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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

How Blockchain.com harms the cryptocurrency community

How Blockchain.com harms the cryptocurrency community
This post has been written to draw Blockchain.com's attention to the issues of its product.
Blockchain.com (formerly Blockchain.info) was founded in 2011 and with no doubt has helped the Bitcoin community to create a block explorer and has proven itself as a valuable service. Millions of people from all over the world use their wallet. However, time goes on, Bitcoin develops, but one of the main cryptocurrency companies not only slows down the process of its development, but also discredits the usability of cryptocurrencies. Why is that? We have tried to explain that in this post.
https://preview.redd.it/i0yk7qraqkw41.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=963dc18551d2900bca456bfa3a6cfd3636c7c93c

1. Lack of Segwit Address Support

This is the most painful problem for our service. To receive cryptocurrency we use segwit addresses by default. If a customer contacts our support, we can of course change an address in an order to P2SH (the one that begins with number "3"), but it reduces the usability of the service. Why don't we use P2SH by default? It is less beneficial both for us and for our client, as the cost of the consolidation of the transaction is taken into account when calculating the exchange rate. With a high network load and with orders for a small amount, the commission becomes significant. To compare — segwit addresses (or Bech32 that starts with "bc1") are 15% more advantageous than P2SH.
Segwit (Segregated Witness) was activated in 2017. At the end of the same year the CEO of Blockchain.info announced its support starting from (most likely) 2018. We can understand certain fears at the beginning of the way, as the company's security system is for sure not that bad. However more than 2 years have passed since then and that is a lot for the crypto world.

2. Using Legacy (P2PKH) Addresses Only

As of now only a P2PKH address (that starts with number "1") is used in the Blockchain.com wallet to receive cryptocurrency. Why is that bad? It is unfavorable for the users of this wallet. They spend 29% more than those using P2SH addresses.

3. Confusion with PAX and USD Digital

Changing the names of the currencies from one to another only in a Blockchain.com wallet is a rather strange decision. The key problem is that nowhere in the wallet are there any clues that this is an ERC-20 PAX token on the Ethereum blockchain. New wallet users will most likely be confused by this.
We sometimes get questions: "do we have USD Digital to buy or to sell?" and our technical support is forced to explain that it is PAX.

4. Incompetence of mobile application developers

In fact, this post was inspired by this particular problem. We will not focus on performance or shortcomings, we will just tell you about the main issue.
It is worth starting with questions. What problem does a mobile application solve when a person needs to pay for something? What is the best way to fill in the recipient address and the payment amount on the smartphone? Answer: QR code.
Scanning the QR code in this application is done not just badly, but also in such a way that creates maximum number of problems for a user.
The fact is that in the Android application when scanning code with the bitcoin:
?amount=, the value of the amount to be inserted in the corresponding field may differ from the encoded value by 1-100 Satoshi! Our team simply does not understand how this was implemented.
Do not believe? Try it yourself. Amount to insert — 0.00143452 BTC
bitcoin:3LAxDr5CxwBJT4tCejV8rpAXETz7bUH3tG?amount=0.00143452
After receiving information on such a problem from our users, we began to monitor updates to this application. After 2 updates had come out, the problem was not fixed.
And what about iOS? When scanning a QR code with a sum in iOS , the sum value is simply not inserted into the field! No comments. Bravo!
Blockchain.com wallet has different currencies, not just Bitcoin. Let's try Ethereum. You want to scan QR codes for Ethereum payment with the relevant sum? There is no such possibility. The application will respond with an "Invalid address" to all such codes:
  • eth:
    ?amount=
  • ether:
    ?amount=
  • ethereum:
    ?amount=
For BitcoinCash, the task of identifying the amount in the line is also an impossible task. Line with wallet bitcoincash:qpk0689rt3xkzlw8ap4yy72amp2zpws6zujkcgavptconsidered true, but with the amount bitcoincash:qpk0689rt3xkzlw8ap4yy72amp2zpws6zujkcgavpt?amount=0.1 — "Invalid address"
But there are applications that understand all such formats, or at least one of them. The string parsing function is pretty trivial and should not be a problem for the developer.
This article has been written based on the experience of using the application of the members of our team (who have used it for many years) and our users.
We encourage Blockchain.com to fix at least 3 of the 4 problems that we covered in this article. We still hope that the company will work on the bugs and will earn back trust of its users.
In the meantime — use other applications! ;)
The post is published on our blog:https://fixedfloat.com/blog/guides/how-blockchain-com-harms
submitted by FixedFloat to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Polkadot Launch AMA Recap

Polkadot Launch AMA Recap

The Polkadot Telegram AMA below took place on June 10, 2020

https://preview.redd.it/4ti681okap951.png?width=4920&format=png&auto=webp&s=e21f6a9a276d35bb9cdec59f46744f23c37966ef
AMA featured:
Dieter Fishbein, Ecosystem Development Lead, Web3 Foundation
Logan Saether, Technical Education, Web3 Foundation
Will Pankiewicz, Master of Validators, Parity Technologies
Moderated by Dan Reecer, Community and Growth, Polkadot & Kusama at Web3 Foundation

Transcription compiled by Theresa Boettger, Polkadot Ambassador:

Dieter Fishbein, Ecosystem Development Lead, Web3 Foundation

Dan: Hey everyone, thanks for joining us for the Polkadot Launch AMA. We have Dieter Fishbein (Head of Ecosystem Development, our business development team), Logan Saether (Technical Education), and Will Pankiewicz (Master of Validators) joining us today.
We had some great questions submitted in advance, and we’ll start by answering those and learning a bit about each of our guests. After we go through the pre-submitted questions, then we’ll open up the chat to live Q&A and the hosts will answer as many questions as they can.
We’ll start off with Dieter and ask him a set of some business-related questions.

Dieter could you introduce yourself, your background, and your role within the Polkadot ecosystem?

Dieter: I got my start in the space as a cryptography researcher at the University of Waterloo. This is where I first learned about Bitcoin and started following the space. I spent the next four years or so on the investment team for a large asset manager where I primarily focused on emerging markets. In 2017 I decided to take the plunge and join the space full-time. I worked at a small blockchain-focused VC fund and then joined the Polkadot team just over a year ago. My role at Polkadot is mainly focused on ensuring there is a vibrant community of projects building on our technology.

Q: Adoption of Polkadot of the important factors that all projects need to focus on to become more attractive to the industry. So, what is Polkadot's plan to gain more Adoption? [sic]

A (Dieter): Polkadot is fundamentally a developer-focused product so much of our adoption strategy is focused around making Polkadot an attractive product for developers. This has many elements. Right now the path for most developers to build on Polkadot is by creating a blockchain using the Substrate framework which they will later connect to Polkadot when parachains are enabled. This means that much of our adoption strategy comes down to making Substrate an attractive tool and framework. However, it’s not just enough to make building on Substrate attractive, we must also provide an incentive to these developers to actually connect their Substrate-based chain to Polkadot. Part of this incentive is the security that the Polkadot relay chain provides but another key incentive is becoming interoperable with a rich ecosystem of other projects that connect to Polkadot. This means that a key part of our adoption strategy is outreach focused. We go out there and try to convince the best projects in the space that building on our technology will provide them with significant value-add. This is not a purely technical argument. We provide significant support to projects building in our ecosystem through grants, technical support, incubatoaccelerator programs and other structured support programs such as the Substrate Builders Program (https://www.substrate.io/builders-program). I do think we really stand out in the significant, continued support that we provide to builders in our ecosystem. You can also take a look at the over 100 Grants that we’ve given from the Web3 Foundation: https://medium.com/web3foundation/web3-foundation-grants-program-reaches-100-projects-milestone-8fd2a775fd6b

Q: On moving forward through your roadmap, what are your most important next priorities? Does the Polkadot team have enough fundamentals (Funds, Community, etc.) to achieve those milestones?

A (Dieter): I would say the top priority by far is to ensure a smooth roll-out of key Polkadot features such as parachains, XCMP and other key parts of the protocol. Our recent Proof of Authority network launch was only just the beginning, it’s crucial that we carefully and successfully deploy features that allow builders to build meaningful technology. Second to that, we want to promote adoption by making more teams aware of Polkadot and how they can leverage it to build their product. Part of this comes down to the outreach that I discussed before but a major part of it is much more community-driven and many members of the team focus on this.
We are also blessed to have an awesome community to make this process easier 🙂

Q: Where can a list of Polkadot's application-specific chains can be found?

A (Dieter): The best list right now is http://www.polkaproject.com/. This is a community-led effort and the team behind it has done a terrific job. We’re also working on providing our own resource for this and we’ll share that with the community when it’s ready.

Q: Could you explain the differences and similarities between Kusama and Polkadot?

A (Dieter): Kusama is fundamentally a less robust, faster-moving version of Polkadot with less economic backing by validators. It is less robust since we will be deploying new technology to Kusama before Polkadot so it may break more frequently. It has less economic backing than Polkadot, so a network takeover is easier on Kusama than on Polkadot, lending itself more to use cases without the need for bank-like security.
In exchange for lower security and robustness, we expect the cost of a parachain lease to be lower on Kusama than Polkadot. Polkadot will always be 100% focused on security and robustness and I expect that applications that deal with high-value transactions such as those in the DeFi space will always want a Polkadot deployment, I think there will be a market for applications that are willing to trade cheap, high throughput for lower security and robustness such as those in the gaming, content distribution or social networking sectors. Check out - https://polkadot.network/kusama-polkadot-comparing-the-cousins/ for more detailed info!

Q: and for what reasons would a developer choose one over the other?

A (Dieter): Firstly, I see some earlier stage teams who are still iterating on their technology choosing to deploy to Kusama exclusively because of its lower-stakes, faster moving environment where it will be easier for them to iterate on their technology and build their user base. These will likely encompass the above sectors I identified earlier. To these teams, Polkadot becomes an eventual upgrade path for them if, and when, they are able to perfect their product, build a larger community of users and start to need the increased stability and security that Polkadot will provide.
Secondly, I suspect many teams who have their main deployment on Polkadot will also have an additional deployment on Kusama to allow them to test new features, either their tech or changes to the network, before these are deployed to Polkadot mainnet.

Logan Saether, Technical Education, Web3 Foundation

Q: Sweet, let's move over to Logan. Logan - could you introduce yourself, your background, and your role within the Polkadot ecosystem?

A (Logan): My initial involvement in the industry was as a smart contract engineer. During this time I worked on a few projects, including a reboot of the Ethereum Alarm Clock project originally by Piper Merriam. However, I had some frustrations at the time with the limitations of the EVM environment and began to look at other tools which could help me build the projects that I envisioned. This led to me looking at Substrate and completing a bounty for Web3 Foundation, after which I applied and joined the Technical Education team. My responsibilities at the Technical Education team include maintaining the Polkadot Wiki as a source of truth on the Polkadot ecosystem, creating example applications, writing technical documentation, giving talks and workshops, as well as helping initiatives such as the Thousand Validator Programme.

Q: The first technical question submitted for you was: "When will an official Polkadot mobile wallet appear?"

A (Logan): There is already an “official” wallet from Parity Technologies called the Parity Signer. Parity Signer allows you to keep your private keys on an air-gapped mobile device and to interactively sign messages using web interfaces such as Polkadot JS Apps. If you’re looking for something that is more of an interface to the blockchain as well as a wallet, you might be interested in PolkaWallet which is a community team that is building a full mobile interface for Polkadot.
For more information on Parity Signer check out the website: https://www.parity.io/signe

Q: Great thanks...our next question is: If someone already developed an application to run on Ethereum, but wants the interoperability that Polkadot will offer, are there any advantages to rebuilding with Substrate to run as a parachain on the Polkadot network instead of just keeping it on Ethereum and using the Ethereum bridge for use with Polkadot?

A (Logan): Yes, the advantage you would get from building on Substrate is more control over how your application will interact with the greater Polkadot ecosystem, as well as a larger design canvas for future iterations of your application.
Using an Ethereum bridge will probably have more cross chain latency than using a Polkadot parachain directly. The reason for this is due to the nature of Ethereum’s separate consensus protocol from Polkadot. For parachains, messages can be sent to be included in the next block with guarantees that they will be delivered. On bridged chains, your application will need to go through more routes in order to execute on the desired destination. It must first route from your application on Ethereum to the Ethereum bridge parachain, and afterward dispatch the XCMP message from the Polkadot side of the parachain. In other words, an application on Ethereum would first need to cross the bridge then send a message, while an application as a parachain would only need to send the message without needing to route across an external bridge.

Q: DOT transfers won't go live until Web3 removes the Sudo module and token holders approve the proposal to unlock them. But when will staking rewards start to be distributed? Will it have to after token transfers unlock? Or will accounts be able to accumulate rewards (still locked) once the network transitions to NPoS?

A (Logan): Staking rewards will be distributed starting with the transition to NPoS. Transfers will still be locked during the beginning of this phase, but reward payments are technically different from the normal transfer mechanism. You can read more about the launch process and steps at http://polkadot.network/launch-roadmap

Q: Next question is: I'm interested in how Cumulus/parachain development is going. ETA for when we will see the first parachain registered working on Kusama or some other public testnet like Westend maybe?

A (Logan): Parachains and Cumulus is a current high priority development objective of the Parity team. There have already been PoC parachains running with Cumulus on local testnets for months. The current work now is making the availability and validity subprotocols production ready in the Polkadot client. The best way to stay up to date would be to follow the project boards on GitHub that have delineated all of the tasks that should be done. Ideally, we can start seeing parachains on Westend soon with the first real parachains being deployed on Kusama thereafter.
The projects board can be viewed here: https://github.com/paritytech/polkadot/projects
Dan: Also...check out Basti's tweet from yesterday on the Cumulus topic: https://twitter.com/bkchstatus/1270479898696695808?s=20

Q: In what ways does Polkadot support smart contracts?

A (Logan): The philosophy behind the Polkadot Relay Chain is to be as minimal as possible, but allow arbitrary logic at the edges in the parachains. For this reason, Polkadot does not support smart contracts natively on the Relay Chain. However, it will support smart contracts on parachains. There are already a couple major initiatives out there. One initiative is to allow EVM contracts to be deployed on parachains, this includes the Substrate EVM module, Parity’s Frontier, and projects such as Moonbeam. Another initiative is to create a completely new smart contract stack that is native to Substrate. This includes the Substrate Contracts pallet, and the ink! DSL for writing smart contracts.
Learn more about Substrate's compatibility layer with Ethereum smart contracts here: https://github.com/paritytech/frontier

Will Pankiewicz, Master of Validators, Parity Technologies


Q: (Dan) Thanks for all the answers. Now we’ll start going through some staking questions with Will related to validating and nominating on Polkadot. Will - could you introduce yourself, your background, and your role within the Polkadot ecosystem?

A (Will): Sure thing. Like many others, Bitcoin drew me in back in 2013, but it wasn't until Ethereum came that I took the deep dive into working in the space full time. It was the financial infrastructure aspects of cryptocurrencies I was initially interested in, and first worked on dexes, algorithmic trading, and crypto funds. I really liked the idea of "Generalized Mining" that CoinFund came up with, and started to explore the whacky ways the crypto funds and others can both support ecosystems and be self-sustaining at the same time. This drew me to a lot of interesting experiments in what later became DeFi, as well as running validators on Proof of Stake networks. My role in the Polkadot ecosystem as “Master of Validators” is ensuring the needs of our validator community get met.

Q: Cool thanks. Our first community question was "Is it still more profitable to nominate the validators with lesser stake?"

A (Will): It depends on their commission, but generally yes it is more profitable to nominate validators with lesser stake. When validators have lesser stake, when you nominate them this makes your nomination stake a higher percentage of total stake. This means when rewards get distributed, it will be split more favorably toward you, as rewards are split by total stake percentage. Our entire rewards scheme is that every era (6 hours in Kusama, 24 hours in Polkadot), a certain amount of rewards get distributed, where that amount of rewards is dependent on the total amount of tokens staked for the entire network (50% of all tokens staked is currently optimal). These rewards from the end of an era get distributed roughly equally to all validators active in the validator set. The reward given to each validator is then split between the validators and all their nominators, determined by the total stake that each entity contributes. So if you contribute to a higher percentage of the total stake, you will earn more rewards.

Q: What does priority ranking under nominator addresses mean? For example, what does it mean that nominator A has priority 1 and nominator B has priority 6?

A (Will): Priority ranking is just the index of the nomination that gets stored on chain. It has no effect on how stake gets distributed in Phragmen or how rewards get calculated. This is only the order that the nominator chose their validators. The way that stake from a nominator gets distributed from a nominator to validators is via Phragmen, which is an algorithm that will optimally put stake behind validators so that distribution is roughly equal to those that will get in the validator set. It will try to maximize the total amount at stake in the network and maximize the stake behind minimally staked validators.

Q: On Polkadot.js, what does it mean when there are nodes waiting on Polkadot?

**A (Will):**In Polkadot there is a fixed validator set size that is determined by governance. The way validators get in the active set is by having the highest amount of total stake relative to other validators. So if the validator set size is 100, the top 100 validators by total stake will be in the validator set. Those not active in the validator set will be considered “waiting”.

Q: Another question...Is it necessary to become a waiting validator node right now?

A (Will): It's not necessary, but highly encouraged if you actively want to validate on Polkadot. The longer you are in the waiting tab, the longer you get exposure to nominators that may nominate you.

Q: Will current validators for Kusama also validate for Polkadot? How strongly should I consider their history (with Kusama) when looking to nominate a good validator for DOTs?

A (Will): A lot of Kusama validators will also be validators for Polkadot, as KSM was initially distributed to DOT holders. The early Kusama Validators will also likely be the first Polkadot validators. Being a Kusama validator should be a strong indicator for who to nominate on Polkadot, as the chaos that has ensued with Kusama has allowed validators to battle test their infrastructure. Kusama validators by now are very familiar with tooling, block explorers, terminology, common errors, log formats, upgrades, backups, and other aspects of node operation. This gives them an edge against Polkadot validators that may be new to the ecosystem. You should strongly consider well known Kusama validators when making your choices as a nominator on Polkadot.

Q: Can you go into more details about the process for becoming a DOT validator? Is it similar as the KSM 1000 validators program?

A (Will): The Process for becoming a DOT validators is first to have DOTs. You cannot be a validator without DOTs, as DOTs are used to pay transaction fees, and the minimum amount of DOTs you need is enough to create a validate transaction. After obtaining enough DOTs, you will need to set up your validator infrastructure. Ideally you should have a validator node with specs that match what we call standard hardware, as well as one or more sentry nodes to help isolate the validator node from attacks. After the infrastructure is up and running, you should have your Polkadot accounts set up right with a stash bonded to a controller account, and then submit a validate transaction, which will tell the network your nodes are ready to be a part of the network. You should then try and build a community around your validator to let others know you are trustworthy so that they will nominate you. The 1000 validators programme for Kusama is a programme that gives a certain amount of nominations from the Web3 Foundation and Parity to help bootstrap a community and reputation for validators. There may eventually be a similar type of programme for Polkadot as well.
Dan: Thanks a lot for all the answers, Will. That’s the end of the pre-submitted questions and now we’ll open the chat up to live Q&A, and our three team members will get through as many of your questions as possible.
We will take questions related to business development, technology, validating, and staking. For those wondering about DOT:
DOT tokens do not exist yet. Allocations of Polkadot's native DOT token are technically and legally non-transferable. Hence any publicized sale of DOTs is unsanctioned by Web3 Foundation and possibly fraudulent. Any official public sale of DOTs will be announced on the Web3 Foundation website. Polkadot’s launch process started in May and full network decentralization later this year, holders of DOT allocations will determine issuance and transferability. For those who participated in previous DOT sales, you can learn how to claim your DOTs here (https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/en/claims).


Telegram Community Follow-up Questions Addressed Below


Q: Polkadot looks good but it confuses me that there are so many other Blockchain projects. What should I pay attention in Polkadot to give it the importance it deserves? What are your planning to achieve with your project?

A (Will): Personally, what I think differentiates it is the governance process. Coordinating forkless upgrades and social coordination helps stand it apart.
A (Dieter): The wiki is awesome - https://wiki.polkadot.network/

Q: Over 10,000 ETH paid as a transaction fee , what if this happens on Polkadot? Is it possible we can go through governance to return it to the owner?

A: Anything is possible with governance including transaction reversals, if a network quorum is reached on a topic.
A (Logan): Polkadot transaction fees work differently than the fees on Ethereum so it's a bit more difficult to shoot yourself in the foot as the whale who sent this unfortunate transaction. See here for details on fees: https://w3f-research.readthedocs.io/en/latest/polkadot/Token%20Economics.html?highlight=transaction%20fees#relay-chain-transaction-fees-and-per-block-transaction-limits
However, there is a tip that the user can input themselves which they could accidentally set to a large amount. In this cases, yes, they could proposition governance to reduce the amount that was paid in the tip.

Q: What is the minimum ideal amount of DOT and KSM to have if you want to become a validator and how much technical knowledge do you need aside from following the docs?

A (Will): It depends on what the other validators in the ecosystem are staking as well as the validator set size. You just need to be in the top staking amount of the validator set size. So if its 100 validators, you need to be in the top 100 validators by stake.

Q: Will Web3 nominate validators? If yes, which criteria to be elected?

A (Will): Web 3 Foundation is running programs like the 1000 validators programme for Kusama. There's a possibility this will continue on for Polkadot as well after transfers are enabled. https://thousand-validators.kusama.network/#/
You will need to be an active validator to earn rewards. Only those active in the validator set earn rewards. I would recommend checking out parts of the wiki: https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/en/maintain-guides-validator-payout

Q: Is it possible to implement hastables or dag with substrate?

A (Logan): Yes.

Q: Polkadot project looks very futuristic! But, could you tell us the main role of DOT Tokens in the Polkadot Ecosystem?

A (Dan): That's a good question. The short answer is Staking, Governance, Bonding. More here: http://polkadot.network/dot-token

Q: How did you manage to prove that the consensus protocol is safe and unbreakable mathematically?

A (Dieter): We have a research teams of over a dozen scientists with PhDs and post-docs in cryptography and distributed computing who do thorough theoretical analyses on all the protocols used in Polkadot

Q: What are the prospects for NFT?

A: Already being built 🙂

Q: What will be Polkadot next roadmap for 2020 ?

A (Dieter): Building. But seriously - we will continue to add many more features and upgrades to Polkadot as well as continue to strongly focus on adoption from other builders in the ecosystem 🙂
A (Will): https://polkadot.network/launch-roadmap/
This is the launch roadmap. Ideally adding parachains and xcmp towards the end of the year

Q: How Do you stay active in terms of marketing developments during this PANDEMIC? Because I'm sure you're very excited to promote more after this settles down.

A (Dan): The main impact of covid was the impact on in-person events. We have been very active on Crowdcast for webinars since 2019, so it was quite the smooth transition to all-online events. You can see our 40+ past event recordings and follow us on Crowdcast here: https://www.crowdcast.io/polkadot. If you're interested in following our emails for updates (including online events), subscribe here: https://info.polkadot.network/subscribe

Q: Hi, who do you think is your biggest competitor in the space?

A (Dan): Polkadot is a metaprotocol that hasn't been seen in the industry up until this point. We hope to elevate the industry by providing interoperability between all major public networks as well as private blockchains.

Q: Is Polkadot a friend or competitor of Ethereum?

A: Polkadot aims to elevate the whole blockchain space with serious advancements in interoperability, governance and beyond :)

Q: When will there be hardware wallet support?

A (Will): Parity Signer works well for now. Other hardware wallets will be added pretty soon

Q: What are the attractive feature of DOT project that can attract any new users ?

A: https://polkadot.network/what-is-polkadot-a-brief-introduction/
A (Will): Buidling parachains with cross chain messaging + bridges to other chains I think will be a very appealing feature for developers

Q: According to you how much time will it take for Polkadot to get into mainstream adoption and execute all the plans set for this project?

A: We are solving many problems that have held back the blockchain industry up until now. Here is a summary in basic terms:
https://preview.redd.it/ls7i0bpm8p951.png?width=752&format=png&auto=webp&s=a8eb7bf26eac964f6b9056aa91924685ff359536

Q: When will bitpie or imtoken support DOT?

A: We are working on integrations on all the biggest and best wallet providers. ;)

Q: What event/call can we track to catch a switch to nPOS? Is it only force_new_era call? Thanks.

A (Will): If you're on riot, useful channels to follow for updates like this are #polkabot:matrix.org and #polkadot-announcements:matrix.parity.io
A (Logan): Yes this is the trigger for initiating the switch to NPoS. You can also poll the ForceEra storage for when it changes to ForceNew.

Q: What strategy will the Polkadot Team use to make new users trust its platform and be part of it?

A (Will): Pushing bleeding edge cryptography from web 3 foundation research
A (Dan): https://t.me/PolkadotOfficial/43378

Q: What technology stands behind and What are its advantages?

A (Dieter): Check out https://polkadot.network/technology/ for more info on our tech stack!

Q: What problems do you see occurring in the blockchain industry nowadays and how does your project aims to solve these problems?

A (Will): Governance I see as a huge problem. For example upgrading Bitcoin and making decisions for changing things is a very challenging process. We have robust systems of on-chain governance to help solve these coordination problems

Q: How involved are the Polkadot partners? Are they helping with the development?

A (Dieter): There are a variety of groups building in the Polkadot ecosystem. Check out http://www.polkaproject.com/ for a great list.

Q: Can you explain the role of the treasury in Polkadot?

A (Will): The treasury is for projects or people that want to build things, but don't want to go through the formal legal process of raising funds from VCs or grants or what have you. You can get paid by the community to build projects for the community.
A: There’s a whole section on the wiki about the treasury and how it functions here https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/en/mirror-learn-treasury#docsNav

Q: Any plan to introduce Polkadot on Asia, or rising market on Asia?

**A (Will):**We're globally focused

Q: What kind of impact do you expect from the Council? Although it would be elected by token holders, what kind of people you wish to see there?

A (Will): Community focused individuals like u/jam10o that want to see cool things get built and cool communities form

If you have further questions, please ask in the official Polkadot Telegram channel.
submitted by dzr9127 to dot [link] [comments]

Top Proof Of Stake Networks and Staking Coin List

Proof of stake consensus algorithm was launched as an alternative to the proof of work algorithm and since its discovery in 2012, it has been used by a number of crypto platforms seeking to become more scalable than the Bitcoin network. With one of the main objectives of the proof of work model, allowing for a decentralized network to confirm transaction instead of a third party, the proof of stake model achieves this in a different manner. Before we dive into some of the top proof of stake cryptocurrency networks right now, it is best that we get an idea of what proof of stake is.
What Is Proof Of Stake?
Proof of Stake otherwise referred to as PoS is a consensus algorithm that makes use of the coin staking format. To explain better, for users on the network to be able to mine, they need to be able to stake a certain amount of coin on the network if they are to start mining. In addition to staking a certain amount, these individuals will only mine the total amount of coins that have been staked on the network. This simply means that if a manages to stake or lock up a huge amount of coins, let’s say about 10% of the total coins on the network, they will be able to validate about 10% of the total transactions that are carried out on the network. So if a network processes about 10,000 transactions each day, these miners will validate and receive rewards for validating 10% of the total blocks. Aside from the rewards they stand to gain, these miners are also paid transaction fees of users on the network each time they validate a transaction.
There are a couple of benefits that come from making use of PoS based blockchain networks and they include;
  1. They are less expensive; unlike the PoW mechanism that requires users to invest their hard-earned funds in the purchase of expensive hardware or mining rigs, these PoS networks do not require you to pay for mining rigs. All you have to do is buy or own a certain amount of coin on the network and you can begin validating transactions and earning rewards.
  2. It is eco-friendly; unlike PoW based networks, PoS networks offer users guaranteed returns. The value of these PoS based coins does not fall like the PoW based coins unless there is a slight change in the market.
  3. On this network, stakers can decide to delegate their responsibilities to third-party agents to help them carry out.
Top Proof Of Stake Networks And Staking Coins
1. Dash (DASH)
Otherwise referred to as “Digital Cash”, DASH happens to be one of the very advanced crypto networks to adopt the PoS algorithm. DASH simply acts like liquid cash or P2P platform that is used to make payments for goods and services that are purchased daily. Currently, in most countries, DASH has been integrated as a means of payment for goods and services bought daily. In the last couple of years, DASH has implemented the InstantSend and PrivateSend features which will facilitate a fast and secure transaction for all on the network. Holders of the DASH coin can run master nodes on the network or receive rewards in DASH coins.
On the DASH network, users will have to stake about 1000 DASH coins when the price of one (1) DASH is equal to $300. While this network was built on Bitcoin’s main core it happens to focus on the privacy and quick transfer of funds aspect.
Early adopters of DASH that have a large number of DASH coins in their possession will do well to become master nodes on the network. Individuals with about $300,000 worth of DASH coins will make approximately 7.5% annual profit from becoming master nodes on the network. Those seeking to stake DASH coins will do well to ensure that they have the DASH staking wallets in their possession.
2. NEO (NEO)
Previously referred to as Antshares, NEO happens to be the first Chinese open-source blockchain project in existence. The developers of this network have referred to it as the distributed network for the smart economy. Being a PoS powered network, users on the NEO blockchain can stake their coins if they want to become miners on the network. Aside from the fact that there is a crypto platform, NEO has a token which is referred to as GAS which can be staked on any of the NEO staking wallets available. Unlike some of the other PoS based crypto networks, NEO does not require users to keep their staking wallets open.
Stakers on the NEO network can expect a 4.5% annual profit when they stake on this network. There are a couple of benefits that are associated with making use of this PoS based network and they include; it is a smart network that affords you the opportunity to send and receive coins in less than no time. The certificates, as well as the identities, are digital. Also, there is a wide range of decentralized applications (DApps).
3. Vechain (VET)
This happens to be another top PoS based network and since its launch has been able to gather attention from members of the crypto community. This network has been said to be similar to the NEO network and it offers users the opportunity to carry out fast transactions at a reduced cost. Unlike some of the other PoS based networks, Vechain focus primarily on the supply chain industry. It has allied with the Amazon web service and Walmart China. When you stake VET on the Vechain network, you are given VTHO for staking VET coins on the network. It is used in transactions and it has a return of investment of about 2% or more. Users on the network get extra with the nodes and it is easy to make use of.
One of the main benefits of this network is that it is incredibly easy to make use of and it has a long-range of partnerships. In addition to this, it has a fair ROI rate as well as other amazing bonuses that users will have to enjoy as well.
As always, the team here at Affil Coin is happy to help where we can. So, if you ever have any questions, stop by the AffilCoin Telegram chat and talk to a member of our team! Furthermore, if you want to learn more about Delegated Proof of Stake, click here and visit the AffilCoin site!
submitted by affilcoin to affilcoin [link] [comments]

UMI – the Best of Cryptocurrencies and Fiat Payment Systems

UMI – the Best of Cryptocurrencies and Fiat Payment Systems

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Greetings from the UMI Team!
The UMI cryptocurrency has been repeatedly described as a revolution in the payment system market. Most interestingly, in this case, a revolution isn't about the development of any new technologies or formulas. We just selected the best and well-tried technologies and incorporated them into something new. UMI is the best of cryptocurrencies and fiat payment systems––it has comprised all the best features and got rid of the disadvantages.
UMI vs banks
We won't compare the ways UMI and banks operate in detail in order not to get into complex technical issues, which are of no interest to us. Instead, let's have a look at the impact banks have on people on a daily basis and those of fundamental changes UMI makes to the services we regularly use.
There are banks that allow you to make financial transfers. Banks have savings accounts where money grows at a certain interest rate. Banks also have a range of mobile apps and online banking systems. All of that may appear pretty convenient. But keep in mind, the banking infrastructure, as well as VISA and MasterCard payment systems, were created long ago and based on old technologies. They are not conforming to present-day developments, mostly because they cannot ensure their users a sufficient security level.
With this in mind, instead of inventing something new, UMI improves the things that everyone is accustomed to. The result is a digital payment tool working in an absolutely familiar way. Conducting transfers with UMI is similar to making them via a bank. And even the format of UMI is much alike to conventional money––UMI and UMI-cents are the equivalent of the dollar and cents.
In UMI, just as in a bank, you have a current account (standard UMI address) and savings account––addresses used by structures for UMI staking. You can transfer money from one account to the other one in one click. The difference is that, in most banks, you receive your interest in a month at the earliest. In other words, you can get your money back with interest if you kiss it goodbye for 30 days, minimum. In UMI, earnings are accrued every second––you don't have to wait a long time for "your funds to be unlocked".
But what is the most significant is dividends. UMI staking allows any network user to earn up to 40% per month. Holding your money in a savings account even for a year, much less for a month, you will never make this profit. Why?
1) Because banks make good money on your deposits, instead of paying higher interests, they take the lion's share of what they could pay you into their pocket.
2) Secondly, a large part of your deposits is used to maintain the banking infrastructure: salaries for staff, rental payments, maintenance of offices, utility bills, and other various expenses.
3) Third, banks are not interested in making people rich, because otherwise, they will not be able to make money on loans and control people.
Let's not spout out empty rhetoric, but move on instead. The VISA and MasterCard payment systems declare their ability to process thousands of transactions per second, but in real fact, even if received funds are displayed instantly in your account, you receive a transfer after a few days only. Especially if it concerns international money transfers or ATM transfers. The truth is that VISA and MasterCard transfers are delayed by a series of confirmations required by banks and actually reach a recipient's account only in a few days.
After having been sent, any transaction can be blocked or canceled, and funds in your account can be frozen on the slightest suspicion. Even if before receiving all the confirmations required by banks, you have already withdrawn the funds via an ATM or transferred them to someone, the bank may take this amount from your account a few days later. Thus, you may surprisingly find out that your balance is negative. Keep in mind that banks charge transaction fees. Fees for oversea transfers may range from $10 up to 10% of the transaction amount. Thus, instead of $1,000, a recipient receives only $900.
The UMI network uses validator nodes which in a couple of seconds verify the correctness of transactions and allow users to check their balance for the sufficiency of funds. All transactions are instant. A transfer cannot be canceled or blocked, as well as money in your account cannot be frozen. Unlike VISA and MasterCard, transferred funds are available straight after a transaction has been added to the blockchain. Moreover, no fees are charged for that. Each and every transaction, international or not, is completely free.
Don't forget about permanent internet connection, which is required for conducting transactions with VISA and MasterCard. A validator node used by the UMI network can create any transaction, even offline one, with no Internet connection. You can send a transaction to the network via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or even a radio wave. Therefore, if there were a sudden cataclysm and people from all over the globe lost internet connection, the UMI network would easily adapt to new conditions and keep working.
UMI vs Bitcoin
Now let's compare the UMI network with the first-ever created cryptocurrency––Bitcoin. It has proved itself to be a reliable payment system, with a number of significant disadvantages, though. Let's focus on the most essential ones.
1) The transaction processing capacity of the bitcoin network is limited by the network itself. In the best-case scenario, it takes users several tens of minutes to receive their funds. However, quite often there is a several-hour, or even several-day, delay.
2) High fees. When the network is experiencing an increased load, transfer fees can skyrocket immensely. In 2017, there were cases where Bitcoin transaction fee reached a high of around $40. Under normal conditions, it's not that bad. A few-dollar fees are common for Bitcoin users.
3) Centralized mining pools. In the pursuit of profit from mining, greed-driven participants join mining pools thus undermining the idea behind decentralization and leading to centralization. The reality is that if several leading pools unite, they will control most of the hashing power and will be able to perform a 51% attack. The attackers will be able to send nonexistent bitcoins, confirm invalid transactions, and roughly speaking, manipulate the network as they like.

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Bitcoin Mining Pools Statistics Source.

The reality is that we have a slow network that creates problems for itself. Moreover, if we talk about Bitcoin in terms of programming, the Bitcoin network is more similar to physical fiat money. For this reason, any actions with the code, including the development of wallets and applications, are a tough non-typical task that only the most advanced blockchain specialists can cope with.
While using the same technologies that Bitcoin is based on, UMI betters its disadvantages and incorporates only benefits. The network doesn't limit the block processing time, but instead, do everything to shorten the processing time and increase the network capacity. Modern cryptography algorithms reduce the load on nodes, thus allowing them to process more transactions with spending less computing power. The UMI network can process 500 million transactions carried out in the Bitcoin network over 12 years in less than a week. Each transaction will be completely free.
The concept of balances UMI uses is different from that of fiat money, but has a lot in common with the idea of digital money. For this reason, using UMI is so extremely easy. In a similar way, it simplifies the process of developing and maintaining new wallets and other applications. Contributing to the UMI ecosystem's growth is extremely convenient.
So, what's the most essential? Over its 10-year history, Bitcoin has demonstrated that its implementation of the idea of decentralization doesn't work at all. This is why UMI is based on decentralization implemented in a different way. Unlike Bitcoin mining pools, users join structures that help the network grow and support its effective functioning, with no threat to its security.
UMI is something that we all already use, but much better.
Consequently, UMI is not about anything super-unique, beyond understanding and comprehension. This is about the same old money that we use on a day-to-day basis. The same financial transfers, the same deposits that we have in banks, and the same blockchain technology and decentralization that Bitcoin is based on. The only difference is that UMI implements all the above-mentioned features in a lot better and higher performing way –– which is more convenient, secure, and higher-quality. UMI is a twenty-first-century universal money tool working for the sake of all people!
submitted by UMITop to u/UMITop [link] [comments]

aelf’s Blockchain-based Digital Asset Identification Standard approved by IEEE

aelf’s Blockchain-based Digital Asset Identification Standard approved by IEEE
Author: Ma Haobo

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Recently, the Standard for Blockchain-based Digital Asset Identification, submitted by aelf, was approved by the IEEE SA Standards Board New Standards Committee (NesCom). The standard specifies methods and practices of crypto asset identification. The standard also addresses attributes of the blockchain system digit asset identification including but not limited to data structure, data format, and related asset management operation specifications.
The purpose of this standard is to improve digital asset management with an asset identification specification in blockchain systems. The standard aims to provide a data format and structure references for organizations designing digital asset identification solutions — providing digital asset services and setting up operational specifications for organizations.
Current Situation and Problems of Assets Management on the chain.
In the blockchain system, the unspecified participants usually work together under set contract rules to complete a social production and management activity on the blockchain. Some of these activities are closely related to assets, such as payments, loans, asset transactions, games and entertainment, etc. .
There are various ways to define assets within a blockchain as well as when compared to other blockchains. For example, in Ethereum, ETH is an asset that is directly constrained by the underlying code of the block chain, while a Fungible token is defined by the contract interface ERC20, and a Non-Fungible token is defined by ERC721. There are also emerging asset agreements such as ERC998 and ERC1155.
Most users utilize a blockchain through specific terminals, which usually includes a blockchain browser, wallet, decentralized applications (DAPP), etc. By defining standards through contract interfaces, these users’ terminals can handle various assets in a standardized way. These DApps usually need to adapt to different contract interfaces, but also deal with non-contract defined assets like ETH. When these terminals need to support different blockchains, they require extra work to adapt.
The number of interfaces that user terminals need to deal with is increasing with the emergence of more blockchain systems. But most functions are equivalent in the assets definition. At the same time, there is a growing need to move assets from one chain to another chain. For example, there are some BTC value anchored assets in Ethereum, USDT is issued on bitcoin network and Ethereum network at the same time, and the assets on the aelf main-chain and side-chain can be transferred directly. But there is not a unified standard to solve the cross-chain data communication problem in the whole blockchain industry.
What a common asset standard might do to an industry
The birth of wETH is a great place to talk about “industry change” . wETH, which is Wrapped Ether, is an ETH asset Wrapped under ERC20. As mentioned above, ETH is a non-contractual asset, but why redefine it under ERC20? Some decentralised exchanges in Ethereum, which typically deal with ERC20 assets. But ETH, as one of the key assets in Ethereum, also needed to be backed by these decentralised exchanges, so wETH was born. Users can get the same amount wETH after locking ETH in the contract. Accordingly, users will be able to get the same amount ETH by destroying the wETH in the contract, so users can exchange any ERC20 Token including the ETH in these decentralized exchanges. This seems to be a good solution. However the transformation operation on the chain may bring permanent system complexity.
Users’ needs will always be different. After solving the problems of Eth and wETH, people hope to adapt the transaction to BTC. Due to the isomeric chain, there is no good atomic transfer scheme so far. Most BTC assets anchored in Ethereum are anchored by mortgages. The risk of the centralized BTC mortgage scheme lies in the safe custody of the mortgaged BTC. Systematic risks associated with the Ethereum on-chain mortgaged asset revolves around price fluctuations. Moreover, each scheme is neither simple nor elegant. When simple requirements face complex solutions, we need a simple solution.
Challenges may also arise when conducting Defi activities on a single chain as Ethereum transaction volume increases. When the trading volume increased in March 2020, the Maker’s data source could not keep up with outside real prices, and some mortgage orders went awry. When a single chain is not big enough to handle a high number of data transactions, it may be better to process these assets on higher performance cross chains, such as EOS. But we can’t deal with the ERC20 assets on EOS. Of course, aelf can not currently deal with ERC20 assets.
Current blockchain systems, on-chain assets, and especially fungible tokens, have special commonalities. Some cryptocurrency wallets have achieved compatibility with multiple blockchain systems. A unified blockchain asset standard is not specific to a certain kind of blockchain system and can drastically reduce the systemic costs of the entire industry.

IEEE Digital Asset Standard Proposals Overview

The IEEE digital asset proposal, submitted by aelf, defines the digital asset standard in terms of data structure, data format specification and management operation specifications related to asset identification.
Combined with the digital assets demand of blockchain systems, such as public and alliance chains, a flexible asset standard with strong versatility and multiple options is necessary.
In this standard, some assets’ properties will be defined, such as name, supply, decimal places, etc. Some basic operations are also defined, such as distribution, destruction, migration, and so on.
At the same time, we will define the standard form of cross-chain transfers on the premise that cross-chain data can be synchronized normally. In this regard, the aelf team members are continuing to invest in research and development. The aelf team also launched the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP), and held cross-chain transfer testing and a hacker bounty between the Ethereum and aelf testnet.
Expectations and perspectives on digital asset standards
If such a standard can be implemented, users can use a client to process various digital assets without difference. For example, if a user got a rare item in the EOS blockchain game, he can also sell the item to get USDT in an NFT exchange on Ethereum, and then sell the USDT to buy the BTC on the unique side-chain of aelf’s decentralized exchange (BTC/USDT), where only transactions for the conversion of BTC to USDT are processed.
Based on existing mainstream blockchain systems, it is difficult to achieve pre-compatibility. The first decade of blockchain is a decade of high-speed development in which new ideas and methods are constantly emerging. Therefore, it may be difficult to implement all the functions defined in the digital assets standard when the existing blockchain is not compatible with the standard protocols.
It is hoped that the digital assets standard can be easily implemented by each blockchain system. If a function is unique to a specific blockchain system, it should not be included in the standard.
After establishing this standard, it is expected to receive increasing support from multiple chains. When blockchain technology is a common feature utilized in mainstream applications, it can speed up assets’ liquidity.
submitted by Floris-Jan to aelfofficial [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

Weekly Update: Parachute Crypto League, new assets on Voyager’s Interest Program, Fantom Lachesis now ABCI compatible, CyberFM + Blockchain Radio... – 1 May - 7 May'20

Weekly Update: Parachute Crypto League, new assets on Voyager’s Interest Program, Fantom Lachesis now ABCI compatible, CyberFM + Blockchain Radio... – 1 May - 7 May'20
Hi everyone, it’s been a difficult few weeks for everyone around the world with a constant barrage of sobering news – from COVID-19 to super cyclonic storms to George Floyd. I hope this update offers some much needed respite. Here’s your week at Parachute + partners (1 May - 7 May'20):

Congratulations to Foo for winning the inaugural Parachute Crypto League (which started last week). New leagues (including ones with $PAR prizes) were added this week. New Parachute league was added as well. How does it work? Click here to find out. Hope you got a chance to partake in the Tiproom giveaway event. Bose hosted a Football-themed trivia in TTR for some sweet $PAR rewards. Noice! Gamerboy’s random quiz for 1k $PAR per question got everyone scratching their heads. Unique and Victor’s trivias were pretty as well. Charlotte changed up the format of standard tiproom quizzes with a new one this week. Cap shared a sneak peek of what’s to come in the next few weeks. New $PAR use-case as well. Plus, latest digestives coming up. The 2FT ongoing theme continued with "videos featuring bands or artists whose name starts with the letters U, V, W, X or Y" this week. Check out all the cool music that got posted from Sebastian’s playlist. Epic gif Peace Love. Haha! Want to get some $PAR for staying in shape during the lockdown? Don’t forget to check out the TTR Pushups Contest. And if you were a fan of Jason’s Financial Fridays in 2gether, stay tuned for next week since it is coming back to Parachute. ParJar is currently at 32k+ users and 1.4M+ tips. Epic!
Jason shared a sneak peek into his computing setup. Pretty cool!
aXpire COO Matthew Markham wrote about the effect of legal billing software on law practice management. The monthly 200k $AXPR burn can be tracked here. 2gether CEO Ramon Ferraz routinely sends out emailers with project updates to all Founders (registered 2gether members). Click here to check out the latest. The crew also compiled a list of 7 books to read in order to learn about cryptocurrencies. Voyager introduced $XRP (Ripple), $EOS, $XLM (Stellar), $OMG (OmiseGO) and $ZRX (0x) to its Interest Program. Read more about it here. They celebrated it with a massive 5k $XRP giveaway along with an interest boost program. CEO Stephen Ehrlich sat down for an interview on Scott Melker’s (The Wolf of All Streets) podcast this week. Stephen was also interviewed by Jason Hartman (host of Creating Wealth Show). Switch released the first set of a 10 part series blog posts this week chronicling the story of the project starting with the beginning, move from Ethershift to Switch, launch of SwitchDex and the various Switch tokens. More to come next week. Fantom submitted a proposal to the MakerDAO community for adding $FTM as a collateral for $DAI. The latest technical update was published as well. The update covers news such as Fantom’s consensus protocol now being compatible to Application BlockChain Interface (ABCI). ABCI allows blockchain "transactions to be processed in any programming language". Saweet! Read more about ABCI compatibility here. The first Uptrennd Halvening ($1UP gets doubly difficult to earn) is expected to happen around the time of bitcoin halvening. Altcoin Buzz talked about it in their latest video. Huge congratulations on crossing 100k members! Uptrennd also announced a Citizenship program aimed at improving the overall quality of posts and comments by offering more giving power to higher ranked members. Jeff also sat down for interviews with Scott Cunningham for BeInCrypto and with Cash Alternative TV this week.
Amazing achievement, Uptrennd!
Following the launch of Pangaea Phase 3 last week, Harmony started an incentivised testnet staking program this week for delegators in partnership with Binance. The April #pow thread (i.e. project updates from April) can be found here. It was also summarised into an article. If you missed last week’s AMA, you can catch up from the transcript. Pangaea Phase 3 testing now has 1k+ validators and delegators. Noice! Part 2 from last week’s smart contract webinar was released. Harmony's Edgar Aroutiounian gave a presentation at Ready Layer One's online conference on BLS Aggregate Signatures. The project joined Indian state Telangana’s Blockchain District Accelerator program T-Block Accelerator as an official platform partner. Cointelegraph covered this news as well. The team also shared the latest updates through a community hangout. IntelliShare founder Raymond Xiong will appear for an AMA with CoinKeeper next week. Elections for the 6th Autonomous Committee started this week. GET Protocol shared their thoughts on how to reopen Dutch museums safely. COTI’s April rewards were distributed. Crypto analysis collective Trade Dog’s in-dept project review was released. Congratulations on getting the highest rating. If you have missed the events of April, the latest newsletter’s got your back. DoYourTip announced a partnership with InFocus Games to have their mascot Tipply as a playable character in the Pathfinders game in the form of an ERC1155 asset. The demo is live already. Have fun gaming! A DYT trading league on Crypto Leagues was started as well.
Harmony’s Pangaea P3 testing turned out to be a success with high participation throughout
Read all about Opacity’s April updates here. District0x’s latest weekly update report can be read here. The latest Hydro blogpost cleared some FAQs about prepaid cards. Community requests for the latest Sentivate update was closed this week. The update includes browser upgrade, devMode toggles etc. The code commits can be tracked on GitHub. Check out how stream and play works here. If you are worried about censorship resistance of the Universal Web, have a read of this tweet thread. Plus, a $BTC giveaway contest was launched by the crew as well. Chief Engagement Officer at OST, Simona Pop, spoke at the first ever Ethereal Virtual Summit this week in addition to speaking at Ready Layer One’s community event (as mentioned in the last update). The SelfKey team explored if there was a causal relationship between developer activity and market cap of a project. The data breach compilation article was updated. The crew will be hosting an AMA next week. The progress report for April was published. Now that Constellation’s Hypergraph Mainnet is live, read all about the current status and what next here. The team sat down for an AMA with KuCoin. The community-built balance-checker lets you look at mainnet wallet balances. The Yazom Mobile app got approved by Google Play. You can register for early access on the website. Blockchain Radio was integrated with CyberFM this week. This means all 17 featured shows and 23 radio hosts of Blockchain Radio will now be available on the CyberFM app.

And with that, we close for another week in the Parachuteverse. See you again with another update. Ciao.
submitted by abhijoysarkar to ParachuteToken [link] [comments]

Understanding SegWit

Understanding SegWit
https://preview.redd.it/tb8bvi3nec351.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c02d9d52f7b00d460ad0ccf87d069e1fc2d31b2
The First layer scaling solution is comprised of 3 different scaling mechanisms:
· Sharding
· Hard fork
· SegWit
In my last two articles, I have already covered Hard Fork and Sharding. So here in this article, I will focus on the last scaling solution i.e SegWit.
What is SegWit?
SegWit stands for Segregating Witness
i.e separating the signatures from the transactions.
In this process, certain parts of a transaction are removed, which will free up space so that more transactions can be added to the chain. The idea behind using this method is to overcome the block size limit of blockchain transactions. In simple terms, SegWit changed the way data are stored, therefore helping the Bitcoin network to run faster and more smoothly.
It was suggested as a soft fork change in the transaction format of Bitcoin in the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal number BIP141.
Problem Statement
In the Bitcoin platform, Blocks are getting generated every 10 minutes and are constrained to a maximum size of 1 megabyte (MB). As the number of transactions is increasing, more blocks need to be added to the chain. But due to the block size constraint, only a certain number of transactions can be added to a block. The weight of the transactions can cause delays in processing and verifying transactions. Sometimes, it takes hours to confirm a transaction as valid. This can slow down further when the network is busy.
The Solution
To overcome the block size limit issue and to enhance the transaction speed, the transaction is divided into two segments. Removing the unlocking signature (witness) from the original portion and appending it as a separate structure at the end. The original portion will still have the sender and receiver data, and the new "witness" structure would contain scripts and signatures. The original data segment would be counted normally, but the new "witness" segment becomes one-fourth of its original size.
Digital signature accounts for 65% of the space in a given transaction.
SegWit is backward compatible, which means nodes that are updated with the SegWit Bitcoin protocol can still work with nodes that haven’t been updated.
SegWit measures blocks by block weight.
The formula used to calculate block weight:
(tx size with witness data stripped) * 3 + (tx size)
Since segregated witness creates a sidechain where witness data is stored, it prevents transaction IDs from being altered by dishonest users. It also addresses signature malleability, by serializing signatures separately from the rest of the transaction data, so that the transaction ID is no longer malleable.
History
Pieter Wuille, a bitcoin developer, first proposed the concept of SegWit.
On 24 July 2017 as a part of the software upgrade process i.e Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91, the concept of Segregated Witness is activated at block 477,120.
Within one week of implementation, the bitcoin price seen a spike of 50%. The transaction usage rate using SegWit further increased from 7% to 10% in the first week of October. As of February 2018, SegWit transactions exceed 30%.
However, a group of China-based bitcoin miners were unhappy with the implementation and later forked to created Bitcoin Cash.
Lightning Network - Layer 2 solution
Lightning Network operates on top of bitcoin and is referred to as a “Layer 2” component. It is an off-chain micropayment system that is designed to enhance the transaction speed in the blockchain network.
SegWit acts as a base component for the Lightning Network. By implementing SegWit, the transaction malleability issue can be prevented which will allow this secure payment system to process millions of transactions per second in the Bitcoin network.
Advantages of SegWit:
· Prevents transaction malleability problem.
· Prevents signature malleability problem.
· Helps in scaling the bitcoin network.
· Increases block size.
· Reduced transaction fees.
· Acts as a base for the lightning protocol.
Conclusion
There is no doubt that Bitcoin technology is very revolutionary but like any other technology, it has certain drawbacks as well as challenges. Scaling is one of them which has restricted in large scale applications adopted. It is capable of processing only 7-10 transactions per second on the base layer. Many developers, researchers from the Bitcoin community are working hard to overcome the problem. SegWit along with the Lightning Network together aiming to allow Bitcoin to process millions (or more) transactions per second. But the real scenario will depend on the success of future projects.

Read More: A Guide to Smart Contracts
submitted by RumaDas to BlockChain_info [link] [comments]

Blockchain tutorial 27: Bitcoin raw transaction and transaction id Mining Bitcoin with Excel Blockchain USE CASES - Programmer explains How to send and receive bitcoin in your block chain wallet Free Bitcoin Mining  Bitcoin Generator 2020  Payment Proof

Block file format: The block is represented as a file in JSON format; Merkle root: Merkle root represents the hash of the root of merkle tree created as a result of combining hash of children nodes. Leaf of the merkle tree represents the hash of the transaction. It takes up 32 bytes of storage. It forms part of Block header. Bitcoin Blockchain Technology Due.com Due is a payments, eCash, online invoicing, time tracking, global payments and digital wallet solution for freelancers, small business owners and companies of Bitcoin Core treats its block database files as 100% accurate and trustworthy, whereas during the normal initial sync it treats each block offered by a peer as invalid until proven otherwise. If an attacker is able to modify your block database files, then they can do all sorts of evil things which could cause you to lose bitcoins. Bitcoin version 0.1, the original Bitcoin codebase implementation, is written in the coding language C++ and blocks that were mined in the early days used a Windows GUI mining application. Bitcoin Core initial synchronization will take time and download a lot of data. You should make sure that you have enough bandwidth and storage for the full block chain size (over 200GB). If you have a good Internet connection, you can help strengthen the network by keeping your PC running with Bitcoin Core and port 8333 open.

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Blockchain tutorial 27: Bitcoin raw transaction and transaction id

This is part 27 of the Blockchain tutorial. This tutorial explains: - What Bitcoin raw transaction is. - Shows an example of a raw transaction using the very first transaction on the Genesis block. This bitcoin miner tool works now in july 2020, ive been using it or couple of weeks now and made huge diffrence in my life! bitcoin block pro online works on android device or iso iphone app. -To receive bitcoins from another person, simply click on the request option down on the right of the screen. Your wallet address and ur QR code will appear. Simply copy the wallet address and ... A Block of Crypto 43,211 views. ... 1 Application - Duration: 8:46. Trust Me Im An Engineer 1,770 views. 8:46. Live Bitcoin Trading With DeriBot on Deribit DeriBot Backup 130 watching. Live now; Bitcoin mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin's public ledger of past transactions or blockchain. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a ...

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