Bitcoin and Blockchain: History and Current Applications

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!.
Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself.
I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World
As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity.
A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain.
The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes.
Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
For those that wish to seek more information about why Monero is a superior form of money, read The Merits of Monero: Why Monero Vs Bitcoin over on the Monero.how website.
Monero's Humble Origins
Something that still rings true today despite the great influx of money into cryptocurrencies was outlined in Nick Tomaino's early 2016 opinion piece. The author claimed that "one of the most interesting aspects of Monero is that the project has gained traction without a crowd sale pre-launch, without VC funding and any company or well-known investors and without a pre-mine. Like Bitcoin in the early days, Monero has been a purely grassroots movement that was bootstrapped by the creator and adopted organically without any institutional buy-in. The creator and most of the core developers serve the community pseudonymously and the project was launched on a message board (similar to the way Bitcoin was launched on an email newsletter)."
The Organic Growth of the Monero Community
The Monero community over at monero is exponentially growing. You can view the Monero reddit metrics here and see that the Monero subreddit currently gains more than 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) new subscribers every 10 days! Compare this to most of the other coins out there, and it proves to be one of the only projects with real organic growth. In addition to this, the community subreddits are specifically divided to ensure the main subreddit remains unbiased, tech focused, with no shilling or hype. All trading talk is designated to xmrtrader, and all memes at moonero.
Forum Funding System
While most contributors have gratefully volunteered their time to the project, Monero also has a Forum Funding System in which money is donated by community members to ensure it attracts and retains the brightest minds and most skilled developers. Unlike ICOs and other cryptocurrencies, Monero never had a premine, and does not have a developer tax. If ANYONE requires funding for a Monero related project, then they can simply request funding from the community, and if the community sees it as beneficial, they will donate. Types of projects range from Monero funding for local meet ups, to paying developers for their work.
Monero For Goods, Services, and Market Places
There is a growing number of online goods and services that you can now pay for with Monero. Globee is a service that allows online merchants to accept payments through credit cards and a host of cryptocurrencies, while being settled in Bitcoin, Monero or fiat currency. Merchants can reach a wider variety of customers, while not needing to invest in additional hardware to run cryptocurrency wallets or accept the current instability of the cryptocurrency market. Globee uses all of the open source API's that BitPay does making integrations much easier!
Project Coral Reef is a service which allows you to shop and pay for popular music band products and services using Monero.
Linux, Veracrypt, and a whole array of VPNs now accept Monero.
There is a new Monero only marketplace called Annularis currently being developed which has been created for those who value financial privacy and economic freedom, and there are rumours Open Bazaar is likely to support Monero once Multisig is implemented.
In addition, Monero is also supported by The Living Room of Satoshi so you can pay bills or credit cards directly using Monero.
Monero can be found on a growing number of cryptocurrency exchange services such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Cryptopia, Shapeshift, Changelly, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bisq, Tux, and many others.
For those wishing to purchase Monero anonymously, there are services such as LocalMonero.co and Moneroforcash.com.
With XMR.TO you can pay Bitcoin addresses directly with Monero. There are no other fees than the miner ones. All user records are purged after 48 hours. XMR.TO has also been added as an embedded feature into the Monerujo android wallet.
Coinhive Browser-Based Mining
Unlike Bitcoin, Monero can be mined using CPUs and GPUs. Not only does this encourage decentralisation, it also opens the door to browser based mining. Enter side of stage, Coinhive browser-based mining. As described by Hon Lau on the Symnatec Blog Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using Javascript. Coinhive is marketed as an alternative to browser ad revenue. The motivation behind this is simple: users pay for the content indirectly by coin mining when they visit the site and website owners don't have to bother users with sites laden with ads, trackers, and all the associated paraphern. This is great, provided that the websites are transparent with site visitors and notify users of the mining that will be taking place, or better still, offer users a way to opt in, although this hasn't always been the case thus far.
Skepticism Sunday
The main Monero subreddit has weekly Skepticism Sundays which was created with the purpose of installing "a culture of being scientific, skeptical, and rational". This is used to have open, critical discussions about monero as a technology, it's economics, and so on.

///Speculation///

Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested
Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments.
There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin.
Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero.
Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in.
The Bitcoin Flaw
A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins.
CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero.
CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range.
Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap
Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin.
For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin.
Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money.
Technical Analysis
There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today.
Coinbase Rumours
Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading.
Monero Is Not an ICO Scam
It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases.
Monero is a Working Currency, Today
Monero is a working currency, here today.
The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc.
Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin.
Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money.
Monero is private internet money.
Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy.
Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us.
Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.

///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///

Scalability
While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit.
In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
When the Spagni CNBC video was recently linked to the Monero subreddit, it was met with lengthy debate and discussion from both users and developers. u/ferretinjapan summarised the issue explaining:
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming
It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node.
For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too!
Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.

///Conclusion///

I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so.
Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price.
I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors.
I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ?
Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
submitted by johnfoss69 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

From Cardano to Ethereum, 2020 Could Be Deciding Year for Proof-of-Stake

From Cardano to Ethereum, 2020 Could Be Deciding Year for Proof-of-Stake


Article by Cooindesk: Christine Kim
2020 will be the year proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains finally break out. Maybe.
Two of the industry’s most hotly anticipated PoS networks are scheduled to (re)launch in Q1 — namely ethereum and Cardano.
The second largest blockchain platform in the world by market capitalization, ethereum has been looking to shift to PoS since 2014. Co-founder Vitalik Buterin sees PoS as key to ethereum reaching maturity.
“Ethereum 1.0 is a couple of people’s scrappy attempt to build the world computer; Ethereum 2.0 [with PoS] will actually be the world computer,” he has said.
Conceptually, PoS has been around since 2012, but its applications thus far on blockchain platforms, such as EOS, Tezos, Cosmos and others, haven’t been proven to outperform proof-of-work (PoW) platforms in usage or market value (bitcoin or ethereum, for instance).
With PoS, validators must own currency they are verifying: “forgers” always own the coins being minted. There is no mining, meaning no heinous use of electricity to solve maths problems. Supporters argue that PoS will be magnitudes more scalable, sustainable and secure than traditional PoW blockchain systems, but the jury is still out on its comparative strengths and whether governance can be made to work.
Cardano, rather than launching a new PoS system, is looking to upgrade its own pre-existing PoS platform as a public network.
The 12th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Cardano is currently governed by a federated system of transaction validators made up of three organizations: the Cardano Foundation, IOHK and Emurgo, a structure that drew criticism for being over-concentrated. The public network will have 100 times more people running its software than bitcoin, ethereum or any other PoW system, said Charles Hoskinson, CEO IOHK, the company behind Cardano, in an interview.
“This marks the starting point for handing the [Cardano] protocol completely to the community,” Hoskinson said of next year’s network upgrade, dubbed “Shelley.”
Tim Ogilvie, founder and CEO of multi-blockchain staking service Staked, argues that 2019 has already been a big year for PoS.
“You’ve had millions of dollars of proof-of-stake assets running without a hitch and not spending billions on electricity costs,” he told CoinDesk. “Now, you’re going to see big projects like Cardano and ethereum taking these results even further. We’re definitely excited.”
Ogilvie added:
“There’s probably five or six what we call large-market-size proof-of-stake coins and Cardano is one of them. It’s why we got into this business. All these big, exciting projects are either moving to PoS like ethereum or launching with PoS like Cardano.”

Cardano as a test case

Cardano is a running test case of the viability of PoS systems for a global audience. Hoskinson, himself one of the initial co-founders of ethereum, said the past two years of “research and engineering” have all been leading to this point.
Rather than relying on external computational cost and energy to power the network, as with PoW, PoS systems rely on internal incentive mechanisms to encourage user participation.
Coordinating the right amount of network rewards versus penalties to keep a PoS blockchain running smoothly and securely has taken years of academic research to get right, Hoskinson says.
Speaking to Cardano’s long roadmap, Kathleen Breitman, co-creator of public PoS blockchain Tezos, said:
“I can tell you for a fact it’s extremely unromantic and extremely unpleasant to watch a proof-of-stake network evolve. … It’s an extraordinarily hard task to switch to a PoS network or to launch a PoS network. The reason why is because there’s so much more coordination cost, more than anything else. It’s not a trivial task.”
Soon after the Shelley upgrade, Cardano plans to add smart contract functionality enabling decentralized applications (a development phase it calls “Goguen”). Following that, it hopes to increase scalability (the “Basho” phase) enabling upwards of 10,000 transactions per second. Ethereum, in contrast, presently processes about 15 transactions per second. Full development of the Cardano platform from Shelley to Basho, and an additional phase dubbed “Voltaire,” which is dedicated to on-chain governance, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

The challenges

Cardano raised $63 million dollars in an ICO in early 2017. Then, in 2018, Hoskinson told CoinDesk IOHK had earned “nine figures” in revenue acquiring new corporate and government partnerships for the Cardano blockchain. The most recent corporate partnership with sneaker manufacturer New Balance was announced last month during the annual Cardano Summit.
Hoskinson is constantly on the move, flights between locations and projects. Hoskinson says he travels between 200 and 250 days a year. As well as Goguen, Shelley and Basho, his company, Input Out Hong Kong (IOHK) is also developing an enterprise blockchain solution (Atala). Hoskinson is more focused on the developing world than most crypto executives, piloting projects in Mongolia, Rwanda, Ethiopia and elsewhere.
Hoskinson has grown his team of two in 2015 to now 200 contractors and employees worldwide. Hoskinson is confident IOHK has amassed the technical know-how to bring the full Cardano project to full fruition.
Bob Summerwill, executive director of the Ethereum Classic Cooperative, called it a “world-class development team” with a strong focus on academic peer review. Though Buterin and Hoskinson spar over the particulars of their PoS projects, Summerwill told CoinDesk personal rivalries distract from the fundamental similarities between Cardano and ethereum, which he described as “sibling projects with a lot of common genetics.”
As well as technical challenges, Hoskinson will have to stay in good stead with his project partners, something he has not always been good at.
Hoskinson was an original member of the ethereum founding team until June 2014 but was asked to leave the project. Hoskinson wanted a corporate structure for ethereum while Buterin favored a foundation.
Hoskinson also fell out with the Cardano Foundation, which was set up as part of the initial five-year contract to build the blockchain, signed with a group of Japanese businessmen in 2015. The independent nonprofit was set to manage community growth until 2018 saw a power struggle between Hoskinson the foundation, leading the nonprofit to adopt leadership from Hoskinson’s pool of business partners.
If Hoskinson succeeds, he will need to keep everyone happy and probably for a significant amount of time. Pulling off such a complicated set of projects, making PoS work, and solving the governance challenges will probably take years. 2020 will be just the start.
As Hoskinson himself says:
“It’s still very early days.”
Leigh Cuen contributed reporting.
Charles Hoskinson image via Twitter
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The Origins of the Blocksize Debate

On May 4, 2015, Gavin Andresen wrote on his blog:
I was planning to submit a pull request to the 0.11 release of Bitcoin Core that will allow miners to create blocks bigger than one megabyte, starting a little less than a year from now. But this process of peer review turned up a technical issue that needs to get addressed, and I don’t think it can be fixed in time for the first 0.11 release.
I will be writing a series of blog posts, each addressing one argument against raising the maximum block size, or against scheduling a raise right now... please send me an email ([email protected]) if I am missing any arguments
In other words, Gavin proposed a hard fork via a series of blog posts, bypassing all developer communication channels altogether and asking for personal, private emails from anyone interested in discussing the proposal further.
On May 5 (1 day after Gavin submitted his first blog post), Mike Hearn published The capacity cliff on his Medium page. 2 days later, he posted Crash landing. In these posts, he argued:
A common argument for letting Bitcoin blocks fill up is that the outcome won’t be so bad: just a market for fees... this is wrong. I don’t believe fees will become high and stable if Bitcoin runs out of capacity. Instead, I believe Bitcoin will crash.
...a permanent backlog would start to build up... as the backlog grows, nodes will start running out of memory and dying... as Core will accept any transaction that’s valid without any limit a node crash is eventually inevitable.
He also, in the latter article, explained that he disagreed with Satoshi's vision for how Bitcoin would mature[1][2]:
Neither me nor Gavin believe a fee market will work as a substitute for the inflation subsidy.
Gavin continued to publish the series of blog posts he had announced while Hearn made these predictions. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7]
Matt Corallo brought Gavin's proposal up on the bitcoin-dev mailing list after a few days. He wrote:
Recently there has been a flurry of posts by Gavin at http://gavinandresen.svbtle.com/ which advocate strongly for increasing the maximum block size. However, there hasnt been any discussion on this mailing list in several years as far as I can tell...
So, at the risk of starting a flamewar, I'll provide a little bait to get some responses and hope the discussion opens up into an honest comparison of the tradeoffs here. Certainly a consensus in this kind of technical community should be a basic requirement for any serious commitment to blocksize increase.
Personally, I'm rather strongly against any commitment to a block size increase in the near future. Long-term incentive compatibility requires that there be some fee pressure, and that blocks be relatively consistently full or very nearly full. What we see today are transactions enjoying next-block confirmations with nearly zero pressure to include any fee at all (though many do because it makes wallet code simpler).
This allows the well-funded Bitcoin ecosystem to continue building systems which rely on transactions moving quickly into blocks while pretending these systems scale. Thus, instead of working on technologies which bring Bitcoin's trustlessness to systems which scale beyond a blockchain's necessarily slow and (compared to updating numbers in a database) expensive settlement, the ecosystem as a whole continues to focus on building centralized platforms and advocate for changes to Bitcoin which allow them to maintain the status quo
Shortly thereafter, Corallo explained further:
The point of the hard block size limit is exactly because giving miners free rule to do anything they like with their blocks would allow them to do any number of crazy attacks. The incentives for miners to pick block sizes are no where near compatible with what allows the network to continue to run in a decentralized manner.
Tier Nolan considered possible extensions and modifications that might improve Gavin's proposal and argued that soft caps could be used to mitigate against the dangers of a blocksize increase. Tom Harding voiced support for Gavin's proposal
Peter Todd mentioned that a limited blocksize provides the benefit of protecting against the "perverse incentives" behind potential block withholding attacks.
Slush didn't have a strong opinion one way or the other, and neither did Eric Lombrozo, though Eric was interested in developing hard-fork best practices and wanted to:
explore all the complexities involved with deployment of hard forks. Let’s not just do a one-off ad-hoc thing.
Matt Whitlock voiced his opinion:
I'm not so much opposed to a block size increase as I am opposed to a hard fork... I strongly fear that the hard fork itself will become an excuse to change other aspects of the system in ways that will have unintended and possibly disastrous consequences.
Bryan Bishop strongly opposed Gavin's proposal, and offered a philosophical perspective on the matter:
there has been significant public discussion... about why increasing the max block size is kicking the can down the road while possibly compromising blockchain security. There were many excellent objections that were raised that, sadly, I see are not referenced at all in the recent media blitz. Frankly I can't help but feel that if contributions, like those from #bitcoin-wizards, have been ignored in lieu of technical analysis, and the absence of discussion on this mailing list, that I feel perhaps there are other subtle and extremely important technical details that are completely absent from this--and other-- proposals.
Secured decentralization is the most important and most interesting property of bitcoin. Everything else is rather trivial and could be achieved millions of times more efficiently with conventional technology. Our technical work should be informed by the technical nature of the system we have constructed.
There's no doubt in my mind that bitcoin will always see the most extreme campaigns and the most extreme misunderstandings... for development purposes we must hold ourselves to extremely high standards before proposing changes, especially to the public, that have the potential to be unsafe and economically unsafe.
There are many potential technical solutions for aggregating millions (trillions?) of transactions into tiny bundles. As a small proof-of-concept, imagine two parties sending transactions back and forth 100 million times. Instead of recording every transaction, you could record the start state and the end state, and end up with two transactions or less. That's a 100 million fold, without modifying max block size and without potentially compromising secured decentralization.
The MIT group should listen up and get to work figuring out how to measure decentralization and its security.. Getting this measurement right would be really beneficial because we would have a more academic and technical understanding to work with.
Gregory Maxwell echoed and extended that perspective:
When Bitcoin is changed fundamentally, via a hard fork, to have different properties, the change can create winners or losers...
There are non-trivial number of people who hold extremes on any of these general belief patterns; Even among the core developers there is not a consensus on Bitcoin's optimal role in society and the commercial marketplace.
there is a at least a two fold concern on this particular ("Long term Mining incentives") front:
One is that the long-held argument is that security of the Bitcoin system in the long term depends on fee income funding autonomous, anonymous, decentralized miners profitably applying enough hash-power to make reorganizations infeasible.
For fees to achieve this purpose, there seemingly must be an effective scarcity of capacity.
The second is that when subsidy has fallen well below fees, the incentive to move the blockchain forward goes away. An optimal rational miner would be best off forking off the current best block in order to capture its fees, rather than moving the blockchain forward...
tools like the Lightning network proposal could well allow us to hit a greater spectrum of demands at once--including secure zero-confirmation (something that larger blocksizes reduce if anything), which is important for many applications. With the right technology I believe we can have our cake and eat it too, but there needs to be a reason to build it; the security and decentralization level of Bitcoin imposes a hard upper limit on anything that can be based on it.
Another key point here is that the small bumps in blocksize which wouldn't clearly knock the system into a largely centralized mode--small constants--are small enough that they don't quantitatively change the operation of the system; they don't open up new applications that aren't possible today
the procedure I'd prefer would be something like this: if there is a standing backlog, we-the-community of users look to indicators to gauge if the network is losing decentralization and then double the hard limit with proper controls to allow smooth adjustment without fees going to zero (see the past proposals for automatic block size controls that let miners increase up to a hard maximum over the median if they mine at quadratically harder difficulty), and we don't increase if it appears it would be at a substantial increase in centralization risk. Hardfork changes should only be made if they're almost completely uncontroversial--where virtually everyone can look at the available data and say "yea, that isn't undermining my property rights or future use of Bitcoin; it's no big deal". Unfortunately, every indicator I can think of except fee totals has been going in the wrong direction almost monotonically along with the blockchain size increase since 2012 when we started hitting full blocks and responded by increasing the default soft target. This is frustrating
many people--myself included--have been working feverishly hard behind the scenes on Bitcoin Core to increase the scalability. This work isn't small-potatoes boring software engineering stuff; I mean even my personal contributions include things like inventing a wholly new generic algebraic optimization applicable to all EC signature schemes that increases performance by 4%, and that is before getting into the R&D stuff that hasn't really borne fruit yet, like fraud proofs. Today Bitcoin Core is easily >100 times faster to synchronize and relay than when I first got involved on the same hardware, but these improvements have been swallowed by the growth. The ironic thing is that our frantic efforts to keep ahead and not lose decentralization have both not been enough (by the best measures, full node usage is the lowest its been since 2011 even though the user base is huge now) and yet also so much that people could seriously talk about increasing the block size to something gigantic like 20MB. This sounds less reasonable when you realize that even at 1MB we'd likely have a smoking hole in the ground if not for existing enormous efforts to make scaling not come at a loss of decentralization.
Peter Todd also summarized some academic findings on the subject:
In short, without either a fixed blocksize or fixed fee per transaction Bitcoin will will not survive as there is no viable way to pay for PoW security. The latter option - fixed fee per transaction - is non-trivial to implement in a way that's actually meaningful - it's easy to give miners "kickbacks" - leaving us with a fixed blocksize.
Even a relatively small increase to 20MB will greatly reduce the number of people who can participate fully in Bitcoin, creating an environment where the next increase requires the consent of an even smaller portion of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Where does that stop? What's the proposed mechanism that'll create an incentive and social consensus to not just 'kick the can down the road'(3) and further centralize but actually scale up Bitcoin the hard way?
Some developers (e.g. Aaron Voisine) voiced support for Gavin's proposal which repeated Mike Hearn's "crash landing" arguments.
Pieter Wuille said:
I am - in general - in favor of increasing the size blocks...
Controversial hard forks. I hope the mailing list here today already proves it is a controversial issue. Independent of personal opinions pro or against, I don't think we can do a hard fork that is controversial in nature. Either the result is effectively a fork, and pre-existing coins can be spent once on both sides (effectively failing Bitcoin's primary purpose), or the result is one side forced to upgrade to something they dislike - effectively giving a power to developers they should never have. Quoting someone: "I did not sign up to be part of a central banker's committee".
The reason for increasing is "need". If "we need more space in blocks" is the reason to do an upgrade, it won't stop after 20 MB. There is nothing fundamental possible with 20 MB blocks that isn't with 1 MB blocks.
Misrepresentation of the trade-offs. You can argue all you want that none of the effects of larger blocks are particularly damaging, so everything is fine. They will damage something (see below for details), and we should analyze these effects, and be honest about them, and present them as a trade-off made we choose to make to scale the system better. If you just ask people if they want more transactions, of course you'll hear yes. If you ask people if they want to pay less taxes, I'm sure the vast majority will agree as well.
Miner centralization. There is currently, as far as I know, no technology that can relay and validate 20 MB blocks across the planet, in a manner fast enough to avoid very significant costs to mining. There is work in progress on this (including Gavin's IBLT-based relay, or Greg's block network coding), but I don't think we should be basing the future of the economics of the system on undemonstrated ideas. Without those (or even with), the result may be that miners self-limit the size of their blocks to propagate faster, but if this happens, larger, better-connected, and more centrally-located groups of miners gain a competitive advantage by being able to produce larger blocks. I would like to point out that there is nothing evil about this - a simple feedback to determine an optimal block size for an individual miner will result in larger blocks for better connected hash power. If we do not want miners to have this ability, "we" (as in: those using full nodes) should demand limitations that prevent it. One such limitation is a block size limit (whatever it is).
Ability to use a full node.
Skewed incentives for improvements... without actual pressure to work on these, I doubt much will change. Increasing the size of blocks now will simply make it cheap enough to continue business as usual for a while - while forcing a massive cost increase (and not just a monetary one) on the entire ecosystem.
Fees and long-term incentives.
I don't think 1 MB is optimal. Block size is a compromise between scalability of transactions and verifiability of the system. A system with 10 transactions per day that is verifiable by a pocket calculator is not useful, as it would only serve a few large bank's settlements. A system which can deal with every coffee bought on the planet, but requires a Google-scale data center to verify is also not useful, as it would be trivially out-competed by a VISA-like design. The usefulness needs in a balance, and there is no optimal choice for everyone. We can choose where that balance lies, but we must accept that this is done as a trade-off, and that that trade-off will have costs such as hardware costs, decreasing anonymity, less independence, smaller target audience for people able to fully validate, ...
Choose wisely.
Mike Hearn responded:
this list is not a good place for making progress or reaching decisions.
if Bitcoin continues on its current growth trends it will run out of capacity, almost certainly by some time next year. What we need to see right now is leadership and a plan, that fits in the available time window.
I no longer believe this community can reach consensus on anything protocol related.
When the money supply eventually dwindles I doubt it will be fee pressure that funds mining
What I don't see from you yet is a specific and credible plan that fits within the next 12 months and which allows Bitcoin to keep growing.
Peter Todd then pointed out that, contrary to Mike's claims, developer consensus had been achieved within Core plenty of times recently. Btc-drak asked Mike to "explain where the 12 months timeframe comes from?"
Jorge Timón wrote an incredibly prescient reply to Mike:
We've successfully reached consensus for several softfork proposals already. I agree with others that hardfork need to be uncontroversial and there should be consensus about them. If you have other ideas for the criteria for hardfork deployment all I'm ears. I just hope that by "What we need to see right now is leadership" you don't mean something like "when Gaving and Mike agree it's enough to deploy a hardfork" when you go from vague to concrete.
Oh, so your answer to "bitcoin will eventually need to live on fees and we would like to know more about how it will look like then" it's "no bitcoin long term it's broken long term but that's far away in the future so let's just worry about the present". I agree that it's hard to predict that future, but having some competition for block space would actually help us get more data on a similar situation to be able to predict that future better. What you want to avoid at all cost (the block size actually being used), I see as the best opportunity we have to look into the future.
this is my plan: we wait 12 months... and start having full blocks and people having to wait 2 blocks for their transactions to be confirmed some times. That would be the beginning of a true "fee market", something that Gavin used to say was his #1 priority not so long ago (which seems contradictory with his current efforts to avoid that from happening). Having a true fee market seems clearly an advantage. What are supposedly disastrous negative parts of this plan that make an alternative plan (ie: increasing the block size) so necessary and obvious. I think the advocates of the size increase are failing to explain the disadvantages of maintaining the current size. It feels like the explanation are missing because it should be somehow obvious how the sky will burn if we don't increase the block size soon. But, well, it is not obvious to me, so please elaborate on why having a fee market (instead of just an price estimator for a market that doesn't even really exist) would be a disaster.
Some suspected Gavin/Mike were trying to rush the hard fork for personal reasons.
Mike Hearn's response was to demand a "leader" who could unilaterally steer the Bitcoin project and make decisions unchecked:
No. What I meant is that someone (theoretically Wladimir) needs to make a clear decision. If that decision is "Bitcoin Core will wait and watch the fireworks when blocks get full", that would be showing leadership
I will write more on the topic of what will happen if we hit the block size limit... I don't believe we will get any useful data out of such an event. I've seen distributed systems run out of capacity before. What will happen instead is technological failure followed by rapid user abandonment...
we need to hear something like that from Wladimir, or whoever has the final say around here.
Jorge Timón responded:
it is true that "universally uncontroversial" (which is what I think the requirement should be for hard forks) is a vague qualifier that's not formally defined anywhere. I guess we should only consider rational arguments. You cannot just nack something without further explanation. If his explanation was "I will change my mind after we increase block size", I guess the community should say "then we will just ignore your nack because it makes no sense". In the same way, when people use fallacies (purposely or not) we must expose that and say "this fallacy doesn't count as an argument". But yeah, it would probably be good to define better what constitutes a "sensible objection" or something. That doesn't seem simple though.
it seems that some people would like to see that happening before the subsidies are low (not necessarily null), while other people are fine waiting for that but don't want to ever be close to the scale limits anytime soon. I would also like to know for how long we need to prioritize short term adoption in this way. As others have said, if the answer is "forever, adoption is always the most important thing" then we will end up with an improved version of Visa. But yeah, this is progress, I'll wait for your more detailed description of the tragedies that will follow hitting the block limits, assuming for now that it will happen in 12 months. My previous answer to the nervous "we will hit the block limits in 12 months if we don't do anything" was "not sure about 12 months, but whatever, great, I'm waiting for that to observe how fees get affected". But it should have been a question "what's wrong with hitting the block limits in 12 months?"
Mike Hearn again asserted the need for a leader:
There must be a single decision maker for any given codebase.
Bryan Bishop attempted to explain why this did not make sense with git architecture.
Finally, Gavin announced his intent to merge the patch into Bitcoin XT to bypass the peer review he had received on the bitcoin-dev mailing list.
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AMA Recap: DBCrypto and 8BTC

AMA Recap: DBCrypto and 8BTC
AMA Recap: DBCrypto and 8BTC
by bloXroute Team (Original post here)
https://preview.redd.it/wofpz6u4s4m21.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=130a488552c9485affdc14a08f8f8a49c6b48cb8
This past month the bloXroute team participated in 2 AMA’s. Our Co-Founder Professor Emin Gün Sirer synced up with our Chinese-speaking community on the 8BTC Forum, and our Co-Founder and Chief Architect Professor Aleksandar Kuzmanovic, Strategy & Operations Manager Eleni Steinman, and Marketing Associate Brooke Walter connected with blockchain enthusiasts on the DBCrypto Telegram group.
There were many great questions asked so we wanted to share our answers with the rest of our community on Medium. For some of the questions, we expanded upon our answers and edited for clarity and brevity.
The questions are organized into four sections: Tech, BLXR, General, and the Blockchain Ecosystem.

Tech

Can someone explain the “magic gateways” a little more? Is this patented and closed source tech?
  • “Magic gateway” is a small piece of code that sits on a machine running a blockchain node with one side speaking the blockchain “language” with the node, and on the other side speaking bloXroute “language” with our Relays. It also shrinks blocks from the nodes to the Relays, propagates transactions etc. Yes this has been patented for a simple reason — the work was initially done at a University, hence we had to license (our own work) from the University. That’s how it works. While we patented the system, we are going to open source the Gateways.
When will the source code be released?
  • The source code for the Gateway software will become available from Day 1, i.e., as soon as we start testing with miners. The source code for the rest of the system, i.e., Relays, will become available soon after.
From reading the whitepaper it seems as though on-boarding bloXroute can take a bottom up approach. I.e. it sounds like crypto miners can start using the bloXroute network right away, without needing to integrate software into the bloXroute servers or get any approval from the developers of the crypto project? Is this right?
  • That’s right! Any miner can start using bloXroute on its own without any approval. We will provide open source code that miners download, we call magic gateways, that is run on the same machine they mine on. Miners send blocks to the gateway like they would any other peer node. And that’s it. Since bloXroute BN lets you hear about and send blocks faster, miners who use it are obviously at an advantage.
Will the blockchain be able to test bloXroute’s net neutrality? If yes, how? Will bloXroute’s net neutrality testing ability be on the developer or miner level?
  • Certainly! Net neutrality is at the heart of bloXroute, and something I am personally passionate about. Net neutrality mechanisms (please see the WP for details) will be enabled from day one. Everyone, including miners and developers, will be able to test, in real time, bloXroute’s network and its behavior.
How can bloXroute be decentralized and trustless? Does it rely on servers? If we can’t find a better way to solve block propagation problems other than bloXroute, then obviously nodes (especially mining nodes)have to completely rely on bloXroute. If bloXroute has any problems, the whole network will be at risk.
  • Excellent question that gets to the heart of bloXroute’s core contribution. bloXroute is a unique solution that is *centralized yet trustless*. It consists of a network of servers operated very efficiently by a centralized entity — this is how it achieves its high performance. At the same time, the technology is constructed such that these servers *cannot* misbehave. They cannot discriminate on the basis of transaction content, and they cannot selectively censor. So, the overall network is efficient because it’s centralized, like Akamai’s content distribution network, and it’s also trustless, like Bitcoin’s underlying network. Also, by open-sourcing our entire codebase (once the system reaches some maturity) we enable everyone to run a backup network to take over in case bloXroute is shut down by any means, preventing it from becoming a single-point-of-failure.
Also, I remember that ‘bloXroute will keep neutrality by encrypting blocks’, but what if somebody uses bloXroute to send spam? Will it be a problem?
  • Indeed, we have implemented various measures to handle the spam issue. In particular, the bloXroute network keeps and propagates provenance information, allowing the system to limit the traffic a node sends based on their usage of the system. Keep in mind that all large networks, whether it’s Google’s, Facebook’s or Akamai’s, are under constant spam attacks. We use well-established techniques from that domain to ensure that spammers can be efficiently identified and limited.
What is a sufficient number of servers?
  • Our V1 is going to have around 15 servers on 5 continents, roughly. Blockchain traffic currently isn’t particularly large. We hope to change that!
Is it advantageous for miners to be in relative close proximity to a BloXroute server?
  • Yes. But the difference is very small. A really dramatic difference will be between bloXroute-enabled vs. non-bloXroute enabled miners.
Could you elaborate on the servers a bit more? I heard Uri talking about utilizing trusted organisations to do this. I know my concern is that this may create some level of centralised power.
  • We are fully aware of this concern. This is why we are making sure to utilize a large number of independent providers. This is creating a lot of operational issues on our end (because different providers use different software environments) but this is a top priority for us.
How quickly will idle backup networks be operational/online in the case of a main bloxroute network fatal failure? Does this backup network set-up require some work/adjustments on the client/nodes side?
  • The backup will be automatic, such that the effects of a possible failure on the mainnet is minimized. Given that the process will be automatic, no adjustments will be needed on the client side.
Have you established an “ideal” number of independent providers to reduce such concerns? Or is this something still being established?
  • There’s no magic number, the more the better!
I assume having servers in different geographical regions is important. The EU for example could outlaw BloXroute servers. I assume it would be way too expensive for a regular person to setup a BloXroute server?
  • I am hopeful the EU would not do that! :) But the point is that even in absence of servers in a particular region, things can still work pretty well for users in that region.
If that was the case, will they be disadvantaged as the message will need to be relayed further?
  • Necessarily so. But the system would still be operational, and would be able to operate at a fairly high TPS rate.
From both a tech and adoption level, what are some of the biggest difficulties bloXroute faces?
  • Technical difficulties are present on a daily basis, but we are coping with them. As a technical person, I simply know we will resolve them all. I am also convinced that a number of blockchain communities will adopt our system. But if you ask what a bigger challenge is, I think adoption.

BLXR

Does bloXroute have native tokens? If yes, when will the tokens be released? Is it an ERC20 token? Will it be listed on exchanges? What can the tokens do on your network?
  • Yes, bloXroute will have BLXR tokens, which will be listed on exchanges. The BLXR tokens are security tokens that entitle the holder to a share of the revenues of the company. Of every future dollar that bloXroute makes, a proportion goes into a pot, and this pot is divided among the BLXR holders. Think of it as instant, auditable dividends in perpetuity. And BLXR tokens thus act like a fund, where the fund’s contents change over time to track whichever coins are using bloXroute more. If BCH miners use bloXroute, BLXR will have more BCH in it; if ETH adopts bloXroute, then it’ll swing towards ETH, etc. So the tokens can serve as a blanket bet on adoption and use of cryptocurrencies, kind of like how Akamai was a play on Internet content being in demand. I will leave it up to the company to announce its projected dates. I’m focusing mainly on the technology behind the scenes.
Is it correct that you plan to go down the STO path or simply the security token path and the BLXR will be a security token?
  • Yes, BLXR is a security token. The good thing is that we’re clear about this from the very beginning. Hence we were able to cope with regulations on time.
When do you plan to do the STO?
  • Our team of lawyers is working very closely with the SEC to take all of the required steps to ensure everything we do is in compliance with regulations. We hope to have all necessary approvals for an STO in Q3 / Q4 2019.
That’s really great that you’ve been working with the SEC. Does that mean you plan to sell the BLXR token to American citizens?
  • We hope that to do as wide of a sale as possible, so not just Americans.
How does this work? What jurisdiction have you chosen to setup this token etc? Or is this all still being figured out?
  • It has to do with the regulation you file under. Some regulations require that you only raise from accredited investors and others let you raise from anyone.
Will accredited investors only be able to participate in the the BLXR token sale or is there a plan to try an include non-accredited investors as well?
  • The plan is to make it as wide of a sale as regulation allows. We (our lawyers) are working hard so it’s not just accredited investors.
You have recently changed your BLXR security token from 50% revenue reserve model to 100% revenue direct dividend model. How direct will it be? In what time frame or frequency will BLXR token holders will receive their pro rata share of collected revenues to their wallets?
  • 100% of the fees associated with the cryptocurrencies using bloXroute’s BDN become immediately available for withdrawal by BLXR token holders. Right now the plan is for a calculation to run once every 24-hours to update what we call an “Owner balance” — this is how much crypto is available for withdrawal for a given BLXR holder based on their pro-rata share. To withdraw one’s dividends, a BLXR holder must provide a wallet address in the same currency as the crypto they wish to withdraw. The owner balance will then instantly update to reflect this outflow.
How will bloXroute operations be covered in this new direct dividend model?
  • In the new model 100% of the revenues will go to token holders. bloXroute, as a token holder, can use the revenues it receives for its ownership portion to fund operations.
With BLXR being an ERC-20 token, does Bloxroute plan to set up the benefits of the token (accumulation of relative % of fees for projects using the network) so that it can be accumulated by the owner whilst also possibly locking BLXR in a MarkerDao CDP?
  • Dividends will accumulate in a reserve account and be available for withdraw. Our current plan is for Owner Balances to be updated every 24 hours. BLXR holders can transfer their dividends to their wallets and use them as they wish. :)

General

I understand that one of the benefits of bloxroute for the ecosystem is users will have a much lower fee to pay for their transactions. Will users be able to get this much-lower-fee benefit from bloxroute only through wallet(s) they use by choosing to pay a *tiny* fee to bloxroute instead of a *large* fee to miners or can they also get that benefit in some other way?
  • To start, users can use bloXroute immediately as the first 100 TPS are always free. Only after 100 TPS can a user choose to pay bloXroute a tiny fee to reduce her overall fee (albeit a user would only choose to pay bloXroute if this is true). All users benefit from bloXroute on day one as the first 100 TPS are always free. Users do not have to use wallets that partner with bloXroute to take advantage of the fee reduction service, but it’ll certainly be the most streamlined method. Any user that knows bloXroute’s public address can include in their transaction an additional output that pays bloXroute’s public address to reduce her overall fee.
Typically, how many X tps improvement should we see for the various major blockchains that bloXroute will target?
  • We are targeting approximately 3,000 TPS for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In terms of technology, what is bloXroute’s core competitiveness? How many people are on your team?
  • Our core competencies are as follows: (1) we have some of the world’s foremost experts on blockchain and network scaling, (2) we have innovated across all aspects of the emerging blockchain stack in the past and bring that experience to bear on the chain scaling problem, and (3) we are the first group to identify Layer-0 as a scalability bottleneck, the first to apply network neutrality techniques to blockchains, and thus the group with the most extensive track record on how to build efficient and trustless systems. The team is just over 20 employees, it is hard to keep track now because, in addition to our headquarters in Chicago, we also have a satellite office in Tel Aviv, Israel and two need employees start this week. We are currently building our platform. Though the core of the platform has been in operation for 2.5 years already on the BTC and BCH networks, we are extending it to other systems, e.g. ETH, and adding new features.
How does bloXroute’s solution work on different blockchain networks?
  • bloXroute’s solution has been operating continuously for the last 2.5 years. In that time frame, it has been deployed on Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). It has ferried every transaction and every block found in that time frame. To this, we recently added the ability to support Ethereum. And we recently announced a partnership with a large miner. In all of these cases, bloXroute provides an additional fast-path to existing coins for the delivery of financial data, just like Akamai added a fast path for the delivery of regular content on the Internet. It’s optional, opt-in, and completely voluntary. It’s just a faster way to deliver blocks and transactions. In return for ferrying this financial data, bloXroute collects transaction fees, and BLXR tokens receive these collected feeds.
With bloXroute already forming a partnerships with mining companies, do you plan to establish more relationships with similar organisations? If so, given the obvious concerns about the environmental impact of traditional mining, does bloXroute aim to establish/support relationships with mining companies who utilise renewable and sustainable energy?
  • We hope to establish relationships with all miners :) In regards to environmental concerns, our BDN actually helps miners more efficiently utilize their power consumption. Since miners hear about blocks sooner, they can immediately start mining the next block, and thus more efficiently utilizing their resources.
When will you start v1 testing with miners?
  • Early to mid March.
Will the v1 testing be predefined (for preselected miners/mining pools) or it will be possible to join the testing on the go? How can a miner apply for the testing?
  • Yes, the V1 testing will happen with a predefined group of miners. If you’d like to join, please send me an email ([[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])) and I’ll follow up.
Will the v1 testing be with one or with multiple blockchains? Will there be BTC and/or ETH miners in the v1 test pool?
  • It will be with multiple blockchains and yes, we connect with both BTC and ETH (and BCH) miners in V1.
Will bloXroute produce better results (TPS) for PoW or for PoS consensus protocols?
  • We are currently working with PoW and we are seeing some great results (still can’t share publicly). We should definitely see a comparable performance with PoS, but we currently have no empirical data.
Are there any difficulties you faced trying to convince major blockchains like btc, eth etc to increase block size?
  • We view ourselves as providers of networking that removes the scalability bottleneck. It is up to each community to take advantage of that efficiency how they see fit. That said, we already know some communities want scale. For example BCH has 32 MB blocks because after 32MB the thing breaks (i.e. they hit the scalability bottleneck). With bloXroute, I’d expect them to increase their blocksize.
Which pipelines of blockchains likely to come on board 1st on bloXroute in 2019?
  • In V1 we will provide support for BTC, ETH, and BCH. We are talking to many other blockchain communities, and will provide an open API allowing any blockchain to use bloXroute.
If 10% of the blockchain miners/pool have 10% of the hash power (which results in approximately a 10% probability of mining a block) and they start using bloxroute while the other 90% of miners/hash power do not use bloxroute yet (gradual deployment), how does the usage of bloxroute benefit the 10% of miners vs. the other 90%?
  • Good question. The benefits for early-adopting miners start to kick in immediately. In your example, the probability of the 10% of miners that use bloXroute increases above 10% the probability to win a mining round. This is because they “waste” (much) less time on mining blocks that will not eventually get “on chain”.
Does the TPS order of improvement through bloxroute depend on the network size and distribution of nodes (decentralization level) of particular blockchain?
  • It necessarily does. The larger and more decentralized a network is, the TPS rate decreases. The big difference is that without bloXroute, the TPS decreases exponentially, i.e., very quickly. With bloXroute, we are seeing sublinear, i.e., marginal, degradation in TPS as the network size increases.
Are you partnering already with some wallets? If yes, with which ones? If not, is it too early to disclose?
  • Our first goal is to gain adoption. Once we have adoption, we plan on working with wallets to add in an option to streamline the process of including a bloXroute fee. We expect wallets to include such a fee to have an advantage because it offers their users lower overall fees compared to competitors. It would be up to the wallet to decide to show an “bloXroute transaction” feature or simply show lower fees. That said, we are very well connected to some of the most successful wallets in the crypto ecosystem, and have already discussed the matter with some of them.
Do you foresee users migrating to wallets that partner with bloXroute from the ones that don’t?
  • Users do not have to use wallets that partner with bloXroute to take advantage of the fee reduction service, but it’ll certainly be the most streamlined method. Any user that knows bloXroute’s public address can include in their transaction an additional output that pays bloXroute’s public address to reduce her overall fee. Our first goal is to gain adoption. Once we have adoption, we plan on working with wallets to add in an option to streamline the process of including a bloXroute fee. We expect wallets to include such a fee to have an advantage because it offers their users lower overall fees compared to competitors. It would be up to the wallet to decide to show an “bloXroute transaction” feature or simply show lower fees.
Will it be easy for a wallet to integrate bloXroute or it will require deeper dive?
  • Integration with wallets should be equally straightforward, from the technical point of view. We plan to actively work with open-sourced wallets to help them implement the change. The change includes a UI update to prompt the user and ask if they want to use bloXroute or not, and if they do, update the transaction to commit a tiny fee to a publicly-known bloXroute address.
Are you on track with your roadmap?
  • We are only a few weeks behind on our roadmap (we wanted to do our miner test for end of Feb and now it is early march) but I think for the tech world that’s still pretty good!
Did crypto winter changed your roadmap in certain aspects?
  • The crypto winter I think actually helped us. We are a free service to make miners more money. That has to be appealing in this environment.
When will the Proof of Concept be released?
  • The PoC should come at a similar time like V1, maybe a couple of weeks later, we’ll see.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered after starting the company? What has helped you overcome challenges and stick to your goals?
  • Biggest challenge we have faced is finding talented individuals who understand this technology. The area is brand new, and it’s difficult to find qualified engineers, builders, and business folks. What makes me really motivated every morning is looking at the world and noticing just how antiquated our current systems are, how much they operate based on trust, and how much better they would be if they were open to all and auditable by anyone.
The white paper doesn’t give a full description of bloXroute’s tech, instead it gives a very simple explanation. Do you have concrete plans on how your project will be applied?
  • Our technology has been in operation for 2.5 years. Writing a whitepaper is a difficult task, trying to make a complex technology accessible to the masses. That said, I am pretty sure that we covered the core of our plans, and we have more papers in the pipeline describing the operation of the system for an academic audience. [Check out our resources page for detailed explanations about our technology]

Blockchain Ecosystem

People are talking a lot about Layer-2 scaling solutions in recent years. Compared with layer-0, will layer-2 be a better scaling choice? Or does it depend on different scenarios?
  • When it comes to scaling, there is no “one good layer to scale.” To reach really large numbers of transactions per second, one needs to tackle the bottlenecks at all levels. And Layer-2 cannot actually be made secure unless Layer-1 has enough space to on-board new users, as well as settle the transactions from existing channels. This all cannot be done at 3 tps. To support 1,000,000 tps and above, the underlying chain has to offer high throughput. So it’s absolutely essential to examine Layer-0 solutions.
You said currently there’s no crypto that can be truly decentralized. You also believe PoS is better than PoW. Does that mean that you think bitcoin is not decentralized? What’s the problem with bitcoin’s PoW mechanism?
  • Bitcoin’s blockchain today is created by around 19 mining entities. Some of these are pools, but nevertheless, these are individuals that came together and are operating in unison towards a common aim — they may not have corporate paperwork filed, but they are indistinguishable from any other corporate entity at this point. Just 4 of these command the majority of the hashpower. That’s it, the sum total of Bitcoin’s decentralization. EOS has 21 block producers. Ethereum has 11 miners now, and will reach around 60 with Casper. These are all tiny numbers. The big elephant in the room that no one dares to talk about is precisely how centralized most coins are today.
Do you find there is enough awareness about the block propagation as one of the major (if not the major) scalability bottlenecks within the crypto community/blockchains?
  • The short answer is no. Many people have heard about scalability being a hot topic in crypto/blockchain, but almost no one knows exactly what or where the bottleneck is. That’s why one of the most important parts of telling our story is educating at the same time. The blockchain community has many different types of people with varying levels of knowledge, so it’s a balance to develop a voice that speaks to everyone. In response to this challenge we have developed an educational Youtube series where we give detailed explanations about topics in crypto and blockchain. We hope it will provide tools to have more technical understanding and meaningful conversations about our product and the ecosystem in general.
During the BCH Hash War there was a block propagation bottleneck real case scenario on the mainnet when BSV tried to mine large blocks — something like 40MB and later 64 MB, but at both trials they failed on block propagation as it took too long and forks occurred. The large blocks were orphaned so the experiment clearly failed. As bloXroute’s focus is on this exact scalability bottleneck, block propagation, you came out as a *winner* from the hash war according to Professor Sirer. Have you experienced some benefits of being a winner, such as a larger awareness and interest in your project within the crypto and blockchain community?
  • We are having a lot of communication and open discussion with a lot of blockchain projects out there. We did indeed notice an increased interest after the events that you mention above.
What if industrial giants launched their own public chains one after another, what do you think the community should do?
  • This is exactly what we are going to see, with Facebook leading the way. I’m not too worried about these corporate approaches. While these companies have immense resources, they are starting quite late and do not have the kinds of thought leadership we possess on building peer-to-peer systems. All of these big behemoths are experts at building centralized client-server systems, which are the exact antithesis of what we are building with cryptocurrencies. So I don’t think we should be worried or do much: let them build out, welcome their efforts, and treat them the same way we treat every other altcoin. They will play a big role in onboarding new users into crypto, and they will help make the space more healthy and exciting for all of us.
What different scaling challenges are Ethereum and Bitcoin facing now? What do you think of these challenges?
  • The scaling problems faced by these two systems are slightly different. Bitcoin is a payments system. As such, it is concerned primarily with point-to-point value transfers. And it is facing a basic capacity problem: if everyone in Venezuela were to switch to Bitcoin today, every adult would get to transact only once per month! That’s clearly nowhere near the dream that has been sold to the masses. And it’s not clear what Layer-2 can achieve, because its capacity depends on the emergent network. At the moment, most attempts to send $1000 over LN fail. The challenge in Bitcoin and similar systems is to retain the security of the underlying protocol, avoid forks, and at the same time, increase the number of transactions per second. Naive attempts to do this, for instance, by arbitrarily increasing the block size to really large numbers, are not a good idea. We have seen that BSV is going down this route, and it is leading to excess centralization. bloXroute can help avoid centralization, and help drive protocol scales up by orders of magnitude. The challenges faced by Ethereum are slightly different. The interactions with smart-contracts tend to be multi-point to multi-point, that is, they involve multiple parties. So we see a different, more difficult problem emerge. And Ethereum is driving its network to its limits at the moment. The Ethereum mining network is beginning to show signs of centralization. ETH’s current set of block size and block frequency parameters are a little bit aggressive, and we are seeing signs that would indicate an advantage for mining centralization. bloXroute can help reverse this process and enable the protocol to be driven even more aggressively.
Ethereum researchers claim that their sidechain snark handles 17,000 TPS, do you think we can achieve higher capacity while the network is absolutely safe?
  • We can, and need to, achieve far higher numbers if the blockchain revolution is going to be anywhere near as big as it can be. If IoT devices go online, we will need 1M tps. On the other hand, I’m highly skeptical of all performance claims. BTC achieves around 4tps today, while ETH achieves 15 on a good day. Achieving 100–500, sustained in the real world, is actually very difficult. Any time I hear a number in excess of 10,000 tps, and the technology involved still uses LevelDB, I know that the numbers are obtained in laboratory conditions. That said, I believe this announcement was referring to a sidechain with a small number of trusted peers. In such a setting, sure, one can do anything because the trustlessness is not an issue. I’m concerned about public blockchains, where the nodes do not and cannot trust each other. We can only get to 10,000tps and above by re-thinking Layer-1, as we are doing with Avalanche, and re-doing Layer-0, as we are doing with bloXroute.
Thank you again to everyone who participated ! If you have more questions for our team, feel free to ask us on the bloXroute Telegram channel or ourReddit page.
— — —
We’re always looking for good people!
If you’re equally excited to solve the scalability bottleneck for all blockchains, consider joining our team! We are always looking for passionate partners to help us on this important journey. Check out our available positions to work with us in our Chicago offices.
Learn more
submitted by brooke_bloXroute to bloXrouteLabs [link] [comments]

QuarkChain Fundamental Analysis - Insights on value proposition, team, and SWOT Analysis

QuarkChain aims at solving blockchain’s scalability issue without compromising security and decentralization. Its blockchain is scalable, permission-less, and decentralized.

Let's Decrypt QuarkChain ICO Use Case

What Problem QuarkChain is Addressing?

Although blockchain has been praised as the technology that will change the world as we know it, it has its limitations. Limitations that stand in the way of implementing and adopting this new technology. Three of the biggest obstacles the technology has to overcome before achieving widespread adoption by businesses bother around scalability, security, and decentralization.
Scalability: If you were in the crypto space around December 2017, when the price of Bitcoin spiked, as well as when the notorious Cryptokitties came onboard on the Ethereum platform, you’d agree that the network was highly congested. Transactions went unconfirmed for hours and days, and transaction fees also hit the roofs.
Now think about the number of transactions payment processors like Visa and Alipay handle every day in order to meet the demand of their customers. While Visa can handle about 45,000 transactions per second (TPS), and Alipay over 250,000 TPS, Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, which are legacy projects, can handle only 7 TPS, and 15 TPS, respectively. Shocking, right?
Blockchains currently does not have the infrastructure to un-sit these companies. Blockchains like Bitcoin are struggling to scale. And as we see increased adoption and increased transactions, there will be a need for larger storage, bandwidth, and computing power.
And while the Lightning Network has been hailed as the solution to the scalability problem, it introduces a centralized payment processing for a supposedly decentralized blockchain, thus threatening the future of blockchains that utilize it. In trying to scale the network, security and decentralization challenges arise.
Security: There is a notable security flaw in blockchains. Because of the ways blockchains have been built, if more than half of the computers working as nodes to validate the network decide to tell a lie, then that lie becomes the truth. This is known as the 51% attack, where a particular person or group of persons have the ability to manipulate the network. Although this is currently very unlikely because of the associated costs of setting up a mining pool with such computing power, breakthroughs in quantum computing can see this happen.
Decentralization: Blockchain transactions have been hyped as decentralized, and rightly so – meaning they are not controlled by any central government. However, in reality, we have seen the formation of mining pools, and organizing several nodes into voting blocks. This is a threat to the decentralized nature of blockchain because an uneven distribution of power (hashrate) creates a centralized system. In 2013 for example, the top 6 mining pools of Bitcoin had 75% of the coin’s overall hashing power. Now think about what happens if they secretly come together.

QuarkChain Value Proposition

QuarkChain aims to solve blockchain’s scalability problem. Their target is 1 million on-chain transactions per second. To achieve this, the project takes a two-layer structure. The first layer consists of “elastic sharded” blockchains, while the second is known as the root blockchain.
Elastic sharding will allow large databases to be partitioned into smaller, faster, and more manageable components known as data shards. Legacy blockchain projects currently have to deal with large databases as the network grows.
Shards from the first layer are then pushed to the root blockchain which confirms transactions (blocks). Interestingly, the second layer can be further sharded, without changing the root layer.
In addition to a two-layer structure, another unique feature of QuarkChain is market-driven collaborative mining which will add an extra layer of security. Put differently, 50% of the network’s hash power will be devoted to its root blockchain in order to prevent double spending attacks. Additionally, multiple, smaller, and cheaper nodes can come together to create a super node.
The bottom line of all these technologies is that QuarkChain will have 8 minor blockchains with a target block time of 10 seconds, as well as a root blockchain with a target block time of 150 seconds.
Other noteworthy features of QuarkChain is its efficient cross-shard transactions which comprises of in-shard and cross-shard options. For in-shard transactions the input and output addresses of the transaction are in the same shard. Cross-shard transactions on the other hand have their input and output addresses in different shard. Ideally, as the number of shards increase, the speed of cross-shard transactions will increase.
Developers can also deploy their smart contracts to QuarkChain because the network supports smart contracts running within the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

The QuarkChain's Leadership Team

QuarkChain is made up of a team of 10 members and 6 advisors. The team boasts of individuals with adequate academic and working credentials. Some members of the team do not work full time and appear not to have an extremely blockchain-rich experience. However, we can cut them some slack on this, the technology is still new.
QuarkChain was founded by Qi Zhou who has degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science. He is a software engineer and an expert in high performance systems, and carries over 15 years of development experience. He has experience working as a software engineer in Google, DELL, and Facebook (all notable companies).
Some other members of the team include: * ZhaoGuang Wang (Senior Software Engineer) * Ting Du (CMO for China) * Anthurine Xiang (CMO) * Kyle Wang (COO)
Highlighted below are some members of the advisory board working with QuarkChain * Leo Wang – Head of Pre-Angel VC and ardent crypto investor * Mike Miller – Liquid2 Ventures, Founder and Chief Scientist at IBM Cloudant * Bill More – FoundeCEO of DSSD * Arun Phadke – Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech

QuarkChain Target Market

For a start, QuarkChain is trying to solve blockchain’s scalability issues by significantly increasing the number of transactions per second. This will provide a congestion-free network that will facilitate the adoption of blockchain by big industries and businesses. This is not limited to social media, IoT, high frequency trading, gaming, and financial payments.
Top contenders in this space include Zilliqa, Kaadena, Ethereum, Thunder Token, Bitcoin, and several others.

QuarkChain Roadmap

QuarkChain already has an MVP. Their closed Testnet demonstrated a capacity of 2,000 transactions per second, which puts it ahead of most blockchain 3.0 projects with higher valuation. A public Testnet is expected in May, 2018.
Other milestones on their roadmap include Testnet 0.2 which will support features like smart contract, and reshard as well as 10,000 TPS. This is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018.
By Q4, they are expected to release QuarkChain Core 1.0, Mainnet 1.0, and Smart Wallet, with a target of 100,000 TPS. Achieving 1,000,000 TPS is expected to happen in Q2 of 2019.

QuarkChain SWOT Analysis

Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Threats
In conclusion, QuarkChain has a novel idea because scalability is one of the key issues which stays in the way of mass adoption of blockchain technology. Finding a project that doesn’t compromise on security and decentralization while trying to solve scalability issues is a hard one. However, if QuarkChain is able to pull this off then they’ll be on their way to the moon.
This article was originally published on DigitalAssetDB
submitted by celloudiallo to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The Origins of the (Modern) Blocksize Debate

On May 4, 2015, Gavin Andresen wrote on his blog:
I was planning to submit a pull request to the 0.11 release of Bitcoin Core that will allow miners to create blocks bigger than one megabyte, starting a little less than a year from now. But this process of peer review turned up a technical issue that needs to get addressed, and I don’t think it can be fixed in time for the first 0.11 release.
I will be writing a series of blog posts, each addressing one argument against raising the maximum block size, or against scheduling a raise right now... please send me an email ([email protected]) if I am missing any arguments
In other words, Gavin proposed a hard fork via a series of blog posts, bypassing all developer communication channels altogether and asking for personal, private emails from anyone interested in discussing the proposal further.
On May 5 (1 day after Gavin submitted his first blog post), Mike Hearn published The capacity cliff on his Medium page. 2 days later, he posted Crash landing. In these posts, he argued:
A common argument for letting Bitcoin blocks fill up is that the outcome won’t be so bad: just a market for fees... this is wrong. I don’t believe fees will become high and stable if Bitcoin runs out of capacity. Instead, I believe Bitcoin will crash.
...a permanent backlog would start to build up... as the backlog grows, nodes will start running out of memory and dying... as Core will accept any transaction that’s valid without any limit a node crash is eventually inevitable.
He also, in the latter article, explained that he disagreed with Satoshi's vision for how Bitcoin would mature[1][2]:
Neither me nor Gavin believe a fee market will work as a substitute for the inflation subsidy.
Gavin continued to publish the series of blog posts he had announced while Hearn made these predictions. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7]
Matt Corallo brought Gavin's proposal up on the bitcoin-dev mailing list after a few days. He wrote:
Recently there has been a flurry of posts by Gavin at http://gavinandresen.svbtle.com/ which advocate strongly for increasing the maximum block size. However, there hasnt been any discussion on this mailing list in several years as far as I can tell...
So, at the risk of starting a flamewar, I'll provide a little bait to get some responses and hope the discussion opens up into an honest comparison of the tradeoffs here. Certainly a consensus in this kind of technical community should be a basic requirement for any serious commitment to blocksize increase.
Personally, I'm rather strongly against any commitment to a block size increase in the near future. Long-term incentive compatibility requires that there be some fee pressure, and that blocks be relatively consistently full or very nearly full. What we see today are transactions enjoying next-block confirmations with nearly zero pressure to include any fee at all (though many do because it makes wallet code simpler).
This allows the well-funded Bitcoin ecosystem to continue building systems which rely on transactions moving quickly into blocks while pretending these systems scale. Thus, instead of working on technologies which bring Bitcoin's trustlessness to systems which scale beyond a blockchain's necessarily slow and (compared to updating numbers in a database) expensive settlement, the ecosystem as a whole continues to focus on building centralized platforms and advocate for changes to Bitcoin which allow them to maintain the status quo
Shortly thereafter, Corallo explained further:
The point of the hard block size limit is exactly because giving miners free rule to do anything they like with their blocks would allow them to do any number of crazy attacks. The incentives for miners to pick block sizes are no where near compatible with what allows the network to continue to run in a decentralized manner.
Tier Nolan considered possible extensions and modifications that might improve Gavin's proposal and argued that soft caps could be used to mitigate against the dangers of a blocksize increase. Tom Harding voiced support for Gavin's proposal
Peter Todd mentioned that a limited blocksize provides the benefit of protecting against the "perverse incentives" behind potential block withholding attacks.
Slush didn't have a strong opinion one way or the other, and neither did Eric Lombrozo, though Eric was interested in developing hard-fork best practices and wanted to:
explore all the complexities involved with deployment of hard forks. Let’s not just do a one-off ad-hoc thing.
Matt Whitlock voiced his opinion:
I'm not so much opposed to a block size increase as I am opposed to a hard fork... I strongly fear that the hard fork itself will become an excuse to change other aspects of the system in ways that will have unintended and possibly disastrous consequences.
Bryan Bishop strongly opposed Gavin's proposal, and offered a philosophical perspective on the matter:
there has been significant public discussion... about why increasing the max block size is kicking the can down the road while possibly compromising blockchain security. There were many excellent objections that were raised that, sadly, I see are not referenced at all in the recent media blitz. Frankly I can't help but feel that if contributions, like those from #bitcoin-wizards, have been ignored in lieu of technical analysis, and the absence of discussion on this mailing list, that I feel perhaps there are other subtle and extremely important technical details that are completely absent from this--and other-- proposals.
Secured decentralization is the most important and most interesting property of bitcoin. Everything else is rather trivial and could be achieved millions of times more efficiently with conventional technology. Our technical work should be informed by the technical nature of the system we have constructed.
There's no doubt in my mind that bitcoin will always see the most extreme campaigns and the most extreme misunderstandings... for development purposes we must hold ourselves to extremely high standards before proposing changes, especially to the public, that have the potential to be unsafe and economically unsafe.
There are many potential technical solutions for aggregating millions (trillions?) of transactions into tiny bundles. As a small proof-of-concept, imagine two parties sending transactions back and forth 100 million times. Instead of recording every transaction, you could record the start state and the end state, and end up with two transactions or less. That's a 100 million fold, without modifying max block size and without potentially compromising secured decentralization.
The MIT group should listen up and get to work figuring out how to measure decentralization and its security.. Getting this measurement right would be really beneficial because we would have a more academic and technical understanding to work with.
Gregory Maxwell echoed and extended that perspective:
When Bitcoin is changed fundamentally, via a hard fork, to have different properties, the change can create winners or losers...
There are non-trivial number of people who hold extremes on any of these general belief patterns; Even among the core developers there is not a consensus on Bitcoin's optimal role in society and the commercial marketplace.
there is a at least a two fold concern on this particular ("Long term Mining incentives") front:
One is that the long-held argument is that security of the Bitcoin system in the long term depends on fee income funding autonomous, anonymous, decentralized miners profitably applying enough hash-power to make reorganizations infeasible.
For fees to achieve this purpose, there seemingly must be an effective scarcity of capacity.
The second is that when subsidy has fallen well below fees, the incentive to move the blockchain forward goes away. An optimal rational miner would be best off forking off the current best block in order to capture its fees, rather than moving the blockchain forward...
tools like the Lightning network proposal could well allow us to hit a greater spectrum of demands at once--including secure zero-confirmation (something that larger blocksizes reduce if anything), which is important for many applications. With the right technology I believe we can have our cake and eat it too, but there needs to be a reason to build it; the security and decentralization level of Bitcoin imposes a hard upper limit on anything that can be based on it.
Another key point here is that the small bumps in blocksize which wouldn't clearly knock the system into a largely centralized mode--small constants--are small enough that they don't quantitatively change the operation of the system; they don't open up new applications that aren't possible today
the procedure I'd prefer would be something like this: if there is a standing backlog, we-the-community of users look to indicators to gauge if the network is losing decentralization and then double the hard limit with proper controls to allow smooth adjustment without fees going to zero (see the past proposals for automatic block size controls that let miners increase up to a hard maximum over the median if they mine at quadratically harder difficulty), and we don't increase if it appears it would be at a substantial increase in centralization risk. Hardfork changes should only be made if they're almost completely uncontroversial--where virtually everyone can look at the available data and say "yea, that isn't undermining my property rights or future use of Bitcoin; it's no big deal". Unfortunately, every indicator I can think of except fee totals has been going in the wrong direction almost monotonically along with the blockchain size increase since 2012 when we started hitting full blocks and responded by increasing the default soft target. This is frustrating
many people--myself included--have been working feverishly hard behind the scenes on Bitcoin Core to increase the scalability. This work isn't small-potatoes boring software engineering stuff; I mean even my personal contributions include things like inventing a wholly new generic algebraic optimization applicable to all EC signature schemes that increases performance by 4%, and that is before getting into the R&D stuff that hasn't really borne fruit yet, like fraud proofs. Today Bitcoin Core is easily >100 times faster to synchronize and relay than when I first got involved on the same hardware, but these improvements have been swallowed by the growth. The ironic thing is that our frantic efforts to keep ahead and not lose decentralization have both not been enough (by the best measures, full node usage is the lowest its been since 2011 even though the user base is huge now) and yet also so much that people could seriously talk about increasing the block size to something gigantic like 20MB. This sounds less reasonable when you realize that even at 1MB we'd likely have a smoking hole in the ground if not for existing enormous efforts to make scaling not come at a loss of decentralization.
Peter Todd also summarized some academic findings on the subject:
In short, without either a fixed blocksize or fixed fee per transaction Bitcoin will will not survive as there is no viable way to pay for PoW security. The latter option - fixed fee per transaction - is non-trivial to implement in a way that's actually meaningful - it's easy to give miners "kickbacks" - leaving us with a fixed blocksize.
Even a relatively small increase to 20MB will greatly reduce the number of people who can participate fully in Bitcoin, creating an environment where the next increase requires the consent of an even smaller portion of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Where does that stop? What's the proposed mechanism that'll create an incentive and social consensus to not just 'kick the can down the road'(3) and further centralize but actually scale up Bitcoin the hard way?
Some developers (e.g. Aaron Voisine) voiced support for Gavin's proposal which repeated Mike Hearn's "crash landing" arguments.
Pieter Wuille said:
I am - in general - in favor of increasing the size blocks...
Controversial hard forks. I hope the mailing list here today already proves it is a controversial issue. Independent of personal opinions pro or against, I don't think we can do a hard fork that is controversial in nature. Either the result is effectively a fork, and pre-existing coins can be spent once on both sides (effectively failing Bitcoin's primary purpose), or the result is one side forced to upgrade to something they dislike - effectively giving a power to developers they should never have. Quoting someone: "I did not sign up to be part of a central banker's committee".
The reason for increasing is "need". If "we need more space in blocks" is the reason to do an upgrade, it won't stop after 20 MB. There is nothing fundamental possible with 20 MB blocks that isn't with 1 MB blocks.
Misrepresentation of the trade-offs. You can argue all you want that none of the effects of larger blocks are particularly damaging, so everything is fine. They will damage something (see below for details), and we should analyze these effects, and be honest about them, and present them as a trade-off made we choose to make to scale the system better. If you just ask people if they want more transactions, of course you'll hear yes. If you ask people if they want to pay less taxes, I'm sure the vast majority will agree as well.
Miner centralization. There is currently, as far as I know, no technology that can relay and validate 20 MB blocks across the planet, in a manner fast enough to avoid very significant costs to mining. There is work in progress on this (including Gavin's IBLT-based relay, or Greg's block network coding), but I don't think we should be basing the future of the economics of the system on undemonstrated ideas. Without those (or even with), the result may be that miners self-limit the size of their blocks to propagate faster, but if this happens, larger, better-connected, and more centrally-located groups of miners gain a competitive advantage by being able to produce larger blocks. I would like to point out that there is nothing evil about this - a simple feedback to determine an optimal block size for an individual miner will result in larger blocks for better connected hash power. If we do not want miners to have this ability, "we" (as in: those using full nodes) should demand limitations that prevent it. One such limitation is a block size limit (whatever it is).
Ability to use a full node.
Skewed incentives for improvements... without actual pressure to work on these, I doubt much will change. Increasing the size of blocks now will simply make it cheap enough to continue business as usual for a while - while forcing a massive cost increase (and not just a monetary one) on the entire ecosystem.
Fees and long-term incentives.
I don't think 1 MB is optimal. Block size is a compromise between scalability of transactions and verifiability of the system. A system with 10 transactions per day that is verifiable by a pocket calculator is not useful, as it would only serve a few large bank's settlements. A system which can deal with every coffee bought on the planet, but requires a Google-scale data center to verify is also not useful, as it would be trivially out-competed by a VISA-like design. The usefulness needs in a balance, and there is no optimal choice for everyone. We can choose where that balance lies, but we must accept that this is done as a trade-off, and that that trade-off will have costs such as hardware costs, decreasing anonymity, less independence, smaller target audience for people able to fully validate, ...
Choose wisely.
Mike Hearn responded:
this list is not a good place for making progress or reaching decisions.
if Bitcoin continues on its current growth trends it will run out of capacity, almost certainly by some time next year. What we need to see right now is leadership and a plan, that fits in the available time window.
I no longer believe this community can reach consensus on anything protocol related.
When the money supply eventually dwindles I doubt it will be fee pressure that funds mining
What I don't see from you yet is a specific and credible plan that fits within the next 12 months and which allows Bitcoin to keep growing.
Peter Todd then pointed out that, contrary to Mike's claims, developer consensus had been achieved within Core plenty of times recently. Btc-drak asked Mike to "explain where the 12 months timeframe comes from?"
Jorge Timón wrote an incredibly prescient reply to Mike:
We've successfully reached consensus for several softfork proposals already. I agree with others that hardfork need to be uncontroversial and there should be consensus about them. If you have other ideas for the criteria for hardfork deployment all I'm ears. I just hope that by "What we need to see right now is leadership" you don't mean something like "when Gaving and Mike agree it's enough to deploy a hardfork" when you go from vague to concrete.
Oh, so your answer to "bitcoin will eventually need to live on fees and we would like to know more about how it will look like then" it's "no bitcoin long term it's broken long term but that's far away in the future so let's just worry about the present". I agree that it's hard to predict that future, but having some competition for block space would actually help us get more data on a similar situation to be able to predict that future better. What you want to avoid at all cost (the block size actually being used), I see as the best opportunity we have to look into the future.
this is my plan: we wait 12 months... and start having full blocks and people having to wait 2 blocks for their transactions to be confirmed some times. That would be the beginning of a true "fee market", something that Gavin used to say was his #1 priority not so long ago (which seems contradictory with his current efforts to avoid that from happening). Having a true fee market seems clearly an advantage. What are supposedly disastrous negative parts of this plan that make an alternative plan (ie: increasing the block size) so necessary and obvious. I think the advocates of the size increase are failing to explain the disadvantages of maintaining the current size. It feels like the explanation are missing because it should be somehow obvious how the sky will burn if we don't increase the block size soon. But, well, it is not obvious to me, so please elaborate on why having a fee market (instead of just an price estimator for a market that doesn't even really exist) would be a disaster.
Some suspected Gavin/Mike were trying to rush the hard fork for personal reasons.
Mike Hearn's response was to demand a "leader" who could unilaterally steer the Bitcoin project and make decisions unchecked:
No. What I meant is that someone (theoretically Wladimir) needs to make a clear decision. If that decision is "Bitcoin Core will wait and watch the fireworks when blocks get full", that would be showing leadership
I will write more on the topic of what will happen if we hit the block size limit... I don't believe we will get any useful data out of such an event. I've seen distributed systems run out of capacity before. What will happen instead is technological failure followed by rapid user abandonment...
we need to hear something like that from Wladimir, or whoever has the final say around here.
Jorge Timón responded:
it is true that "universally uncontroversial" (which is what I think the requirement should be for hard forks) is a vague qualifier that's not formally defined anywhere. I guess we should only consider rational arguments. You cannot just nack something without further explanation. If his explanation was "I will change my mind after we increase block size", I guess the community should say "then we will just ignore your nack because it makes no sense". In the same way, when people use fallacies (purposely or not) we must expose that and say "this fallacy doesn't count as an argument". But yeah, it would probably be good to define better what constitutes a "sensible objection" or something. That doesn't seem simple though.
it seems that some people would like to see that happening before the subsidies are low (not necessarily null), while other people are fine waiting for that but don't want to ever be close to the scale limits anytime soon. I would also like to know for how long we need to prioritize short term adoption in this way. As others have said, if the answer is "forever, adoption is always the most important thing" then we will end up with an improved version of Visa. But yeah, this is progress, I'll wait for your more detailed description of the tragedies that will follow hitting the block limits, assuming for now that it will happen in 12 months. My previous answer to the nervous "we will hit the block limits in 12 months if we don't do anything" was "not sure about 12 months, but whatever, great, I'm waiting for that to observe how fees get affected". But it should have been a question "what's wrong with hitting the block limits in 12 months?"
Mike Hearn again asserted the need for a leader:
There must be a single decision maker for any given codebase.
Bryan Bishop attempted to explain why this did not make sense with git architecture.
Finally, Gavin announced his intent to merge the patch into Bitcoin XT to bypass the peer review he had received on the bitcoin-dev mailing list.
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Cardano - review. Future plans.

Cardano - review. Future plans.
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Cryptoindex is a tool for exposure to the cryptomarket and serves as a smart benchmark for all cryptocurrencies. The AI-based Cryptoindex algorithm is continuously analyzing more than 1000 coins on 80 factors, receiving more than 1 million signals per second to incorporate the top 100 cryptocurrencies and tokens with the highest potential.
You can find our previous reviews here: Ripple - review. Further Perspectives Litecoin. June'18 overview The Dow Jones index. From where did it come to us? Bitcoin Cash. June 2018 overview Are cryptocurrency indices a new crypto market trend? EOS. End of May'18 overview Ethereum. May 2018 overview
Here on Cryptoindex blog, we would like to tell you more about each coin selected by our powerful Cryptoindex AI-based algorithm. We’ll be posting one article about one coin from the portfolio with #cix100coinreviewhashtag.
Today we would like to review Cardano and their further plans.
So what is Cardano? And why does this coin take the TOP-10? Let's look at this project.
Cardano was released on September 29, 2017, under the 'Byron' bootstrap phase with the official launch in Japan. Cardano has been developed by the company for the development of the input-output module Hong Kong (IOHK). Charles Hoskinson, former co-founder of BitShares, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic, is currently focused on aiming all of the company’s resources at launching smart contracts, decentralized applications, sidechains and multi-party computing.
The platform is setting a course towards creating a new decentralized economy and democratization of finance in emerging markets. The technology will allow the creation of decentralized applications and make smart contracts that are simultaneously inexpensive, safe and scalable.
How does this technology differ from others?
Blockchain technology will soon be used globally. Prior to its sucсess, it had several critical issues, such as the absence of regulatory oversight, the experimental development of software with unproven security, poor management reducing the ability to plan long term. But the Cardano project is very different: Like a Ripple it considers the need for regulatory oversight, preserving the privacy and protection of consumers through an innovative software architecture. The protocol itself contains a multilevel, block-based block-block that is flexible, scalable and developed using the most rigorous academic and commercial software standards in the industry. Cardano will use a system of democratic governance that will allow the project to evolve over time and to sustainably fund itself through a system of vision of applicants.
Unique technology
Transactions involving ADA are publicly registered through the blockchain, allowing you to see the date and time of the transaction, the amount sent and the sender's common address. The real version according to the developers will be launched very soon one version of Cardano ‘Testnet’ is already active.
Layers
Cryptocurrency ADA works on its own level, called Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL). CSL is the level of accounting and support for operations with cryptocurrency wallets. The second layer, called the Cardano Computation Layer (CCL), will support smart contracts and decentralized applications. This multi-level architecture allows you to simplify updates.
How is Cardano's control organized?
Cardano is a project consists of three institutions that have separate roles, all of which contribute to the development of the project:
  1. The Cardano Foundation is responsible for the "standardization, protection and promotion" of Cardano technology. 2.IOHK is a world-class blockchain engineering company responsible for the Cardano blockchain construction. 3.Emurgo is responsible for the development of commercial applications created on the Cardano ecosystem. The original ideas about Cardano were initiated by a group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, investors, and entrepreneurs from Asia at the end of 2014. The HK input project (IOHK) was involved in the development and implementation of Cardano. In addition, the Cardano Foundation, which is based in Switzerland and, was established to assist in supervising the development of Cardano, its ecosystem, activities, and protection on behalf of the users of the protocol. Another organization, Emurgo, based on the Isle of Man, was established to provide commercial activities on behalf of the ecosystem and the community. These three organizations are completely separated in ownership and leadership.
What is ADA? And what is its peculiarity?
ADA is a cryptocurrency in the Cardano system itself and it is used to receive and send money. The developers believe that digital money, such as ADA, shows how future money will be. This allows you to quickly transmit quickly value with guaranteed security through cryptography. To use ADA users should use the Daedalus wallet, which is a hierarchical deterministic, multi-platform, secure wallet designed specifically for this cryptocurrency. The wallet is easy to install and it allows you to view everything and perform a transaction search on demand. You use it to view specific information about the status of the blockchain. It also contains encrypted cost passwords and private keys for added security and the ability to export to a paper certificate for cold storage. The purchase of ADA can be done through unencrypted or encrypted redemption certificates, and users can set the level of the guarantee of the transaction. The Cardano team is also working on adding support for Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin and creating a mobile wallet for iOS and Android. They are also working on an application repository that includes support for almost all crypto and community-based applications, as well as creating bids that will allow ADA owners to generate blocks and thereby earn more than before.
How to buy ADA?
Currently, you can buy or sell ADA cryptocurrencies through several exchanges, the number of which is constantly growing. Cryptocurrency will also be available at some ATMs in Japan. Those who have an ADA will also be able to choose a Cardano debit card that allows you to use it like any other currency. The funds are automatically converted into your local currency for unimpeded use. The debit card will be connected to the application so you can track transactions and ADA balance. Currently, ADA can be purchased from Binance or Bittrex.
Conclusion
The project Cardano has all the prospects to become one of the most reliable blockchain platforms. The solutions that the company offers are far superior to its competitors, such as Ripple and Stellar. The company has a good team, competent management, and excellent technological solutions. All these qualities can help to achieve the company worldwide recognition, even despite such a high competition in the crypto world.
At the time of writing, Cardano is 1.63% of the total of CryptoIndex portfolio.
You can always check the current CIX100 composition at our MVP platform: http://cryptoindex.ai/
Stay updated on our channels: Follow CRYPTOINDEX on Telegram Follow CRYPTOINDEX onMedium Follow CRYPTOINDEX onTwitter Follow CRYPTOINDEX on Facebook Follow CRYPTOINDEX on Linkedin Follow CRYPTOINDEX on Reddit
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Introducing the NHCT advisor board

Introducing the NHCT advisor board

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We are pleased to announce that seven senior advisors have joined the NHCT board to help us build the Total Health Ecosystem that we envision.
Adam Powell — Advisor, Healthcare Systems
Adam C. Powell, Ph.D., is the President of Payer+Provider Syndicate, a management advisory and operational consulting firm focused on the managed care and healthcare delivery industries. A healthcare economist, Dr. Powell’s specialty is using quantitative techniques to examine issues concerning technology, operations, and firm decision making. His healthcare insights have been featured in over 200 articles.
Dr. Powell publishes research articles on healthcare quality as it applies to mHealth and high-cost interventions. He manages the outcomes and research alliance between HealthHelp and Humana. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), Mental Health and on the Scientific Advisory Board of PsyberGuide.
Dr. Powell holds a Doctorate and Master’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Health Care Management and Economics. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Management Science and Writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Powell is a member of the adjunct faculty of Northeastern University, where he teaches Health Informatics Graduate Program. He additionally serves as the Visiting Faculty of the Indian School of Business, where he teaches a post-graduate course on Health IT.
Outside of his consulting and academic work, Dr. Powell provides thought leadership through both expert networks and the media. He regularly consults as a member of the Healthcare Council of the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) and on several other expert networks. Dr. Powell has been featured in over one hundred articles from outlets including JAMA, CNN, Forbes, Fox, Inc., NBC News and Reuters.
George Han — Advisor, Investor Connects and Fundraising
George Han, an ICO advisor to over 6 ICOs and having raised a total of USD 40M funds, joins us as an advisor of strategy planning, development and fundraising strategy.
George Han, a financial professional, having worked with hundreds of startup founders and spent the last 6 years managing the incubator at Singapore Management University, involving the validation and development of startups.
During his tenure at SMU, he facilitated the creation of over 90 tech startups and advised over 600 of them in their business plans.
According to George, the key to a successful startup lies in the implementation capability of the founders and their willingness to get their hands dirty to execute strategies.
Presently he serves as advisor to numerous companies in their Initial Coin Offers (ICO), notable among them is Morpheus Labs a blockchain innovation company which has successfully raised USD 10M.
His other ICO companies are in the space of crypto exchange, AI and WIFI technology. George understands the prowess of blockchain and its impact on the various industries and its explosive potential in the years ahead. He also advises his companies on whitepaper development, marketing and investment.
Presently he is setting up his second fund which carries the mandate to invest in budding startups with a blockchain focus. He works with a number of family offices and funds in seeking businesses with strong management team and scalability potential for investment purposes.
George graduated from one of the top global university — National University of Singapore with majors in Economics and Political Science and has a MBA in Investment from Hull Business School
Stephen Sammut — Advisor, Healthcare Management
Stephen has founded, managed or financed over 40 companies in life sciences and IT globally and will be joining the NHCT board of Advisors.
A lecturer at Wharton for 22 years, Stephen has created eight courses — including Private Equity in Emerging Markets — that he has taught to over 9000 students.
Stephen’s primary areas of research coincide with his venture activities: healthcare and biotech capacity building in the emerging markets; private equity and venture capital approaches to economic development; and the role of the private sector in addressing needs in global health.
Presently, he is the visiting faculty at the Indian School of Business and Strathmore University Business School in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a member of the Advisory Panel at the Abraaj Capital Africa Health Fund.
Stephen serves as a Venture Partner at Burrill International Group. At Burrill & Company, he focused on special projects in Latin America, the Middle East, Japan and emerging markets. Stephen also focuses on Asia Pacific venture activity, with a special mention on global health venturing.
Stephen has consulted with the IFC and World Bank on private equity, technology transfer and venture capital program assessment.
He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from Villanova University in biological sciences and philosophy and a MBA from the Wharton School.
Jason Hung
Jason is a serial entrepreneur and inventor in mobile, blockchain ecosystem, digital marketing, AI and ERP related business. He is the co-founder of Treascovery, Chidopi and TimeBox. He helps more than 30 ICO projects as advisor.
He has more than 20 years proven track record on managing RD, IT, sales, consulting service with 9 technology related patents which are used in more than 2000 Apps. He was former PeopleSoft and JDE solution head in Greater China. He is an expert of ICOBench and International Blockchain Consulting Announcement Group.
Consistently ranked as one of the best advisors on ICObench, Dr. Jason Hung is highly regarded in the blockchain community. He is an inventor, serial entrepreneur, ICO expert and all-round talented guy.
Sydney Ifergan
Sydney has 20+ years commercial experience and has spent the last 10 years working in the online marketing arena. He was the CMO for a large FX brokerage.
Sydney, who holds a degree in computer science, consults various brokerages globally on their online marketing and the utilization of technology to improve their results. Sydney is among the top 20 ICO experts on ICObench and has previously worked with numerous ICO projects including trade.io, DIW token, Lydian, Xinfin.io and more.
Siddalingesh Zalaki (Siddu)
Siddu is a certified Bitcoin professional and a Blockchain enthusiast. With over 10 years of success in building multiple products in Banking, Financial services and Insurance sector he takes care of strategy and product at NHCT.
Rika Khurdayan — Advisor, US legal counsel
Rika Khurdayan provides legal advice and guidance to NHCT team in connection with the sale tokens in the US under Regulation D and Regulation S of the Securities and Exchange Act.
Rika’s practice involves blockchain, virtual currencies, ICOs and STOs, including tokenization of assets.
Rika provides strategic, transactional and regulatory advice to a wide range, to both established and emerging participants in the FinTech space, and regularly represents token issuers, cryptocurrency exchanges, traditional and crypto investment funds, as well as family offices and managers wishing to cross-over to the blockchain sector.
Rika has extensive experience helping clients structure, negotiate and execute their most complex business transactions, with a particular focus on blockchain and FinTech, from traditional venture financing to regulatory-compliant ICOs and STOs.
Over the years, Rika advised a variety of clients, including emerging companies, private equity and venture capital funds, private companies and family offices, in their development, acquisition, investment and disposition strategies. Rika helped these clients navigate the multiple regulatory regimes, tax laws and legal systems as they move people, financial assets and business interests across international borders.
Rika was named to Super Lawyers’ New York Metro Area “Rising Star” in 2018 in Technology Transactions sector. She has been involved in many conferences worldwide as panel speaker or presenter on the regulatory aspects of blockchain technology and regulation of cryptocurrencies.
Well-versed in global blockchain trends and jurisdictional differences, and passionate about renewable energy, IoT and shared economy projects.
We will be announcing more Advisors soon.

About NHCT (NanoHealthCare Token)

NanoHealthCare Token (NHCT) is a blockchain powered ecosystem of “Total Health”. NHCT aims to personalize health care for an individual and make the existing health care systems more efficient and effective. It connects users, payers and providers on one platform using a 3 tier token data protocol to run the economy between these participants.
NHCT is brought to you by NanoHealth, an organization providing proactive and continuous care for managing chronic conditions. It has pioneered an integrated care coordination model with the right blend of human touch and technology to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at scale. Nano health has touched over 75,000 lives up till now across corporates, communities, and households bringing a deep impact on their health and quality of life
Check out our website for more details— https://www.nhct.io/
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Digital Leadership vs Digital Transformation  Nelson Phillips  TEDxHessle Four Anchors for building a Purposeful Leadership Tech-Leadership  Series 5 Leadership Article (Narrated).flv What is Leadership in Crisis? I Katharina Balazs

The pair hopes that the MIT Bitcoin Project will inspire academics across campus to study how students use their bitcoin and how the currency might spark academic and entrepreneurial activity—establishing MIT as a global hub for bitcoinrelated research. Leadership Barriers for Women in Higher Education. In recent years, blockchain development has grown quickly from the original Bitcoin protocol to the second-generation Ethereum platform, and to today’s process of building third-generation blockchains. During this evolution, we can see how blockchain technology has evolved from its original form as a distributed database to becoming a fully fledged, globally distributed, cloud computing Bitcoin was created to handle situations like the subprime crisis resulting from government interventions. It’s based on a consensus system by the community. Blockchain is, by essence SUMMING UP Bitcoin has shown to be a powerful digital currency, but the real story of the future is Blockchain, say James Heskett's readers. Harvard Business Review; COVID-19 Business Impact Center. COVID-19 Business Impact Center. Do Bitcoin and Digital Currency Have a Future? Bitcoin Magazine provides news, analysis, information, commentary and price data about Bitcoin through our website, podcasts, research, and events.

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Digital Leadership vs Digital Transformation Nelson Phillips TEDxHessle

In this Video, I am in Conversation with Mr. Raja Krishnamoorthy (Kitty Sir) on the Four Anchors for Building Purposeful Leadership. Our Guest - Mr. Raja Krishnamoorthy is a highly respected Sr ... Below are some references to articles, books, movies, and music related to Jacques’s principle – lead with a good attitude. ... Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust He has published more than 100 academic articles and book chapters. He has also written four books and is currently working on a book on the use of linguistic research methods in management. leadership quotes leadership leadership qualities leadership styles in management leadership theories leadership definition leadership activities leadership competencies leadership articles ... You have access to health and wellness articles that will further improve your life. 3. You get to deliver church online (and individual) programs from the convenience of your home.

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