Smart conracts are EVM opcodes, Helps translates calls to JSON RPC calls. Helps do the ABI encoding when sending data from JS to EVM It kept on growing, many different utility functions being thrown in. Is time to clean it up and be refactored.
They are now building a NEW web3.js The communication will be socket based, will enable subscriptions. Everything will be based on promises to subscribe to events, like log events. Bunch of other newer cleaner methods and ways to do things like deploying contracts.
Smart contract security
Was a very good postmorteum of The DAO and things that could be done to mitigate it in the future.
An issue with The DAO was trying to do a massive jump from centralisation all the way to full decentralisation. Meant no one could step up and make a decision on how to save it. We need to make smaller steps towards full decentralisation as we learn as a community how to do this. Same security patterns as yesterday's talks: check invarients, beware 1024 call stack depth, reentry exploit (update state BEFORE executing calls), timestamps are manipulatable. Updateable contracts. Who can update it? Community multisig? We need better rools: formal verification, compiler warnings, improved IDEs, trusted libraries, excape hatches
Conclusion: It is still very early days in this space, be careful.
A Provably Honest Oracle Model: Auditable Offchain Data Gathering & Computations
Oracalize is the most widely used oracle (until everyone starts using Microsoft Azure cryptlets ;-) ) Contract calls Oracalize contract with the data they want, off chain they see this get the data, Oracalise then trigger their contract externally, which does a callback to your contract with the data. Can use external notary servers. Can get proof from multiple external services to get a higher level of confidence about data (e.g. stock price from a few feeds). Off-chain (auditable_ computation) AWS sandbox 2.0. Put the execution package onto IPFS, AWS gets it and executes it, signs it.
iEx.ec: Fully Distributed Cloud Thanks to the Ethereum Blockchain
http://iex.ec/ Provides blockchain based execution environments Global market for computing resources. Idea is to do what we did before with "grid computing" use the idle capacity of computers. But this time do a trickle of micropayments. Allows people to harness this global power to execute their tasks in a global "distributed cloud".
The Final frontier: The company smart conract
http://otonomos.com/ Helping companies to incorporate on the blockchain.
Smart oracles
https://github.com/smartoracles Connecting to external resources is difficult. Hard to try and use external currencies (like a bank account / fiat money) to make transactions. Could hook in paypal, HSBC, wells fargo, etc. Can provide your own payment services as an API to a smart oracle for smart contracts to consume. Do off chain data storage by calling smart oracle API Roadmap: more data sources & more payment methods
IPFS & Ethereum: Updates
https://Ipfs.io IPFS is AMAZING, seriously go watch the full 1 hour talks Juan has given in previous years.
Current web has current issues. Centralisation, etc. IPFS is a new hypermedia transfer protocol Content can be retrieved not from specific servers, but instead via it's hash so that it can come from anywhere in the network (maybe from the person next to you who has cached it). It is highly modular, all of the transfer protocals, routing, naming, etc. are all swapable Is available as GO-IPFS & now JS-IPFS Means now you can run IPFS in the browser IPFS was great for static content, but not so great for dynamic content. Low latency pub/sub protocol will help with dynamic data. Created a distributed peer to peer chat app using this new dynamic content protocol. IPLD a common link-tree hash format Will be able to use IPFS to retrieve ethereum blockchain blocks DIRECTLY Can use IPFS as a package manager to retrieve them in a distributed manner.
Many projects are using Ethereum & IPFS Uport, Digix, Infura, Ujo, Eris, Blockfreight. Filecoin was created as a way to try and incentivize nodes to keep files longer time. People rent out hdd space to earn filecoin. Exchange bitcoin/filecoin. Use filecoin to store files in network. Filecoin is going to be built on top of the public Ethereum blockchain, as a virtual blockchain / token.
IPFS Libp2p & Ethereum networking
Network connectivity between any 2 nodes can be difficult. Censorship, bandwidth, network issues, etc. Having to deal with different networking topologies and access. Libp2p & Devp2p is different. Devp2p is for Ethereum. LIbp2p is modular, can swap out components to change network access, encryption methods, etc. Can build up a MEGA mesh network, by utilising traditional wired internet, radio, bluetooth between some nodes. Web browser using web socket, to a node, which routes across network, to zigbee to a IoT device. Libp2p & Devp2p could merge and augment each other. Could create the libp2p components to replace the devp2p bits Any 2 nodes that speak the same protocol can communicate and be a part of the network chain. Experiment. They took the browser based version of EVM. Then used Libp2p to talk to the Ethereum network. Had a complete ethereum node running in a browser.
Uport
https://uport.me/ Universal identity platform Current challenges: key management. Ux for average person. Dapps via mobile. Identity and data ownership. How do you keep a consistent identity, even if you lose a key. Have some multisig contracts that you can use to keep track. Social recovery, use your friends to attest it is really you. Keep private key on mobile, do transactions on the desktop, scan a QR code to sign the transaction on your phone and send it off.
A Deep Dive into the Colony Foundation Protocol
It is an open source governance protocol built on Ethereum Problem with voting is how to prevent Sybil attacks. Votes are weighted by a reputation score. Reputation is non-transferable that can only be earned. Total weighted voting helps mitigate this.
Chain orchestration tooling & smart contract package management
Eris is tooling for developers. Package manager to build your own blockchain. Can compose a chain, e.g. geth + tendermint consensus. Init, install, do. Can easily install on Mac/bew, linux/apt-get, Windows/choco
The Golem Project: Ethereum-based market for computing power
http://www.golemproject.net/ Anyone can make an offer to sell computing power. e.g. Distributed rendering Want to create a standard framework that anyone can use to submit and process jobs.
Status: Integrating Ethereum Into Our Daily Lives
https://status.im Want to get ethereum everywhere. "Mist for Mobile" Everyone is using their mobile phones for everything, but mostly using instant messaging. What would Ethereum in a IM window look? Created a IM mobile app that has a local geth node. tart up, it asks you to create a password, it generates a pub/private pair. Then can send messages via whisper, and the messages are signed with your public key. Can load Dapps up in the local webview and interact with them. Allows you to create "chat Dapps", that you interact with via text. Like chatbots
Maker Ecosystem Overview
www.Makerdao.com Dai: seeking stability on blockchain. Stablecoin engine: smart contract that holds collateral reserves and controls the Dai lifecycle. MKR: open source community managing risk of the system In the last year, investing in a solid technical core. More slow and audit things. Moving into the next phase of stablecoin development. Their latest project is the "Simplecoin project" Meeting Thereum community's need for stability. An independent platform for creating centrally administered simple stablecoins. Issues create their own rule sets: Collateral types, participant whitelists, security parameters. Example: Shrutebucks. The only people who own it are Dwight, Jim & Pam. They backed it with 1/3 ETH 1/3 DGX 1/3 DUSD.
Orbit. A distributed peer to peer app on IPFS
https://github.com/haadcode Created a full distributed chat room, itself distributed through IPFS. It is integrated with uPort for identification Using uPort allows you to verify that you are talking to the correct person in the chat channel. All their messages are signed with their public keys He also created a full distribited twitter clone, using uport for the identity as well. Orbit-db key value store DB that stores its data on IPFS. Eventually consistent Appends data to the DB, an event is sent to those subscribed on pub/sub so they can see the latest root hash. Based on CRDT Ethereum + Pubsub + CRDTs + IPFS = super power primatives to build dynamic distributed apps
Development considerations with distributed apps. Need to ensure that apps work offline. No centralised servers. No data silos. Provide integration path.
Future work: could you use uPort for ACL like permissions? Mobile use cases, how to make it work nicely on mobiles
Building scalable React Dapp architecture
https://github.com/SilentCicero/react-dapp-boilerplate React + Ethereum He has a configured boilerplate template. Has contract scaffolding. Enforced contract Linting/testing. Wallet generation/identity. Preconfigured web3 instance. UI: Mature react arhitecture "react boilerplate". Prices listed in USD with ETH/btc via kraken api. A basic multi-contract example Dapp. Offline first, dapp runs without internet. Uses Redux. State models in UI & blockchains work well. PostCSS, CSS Modules, sanitize.cs. Redux, immutableJS, reslect, redux-saga, i18n, redux-router. Web3, ethdeploy, dapple, solium, eth-lightwallet, chaithereum, ethereumjs0-testrpc Enforced contract testing in 2 languages.
Ethereum for Enterprise (BlockApps Strato)
Trying to make sure that Ethereum stays relevent to enterprise development. Why do you need a blockchain WITHIN an org, shouldn't they trust each other? Well different departments may not, they may reconcile differently, and can help automate/orchestrate between them. Blockchain is the "killer app" for cloud financial services. Legacy infrastructure, batch prossing, etc are all restricting fintech from progressing. Blockchain can happen in real time, can replace legacy. Ethereum is very flexible and programmable, works well. There are others based on Bitcoin (like Hyperledger). Ethereum + Blockapps = Extreme productivity + Proven Technology. Blockapps is extending Ethereum for Enterprise. Runs very well on Azure Enterprises don't want all their data exposed on public chain. Blockapps helps solve data privacy and scaling with multichain fabrics.
submitted by DavidBurela to ethereum [link] [comments]

History Lesson for new VIA Viacoin Investors

Viacoin is an open source cryptocurrency project, based on the Bitcoin blockchain. Publicly introduced on the crypto market in mid 2014, Viacoin integrates decentralized asset transaction on the blockchain, reaching speeds that have never seen before on cryptocurrencies. This Scrypt based, Proof of Work coin was created to try contrast Bitcoin’s structural problems, mainly the congested blockchain delays that inhibit microtransaction as this currency transitions from digital money to a gold-like, mean of solid value storage. Bitcoin Core developers Peter Todd and Btc have been working on this currency and ameliorated it until they was able to reach a lightning fast speed of 24 second per block. These incredible speeds are just one of the features that come with the implementation of Lightning Network, and and make Bitcoin slow transactions a thing of the past. To achieve such a dramatic improvement in performance, the developers modified Viacoin so that its OP_RETURN has been extended to 80 bytes, reducing tx and bloat sizes, overcoming multi signature hacks; the integration of ECDSA optimized C library allowed this coin to reach significant speedup for raw signature validation, making it perform up to 5 times better. This will mean easy adoption by merchants and vendors, which won’t have to worry anymore with long times between the payment and its approval. Todd role as Chief Scientist and Advisor has been proven the right choice for this coin, thanks to his focus on Tree Chains, a ground breaking feature that will fix the main problems revolving around Bitcoin, such as scalability issues and the troubles for the Viacoin miners to keep a reputation on the blockchain in a decentralized mining environment. Thanks to Todd’s expertise in sidechains, the future of this crypto currency will see the implementation of an alternative blockchain that is not linear. According to the developer, the chains are too unregulated when it comes to trying to establish a strong connection between the operations happening on one chain and what happens elsewhere. Merged mining, scalability and safety are at risk and tackling these problems is mandatory in order to create a new, disruptive crypto technology. Tree Chains are going to be the basis for a broader use and a series of protocols that are going to allow users and developers to use Viacoin’s blockchain not just to mine and store coins, but just like other new crypto currencies to allow the creation of secure, decentralized consensus systems living on the blockchain The commander role on this BIP9 compatible coin’s development team has now been taken by a programmer from the Netherlands called Romano, which has a great fan base in the cryptocurrency community thanks to his progressive views on the future of the world of cryptos. He’s in strong favor of SegWit, and considers soft forks on the chain not to be a problem but an opportunity: according to him it will provide an easy method to enable scripting upgrades and the implementation of other features that the market has been looking for, such as peer to peer layers for compact block relay. Segregation Witness allows increased capacity, ends transactions malleability, makes scripting upgradeable, and reduces UTXO set. Because of these reasons, Viacoin Core 0.13 is already SegWit ready and is awaiting for signaling.
Together with implementation of SegWit, Romano has recently been working on finalizing the implementation of merged mining, something that has never been done with altcoins. Merged mining allows users to mine more than one block chain at the same time, this means that every hash the miner does contributes to the total hash rate of all currencies, and as a result they are all more secure. This release pre-announcement resulted in a market spike, showing how interested the market is in the inclusion of these features in the coin core and blockchain. The developer has been introducing several of these features, ranging from a Hierarchical Deterministic key (HD key) generation that allows all Viacoin users to backup their wallets, to a compact block relay, which decreases block propagation times on the peer to peer network; this creates a healthier network and a better baseline relay security margin. Viacoin’s support for relative locktime allows users and miners to time-lock a transaction, this means that a new transaction will be prevented until a relative time change is achieved with a new OP code, OP_CHECKSEQUENCEVERITY, which allows the execution of a script based on the age of the amount that is being spent. Support for Child-Pays-For-Parent procedures in Viacoin has been successfully enabled, CPFP will alleviate the problem of transactions that stuck for a long period in the unconfirmed limbo, either because of network bottlenecks or lack of funds to pay the fee. Thanks to this method, an algorithm will selects transactions based on federate inclusive unconfirmed ancestor transaction; this means that a low fee transaction will be more likely to get picked up by miners if another transaction with an higher fee that speeds its output gets relayed. Several optimizations have been implemented in the blockchain to allow its scaling to proceed freely, ranging from pruning of the chain itsel to save disk space, to optimizing memory use thanks to mempool transaction filtering. UTXO cache has also been optimization, further allowing for significant faster transaction times. Anonymity of transaction has been ameliorated, thanks to increased TOR support by the development team. This feature will help keep this crypto currency secure and the identity of who works on it safe; this has been proven essential, especially considering how Viacoin’s future is right now focused on segwit and lightning network . Onion technology used in TOR has also been included in the routing of transactions, rapid payments and instant transaction on bi directional payment channels in total anonymity. Payments Viacoin’s anonymity is one of the main items of this year’s roadmap, and by the end of 2017 we’ll be able to see Viacoin’s latest secure payment technology, called Styx, implemented on its blockchain. This unlinkable anonymous atomic payment hub combines off-the-blockchain cryptographic computations, thanks to Viacoin’s scriptin functionalities, and makes use of security RSA assumptions, ROM and Elliptic Curve digital signature Algorithm; this will allow participants to make fast, anonymous transfer funds with zero knowledge contingent payment proof. Wallets already offer strong privacy, thanks to transactions being broadcasted once only; this increases anonymity, since it can’t be used to link IPs and TXs. In the future of this coin we’ll also see hardware wallets support reaching 100%, with Trezor and Nano ledger support. These small, key-chain devices connect to the user’s computer to store their private keys and sign transactions in a safe environment. Including Viacoin in these wallets is a smart move, because they are targeted towards people that are outside of hardcore cryptocurrency users circle and guarantees exposure to this currency. The more casual users hear of this coin, the faster they’re going to adopt it, being sure of it’s safety and reliability. In last October, Viacoin price has seen a strong decline, probably linked to one big online retailer building a decentralized crypto stock exchange based on the Counterparty protocol. As usual with crypto currencties, it’s easy to misunderstand the market fluctuations and assume that a temporary underperforming coin is a sign of lack of strength. The change in the development team certainly helped with Viacoin losing value, but by watching the coin graphs it’s easy to see how this momentary change in price is turning out to be just one of those gentle chart dips that precede a sky rocketing surge in price. Romano is working hard on features and focusing on their implementation, keeping his head low rather than pushing on strong marketing like other alt coins are doing. All this investment on ground breaking properties, most of which are unique to this coin, means that Viacoin is one of those well kept secret in the market. Minimal order books and lack of large investors offering liquidity also help keep this coin in a low-key position, something that is changing as support for larger books is growing. As soon as the market notices this coin and investments go up, we are going to see a rapid surge in the market price, around the 10000 mark by the beginning of January 2018 or late February. Instead of focusing on a public ICO like every altcoin, which means a sudden spike in price followed by inclusion on new exchanges that will dry up volume, this crypto coin is growing slowly under the radar while it’s being well tested and boxes on the roadmap get checked off, one after the other. Romano is constantly working on it and the community around this coin knows, such a strong pack of followers is a feature that no other alt currency has and it’s what will bring it back to the top of the coin market in the near future. His attitude towards miners that are opposed to SegWit is another strong feature to add to Viacoin, especially because of what he thinks of F2Pool and Bitmain’s politics towards soft forks. The Chinese mining groups seem scared that once alternative crypto coins switch to it they’re going to lose leveraging power for what concerns Bitcoin’s future and won’t be able to speculate on the mining and trading market as much as they have been doing in the past, especially for what concerns the marketing market.
It’s refreshing to see such dedication and releases being pushed at a constant manner, the only way to have structural changes in how crypto currencies work can only happen when the accent is put on development and not on just trying to convince the market. This strategy is less flashy and makes sure the road is ready for the inevitable increase in the userbase. It’s always difficult to forecast the future, especially when it concerns alternative coins when Bitcoin is raising so fast. A long term strategy suggestion would be to get around 1BTC worth of this cryptocoin as soon as possible and just hold on it: thanks to the features that are being rolled in as within 6 months there is going to be an easy gain to be made in the order of 5 to 10 times the initial investment. Using the recent market dip will make sure that the returns are maximized. What makes Viacoin an excellent opportunity right now is that the price is low and designed to rise fast, as its Lightning Network features become more mainstream. Lightning Network is secure, instant payment that aren’t going to be held back by confirmation bottlenecks, a blockchain capable to scale to the billions of transactions mark, extremely low fees that do not inhibit micropayments and cross-chain atomic swap that allow transaction across blockchain without the need of a third party custodians. These features mean that the future of this coin is going to be bright, and the the dip in price that started just a while ago is going to end soon as the market prepares for the first of August, when when the SegWit drama will affect all crypto markets. The overall trend of viacoin is bullish with a constant uptrend more media attention is expected , when news about the soft fork will spread beyond the inner circle of crypto aficionados and leak in the mainstream finance news networks. Solid coins like Viacoin, with a clear policy towards SegWit, will offer the guarantees that the market will be looking for in times of doubt. INVESTMENT REVIEW Investment Rating :- A+
https://medium.com/@VerthagOG/viacoin-investment-review-ca0982e979bd
submitted by alex61688 to viacoin [link] [comments]

Ethereum in the year of the fire monkey! can you keep up?

Soon after we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the official release of the white paper with the one millionth block on the frontier, amazing news keep coming in so rapidly that even the world's fastest client cannot finish syncing before the next incredible story hits.
Since the onset of the chinese new year, the fire monkey's frolics set the whole ethereum ecosystem on fire.
For you indulgence, I cherry picked some recent news:
I mean. Isn't this just crazy? In less than a month?
What is YOUR favourite story?
Bonus points if you give me a reason not to be bullish.
submitted by decypha to ethereum [link] [comments]

Technologies — InziderX Exchange

Technologies — InziderX Exchange

The InziderX decentralized exchange based on wallet is possible because of two technologies that have recently proved their value. Atomic swap and the Lightning Network.

Atomic Swap
A decentralized platform based solely on user wallet (Dapp) that allows the exchange of assets between these wallets have an ingenious feature: the atomic swap between blockchain.
An atomic swap is the exchange between two digitals assets without the intervention of a third party.
Previously, in all situations of exchange between two parties, it was necessary to use the services of a third party to establish a relationship of trust between users. None of them wants to send their assets first without the assurance that the other party will fulfill its promise.
Since all users trust the third party in their task of transmitting funds between participants only if all conditions are met, they have no hesitation in trading on their exchange.
However, as discussed earlier, the latest hacks on centralized exchanges have eroded this trust to the point of being non-existent. Using these platforms is putting yourself in a hostage position.
The atomic swap avoids this situation with a process called “time hash lock contract”. This option is activated by basic functions written in the code of Bitcoin and most other altcoins.
In action, if Alice wants to sell 50 LTC for 1 BTC and Bob accepts the transaction, a transaction on each of the blockchains is processed. Bob sends 1 BTC into a mulsignatures address to Alice and Alice sends 50 LTC to Bob into a mulsignatures address.
However, the trick is that Alice can only claim 1 BTC if she reveals a secret code (hash). And it’s the same for Bob, so he can only access Alice’s 50 LTC if he reveals his secret code (hash). In the opposite case, each one recovers his assets after a short time (time-lock).
In this way, Alice and Bob can make a safe transaction between themselves without the intervention of a third party and without having to trust each other. Because even if the transactions are carried out on different blockchains, they are in fact interrelated by mutual conditions.
Recap :
1-Alice generates a secret code (hash) and initiates the transaction by sending the LTC into a mulsignatures address that can not be claimed without the secret code.
2-Bob generates a secret code (hash) and initiates the transaction by sending the BTC into a mulsignatures address which can not be claimed without the secret code.
3-At this point, Alice can not claim the BTC and Bob can not claim the LTC.
4-In order to cash the BTC, Alice reveals her secret code (hash) and when Bob uses this code, automatically his hash is transmitted to Alice which releases the BTC.
The secret code (hash) is included in the output of a transaction and then requested in the input to release the funds.
The exchange is atomic because it only occurs if the two transactions are processed, otherwise the exchange is canceled.
This is what the atomic swap allows : an exchange without third parties where the parties do not have to trust each other to negotiate between them.
All they are missing is a market place to meet and make known their intention of exchange.
InizderX will be this agora.
Available pairs
Another advantage is the fact that it is possible to negotiate between them any digital assets listed on the exchange. So that users are not limited to the pairs usually listed.
For example, on a centralized exchange, if the pair BTC / ETH and XRP / BTC are listed, it is not certain that it’s possible to trade the ETH / XPR pair if the centralized exchange does not offer it.
On a decentralized exchange with atomic swap, it is possible to negotiate all the digital assets listed on the exchange between them.
Considering that the InziderX exchange intends to list the twenty digital assets with the most large caps, this makes 180 pairs of digital assets available for trading.

https://preview.redd.it/16gllf0zanp11.png?width=180&format=png&auto=webp&s=b647b46c7a79bcffcef76462ba8a1c7ef9265887

Lightning Network
The Lightning Network is a two-way payment protocol that operates separately from the blockchain, in parallel.
This payment channel allows :

Instant payments on the blockchain without having to worry about block confirmation times.
Security is enforced by smart contracts without creating a blockchain transaction for individual payments.
Capable of millions to billions of transactions per second across the network.
Cheap transactions. By performing transactions separately from the blockchain (off-chain), the Lightning network allows exceptionally low fees, allowing instant micropayments.

The transfer between blockchains. Cross-atomic exchanges can occur off-line instantly with heterogeneous blockchains consensus rules.
As long as blockchains can support the same cryptographic hash function, it is possible to perform transactions on a blockchains without having to trust a third party.
With the functions CheckSequenceVerify (CSV), that blocks the assets for a specific number of blocks and the one of the secret hash, the cryptographic aspect, that atomic exchange, all this is possible.

Liquidity
The advantage of this technology for the InziderX exchange is the liquidity it provides.
The exchange InziderX proposes to create is a marketplace where all other exchanges can connect.
With BIP65 and BOLT, which standardizes the protocols used by network users, all this is possible and will be the reality of tomorrow.
In a way, there will only be one market left. A market connected to markets. Wallets will be just an exchange window to access them.
That’s the vision of InziderX!
Create a wallet that is by itself an exchange that is connected to all exchanges using the same protocols and create a “world order book”.
A relay that integrates the Lightning Network and allows everyone to participate and form a decentralized network of liquidity.
In this way, any liquidity provider, whether it’s another exchange or a private institution that has a market maker program, will be able to connect to our exchange.
The benefits for these liquidity providers are obvious : a new clientele.
The standardization of the protocols used by the users of the networks will allow this ingenious technological advance and will guarantee an unparalleled liquidity to our exchange.
InziderX will be in touch at the opening of its exchange with private liquidity providers and will offer them plans for reduced transaction fees for a defined period that can be renewed if
necessary. We will also establish relays with centralized exchanges whose volume is the largest.
Other network participants who want to connect to our exchange and use the same protocols will have the possibility to add their volume to the order book.

Market Maker Program
The InziderX exchange will establish from its launch a program that favors market makers.
Reduced fees
Limit orders are orders that provide volume to the order book and will be processed with a reduced transaction fee. For example 0.1% instead of 0.02%.
These transaction fees will also be reduced according to the volume of transactions of the user.
Here is an example :
Volume in last 30 days
Fees
$ 0 and up 0.1%
$ 100,000 and up 0.08%
$ 250,000 and up 0.07%
$ 500,000 and up 0.06%
$ 1,000,000 and over 0.05%
$ 2,000,000 and over 0.04%
$ 5,000,000 and up 0.0175%
$ 7,000,000 and over 0.00%

Reward
Taking the example of the stock market where high-frequency traders receive a premium for placing orders, a portion of the transaction fees charged to all users will be redistributed through a reward program to traders who have the largest volume of transactions.
For example, an institution that maintains a volume of more than $ 10,000,000 of volume executed in the last 60 days will receive a return of 0.01% on placed orders.
This will be a strong motivation for liquidity providers to maintain a volume on our exchange.

Arbitrage
Arbitrage is the purchase of an asset at a lower price on an exchange and the sale of the same asset at a higher price on another exchange.
Previously, in order to take advantage of these price differences between centralized exchanges, it was necessary to maintain a portfolio in each of those exchanges and to have twice the negotiated power.
For example, if the price of the BTC is $ 8000 on exchange A and $ 8,500 on exchange B, the trader buys 1BTC in his account on exchange A and sells 1 BTC in his account on exchange B in order to enjoy a gain of $ 500.
With the new technology and protocol standardization, it will be possible for a trader to buy on an exchange and instantly transfer it to another exchange for sale. You do not need to have twice the exchange value.
This will result in a terribly efficient marketplace with tight spreads and reduced slippage.
The InziderX exchange API with its clear and varied controls will automatically manage this type of trades. So that a negotiator will be able to automate all this process from predefined actions in his code and make an instant exchange between them.
https://preview.redd.it/kgxnzwyfbnp11.png?width=1446&format=png&auto=webp&s=e87ba6961d6e3a16a952bebb4713d7915048b9b6
Wallet
The wallet is one of the important elements of a decentralized exchange because it is the tool on which the exchange is based.
It is also the first window that the novice user will have on the world of digital assets. It must be easy to use and intuitive in its design.
Beyond these considerations, it must include the basic and advanced options necessary to support the exchange.

Basic options
- Multicurrency
- Send / receive / contact list
- Historic
- Estimation and adjustment of transfer fees
- Segwit2 Technology

Account value history
A section will display the value of the account according to a given history. It will be possible to establish a chart by selecting the set of digital assets in the portfolio if not one or some. This will be handy for assessing which assets should be prioritized for diversification.
Stacking
An interesting option in this portfolio is stacking. It allows you to make margin financing and thus make your funds work to accumulate a passive return. The funds are still safe in the wallet.
Mining
In addition to the “stacking” it will be possible to mine directly in the portfolio the digital asset INX that supports our exchange. A miner pool will be created and it will be possible to allocate a mining power from your computer to this task.
HD wallets Integration
With the latest advanced blockchain technology revolution such as atomic swap and Lightning Network, it is possible to perform instant transfers that are without risk for both parties.
It is therefore possible to integrate in our exchange other portfolios that use the same technologies. We are therefore studying the possibility of integrating portfolios such as LedgerNano S and Metamask into our exchange.
For those who know the security level of a Nano S key, this is another layer of security to our exchange. So in addition to being decentralized, the user can use a technology that prevents his private keys are held directly on his computer and rather in cold storage with air gap.
This wallet, which includes several modules, will be available in Native — Full node mode or in Electrum mode — light node version which does not oblige the user to download all the transaction history of the assets they wish to negotiate.
Instant and Untraceable Encrypted Message
The wallet includes an anonymous and untraceable encrypted email system based on the blockchain. Knowledge groups can be formed to share real-time insights into the price action of a particular asset.
https://inziderx.io/docs/InziderX.io-Economics.pdf — #InziderX #Exchange #ico

https://preview.redd.it/1ehcfzjobnp11.png?width=128&format=png&auto=webp&s=045cef7f06a536df30f899c86929040a160e7a1c
submitted by InziderX to u/InziderX [link] [comments]

Crypto News Recap for the week ending August 3rd

Developments in Financial Services

Regulatory

General News

submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Is anyone else freaked out by this whole blocksize debate? Does anyone else find themself often agreeing with *both* sides - depending on whichever argument you happen to be reading at the moment? And do we need some better algorithms and data structures?

Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me?
I know, I know, a healthy debate is healthy and all - and maybe I'm just not used to the tumult and jostling which would be inevitable in a real live open major debate about something as vital as Bitcoin.
And I really do agree with the starry-eyed idealists who say Bitcoin is vital. Imperfect as it may be, it certainly does seem to represent the first real chance we've had in the past few hundred years to try to steer our civilization and our planet away from the dead-ends and disasters which our government-issued debt-based currencies keep dragging us into.
But this particular debate, about the blocksize, doesn't seem to be getting resolved at all.
Pretty much every time I read one of the long-form major arguments contributed by Bitcoin "thinkers" who I've come to respect over the past few years, this weird thing happens: I usually end up finding myself nodding my head and agreeing with whatever particular piece I'm reading!
But that should be impossible - because a lot of these people vehemently disagree!
So how can both sides sound so convincing to me, simply depending on whichever piece I currently happen to be reading?
Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just a gullible idiot?
Just Do It?
When you first look at it or hear about it, increasing the size seems almost like a no-brainer: The "big-block" supporters say just increase the blocksize to 20 MB or 8 MB, or do some kind of scheduled or calculated regular increment which tries to take into account the capabilities of the infrastructure and the needs of the users. We do have the bandwidth and the memory to at least increase the blocksize now, they say - and we're probably gonna continue to have more bandwidth and memory in order to be able to keep increasing the blocksize for another couple decades - pretty much like everything else computer-based we've seen over the years (some of this stuff is called by names such as "Moore's Law").
On the other hand, whenever the "small-block" supporters warn about the utter catastrophe that a failed hard-fork would mean, I get totally freaked by their possible doomsday scenarios, which seem totally plausible and terrifying - so I end up feeling that the only way I'd want to go with a hard-fork would be if there was some pre-agreed "triggering" mechanism where the fork itself would only actually "switch on" and take effect provided that some "supermajority" of the network (of who? the miners? the full nodes?) had signaled (presumably via some kind of totally reliable p2p trustless software-based voting system?) that they do indeed "pre-agree" to actually adopt the pre-scheduled fork (and thereby avoid any possibility whatsoever of the precious blockchain somehow tragically splitting into two and pretty much killing this cryptocurrency off in its infancy).
So in this "conservative" scenario, I'm talking about wanting at least 95% pre-adoption agreement - not the mere 75% which I recall some proposals call for, which seems like it could easily lead to a 75/25 blockchain split.
But this time, with this long drawn-out blocksize debate, the core devs, and several other important voices who have become prominent opinion shapers over the past few years, can't seem to come to any real agreement on this.
Weird split among the devs
As far as I can see, there's this weird split: Gavin and Mike seem to be the only people among the devs who really want a major blocksize increase - and all the other devs seem to be vehemently against them.
But then on the other hand, the users seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major increase.
And there are meta-questions about governance, about about why this didn't come out as a BIP, and what the availability of Bitcoin XT means.
And today or yesterday there was this really cool big-blockian exponential graph based on doubling the blocksize every two years for twenty years, reminding us of the pure mathematical fact that 210 is indeed about 1000 - but not really addressing any of the game-theoretic points raised by the small-blockians. So a lot of the users seem to like it, but when so few devs say anything positive about it, I worry: is this just yet more exponential chart porn?
On the one hand, Gavin's and Mike's blocksize increase proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer to me.
And on the other hand, all the other devs seem to be against them. Which is weird - not what I'd initially expected at all (but maybe I'm just a fool who's seduced by exponential chart porn?).
Look, I don't mean to be rude to any of the core devs, and I don't want to come off like someone wearing a tinfoil hat - but it has to cross people's minds that the powers that be (the Fed and the other central banks and the governments that use their debt-issued money to run this world into a ditch) could very well be much more scared shitless than they're letting on. If we assume that the powers that be are using their usual playbook and tactics, then it could be worth looking at the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, to get an idea of how they might try to attack Bitcoin. So, what I'm saying is, they do have a track record of sending in "experts" to try to derail projects and keep everyone enslaved to the Creature from Jekyll Island. I'm just saying. So, without getting ad hominem - let's just make sure that our ideas can really stand scrutiny on their own - as Nick Szabo says, we need to make sure there is "more computer science, less noise" in this debate.
When Gavin Andresen first came out with the 20 MB thing - I sat back and tried to imagine if I could download 20 MB in 10 minutes (which seems to be one of the basic mathematical and technological constraints here - right?)
I figured, "Yeah, I could download that" - even with my crappy internet connection.
And I guess the telecoms might be nice enough to continue to double our bandwidth every two years for the next couple decades – if we ask them politely?
On the other hand - I think we should be careful about entrusting the financial freedom of the world into the greedy hands of the telecoms companies - given all their shady shenanigans over the past few years in many countries. After decades of the MPAA and the FBI trying to chip away at BitTorrent, lately PirateBay has been hard to access. I would say it's quite likely that certain persons at institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and the Fed might be very, very motivated to see Bitcoin fail - so we shouldn't be too sure about scaling plans which depend on the willingness of companies Verizon and AT&T to double our bandwith every two years.
Maybe the real important hardware buildout challenge for a company like 21 (and its allies such as Qualcomm) to take on now would not be "a miner in every toaster" but rather "Google Fiber Download and Upload Speeds in every Country, including China".
I think I've read all the major stuff on the blocksize debate from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Adam Back, and Jeff Garzick and several other major contributors - and, oddly enough, all their arguments seem reasonable - heck even Luke-Jr seems reasonable to me on the blocksize debate, and I always thought he was a whackjob overly influenced by superstition and numerology - and now today I'm reading the article by Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - and I find myself agreeing with him too!
I say to myself: What's going on with me? How can I possibly agree with all of these guys, if they all have such vehemently opposing viewpoints?
I mean, think back to the glory days of a couple of years ago, when all we were hearing was how this amazing unprecedented grassroots innovation called Bitcoin was going to benefit everyone from all walks of life, all around the world:
...basically the entire human race transacting everything into the blockchain.
(Although let me say that I think that people's focus on ideas like driverless cabs creating realtime fare markets based on supply and demand seems to be setting our sights a bit low as far as Bitcoin's abilities to correct the financial world's capital-misallocation problems which seem to have been made possible by infinite debt-based fiat. I would have hoped that a Bitcoin-based economy would solve much more noble, much more urgent capital-allocation problems than driverless taxicabs creating fare markets or refrigerators ordering milk on the internet of things. I was thinking more along the lines that Bitcoin would finally strangle dead-end debt-based deadly-toxic energy industries like fossil fuels and let profitable clean energy industries like Thorium LFTRs take over - but that's another topic. :=)
Paradoxes in the blocksize debate
Let me summarize the major paradoxes I see here:
(1) Regarding the people (the majority of the core devs) who are against a blocksize increase: Well, the small-blocks arguments do seem kinda weird, and certainly not very "populist", in the sense that: When on earth have end-users ever heard of a computer technology whose capacity didn't grow pretty much exponentially year-on-year? All the cool new technology we've had - from hard drives to RAM to bandwidth - started out pathetically tiny and grew to unimaginably huge over the past few decades - and all our software has in turn gotten massively powerful and big and complex (sometimes bloated) to take advantage of the enormous new capacity available.
But now suddenly, for the first time in the history of technology, we seem to have a majority of the devs, on a major p2p project - saying: "Let's not scale the system up. It could be dangerous. It might break the whole system (if the hard-fork fails)."
I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, maybe someone else could enlighten me, but I don't think I've ever seen this sort of thing happen in the last few decades of the history of technology - devs arguing against scaling up p2p technology to take advantage of expected growth in infrastructure capacity.
(2) But... on the other hand... the dire warnings of the small-blockians about what could happen if a hard-fork were to fail - wow, they do seem really dire! And these guys are pretty much all heavyweight, experienced programmers and/or game theorists and/or p2p open-source project managers.
I must say, that nearly all of the long-form arguments I've read - as well as many, many of the shorter comments I've read from many users in the threads, whose names I at least have come to more-or-less recognize over the past few months and years on reddit and bitcointalk - have been amazingly impressive in their ability to analyze all aspects of the lifecycle and management of open-source software projects, bringing up lots of serious points which I could never have come up with, and which seem to come from long experience with programming and project management - as well as dealing with economics and human nature (eg, greed - the game-theory stuff).
So a lot of really smart and experienced people with major expertise in various areas ranging from programming to management to game theory to politics to economics have been making some serious, mature, compelling arguments.
But, as I've been saying, the only problem to me is: in many of these cases, these arguments are vehemently in opposition to each other! So I find myself agreeing with pretty much all of them, one by one - which means the end result is just a giant contradiction.
I mean, today we have Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, arguing (quite cogently and convincingly to me), that it would be dangerous to increase the blocksize. And this seems to be a guy who would know a few things about scaling out a massive global p2p network - since the protocol which he invented, BitTorrent, is now apparently responsible for like a third of the traffic on the internet (and this despite the long-term concerted efforts of major evil players such as the MPAA and the FBI to shut the whole thing down).
Was the BitTorrent analogy too "glib"?
By the way - I would like to go on a slight tangent here and say that one of the main reasons why I felt so "comfortable" jumping on the Bitcoin train back a few years ago, when I first heard about it and got into it, was the whole rough analogy I saw with BitTorrent.
I remembered the perhaps paradoxical fact that when a torrent is more popular (eg, a major movie release that just came out last week), then it actually becomes faster to download. More people want it, so more people have a few pieces of it, so more people are able to get it from each other. A kind of self-correcting economic feedback loop, where more demand directly leads to more supply.
(BitTorrent manages to pull this off by essentially adding a certain structure to the file being shared, so that it's not simply like an append-only list of 1 MB blocks, but rather more like an random-access or indexed array of 1 MB chunks. Say you're downloading a film which is 700 MB. As soon as your "client" program has downloaded a single 1-MB chunk - say chunk #99 - your "client" program instantly turns into a "server" program as well - offering that chunk #99 to other clients. From my simplistic understanding, I believe the Bitcoin protocol does something similar, to provide a p2p architecture. Hence my - perhaps naïve - assumption that Bitcoin already had the right algorithms / architecture / data structure to scale.)
The efficiency of the BitTorrent network seemed to jive with that "network law" (Metcalfe's Law?) about fax machines. This law states that the more fax machines there are, the more valuable the network of fax machines becomes. Or the value of the network grows on the order of the square of the number of nodes.
This is in contrast with other technology like cars, where the more you have, the worse things get. The more cars there are, the more traffic jams you have, so things start going downhill. I guess this is because highway space is limited - after all, we can't pave over the entire countryside, and we never did get those flying cars we were promised, as David Graeber laments in a recent essay in The Baffler magazine :-)
And regarding the "stress test" supposedly happening right now in the middle of this ongoing blocksize debate, I don't know what worries me more: the fact that it apparently is taking only $5,000 to do a simple kind of DoS on the blockchain - or the fact that there are a few rumors swirling around saying that the unknown company doing the stress test shares the same physical mailing address with a "scam" company?
Or maybe we should just be worried that so much of this debate is happening on a handful of forums which are controlled by some guy named theymos who's already engaged in some pretty "contentious" or "controversial" behavior like blowing a million dollars on writing forum software (I guess he never heard that reddit.com software is open-source)?
So I worry that the great promise of "decentralization" might be more fragile than we originally thought.
Scaling
Anyways, back to Metcalfe's Law: with virtual stuff, like torrents and fax machines, the more the merrier. The more people downloading a given movie, the faster it arrives - and the more people own fax machines, the more valuable the overall fax network.
So I kindof (naïvely?) assumed that Bitcoin, being "virtual" and p2p, would somehow scale up the same magical way BitTorrrent did. I just figured that more people using it would somehow automatically make it stronger and faster.
But now a lot of devs have started talking in terms of the old "scarcity" paradigm, talking about blockspace being a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" - which seems kinda scary, and antithetical to much of the earlier rhetoric we heard about Bitcoin (the stuff about supporting our favorite creators with micropayments, and the stuff about Africans using SMS to send around payments).
Look, when some asshole is in line in front of you at the cash register and he's holding up the line so they can run his credit card to buy a bag of Cheeto's, we tend to get pissed off at the guy - clogging up our expensive global electronic payment infrastructure to make a two-dollar purchase. And that's on a fairly efficient centralized system - and presumably after a year or so, VISA and the guy's bank can delete or compress the transaction in their SQL databases.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if some guy buys a coffee on the blockchain, or if somebody pays an online artist $1.99 for their work - then that transaction, a few bytes or so, has to live on the blockchain forever?
Or is there some "pruning" thing that gets rid of it after a while?
And this could lead to another question: Viewed from the perspective of double-entry bookkeeping, is the blockchain "world-wide ledger" more like the "balance sheet" part of accounting, i.e. a snapshot showing current assets and liabilities? Or is it more like the "cash flow" part of accounting, i.e. a journal showing historical revenues and expenses?
When I think of thousands of machines around the globe having to lug around multiple identical copies of a multi-gigabyte file containing some asshole's coffee purchase forever and ever... I feel like I'm ideologically drifting in one direction (where I'd end up also being against really cool stuff like online micropayments and Africans banking via SMS)... so I don't want to go there.
But on the other hand, when really experienced and battle-tested veterans with major experience in the world of open-souce programming and project management (the "small-blockians") warn of the catastrophic consequences of a possible failed hard-fork, I get freaked out and I wonder if Bitcoin really was destined to be a settlement layer for big transactions.
Could the original programmer(s) possibly weigh in?
And I don't mean to appeal to authority - but heck, where the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto in all this? I do understand that he/she/they would want to maintain absolute anonymity - but on the other hand, I assume SN wants Bitcoin to succeed (both for the future of humanity - or at least for all the bitcoins SN allegedly holds :-) - and I understand there is a way that SN can cryptographically sign a message - and I understand that as the original developer of Bitcoin, SN had some very specific opinions about the blocksize... So I'm kinda wondering of Satoshi could weigh in from time to time. Just to help out a bit. I'm not saying "Show us a sign" like a deity or something - but damn it sure would be fascinating and possibly very helpful if Satoshi gave us his/hetheir 2 satoshis worth at this really confusing juncture.
Are we using our capacity wisely?
I'm not a programming or game-theory whiz, I'm just a casual user who has tried to keep up with technology over the years.
It just seems weird to me that here we have this massive supercomputer (500 times more powerful than the all the supercomputers in the world combined) doing fairly straightforward "embarassingly parallel" number-crunching operations to secure a p2p world-wide ledger called the blockchain to keep track of a measly 2.1 quadrillion tokens spread out among a few billion addresses - and a couple of years ago you had people like Rick Falkvinge saying the blockchain would someday be supporting multi-million-dollar letters of credit for international trade and you had people like Andreas Antonopoulos saying the blockchain would someday allow billions of "unbanked" people to send remittances around the village or around the world dirt-cheap - and now suddenly in June 2015 we're talking about blockspace as a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" and partially centralized, corporate-sponsored "Level 2" vaporware like Lightning Network and some mysterious company is "stess testing" or "DoS-ing" the system by throwing away a measly $5,000 and suddenly it sounds like the whole system could eventually head right back into PayPal and Western Union territory again, in terms of expensive fees.
When I got into Bitcoin, I really was heavily influenced by vague analogies with BitTorrent: I figured everyone would just have tiny little like utorrent-type program running on their machine (ie, Bitcoin-QT or Armory or Mycelium etc.).
I figured that just like anyone can host a their own blog or webserver, anyone would be able to host their own bank.
Yeah, Google and and Mozilla and Twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp did come along and build stuff on top of TCP/IP, so I did expect a bunch of companies to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol as well. But I still figured the basic unit of bitcoin client software powering the overall system would be small and personal and affordable and p2p - like a bittorrent client - or at the most, like a cheap server hosting a blog or email server.
And I figured there would be a way at the software level, at the architecture level, at the algorithmic level, at the data structure level - to let the thing scale - if not infinitely, at least fairly massively and gracefully - the same way the BitTorrent network has.
Of course, I do also understand that with BitTorrent, you're sharing a read-only object (eg, a movie) - whereas with Bitcoin, you're achieving distributed trustless consensus and appending it to a write-only (or append-only) database.
So I do understand that the problem which BitTorrent solves is much simpler than the problem which Bitcoin sets out to solve.
But still, it seems that there's got to be a way to make this thing scale. It's p2p and it's got 500 times more computing power than all the supercomputers in the world combined - and so many brilliant and motivated and inspired people want this thing to succeed! And Bitcoin could be our civilization's last chance to steer away from the oncoming debt-based ditch of disaster we seem to be driving into!
It just seems that Bitcoin has got to be able to scale somehow - and all these smart people working together should be able to come up with a solution which pretty much everyone can agree - in advance - will work.
Right? Right?
A (probably irrelevant) tangent on algorithms and architecture and data structures
I'll finally weigh with my personal perspective - although I might be biased due to my background (which is more on the theoretical side of computer science).
My own modest - or perhaps radical - suggestion would be to ask whether we're really looking at all the best possible algorithms and architectures and data structures out there.
From this perspective, I sometimes worry that the overwhelming majority of the great minds working on the programming and game-theory stuff might come from a rather specific, shall we say "von Neumann" or "procedural" or "imperative" school of programming (ie, C and Python and Java programmers).
It seems strange to me that such a cutting-edge and important computer project would have so little participation from the great minds at the other end of the spectrum of programming paradigms - namely, the "functional" and "declarative" and "algebraic" (and co-algebraic!) worlds.
For example, I was struck in particular by statements I've seen here and there (which seemed rather hubristic or lackadaisical to me - for something as important as Bitcoin), that the specification of Bitcoin and the blockchain doesn't really exist in any form other than the reference implementation(s) (in procedural languages such as C or Python?).
Curry-Howard anyone?
I mean, many computer scientists are aware of the Curry-Howard isomorophism, which basically says that the relationship between a theorem and its proof is equivalent to the relationship between a specification and its implementation. In other words, there is a long tradition in mathematics (and in computer programming) of:
And it's not exactly "turtles all the way down" either: a specification is generally simple and compact enough that a good programmer can usually simply visually inspect it to determine if it is indeed "correct" - something which is very difficult, if not impossible, to do with a program written in a procedural, implementation-oriented language such as C or Python or Java.
So I worry that we've got this tradition, from the open-source github C/Java programming tradition, of never actually writing our "specification", and only writing the "implementation". In mission-critical military-grade programming projects (which often use languages like Ada or Maude) this is simply not allowed. It would seem that a project as mission-critical as Bitcoin - which could literally be crucial for humanity's continued survival - should also use this kind of military-grade software development approach.
And I'm not saying rewrite the implementations in these kind of theoretical languages. But it might be helpful if the C/Python/Java programmers in the Bitcoin imperative programming world could build some bridges to the Maude/Haskell/ML programmers of the functional and algebraic programming worlds to see if any kind of useful cross-pollination might take place - between specifications and implementations.
For example, the JavaFAN formal analyzer for multi-threaded Java programs (developed using tools based on the Maude language) was applied to the Remote Agent AI program aboard NASA's Deep Space 1 shuttle, written in Java - and it took only a few minutes using formal mathematical reasoning to detect a potential deadlock which would have occurred years later during the space mission when the damn spacecraft was already way out around Pluto.
And "the Maude-NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Protocol Analyzer (Maude-NPA) is a tool used to provide security proofs of cryptographic protocols and to search for protocol flaws and cryptosystem attacks."
These are open-source formal reasoning tools developed by DARPA and used by NASA and the US Navy to ensure that program implementations satisfy their specifications. It would be great if some of the people involved in these kinds of projects could contribute to help ensure the security and scalability of Bitcoin.
But there is a wide abyss between the kinds of programmers who use languages like Maude and the kinds of programmers who use languages like C/Python/Java - and it can be really hard to get the two worlds to meet. There is a bit of rapprochement between these language communities in languages which might be considered as being somewhere in the middle, such as Haskell and ML. I just worry that Bitcoin might be turning into being an exclusively C/Python/Java project (with the algorithms and practitioners traditionally of that community), when it could be more advantageous if it also had some people from the functional and algebraic-specification and program-verification community involved as well. The thing is, though: the theoretical practitioners are big on "semantics" - I've heard them say stuff like "Yes but a C / C++ program has no easily identifiable semantics". So to get them involved, you really have to first be able to talk about what your program does (specification) - before proceeding to describe how it does it (implementation). And writing high-level specifications is typically very hard using the syntax and semantics of languages like C and Java and Python - whereas specs are fairly easy to write in Maude - and not only that, they're executable, and you state and verify properties about them - which provides for the kind of debate Nick Szabo was advocating ("more computer science, less noise").
Imagine if we had an executable algebraic specification of Bitcoin in Maude, where we could formally reason about and verify certain crucial game-theoretical properties - rather than merely hand-waving and arguing and deploying and praying.
And so in the theoretical programming community you've got major research on various logics such as Girard's Linear Logic (which is resource-conscious) and Bruni and Montanari's Tile Logic (which enables "pasting" bigger systems together from smaller ones in space and time), and executable algebraic specification languages such as Meseguer's Maude (which would be perfect for game theory modeling, with its functional modules for specifying the deterministic parts of systems and its system modules for specifiying non-deterministic parts of systems, and its parameterized skeletons for sketching out the typical architectures of mobile systems, and its formal reasoning and verification tools and libraries which have been specifically applied to testing and breaking - and fixing - cryptographic protocols).
And somewhat closer to the practical hands-on world, you've got stuff like Google's MapReduce and lots of Big Data database languages developed by Google as well. And yet here we are with a mempool growing dangerously big for RAM on a single machine, and a 20-GB append-only list as our database - and not much debate on practical results from Google's Big Data databases.
(And by the way: maybe I'm totally ignorant for asking this, but I'll ask anyways: why the hell does the mempool have to stay in RAM? Couldn't it work just as well if it were stored temporarily on the hard drive?)
And you've got CalvinDB out of Yale which apparently provides an ACID layer on top of a massively distributed database.
Look, I'm just an armchair follower cheering on these projects. I can barely manage to write a query in SQL, or read through a C or Python or Java program. But I would argue two points here: (1) these languages may be too low-level and "non-formal" for writing and modeling and formally reasoning about and proving properties of mission-critical specifications - and (2) there seem to be some Big Data tools already deployed by institutions such as Google and Yale which support global petabyte-size databases on commodity boxes with nice properties such as near-real-time and ACID - and I sometimes worry that the "core devs" might be failing to review the literature (and reach out to fellow programmers) out there to see if there might be some formal program-verification and practical Big Data tools out there which could be applied to coming up with rock-solid, 100% consensus proposals to handle an issue such as blocksize scaling, which seems to have become much more intractable than many people might have expected.
I mean, the protocol solved the hard stuff: the elliptical-curve stuff and the Byzantine General stuff. How the heck can we be falling down on the comparatively "easier" stuff - like scaling the blocksize?
It just seems like defeatism to say "Well, the blockchain is already 20-30 GB and it's gonna be 20-30 TB ten years from now - and we need 10 Mbs bandwidth now and 10,000 Mbs bandwidth 20 years from - assuming the evil Verizon and AT&T actually give us that - so let's just become a settlement platform and give up on buying coffee or banking the unbanked or doing micropayments, and let's push all that stuff into some corporate-controlled vaporware without even a whitepaper yet."
So you've got Peter Todd doing some possibly brilliant theorizing and extrapolating on the idea of "treechains" - there is a Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast from about a year ago where he sketches the rough outlines of this idea out in a very inspiring, high-level way - although the specifics have yet to be hammered out. And we've got Blockstream also doing some hopeful hand-waving about the Lightning Network.
Things like Peter Todd's treechains - which may be similar to the spark in some devs' eyes called Lightning Network - are examples of the kind of algorithm or architecture which might manage to harness the massive computing power of miners and nodes in such a way that certain kinds of massive and graceful scaling become possible.
It just seems like a kindof tiny dev community working on this stuff.
Being a C or Python or Java programmer should not be a pre-req to being able to help contribute to the specification (and formal reasoning and program verification) for Bitcoin and the blockchain.
XML and UML are crap modeling and specification languages, and C and Java and Python are even worse (as specification languages - although as implementation languages, they are of course fine).
But there are serious modeling and specification languages out there, and they could be very helpful at times like this - where what we're dealing with is questions of modeling and specification (ie, "needs and requirements").
One just doesn't often see the practical, hands-on world of open-source github implementation-level programmers and the academic, theoretical world of specification-level programmers meeting very often. I wish there were some way to get these two worlds to collaborate on Bitcoin.
Maybe a good first step to reach out to the theoretical people would be to provide a modular executable algebraic specification of the Bitcoin protocol in a recognized, military/NASA-grade specification language such as Maude - because that's something the theoretical community can actually wrap their heads around, whereas it's very hard to get them to pay attention to something written only as a C / Python / Java implementation (without an accompanying specification in a formal language).
They can't check whether the program does what it's supposed to do - if you don't provide a formal mathematical definition of what the program is supposed to do.
Specification : Implementation :: Theorem : Proof
You have to remember: the theoretical community is very aware of the Curry-Howard isomorphism. Just like it would be hard to get a mathematician's attention by merely showing them a proof without telling also telling them what theorem the proof is proving - by the same token, it's hard to get the attention of a theoretical computer scientist by merely showing them an implementation without showing them the specification that it implements.
Bitcoin is currently confronted with a mathematical or "computer science" problem: how to secure the network while getting high enough transactional throughput, while staying within the limited RAM, bandwidth and hard drive space limitations of current and future infrastructure.
The problem only becomes a political and economic problem if we give up on trying to solve it as a mathematical and "theoretical computer science" problem.
There should be a plethora of whitepapers out now proposing algorithmic solutions to these scaling issues. Remember, all we have to do is apply the Byzantine General consensus-reaching procedure to a worldwide database which shuffles 2.1 quadrillion tokens among a few billion addresses. The 21 company has emphatically pointed out that racing to compute a hash to add a block is an "embarrassingly parallel" problem - very easy to decompose among cheap, fault-prone, commodity boxes, and recompose into an overall solution - along the lines of Google's highly successful MapReduce.
I guess what I'm really saying is (and I don't mean to be rude here), is that C and Python and Java programmers might not be the best qualified people to develop and formally prove the correctness of (note I do not say: "test", I say "formally prove the correctness of") these kinds of algorithms.
I really believe in the importance of getting the algorithms and architectures right - look at Google Search itself, it uses some pretty brilliant algorithms and architectures (eg, MapReduce, Paxos) which enable it to achieve amazing performance - on pretty crappy commodity hardware. And look at BitTorrent, which is truly p2p, where more demand leads to more supply.
So, in this vein, I will close this lengthy rant with an oddly specific link - which may or may not be able to make some interesting contributions to finding suitable algorithms, architectures and data structures which might help Bitcoin scale massively. I have no idea if this link could be helpful - but given the near-total lack of people from the Haskell and ML and functional worlds in these Bitcoin specification debates, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't throw this out - just in case there might be something here which could help us channel the massive computing power of the Bitcoin network in such a way as to enable us simply sidestep this kind of desperate debate where both sides seem right because the other side seems wrong.
https://personal.cis.strath.ac.uk/neil.ghani/papers/ghani-calco07
The above paper is about "higher dimensional trees". It uses a bit of category theory (not a whole lot) and a bit of Haskell (again not a lot - just a simple data structure called a Rose tree, which has a wikipedia page) to develop a very expressive and efficient data structure which generalizes from lists to trees to higher dimensions.
I have no idea if this kind of data structure could be applicable to the current scaling mess we apparently are getting bogged down in - I don't have the game-theory skills to figure it out.
I just thought that since the blockchain is like a list, and since there are some tree-like structures which have been grafted on for efficiency (eg Merkle trees) and since many of the futuristic scaling proposals seem to also involve generalizing from list-like structures (eg, the blockchain) to tree-like structures (eg, side-chains and tree-chains)... well, who knows, there might be some nugget of algorithmic or architectural or data-structure inspiration there.
So... TL;DR:
(1) I'm freaked out that this blocksize debate has splintered the community so badly and dragged on so long, with no resolution in sight, and both sides seeming so right (because the other side seems so wrong).
(2) I think Bitcoin could gain immensely by using high-level formal, algebraic and co-algebraic program specification and verification languages (such as Maude including Maude-NPA, Mobile Maude parameterized skeletons, etc.) to specify (and possibly also, to some degree, verify) what Bitcoin does - before translating to low-level implementation languages such as C and Python and Java saying how Bitcoin does it. This would help to communicate and reason about programs with much more mathematical certitude - and possibly obviate the need for many political and economic tradeoffs which currently seem dismally inevitable - and possibly widen the collaboration on this project.
(3) I wonder if there are some Big Data approaches out there (eg, along the lines of Google's MapReduce and BigTable, or Yale's CalvinDB), which could be implemented to allow Bitcoin to scale massively and painlessly - and to satisfy all stakeholders, ranging from millionaires to micropayments, coffee drinkers to the great "unbanked".
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