Professor Stolfi made a new round of claims about Lightning Network
which I'm going to try to debunk here instead of in that thread.
Before I get into the details let me explain something in broad strokes. Most of the second layer solutions are trading some security for efficiency. If you want maximum security you still need to make an on chain transaction and wait for confirmation. That being said claiming they are insecure is analogous to claiming that a two lane highway is too dangerous to drive on because oncoming cars could do anything
. The reason you drive calmly down such a road every day is because you know that if an oncoming car swerves into your lane and kills you, they risk killing themselves, destroying their vehicle and potential legal consequences.
This is a good way of thinking of a bidirectional payment channel, basically, not as a crash but as two cars sharing the same road. Two parties enter into a contract. The result of participating in the contract is the benefit of being able to send value instantaneously and/or profit from fees. The terms of the contract ensure that bad actors cannot profit. In other words, if someone wants to watch the world burn, they can, it's just extremely expensive. In fact the expense to them is basically as much as they burn and therefore pointless even as a statement.
What professor Stolfi has attempted to do in many of his posts is present the failure modes as the norm. This is analogous to claiming that cars will constantly be swerving into oncoming traffic despite consequences. In reality the vast majority of lightning nodes will download the same software from a repository, run it on basically the same linux box and have a basically the same behavior. They are incentivized to do this well so that they are profitable and don't lose the money that they are staking. We don't know exactly what the rate of entering the failure modes will be but it could be a tiny fraction of a fraction of a percent. Such that essentially no one encounters it.
However I will give you that: we don't know everything about how a lightning network will function because it's impossible to predict how a complex economic system will evolve. There are still big questions about what eventual topology of the network will look like, what the final routing protocol will land on, what the duration of the average channel will be and what the fee structure will look like. My opinion is these are engineering challenges that are likely to be solved iteratively and importantly no consensus changes required once segwit is enabled. The underlying design is sound and actually quite brilliant.
Drawing the conclusion that the network is insecure, or worse spreading a conspiracy theory that it's "Controlled by Blockstream" who wishes to cover up the flaws, doesn't explain a clear incentive for them or anyone. And perhaps shows a lack of comprehension of the basic incentives that make the system function. If I'm wrong about this then there is a simple solution: Jorge can publish a paper that explains why LN is doomed to be a failure for peer review. He's an academic after all, don't you think it's weird that he doesn't do this?
Ok, on with the attempted debunking, the quotes here are Professor Stolfi, I'm just going to use parts here for brevity but feel free to go read them and let me know if I missed something.
The LN depends on bidirectional payment channels (BPCs) , which are not secure. Someone who pays you through a BPC may be able to reverse his recent payments before closing the channel.
Right out of the box, no. They can't do that. Not without risking their entire stake in the channel. So if Bob, the malicious actor, pays Alice and then Bob decides to reverse the transaction, Alice has the chance to take all of the money including Bobs. So basically if Bob takes no action, he assumes no risk, if he takes action his risk is potentially greater than his reward. That's why this is a failure mode. The success of the network relies on the fact that there is no incentive to enter this mode, and every incentive to avoid it. But does that mean there will be zero failures, no, but Bob would be a lot more likely to succeed by taking his money to Vegas and he would have more fun there.
After this Jorge goes into a good explanation of how a bidirectional payment channel works but then concludes:
One problem with this idea is that either party could cheat the other by sending to the miners, instead of the last cheque T[n], some earlier cheque T[i] that had a more favorable balance to hehim. In particular, the sender of the most recent payment T[k] can send the previous cheque T[k-1] to the miners, canceling that payment. The "solution" that has been offered to this problem is that each cheque T[k] has a time lock that delays the actual release of the balances to the two parties for a couple of days. After each cheque T[k] is exchanged, each of the two parties also receives a special "punishment" cheque P[k]. This transaction is effective only if the previous cheque T[k-1] has been confirmed, but its time-lock has not expired yet; and it sends all the NA+NB coins to the wronged party, without waiting for the time lock.
So this part isn't explained well. What is really happening here is in order to extend the life of a payment channel there needs to be a mechanism to change the direction of the channel so that money can flow both ways. Every time the channel changes direction it enters a new state and the players give each other a key that allows them to take all of the money IF their counterpart attempts to use a transaction from the earlier state of the channel.
So, the idea goes, Alice can deter and correct such fraud attempts from Bob by saving the transactions P, P, ... P[n], checking the blockchain at least once a day or so, and sending the appropriate P[k] to the miners as soon as she sees a stale cheque T[k-1] being confirmed.
When he says Alice, he means a full node connected to the network. The node is reading each new block and looking for transactions which are pertinent to it. In particular if she sees Bob attempt to use a transaction from one of the earlier states of the channel, then Alice is now able to take all of the money using her key. There is some risk here to Alice, if she goes offline or can't get that transaction into a block, but Bob is taking an even bigger risk. So in practice Bob has a huge incentive to never let those old transactions see the light of day.
There are of course many things that can go wrong with this idea. So it is not really a solution, but a "hacker's solution": a trick, preferably convoluted, that may achieve the desired result in some cases, and can be blamed on the "luser" when it doesn't.
Basically I've concluded that any time someone uses game theory or incentives to build a system Jorge refers to that a "hacker trick". He of course has no alternative to such "tricks" other than I expect "using a bank" but lets continue.
And there are other problems. For one thing, until the channel is closed, there is no record anywhere of all the checks that were exchanged though it.
Ok, the record is in the computers that we are calling Alice and Bob.
Thus, if Alice loses her LN wallet, she cannot reconstruct it from some master key and some public source (as she can do with ordinary bitcoin payments).
Ok so I'm assuming you mean that Alice could lose all of the money in her LN account if she looses her phone and Bob is malicious. In practice phones are not likely to be used for bidirectional payments, they don't have enough connectivity. (for mono-directional payments they do.) In any case she should limit the funds stored in her phone regardless. Bitcoin is like cash and so is LN.
In a later post:
The "network" is supposed to use a chain of two or more BPCs to execute a payment between any two users that are not directly connected by a BPC. Say, Alice wants to pay 2 BTC to Eric, through the path Alice Bob Carol Dave Eric. The four payments are negotiated by the 5 users and cryptomagically linked so that, in the end, either they all happen (that is, all users get valid cheques for their respective channels) or all fail.
This is true, but the phrase cryptomagically linked is disingenuous. No one in the chain has the ability to steal the money because they lack a key that only the person further down the chain will have. There is no a potential cascading failure here and no magic.
Since the intermediate users (Bob, Carol and Dave) will charge fees for their service, either Alice has to pay more than 2 BTC, or Eric receives less than 2 BTC, or both. Thus the four cheques will have slightly decreasing amounts, and the middlemen receive a little more than they send through the next BPC. Each of those 4 cheques will have its own punishment transactions, and, in general, all 5 nodes will have to watch the blockchain for the previous cheque on each of his path channels (in addition to all the previous stale cheques) .
Again this is confused. Each channel in the network is maintaining it's relationships independently. A transaction passing down the chain does not increase this burden.
That brings up the Watchers issue. Since one cannot assume that every user will be able to scan the blockchain every day, it was proposed that the task could be delegated to some Watcher service that would do that for a fee.
But we aren't assuming that. We aren't even assuming that end users will use bidirectional channels.
Since a BPC must be used used for at least tens of payments, on average (otherwise the LN would not be a "scaling solution" at all), it must remain open for months. But the Watcher will have to keep watch for each stale cheque associated with each client's BPC, as long as the BPC remains open -- even if the channel has been idle fro months. Originally it was assumed that the Watcher could be paid by a fraction of the confiscated coins, whenever he detects a fraud and sends the punishment transaction to the miners. Thus those services were originally called "Bounty Hunters".
I don't even think that this idea has any traction so it's not the
solution to the problem rather than something someone once proposed. The
solution is to select the appropriate type of channel based on the connectivity, uptime, and staking amount of the participants. Bidirectional channels are "live" and requires continuous connectivity and monitoring from participants. Monodirectional channels allow one participant to be passive. What this means is that it limits the types of devices and connections that can participate in bidirectional payments but not in the network as a whole.
He goes on about the Watchers, and I'm happy to rebut the rest if you want, but the upshot is that "Watching" is not expensive. Moving on:
Then there is the issue of finding the payment routes. The only case when that problem is solved is when the "network" is just one huge central bank hub with one channel to each user. But this solution is just an inefficient PayPal with some formidable financial problems thrown in. If that topology is excluded, each user will need to create at least half a dozen BPCs in order to ensure reasonable connectivity of the network. So each LN user would have to split his coins among half a dozen BPCs and keep them locked there for months.
Ok, when the coins are "locked in" in a BPC they are spendable
and they are useful for routing payments that's THE WHOLE POINT. Likewise it storing coins in multiple BPCs doesn't affect how payments can be combined from them. Likewise if the node you share a BPC with is not malicious, it will just close the channel upon request. This is again an example of claiming a failure mode is normal.
Even so, the typical path will have half a dozen hops. Then there is a need for a router, some service that will find a suitable path given its two end users. The max amount that can be sent through a BPC from Alice to Bob is the clearance C = NA-Q, where NA is the amount initially locked by Alice and Q is the net payment (positive or negative) already sent through that channel in that direction. The max amount that can be sent through a path is the smallest among the clearances of its channels. Thus the router must know the current clearances of all the channels that he may use in his paths. Thus he too must somehow promptly receive information about every LN payment exchanged through those channels, since each payment changes the clearance. And the router must also know which nodes are on-line and willing to relay payments (since all nodes in a path must negotiate the multi-hop payment) and what fees each relay charges. Because of that need, no one knows how to implement a routing service that will work for 10 million users, each making several multi-hop payments ṕer day on average, with each payment requiring half a dozen BPC payments. Not even if the router service is centralized, much less if it is to be decentralized.
This just isn't true. What Jorge is basically stating is that there is no way to instantly calculate a globally optimal solution without complete knowledge of the instantaneous state of the system. He should know already that no one is attempting to do that, what they are attempting to do is create a metahueristic or stochastic solution that finds as large a set of sufficient paths as possible and picks the best among them. So think of how a colony of insects organizes itself for example, each local actor has limited knowledge but collectively they create a desired outcome. So my hope that what you take away from this is: LN is a live cache that sits on top of bitcoin. Bidirectional channels require constant participation. Overall LN is basically the best solution we have for creating a large scale instant payment network that remains permisionless. It's not 100% finished but the engineering challenges that remain are tractable.
2018 have been such a refreshing year when it comes to emerging cryptoprojects and the level of innovation they introduce. Gone are the stupid infographics trying to solidify Coin-X as the highest amount of transactions per second (who cares?).
Instead there seems to be a steady influx of new projects with developers who are innovating for real.
A couple of months back I stumbled across Haven Protocol which caused me to write my first crypto-article ever, fast forward a month-or-so and the first fork of Haven, Bitcoin Air, was quietly announced.
Now many initially dismissed Bitcoin Air as nothing but a Haven Protocol clone, but that is a severe misjudgement. I’ve been lucky enough to follow the development of this project from the inside for a while, and I’ve witnessed first hand that this project has set its sight on introducing a host of new features to the world of cryptocurrencies.
In this Q&A with Bitcoin Air’s Lead Dev, Anthony, I get answers to a lot of questions that should give a good understanding about what Bitcoin Air is aiming to accomplish.
First of all, how would you summarise what Bitcoin Air is all about for someone who reads about it for the first time?
The first thing we want people to think of when they see, hear, or speak “Bitcoin Air” is simplicity and transparency.
The reason for this being, cryptocurrency is this currently ecstatic and mysterious world that a lot of people are afraid to dive into due to these unknowns. When someone approaches Bitcoin Air, we want them to understand that we are a lightweight, secure, and decentralized payment system that also ofers a static crypto-backed reserves system that allows for a user to print their own fiat currency (AirCash).
In layman’s terms, we want to give the power of the Mint, Reserve, and Banking System all to the consumer and merchant!
What sparked the idea for the project we now know as Bitcoin Air?
The idea for Bitcoin Air was sparked from a protocol concept originally designed by the administrative team. The main idea coming from the fact that Bitcoin is subject to high volatility, and Tether is both manipulatable and a separate entity from what should be a joint efort for Bitcoin.
Beyond this, we feel the need to bring cryptocurrency to a form of widespread acceptance through applying modern technology to age old tactics of in person payments. This will of course be accompanied by all of the amazing features that come with cryptocurrency and it’s secure nature.
The Bitcoin Air project is a fork of Haven, how essential has the Haven teams work been for your concept and project development?
Haven Protocol’s work hasn’t been significant in our development. Their initial idea was sparked to allow users to “offshore” their value to a secure storage environment in some different country.
This idea, to our team, seemed unapproachable and limited it’s greatest potential. We followed through with the idea of offshoring, and instead made it far more approachable and adaptable and instead of creating an internal contract system, devised a bilateral blockchain system that will operate as a dual auditing blockchain.
How would you differentiate what Bitcoin Air will be, compared to Haven, what are your most obvious differences between the two?
Haven Protocol is based on an internal smart contract system that will offshore the value of your coins to a safe storage environment, this will allow you to mint and burn between Haven Protocol and XHVD, safely offshoring your value from volatility.
Bitcoin Air is a bilateral blockchain that will allow one end of the chain to operate in volatile value and conduct basic cryptocurrency transactions including sending and receiving through any basic exchange as well as our internal wallet exchange. The second side of the chain will operate in static value and will operate as a crypto-backed reserve chain for Bitcoin Air.
This static chain will have strictly mint and burn protocols that will allow the creation of Bitcoin Air or AirCash. This static side chain will not allow person to person sends and will instead be specifically designed as a reserves and fiat system for day to day use.
How many developers are actively contributing to your project now?
Currently we have over 8 active developers working around the clock on establishing our test net, minimum viable product, and a proof of concept design that can be presented to the public.
The goal is to operate our development much like an ICO without intentions of gathering funding from the public. We are a privately funded, Non-ICO, Non-VC funded development backed by a handful of guys who simply are very in tune with the cryptocurrency community.
We hope to deliver a well-rounded and established development for the people.
Is there any field in which you are looking for contributions from the community, if so, what are these?
We are always open to as much community contribution as possible. We are 110% focused on community input and transparency and that goes down to every vote and choice we have.
Ultimately we feel that a larger consensus brings the greatest discussions to a situation along with calculated execution. This being said, we are opening an Ambassadors and Evangelists Program that will operate much like a permanent bounty hunters program.
Top level representatives from all countries can apply and voice their expertise on why they should be an Ambassador for Bitcoin Air. This will in turn gain them access to the private Ambassador Panel where they can participate in tasks to earn monthly points for payouts based on worth ethic! Additionally, we are always open to community open-source developers who seek some lead into the cryptocurrency world.
We are always thrilled to teach and learn from other professional development teams as we are seeking to develop the most community driven coin of 2019!
Is the launch of the Bitcoin Air and the air protocol in any way dependant on the Haven teams Offshore Storage smart contracts. Will you have to wait until they release this feature or is the work on the Air Protocol completely independent of that effort?
We are in no way tied to the Haven Protocol development and are developing our own dual chain protocol that will not use smart contracts.
What we hope through our fork with Haven Protocol, is to allow a transition/bridge in between USDAP and XHVD that will bridge both the privacy and clear coin chains to allow for a user based choice of chain use.
We feel privacy is important, but not necessary thanks to the secure nature of cryptocurrency, but we still want to give our users a option to go into a privacy coin at some point effciently without worry of value loss.
Correct me if I’m wrong, Bitcoin Air is a Haven & Bitcoin fork, while Haven originated as a pure Monero fork. If I understand that correctly what does this mean for XAP, for instance; will Monero features like RingCT be a part of your project or will Monero-Specific features not be a part of the overall Bitcoin Air project?
Bitcoin Air is a bilateral merge fork joining Peercoin with Bitcoin, and forking Haven Protocol into our side chain.
This means that, in the end, there will be 2 chains operating together with one being accessible to exchanges and basic user features like sending and receiving; while the other operates privately in the background of this chain only accessible via wallet interface for means of minting/burning and staking/mining.
The Haven Protocol end of the chain will not feature basic usage like sending and receiving, and will instead carry the latest features for minting, burning, and printing of fiat Air Cash.
If I understand correctly, you have two options for binding your cryptocurrency into a static dollar (or similar) value, the first one is $USDAP — which I imagine works more or less like Haven’s $XHVD, right?
$XHVD will operate much like $USDAP, except for the fact that they are using smart contracts and we are applying a new solid blockchain. This static resource backed currency chain will operate to back the overall reserves and value of $XAP and Air Cash
And the second one, Air Cash, I find especially interesting. You will allow users to print their own QR coded “paper money” for use at retailers, etc. Does this money exist on its own sidechain, or is it more or less a physical version of the $USDAP?
This is correct. Air Cash will be the physical, fiat form of $USDAP. Users will be able to customize their own fiat currency sheets with predesigned templates that they can then add to their basic home printer.
The user would choose the denomination (Sheets would print in size of 8 bills) and they could choose to set the bills equally, or to diferent denominations. The wallet would then generate private key, and print the denomination value of $USDAP on the bill front along with the QR code generated Private Key as the center. The wallet would send the wallet to this address and it would be removed from the wallet entirely. The Air Cash would now maintain the value of the $USDAP and can be used in store or handed over to another person.
The merchant or user could then sweep the Air Cash into their wallet and receive $USDAP. The paper would then become worthless and could be recycled as needed.
Will the creating of Air Cash require any form of miner fee, and if so will that fee be a “static value” bound to it or a fluctuating value? In other words, will it be tied to cents or to “satoshis”?
The creating of Air Cash will require a static fee tied to $USDAP that will only vary based on a the amount you send. These ranges would most likely be $0.01-$10,000, $10,001-$100,000, and $100,001+. These fees will most likely be extremely small ranging from $0.05-$0.15 accordingly.
We are not going to allow miners/stakers to set the price on this as people should not be held back from when they need fiat, but all things take resources to create, and we feel a small fee should be in line to provide back resources to the mining and staking community securing and operating our network.
Also, what happens if a user looses an Air Cash bill before they get the ability to spend it. Will it be lost forever, like “normal currency” or will it only be lost if someone manages to spend it before you have time to move the currency to another address, and print a new bill?
The user will have a maintained track record of all of the bills they print within their private Air Cash Ledger. This ledger will not be available to the public due to the Haven Protocol/Monero Privacy Features. The user will be able to swap an Air Cash bill if it has not been swept into the receiving parties wallet if they set the loss prevention feature on within their wallet.
If the bill has been swept into the receiving parties wallet, they will not be able to cancel the bill. This feature will be available via desktop and mobile to ensure the quickest response to lost funds. This would encourage people to ensure that the receiving party sweeps their funds immediately, as you would want to ensure the value is on the bill!
Also, as a miner, I’m curious about how I can obtain Bitcoin Air through mining. I’ve seen you describe the project as “Hybrid Dynamic Proof of Stake and Proof of Work coin” — does this mean that one can both mine and stake in order to participate in the network?
We are currently developing a new consensus algorithm that we are dubbing “Proof of Risk”. We prefer not to release much information on our new consensus algorithm for now, but we plan to release extensive information once it is perfected. Just know for now, you will be allowed to both mine, and stake. It will also be HIGHLY encouraged, if not required, to do so in some sort of way.
Can you tell us a bit more a bout the planned merchant platform, what are its base features and how will it work?
The future merchant platform will be available to both in-person and online merchants. Small Business that accept Bitcoin Air will be able to use any tablet that allows them to download the Bitcoin Air PoS Application. This will allow their tablet to turn into a mobile PoS system with Sweep features thanks to the cameras on most tablets. Merchant can establish their item list and can have the consumer scan the QR code shown on the screen to automatically set the amount and receiving address.
Consumers will confirm the amount and proceed to process the transaction in $XAP. When the merchant receives confirmation, the system will automatically convert their $XAP to $USDAP so they can avoid market volatility until they choose to re-enter and sell to fiat. For online merchants, it will allow integration with most e-commerce platforms available. This means people can proceed to pay for their items with Bitcoin Air via their Desktop or Mobile wallets wherever accepted.
When you fork, you have — in your latest community update — listed the following existing chains that will be receiving Airdrops of either $XAP or $UDSAP:
Bitcoin ($BTC) holders will receive Bitcoin Air ($XAP)
Peercoin ($PPC) holders will receive Bitcoin Air ($XAP)
Haven Protocol ($XHV) holders will receive USD Air Protocol ($USDAP)
I find it interesting that $BTC and $PPC holders will receive $XAP as a result of the fork, while $XHV holders will receive $USDAP instantly without needing to mint them, will this mean that every $XHV holder is guaranteed a re-mintable (or is it burnable, perhaps:) value of ~1$ USD for each $XHV they are holding while the $PPC and $BTC holders will get a coin of fluctuating value?
This is somewhat correct. $XHV holders will receive a static value $USDAP after the snapshot for the fork. Bitcoin and Peercoin holders will receive $XAP, which is subject to market health and volatility due to access via exchanges. Bitcoin and Peercoin holders who would like to exit the volatility can simply mint into $USDAP whenever they would like to.
Full Disclosure: I’m currently a part of the Bitcoin Air team and will help them with their marketing. This is a great chance for me to get “an insiders view” on the development of a new cryptocurrency, and as such I see this as a great opportunity for me to get to write some more interesting articles on Bitcoin Air and its development process as it moves along. Stay tuned.
boldninja Let's all give a warm welcome to @synth from SkyCoin.net and for taking the time to do this AMA synth
Hi Synth jakethepanda
Hey @synth thrice.pi
Hey synth dr10
I think we can start - you guys know the drill. Give him some time to respond (no more than 2-3 questions on backlog so he can catch up) dr10
How would you - shortly & in easy words - sum-up the advantages of SkyCoin to magazines and non-crypto people? mgaruccio
Can you explain a bit about the mesh net? Is it just an mpls network between nodes or is there something deeper going on? michaelthecryptoguy
Whassup @synth tranzer
hi synth. I have a question - are those coins that are not in circulation in any cold wallets since only a portion is currently available according to CMC? What would you say is the 1 unique feature that Skycoin has? synth
It is very difficult, because Skycoin is a very large project and already has +6 years of development. Different parts of the project have different objectives.
The cryto, coin part is about solving the problems with the existing consensus algorithms. Being able to do +300 transactions a second, transactions in seconds instead of minutes (faster than credit cards), eliminating miners, eliminating block rewards (eliminating inflation) and eliminating 51% attack and the other problems with mining.
then there are other repos and experimental projects under github.com/skycoin such as a meshnet and distributed VPN prototype, where people will be paid coins for forwarding traffic. Also prototypes of distributed social media application, with peer to peer data replication and different experimental projects. Research into immutable data structures for next generation internet. Some of them are very radical. dr10
How does the Network consensus algorithm Obelisk work and differ from widely known algorithms like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake? mgaruccio
So how much exists today? Could I build an app on the platform if I wanted to? mike
In terms of the rate of progress, what is currently your greatest limiting factor - like funding, manpower, currently available technology? synth
Can you explain a bit about the mesh net? Is it just an mpls network between nodes or is there something deeper going on?
It is not actually a meshnet. It is software defined networking, it is much more powerful than just meshnet. Its a new type of networking and new completely new protocol and networking namespace, independent of the existing internet.
It supports source routing, while the existing internet does hot potato routing, so never achieves optimal latencies.
It supports multi-homing, which IPv6 does not (Which is critical for when we have gigabit or terabit networking and multi-redundant bandwidth paths)
It has default oppurunistic crypto, both link layer and end to end; so everything is encrypted by default, unlike the current internet.
It has store and forward networking and will operate in Africa or even under conditions where latencies are in the minutes or hours and packet loss is excessive. Where existing protocols cannot operate reliability. It is much more robust than IPv4/IPv6 or TCP/ip
It has improved privacy. If a packet takes a route that is 10 hops, each hop only knows the previous node in the route and the next node in the route. It is not like IPv4 where each packet gives the source and destination. The privacy level is something that does not exist on the current internet.
IP addresses are replaced by public key and no one can read traffic to a destination, without knowing the private key of the public key that identifies the destination. The system does not need 3rd parties or certificate authorities. The design is a revolution.
are those coins that are not in circulation in any cold wallets since only a portion is currently available according to CMC?
The coins are locked into 100 addresses, each with 1 million coins each. And they are released sequentially.
There is a complicated locking procedure and releasing new coins requires unamious consent and a shared secret among a group of developers. Anyone in the shared secret group can block distribution of more coins (to stop the problem that killed NXT). So by design the coins were supposed to be difficult to distribut, there had to be a good reason or justification before a distribution would be approved. mike
What are the hardware requirements to operate a wireless Skywire (the name for the protocol described above) Node? arc-over-water
nxt i think is doing ok.. synth
How does the Network consensus algorithm Obelisk work and differ from widely known algorithms like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake?
PoS and PoW use miners. Miners receive new coins every block as a block reward. So miners are making money and will fight to control the network. An everyone will suffer because the newly created coins represent inflation.
Skycoin was designed to eliminate mining and eliminate the inflation. No block rewards, no new coins. And we needed to develop a new consensus algorithm to do that and there are only a few methods that work, for these constraints. The consensus algorithm is based upon Ben-Or's randomization procedure for achieving consensus in a distributed system, with some improvements for detecting adversarial or malicious nodes who are trying to prevent the consensus process.
There are white papers on skycoin.net about the specifics. I would call it "network consensus" and it uses a sort of Web of Trust (WoT), where if the people creating blocks are doing a bad job or attacking the network, then the community can get rid of them. At the same time, the people who control the network, do not have any real power to attack the network except by slowing down transactions and being annoying, so even if they become malicious the only issue is how to get rid of them and select new people. mike
Any idea when Skywire will be released and ready to test on hardware nodes (testnet or mainnet)? mgaruccio
So if there is no block reward what is the incentive to run a node? vega
What will be the actual function of Skycoin (the coin itself)? Will the coin be used as currency, as transfer of value in and between all these various developing functionalities, semi-separate projects to tie them all together or it's function will be more limited? michaelthecryptoguy
Do you have an idea on the specs of a node that would be required? In the beginning? What about with 10,000 users? (edited) synth
nxt i think is doing ok..
There were three people that each owned 30% of the coin. One decided he wanted out and began dumping. NXT was over 150 million I think. When he started dumping, it basicly killed NXT.
Skycoin's distribution was designed to stop dumping by the founders and early people.
After Skycoin gets to 30% of the total coins distributed, there will probably a hard time lock on the remaining coins, so that a maximum of 5% of the remaining coins can be released per year. So the distribution for the other 70% of the coins will take a minimum of 14 years (and could be longer).
We cannot even sell the rest of the coins, because if we sold 10% of the total now at $5 per coin, it would be 50 million or something and we cannot spend or even use that amount of money. Not at this stage.
Ethereum spent 30 million or 70 million in their first year or two after the ICO and then nearly went bankrupt. Silicon Valley wages and offices etc. We have been very conservative and have kept costs down and kept them responsible. Now we have coins like EOS and they want to raise a billion dollars and have not produced anything yet, do not hav a blockchain and I have no idea what they would spend that money on, but they are throwing $350,000 parties in time square for marketing/PR etc... arc-over-water
what prevents you from selling? anybody can spend that amount of money?
nxt is a newer platform than sky, market value is $220 million plus $166 million, I get what you are saying but the evidence is wrong. Community is huge and active in Nxt. But you say it is killed, i dont get it? synth
What will be the actual function of Skycoin (the coin itself)? Will the coin be used as currency, as transfer of value in and between all these various developing functionalities, semi-separate projects to tie them all together or it's function will be more limited?
Yes. Bitcoin has no purpose. An altcoin does two things - check your balance - send money to other people
Two features - check balance - send
For a coin to have value, people need to be forced to buy it to consume specific services. There has to be stuff for people to spend the coin on, that there is demand for.
So Bitcoin is really just a purely speculative asset. It generates no cashflow and its value is determined by perception or social convention.
Ideally, Skycoin would start off as a "better Bitcoin" (faster, more secure, new algorithm, simplier, etc), then over time we would build up an ecosystem and have some type of backing and tie the coin's value into the network and usebase.
The mesh netork (skywire) is good, because it gives something for people to do to get coins and it allows people to consume the coins. You can run your internet traffic through a VPN that tunnels over Skywire and maybe it will be a nominal amount (actually absurdly small amount of money), but there would be real economic activity and a real userbase and community using the coin. Not just speculation.
Later on the scope is much wider. arc-over-water
So the skycoin wallet will be a VPN for our internet usage? synth
nxt is a newer platform than sky, market value is $220 million plus $166 million, I get what you are saying but the evidence is wrong. Community is huge and active in Nxt. But you say it is killed, i dont get it?
What I am saying, is that NXT would be a lot further along than it is now and probably around where Ethereum is, except for that mistake in the distribution and keeping it too concentrated. It set them back by years. They did not consider what the impact on the price would be, over the long term, when one of the early whales started selling off or decided he wanted out. arc-over-water
But they did the same again with IOTA, same lead dev.. Its over a $Billion
they released and let the market price distribute synth
So the skycoin wallet will be a VPN for our internet usage?
The VPN is just one application, that uses bandwidth over Skywire. There are several things in development.
This is a BBS like 4chan, that is completely distributed, with CXO. https://github.com/skycoin/bbs
It will run over Skywire also, This is like building a whole new internet from scratch. The apps that run on it are going to specialized and privacy focused, etc GitHub skycoin/bbs Contribute to bbs development by creating an account on GitHub. mike
So Skycoin is a Proof of Resource coin where its value is actually backed by provision of a useful service, in this case private and secure networking? Are there plans to add decentralized storage and even distributed processing to it? arc-over-water
so these 100 separate million coin accounts will be 100 ICOs or how is the distribution patterned? is it written into the code or up to the devs? rockyj
!calculate slackbot Custom Response https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FGo3FkC3uSWXGHatPQyny2brMWjAIJsHFCR-Lhkl_m0/edit#gid=0 synth
So if there is no block reward what is the incentive to run a node?
running a consensus node does not cost anything. You can run it on a raspberry pi.
The important thing is that if the people doing consensus are doing a bad job, that the community can get rid of them and replace them. The other important thing, is that they can be audited and determined automatically if they are obeying the protocol.
the miners in skycoin are not very powerful and cannot do anything except slow down transactions. They are unable to spend other people's money without their private keys, so the consensus/mining nodes are almost irrelevent. It is not like Bitcoin where the miners can hold the network hostage or act selfishly (driving up the transactions fees for their own personal benefit and delaying any innovations that would improve bitcoin for everyone, etc).
So Skycoin is a Proof of Resource coin where its value is actually backed by provision of a useful service, in this case private and secure networking? Are there plans to add decentralized storage and even distributed processing to it?
We have decentralized storage, which is called CXO. But only the bandwidth is monetized by Skywire. We do not nickle and dime and try to attach a coin cost to every API call. Everything that should be free is free. So its a different philosphy.
On top of CXO we also have distributed social media applications (simmilar to Steemit)
CXO is very similar to IFPS, but simplier and designed for our internal infrastructure and with our crypto standards, instead of being a mismash. mike
Is it possible for Skycoin to choose the best paths and route around bad or slow nodes as damage to the network, in effect reducing their impact on consensus?
looks like you answered the question above while I was typing... tranzer
How many tx/s can skycoin handle? What are block times? thrice.pi
300 right? ^ arc-over-water
on your website it says you will have a NON- Turing complete lisp language? synth
so these 100 separate million coin accounts will be 100 ICOs or how is the distribution patterned? is it written into the code or up to the devs?
We will have a distribution page, up on the website soon. Its complicated.
Skywire, is designed to pull coins out of circuation, through a sort of tithe on network activity and it does automatic buy backs effectively. So the distribution will actually peak and then decline. But one distribution is from the locked coins, and the locked coins are freed, then circulate, then end up at the foundation (from the skywire tithe are pulled out of circulation), but still count towards the free float.
The coin holders also receive a coinhour dividend and there will be a market rate conversion between coin hours and Skycoins and coinhours are the actual currency for the Skywire network. If you do not have enough coin hours, then you sell Skycoin for CoinHour at the market rate, to purchase bandwidth; but if you have a lot of coins then you have enough coin hours for downloading movies or VPN or whatever you are doing and it is essentially free.
So there is a dual level economic structure. Both with coin buybacks to pull coins out of circulation and with a dividend or incentive to encourage users to hold the coin if they are using the network. arc-over-water
so there will be two currencies, holding one reserves the other synth
Is it possible for Skycoin to choose the best paths and route around bad or slow nodes as damage to the network
Yes. This is very important.
The person dialing a connection, chooses the path of the connection!
You can choose the lowest latency path for video games or Skype, and choose highest throughput paths for video downloads etc. Or can choose paths through specific nodes or facilities or countries, for security concerns and to minimize the number of points that the traffic could be intercepted at. mike
Will Skycoin still have the node subsidy plan for setting up and registering the mesh nodes like originally planned? dr10
When do you plan to be able to present your planned technology and services to the masses? When can they use what you try do accomplish? synth
on your website it says you will have a NON- Turing complete lisp language?
That is probably an error. LOL. We will have a new website soon.
There is no scripting language on the skycoin blockchain. Each transaction is constant time (for efficiency and security and to achieve the highest transaction rate and to keep the coin simple).
However, we have a language called CX in development, which is a next generation language that is beyond "smart contracts" and the toy things on ethereum. It uses immutable datastructures and is something completely new. Most of the skycoin "smart contracts" will probably be off blockchain or in personal blockchains and we do not want to shove all the data onto the main chain, because forcing everyone to download everyone one elses contracts it the world is just spamming the blockchain to death. There are better ways to do it.
Will Skycoin still have the node subsidy plan for setting up and registering the mesh nodes like originally planned?
Yes. We are going to get from 20% to 30% distributno of the coins, through network incentives for people running Skywire nodes, consensus nodes and services.
I think this is going to be massive for marketing. And it is the best way to get the coins out to the users, instead of all the coins being held by whales samuelvihollandia
I read how you suggest Skycoin could be used for VPN connections, is this the largest use case you see? arc-over-water
Maidsafe has been working on the redesign of the net for about ten years, what are you doing the same and what different? synth
I read how you suggest Skycoin could be used for VPN connections, is this the largest use case you see?
No. This is just something easy, that we have working. Its not the largest applicatoin at all.
80% of internet traffic right now is bitorrent and the bitorrent sites are being systematically shutdown and driven off the internet. They wont go away, but will jut go underground. What.cd (largest music tracker, with 800k people) was just shut down, bakabt (largest anime tracker) has gone closed registration, Nyantorrent etc...
User communities of millions of people will be migrating from the clearnet (the existing corporate shit-net) to the "new internet". We are going to see people migrating by the millions, whole user communities of millions of people. arc-over-water
Are you a corporation or foundation or charity? Registered? I am not sure i have seen anything about who you are? What is the dev team size? Background? - Maidsafe is open and clear so is IOTA and Stellar etc. Can you let us know who you and your team are? Especially you are talking about 15 year and up obligations.. techbytes
Do we need to hold skycoin to run Skywire nodes or consensus nodes like masternodes from other coins? synth
Maidsafe has been working on the redesign of the net for about ten years, what are you doing the same and what different?
Maidsafe is in version 2 or 3. Maidsafe will not have a real coin until version 9. Each version takes them about two or three years. Maidsafe will not be "done" or ready for atleast 18 years at this rate.
Skycoin has been in development for ~6 years and the meshnet for 4 years and it will be finished in a few months. To the poin that people can start using it.
Skycoin is similar to maidsafe in the objective, but has a different approach and architecture and primitives. We did not try to do everything, but focused on a smaller, tractable core and got that done.
There will be multiple projects in this space, but few teams are able to plan on the time horizon necisary for building a new internet or able to design each of the components of a system this large, or figure out how to do it so that it is useful at each stage of construction of a project that may take a decade. (edited) mike
Can you see a way for Ark and Skycoin to build on each other in a synergistic manner? I'm all for not reinventing the wheel, especially when it looks like it will be replaced with antigravity like Skycoin.
I see Skycoin as essentially replacing TCP/IP and providing mesh network type functionality at the hardware level, Ark would run on top of it as a top level application layer. arc-over-water
are you up to date on Maidsafe, they are nearly out of Alpha and its more like release early next year? But that being said, Maidsafe says once it is released it is like a virus or AI type, so does Tau Chain, and also Autonomic by HunterMinerCrafter, are we heading towards AI with Maid, Sky Tau and Autonomic? dr10
smartbridge now! :kappa: mike
So Skycoin would act as a sort of global decentralized cloud server to build on top of.
To communicate, it is more like sharing encrypted files to selected recipients than it is sending messages or hosting sites on a specific server. synth
Are you a corporation or foundation or charity? Registered? I am not sure i have seen anything about who you are? What is the dev team size? Background?
I think there are over ~60 people who have worked on Skycoin or have made major contributions. Its really a project from the darknet.
Many of the contributors are anonymous. Some of them have security clearances and were in the military industrial complex and one of them worked at the San Diego Naval Defence Research Lab and a lot of the idea for the networking protocols came out of public sector academic researched, funded from there.
We also have a lot of very very early Bitcoin people, hardcore crypto people that predate Bitcoin and an Ethereum core developer, etc..
On the Chinese side we have an early investor in Alibaba and telecom investor. And are doing pilot with china aviation group (owns four publicly traded airline companies) and apparently now Sinopec (which is 2nd largest publicly traded corporation in world).
Then we have people who are part of israeli and US intelligence and are probably doing some sort of money laundering or phychological operations background, who just showed up for some reason. This group seems very interested in the "applications" of these coins and how to improve tranaction privacy and the specifics of the CoinJoin protocol implementation. We got a lot of advice from people experienced in forensic accounting and what they wanted to see and where they felt Bitcoin was deficient and where it leaked metadata.
Then a bunch of PHD level people doing research into distributed database consensus algorithms and another group doing programming language research.
Then a lot of people from the deep darknet, anon, frog twitter and cipher punks and bitorrent communities. (really should be listed as two seperate groups). And people from the Russian darknet community. We have like eight Ivans. (edited)
I see Skycoin as essentially replacing TCP/IP and providing mesh network type functionality at the hardware level, Ark would run on top of it as a top level application layer.
Yes. The key functionality is two things - connecting to people by public key (networking) - distributing self validating, immutble data peer to peer (transactions, blocks etc... content addressible storage)
And you can build almost anything on those two building blocks. The whole internet will eventually be rewritten on top of those primitives and it will replace many of the existing protocols. arc-over-water
Who is the entity that is funding this? I think you have done 2 ICOs? How much did you receive? The first was 10c and the second was @ 50c per coin, released 6 million, is that correct? samuelvihollandia
Are you planning to enter a different exchange market soon? arc-over-water
Have you personally been in Sky from the start? What members have? Who allocates the ICO money etc... I hope you understand that decentralization with investment is a two edged sword, we invest in people but we cannot know these people.... So... we question.. (edited) thrice.pi
with all these outside parties that helped to build skycoin and bring it where it is today who are the main core team who will help to keep all these cool features running. Will these outside parties be recruited for the long haul? synth
Who is the entity that is funding this? I think you have done 2 ICOs? How much did you receive? The first was 10c and the second was @ 50c per coin, released 6 million, is that correct?
The people who funded the project for the first four years, were early bitcoin and deep crypto people; who were unhappy with the fact that Bitcoin and the other alts did not seem concerned about the core issues at all. They gave us over 1200 bitcoin I think, over several years and did not ask for anything in return.
The early Skycoin devs were doing academic research, architecture and new algorithms. Prototyping and simulation. The later stage people were more project managers and doing implementation.
We did four ICOs for small amounts, to fund development and to allow developers working on the project to buy in. The first ICO I remember was at $0.10 per coin and the price now is about $4.00 per coin, so its up ~35x or 40x, but when you consider the Bitcoin price going from $100 to $3000, the increase has not been so much. lol (edited) arc-over-water
With the price up 35x in about 1 year, is it not now time to cool the run up and release another ICO? At what amount of coins released and what procedure? mike
Would Intel Edison or Joule, or Samsung Artik 10 work well as a Skywire wireless node? They have 2 Gb-8 Gb RAM, 8-64 Gg eMMC storage, 802.11n wireless, bluetooth, and some with Zigbee? synth
Have you personally been in Sky from the start? What members have? Who allocates the ICO money etc... I hope you understand that decentralization with investment is a two edged sword, we invest in people but we cannot know these people.... So... we question.
I think there wer three different groups that merged together in first three years, that had similar objectives. Because the code was in different language. There was python, C code and then eventually golang and the golang code became the basis for the current codebase.
The way the coin allocations work, is that it requires unamimious consent for releasing coins and it has to be for a specific, ear marked purpose and can be blocked by any of the devs.
Then there is a pool of coins in bitcoin for various project managers to allocate. And that is an operational fund for paying developers, contractors, marketing etc. Then different people have different responsibilities.
Then we also have corporate funding and sponsorship and some companies paying our full time devs etc, which helps a lot. arc-over-water
Silicon Valley (TV SHOW) recently had their decentralized web running on a network or refrigerators? So i would guess, smart phones, smart gadgets? Home gadgets etc could add services and receive rewards from Sky? mike
best would be a totally open source and publicly audited manufactured system on a chip for the nodes to prevent any backdoors. Even chip designers now don't really know what they're putting into the chips since they just drag and drop black boxes known as IP cores into the ASIC designs. synth
With the price up 35x in about 1 year, is it not now time to cool the run up and release another ICO? At what amount of coins released and what procedure?
I think the Skycoin price has been doubling every 40 days, for as long as I can remember. However, it will still be years before it is in the top 20, its still a long way to climb. It took bitcoin years to go from 0 to $1, even though it was growing at 1% per day the whole time for six years.
best would be a totally open source and publicly audited manufactured system on a chip for the nodes to prevent any backdoors.
we are going to use arm arc-over-water
IOTA is also working on their own hardware for nodes etc, Trinary asset is JINN synth
all intel and AMD systems have remote management engine backdoors. So they are not safe for storing large amounts of coins.
We also have alpine linux and special version of linux, that is 6 MB and has everything that is needed for running our toolchain. It will not have any binary blobs in the kernel or anything that we cant compile from source. It does not have systemd and does not have gli, but uses musl. And does not have openssl. mike
so looks like the Samsung Artik 5 and 10 can run it no problem, they're ARM based. 25x35x4mm package for the Artik 10, Artik 5 is smaller, less powerful but has 2 separate antenna ports, nice for mesh networking with an omni and a directional antenna. earlyarkinvestor
how does Ark compare to Lisk? synth
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isn't Lisk trying to achieve interoperability between blockchains as well synth
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nice! looks like an ARM based server rack
let me know if you need any help with it, see you're on solidworks, which I run as well. synth
this is the skycoin cluster; it has 8 CPU boards; 4 cores per CPU, 2 GB of ram per CPU and 64 bit ARM processor. Only one program will run on each individual board, so there is compartmentalization and a physical gap so that compromising one process on a system does no allow all other processes on the system to be compromised mike
looks like 2 ethernet ports per board. synth
and the hardware does not have the qualcom backdoors and is actually chinese equipment; and the backdoors are normally at the kernel level because they are not at hardware backdoors yet
do they have SATA ports, maybe M.2 for storage? synth
and we will hav an ARM openwrt router eventually too
this model does not have SATA, but we have a model with SATA; you could hook up 16 2 TB drives, lol and download half the piratebay to your cluster (edited)
the skycoin infrastructure is cluster based and designed for running across +300 computers, with one "node" deployed per computer. Eithe a CXO storage node, or a skywire SDN/meshnet node, or a VPN end point node or a consensus network, or skycoin node, etc. We have multiple node/application types.
so this is a "personal cloud' by itself
its not like StoreJ where you have other people storing your stuff; you are going to have ~5 clusters and 300 computers and can store your own files, on your own internet, on your own hardware. You do not need to go outside of your own network. mike
Have thought it'd be nice to have a board with an array of M.2 sockets to run SSD arrays without all the cables, have the busses shielded in circuit board. synth
yes, i think there will be m.2 eventually
these actually use a microSSD for storage, and its 48MB/s mike
any idea on the pricing on your ARM boards in quantity? We are looking at Intel for Bitseed V3, but ARM would be good to stay with, especially using your boards if there is SATA. arc-over-water
Do you have a general idea of usable functions to be released next in what order? The first release was the Coin and wallet, then the ICOs and can you give a general future with dates if you can synth
the boards are $30 each and the memory for solid state, is actually more than the the cost of the CPU/RAM/board now. Which is sort of insane. mike
so you have microSSD, what's maximum size? we shipping 1with Tb hard drives right now synth
Bitseed mike is going to help with this; so we can pool the boards and do a custom PCB mike
yes, that's where we see the price jumps, is in RAM and eMMC costs.