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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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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

AT2: Asynchronous Trustworthy Transfers

AT2, a fairly new unknown tech to create a decentralized asset transfer system without blockchain.
This week there was an article @ www.computing.co.uk. See below.
link: https://www.computing.co.uk/feature/4017118/at2-answer-cryptocurrency-energy-performance
AT2 paper: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1812.10844.pdf

Could AT2 be the answer to cryptocurrency's energy and performance problems?
Blockchains are slow, wasteful and ill-suited for digital currencies, say researchers who believe they've found a better way
Blockchains solve a hard problem: how to ensure consensus across a distributed, decentralised network, where messages arrive out of order if at all, where individual nodes may fail, and where a certain proportion may be actively malicious.
The original blockchain, bitcoin, was designed to support a novel digital currency, and the issue its consensus algorithm solved was preventing double-spend. It also successfully introduced game theory for security: adversaries would have to spend more money on an attack than they could expect to gain financially. All this and the original protocol was just a few hundred lines of code.
But this achievement came at a high cost in terms of energy use and performance.
With bitcoin, a new leader is required to verify each block of transactions, that leader being the first device to complete a computationally heavy challenge (Proof of Work, PoW). As a result, the blockchain's throughput is painfully slow at around seven transactions per second (Visa claims it can do 56,000) and the whole process is massively wasteful of energy. These drawbacks have been surmounted, to some degree, in newer blockchain designs using overlay networks, sharding and different types of "proofs of" and by non-blockchain directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), but each requires tradeoffs in terms of centralisation, complexity or security.
A group of researchers led by computer scientist Professor Rachid Guerraoui of Swiss University Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) decided to look afresh at the problem. Is this gargantuan security apparatus, in which every node in a network of thousands or millions must come to a consensus about the ordering of events, really necessary everytime someone makes a purchase? Could a leaderless mechanism be applied to the problem instead? If so, could it be guaranteed to be reliably consistent, even when a certain number of nodes are malicious or faulty (Byzantine)?
The headline answer, published in an initial paper last year, is that network-wide consensus is overkill for simple asset transfers. If cryptocurrencies could be rebooted, all the fossil fuels burned by miners of bitcoin and its clones could be left in the ground and Visa-level transaction speeds could be achieved without any loss of security or reliance on centralised control. As compact as Satoshi's original bitcoin protocol itself, the few hundred lines of code that make up their Asynchronous Trusted Transfers (AT2) algorithm could solve some of the tricky problems that have plagued decentralised token-based networks from the off.
AT2 can be used to validate transactions within two different decentralised networking scenarios: (1) permissioned or small unpermissioned networks, and (2) global scale unpermissioned networks. In the first case, the algorithm uses quorum for validating actions, whereby a certain proportion of the network's nodes must agree an action is correct before it can take place. The second scenario, networks made up of very large number of machines (nodes), uses probabilistic sampling. Instead of asking all nodes it checks a number of randomly selected nodes for their viewpoint. This is much more efficient and scalable than the deterministic quorum but carries a tiny (ca. 10-15) possibility of failure.
Doing away with network-wide consensus means AT2 sidesteps the bane of decentralised networks, the FLP Impossibility - the theory that in a fully asynchronous system, a deterministic consensus algorithm cannot be safe, live and fault-tolerant.
Computing caught up with Matteo Monti, who worked on the statistical aspects of AT2, and by email with Guerraoui to find out more. We also spoke to David Irvine of networking firm MaidSafe, which has adopted AT2 to simplify its consensus process.

Incentivising improvements
We asked Monti (pictured) to summarise the innovation that AT2 brings to the table.
"What we noticed is that there's a specific subclass of problems that can be solved on a decentralised, distributed network without requiring consensus," he said. "The main use for consensus at the moment, cryptocurrency transactions, is part of that class. We can solve this using a weaker abstraction and in doing so you gain the ability to work in a completely asynchronous environment."
Bitcoin doesn't even solve consensus well. It solves eventual consensus which an even weaker abstraction, he added, whereas AT2 can guarantee strong eventual consistency. Another issue it tackles is PoW's incentivization model which means that improvements in technology do not translate into a better performing network.
"With bitcoin, the bottleneck is always electricity. If everyone doubles their computational speed it's not going to change the efficiency of the network. Everyone's competing not to compute but to waste energy."
In place of PoW, AT2 uses ‘Proof of Bandwidth', i.e. evidence of recent interaction, to verify that a node is real. Since it doesn't rely on consensus, the performance of AT2 should allow messaging speeds across the network that approach the theoretical maximum, and improvements in hardware will translate into better overall performance.

Security measures
Blockchains like bitcoin are extremely resilient against Sybil attacks; bitcoin is still running after all, in the face of unwavering opposition from powerful nation states and bankers. Sybil attacks are a major vulnerability in permissionless decentralised networks where anyone can join anonymously, but there are others too.
Monti said the most challenging aspect of designing the AT2 algorithm was distilling all the potential types of dangerous Byzantine behaviour into a manageable set so they could be treated using probability theory. As a result of studying many possible failure scenarios, including Sybil, the algorithm is able to quickly react to deviations from the norm.
Other security features flow from the fact that each network node needs to know only a limited amount about its counterparts for the system to function. For example, the randomness used in sampling operations is generated locally on the calling device rather than on the network, making this vector hard to utilise by an attacker looking to influence events.
Signals are passed across the network via a messaging system called Byzantine Reliable Broadcasting (BRB) a gossip-based method by which nodes can quickly and reliably come to an agreement about a message even if some are Byzantine.
As a result of these features, AT2 does not rely on economic game theory for security, said Monti.
"I'd go as far as saying that the moment you need to implement an economic disadvantage to attacking the system, it means that you failed to make it impossible to attack the system. We don't care about your interests in attacking the system. What we want to achieve is a proof that no matter what you do, the system will not be compromised."

‘Crypto-Twitter'
AT2 starts with the simple idea that rather than requiring the whole network to maintain a time-ordered record of my transactions (as with a blockchain or DAG), the only person who needs to keep that tally is me.
If I decide to spend some money, I merely announce that fact to the network over BRB and this request will be held in a memory snapshot escrow. Depending on the network type, a representative sample or a quorum of other nodes then check my balance and inspect my ordered transaction history to ensure that the funds haven't already been spent (each transaction has a unique sequential ID) and provided all is correct the transaction is guaranteed to go through, even if up to a third of those validators are malicious. If I try to cheat, the transaction will be blocked.
Monti likens a wallet on an AT2 network to a social media timeline.
"What we've proved, essentially, is that you can have a cryptocurrency on Twitter," he explained.
"A payment works in two steps. First, there's a withdrawal from my account via a tweet, then the second step is a deposit, or a retweet. I tweet a message saying I want to pay Bob. Bob then retweets this message on his own timeline, and in the act of retweeting he's depositing money in his account.
"So everyone has their own independent timeline and while the messages - my tweets - are strictly ordered, that's only in my own timeline; I don't care about ordering relative to other timelines. If I try to pay someone else, it will be obvious by the sequence of tweets in my account, and my account only, whether I can perform that payment.
"In contrast, consensus effectively squeezes all of the messages into a unique timeline on which everybody agrees. But this is overkill, you don't need it. We can prove that it still works even if the ordering is partial and not total, and this enables us to switch from consensus to reliable broadcast."
But of course, nothing comes for free. AT2 can verify exchanges of tokenised assets, but aside from arrangements between a small number of opted-in parties, it does not have the ability to support smart contracts of the type that are viable on ethereum and other blockchains, because this does require network-wide consensus. Guerraoui said his team is working on "refinements and extensions" to support such functionality in the future.

Early adopters
AT2 is still pretty ‘cutting edge'. Three papers have been accepted for peer review the latest published in February, but it provides the sort of efficiencies and simplifications that could bring real progress. Guerraoui said AT2 has "received interest from many groups including companies ‘selling' blockchain approaches, as well as companies and organisations using such approaches".
One organisation that has already picked up on the potential of AT2 is Scotland's MaidSafe, creator of the SAFE Network. MaidSafe is already using AT2 to replace its Parsec consensus algorithm, which testing showed was indeed overkill for many network operations. CEO David Irvine said he and his colleagues came across AT2 while working on another way of propagating changes to data without consensus, conflict-free data replicated types (CRDTs), promptly forked the code and started to apply it.
SAFE, currently in Alpha, is a sharded network, meaning it's subdivided into small semi-autonomous sections. On a network level, the way it works is that trusted 'elder' nodes vote on a requested action then pass instructions to other sections to carry it out.
AT2 allows the initial task of accumulating the votes for an action, which had been done by the elders using a consensus algorithm, to be moved off the network and onto the requesting client which is much more lightweight and efficient. Once a quorum of votes has been gathered, the client simply resubmits the request and the elders will ensure it's carried out. The system is much simpler and should be more secure too. "It's 200 lines of logic compared to 15,000 for a start," Irvine said.
AT2 is not just used to validate token transfers. By the same mechanism, it can also be used to authorise requests to store or change data. Together with CRDTs, which guarantee that such changes cannot fail, this makes for a very tight and efficient ship, said Irvine.
"AT2 is for us a missing link. The difficulty of several nodes agreeing is simplified by the initiator taking on the effort of accumulating quorum votes. It seems so simple but in fact, it's an amazing innovation. It certainly falls into the category of 'why didn't I think of that?'."
submitted by ZaadNek to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

Landing page 1/2

US - PUBLIC SYSTEM (USPS)

other.arkitech 2017-2020

Running version: alpha-22 481bd8fd3d85e61f1ec5be37572dc2f47b23e40b81cdb7ae1797e35c7f782c51 2020-05-08 Main-net: Nodes Accounts Software: Release notes Setup instructions Linux / Windows OS Image Raspberry Pi

TL; DR;

A multi-coin platform with enhanced trading capabilities. For the shake of privacy and self-managed societies.

Overview

An anonymous distributed P2P system based on a flat organization of nodes contributing to secure a database in a way that:
The Public System
The Private System

Values


submitted by other_arkitech to US_Public_System [link] [comments]

LTB podcasts episodes 419 and 420 (DASH not mentioned by name)

Innovations that come out of the DASH project continue to be overlooked. Subpar qualities of other projects are touted, and problems which DASH has "solved" remain unknown or unspoken.
Let's Talk Bitcoin! #419 Altcoins and Ancient History with Charlie Lee
Charlie Lee talks about why Litecoin is useful. He says compared to BTC, fees are lower and transaction times faster because block times are shorter. He specifically says LTC is used when people want to transfer between exchanges (A use-case that DCG identified in a past quarterly call). Why is DASH not competitive, even though DASH's transactions settle faster (instant) and fees are even lower than LTC?
Let's Talk Bitcoin! #420 How Can Public Blockchains Have Real Privacy?
They talk about privacy, and one of the difficulties for Mimblewimble (and every network) is Sybil attacks - nodes can be spun up at near zero cost, and can gathesurveil MW transactions. They said one way to deal with that is having something at stake, and the example given is having BTC "bonded" in a Lightning Network channel.
But DASH's MN network is specifically designed to resist Sybil attacks (one of the first, if not the first, to do so). I have read codablock talk about DASH's innovation for avoiding Sybil attacks, but rarely elsewhere.
Mimblewimble on DASH was talked about on forums as early as 2016. GrandMasterDash on Dash Forums and DashNexus, explains why MimbleWimble is ideal for DASH:
... MimbleWimble is the best fit for dash. Transactions are carried out via a handshake i.e. the receiving party must sign and reply. It's kind of like receiving an invoice and then you pay. This setup is similar to dash's Blockchain Users i.e. both parties subscribe to each other. Dash's masternode network would be perfect for managing said handshake. The sender, for example, could ask the masternodes to pay someone within 24 hours, or void the transaction if it's not claimed.
A few months ago, Chainlink generated a lot of buzz for having "oracles" linking real-world data to a blockchain. Years ago, Evan cited one of the purposes for Masternodes is to serve as just such "oracles"... Also haven't heard or seen anything about this from Dash News or community.
tldr; It's strange to me that none of these seem to be talked about or known, neither in DASH's community or the wider crypto community. Is the community too small? Does the core team lack knowledge or ability to communicate? Am I just out of touch? What am I missing?
Edit: Is there someone in the Dash community that's well-spoken and technically savvy enough (like Andreas Antonopoulos) that can "promote" DASH? LTB podcast has requested story ideas or interviewees for future podcasts - I wonder if there is anyone that would be suitable to "represent" DASH and talk about its innovations.
All respect to Amanda, Joel, Mark and others but I don't think they are technically savvy enough to speak to DASH's technical innovations (I could be wrong, gladly). How about Darrentapp, Codablock, andyfreer and other devs, or perhaps Bob Carroll - would they be willing to be interviewed? Not sure if "verbal communications" is their strong point. Is there anyone else in the community that would be willing to speak up?
submitted by traderpat to dashpay [link] [comments]

On EOS Blockchain, Vote Buying Is Business as Usual

On EOS Blockchain, Vote Buying Is Business as Usual


Buying votes is a big no-no in traditional democracies, but on the world’s eighth-largest blockchain it’s become an accepted way of doing business.
A new service makes it easier for EOS block producers, the nodes elected by holders of the cryptocurrency to validate transactions on the network, to share their block rewards with those who voted for them. The service, known as Genpool, was introduced this month by GenerEOS, which itself is a block producer candidate.
Back when EOSIO, the software powering the $3.7 billion EOS chain, was just an idea, the crypto community debated whether delegated proof-of-stake, or DPoS, would lead to validation candidates effectively bribing users to support them. (DPoS is a consensus mechanism that limits the number of node validators to a fixed set.) Early on, the EOS community believed it could prevent such activity.
Now the community is all-in on what proponents call “voter rebates.”
"The Genpool platform is a zero barrier to entry free market ecosystem, connecting proxy owners with voters that are looking to support quality Block Producers (BPs) while being rewarded with a percentage of the additional BP income,” GenerEOS said in a Medium post announcing the service.
GenerEOS's Tim Weston declined an interview with CoinDesk.
While similar services have launched in Asia, Genpool appears to be the first in the English-speaking EOS world explicitly designed to help token holders find the best payouts for their votes from block producers. (Like bitcoin (BTC) miners, EOS block producers are rewarded with freshly minted cryptocurrency for recording transactions on the public ledger.) In short, Genpool lets EOS (EOS) holders get paid to participate in governance.
To critics, this fulfills longstanding fears that in a system where governance is delgated, the richest will dominate. Permitting payments makes it even easier for the wealthiest to cement their position.
There is nothing stopping a validator from acting is if it were more than one entity, allowing whales to hold multiple spots on the governing council of block producers, effectively mounting a Sybil attack, the research team at the Binance cryptocurrency exchange wrote in a report released Feb. 18.
"A single actor may register multiple block producer accounts and multiply their voting weight at a negligible cost,” the report said. “Simultaneously, having multiple BP entities allows [that actor] to allocate more block rewards to voters, increasing the competitiveness of the underlying actor."
Binance stopped withdrawals of eos tokens in late January when it saw instability on the network, possibly due to upgrades to the latest version of the EOSIO software released by Block.One. Other exchanges such as Upbit and OKEx paused withdrawals at the time.
submitted by moon525 to u/moon525 [link] [comments]

"The only way to successfully launch any oracle network is from the top down with respect to real-world trust"

"Most won't take the time to read this
For those that do, enjoy
A while back there was a clip that cirulated where a bitcoin maximalist said something to the effect of "if someone were to solve the oracle problem, it would be worth more than all of crypto"
He then went on to give the standard counterargument that sybill attacks fundamentally prevent resolution of the oracle problem.
He was almost right
Here's the reality: in isolation without external factors this is correct. Put differently: if all of crypto was created de-novo and no data/api providers existed before the advent of chainlink, there would exist an equilibrium at which sybill attacks would be more profitable than delivering quality data or outputs. If this was the case, there are ways of breaking this state, but they involve exchange of value first in a non-deterministic manner and then using the experience from that to bootstrap an oracle network.
Fortunately, before crypto the world did exist. This led to trust systems being developed to reign in this situation (lawsuits, word-of-mouth reputation, the value of name recognition) in a world of non-deterministic interactions. For chainlink this is an absolute blessing.
The entwork will launch with actors providing APIs and data that are linked to their real-world names and practices. This means that even outside of the sybill equilibrium, there will be significant pressure to have high quality inputs and outputs. A bank can't expect to keep its good name if it makes a habit of screwing its smart contract customers while keeping good practices with its standard customers.
So what follows logically from this? The initial network has to tap into this entropy of trust left over from the non-deterministic world. In other words, it can't be decentralized initially unless the network wants to go through a growth period where bad behavior is actually game-theory optimal (with asymptotic approach to trustworthy behavior).
Human beings being what they are, such a period would sour people against the use of smart contracts if they could be scammed early on, even if they were safer than conventional alternatives.
For an example of this look at common perception of bitcoin. It has provided 24/7 value transfer at discount rates since its launch 10 years ago. During that time billions have been transferred without loss. On top of that it has increased in value from less than a dollar to over a thousand dollars. Any stock, bond or precious metal that did that would be hailed as the greatest investment in the history of the world.
But human perception matters.
For that reason the chainlink network cannot launch decentralized and must launch with as much providenode transparency as possible. This sets the floor for node behavior when the network does decentralize. Only though doing it this way will people, with all their flaws, see the value.
Put another way: the only way to successfully launch any oracle network is from the top down with respect to real-world trust. If you could launch a perfectly coded, perfectly transparent, perfectly decentralized oracle network right now you would still lose to chainlink. An oracle network must first have the buy in (and implicit pledge to perform) of those agencies with the most real world trust. The network which harvests these residual trust sources from the real world is the one that wins, and the one that wins is the de facto monopoly because those that can't harvest this resource must traverse the sybill period to launch.
You are about to see an entire industry (the trust assurances industry) be swallowed whole by a decentralized network. The marginal value of all trust assurances services in the world (contracts lawyers, non-criminal courts, administrative workers etc.) will become the chainlink network. Those groups which don't make this transition will cease to exist. In 20 years it will be hard to imagine how the world functioned without such a network, just as it's hard to imagine a world without the internet now.
You're about to watch the whole world realize, slowly, this new reality. Remember that it takes hours and hours of dedication to get what I'm saying right now. Next year you'll just have to be a CEO/CTO level person to understand. The year after that, someone who is considered smart and cutting edge. You're about to witness all of this happen.
At this point, there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Even if the whole chainlink team died, the cat is out of the bag. Once traditional trust assurers understand this, such a network can't not exist.
Be good and enjoy the ride frens"
Sauce : https://warosu.org/biz/thread/14514053#p14523560
submitted by QuantLink to LINKTrader [link] [comments]

How to kill bitcoin

We have to kill bitcoin before it kills us.
We should rather pegg value to living people instead to pegg it to dead materialism - like PoW and PoS do. We need Blockchains build on proof of people, not build alone on energy waste, debt, ponzi logic and fiat money exchange.
We need to democratize money creation. Why keep on creating new currency only in favor of few privileged - allways on cost of everyone else?
Lets start a crypto basic income fueled by decentralized money creation - proof of democratic stake is the key. Redistributing wealth top down constantly by design.
Right now most Blockchain economics work vice versa, late adopters take the highest risk just to redistribute their "investment" to early adopters. That thing cant and wont ever scale to all mankind anyway, so why not create something better?
Growing value of crypto basic income could be about sowing mutual trust and mutual fairness.
But i am dreaming as well about some bright devs building a cryptoubi with the dedicated purpose to start a 51% attack on PoW with a "unique identity"-miningpool. It will be possible as soon as one of those "unique identity"-projects (idena, ubic.network , duniter, brightid or whatever) is more functional. right now sybil attack would make equal redistribution within PoW or PoS impossible
So let us switch to proof of democratic authoriy.
You would as a participant be forced to stake all mined coins against a pool-dedicated basic income token, which every participant gets continuously - not neccessarily dependend on how much hash you add to the pool, but dependend on your ability to proove that you use only one account, not multiple accounts. You only get a share of mined tokens, if your send your basic income token at stake to a burning address. The number of minted basic income token each block would be caped, but the number of participants and with them the hashpower of the miningpool could grow, so everyone gets less but more valuable tokens over time. Early adopters could mine with old equipment that is not efficient anymore.
In the long run a 51% attack would be the goal to redistribute equally all btc in existence between miningpool participants - so the destruction of bitcoin pays the bill in the end for the latest adopters. Destroying those crazy inequal wealth pyramids and energy consumption pyramids of PoW, finishing greed with greed.
It could turn in a selffullfilling prophecy, whales might hedge within the basic income token their risk against that basic income token beeing successful in destroying bitcoin.
Lets do it!
submitted by ubiubi2018 to cryptoleftists [link] [comments]

It appears Roger Ver does not support Nakamoto Consensus/whitepaper and hash rate cpu voting as stated in section 4 and section 12 of the whitepaper: "I support BCH against the hash of BTC too."

submitted by bchbadger to btc [link] [comments]

51% attacks are morally justifiable

In this short post I want to set out my case for the moral justifiability of 51% attacks against proof of work cryptocurrencies. In the past, a 51% attack was a theoretical construct that most people didn´t seem to think would be practically achievable or lucrative. This has now changed, as hashpower can be rented on sites like Nicehash and Mining Rig Rentals for a few hours at a time. The attack delivers the attacker two prominent opportunities:
-You can orphan blocks of ¨legitimate¨ miners. This essentially means that whatever work was produced by legitimate miners during your attack became worthless. Mine a secret chain of two hours worth of blocks, release it and you orphaned 2 hours worth of blocks by your competitors. By the time most of the miners have noticed their blocks were orphaned in an attack, their nodes will have been automatically mining on your own chain for a while and it will be too late for them to do anything about it. The amount of money they lost would be equivalent to the amount you had to spend to produce your chain. Because mining is an industry with tight margins, the economic impact on these miners can be very big. The cost may be sufficient in case of a very long attack, to persuade them to quit their endeavor and get a real job.
-The more important opportunity is that you´re able to double spend your coins. This is potentially, incredibly lucrative. How lucrative it is tends to depend primarily on the inflation rate of a cryptocurrency. A low inflation rate means relatively little ¨work¨ is done to maintain the security of the system. A high inflation rate on the other hand, turns the cryptocurrency into a very poor long-term investment. As a consequence, most cryptocurrencies face declining inflation rates, that delay the problem of their ultimately unsustainability into the future. The bank of international settlements explains this issue here.
When it comes to the moral justification of a 51% attack, we first have to ask ourselves why proof of work is morally unjustifiable. There are two main reasons for this:
-Proof of work has an enormous environmental impact, that ensures future generations will have to deal with the dramatic consequences of climate change. There is no proper justification for this environmental impact, as it delivers no clear benefits over existing payment systems other than the ability to carry out morally unjustifiable actions like blackmail.
-Proof of work is fundamentally unsustainable, because of the economic burden it places on participants in cryptocurrency schemes. Cryptocurrencies can´t produce wealth out of thin air. The people who get rich from a cryptocurrency becomes rich, due to the fact that other people step in later. In this sense we´re dealing with a pyramid scheme, but the difference from regular pyramid schemes lies in the fact that huge sums of wealth are not merely redistributed, but destroyed, to sustain the scheme. The cost of the work to sustain the scheme is bigger than you might expect, because the reality is that relatively little money has entered bitcoin. JP Morgan claims that for the crypto assets at large, a fiat amplifier of 117.5 is present, as a purported $2 billion in net inflow pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization from $15 billion to $250 billion. You have to consider that the Digiconomist estimates that $2.6 billion dollar leaves the Bitcoin scheme on an annual basis, in the form of mining costs to sustain Bitcoin. The vast majority of retail customers who entered this scheme ended up losing money from it. In some cases this lead to suicides.
The fact that proof of work is morally unjustifiable doesn´t directly lead to a moral justification for a 51% attack. After all a sane society would use government intervention to eliminate the decentralized ponzi schemes that are cryptocurrencies. There are a few things that need to be considered however:
-Governments have so far failed in their responsibility to address the cryptocurrency schemes. Instead you tend to see officials insist that proof of work might suck and most cryptocurrency is a scam, but ¨blockchain technology¨ will somehow change the world for the better. Most libertarians who saw these schemes emerge insisted that it´s stupid to participate in them because the government would eventually ban them and round up the people who participated in them. This didn´t happen because of the logistical difficulty of suppressing these schemes (anyone with an internet connection can set one up) as well as the fact that suppressing them would lend credence to the anti-government anarcho-capitalist ideology on which these schemes are based. Goverments might say ¨these schemes facilitate crime, ruin the environment and redistribute wealth from naive individuals to scammers¨, but anarcho-capitalists would insist that governments have grown so tyrannical that they want to ban you from exchanging numbers on computers.
-Because cryptocurrency is fundamentally an online social arrangement, governments have very limited influence over the phenomenon. Binance seeks to become a stateless organization, not subject to the jurisdiction of any particular government. Just as with regular money laundering and tax evasion that hides in small nations that can earn huge sums of money by facilitating these practises, governments are dependent on the actions of individuals to address these practices. Whistleblowers released the panama papers and the tax evasion by German individuals through Swiss bank accounts. Through such individuals, the phenomenon could be properly addressed. In a similar manner, cryptocurrency schemes will need to be addressed through the actions of individuals who recognize the damage these schemes cause to the fabric of society.
-The very nature of a 51% attack means that it primarily punishes those who set up and facilitate the cryptocurrency scheme in the first place. The miners who pollute our environment to satiate their own greed are bankrupted by the fact that their blocks are orphaned. The exchange operators are bankrupted due to double-spend attacks against the scams that they facilitate. When this happens, the cryptocurrency in question should lose value, which then destroys the incentive to devote huge sums of electricity to it.
Finally, there´s the question of whether 51% attacks are viable as a response to cryptocurrency. There´s the obvious problem you run into, that the biggest and oldest scams are the most difficult to shut down. In addition, cryptocurrencies that fell victim to an attack tend to move towards a checkpoint system. However, there are a few things that need to be considered here:
-51% attacks against small cryptocurrencies might not have a huge impact, but their benefit is nonetheless apparent. Most of the new scams don´t require participants to mine, instead the new schemes generally depend on ¨staking¨. If people had not engage in 51% attacks, the environmental impact would have been even bigger now.
-51% attacks against currencies that implement checkpointing are not impossible, if the checkpoints are decentrally produced. What happens in that case is a chain split, as long as the hostile chain is released at the right time. This would mean that different exchanges may get stuck on different forks, which would still allow people to double spend their cryptocurrency.
-There are other attacks that can be used against proof of work cryptocurrencies. The most important one is the block withholding attack. It´s possible for people who dislike a cryptocurrency to join a pool and to start mining. However, whenever the miner finds a valid solution that would produce a block, he fails to share the solution with the pool. This costs money for the pool operator, but it can be lucrative for the actor if he also operates a competing pool himself. In the best case it leads to miners moving to his pool, which then potentially allows him to execute a 51% attack against the cryptocurrency.
-It´s possible to put up a 51% attack bounty, allowing others to do the work for you. This works as following. You make transaction A : 100 bitcoin to exchange X, for a fee of 0.001 BTC. Once this transaction has been included in a block, you immediately broadcast a conflicting transaction with another node: You´ŕe sending those 100 bitcoin to your own wallet, but you´re also including a 50 bitcoin fee for the miners. The miners now have a strong incentive to disregard the valid chain and to start mining a new chain on an older block that can still include your conflicting transaction. Provided that pool operators are rational economic agents, they should grab the opportunity.
-Selfish mining in combination with a Sybil attack allows someone to eclipse the rest of the network, while controlling less than 51% of the hashrate. Your malicious nodes will simply refuse to propagante blocks of your competitors, thereby giving you more time to release your own block. Selfish mining will always be possible with 33% of the hashrate and as far as I can tell there are no pathways known currently to make the scheme impossible for people with 25% of the hashrate. This potentially makes a 51% attacks lucrative without having to carry out double-spend attacks against exchanges. Although double spending is a form of theft, it´s not clear to me whether a selfish mining attack would get you into legal trouble or not.

Conclusion:

The dreaded 51% attack is a morally justifiable and potentially lucrative solution to the Nakamoto scheme.
submitted by milkversussoy to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Dash In 2018: Disappointments, Boondoggles, Scandals, Disasters, & Catastrophes

[The original post was censored in the the paidshill Dash pumping sub Dashpay, where actual discussion beyond "2018 kind of sucked for Dash" is not allowed.] ​
Disappointments
In 2018, Dash failed to be listed on Coinbase while ETC and many other coins were, due to Dash's notorious Instamine, centralized development, and murky Howey Test/SEC Action status.
In 2018, Dash failed be included in the OpenBazaar project, while Monero and several other alts were added.
In 2018, efforts to hype Dash's supposedly impressive 2mb block-based tx/sec rate were crushed and humiliated when DCG's creaky old client hit a crippling software limitation around the same time as BCH and BSV were chewing through 32 and 64 megabyte blocks.
In 2018, Dash's former anti-segwit hero Craig Wright learned new facts about law and concluded Dash is an illegal security, saying so loudly in tweets backed by citations.
In 2018, Wirex and other debit card providers supported Bitcoin and many alts, but not Dash, despite a year of Shrem 2.0 shill talk about integrations 'soon'.
In 2018, Dash Core used Uphold for the "Acquire Dash" part of their Kript mobile plan, but Uphold doesn't work in Venezuela , so that pillar of their strategy was broken.

Boondoggles
In 2018, the FanDuel fiasco wasted a fortune in cash and goodwill, leaving Dash's target market of online gambling to Calvin Ayre's BSV and Roger Ver's BCH blockchains.
In 2018, the DACH Embassy fiasco wasted a fortune in cash and goodwill, as nobody ever really cared about Macrocuck/Simon/Basilpop/Ezra/Fabio running around desperately trying to look busy enough to justify their ridiculous burn rate and poor results.
In 2018, the CoPay fiasco wasted a fortune in cash and goodwill as users and devs suffered an ambush from DCG, leaving the formerly hyped "backbone of Evolution" project instantly retired to abandonware status.
In 2018, the Alt36 train-wreck-in-progress slowly lurched towards its imminent conclusion of causing more toxic FUD and wasting a fortune in cash and goodwill with zero deliverables to show for it.

Scandals
In 2018, fake "Venezuela adoption" news resulted in massive public humiliation as Twitter, cc, and Russia Today (ironically, the home of Dash paidshill Max Keiser) debunked hype that only amounted to useless stickers on greasy cash registers.
In 2018, Evan and Amanda were missing in action, despite Evan's previous promises to develop hardware and support the ecosystem with his vast, intentionally insta-mined fortune.
In 2018, Dash paid to hold a Bitcoin networking event at a Miami strip club, offending so many people (it was a 2nd offence for Dash with strippers at TNABC) the scandal was reported worldwide by Bloomberg, Fortue, Business Insider, etc.
In 2018, knowledge of Dash's instamine became widespread throughout the entire crypto universe and the intentional nature of Evan's faked "bug" excuse became a subject of investigation.
In 2018, Dash cargo cultists reduced themselves to shilling the dwindling number of cherry-picked metrics by which Dash was not failing utterly, such as the absurd "FairCoinValue" and fallacious/irrelevant "ATH Masternode Count" hype.
In 2018, the KuvaCash fiasco turned toxic (wasting a fortune in cash and goodwill) resulting in a kDAO splinter group of venture capitalist MNOs and creating massive Howey Test implications.

Disasters
In 2018, a KuvaNation vs. DACH Force News civil war inflicted mass casualties, leaving a permanent split of the "DGBB" community into non-cooperative Team Tao and Team Joel factions fighting over a shrinking Treasury budget like starving rats.
In 2018, malicious MNOs trolled Dash at the protocol level and on DashCentral, causing chaos at the very end of voting cycles, thus showing the entire world Dash is not resistant to Sybil attack after all.
In 2018, Dash Clown Group Inc failed to live up to its own self-imposed "Agile Development" goals so many times they published one sketchy, final "DRAFT" roadmap, and then quietly abandoned entirely the idea of actually trying to meet deadlines (despite the dash.org page still advertising a Q4 2018 Alpha release).

Catastrophes
In 2018, a single mining pool controlled enough hashpower to prevent a timely upgrade, demonstrating that Dash's PoW is not sufficiently decentralized (due to Bitmain's monopoly on Dash ASICs).
In 2018, www.crypto51.app showed the world Dash is >90% NiceHash-able and thus may be 51% attacked easily and cheaply (<1 BTC per hour), causing Poloniex and other exchanges to require 50 confirmations (rather than using InsantSend).
In 2018, the failures of Dash's X11-based PoW security model and resulting threat of attacks caused Dash to abandon Nakamoto Consensus for a wonky, untested, homespun version of checkpoints (conceding defeat and offering an unconditional "pre-consensus" surrender before an attack even happened).
In 2018, Evolution was not here by NYE (not even an alpha version of a testnet).
In 2018, no amount of brave ThisIsFine talk about buying dips could change the fact that Dash Core Group Inc had to radically downsize due to their customary $935k/month funding being completely unsupportable.

Analysis
Never mind the price drop, even though Dash suffered worse than most of its Top 20 peers and fell in rank from #3 all the way down to #16.
Let's ignore the fact Dash is marketed to investors with the 'Masternode' feature advertised as supposedly stabilizing the price.
Let's also ignore the fact that in 2018 Dash's supposed Sybil-resistance was shown to be inadequate, as blockchain analysis revealed dozens of Masternodes trolling at the protocol level by voting no on all but the infamous DEMOTE RYAN TAYLOR proposal.
Evolution was, after years of delays, complete from-scratch reboots, and blown goals, given one final self-imposed deadline to meet.
Dash's Queen, Amanda of the Used Car Lot, declared she was going have to rethink her position regarding Duff's Instamined Masternode tokens if that deadline wasn't met.
That deadline was midnight Dec 31, 2018.
Now it's the first morning of 2019 and Evolution is nowhere to be seen.
Even worse, Dash Clown Inc is once again making negative progress towards their goals of shipping a test-net version of v13 worth of the term "Release Candidate."
Dash Clown Inc burned through ten (10) un-releasable (because broken) so-called Release Candidates.
Finally the clueless clowns (running around like headless chickens since Andy Freer was fired or rage-quit) gave up on the entire v13 RC branch and went back to tinkering with v12.
No updates to the crucial LLMQ repo have been made since November, when the price drop crushed DCG's budget and Andy suddenly left Evolution to die on the operating table.

Dash in 2018 through the eyes of Reddit's most popular crypto sub
January 2018
Congratulations: Dash out of top 10
https://np.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/7oq515/congratulations_dash_out_of_top_10/
One of the most prolific scam coins has been beaten out of the top 10 once and for all. For this we can all be grateful.
Evidence for all your downvoters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBxbiH_Mg44
https://medium.com/@omiros23/evans-and-dash-s-scam-story-add1f16528ae
https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@thedashguy/the-reason-i-call-dash-a-scam-and-echo-chamber-proof-of-the-crazed-cult-like-thinking-of-dash-community-inside
Today is a good day.
Best comment: "replaced by Tron... oh the irony".

December 2018
KFC Venezuela denies accepting dash as a form of payment
https://np.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/a56a4e/kfc_venezuela_denies_accepting_dash_as_a_form_of/
** Hi guys, check this news
https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=es&sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.criptonoticias.com%2Fsucesos%2Fkfc-venezuela-desmiente-acepte-dash-como-forma-pago%2F
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccacampbell1/2018/12/07/discussions-in-place-for-dash-to-be-accepted-at-kfc-venezuela/#18baf92c5d38
https://twitter.com/dashmerchant/status/1072327769068052481
Top comment: "Yeah, more bullshit from Dash."

**December 24
Dash doesn't actually look like it is being utilised by Venezuelans. Have a look.
https://np.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/a96i3y/dash_doesnt_actually_look_like_it_is_being/
https://youtu.be/4tKvqj3U3O0
Most controversial comment: "I dont see how people dont get it. If you cant pay for food, you would invest what little you have into something as risky as crypto ? It is easy to judge from our POV but In reality, most would rather feed their familiy then look for ways to invest in some startup."

Conclusion
The Top Three Dash-related posts at cryptocurrency are a microcosm of Dash's start-to-finish miserable, horrible, terrible year of self-inflicted blunders, money pits, and epoch-ending cataclysms cumulating in the resolution of the Dash experiment and disproving Evan's "Dash is Digital Cash" hypothesis.
Note: The repost is shared here. The original has been censored from Dashpay. https://np.reddit.com/DashUncensored/comments/abvewf/dash_in_2018_disappointments_boondoggles_scandals/
[Dash is such a terrible scam that it needs its own uncensored sub to discuss happenings without incurring the wrath of the MNO and the Dash ponzi leadership/Evan/Amanda. I honestly believe crypto must weed out these ponzi like operations before we can move forward as a collective group]

submitted by tellmesay to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Let's have a public debate about what could improve the Burst marketplace (and perhaps asset exchange)

Let's not have a public debate that will either lead to drama, or leads to the sentiment of "let's just rip it out and leave it at that".
There has been more than a year of development now. The BRS has been through a hard fork, seriously upgrading the transaction capacity. Many efforts have gone into stabilising the wallet as much as possible. Many bugs were squashed as well, fixing potential and actual vulnerabilities. In the Burst ecosystem (because yes, there's always far more than just the wallet) there has been a lot of development as well. New pool software was created, new plotting software, and new mining software. All designed with the concepts of being powerful, scalable, and less power consuming. Even mobile device mining made a serious come back. Then there's the bot development which should help integrate Burst even better into our community.
The Burst future certainly looks bright as well, with ongoing endeavers working towards Tethered Assets, the Dymaxion, and PoC3 which are there to fix some of the most essential problems we see in cryptocurrencies. Tethered Assets to offer an algorithmicaly provable solution to the heavily fluctuating value of cryptocurrencies that make true (closed economies) adoption of cryptocurrencies hard. There's the Dymaxion, which will be an effort to have a truly scalable solution to actually allow the use of Burst on a global level; so we can actually trade our Burst-backed USD, or in the long term Burst itself. Growing to that capacity will without a doubt on my side, give it the actual it deserves in a stable way after true "organic" growth of the perceived value of Burst. Finally there's PoC3, which will be a major improvement on PoC2, because the data plotted will have a second use; forming a digital vault to store humanity's greatest treasure: it's common knowledge and cultural values. Let's also remind ourselves that PoC is in itself the answer to another problem we see in cryptocurrencies, where PoW is burning down the world while Bitcoin is in its infancy in regards to adoption, and PoS only seems to lead to centralisation of wealth and Stockholm syndrome.
The Dymaxion, Tethered Assets, and PoC3 concepts didn't appear out of nowhere. They required serious thinking done over a period of time by quite uncommon individuals. They caused "Eureka" moments, and when you dive deeper into the matter and start connecting the concepts, you'll see more and more synergies.
In the last year where I've been a part of development of Burst I've seen the topic of the Burst marketplace - and as an extend to that the Burst Assets exchange brought up often. The current state of them can be considered "lacking" at best and absolutely detrimental in the worst case according to many people.
Since the aim for Burst absolutely is global adoption, we of course want the marketplace and asset exchange to be top-notch as well. The moment we get Tethered Assets, we could definitely improve it on the "accepting" front - allowing sellers to request a value in Burst, but also in Tethered Euro's, USD, or bananas.
That still leaves the issue of "trust", however. The marketplace and asset exchange are currently an amazing playground for scammers. Much of the drama that has occured in the years before last year originated from that. People scamming, people calling others scammers while they weren't, etc of course all leads to a toxic environment.
Of course there can be many perceived solutions to this problem. One could be a central authority that "validates" people to allow them to sell something (either on the marketplace or in the form of assets), but adding this into the core of Burst would imply centralisation and absolutely destroy Burst's identity. Another perceived solution could be "have buyers rate sellers", but in that case a simple Sybill attack could be applied by the seller, simply use a thousand "sock puppet" buyer accounts that will make him look good, without a single product moving.
So let's try to think up a real solution to that problem. Something we haven't been able to in the many iterations it has been brought up on Discord, but might be done in a big public debate here on reddit. Have you seen a solution in another project, or cryptocurrency that might fix the current situation? Any ideas you have yourself? Don't be afraid to share them here.
And in case serious improvements can happen, let's not fear hard forks. The current marketplace could even be "disabled" and something else can be built next to it, although the original code will have to remain so the blockchain can still be validated in the future.
So let's get our Eureka moment here.
submitted by Brabantian to burstcoin [link] [comments]

Dash announces novel approach to mitigating 51% attack and requiring only 1 confirmation = fully confirmed. What do you think? As cool as it seems?

The Hashwar is over if you want it.

Shared from https://blog.dash.org/mitigating-51-attacks-with-llmq-based-chainlocks-7266aa648ec9

Mitigating 51% attacks with LLMQ-based ChainLocks

The recent controversies observed in other crypto projects have shown that threats of 51% mining attacks are real, at least in the sense that they can generate a great deal of uncertainty and fear in the market.

What are 51% mining attacks?

A 51% mining attack becomes possible when a single entity/miner has more hash power than the total combined hash power of all other miners. In this case, the miner is able to overrule all blocks of all other miners, simply by ignoring the blocks found by other miners and mining new blocks only on top of his own blocks.
Such a miner can do this in public, which would be noticed by an unusually high rate of orphaned blocks. The miner can also perform this in private without publishing blocks one by one, and instead publish their own secret chain at once after some time (e.g. hours or days). If this is done, the network would first assume that everything is operating as usual, and then suddenly perform a deep reorganization.
By following this process, the miner is able to attack the network in multiple ways. He could publish transactions to the public chain and secretly mine a conflicting transaction on the secret chain that sends the coins back to himself (which is perfectly valid by consensus rules). He could mine only empty blocks in the secret chain and basically revert all transactions that have been confirmed in the meantime on the public chain. These transactions would very likely be re-confirmed later in new blocks (mined by honest miners), but there is no real guarantee for this to happen. Also, everyone would have to assume that even after re-confirmation, the attack could be repeated, as the malicious miner might already be working on the next secret chain.
These are just a few examples of what a miner with 51% hash power can do. There are probably many more possible attacks/scenarios that all lead to some real damage.

How likely is this?

51% mining attacks are generally assumed to not be an issue as long as the basic assumptions behind proof of work hold true. One of the assumptions is that honesty is generally more profitable than malicious behavior. Another assumption is that most of the hash rate is provided by rational participants who follow the first assumption. Even if part of the network was malicious for some reason, the rational participants would outvote the malicious participants since they have more hash power in total.
There are however situations where these assumptions may become completely void. If for example advancements in ASIC hardware were kept private, distribution of hash power could be shifted in a way that either makes malicious behavior profitable for single entities, or at least reduces losses to an acceptable level.
Also, coins (e.g. Bitcoin Cash) which don’t have the majority of available hash power for their specific hash algorithm are always at risk of being attacked by entities who have a moderate hash rate on the majority coin (Bitcoin Cash uses SHA256D, which is also used by Bitcoin, but it has less than 10% of the hashing power Bitcoin has).
This leads to some level of uncertainty and lack of trust in Proof of Work, which has been shown very clearly by the recent “hash wars” observed in the Bitcoin Cash community. Multiple entities have joined together to create a fork from the Bitcoin Cash network, and threatened to perform 51% attacks on the original network.
Although these attacks have not been (successfully) performed on any major coin so far, the market has reacted in a very negative way, contributing to a downturn in the market and multiple exchanges halting transfers of coins. Even the possibility of such situations is unacceptable if mass adoption is the long term target.

How can Dash solve this?

As of now, Dash is as vulnerable as any other Proof of Work coin and many community members have asked how we can solve this. There was an older proposal called “Collateralized Mining” which would solve the 51% mining attack to some degree, but it would have required massive changes in mining economics (which would have been an issue on its own).
The introduction of Long Living Masternode Quorums (LLMQs) enables us to implement a new protection mechanism against 51% mining attacks. This protection mechanism, called ChainLocks, is proposed in DIP8. This DIP has been in progress for a number of months and we decided to publish it now as an answer to community questions on how Dash is going to handle the threat of 51% attacks. It also makes Collateralized Mining obsolete.

LLMQ-based ChainLocks

The idea of ChainLocks is to perform a verifiable network-wide measurement/vote of the “first-seen” rule. For each block, an LLMQ of a few hundred masternodes is selected and each participating member signs the first block that it sees extending the active chain at the current height. If enough members (e.g. >= 60%) see the same block as the first block, they will be able to create a P2P message (CLSIG) and propagate it to all nodes in the network. There are some more details to this process, especially when multiple miners find a block at approximately the same time. These details are described in DIP8.
The CLSIG message can only be created if enough quorum members agree on it. This is because LLMQs use BLS M-of-N Threshold Signatures and the CLSIG message is required to have a valid threshold signature included. This threshold signature is internally just like a normal BLS signature, and can be verified by all nodes without knowledge of who signed it. This verification only requires the LLMQ’s quorum public key, which can be retrieved from on-chain data. Due to the nature of how LLMQ Signing Requests/Sessions work, there can only be either one valid CLSIG message or none, so there is no uncertainty due to conflicts.
Presence of a valid CLSIG message indicates that most members (e.g. 60%) of the LLMQ have seen the specified block as the first block. As LLMQs are randomly composed from Dash’s Masternode set (currently about 4900 nodes), the distribution of nodes that have seen this block first across the whole network is statistically the same as inside the LLMQ. This means, that if 60% of LLMQ members have seen the block first, about 60% of the whole network should also have seen it first.
If a valid CLSIG message is received by a node, it should reject all blocks (and their descendants) at the same height that do not match the block specified in the CLSIG message. This makes the decision on the active chain quick, easy and unambiguous. It also makes reorganizations below this block impossible.

Implications and effects on the network

ChainLocks have a few very important effects on the whole network and its economics. The most important effect for normal users and merchants is that transactions can be considered fully confirmed after the first on-chain confirmation inside a block protected by ChainLocks. Transactions can no longer vanish from the chain since reorganization of signed/locked blocks is not possible. This means that there is no need anymore to wait for 6 or more confirmations until a received transaction can be considered secure.
It also has effects on the economics of mining. It removes all incentives for miners to cause chain reorganizations. Many attacks based on secret or selfish mining become impossible as they all depend on miners withholding longer and secret chains. Under the current consensus rules, such chains would override the publicly known chain and cause a chain reorganization when published. With ChainLocks however, miners are incentivized to publish every block immediately, even if they in theory have enough hash power to overrule every other miner. Failure to publish creates substantial risks for a malicious miner since any secret chain (even if thousands of blocks longer) would be immediately invalidated if another honest miner publishes a valid block that receives a CLSIG before the secret chain is revealed.

But what about the longest-chain rule?

The longest-chain rule is one of the most important parts of Proof of Work based consensus. The idea is that every node should consider the chain with the most accumulated work as the locally active chain (but only if it is also valid by all other consensus rules). The reason for this rule is that otherwise it wouldn’t be possible to find consensus on which chain to extend. Nodes need to find consensus based on limited information, and the only reliable information which is viable for this is the information found from the chain of headers. Using only the accumulated work (calculable from the headers) makes sure that every node can disconnect and reconnect, and still find consensus at any time.
With ChainLocks, this rule is still in effect, but it can be overridden by a valid CLSIG message. Effectively, only the members of the responsible LLMQ are fully following the longest-chain rule, as they are the ones creating the CLSIG message in collaboration. As the CLSIG message can only be created if enough LLMQ members agree, the presence of the CLSIG message serves as a proof that the referenced block was (or still is) the block resulting in the longest-chain.
This puts quite some trust into CLSIG messages and the Masternode network, but we consider this to be an acceptable tradeoff. The assumption is that the majority of the masternode network is honest, which is basically the same assumption applied to miners in a plain Proof of Work system.
The difference with ChainLocks is that miners AND Masternodes representing 51% of each of the layers would have to collude in order to perform a working attack. And even if an attack succeeded, the attackers would still not be able to cause deep reorganizations, as previous CLSIG messages can’t be invalidated by the attackers. The worst thing that could be achieved is to NOT sign blocks, which would be noticed by all nodes. Also, if any LLMQ with mostly honest masternodes signed a block in-between the attack, all previously unsigned blocks would become fully confirmed as well, making reorganizations for these impossible as well.

And the other consensus rules?

No other consensus rules are affected. All nodes must still fully verify a block before accepting it. This includes double-spending checks, signature checks, and Proof of Work (hash < difficulty target).
A valid CLSIG can NOT enforce acceptance of an otherwise invalid block.

Why can’t other coins have ChainLocks?

One of the main prerequisites required to make ChainLocks secure is a Sybil protected network of semi-trusted nodes. A coin that does not offer such a class of nodes will not be able to implement something like ChainLocks in a secure manner. In Bitcoin for example, anything that would rely on “votes” of individual nodes can be gamed by simply starting up thousands of malicious nodes. The only possible solution would require setting up explicit trust in human selected nodes, but this would be a massively centralized solution.
In Dash, the Masternode network is protected against Sybil attacks by requiring a collateral of 1000 Dash per Masternode. This makes it economically impractical to perform a Sybil attack, simply because buying enough Masternodes would require substantial financial resources, which would be put at high risk while performing any attacks. With the current parameters that we target for LLMQs, an attacker would have to buy at least 60% of all Masternodes to get a realistic chance of success.
I believe that this is one of the most undervalued properties of the Masternode network in Dash. Practical protection against Sybil attacks is the main prerequisite for ChainLocks and any other functions that utilize any form of quorum decisions.
In the future, this unique and powerful network infrastructure will allow us to safely implement more innovative features on top of LLMQs, making Dash even more secure, fast and user-friendly.
submitted by mikenewhouse to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

Improving the Exchange Situation

The exchange situation for cryptocurrency right now is pretty lopsided. Exchanges have a lot of power, meaning they can command dev support, payment from coin owners, and ultimately decide who gets to be traded and who doesn't.
I don't think this is a good thing for cryptocurrency. We can do better than that.
A lot of people were calling for a community donation to be set up to get listed on Binance. Binance never told us how much money they want for us to get listed, they actually asked instead how much we'd be willing to pay in order to get listed. That's pretty gross in my opinion, and it's not something we should encourage by raising money to pay them.
Instead, we could use that same large amount of money to pay developers to build a decentralized exchange. No more threats of being de-listed, no more closed signups, no more wondering if the exchange is solvent or at risk of having all of their coins stolen, and mostly, no more relying on centralized decision makers who hold all the power in these types of situations.
Some new (I believe yet unreleased) cryptography would allow Siacoin to do atomic swaps with Bitcoin, no soft fork needed. Even if that ends up not working out, we can also use incremental lightning network payments to perform the same thing.
That means we could have a decentralized exchange where you don't need escrow, you just find the person with the best price, and then you can do an automatic, safe, cross-chain coin trade. That's powerful stuff, and I think that if we're going to pull a bunch of money together to do something about exchanges, we should take the decentralized route.
I'm guessing that the atomic swaps code itself would only take 1 cryptographer about 3 months to implement. Once finished, you'd be able to perform safe Sia/Bitcoin atomic swaps with untrusted counterparties as long as you were running both a full Sia node and also a full Bitcoin node. You'd be able to pay Bitcoin to receive Siacoin, or vice-versa.
At the same time, we would build a platform where market makers could announce themselves, the same way that hosts announce themselves on the Sia chain. The market maker would announce supported coin-pairs, and then users would reach out to all of the market makers for the trade they want to make, until they found the market maker with the best price. I'm not 100% sure the best mechanics yet, but I'm thinking market makers could announce themselves with a proof of burn, the same way that the hosts do, which would prevent Sybil attacks.
All told I think we'd need 6-12 months to get a decentralized exchange operational, and about 3 people working on it full time. If we find the right people, that's only about $500,000 to build to completion. If people are interested in paying to get listed on a new exchange, my strong vote would be that we look into either some of the existing decentralized exchanges, or that we look into building our own.
It's high time cryptocurrency had a proper decentralized exchange, and I think it's something our community could fund.
submitted by Taek42 to siacoin [link] [comments]

What is a Sybil attack and how can it affect peer networks? Sybil Attack - My Presentation 07 - Transazioni, smart contracts e scaling. The Sybil attack Zero Link ~ Sybil Attack

Sybil Attack is a type of attack performed on a network by creating multiple fake identities or accounts to control the network. Likes ; Followers ; Subscribers ; Sunday, July 19, 2020; Bitcoinik - Next Generation Bitcoin Media. News. Bitcoin news; Ethereum news; Altcoin News; Crypto News; Exchange news; Blockchain news; Adoption News; Hacking A Sybil attack is an attack where a single adversary is controlling multiple nodes on a network. It is unknown to the network that the nodes are controlled by the same adversarial entity. For example, an adversary can spawn up multiple computers, virtual machines, and IP addresses. The name “Sybil attack” comes from a book, Sybil, about a woman with dissociative identity disorder. Microsoft researchers first investigated and wrote about the implications of Sybil attacks on peer networks in the early 2000s. In this brief guide, we’ll look at the implications of Sybil attacks and how networks can prevent such attacks. In this stack exchange post, the author @morsecoder in the accepted answer mentions relay peer-discovery broadcast sybil-attack. there is no enough explanation about how proof-of-work detects Sybil attack in Bitcoin? security proof-of-work sybil-attack. asked May 24 '17 at 16:00. Questioner. 956 5 5 silver badges 15 15 bronze badges. 15 Original (dhimmels): In the early days Internet started as a symmetric peer to peer decentralized network of computers. As time passed by, the Internet became more asymmetric and concentrated in a few centralized data centers with billions of PCs and laptops on the edges. The reason Internet started as peer-to-peer decentralized networks are scalability, high fault tolerance and resilience to

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What is a Sybil attack and how can it affect peer networks?

Eclipse Attacks on Bitcoin’s Peer-to-Peer Network (USENIX 2015) - Duration: ... Sybil Attack Prevention and Detection in Vehicular AD Hoc Network Projects - Duration: 3:20. The Electrodollar: Venture Capitalism, Technology, and Silicon Valley (w/ Raoul Pal & Bill Tai) - Duration: 1:06:42. Real Vision Finance 66,547 views Le transazioni in bitcoin. Double spending, sybil attack, resistenza DDOS. Accenni agli smart contract, ai problemi di scalabilità, allo scaling OFF-chain con il lightning network. While fungibility is an essential property of good money, Bitcoin has its limitations in this area. Numerous fungibility improvements have been proposed; however none of them have addressed the ... A Sybil Attack in a peer-to-peer network happens when one person uses many, many nodes for a malicious end. ... Eclipse Attacks on Bitcoin’s Peer-to-Peer Network (USENIX 2015) - Duration: 27:15.

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