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Technical: Taproot: Why Activate?

This is a follow-up on https://old.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hqzp14/technical_the_path_to_taproot_activation/
Taproot! Everybody wants it!! But... you might ask yourself: sure, everybody else wants it, but why would I, sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, want it? Surely I can be better than everybody else because I swapped XXX fiat for Bitcoin unlike all those nocoiners?
And it is important for you to know the reasons why you, o sovereign Bitcoiner, would want Taproot activated. After all, your nodes (or the nodes your wallets use, which if you are SPV, you hopefully can pester to your wallet vendoimplementor about) need to be upgraded in order for Taproot activation to actually succeed instead of becoming a hot sticky mess.
First, let's consider some principles of Bitcoin.
I'm sure most of us here would agree that the above are very important principles of Bitcoin and that these are principles we would not be willing to remove. If anything, we would want those principles strengthened (especially the last one, financial privacy, which current Bitcoin is only sporadically strong with: you can get privacy, it just requires effort to do so).
So, how does Taproot affect those principles?

Taproot and Your /Coins

Most HODLers probably HODL their coins in singlesig addresses. Sadly, switching to Taproot would do very little for you (it gives a mild discount at spend time, at the cost of a mild increase in fee at receive time (paid by whoever sends to you, so if it's a self-send from a P2PKH or bech32 address, you pay for this); mostly a wash).
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash, so the Taproot output spends 12 bytes more; spending from a P2WPKH requires revealing a 32-byte public key later, which is not needed with Taproot, and Taproot signatures are about 9 bytes smaller than P2WPKH signatures, but the 32 bytes plus 9 bytes is divided by 4 because of the witness discount, so it saves about 11 bytes; mostly a wash, it increases blockweight by about 1 virtual byte, 4 weight for each Taproot-output-input, compared to P2WPKH-output-input).
However, as your HODLings grow in value, you might start wondering if multisignature k-of-n setups might be better for the security of your savings. And it is in multisignature that Taproot starts to give benefits!
Taproot switches to using Schnorr signing scheme. Schnorr makes key aggregation -- constructing a single public key from multiple public keys -- almost as trivial as adding numbers together. "Almost" because it involves some fairly advanced math instead of simple boring number adding, but hey when was the last time you added up your grocery list prices by hand huh?
With current P2SH and P2WSH multisignature schemes, if you have a 2-of-3 setup, then to spend, you need to provide two different signatures from two different public keys. With Taproot, you can create, using special moon math, a single public key that represents your 2-of-3 setup. Then you just put two of your devices together, have them communicate to each other (this can be done airgapped, in theory, by sending QR codes: the software to do this is not even being built yet, but that's because Taproot hasn't activated yet!), and they will make a single signature to authorize any spend from your 2-of-3 address. That's 73 witness bytes -- 18.25 virtual bytes -- of signatures you save!
And if you decide that your current setup with 1-of-1 P2PKH / P2WPKH addresses is just fine as-is: well, that's the whole point of a softfork: backwards-compatibility; you can receive from Taproot users just fine, and once your wallet is updated for Taproot-sending support, you can send to Taproot users just fine as well!
(P2WPKH and P2WSH -- SegWit v0 -- addresses start with bc1q; Taproot -- SegWit v1 --- addresses start with bc1p, in case you wanted to know the difference; in bech32 q is 0, p is 1)
Now how about HODLers who keep all, or some, of their coins on custodial services? Well, any custodial service worth its salt would be doing at least 2-of-3, or probably something even bigger, like 11-of-15. So your custodial service, if it switched to using Taproot internally, could save a lot more (imagine an 11-of-15 getting reduced from 11 signatures to just 1!), which --- we can only hope! --- should translate to lower fees and better customer service from your custodial service!
So I think we can say, very accurately, that the Bitcoin principle --- that YOU are in control of your money --- can only be helped by Taproot (if you are doing multisignature), and, because P2PKH and P2WPKH remain validly-usable addresses in a Taproot future, will not be harmed by Taproot. Its benefit to this principle might be small (it mostly only benefits multisignature users) but since it has no drawbacks with this (i.e. singlesig users can continue to use P2WPKH and P2PKH still) this is still a nice, tidy win!
(even singlesig users get a minor benefit, in that multisig users will now reduce their blockchain space footprint, so that fees can be kept low for everybody; so for example even if you have your single set of private keys engraved on titanium plates sealed in an airtight box stored in a safe buried in a desert protected by angry nomads riding giant sandworms because you're the frickin' Kwisatz Haderach, you still gain some benefit from Taproot)
And here's the important part: if P2PKH/P2WPKH is working perfectly fine with you and you decide to never use Taproot yourself, Taproot will not affect you detrimentally. First do no harm!

Taproot and Your Contracts

No one is an island, no one lives alone. Give and you shall receive. You know: by trading with other people, you can gain expertise in some obscure little necessity of the world (and greatly increase your productivity in that little field), and then trade the products of your expertise for necessities other people have created, all of you thereby gaining gains from trade.
So, contracts, which are basically enforceable agreements that facilitate trading with people who you do not personally know and therefore might not trust.
Let's start with a simple example. You want to buy some gewgaws from somebody. But you don't know them personally. The seller wants the money, you want their gewgaws, but because of the lack of trust (you don't know them!! what if they're scammers??) neither of you can benefit from gains from trade.
However, suppose both of you know of some entity that both of you trust. That entity can act as a trusted escrow. The entity provides you security: this enables the trade, allowing both of you to get gains from trade.
In Bitcoin-land, this can be implemented as a 2-of-3 multisignature. The three signatories in the multisgnature would be you, the gewgaw seller, and the escrow. You put the payment for the gewgaws into this 2-of-3 multisignature address.
Now, suppose it turns out neither of you are scammers (whaaaat!). You receive the gewgaws just fine and you're willing to pay up for them. Then you and the gewgaw seller just sign a transaction --- you and the gewgaw seller are 2, sufficient to trigger the 2-of-3 --- that spends from the 2-of-3 address to a singlesig the gewgaw seller wants (or whatever address the gewgaw seller wants).
But suppose some problem arises. The seller gave you gawgews instead of gewgaws. Or you decided to keep the gewgaws but not sign the transaction to release the funds to the seller. In either case, the escrow is notified, and if it can sign with you to refund the funds back to you (if the seller was a scammer) or it can sign with the seller to forward the funds to the seller (if you were a scammer).
Taproot helps with this: like mentioned above, it allows multisignature setups to produce only one signature, reducing blockchain space usage, and thus making contracts --- which require multiple people, by definition, you don't make contracts with yourself --- is made cheaper (which we hope enables more of these setups to happen for more gains from trade for everyone, also, moon and lambos).
(technology-wise, it's easier to make an n-of-n than a k-of-n, making a k-of-n would require a complex setup involving a long ritual with many communication rounds between the n participants, but an n-of-n can be done trivially with some moon math. You can, however, make what is effectively a 2-of-3 by using a three-branch SCRIPT: either 2-of-2 of you and seller, OR 2-of-2 of you and escrow, OR 2-of-2 of escrow and seller. Fortunately, Taproot adds a facility to embed a SCRIPT inside a public key, so you can have a 2-of-2 Taprooted address (between you and seller) with a SCRIPT branch that can instead be spent with 2-of-2 (you + escrow) OR 2-of-2 (seller + escrow), which implements the three-branched SCRIPT above. If neither of you are scammers (hopefully the common case) then you both sign using your keys and never have to contact the escrow, since you are just using the escrow public key without coordinating with them (because n-of-n is trivial but k-of-n requires setup with communication rounds), so in the "best case" where both of you are honest traders, you also get a privacy boost, in that the escrow never learns you have been trading on gewgaws, I mean ewww, gawgews are much better than gewgaws and therefore I now judge you for being a gewgaw enthusiast, you filthy gewgawer).

Taproot and Your Contracts, Part 2: Cryptographic Boogaloo

Now suppose you want to buy some data instead of things. For example, maybe you have some closed-source software in trial mode installed, and want to pay the developer for the full version. You want to pay for an activation code.
This can be done, today, by using an HTLC. The developer tells you the hash of the activation code. You pay to an HTLC, paying out to the developer if it reveals the preimage (the activation code), or refunding the money back to you after a pre-agreed timeout. If the developer claims the funds, it has to reveal the preimage, which is the activation code, and you can now activate your software. If the developer does not claim the funds by the timeout, you get refunded.
And you can do that, with HTLCs, today.
Of course, HTLCs do have problems:
Fortunately, with Schnorr (which is enabled by Taproot), we can now use the Scriptless Script constuction by Andrew Poelstra. This Scriptless Script allows a new construction, the PTLC or Pointlocked Timelocked Contract. Instead of hashes and preimages, just replace "hash" with "point" and "preimage" with "scalar".
Or as you might know them: "point" is really "public key" and "scalar" is really a "private key". What a PTLC does is that, given a particular public key, the pointlocked branch can be spent only if the spender reveals the private key of the given public key to you.
Another nice thing with PTLCs is that they are deniable. What appears onchain is just a single 2-of-2 signature between you and the developemanufacturer. It's like a magic trick. This signature has no special watermarks, it's a perfectly normal signature (the pledge). However, from this signature, plus some datta given to you by the developemanufacturer (known as the adaptor signature) you can derive the private key of a particular public key you both agree on (the turn). Anyone scraping the blockchain will just see signatures that look just like every other signature, and as long as nobody manages to hack you and get a copy of the adaptor signature or the private key, they cannot get the private key behind the public key (point) that the pointlocked branch needs (the prestige).
(Just to be clear, the public key you are getting the private key from, is distinct from the public key that the developemanufacturer will use for its funds. The activation key is different from the developer's onchain Bitcoin key, and it is the activation key whose private key you will be learning, not the developer's/manufacturer's onchain Bitcoin key).
So:
Taproot lets PTLCs exist onchain because they enable Schnorr, which is a requirement of PTLCs / Scriptless Script.
(technology-wise, take note that Scriptless Script works only for the "pointlocked" branch of the contract; you need normal Script, or a pre-signed nLockTimed transaction, for the "timelocked" branch. Since Taproot can embed a script, you can have the Taproot pubkey be a 2-of-2 to implement the Scriptless Script "pointlocked" branch, then have a hidden script that lets you recover the funds with an OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY after the timeout if the seller does not claim the funds.)

Quantum Quibbles!

Now if you were really paying attention, you might have noticed this parenthetical:
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash...)
So wait, Taproot uses raw 32-byte public keys, and not public key hashes? Isn't that more quantum-vulnerable??
Well, in theory yes. In practice, they probably are not.
It's not that hashes can be broken by quantum computes --- they're still not. Instead, you have to look at how you spend from a P2WPKH/P2PKH pay-to-public-key-hash.
When you spend from a P2PKH / P2WPKH, you have to reveal the public key. Then Bitcoin hashes it and checks if this matches with the public-key-hash, and only then actually validates the signature for that public key.
So an unconfirmed transaction, floating in the mempools of nodes globally, will show, in plain sight for everyone to see, your public key.
(public keys should be public, that's why they're called public keys, LOL)
And if quantum computers are fast enough to be of concern, then they are probably fast enough that, in the several minutes to several hours from broadcast to confirmation, they have already cracked the public key that is openly broadcast with your transaction. The owner of the quantum computer can now replace your unconfirmed transaction with one that pays the funds to itself. Even if you did not opt-in RBF, miners are still incentivized to support RBF on RBF-disabled transactions.
So the extra hash is not as significant a protection against quantum computers as you might think. Instead, the extra hash-and-compare needed is just extra validation effort.
Further, if you have ever, in the past, spent from the address, then there exists already a transaction indelibly stored on the blockchain, openly displaying the public key from which quantum computers can derive the private key. So those are still vulnerable to quantum computers.
For the most part, the cryptographers behind Taproot (and Bitcoin Core) are of the opinion that quantum computers capable of cracking Bitcoin pubkeys are unlikely to appear within a decade or two.
So:
For now, the homomorphic and linear properties of elliptic curve cryptography provide a lot of benefits --- particularly the linearity property is what enables Scriptless Script and simple multisignature (i.e. multisignatures that are just 1 signature onchain). So it might be a good idea to take advantage of them now while we are still fairly safe against quantum computers. It seems likely that quantum-safe signature schemes are nonlinear (thus losing these advantages).

Summary

I Wanna Be The Taprooter!

So, do you want to help activate Taproot? Here's what you, mister sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, can do!

But I Hate Taproot!!

That's fine!

Discussions About Taproot Activation

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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!
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[ Bitcoin ] Technical: Taproot: Why Activate?

Topic originally posted in Bitcoin by almkglor [link]
This is a follow-up on https://old.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hqzp14/technical_the_path_to_taproot_activation/
Taproot! Everybody wants it!! But... you might ask yourself: sure, everybody else wants it, but why would I, sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, want it? Surely I can be better than everybody else because I swapped XXX fiat for Bitcoin unlike all those nocoiners?
And it is important for you to know the reasons why you, o sovereign Bitcoiner, would want Taproot activated. After all, your nodes (or the nodes your wallets use, which if you are SPV, you hopefully can pester to your wallet vendoimplementor about) need to be upgraded in order for Taproot activation to actually succeed instead of becoming a hot sticky mess.
First, let's consider some principles of Bitcoin.
I'm sure most of us here would agree that the above are very important principles of Bitcoin and that these are principles we would not be willing to remove. If anything, we would want those principles strengthened (especially the last one, financial privacy, which current Bitcoin is only sporadically strong with: you can get privacy, it just requires effort to do so).
So, how does Taproot affect those principles?

Taproot and Your /Coins

Most HODLers probably HODL their coins in singlesig addresses. Sadly, switching to Taproot would do very little for you (it gives a mild discount at spend time, at the cost of a mild increase in fee at receive time (paid by whoever sends to you, so if it's a self-send from a P2PKH or bech32 address, you pay for this); mostly a wash).
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash, so the Taproot output spends 12 bytes more; spending from a P2WPKH requires revealing a 32-byte public key later, which is not needed with Taproot, and Taproot signatures are about 9 bytes smaller than P2WPKH signatures, but the 32 bytes plus 9 bytes is divided by 4 because of the witness discount, so it saves about 11 bytes; mostly a wash, it increases blockweight by about 1 virtual byte, 4 weight for each Taproot-output-input, compared to P2WPKH-output-input).
However, as your HODLings grow in value, you might start wondering if multisignature k-of-n setups might be better for the security of your savings. And it is in multisignature that Taproot starts to give benefits!
Taproot switches to using Schnorr signing scheme. Schnorr makes key aggregation -- constructing a single public key from multiple public keys -- almost as trivial as adding numbers together. "Almost" because it involves some fairly advanced math instead of simple boring number adding, but hey when was the last time you added up your grocery list prices by hand huh?
With current P2SH and P2WSH multisignature schemes, if you have a 2-of-3 setup, then to spend, you need to provide two different signatures from two different public keys. With Taproot, you can create, using special moon math, a single public key that represents your 2-of-3 setup. Then you just put two of your devices together, have them communicate to each other (this can be done airgapped, in theory, by sending QR codes: the software to do this is not even being built yet, but that's because Taproot hasn't activated yet!), and they will make a single signature to authorize any spend from your 2-of-3 address. That's 73 witness bytes -- 18.25 virtual bytes -- of signatures you save!
And if you decide that your current setup with 1-of-1 P2PKH / P2WPKH addresses is just fine as-is: well, that's the whole point of a softfork: backwards-compatibility; you can receive from Taproot users just fine, and once your wallet is updated for Taproot-sending support, you can send to Taproot users just fine as well!
(P2WPKH and P2WSH -- SegWit v0 -- addresses start with bc1q; Taproot -- SegWit v1 --- addresses start with bc1p, in case you wanted to know the difference; in bech32 q is 0, p is 1)
Now how about HODLers who keep all, or some, of their coins on custodial services? Well, any custodial service worth its salt would be doing at least 2-of-3, or probably something even bigger, like 11-of-15. So your custodial service, if it switched to using Taproot internally, could save a lot more (imagine an 11-of-15 getting reduced from 11 signatures to just 1!), which --- we can only hope! --- should translate to lower fees and better customer service from your custodial service!
So I think we can say, very accurately, that the Bitcoin principle --- that YOU are in control of your money --- can only be helped by Taproot (if you are doing multisignature), and, because P2PKH and P2WPKH remain validly-usable addresses in a Taproot future, will not be harmed by Taproot. Its benefit to this principle might be small (it mostly only benefits multisignature users) but since it has no drawbacks with this (i.e. singlesig users can continue to use P2WPKH and P2PKH still) this is still a nice, tidy win!
(even singlesig users get a minor benefit, in that multisig users will now reduce their blockchain space footprint, so that fees can be kept low for everybody; so for example even if you have your single set of private keys engraved on titanium plates sealed in an airtight box stored in a safe buried in a desert protected by angry nomads riding giant sandworms because you're the frickin' Kwisatz Haderach, you still gain some benefit from Taproot)
And here's the important part: if P2PKH/P2WPKH is working perfectly fine with you and you decide to never use Taproot yourself, Taproot will not affect you detrimentally. First do no harm!

Taproot and Your Contracts

No one is an island, no one lives alone. Give and you shall receive. You know: by trading with other people, you can gain expertise in some obscure little necessity of the world (and greatly increase your productivity in that little field), and then trade the products of your expertise for necessities other people have created, all of you thereby gaining gains from trade.
So, contracts, which are basically enforceable agreements that facilitate trading with people who you do not personally know and therefore might not trust.
Let's start with a simple example. You want to buy some gewgaws from somebody. But you don't know them personally. The seller wants the money, you want their gewgaws, but because of the lack of trust (you don't know them!! what if they're scammers??) neither of you can benefit from gains from trade.
However, suppose both of you know of some entity that both of you trust. That entity can act as a trusted escrow. The entity provides you security: this enables the trade, allowing both of you to get gains from trade.
In Bitcoin-land, this can be implemented as a 2-of-3 multisignature. The three signatories in the multisgnature would be you, the gewgaw seller, and the escrow. You put the payment for the gewgaws into this 2-of-3 multisignature address.
Now, suppose it turns out neither of you are scammers (whaaaat!). You receive the gewgaws just fine and you're willing to pay up for them. Then you and the gewgaw seller just sign a transaction --- you and the gewgaw seller are 2, sufficient to trigger the 2-of-3 --- that spends from the 2-of-3 address to a singlesig the gewgaw seller wants (or whatever address the gewgaw seller wants).
But suppose some problem arises. The seller gave you gawgews instead of gewgaws. Or you decided to keep the gewgaws but not sign the transaction to release the funds to the seller. In either case, the escrow is notified, and if it can sign with you to refund the funds back to you (if the seller was a scammer) or it can sign with the seller to forward the funds to the seller (if you were a scammer).
Taproot helps with this: like mentioned above, it allows multisignature setups to produce only one signature, reducing blockchain space usage, and thus making contracts --- which require multiple people, by definition, you don't make contracts with yourself --- is made cheaper (which we hope enables more of these setups to happen for more gains from trade for everyone, also, moon and lambos).
(technology-wise, it's easier to make an n-of-n than a k-of-n, making a k-of-n would require a complex setup involving a long ritual with many communication rounds between the n participants, but an n-of-n can be done trivially with some moon math. You can, however, make what is effectively a 2-of-3 by using a three-branch SCRIPT: either 2-of-2 of you and seller, OR 2-of-2 of you and escrow, OR 2-of-2 of escrow and seller. Fortunately, Taproot adds a facility to embed a SCRIPT inside a public key, so you can have a 2-of-2 Taprooted address (between you and seller) with a SCRIPT branch that can instead be spent with 2-of-2 (you + escrow) OR 2-of-2 (seller + escrow), which implements the three-branched SCRIPT above. If neither of you are scammers (hopefully the common case) then you both sign using your keys and never have to contact the escrow, since you are just using the escrow public key without coordinating with them (because n-of-n is trivial but k-of-n requires setup with communication rounds), so in the "best case" where both of you are honest traders, you also get a privacy boost, in that the escrow never learns you have been trading on gewgaws, I mean ewww, gawgews are much better than gewgaws and therefore I now judge you for being a gewgaw enthusiast, you filthy gewgawer).

Taproot and Your Contracts, Part 2: Cryptographic Boogaloo

Now suppose you want to buy some data instead of things. For example, maybe you have some closed-source software in trial mode installed, and want to pay the developer for the full version. You want to pay for an activation code.
This can be done, today, by using an HTLC. The developer tells you the hash of the activation code. You pay to an HTLC, paying out to the developer if it reveals the preimage (the activation code), or refunding the money back to you after a pre-agreed timeout. If the developer claims the funds, it has to reveal the preimage, which is the activation code, and you can now activate your software. If the developer does not claim the funds by the timeout, you get refunded.
And you can do that, with HTLCs, today.
Of course, HTLCs do have problems:
Fortunately, with Schnorr (which is enabled by Taproot), we can now use the Scriptless Script constuction by Andrew Poelstra. This Scriptless Script allows a new construction, the PTLC or Pointlocked Timelocked Contract. Instead of hashes and preimages, just replace "hash" with "point" and "preimage" with "scalar".
Or as you might know them: "point" is really "public key" and "scalar" is really a "private key". What a PTLC does is that, given a particular public key, the pointlocked branch can be spent only if the spender reveals the private key of the given private key to you.
Another nice thing with PTLCs is that they are deniable. What appears onchain is just a single 2-of-2 signature between you and the developemanufacturer. It's like a magic trick. This signature has no special watermarks, it's a perfectly normal signature (the pledge). However, from this signature, plus some datta given to you by the developemanufacturer (known as the adaptor signature) you can derive the private key of a particular public key you both agree on (the turn). Anyone scraping the blockchain will just see signatures that look just like every other signature, and as long as nobody manages to hack you and get a copy of the adaptor signature or the private key, they cannot get the private key behind the public key (point) that the pointlocked branch needs (the prestige).
(Just to be clear, the public key you are getting the private key from, is distinct from the public key that the developemanufacturer will use for its funds. The activation key is different from the developer's onchain Bitcoin key, and it is the activation key whose private key you will be learning, not the developer's/manufacturer's onchain Bitcoin key).
So:
Taproot lets PTLCs exist onchain because they enable Schnorr, which is a requirement of PTLCs / Scriptless Script.
(technology-wise, take note that Scriptless Script works only for the "pointlocked" branch of the contract; you need normal Script, or a pre-signed nLockTimed transaction, for the "timelocked" branch. Since Taproot can embed a script, you can have the Taproot pubkey be a 2-of-2 to implement the Scriptless Script "pointlocked" branch, then have a hidden script that lets you recover the funds with an OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY after the timeout if the seller does not claim the funds.)

Quantum Quibbles!

Now if you were really paying attention, you might have noticed this parenthetical:
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash...)
So wait, Taproot uses raw 32-byte public keys, and not public key hashes? Isn't that more quantum-vulnerable??
Well, in theory yes. In practice, they probably are not.
It's not that hashes can be broken by quantum computes --- they're still not. Instead, you have to look at how you spend from a P2WPKH/P2PKH pay-to-public-key-hash.
When you spend from a P2PKH / P2WPKH, you have to reveal the public key. Then Bitcoin hashes it and checks if this matches with the public-key-hash, and only then actually validates the signature for that public key.
So an unconfirmed transaction, floating in the mempools of nodes globally, will show, in plain sight for everyone to see, your public key.
(public keys should be public, that's why they're called public keys, LOL)
And if quantum computers are fast enough to be of concern, then they are probably fast enough that, in the several minutes to several hours from broadcast to confirmation, they have already cracked the public key that is openly broadcast with your transaction. The owner of the quantum computer can now replace your unconfirmed transaction with one that pays the funds to itself. Even if you did not opt-in RBF, miners are still incentivized to support RBF on RBF-disabled transactions.
So the extra hash is not as significant a protection against quantum computers as you might think. Instead, the extra hash-and-compare needed is just extra validation effort.
Further, if you have ever, in the past, spent from the address, then there exists already a transaction indelibly stored on the blockchain, openly displaying the public key from which quantum computers can derive the private key. So those are still vulnerable to quantum computers.
For the most part, the cryptographers behind Taproot (and Bitcoin Core) are of the opinion that quantum computers capable of cracking Bitcoin pubkeys are unlikely to appear within a decade or two.
So:
For now, the homomorphic and linear properties of elliptic curve cryptography provide a lot of benefits --- particularly the linearity property is what enables Scriptless Script and simple multisignature (i.e. multisignatures that are just 1 signature onchain). So it might be a good idea to take advantage of them now while we are still fairly safe against quantum computers. It seems likely that quantum-safe signature schemes are nonlinear (thus losing these advantages).

Summary

I Wanna Be The Taprooter!

So, do you want to help activate Taproot? Here's what you, mister sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, can do!

But I Hate Taproot!!

That's fine!

Discussions About Taproot Activation

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The Unofficial Cardano FAQ - V3

(if you would like to add information or see mistakes, just comment below and I will credit you)
What is Cardano? Cardano is an open source and permissionless "Third Generation" blockchain project being developed by IOHK. Development and research started in 2015, with the 1.0 mainnet launching in 2017. Cardano blockchain is currently being developed into two layers. The first one is the ledger of account values, and the second one is the reason why values are transferred from one account to the other.
  1. Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) - The CSL acts as the ledger of account or balance ledger. This is an idea created as an improvement of bitcoin blockchain. It uses a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm known as Ouroboros to generate new blocks and confirm transactions.
  2. Cardano Computation Layer (CCL) - The CCL contains the data how values are transferred. Since the computation layer is not connected to balance ledger, users of the CCL can create customized rules (smart contracts) when evaluating transactions. (https://support.bitkub.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006678892-What-are-the-two-layers-of-Cardano-)
IOHK has the contract with an undisclosed party to develop the project until the end of 2020, at which point the community may elect another development team - on the assumption that the voting infrastructure has been completed. However CEO Charles Hoskinson has stated that they will develop the project until it is completed, and they are simply financed until the end of 2020.
Cardano was the first project built on a peer-reviewed scientific development method, resulting in dozens of research papers produced by IOHK. Among these papers is Ouroboros Genesis, proving that a Proof of Stake protocol can be just as secure as Proof of Work - which was originally developed for Bitcoin, and refined for Ethereum. This PoS protocol considerably lowers the resources cost to maintain network while still maintaining security and network speed.
Cardano as a financial infrastructure is not yet completed, With significant development to be rolled out.
What were the other two generations of blockchain? Gen 1 was Bitcoin. It exists by itself and talks to nobody but Bitcoin. It is capable of peer to peer transactions without a third party in such a way that you cannot cheat the system. This was a major step forward for the E-cash concept that people have been working on for the 20 years prior.
Gen 2 was Ethereum and other smart-contract platforms that allow other coins and platforms to be built on top of their infrastructure. These coins can interact with others on the platform, but cannot interact with other platforms. Meaning it is still not truly interoperable. Most Gen 2 blockchains are also using Proof of Work likes Bitcoin, which effects scaling. Also missing is a built-in method to pay for upgrades and voting mechanics for decision making.
Gen 3 blockchains are a complete package designed to replace the current financial infrastructure of the world. Cardano is using Proof of Stake to ensure security and decentralisation(Shelley). Scaling through parallel computation (Hydra in Basho), Sidechains to allow the platform to interact with other platforms (Basho), and also include mechanisms for voting for project funding, changes to the protocol and improvement proposals (Voltaire). Finally smart contracts platform for new and established projects that are developer friendly (Goguen).
Who is the team behind Cardano? There are three organisations that are contributing to the development of Cardano. The first is the Cardano Foundation, an objective, non-profit organisation based in Switzerland. Its core responsibilities are to nurture, grow and educate Cardano users and commercial communities, to engage with authorities on regulatory and commercial matters and to act as a blockchain and cryptocurrency standards body. The second entity is IOHK, a leading cryptocurrency research and development company, which holds the contract to develop the platform until 2020. The final business partner is Emurgo, which invests in start-ups and assists commercial ventures to build on the Cardano blockchain.
www.Cardano.org www.emurgo.io https://cardanofoundation.org/en/
What is the difference between Proof of Work and Proof of stake? Both these protocols are known as “consensus protocols” that confirm whether a transaction is valid or invalid without a middleman like Visa or your bank. Every node (active and updated copy of the blockchain) can agree that the transaction did take place legitimately. If more than half validators agree, then the ledger is updated and the transaction is now secured. Proof-of-Work (PoW) happens when a miner is elected to solve an exceptionally difficult math problem and gets credit for adding a verified block to the blockchain. Finding a solution is an arduous guessing game that takes a considerable amount of computing power to compete for the correct answer. It is like “pick a number between 1 and one trillion” and when you get it right, you get $30,000 in Bitcoin, so the more computers you have working on it, the faster you can solve it. Also the more people who are trying to solve the same block, the harder the algorithm, so it may become 1 in 20 trillion. The downside is the massive amounts of power required to run the computers that run the network, and the slow pace that blocks are solved. To “Hack” a PoW system, you need 51% of the computing power, which would allow you to deny transactions, or spend the same coin twice. At the moment there are 8 main mining operations for bitcoin, and 4 of them make up more that 51% of the mining power.
PoS instead selects a coin at random that already exists, and the person who owns that coin is elected to put the work in to validate the block. This means there is no contest and no guessing game. Some computer power is required, but only a fraction of a PoW system. The complex nature of selecting a coin that exists on the correct and longest chain and is owned by someone who can complete the block, AND in such a way that it is secure AND that computer currently running AND that person also having an incentive to complete the work, has made the development of PoS very slow. However only a few years ago it wasn’t even possible. In this method, the more of the coin (ADA) you stake, the more likely you are to be selected to close a block. Cardano also allows you to delegate your stake to someone else to validate the block so they do the work, and you share in the reward for doing so.
To “hack” a PoS blockchain you need to own 51% of the tokens, which is significantly harder than owning 51% of the computing power.
What is ADA and how is it different to Cardano? Cardano is the name of the network infrastructure, and can be thought of like a rail network. ADA is the native token that has been developed alongside Cardano to facilitate the network operation. This helps confusion and maintains distinction, compared to Ethereum being the native token of Ethereum. Similar to bitcoin or any other token, ADA can be sent peer to peer as payment, but is also the reward for running the network, and what is taken as transaction fees.
In this metaphor “Cardano” is the train tracks, that everything runs on. A stake pool would be the locomotive, facilitating transactions on the network while ADA is the coal that powers the locomotive. The train carriages are Decentralised applications (Dapps) that are also running on cardano tracks, but are not actively powering the network.
What is staking Cardano is a Proof of Stake protocol, and uses already existing coins like a marker to ensure security. The protocol chooses a coin at random and the owner of that coin is elected to validate a block of transactions. Staking is the process of adding your ADA coins to a Pool that has the resources to run the network. If the pool you have chosen to "delegate" your stake to is chosen to close/validate a block, then you get a portion of the rewards. The ADA never leaves your wallet, and you can "undelegate" whenever you like. this increases stability of the network and also gives an incentive to pool operators to invest the time and hardware required to run a pool.
What is a stake-pool and how does it work? Cardano.org FAQ on the issue goes into much more detail
A stake pool is where the computing power of the network takes place. During ITN there was 1200 registered stake pools while 300 were creating blocks. You can manage your own stake-pool or delegate your ADA to an already registered pool. Rewards are determined by the protocol, however the pool may elect to charge fee Percentages, or flat rate fee to upkeep their pool.
Can I Stake my ADA right now? The staking testnet has closed, If you participated in the Incentivised Test Net and earned rewards, instructions to check the balance are here.
However if you have just purchased some or it was held on an exchange, then you will need to wait until the Shelley mainnet launch happening at the end of July 2020.
Where do I stake my ADA? Daedalus Flight wallet, and Yoroi Wallet (as a chrome extension) are the current best options. Adalite and several other third-party wallets also exist. Coinbase will also allow staking as a custodial service, and many exchanges may offer “staking as a service” so you can leave your coins on the exchange and still earn rewards if you enjoy trading. I do not recommend leaving coins on an exchange unless you are actively trading.
What are the staking rewards now and what can I expect on a return in the future? The Incentivised Test Net (ITN) Delivered 10%-15%pa returns on average. The future of staking will most likely be lower, but will depend on the amount of ADA staked across the network and the amount of network traffic.
Check https://staking.cardano.org/en/calculato for a clearer picture.
what is a Pledge? To stop one person operating many pools, the rewards that a pool earns will vary depending on the amount of personal ADA they “pledge” to open the pool. This means that 50 pools with a 1,00ADA pledge each will be overall less profitable than 1-2 pool with the max ADA pledge (unknown but likely around 300k). Even if the 50 pools have the same over stake delegated by other users and have a better chance of being selected to close a block, the 50 pools may receive lower rewards.. (at least that is the theory)
Who is IOHK? IOHK is a for-profit software engineering company founded by CEO Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood in 2015 that has taken a scientific approach to the development of blockchain. IOHK started with “first principles” and looked at questions like “what is a blockchain” and “what should a blockchain be able to do” rather than accepting the established paradigm of Bitcoin and Ethereum. IOHK was originally Input Output Hong Kong, but is now Input Output Global and is based in Wyoming USA employing over 230 staff. IOHK has established research labs in several universities in order to complete the Cardano project, and is also developing Ethereum Classic, Atala, Mantis and possibly other Blockchain related programs and infrastructure.
Who is Charles? Charles Hoskinson is an early adopter of cryptocurrencies, American entrepreneur and cryptocurrency specialist. Charles Co-founded Ethereum with Vitalik Buterin and 5-8 others, However he only worked on that project for approximately six-months. Charles is now the CEO of IOHK and the director of The Bitcoin Education Project.
Why isn’t ADA on coinbase? Cardano and coinbase have recently connected in a big way. With IOHK turning over all their ADA to the custodial services of Coinbase. This means that Cardano and Coinbase have been working together for some time and there is a strong partnership forming. Staking and cold storage will be available and trading on Coinbase will most likely become available after the release of Shelley (although no official word yet)
Why Doesn’t Cardano have a Wikipedia Page? Wikipedia has strict guidelines on what can be turned into an article. As there has been no coverage of Cardano from mainstream media or “noteworthy” sources, there is no article yet. Wikipedia will also not accept sources from IOHK as they are not considered “reliable” and must come from a third party. This will most likely change soon.
Cardano does have a dedicated community driven wiki
https://cardanowiki.info/wiki/Home
What is Atala and why do I care?*
Atala is a suite of services being developed on top of the cardano blockchain by IOHK that focusses on credential certification, for things like education, work history and degrees (Atala Prism). Product counterfeiting protection through registering products on a blockchain and create taper-proof provenance. This does not only apply to Gucci handbags, but also medication, art, and anything that can be counterfeited (Atala Scan). As well as supply chain tracking to see issues and inefficiencies with greater transparency(Atala Trace).
Im new, how much is a good investment?
Cardano is still a speculative market and although there is amazing potential here, it is still only potential. When investing in any High risk market like Crypto, only every invest what you are willing to lose. Cardano may be testing the 10c barrier now. But in March it dumped to 1.7c. And if you suddenly need your money back during the dump then you are out of luck. Do your research before you FOMO in. Start with a small amount and send it between wallets and exchanges to understand how the system works. Store your private keys offline (or online cloud service but encrypted) with a method that is unlikely to be damaged AND have multiple copies. So in the case of a house fire or a blow to the head, or the cloud service being shutdown/destroyed, you do not lose your money.
Timelines
https://roadmap.cardano.org/en/
Shelley Decentralisation rollout and news
Goguen smart contract rollout
Voltaire Voting mechanics – no official roll out timeline (though promised for 2020)
Basho scaling and sidechains – no official roll out time line (most likely 2021)
submitted by YourBestMateRobbo to cardano [link] [comments]

I found a tape I wasn’t supposed to listen to.

I plan on destroying this laptop after posting this and will soon be untraceable. I am reaching out because something is not right. I feel as if something just is not lining up right in the universe. I feel like I am out of place. I come to post because I am not sure how much longer I have. I was taking the trash out last week and I think I saw something I should not have. It was a full moon that night and I was doing my regular chores. Feed the dogs, clean the dishes, take the trash out. Easy stuff like any other night. When I got to the dumpster I saw a cassette player on the ground looking like it was to be thrown out. I thought to myself it was just trash but something caught my eye. There was a piece of tape on it with a sharpie written across it. It stated "LISTEN URGENT" so I put it in my pocket and took it home.
If I knew what was on that tape I would have not brought it home that night. I didn't have a pair of headphones to listen to it with or at least didn't care to look for one at the time. I had put the tape down on my desk and went to play some video games without thinking much of it at the time. You see I didn't have much going for me. My mother was a single mom and I was the man of the house. I liked to play video games because that is what made me happy. It was getting late so I turned off my monitor and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning thinking about the tape because I had a dream about it the night before. The dream consists of me going to the trash and finding the cassette tape then someone getting out of their car when I was walking home pushing me down and taking the tape from me. It was a man with a black overcoat but couldn't see much of his face since it was dark out. And as soon as he took it I woke up. I thought to myself that having a dream of it already had to mean something so I found some headphones and plugged them into the aux input and pressed play.
"What did you see that night" A man asked
"I was super drunk and all I remember was seeing some guy beat the shit out of some other guy outside the bar." A women said
"Where did this take place? The man asked
"In the alley besides the bar.... Can I please go now?" The women proclaimed.
"No, not yet we have some more questions for you..." The man said
"What was that?" The man asked
You could hear a crash or something and the tape cut out. What the fuck was I listening to? An interrogation with the police? All I know is there is more on the tape and I definitely shouldn't be listening to this. I clicked skip and play again and it started back up.
"Where were we... Sorry about the inconvenience miss." The man smirked
"Who are you guys anyways? The cops?" The women asked.
"Ahaha very funny... she thinks were the feds..." The man talking to his partner.
"You guys aren't the police???" "Then who are you guys?" The women starting to panic
"We are the guys they call when shit gets bad." The man said
"I think we are finished here... just state your name and age and your good to go."
"OK... Carly Johnson, 23"
Tape Ends
Who the fuck were they? Who is this girl Carly... I thought to myself what this tape was doing with me. I looked up this girl's name and I didn't believe my eyes. Here I am looking at her obituary. She died weeks ago. Cause of death: Suicide.
Where do I begin. I just heard a tape of seems to be the police interrogating Carly and she all of sudden kills herself what the actual fuck. I guess these are the guys they call when shit gets bad. It says she jumped over a bridge in the town over from me at midnight. Why would a girl just do this out of nowhere and sounded decently happy on the tape. But then I saw one last thing on her obituary... it said "There was no body found. She had left a note." So she went missing huh and they ruled it off as a suicide. I went back to the tape and to my surprise it had corrupted and I couldn't play anything back. Just great. I wanted to know who these guys were? Why did they want to talk to Carly? Why did Carly all of sudden disappear?
This was all so hard to wrap my head around. None of this should be my business but somehow I feel like it is. I never even knew Carly but some way I feel like I did. Weird right. Maybe you can tell me if I'm nuts or if it's humane to feel this way. I had another dream last night and to my surprise it had to do with the tape again. But this time it was very strange. I was on the bridge where Carly apparently did what she did and there was something on the ground in the middle of the bridge and I couldn't really make out what it was so I walked over and it was the same tape except the writing on it this time was "They did this." I then rubbed my eyes and woke up in a ton of sweat. So is this supposed to be a sign or something? Like what are these nightmares supposed to mean? I still am wondering who the men were that were talking with Carly. I started looking up cases of bar fights or anything to do with fights relevant to a bar. To my surprise I found the case. Case # 06-123 Bar stabbing leaving man dead. Looks like it was big in the local news. I do not watch the news much but now I know what they were talking to Carly about. This was much bigger than I thought. This is still an open investigation. I was skimming over the reports and one of the officers said that a private sector of the FBI would be taking over the case and no more was to be discussed publicly until the case is closed.
A private sector of the FBI is now involved what the fuck. In this tiny ass town the FBI is getting involved. This is all so much to take in. Seems like there is more to it though. The FBI got involved with some little stabbing at a bar. The news article said if there is any information to help the case to contact the link that was shared underneath the article. I clicked the link and it brought me to some government website to report tips or some bullshit. I started to read and it said "If there is any information on this case please contact this phone number [DISCLOSED INFORMATION]. I then read it said if anyone knew of a missing cassette tape that it is crucial to the investigation and no more information was shared after that. So wonderful, I now know that I am holding a crucial part of evidence of a case for the FBI and the contents were corrupted. I don't know what to do at this point... I still am going to be doing my research and I plan on getting rid of this cassette tape. I will be updating this post as soon as more information is shared or I find something. In the meanwhile I need to stay on the low because there could be and will be people looking for me and what I have acquired.
Ill post an update in 24 hours. Until then, Goodbye.
Update 2
I only got a few hours of sleep last night... thoughts running through my head constantly. I promised an update and here it is. I have been thinking of what to do with this tape. I think the best option would be to get rid of it but I think that would be a felony or something so that options off the list. The second option I have is to give it to them. Yes, I know it sounds crazy absolute delusional you might say. OK let me stop you right there. The plan is to drop it off at a discrete location and call in an anonymous tip. Seems easy right. I hope. I have wiped off all my prints on it and ripped off the tape on the front of it. I am going to go to a gas station about 45 minutes away from here. There should be a payphone and the angle the cameras are at should not see me if I pull my car up to the left of the building. I will wear gloves for prints and wear a hoodie. I should be fine, no evidence that I was there with the tape. I will get back to you after the job is done. Wish me luck.
Update 3
So it went exactly like planned. I parked my car where there was no surveillance and got out with my black hoodie and called the number that I saw online. I said "The cassette tape is in the bathroom of the gas station for case # 06-123 and hung up. I got out of there as fast as possible. I am now home and well. I am still curious and looking into Carly. I think I came upon something. It is very unusual. Her mother wrote a Facebook post saying "I know those cops are fucking corrupt... they never even looked into her case!" I thought to myself how weird this is. Her own mother must have known something was up too. No body found, A bridge that no one was on that night. I know no one was on it because there was a detour for maintenance on the bridge that afternoon. The last thing that doesn't add up is someone had to write on that tape stating LISTEN URGENT. If they were police wouldn't that tape be in evidence or something. Correct me if I'm wrong but this shit doesn't just go missing and wind up at my dumpster. I have a feeling that the bridge is one of the places that I will find something leading me to what happened to Carly and why the FBI are involved. I am going to take a drive to that bridge and see if I can find anything. I'll update you when I get back.
Update 4
I think I came upon something I wasn't supposed to once again... I found a necklace underneath the bridge. Here is a picture of what I found. necklace You see I don't think the police actually investigated or they would have already found this. Still we aren't even dealing with the local police anymore we are dealing with some special sector of the FBI. I also found one other thing and I feel as if posting a picture would compromise this second tape I found. I have not brought my headphones with me but have a feeling whatever is on this second tape that it will be great. I am very concerned about Carly and what happened to her. Maybe she is on this tape again, maybe it will lead me somewhere. If I post this on reddit I have a feeling the FBI will be notified or something like that. So for precautionary reasons I will not give the name of the bridge or any locations further that could potentially fuck this up. I plan on digging deep and will share it all with you. Why does the FBI want something to do with some girls suicide?? Who were those men on the tape???? Moments ago I just got a call from a blocked caller... I declined the call because I never normally accept blocked caller ids. They left a message. He said
"Turn your eyes away from this or else... You have been warned." ENDS CALL
I am very frustrated right now because they somehow found my phone number. I thought I took all the precautionary measures. I guess the government is always watching though. My feeling is that I will have to get rid of everything that ties me to this case. I have looked up how to destroy a hard drive and it is as easy as swiping a strong magnet over it.
I want to mention to whoever is reading this that if you know who Carly Johnson is and or have any clues on what happened to her please indulge me. Do not share anything with anyone else except my account. You see you may not realize the full extent of this situation but, no need to worry. I will encrypt everything that is sent and no information will get out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Should I be scared? Because I am terrified. I need to know these answers because I am so devoted already. I was just warned to stop looking into this. I have no idea how they got my phone number. I believe we are dealing with not just a suicide but, possibly a government cover up or something worse. If anyone has any tips on what I could possibly do that would help please comment, I can take all the help I can get. They will probably see this post and what I have discussed with you all. I am going to upload all my research onto a USB and slide a magnet over my computer's hard drive now. I will reach back with more news after I have found a secure location to proceed with my updates. Until then....
-Colin.
Update 5
So I am currently posting this on a burner phone that I recently bought. I have booked a motel room with cash and I will use their wifi with a VPN. I would like to first express that whoever called me yesterday that I will not stop until I get the answers I need. I am sure with whoever has been reading my recent posts that they wouldn’t like me to stop looking either. I will bring justice for Carly and her grieving mother. I know that the government has something to do with this. I have got some feedback saying that the bridge might have another tape possibly. To my surprise there was and I just listened to it. I’ll replay it for you.
[Play]
“Hello… I don’t have much time to say what I need to say. I recently found something and it needs to be shared with the world. My name is Carly Johnson…”
“They are really close right now… I can see their flashlights through the trees. I am under some type of bridge.”
“I have recently come upon a file that was on a USB which was sent to my house…. Its title is Project Sight and the public needs to be aware of what I found.”
“It has many many documents containing all sorts of stuff including Area 51, The Roswell Incident, and various pictures of these very tall what seems to be creatures. So many classified documents on this file.
“I have made a backup of the file and it is located in my g---
[Cuts out]
Well shit, we finally know what we are dealing with. They brought out the FBI because it is a national threat which is out there on that USB. What was she about to say… she cut out saying something that started with a g but I have no clue. I am going to need help with this one. Please give me your thoughts on where she may have hid the backup. I have a feeling that they will find it before I do. I need to find that USB before it gets destroyed. I am not staying another night at this motel. I am going to switch it up so it is hard to track my footprints. I will be ok with my funds for now because I transferred what I had left in my savings and converted it into bitcoin. Hopefully I don’t have to explain why I did that. Once I am done packing up here and on the road I will proceed with another update.
Update 6
I stopped at a local convenience store near me and got myself some snacks and water for the road. This blue raspberry Slurpee is pretty good right now. I wanted to go to a local library to proceed with my updates but none of them are open because of this whole quarantine thing. I am probably better off in the motels though. I backed up the tape to my USB and set a password on it so no one can access it. I most likely am a current threat to the FBI so I don’t know how long I will have to stay moving. My plan is eventually to bunker down somewhere but until then I need to keep moving. I also have this cheap laptop I brought to access files that I cant on my phone. I was looking more into Carly's assets through some public info websites and such, you can use Whitepages plus to get a lot on someone. You can access background checks and look into someone's past, It is pretty crazy what you can get on someone. I also was looking through her Facebook and found an older post with her dad working on a project car. Looks like one of those storage garages that you can rent. She doesn’t post much. All family related stuff and a couple friends. Guess she kept more to herself. I am curious about when she said it was called Project Sight. Why would they call this file that in specific? Who knows. Do you think it would be a good idea to talk to her mom? Probably not, now that I am thinking of it. The FBI is probably all over her house. Hmm wait a minute, I remember that her mother had a Facebook page. Maybe I’ll send her a message where we could maybe meet up or something in private. She probably would give insight on what Carly said on the tape. I pulled into a parking lot that seems to be pretty empty. I want to try and take a nap and maybe wake up with a new idea or something.
Update 7
Fuck me. A cop just woke me up by knocking on my window…
“Hello officer, is there a problem?”
“I don’t think there has to be one, are you a little tired?”
“Yeah, I pulled over in this parking lot to clear my head and take a little nap.”
“Gotcha, you got any Identification on you?”
“Yes sir, can I grab it out of my glove box?”
“Yes, just no sudden movements.”
“OK, here is my registration and proof of insurance as well as my I.D.”
“Thanks for being so cooperative, let me run your stuff and you’ll be on your way shortly.”
He went back to his vehicle and I don’t know what he is going to find. What if the FBI put a warrant out for me or something?! I am probably just super anxious because of this situation. They want to keep everything top secret so they won't involve the police. He just got out and is walking back now.
“Here you are *hands back documents*.... You're a little ways from home aren’t you?
“Yeah, my Aunt lives out here and I came out to visit her.”
“Alrighty, I don’t see a need to cite you or anything so I’ll leave you with a verbal warning so just try to sleep somewhere else next time … OK? “Thank you again… have a good one.”
Well that could have gone a lot worse. I looked up the mother's address and it is only an hour from me. I am going to call her by the name Catie from now on. I made a Facebook account with this burner and messaged Catie on messenger saying “I know what happened to your daughter Carly… they faked it.” [SENT] Hopefully she sees this soon and we can chat a little bit and hopefully it helps to find that backup.
Update 8
So she read my message a moment ago and responded with “Who are you?” I responded with “Meet me at the Franksville park in 20 minutes, I am here to help not hurt. Please do not bring the police… they covered this up.” I am already parked here where I can see the parking lot but no one will be able to clearly see me staking it out. If the police roll up to the park I will exit through the back. If she comes and she is in a black jeep then I will text her again telling her to go to the bench across from her and wait for me. Hopefully all goes to plan.
[20 minutes later]
Great, she just pulled up and no cops. I messaged her the message and am waiting for her to do as directed. I talked to her for a while, probably a good half hour. I wrote down what I thought were the most important things she said.
“Father was a military officer”
“Dropped out of college”
“Top of her class”
“Public storage garage”
“Police searched Carly's house without proper consent”
“Computer and journal missing”
This was the farthest I have been in this case. Now that whoever is watching just know that I am currently one step ahead of you in every way now. I have developed different plans based on what might happen and every possible outcome and how to counter the bureau. I may not have the man power the FBI does, but I do have more knowledge now. So just know
I am coming for you … I will ruin you.
I am now taking the cellphone battery out and disposing of it. Until the next update….
Goodbye.
-Colin
Update 9
A lot happened yesterday, first of all it was mothers day. I was debating if I should go back to my moms house because someone could be posted out front waiting for me to return. I was wrong and the night went well. I left around 9 pm to find this USB. Someone that wants to remain anonymous direct messaged me and said they thought that the storage unit might be where she put the backup. I looked into it. I knew the number which I will not say for my own protection but Catie gave me the number of the storage garage. She said that she never had the key but she helped enough and that wouldn't be a problem for me. I went to the main office of the storage rentals and bought myself one near Carly's garage. This way I can have access to the property without suspicion. One thing that is really beneficial to having a pass code to the main gate now is that I can come whenever I choose. This place is 24 hour service. OK so now that I have developed a plan on how to get in now, I need to pick her lock.
It should be pretty easy if there are no cameras and if no one is working. I haven't really scoped anything out for assurances but hopefully it all goes to plan. On a side note I have been contacted again by that number, they sent me a picture of my car ... my actual car ... Shit. OK so they most definitely are watching me but that was from last night so I don't know if they are currently. If I do post this post just know that I am safe and have acquired the USB hopefully. I am going to take bolt cutters and a hammer to see if I can just break the tiny lock to get in. I will update you when I am back.
Update 10
OK I am going to choose my next choice of words very carefully. I found what I needed ... what I was looking for, for the last couple of days. I broke into the garage and there was this nice 1976 mustang cobra, what a beautiful car. I turned my phone's flashlight on and looked in the back of the garage. There was this tool box and I looked all through it, but didn't find anything in that. Next, I went to the car and it was open how fortunate ... I looked in the glove box and I found something. It was in this tiny envelope with the envelope saying "Insurance". OK I got what I came for and shut the door to the garage and left. I plugged the USB into my tiny laptop and it came up. First file "Project Sight", I clicked on it and 4 more files came up. 1st "Access point 51 [Classified]", 2nd file "Roswell, New Mexico [Classified]", 3rd file "JPEG File [Classified].
What was on these files I can't really describe. I need a little more time to wrap my head around all this information and figure out what to do with it. The weirdest of them all was the JPEG files, there were at least dozens of pictures that were all super blurry but mostly they all had one similar trait. At least 7 foot tall and a very large round head. They appeared to be a darker gray color and that's about all, The pictures were all in black and white though so that was not helpful. I need to know what to do with this USB. I think I am going to make a back up somewhere and place it somewhere where no one will find it. If these men do come for me I do not want them to win. So I set up some posts that will eventually post automatically within 48 hours of no account activity. I am still posting on a burner phone at the moment. All I ask if I go missing please don't let me end up like Carly. She said that this information needed to be shared with the world. I want to avenge her. The FBI will not get away with this. If these posts get deleted I have set up logs to be saved and they will all be backed up and reposted automatically as well. Nobody can stop that process too.
They know what type of car I drive and where I live. They know I have this classified information and will not stop until they get what they want. I don't want to die. I am scared for my own life and safety of my family at this point in time. At this time I am writing this on my phone, I can see a black SUV parked 4 cars to my left in the Walmart parking lot. It may just be my anxiety but there are two men sitting in the front. I may be dead within the next day or taken. Who put that fucking tape at my dumpster in the beginning? Was it them? Did they watch what I did everyday and find my daily routine and match that to when I would take the trash out? Could they have placed the tape at a spot I could visibly see all on purpose, knowing that I would pick it up and listen to it. All for what though? Why me? What is the point of going after a teenage kid? I might just be going crazy because of all this. I would like to express....
Whatever does happen to me, just know if you do find a cassette tape at the dumpster, don't play it.
Until next update,
-Colin
Note - My automatic posts I have set up go off in the next 48 hours of inactivity of the account. I have hid the USB and a GPS coordinate of where it is hidden will go out to someone that I trust very well.
submitted by idonthavemuchtime12 to creepypasta [link] [comments]

semi-quick answers to common questions of new people

so people often ask similar questions over here and because they are getting probably kinda annoying over time to many I just try to answer as many as I find. if you have more that would fit here, add them to the comments

submitted by My1xT to ledgerwallet [link] [comments]

After 3.5years ive found my 100x Chimera $cmra The real $ghost

Market cap circa 100k
High risk play
What is Chimera?
Chimera is an ERC-20 token (Ethereum) that aims to remove the transparency seen in typical Ethereum tokens. The pros and cons for transparency vary from person to person, with some people preferring an asset such as Monero over something like Bitcoin. Chimera is essentially Ethereum's solution to creating an anonymous service on Ethereum's blockchain. Thus, Chimera can be thought of a "private version of Ethereum" - Chimera holds all the capabilities as Ethereum with reduced transparency. Since the development team plans to have Chimera be used as a payment method, it can be seen as a currency.
Why buy Chimera?
Anyone who is interested in escaping the transparency of the blockchain would benefit from Chimera's technology. Whether you are looking to hide large amounts of funds or to simply stay anonymous, using Chimera's services leaves no paper trails, thus giving benefit to those seeking sanction from taxing authorities (although our team does not endorse this). Chimera tokens can also be used as a form of payment towards services our team will offer in the future.
What will Chimera offer to holders?
Chimera holders benefit by not being listed under the token contract address when searched on current block explorers. The transactions themselves can only be viewed in raw hexadecimal form and need to be sought out and converted to get the values of transaction functions. This information (commonly displayed for ERC-20 tokens) has been hidden by our token, preventing services such as WhaleWatcher.io from being able to scan the blockchain for large transactions and thus prevents them from posting the information on social media sites. For large coin holders, whale watching services can be trouble. Chimera and its services aim to surpass this hurdle.
What incentives does Chimera give?
Chimera can be viewed as a private form of Ethereum. It contains all the core functionalities of the Ethereum token and removes the associated transparency. Using Chimera as a currency provides incentives such as secure and anonymous transfers, a store of value over time, and early access to the products and services the Chimera team will be offering.
How is this different than any other ERC-20 token?
Chimera differs from most ERC-20 tokens in the sense that the token contract will not display the holders or quantities. This means that making a script/tool to collect the information of token holders is much harder to achieve than regular ERC-20 tokens. When Chimera is sent through the Scrambler service, it creates a chain of transactions effectively making the time complexity of a script of software exponential rather than linear. The only "easy to see" transactions are from the initial contract creation, minting, and burning.
But wait - can't we still technically see transactions if we look hard enough?
While block explorers such as Etherscan typically have trouble displaying the "To" address and amount with our token, it is not completely impossible to trace transactions. While users take part in Chimera's Scrambler, the difficulty of tracing the recipients grows exponentially. As more "middle wallets" are added, the complexity becomes even stronger.
What's in store for the future?
As of now, the Chimera team has their first main net service working at https://chimera.exchange/scrambler. This service allows you to further conceal a transfer of funds. Future projects include a crypto-based subscription website for content and media creators. Customers will be able to pay in Chimera as well as other major crypto assets to unlock media hosted by a creator, essentially creating the most anonymous subscription space to host your photos and videos. Make sure to check out our News webpage and Twitter for updates!
Exchange:
Uniswap v1 https://v1.uniswap.exchange/swap
Contract: 0x37737ad7e32ed440c312910cfc4a2e4d52867caf
100m total supply. Circ supply is 4.5m
https://chimera.exchange/statistics/circulating
Useful links
https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/chimera
https://etherscan.io/
token/0x37737ad7e
32ed440c312910cfc4a2e4d52867caf
https://twitter.com/ChimeraToken
https://forkdelta.app/#!/trade/0x37737ad7e32ed440c312910cfc4a2e4d52867caf-ETH
https://chimera.exchange
Newly incorporated and are now Chimera Digital, Inc based out of Ontario, Canada. See official documentation:
Primary focus right now is to finish the last of the security tests for the wallet scramblemixer (now being called Scram!) and a major website redesign. Once they are up and running, they will aggressively apply to dexes to gain as much organic notoriety and liquidity as possible without having to take on any large investors.
Whitepaper is being fully reworked atm.
LinkedIn profiles for some of team: Lead Developer Alex can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-schwarz-94248269/ and here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-tarpley-b1baa792/
If you look at etherscan you will see the tech working. It will show no transfers. However compare this with uniswap transactions and you will see the real movement.
Nice tweet by a good team:
https://twitter.com/binanceaudit/status/1266934471674277889?s=19
Federal Corporation Information - 1207567-9 - Online Filing Centre - Corporations Canada - Corporations - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/sccc/CorporationsCanada/fdrlCrpDtls.html?corpId=12075679&V_TOKEN=1591294452581&crpNm=&crpNmbr=1207567-9&bsNmbr=
Key points to note:
  1. Mixer tech on ether network.
  2. Etherscan can not track real movements due to this. Uniswap info will show transactions though.
  3. Team is only a few months old
  4. Whitepaper is being redesigned.
  5. Website is being redesigned
  6. 100k market cap should be looked at as an idea and researched further with their team
  7. Incorporation documents above are legitimate.
https://discord.gg/MM4fGx
submitted by therealfacemelter to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

I have been watching you for a while, you know. Wasn't sure whether to invest, but now I know that I must? (FUSION. Could have also prevented the Statera balancer hack?)

So this project caught my (and probably many other people's) attention at least once last year. Especially after the foundation had some of its funds stolen which saw the token's price tank massively. I kind of forgot about it until seeing it being veeeery low-key mentioned on TG again recently and it appears to have 5xed over the last few months, essentially returning back to its old price level, while still being relatively low cap. Also sitting nicely next to LTO (another actually professional, albeit slow-burning, project) on https://coinstats.network/, rising rapidly throughout the ranks over the last weeks. (The top three performers at the time of this post are VeChain, LTO, and FSN, as you can see at the right top.)
 
 
Anyway... I did some digging, and frankly, I feel like simply quoting Dejun Qian (leader of Fusion and also founder of BitSE, which later enabled the rise of VeChain), because he does an overall decent enough job at explaining the general gist behind Fusion -- a blockchain designed in particular with decentralized finance (DEFI) in mind:
 
 
Whereas...
 
 
...most of which (Time-Lock, DCRM and Quantum Swap) are patented. Although it should also be mentioned how the Telegram frequently questions the ability to enforce these patents. And depending on your personal outlook in regards to patents in the cryptospace, you could generally consider this a big negative point. Or, if you only care about money, a very positive one. With the latter likely aligning more with this sub's interests.
 
Anyway... Time-locking simply refers to you locking in any type of asset (real or digital) and then being able to lend it for some set amount of time (time-slice) without giving up ownership. This could have been useful in preventing, for example, the Statera Balancer hack, since you merely give up access to your asset for a certain amount of time while still retaining ownership yourself. E.g. you could have granted the Balancer 3 months of access to your assets. Whereas, had your assets been stolen by a bad actor within this time-frame as it happend in the Statera/Balancer case, you would still have received all of your assets back after these 3 months passed. No assets would have been lost on your end. So this mechanism, patented by Fusion, adds additional security. (Their Ticketed Proof of Stake (TPoS) mechanism works the same way -- You never risk actually losing your tokens forever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX57OwpNNMA )(Also: You are also free to correct me in case this doesn't actually work with Balancer's mechanics.)
 
In general, the borrowing of the (front end; now to some point in the future) time-slice finds application in finance what bonds, futures, options, etc is concerned, again making fusion a great choice for DEFI. To again cite Qian:
 
 
(If you're into this stuff, it's easy to just search for words such as "factoring" or "bank draft" or "clearing house" in the official Telegram channel https://t.me/FUSIONFoundation . Also in relationship to upcoming and borrowed FSN tokens, which can be combined to form whole FSN tokens.)
 
Another more concrete use-case would be, for example, the granting of access to a house's or car's digital lock without giving up direct ownership of these assets for a certain amount of time, after which said access will be returned to its owner. Additionally, it's also possible to resell parts of this access in case you no longer have any use for it. (E.g. if you license a software for 6 months, but suddenly decide to no longer have any use for it after a mere 2 months, you can resell the remaining 4 months that are left.)
 
 
Also worthy of mention might be some of the bigger Fusion-related DEFI (hype!) projects being built on the Fusion blockchain:
 
  • WeDefi, which aims to be, or allows for users to act as, a kind of decentralized bank; stream-lining lending/borrowing and other kinds of DEFI; will come as APP to the IOS and Play-Store for the Smartphone soon.
  • SMPCwallet. Will include DCRM dapps such as a multichain DEX, a multicustodial wallet, etc (fixing problems related to key exposure mentioned by Vitalik in an AMA linked later in this post)
  • Anyswap, a cross-chain/interoperability version of Uniswap. Qian suggests that it could in the future also serve a function similar to Compound, letting you pick up a collateral in exchange for the provision of liquidity. (Built on SMPCwallet AFAIK; a recent post shilling it here -> https://old.reddit.com/CryptoMoonShots/comments/hprd2p/anyswap_a_completely_decentralized_swap_exchange/)
  • An auto-loan platform by AXP
  • Realio and YAD Capital issuing digitized assets to be tokenized on the FSN blockchain. Meaning securities, etc. Currently they're trying to raise a $5mm tokenized fund. (Also worth mentioning here is that SolidX, who have experience and SEC connections working on a Bitcoin ETF, are part of Fusion's DCRM Alliance)
  • And more. https://www.fusion.org/partnerships hovering over the links gives some input. xDLT is built on fusion, for instance, offering an interoperable form of etherscan. (To my understanding...)
 
Then here's a great AMA you should read: https://fsnfeed.com/2020/05/23/on-23st-of-may-2020-dj-qian-ceo-of-fusion-foundation-had-a-live-ama-session-with-kevin-of-ama-series-stayhome/
 
And if you want to try out Fusion, you can sign up at WeDefi and play around with borrowed tokens and even earn full tokens by doing so. Take note, however, that only full tokens may be staked, should you plan to do so. ( https://www.wedefi.com/faq )
 
 
As for the FSN token value, it would appreciate simply by virtue of gas fees, staking, DCRM which can be licensed in exchange for 800k FSN, potential applications of time-locking relative to assets and the Fusion token (looking at safebet, for instance), etc... as Fusion is adopted. The staking ROI is currently at 23%. (I can't really make a prediction about the token's value development here, since the entire system and the potential applications really exceed my knowledge. And, being crypto, odds are that putting a price on it might be impossible for just about anyone.)
 
The best way of storing FSN is whallet, which can be used in conjunction with your Ledger's Ethereum app. (MyFusionWallet was experiencing synchronization problems the other day, but seems to be working perfectly fine again as of the time of this post.)
 
 
A relatively big negative point frequently mentioned by the community is the lack of marketing and the team losing its first-mover advantage, which is a concern the Fusion team has recently tried to address. As REN, for instance, which allows for but a portion of Fusion's use case such as an allegedly inferior version of DCRM and dark pools/clearing houses (and according to the Fusion community of course worse), has recently gone on a small bullrun of its own. Much to the chagrin of disillusioned Fusion bagholders. And I've personally also seen TrustSwap make an appearance, which appears to aim for the creation of a crosschain version of UniSwap much akin to AnySwap. (I'm not 100% sure about this, however.)
 
If you have any personal opinions, you are free to share them. Maybe you consider it obsolete in the future, especially if we do end up in a "one chain takes all" scenario? Alternatively you could be holding the belief that it can moon simply due to the #defi hype? Perhaps there's not enough marketing on the team's part? Or is FSN really under the radar, being ignored (and thus massively undervalued) for the time being only because the features offered by FSN are not yet fully appreciated in the still fledgling DEFI space, with ETH simply not being suitable for DEFI, and FSN suddenly making an appearance in the top 35 without anyone having noticed? Etc? Any disgruntled bagholders here who want to vent or add something I forgot? Now's your chance.
 
 
P.S.: All this is probably also a relatively superficial explaination that doesn't capture the project's value in a way people like Qian could explain it, especially what the use of time-slices (both front and back, and their combination), the long-term renting and valuation of front-slices, and the number of financial applications, is concerned... but I hope it serves as a good general overview, also what references to other DEFI projects is concerned. And it has taken off a bit recently, like many projects in this mini-bull run. So some people may no longer consider it low cap. But I'm still gonna post it so it doesn't go to waste. Lol. At the very least it might serve as general overview. That and the sub rules state "cryptos out of the top 100.")
 
Also disclaimer: I am holding a decently sized bag myself. (And I really hoped it wouldn't cross 70 cent so "soon," all things considered...)
submitted by sotaponi to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

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