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Staking — The New Way to Earn Crypto for Free

Staking — The New Way to Earn Crypto for Free

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Airdrops are so 2017, free money was fun while it lasted but now when someone says free money in crypto, the first thoughts are scams and ponzi schemes. But in 2020, there is a way to earn free money, in a legitimate, common practice, and logical manner — staking.
Staking is the core concept behind the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol that is quickly becoming an industry standard throughout blockchain projects. PoS allows blockchains to scale effectively without compromising on security and resource efficiency. Projects that incorporate staking include aelf, Dash, EOS, Cosmos, Cardano, Dfinity and many others.

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PoW — Why change

First, let’s look at some of the issues facing Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus that led to the development of PoS.
  1. Excessive energy consumption — In 2017, many concerns were raised over the amount of electricity used by the bitcoin network (Largest PoW blockchain). Since then the energy consumption has increased by over 400%, to the point where 1 single transaction on this network has the same carbon footprint of 736,722 Visa transactions or consumes the same amount of electricity as over 20 U.S. households.
  2. Varying Electricity Costs — The profit of any miner on the network is tied to two costs, the initial startup cost to obtain the hardware and infrastructure, and more critically, the running cost of said equipment in relation to electricity usage. Electricity costs can vary from fractions of a cent per kWh to over 50 cents (USD) and in some cases it is free. When a user may only be earning $0.40 USD per hour then this will clearly rule out certain demographics based purely on electricity costs, reducing the potential for complete decentralization.
  3. Reduced decentralization — Due to the high cost of the mining equipment, those with large financial bases setup mining farms, either for others to rent out individual miners or entirely for personal gains. This results in large demographic hotspots on the network reducing the decentralized aspect to a point where it no longer accomplishes this aspect.
  4. Conflicted interests — The requirements of running miners on the network are purely based on having possession of the hardware, electricity and internet connection. There are no limits to the amount a miner can earn, nor do they need to hold any stake in the network, and thus there is very little incentive for them to vote on upgrades that may benefit the network but reduce their rewards.
I want to take this moment to mention a potential benefit to PoW that I have not seen anyone mention previously. It is a very loose argument so don’t take this to heart too strongly.
Consistent Fiat Injection — The majority of miners will be paying for their electricity in fiat currency. At a conservative rate of $0.1 USD per kWh, the network currently uses 73.12 TWh per year. This equates to an average daily cost of over $20 million USD. This means every day around $20 million of fiat currency is effectively being injected into the bitcoin network. Although this concept is somewhat flawed in the sense that the same amount of bitcoin will be released each day regardless of how much is spent on electricity, I’m looking at this from the eyes of the miners, they are reducing their fiat bags and increasing their bitcoin bags. This change of bags is the essence of this point which will inevitably encourage crypto spending. If the bitcoin bags were increased but fiat bags did not decrease, then there would be less incentive to spend the bitcoin, as would see in a staking ecosystem.

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PoS Variations

Different approaches have been taken to tackle different issues the PoS protocol faces. Will Little has an excellent article explaining this and more in PoS, but let me take an excerpt from his piece to go through them:
  • Coin-age selection — Blockchains like Peercoin (the first PoS chain), start out with PoW to distribute the coins, use coin age to help prevent monopolization and 51% attacks (by setting a time range when the probability of being selected as a node is greatest), and implement checkpoints initially to prevent NoS problems.
  • Randomized block selection — Chains like NXT and Blackcoin also use checkpoints, but believe that coin-age discourages staking. After an initial distribution period (either via PoW or otherwise), these chains use algorithms to randomly select nodes that can create blocks.
  • Ethereum’s Casper protocol(s) — Being already widely distributed, Ethereum doesn’t have to worry about the initial distribution problem when/if it switches to PoS. Casper takes a more Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) approach and will punish nodes by taking away (“slashing”) their stake if they do devious things. In addition, consensus is formed by a multi-round process where every randomly assigned node votes for a specific block during a round.
  • Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) — Invented by Dan Larimer and first used in Bitshares (and then in [aelf,] Steem, EOS, and many others), DPoS tackles potential PoS problems by having the community “elect” delegates that will run nodes to create and validate blocks. Bad behavior is then punished by the community simply out-voting the delegated nodes.
  • Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (DBFT) — Similar to DPoS, the NEO community votes for (delegates) nodes, but instead of each node producing blocks and agreeing on consensus, only 2 out of 3 nodes need to agree on what goes in every block (acting more like bookkeepers than validators).
  • Tendermint — As a more sophisticated form of DBFT and a precursor to Casper, Jae Kwon introduced tendermint in 2014, which leverages dynamic validator sets, rotating leader elections, and voting power (i.e. weight) that is proportional to the self-funding and community allocation of tokens to a node (i.e. a “validator”).
  • Masternodes — First introduced by DASH, a masternode PoS system requires nodes to stake a minimum threshold of coins in order to qualify as a node. Often this comes with requirements to provide “service” to a network in the form of governance, special payment protocols, etc…
  • Proof of Importance (POI)NEM takes a slightly different approach by granting an “importance calculation” to masternodes staking at least 10,000 XEM. This POI system then rewards active nodes that act in a positive way over time to impact the community.
  • “Proof-of-X” — And finally, there is no lack of activity in the PoS world to come up with clever approaches and variants of staking (some are more elaborate than others). In addition to BFT protocols such as Honeybadger, Ouroboros, and Tezos, for further reading, also check out “Proof-of-”: Stake Anonymous, Storage, Stake Time, Stake Velocity, Activity, Burn, and Capacity.
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Earning Your Stake

In order to understand how one can earn money from these networks, I’ll break them down into 3 categories: Simple staking, Running nodes, and Voting.
Simple Staking - This is the simplest of the 3 methods and requires almost no action by the user. Certain networks will reward users by simply holding tokens in a specified wallet. These rewards are generally minimal but are the easiest way to earn.
Running a node - This method provides the greatest rewards but also requires the greatest action by the user and most likely will require ongoing maintenance. Generally speaking, networks will require nodes to stake a certain amount of tokens often amounting to thousands of dollars. In DPoS systems, these nodes must be voted in by other users on the network and must continue to provide confidence to their supporters. Some companies will setup nodes and allow users to participate by contributing to the minimum staking amount, with a similar concept to PoW mining pools.
Voting - This mechanism works hand in hand with running nodes in relation to DPoS networks. Users are encouraged to vote for their preferred nodes by staking tokens as votes. Each vote will unlock a small amount of rewards for each voter, the nodes are normally the ones to provide these rewards as a portion of their own reward for running a node.

Aelf’s DPoS system

The aelf consensus protocol utilizes a form of DPoS. There are two versions of nodes on the network, active nodes & backup nodes (official names yet to be announced). Active nodes run the network and produce the blocks, while the backup nodes complete minor tasks and are on standby should any active nodes go offline or act maliciously. These nodes are selected based upon their number of votes received. Initially the top 17 nodes will be selected as active nodes, while the next 100 will stand as the backup ones, each voting period each node may change position should they receive more or less votes than the previous period. In order to be considered as a node, one must stake a minimum amount of ELF tokens (yet to be announced).

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In order to participate as a voter, there is no minimum amount of tokens to be staked. When one stakes, their tokens will be locked for a designated amount of time, selected by the voter from the preset periods. If users pull their tokens out before this locked period has expired no rewards are received, but if they leave them locked for the entire time frame they will receive the set reward, and the tokens will be automatically rolled over into the next locked period. As a result, should a voter decide, once their votes are cast, they can continue to receive rewards without any further action needed.
Many projects have tackled with node rewards in order to make them fair, well incentivized but sustainable for everyone involved. Aelf has come up with a reward structure based on multiple variables with a basic income guaranteed for every node. Variables may include the number of re-elections, number of votes received, or other elements.
As the system matures, the number of active nodes will be increased, resulting in a more diverse and secure network.
Staking as a solution is a win-win-win for network creators, users and investors. It is a much more resource efficient and scalable protocol to secure blockchain networks while reducing the entry point for users to earn from the system.
submitted by Floris-Jan to aelfofficial [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

In relation to this post:
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/eupegk/technical_review_of_the_past_10_years_and_how_the/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended to help increase public understanding of BTC and thus increase it's adoption. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on? - we are really excited about this project and hope to make it to the best of our abilities.
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1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value*, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many* bubbles*, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What* utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none*. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.*
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations*. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the* blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to btc [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

Based on this post I made a bit earlier:
https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinBeginners/comments/euozq4/blockchain_and_btc_technical_review_of_the_past/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended for beginners I think this subreddit would be a good place to get some feedback. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on?
----

1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many bubbles, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to u/Theus5 [link] [comments]

MeWe: A trip report

Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community, and others, is MeWe with over 250 mentions. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS. It is headed by professed Libertarian CEO Mark Weinstein.
As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations.
This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.

Leadership

Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein.
Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company).
Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books.
His Crunchbase bio is a repeat of the MeWe content.

Advisory Board

Ownership & Investment

MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016.
Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041
Crunchbase Profile.
Founded: 2012 (source)
Secured $1.2M in seed funding in 2014.
2016 valuation: $20m (source]
Backers:
Despite the business address, the company claims to be based in Los Angeles County, California and is described by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a Culver City, CA, company.

Business

Policy

In an August 6, 2018 Twitter post, Weinstein promotes MeWe writing:
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
Highlights of these follow.

Privacy

The privacy policy addresses:

Terms of Service

The ToS addresses:
Effective: November 6, 2018.

FAQ

The FAQ addresses:

Values

This emphasises that people are social cratures and private people by right. The service offers the power of self expression under an umbrella of safety. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy.
Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.

Privacy Bill of Rights

A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
  1. You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
  2. You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
  3. You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
  4. Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
  5. You control who can access your content.
  6. You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
  7. Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
  8. Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
  9. Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
  10. You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.

Press

There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.

Self-reported articles

The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press page:
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.).
There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.

Other mentions

A DuckDuckGo search produces several other press mentions, including:

Technology

This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.

Mobile Web

The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.

Mobile App

There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
Crunchbase cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.

Desktop Web

Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button.
The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.)
The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.

Onboarding

The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.

Interface

Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site.
Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not provide tooltips for navigational aid.

Features

Among the touted features of MeWe are:

Community

A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.

Size

Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com" on Twitter.
The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members.
This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.

Active Users

MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.

Groups

MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest.
"MeWe has over 60,000 open groups" according to its FAQ.
The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here.
A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories.
The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5.
Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.

Google+ Groups

The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.

Political Groups

It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ that:
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
  1. Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
  2. The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
  3. Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
  4. Drain The Swamp (4978)
  5. Libertarians (4528)
  6. United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
  7. The Right To Self Defense (3757)
  8. Alternative Media (3711)
  9. Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
  10. Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
  11. Return of the Republic (2509)
  12. Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
  13. Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
  14. Berners for Progress (1963)
  15. Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
  16. The American Conservative (1839)
  17. I Am The NRA (1704)
  18. Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
  19. We Love Donald Trump (1611)
  20. MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
  21. Q (1396)
  22. ClashDaily.com (1384)
  23. news from the front (1337)
  24. Basket of Deplorables (1317)
  25. Payton's Park Bench (1283)
  26. Convention of States (1282)
  27. Britons For Brexit (1186)
  28. MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
  29. MeWe Free Press (1119)
  30. The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
  31. Libertarian (1097)
  32. WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
  33. AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
  34. #WalkAway Campaign (894)
  35. ALEX JONES (877)
  36. The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
  37. We Support Donald Trump! (810)
  38. The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
  39. TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
  40. Official Tea Party USA (749)
  41. Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
  42. Yes Scotland (697)
  43. "WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
  44. Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
  45. Anarcho-Capitalism (658)
  46. Ted Cruz for President (650)
  47. No Lapdog Media (647)
  48. Q Chatter (647)
  49. Daily Brexit (636)
  50. Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
  51. The Trumps Storm Group (600)
  52. QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
  53. 100% American (569)
  54. Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
  55. Deep State (560)
  56. In the Name of Liberty (557)
  57. Material Planet (555)
  58. WikiUnderground (555)
  59. Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
  60. Magna Carta Group (520)
  61. Constitutional Conservatives (506)
  62. Question Everything (503)
  63. Conspiracy Research (500)
  64. Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
  65. Conservative Misfit's (479)
  66. Canadian politics (478)
  67. Anarchism (464)
  68. HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
  69. Deplorable (450)
  70. Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
  71. UK Politics (430)
  72. Bongino Fan Page (429)
  73. Radical Conservatives (429)
  74. RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
  75. The Deplorables (409)
  76. America's Freedom Fighters (401)
  77. Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
  78. CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
  79. Political satire (383)
  80. RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
  81. UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
  82. The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
  83. End The Insanity (349)
  84. Coming American Civil War! (345)
  85. Constitutional Conservatives (343)
  86. United Nations Watch (342)
  87. A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
  88. The New Libertarian (335)
  89. Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
  90. DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
  91. American Conservative Veterans (331)
  92. Anarchism/Agorism/Voluntaryism (328)
  93. America Needs Donald Trump (326)
  94. The UKIP Debating Society (321)
  95. Coalition For Trump (310)
  96. Egalitarianism (306)
  97. FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
  98. 2nd Amendment (287)
  99. Never Forget #SethRich (286)
  100. Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:

Conclusion

Whilst there may not be a political agenda, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects.
Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.

Updates

submitted by dredmorbius to plexodus [link] [comments]

[Discord Conversation] For the last 2-3 weeks.

The dates are not so accurate here and there. There could be a little bit editing, but mostly, original conversation.

For a transparency and a big support to IF!

7/10
microhash - 06/28/2018 Thanks for the advice, guys. Already told eric that I'm interested, now it's up to the IF.
dom - Today at 3:04 AM no, we do not work with Bosch on Jinn
Fahad Sheikh - Today at 3:14 AM There is a lot to look forward to, didn't ya'll see the Project List that Edward posted in Medium? Coordicide being the most interesting one IMO.
Come-from-Beyond - Today at 6:34 AM [bro which company will manufacture the jinn processors] Nvidia, joke :trollcfb:
Eric Hop - Today at 5:10 AM If you are thinking there isn't much response from IF on Discord at the moment: we're all together at a summit working closely together. We're doing team building (we're from all over the globe) and work shops. Cross team presentations. And working in research groups to boost most projects forward.
7/20
David Sønstebø - Today at 1:27 AM The lightweight trinary hashfunction that IOTA set out to create with the Curl-P project will indeed be created by world leading cryptographers who specialize in exactly this field within cryptography. and yes, this has begun.
7/27
Ralf RottmannLast Monday at 5:53 PM 1.) IOTA Foundation has been very clear about the importance of manual tethering and that understanding deployment topologies will be an ongoing research topic. IOTA Foundation has also made clear, that better support for finding neighbours is a topic under active research. As the current status clearly shows, the solution is not as simple as what Nelson brings to the table. So in essence, Nelson forces IOTA Foundation to shift priorities. These things happen all the time and we are not that worried about it. We knew this ride wouldn't be easy!
2.) In an open source, permissionless environment, Roman and his team do not have to ask for permission and do not have to cooperate with anybody. They can do whatever they think might be valuable for the community, the network and its many different stakeholders. It will always be up to the users and various parties who are having an interest into the technology, to decide whether they see value being added or damage done. There is no objective judge empowered to decide. On the contrary, everyone is entitled to freely voice praise, concerns and opinion at any time.
3.) It already is public knowledge, that IOTA Foundation has been discussing ways to actively collaborate with Roman and his team a while ago but we couldn't agree around technicalities and commercials and ultimately mutually decided, that it would help the community at large, if Roman and his team stay completely independent and IOTA Foundation continues its research and development, with network topology just being a tiny part of the grand vision.
4.) Roman has publicly stated, that he is not interested in forking the project and only wants to do good for IOTA. I personally appreciate him being very clear about this, because it takes away uncertainty and speculation and I trust Roman to be genuinely honest with us. It does, however, come with the territory, that forks might happen at any time. I personally do not worry that much, should we ever see an attempt from anybody to embark on a fork. My decision to follow such an undertaking (with time, effort and money), would always be based on the likelihood of the effort to having enough funds to exist long-term. IOTA is not just about a network of nodes. Bringing the complete vision to life is an enormous effort, that will take years to come, the commitment of large corporate and public partners and affording a strong global team, to holding the pieces together. I have seen many similar initiatives failing. So far, IOTA Foundation has done very well and I'm confident we're just getting started. I hope this somewhat sets the record straight for what I've been stating on Twitter and elsewhere!
dom Last Monday at 4:01 AM sidetangles are something that we are actively researching right now with a university. Quite frankly, at the current stage, they serve little purpose on the mainnet for any of our use cases or products we intend to build.
dom Last Monday at 4:02 AM I'm not sure if they will be disabled by this fix entirely - I don't think so. But I will let our engineers answer that.
iota yodler Yesterday at 11:35 PM is the Finish line in sight?!
dom Yesterday at 11:36 PM [about recalim status] 85%
David Sønstebø 07/20/2018 [Any news about IOTA and the e-krona in the past weeks? ] Nothing to report right now, in Scandinavia it is summer vacation
David Sønstebø Last Wednesday at 4:43 AM [any information about work with partners, like VW, Cisco, Schindler.... etc] @DvorNick When it comes to updates with organizations we work with, it is equally in their hands. It's unfortunately an incredibly tedious process, the people we work with are excited to get news out, but they have to jump through 10 hoops to get it approved
David Sønstebø Last Wednesday at 4:52 AM 1) If the community had to choose, what do you want: founders and Foundation members that can communicate in a friendly, transparent and open fashion, including the candid joking chats or shadows in ivory towers with personality cults?
2) I refuse to believe CfB has ever said: "I guarantee the price will be X"
Our vision, our status updates etc. are 100% honest. That's what you need to focus on. We don't cater to speculators, we just put the truth out there, then you can interpret and speculate as you want
Come-from-Beyond Last Wednesday at 4:55 AM I just said that IOTA will be #1 on CMC
Come-from-Beyond Last Wednesday at 4:55 AM roughly 5 months left
David Sønstebø Last Wednesday at 4:58 AM @Ryan G. 100%. 6 degrees of separation is no joke. For IF right now it's more about quality over quantity, we got way more demand than we can supply, but there's certainly a few things that will come to mind
David Sønstebø Last Wednesday at 5:08 AM [You have selected great advisors for IF, well done! question: how do you work with them in the organisation?] @ets Thanks. It differs from person to person, some we are working with on a nearly daily basis, others we speak with once a week about the bigger picture, or more actively within a certain project
Ralf Rottmann Last Monday at 5:07 PM @Th3B0Y We are actively engaging with Eclipse Foundation. They have governance figured out for large projects like ours.
Ralf Rottmann Last Monday at 5:15 PM [will IF always decide, for example, what changes and what doesn't on IRI?] @Th3B0Y No. That's exactly what Eclipse Foundation will bring to the table. It has clearly outlined and well established processes around these things and will help us to bring in large contributors (like corporate partners) down to individuals. We are already engaging with key partners who are keen to help contributing to our code base. Moving under Eclipse Foundation involves some complex legal matters around trademarks, which is why we are not "just doing it" right away.
Ralf Rottmann Last Monday at 5:22 PM [ if the IF doesn't want something to change/be added but many devs want, will it be "merged" anyway? or will they simply have to fork it?] @Th3B0Y There will be a process around it with IOTA Foundation not having sort of the ultimate power. That was never our intention. It's just required at the early stage we're at. –– Of course, everybody can decide to fork at any time and everyone can decide to go with a fork. I personally would make such a decision primarily based on the likelihood of any fork to having enough funds for supporting an undertaking as big as the IOTA vision. We have to keep it mind, it's not just about setting up a basic network! (Something we tend to forget.)
7/30
Ralf Rottmann Last Tuesday at 12:11 AM Sergey Ivancheglo is a honorary member & founder. He is not legally employed by IOTA Foundation, as many others. CfB developed the first version of COO. IOTA Foundation runs and operates COO instances and has full access to the source code.
Edward Greve Last Tuesday at 12:58 AM [CFB is creating a significant portion of Tangles technology] @Deep_Sea_Hopper Not since 2016
Edward Greve Last Tuesday at 12:58 AM CFB hasn't contributed to IRI (or any other IF maintained repo) to my knowledge since then
Edward Greve Last Tuesday at 1:02 AM Ict, at the moment, is being worked on by CFB alone. We (IF) have seen the code, but are not working on it until he's "done" with it and then gives it to us to fix / polish / improve and release publicly. The same thing happened with IRI ~2 years ago...
Ralf RottmannLast Tuesday at 1:07 AM @Deep_Sea_Hopper For the sake of completeness and because it has been said before: We were considering working with Roman's team but the technicalities and commercials haven't worked out. We are confident, that our very own teams will figure out a solution while at the same time spending our funds in line with our charitable, non-profit boundaries. -- There are some good news in this: We all seem to be completely aligned about the various problem statements. The various parties can now start working on fixes.
Edward GreveLast Tuesday at 1:15 AM He is saying that Ict represents the swarm nodes, and doesn't expect them to work in the current mainnet environment due to his assumption that the Ict nodes and autopeered nodes will form separate clusters, with the vast majority of transactions happening outside of the Ict cluster.
Edward GreveLast Tuesday at 1:21 AM Ideally, we would have a well-researched auto peering solution, which answers all of the open questions. I don't see it happening that quickly though. It's a complex problem.
Ralf RottmannLast Tuesday at 3:31 AM @lluisin I have explained it before: We did take a thorough look at Nelson and decided, that we leverage our engineering team, to address the problem of automatic peering. As a charitable non-profit foundation (sorry for constantly reminding everyone of this), we need to pick carefully, where we spend money. We currently cannot justify to enhance a "product" that we ultimately do not believe in as a solution to a core challenge. As towards collaboration with Roman in a professional capacity, we did discuss this openly with him and his brother but couldn't agree on the technicalities and commercials.
Ralf RottmannLast Tuesday at 3:39 AM Applied to what Roman and his team do, this means we can't invest into Field, which is not yet open source and not developed in the open. Same is true for Hercules. We could potentially invest into Nelson but don't think it's solving the problem the right way. We haven't done an exhaustively deep analysis. We haven't prepared a laundry list of points, that Roman and his team could work upon to make Nelson better. Nelson is not our product. We don't believe in it. Hence we're not "wasting" the Foundation's time and money on improving it. We (have to) live with the consequences it causes and instead ramp up our own efforts to eliminate the root issues. Thanks to the many donors who believe in the project, we have the funds to work on this for years to come and are confident that time and dedication will bring us there.
Ralf RottmannLast Tuesday at 3:46 AM I absolutely understand that humans tend to jump on apparent short term fixes and it's extremely difficult to stay patient. And there is one other aspect: Workarounds like Nelson constantly challenge the network and our basic assumptions. They help surfacing what we don't know. It's not always fun, but it certainly helps driving IOTA forward! So we are eternally grateful for having Roman and every other community developer around. We also believe, there are vast commercial opportunities for the community in IOTA. Spending Foundation money on those just is a totally different story. For the Semko brothers there is absolutely nothing to worry about. There also is no attitude. I think this very open debate is a testament to exactly that. The community has asked for more transparency. We hopefully have established that. Since my very first day in this community, I always said what I mean. You can either ask for my honest opinion or should not ask me. It would have been way easier to respond with some generic paragraph about how much we appreciate every contribution and move on. The fact of the matter is: We are all in this together for a multitude of different reasons. That is what makes IOTA so fascinating. As the only party, who is a regularly audited charitable non-profit, we are legally required to make all of our decisions transparent. Hence we sometimes cannot rush out fixes, release untested software or do quick investment decisions. When the IOTA founders chose a non-profit foundation, they did so for a reason. One thing everyone can be absolutely assured at any time: IOTA Foundation is not in this for any commercial purposes. It has no shareholders. No beneficiaries. No owners. It is owned by itself. That's a major advantage. (And also, why I'm not at all nervous about the potential of any forks. Going with a fork that's not governed as a charitable non-profit would be borderline stupid.)
Ralf RottmannLast Tuesday at 4:07 AM Getting back to Nelson: As Roman stated earlier, we had Mathew Yarger looking into Nelson. We do plan to send our findings and questions to Roman by the end of the week. Out of respect, I would leave it up to Roman whether he wants to share publicly and to which extend he sees value in keeping the community updated about our interaction.
Come-from-BeyondLast Tuesday at 4:53 AM I'm back guys, has anyone reviewed my claim that current Nelson's strategy contradicts to what was recommended in that paper about reaching consensus? (https://www3.nd.edu/~mhaenggi/pubs/jstsp11.pdf)
Ralf RottmannLast Tuesday at 5:04 AM [Okay so the lower rotation frequence creates wormholes? ] @PatriQ That’s actually the entire point. It’s a hard problem to solve. Needs research. Thoroughly reading relevant papers. Rushing out a workaround and hoping it “just works” is not the way the foundation can handle things. And we take the liberty to occasionally highlight this aspect.
Come-from-BeyondLast Tuesday at 5:04 AM [Okay so the lower rotation frequence creates wormholes?] Higher rotation frequency does. Also make sure that you have not more than 3 active neighbors with manual tehtering we use 5-7 assuming that some neighbors will die
PatriQLast Tuesday at 5:06 AM Okay so we figured out couple of points: 1# Higher rotation frequency creates wormholes. 2# Max 5-7 neighbors (thats included with Nelson) What else?
Ralf RottmannLast Tuesday at 5:16 AM @Deep_Sea_Hopper We did an analysis and Roman is in touch with Mat.
Come-from-BeyondLast Tuesday at 5:42 AM @PatriQ 2# Max 5-7 neighbors (thats included with Nelson) 3 neighbors if Nelson is used (assuming those neighbors are active ones)
David SønstebøLast Tuesday at 9:34 AM Today has been an interesting one. Some topics need to be clarified right away: The IOTA Foundation is 100% supportive of any third party actors such as the Semko brothers, the IOTA project is an open and permissionless one; therefore everyone has the right to develop on top of it. In fact, the entire IOTA project is dependent on it. Independent entities, whether big or small, getting involved and developing in conjunction with or independent of the IOTA Foundation is a mantra we have been preaching since the very inception of IOTA. It is the vision we still have for the future of IOTA. As an open source project, this is crucial for success. Another vital aspect is a drastic improvement in communication, bilaterally between IF and third parties, as well as in general to the broader community. We are happy to say that this is the number one priority of the foundation at the moment. We know that people can become confused and begin to speculate, rightfully so, when there is a vacuum in communication. If something is going on with the network that we have not communicated beforehand, then Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt kicks in. What we are working on right now is weekly newsletters, weekly update blog posts on certain days, and a roadmap that is continually up to date, that will give everyone a clear insight into where the different projects are, both from development and research perspectives, as well are defined ETAs. The IOTA community is a smart and driven one, but no one can be expected to predict the future or read our minds; therefore it is incumbent upon the IOTA Foundation to communicate in a fashion that gives people predictable roadmaps and status updates to avoid excessive worrying. Finally, everyone should feel absolutely free to raise their opinions and ask whatever questions they feel like. At the end of the day we are all in this together, and while the work being conducted by IF now is more efficient and focused than ever before, it is ultimately our responsibility that this is reflected in our communication and thus permeates the attitude of the project overall.
Come-from-BeyondLast Friday at 3:36 PM [Is it attacker led or just a bad fix in 1.5.2?] 1.5.2 is a first half of the fix, next version will deploy the other half Let's do totalizator, like horse-racing but in our case one with highest confirmation ratio will win?
Come-from-BeyondLast Friday at 5:19 PM [when fix to the IRI?] Dunno, IF doesn't rush to release a fix, its goal not only to make users happy but also to analyze attacks and counterattacks
7/30
domYesterday at 5:27 PM network protocol and syncing is something we are looking deeper right now. But the network layer is the number one bottleneck of IOTA right now.
domYesterday at 5:50 PM waiting on the Desktop release, then we will work on the Ledger integration. but the community already did a fantastic job there
domYesterday at 5:51 PM yeh, Trinity Desktop will be amazing I really want to see an IOTA App Marketplace evolve around that, where people can then test various use cases. Like the TipBot, secure audit trails, timestamping documents, paying for storage etc. it can become a gateway for a sort of sandbox environment, where you can try these apps out and just contribute through that (experimenting with new IOTA-based apps).
domYesterday at 6:02 PM btw, I think IOTA is one of the few projects where the community is contributing a lot of great development, making this really a more decentralized ecosystem. Ethereum has that, and maybe Bitcoin, but I don't know of any other project that has fully working core clients, libraries ,node deployment scripts and services (like the tipbot) like we do
domYesterday at 6:43 PM [I was quoting David a few months ago where target was > 100 CTPS EOY 18] we still aim for that
domYesterday at 6:48 PM [wasn't the tangle taken down regularly by attackers even with the COO? How is a large corp going to commit?] we have a technical roadmap and we stick to that - this includes achieving the KPI's mentioned above. Right now we have to resolve a lot of technical debt from previous years, but we are quickly catching up and making IRI more robust. Private Tangles are great for corporates to experiment right now.
Ralf RottmannYesterday at 3:49 AM I understand the rationale behind it but don’t like how the idea, once people get used to it, might pave the way to transaction-fees. Of course everyone can built businesses on top of IOTA and that is a huge part of building an ecosystem. I just wouldn’t personally endorse the idea to prioritize value tx at this stage of the project. Not meant as an offense!
Roman SemkoYesterday at 4:06 AM Not taken as offence, @Ralf Rottmann ! We are all grown ups to discuss this in a civilized manner. I am not intending to keep this tipsel algo. It is just one temporary node targeting to solve current bottleneck. Nothing more. I am of the same opinion as you on this one.
Ralf RottmannYesterday at 4:08 AM Thanks, @Roman Semko. May I cross-post this to twitter? People seem to somehow think the two of us are enemies... I plan to add Hercules nodes to IOTA.FM over the weekend. If that doesn’t prove otherwise, I don’t know!
8/1
Come-from-BeyondToday at 8:02 AM [any hot news or maybe a riddle to tied us over until the next major development?] Have you seen Li-Fi demo transferring data over 1 km?
Come-from-BeyondToday at 8:06 AM [Link please!] good that no, because it's classified :trollcfb:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV3RpeJNvbU&feature=youtu.be
David SønstebøToday at 2:26 AM LiFi is part of the start-up of me and @Come-from-Beyond yes, it's a natural extension of enabling a true mist of computing
David SønstebøToday at 2:27 AM [Lifi is a JINN project?] @Crewtons Tied to Jinn Labs, not JINN
8/2
David SønstebøYesterday at 11:04 PM @everyone The IOTA Foundation is revamping and allocating more resources towards its communication strategy at the moment. We consider it pivotal for the success of the project to have a thriving community, a key ingredient in maintaining and growing that is to improve the communication from the Foundation to the community. As part of this new initiative, there will predictable/scheduled blog post updates from the Research, Engineering, Social and Biz Dev/Partnerships departments coming soon.
Research will be posting a new topic delving into the nitty-gritty of IOTA every other Wednesday from now on, starting with today's piece by Alon Gal:
https://twitter.com/iotatoken/status/1024656969590812673
DaveToday at 3:07 AM [Who is HusQy from the IF?] He is working on local snapshots, he will be announced soon
green_protocolToday at 4:42 AM http://www.lighting.philips.com/main/products/lifi Philips Canada and Cisco Canada have demo'ed LIFI
Come-from-BeyondToday at 6:52 AM [call me whatever, ban me if you want, but lifi seems really stupid] agree, so is WiFi and Bluetooth which are just radio which was invented 100 years ago :trollcfb:
Come-from-BeyondToday at 6:55 AM [So, this laser demo, is this for connecting clusters in EC?] no, it's for connecting buildings in cities
Come-from-BeyondToday at 7:03 AM [How I’m going to use lifi on my grandma village! They don’t have light on the streets] that was just few milliWt demo, use few killoWt one and you'll be able to play Star Wars with your friends
Come-from-BeyondToday at 7:05 AM [How you gonna power that 1kW laser] connect to neighbors Bitcoin mining farm, he won't notice that I connected :trollface: [But LiFi isn't new.. What is so special about your LiFi CFB?] 5G is not new too, just radio :trollcfb:
Eric HopToday at 8:51 AM [Can we expect an Qubic update 3.8.?] Yep, of course. 3rd of the month.
8/3
Edward GreveYesterday at 7:37 PM @everyone IRI 1.5.3 is out now! The new version of IRI addresses the blowball problem seen on Mainnet. Download IRI 1.5.3 here. https://github.com/iotaledgeiri/releases/tag/v1.5.3
domYesterday at 4:37 PM Rolf is probably moving on to an even bigger opportunity (maybe even a DAX company). Ralf is still 100% committed to IOTA and is part of the Foundation. once we can share more, we will tell you guys :smiley: Maybe Rolf himself will come on discord.
domYesterday at 4:39 PM [And your work with VW is still intact?] of course same with Fujitsu
domYesterday at 4:39 PM we are still working with them on Industry 4.0 related topics. We are in touch with several different departments there
domYesterday at 4:58 PM [.rolf has been instrumental & a great advocate for IOTA would be a shame to lose such a visionary.] we are not losing him at all :smiley: [has Oliver bussmann left the foundation??] yes, we no longer work with Oliver
[–]domschDominik Schiener - Co-founder of IOTA 32 점 1 일 전에 We will have an update on the data marketplace very soon :)
submitted by btlkhs to Iota [link] [comments]

My Bitcoin Investing Story 2

Thank you u/CryptoLouPai for a great investing story, I loved reading it some much I thought maybe I should share my own version :)

I got in about the same time a Lou Pai, the end of 2013 and was hooked immediately. I read everything I could find and fell in love with crypto and the ideals behind peer-to-peer digital cash. I knew Bitcoin was going to take over the world and told anyone who would listen. For months I eagerly put around 50% of my monthly paycheck (~$1,000) into bitcoin, literally rushing to coinbase as soon as my paycheck came in to buy.

We lived cheap, for a year we bought bulk groceries at the Amish market (Mt. Hope) for next-to-nothing and lived outside of town on a farm, trading labor for housing, it was hard work and we lived on a few $100 a month. My wife got so sick of hearing about Bitcoin we essentially stopped talking because that is all I thought about. I begged her to put some money in, told her (told everyone) it was a sure bet, Bitcoin was going to go back to $1,000 someday so it was going to be easy money, it was going to be better money. My wife grew to hate Bitcoin, and hated that I was putting money into it, I soon had to start lying about money to her and continued to buy all through 2013.

Mid 2016, when the price got to around $500 and I could no longer afford "a whole Bitcoin" per paycheck, I slowed down my buying, having accumulated around 50 BTC.

I divested to things like ETH, PPC, Litecoin, MasterCoin, XMR and Dash, ran a master node, played with scripts. The worst time of my (investing) life was May 2017, I had over 1,000 ETH, 1,000 LTC, my 10,000 DASH masternode and other wallets on a USB. The keys were all in one file (very dumb) and the file was encrypted with WinRar (very very dumb). I thought I was 100% safe. When I needed to move funds, I disconnected the computer, plugged in the USB, decrypted the file, then swept the key into a wallet.

Somehow (downloading illegal pirated software) I got a keylogger (named something like Wool.exe I later found). One day I decide to check my Eth balance and it is 0.00nothing. I literally laughed out loud, I laughed! Like, HOOOLY FUCK!, HA! Everything but my Bitcoin and Dash was gone, $10,000's in crypto, gone. I freak the fuck out and try to higher a "hacker" to find the hacker, I send a guy on a forum some BTC and he could tell me what software was used but nothing to get my coin back. I was almost dead inside.

But I still had exactly 21 Bitcoins in my wallet, I told myself I would never sell those 21 lucky Bitcoins that the hacker didn't get.

Six months later I sold those 21 Bitcoins and bought a nice house in town and a new (used) honda for my wife. We moved the family off the farm and into the city, spent another $25k on renovations, put $50k into metals and stocks and took out $100k for a rainy day fund, owing taxes on about $300k, on paper we were millionaires.
By the end of 2017 follow they did, as Lou Pai describes, I had every damn cousin, old friend/roomate, people at work, people I barely knew asking me about what wallet to use, what coin to buy. I told them all, DO NOT BUY, it is too late, you should have bought when I told you to. But they were jealous, I could not stop my own mother from putting in $10,000 at near the top, after it dipped she was about to buy another $10,000 and I had to beg her to not. The more I told people it was too late, the more I saw them buy.

I traded my lucky 21 BitCoreCoins for 10x that in BCH and am somehow still hodling a good amount of ETH though gave up on Dash but still believe that really only XMR and BCH are "necessary" or even useful right now.

In those "slow" years I learned more about crypto, the history of money, taxes, capital strategies, redditing, but most importantly, I learned about people, I learned that no one can tell anyone a goddamn thing ever, even if it is for their own good. The ONLY thing that can happen is you can make people jealous, then they will follow you.



submitted by ImRichBCH to btc [link] [comments]

"Ultimately, Credits.energy has many of the red flags we associate with ICO scams."

Credits ICO: Mobile Mining Platform Supports Green Energy? "Ultimately, Credits.energy has many of the red flags we associate with ICO scams."
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/credits-ico/ via @bitcoinsguide
"Credits.energy is a cryptocurrency mining app that claims to support green energy initiatives. Here’s our review.
What Is The Credits ICO? Credits is a mobile mining app that lets you mine credits on “low”, “medium”, or “high” settings.
You can download the app today for free for Android (an iOS version is listed as “coming soon”). The mining feature is expected to go live starting in May 2018.
The goal of Credits.energy is to build sustainable, green energy projects. As the official website explains, “credits will be building green energy & sustainable projects that give 10% of profits to various charities.”
Meanwhile, users will be able to cash out their credits through direct deposit. Cashing out is expected to go live in summer 2018.
A pre-ICO for Credits tokens (CRED) is underway throughout March and April 2018. The price is set at $0.005 per Credit, or $1 USD = 200 CRED.
Overall, there’s very limited information about Credits.energy available online. There’s a very small whitepaper, for example, with no team information and little information about how the project works. The platform vaguely mentions investing in solar and wind energy but doesn’t provide many specific details. This is unusual for a company seeking to raise millions of dollars through an ICO.
What Problems Does Credits.energy Seek To Solve? Credits.energy seeks to solve all of the following problems with today’s cryptocurrency industry:
Speed of Transactions: Credits claims that cryptocurrency transactions take too long. They specifically reference the bitcoin and Ethereum network, where transactions can take over 10 minutes to be completed. Obviously, there are other cryptocurrencies that can complete transactions within milliseconds, although Credits.energy doesn’t mention this in their whitepaper.
Volatility: “Bitcoin is backed by absolutely nothing,” explains the Credits.energy whitepaper. This leads to enormous volatility. Credits.energy will solve volatility – although they don’t explain how they plan to do that.
Ease of Use: It’s not easy to jump into the cryptocurrency industry as a layperson. Credits.energy wants to change that.
Cashing Out: “Cashing bitcoin out is confusing,” explains the official whitepaper. you need to export your bitcoin into an online wallet then wait 2 to 3 business days. Credits.energy aims to speed up this process, offering easy cashing out for users.
Obviously, these are enormous and vague problems that occur across the entire cryptocurrency industry.
How Does Credits Work? Credits.energy aims to solve all of the problems listed above. First, the company’s Credits will have their own “network servers to ensure speed and stability supplemented by its users to ensure reliability,” explains the official whitepaper.
Meanwhile, 10% of proceeds will be given to charity projects.
Users will also be able to purchase Credits directly through the platform using conventional payment methods. You can visit Credits.energy today to purchase Credits.
Meanwhile, Credits.energy plans to solve volatility “by investing in green energy and sustainable projects that earn residual income.” Credits.energy will use the income generated from these projects “to improve our technology thus generating cashflow in the tech arena as well.”
Credits use the CryptoNight algorithm for maximum anonymity. Basically, you mine Credits through your Android or iOS mobile app. Then, those Credits are used to fund sustainable projects around the world.
Some of the projects mentioned on the Credits.energy official website include solar energy projects, wind energy farms, and agriculture operations. The whitepaper provides a specific example of all three projects:
Solar Energy: Credits is creating a “Solar Farm Project” that expects to generate 25 megawatts of power on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado. This power will be sold, and the income will be used to “maintain the Credits ecosystem while simultaneously increasing the value of your Credits holdings.”
Wind Energy: Credits will create a Wind Farm Project that will produce 40 megawatts of power on the outskirts of Denver. The company plans to use Vestas turbines.
Agricultural Operations: Credits.energy will launch a large-scale organic hydroponic greenhouse operation on the outskirts of Denver. They plan to mass produce tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, eggplants, carrots, potatoes, and more.
About The Credits ICO Credits.energy is selling its CRED tokens (listed under the trading ticker CX) at a price of $0.005 during the pre-ICO, or $1 USD = 200 CRED.
By the time the main Credits ICO begins, the company is doubling the price of each token up to $0.01 apiece. An exchange rate of 1 ETH = 100,000 CRED is also mentioned in the whitepaper.
The token sale began in March 2018. It appears to be continuing until all tokens are sold. You’ll need to send ETH or BTC to the company’s wallets as posted on Credits.energy.
The Credits team claims the price of each CRED token can be expected to “grow rapidly” as soon as April 2018. However, it’s unclear why they expect the price to suddenly rise.
Who’s Behind Credits? Credits.energy is organized under the name Credits LLC. The website features an article of organization for the company that you can view here. That document appears to show that Credits LLC is a legitimate company registered in the State of Colorado. The company is registered under the name “Fair Trade LLC”. The registration document includes a Denver, Colorado address.
Listed members of the team include Luke Ingraham (CEO and Founder). Luke has owned and operated a successful private crypto investment firm for the past 21 months. He’s also mined cryptocurrency since 2013. You can view his LinkedIn page here.
Luke’s previous listed experience includes positions as CEO of Lucrative Enterprises (September 2015 to December 2016) and CEO of Fair Trade, LLC (from July 2016 to present).
Other listed members of the team include Geoff Williams (CFO) and Bidhan Baral (Android and iOS app developer).
Credits ICO Conclusion Credits aims to launch a cryptocurrency called Credits (also known as CRED or CX). These tokens will be used to purchase a stake in three renewable energy projects in developing around Denver, Colorado, including a wind farm, a solar energy farm, and an agricultural operation. By purchasing CRED tokens, you can earn profits from the success of these operations. Income generated by these three projects will be shared with token holders.
Credits.energy appears to be open and honest about its location and team information. However, there are some unusual things about the project. The whitepaper is just 12 short pages long, for example, and explains limited information about the company. There are no specific details about the three renewable energy projects posted online. We have no reason to believe they’ll ever be completed, for example, and there’s no evidence that any members of the team have previously built any type of green energy operations.
Despite the complete lack of information, Credits.energy is attempting to raise millions of dollars through an ICO in March and April 2018. They claim the price of Credits tokens will experience “rapid growth” within weeks of the ICO – although it’s unclear where this sudden rise of value will come from.
Ultimately, Credits.energy has many of the red flags we associate with ICO scams...."
note: they do have at least i las vegas phone number and their twitter profile has been advertising as being in las vegas nv
shade shade and more shade
submitted by DV82INXS to CreditsCryptocurrency [link] [comments]

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