Bitcoin / Block / 1 — Blockchair

BCexchange, the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange for everyone

Subreddit for BCexchange (short for ​Blocks & Chains Decentralized Exchange). B&C Exchange will be an open-source decentralized exchange that completes cryptocurrency trades between users by utilizing multisig signers that compete for blockchain rewards based on their effectiveness and honesty. Trades occur using real cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and NuBits.
[link]

Keep on minting my friends

http://www.mintcoinofficial.eu/ Mintcoin is a community owned and operated pure proof-of-stake crypto-coin. Save your coins in your wallet and earn the annual percentage rate while securing the Mintcoin network. Fast. Secure. Energy Efficient. Digital Internet Money. Mintcoins literally mint coins. Join us, we'll teach you how to mint coins. Start the process of minting your own coins today!
[link]

Denarius - Tribus PoW/PoS Hybrid Cryptocurrency

Official subreddit for the Denarius [D] Cryptocurrency. Official Site: https://denarius.io - Official Repo: https://github.com/carsenk/denarius - Discord Chat: https://discord.gg/UPpQy3n
[link]

/r/Monero Weekly Discussion – July 11, 2020 - Use this thread for general chatter, basic questions, and if you're new to Monero

Index

  1. General questions
  2. Wallet: CLI & GUI
  3. Wallet: Ledger
  4. Nodes

1. General questions

Where can I download the Monero wallet?

There are multiple Monero wallets for a wide range of devices at your disposal. Check the table below for details and download links. Attention: for extra security make sure to calculate and compare the checksum of your downloaded files when possible.
Please note the following usage of the labels:
⚠️ - Relatively new and/or beta. Use wallet with caution.
☢️ - Closed source.

Desktop wallets

Wallet Device Description Download link
"Official" GUI / CLI Windows, macOS, Linux Default implementation maintained by the core team. Use this wallet to run a full node and obtain maximum privacy. Integrates with hardware wallets. Current version: 0.15.0.1 / 0.15.0.4. GetMonero.org
MyMonero Windows, macOS, Linux Lightweight wallet -- you don't need to download the blockchain and run a node. MyMonero was developed with the assistance of the core team. It also has web-based and iOS versions. MyMonero.com
Exodus Windows, macOS, Linux ⚠️ / Multi-asset wallet. Exodus.io
ZelCore Windows, macOS, Linux ⚠️ / Multi-asset wallet. It also has Android and iOS versions. Zeltrez.io
Guarda Windows, macOS, Linux ⚠️ ☢️ / Multi-asset wallet. Guarda.co

Mobile wallets

Wallet Device Description Download link
Monerujo Android Integrates with Ledger (hardware wallet). Website: https://www.monerujo.io/. Google Play / F-Droid / GitHub
MyMonero iOS Website: https://mymonero.com/ App Store
Cake Wallet iOS Website: https://cakewallet.io/ App Store
X Wallet iOS Website: https://xwallet.tech/ App Store
Edge Wallet Android / iOS Multi-asset wallet. Website: https://edge.app/ Google Play / App Store
ZelCore Android / iOS ⚠️ / Multi-asset wallet. Website: https://zelcore.io/ Google Play / App Store
Coinomi Android / iOS ⚠️ ☢️ / Multi-asset wallet. Website: https://www.coinomi.com/ Google Play / App Store
Moxi / Guarda Android / iOS ⚠️ ☢️ / Multi-asset wallet. Website: https://guarda.co/ Google Play / App Store
Exa Wallet Android / iOS ⚠️ Website: https://exan.tech/ Google Play / App Store
Wookey Wallet Android / iOS ⚠️ Website: https://wallet.wookey.io/ Google Play / F-Droid / App Store
Exodus Android / iOS ⚠️ / Multi-asset wallet. Website: https://www.exodus.io/monero/) Google Play / [App Store](https://apps.apple.com/app/exodus-crypto-wallet/id1414384820

Web-based wallets

Wallet Description Link
MyMonero Web version of the MyMonero wallet. Web
XMRWallet Web wallet with TOR support. Web / Onion URL
Guarda Multi-asset wallet. Web

How long does it take for my balance to unlock?

Your balance is unlocked after 10 confirmations (which means 10 mined blocks). A block is mined approximately every two minutes on the Monero network, so that would be around 20 minutes.

How can I prove that I sent a payment?

The fastest and most direct way is by using the ExploreMonero blockchain explorer. You will need to recover the transaction key from your wallet (complete guide for GUI / CLI).

How do I buy Monero (XMR) with Bitcoin (BTC)?

There are dozens of exchanges that trade Monero against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Check out the list on CoinMarketCap and choose the option that suits you best.

How do I buy Monero (XMR) with fiat?

How can I quickly exchange my Monero (XMR) for Bitcoin (BTC)?

There are multiple ways to exchange your Monero for Bitcoin, but first of all, I'd like to remind you that if you really want to do your part for Monero, one of the simplest ways is to get in touch with your merchant/service provider and request for it to accept Monero directly as payment. Ask the service provider to visit the official website and our communication channels if he or she needs help with system integration.
That being said, the community has been recommending two services in particular, XMR.TO and MorphToken. These services are only recommendations and are operated by entities outside the control of the Monero Project. Be diligent.

How do I mine Monero? And other mining questions.

The correct place to ask questions and discuss the Monero mining scene is in the dedicated subreddit MoneroMining. That being said, you can find a list of pools and available mining software in the GetMonero.org website.

2. Wallet: CLI & GUI

Why I can't see my balance? Where is my XMR?

Before any action there are two things to check:
  1. Are you using the latest available version of the wallet? A new version is released roughly every 6 months, so make sure you're using the current release (compare the release on GetMonero.org with your wallet's version on Settings, under Debug info).
  2. Is your wallet fully synchronized? If it isn't, wait the sync to complete.
Because Monero is different from Bitcoin, wallet synchronization is not instant. The software needs to synchronize the blockchain and use your private keys to identify your transactions. Check in the lower left corner (GUI) if the wallet is synchronized.
You can't send transactions and your balance might be wrong or unavailable if the wallet is not synced with the network. So please wait.
If this is not a sufficient answer for your case and you're looking for more information, please see this answer on StackExchange.

How do I upgrade my wallet to the newest version?

This question is beautifully answered on StackExchange.

Why does it take so long to sync the wallet [for the first time]?

You have decided to use Monero's wallet and run a local node. Congratulations! You have chosen the safest and most secure option for your privacy, but unfortunately this has an initial cost. The first reason for the slowness is that you will need to download the entire blockchain, which is considerably heavy (+70 GB) and constantly growing. There are technologies being implemented in Monero to slow this growth, however it is inevitable to make this initial download to run a full node. Consider syncing to a device that has an SSD instead of an HDD, as this greatly impacts the speed of synchronization.
Now that the blockchain is on your computer, the next time you run the wallet you only need to download new blocks, which should take seconds or minutes (depending on how often you use the wallet).

I don't want to download the blockchain, how can I skip that?

The way to skip downloading the blockchain is connecting your wallet to a public remote node. You can follow this guide on how to set it up. You can find a list of public remote nodes on MoneroWorld.
Be advised that when using a public remote node you lose some of your privacy. A public remote node is able to identify your IP and opens up a range for certain attacks that further diminish your privacy. A remote node can't see your balance and it can't spend your XMR.

How do I restore my wallet from the mnemonic seed or from the keys?

To restore your wallet with the 25 word mnemonic seed, please see this guide.
To restore your wallet with your keys, please see this guide.

3. Wallet: Ledger

How do I generate a Ledger Monero Wallet with the GUI or CLI?

This question is beautifully answered on StackExchange. Check this page for the GUI instructions, and this page for the CLI instructions.

4. Nodes

How can my local node become a public remote node?

If you want to support other Monero users by making your node public, you can follow the instructions on MoneroWorld, under the section "How To Include Your Node On Moneroworld".

How can I connect my node via Tor?

This question is beautifully answered on StackExchange.
submitted by AutoModerator to Monero [link] [comments]

small passive income while browsing the web

Introduction
If you were on the internet in the late 1990s, you might remember companies like "AllAdvantage" that promised to pay you to browse the web. You could install a program that tracked your browsing and showed you targeted ads at the top of the screen, then "AllAdvantage" would give you a cut of the ad revenue you generated.
These schemes largely disappeared after the dot-com crash. But Brendan Eich, the creator of the JavaScript programming language and cofounder and former CTO of Mozilla, thinks his company Brave Software has found a way to revive that old idea.
What is it?
Brave makes a browser based on Google Chrome that blocks tracking scripts and other technologies that spy on your online activity. As a result, it also blocks many web ads; if you visit any website using the Brave browser, you won’t see any ads. But Brave will give users the option to see ads that Eich says will respect your privacy. The ads will appear as desktop notifications, he says, not as replacements for the ads the Brave browser blocks. So you still won’t see ads on any website, but you might see them on the right lower corner of your screen. If you choose to see these ads, you’ll get 70 percent of the revenue they generate.
Eich hopes Brave can solve two of the web's most vexing problems the privacy and revenue problem by turning the traditional digital advertising model on its head. Today, ad networks pay sites for ad space and web browsers like Brave and Chrome deliver content from those publishers to users. Brave is trying to put the browser in the center of the advertising experience. Instead of paying publishers directly, ad networks would pay Brave, which will pass part of the money to users and keep a cut for itself.
By handling advertising in the browser on your device, Brave says it will be able to target ads without sending your data to the cloud, and protect your privacy. When you interact with an ad on Brave, the browser sends notice to the company's servers, but doesn't include any identifying information. Eich sees four sets of winners: browser makers get paid; users get paid, and get more privacy; advertisers can target pitches without running afoul of European privacy regulations; and publishers can survive in a world where many users are installing ad blockers.
Publishers and ad networks might bristle at the idea of putting browser makers in the middle of their business. But in recent years browsers have taken a more active role in shaping the web, instead of merely displaying a website’s content. Chrome now blocks ads on a small number of sites with particularly egregious advertising practices, while browsers like Firefox and Safari have added privacy protections. Meanwhile, browser plugins are giving users more control over their experience. There are Chrome extensions, for example, that let you change Facebook's color scheme, or change the way images are displayed on Pinterest. And of course there are extensions that block all ads.
Trying to win advertisers and publishers to a new model isn't Brave's only challenge. It also needs users. Eich says Brave has 15 million users and is growing.
Brave will give users a 70 percent cut of its advertising revenue, which Eich estimates could work out to about $10 a month. Brave will pay users with its own bitcoin-style "cryptocurrency” called Basic Attention Tokens or BAT, which has traded for as little as 24 cents over the past 12 months, according to CoinMarketCap. You can exchange the BAT you have received for viewing ads into USD, EUR, GBP, CHF and many more currencies.
The company offers a service through the cryptocurrency exchange Uphold to allow users to change, sell and buy BAT or donate it to publishers, and for publishers to exchange the BAT they receive for dollars. Advertisers like HomeDepot or recent campaigns included brands such as Verizon, Newegg, Chipotle, and PayPal/Honey, in addition to earlier campaigns by Amazon, Harry’s Razors, Intel, CBS, KIND snacks, Logitech, Lenovo, Grubhub, Belkin, Quickbooks, Evernote and some of cryptocurrency related companies, will be able to buy ads either with BAT or with traditional currencies.
Eich says Brave opted to create its own tokens using the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform in part to avoid regulatory requirements, such as verifying users' identifies, that partners like Uphold are better equipped to handle.
Estimated revenue? (depending on the country you live in the revenue can be higher or lower)
I made around 3oo$ so far this year using 3 devices, just for viewing some ads.
5 months so far july is not included if you calculate it down for 1 device, 100$/5months = 20$ a month just for viewing ads, you would need to buy risky stocks worth of 2000$ to get the same amount per month.
can only recommend everyone to try it, not every country has the same number of advertisers so you probably get the most out of it when you live in the USA.
If you are interested here is a quick guide how to set it up to get the max amount out of Brave:
Quickstartguide:
1 Download brave here
2 Activate the reward system (gif link below)Gif link
3 go into the settings an deactivate auto contribution and activate 5 ads per hour (image link below)image link
4 Create an Account on Uphold and connect it with your BraveBrowser.
Now you are good to go and can make some money on something you do anyway.
I hope this helps some folks in the community to make some extra bucks.
edit1:you can find more infos and support here:brave_browser & BATProject or www.brave.com
edit2:the earnings are depenging on the number of devices you are using and were you are living. Best paying countries: United States (69) United Kingdom (39) Canada (36) Australia (35) New Zealand (26) Germany (21) Ireland (21) France (18)( the number next to the country are the companies that are running ads on brave for this particular country, the more companies the more revenue )
you can find a full list with all countries and campaigns here: https://brave.com/transparency/
edit3:You don't need to browse to a certain website to receive ads, just browse as you are used to, play browser games, watch videos on youtube or do whatever you want.Sometimes Ads appear on the startpage looks like that https://i.imgur.com/5tohhRc.jpg and after some time on the right lower corner a clickable pop-up appears looks like that->https://i.imgur.com/CTGdVsu.png
edit4:If you want to import your bookmarks and settings from your old browser:on the right top corner of the browser is a button ->https://i.imgur.com/oi8EAri.jpg click it > than on settings > and than you got the option to import bookmarks and settings from your old browser.
If you want to sync brave between devices and for backups:type brave://flags/ into the adressbar and than brave sync into the search bar and acticate itif its enabled it should look like this https://imgur.com/a/tCMDgDjthan just click on sync ->https://i.imgur.com/oi8EAri.jpg
here is a guide ->https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360021218111-How-do-I-set-up-Sync
edit5: Don't keep your BAT from free token grants to long in your browser, always send your bat to an external wallet or exchange like uphold, only tokens from free token grants have an expire date if they dont get used they go back to the bat pool. you can find more infos about this here -> https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018305731-Why-does-my-BAT-have-an-expiration-date-
submitted by OnlyReveal6 to beermoneyglobal [link] [comments]

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 program