Bitcoin and the rise of decentralized autonomous ...
Bitcoin and the rise of decentralized autonomous ...
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DFINITY Research Report
Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador ABSTRACT The DFINITY blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. At its core, DFINITY contains a decentralized randomness beacon, which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS. The DFINITY blockchain is layered on top of the DFINITY beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking. A “weight” is attributed to a chain based on the ranks of the leaders who propose the blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to select between competing chains. The DFINITY blockchain is layered on top of the DFINITY beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking blockchain is further hardened by a notarization process which dramatically improves the time to finality and eliminates the nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks. DFINITY consensus algorithm is made to scale through continuous quorum selections driven by the random beacon. In practice, DFINITY achieves block times of a few seconds and transaction finality after only two confirmations. The system gracefully handles temporary losses of network synchrony including network splits, while it is provably secure under synchrony.
DFINITY is building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource. The company’s platform uses blockchain technology which is aimed at building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource with unlimited capacity, performance and algorithmic governance shared by the world, with the capability to power autonomous self-updating software systems, enabling organizations to design and deploy custom-tailored cloud computing projects, thereby reducing enterprise IT system costs by 90%. DFINITY aims to explore new territory and prove that the blockchain opportunity is far broader and deeper than anyone has hitherto realized, unlocking the opportunity with powerful new crypto. Although a standalone project, DFINITY is not maximalist minded and is a great supporter of Ethereum. The DFINITY blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. At its core, DFINITY contains a decentralized randomness beacon, which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS. DFINITY’s consensus mechanism has four layers: notary (provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers), blockchain (builds a blockchain from validated transactions via the Probabilistic Slot Protocol driven by the random beacon), random beacon (provides the source of randomness for all higher layers like smart contract applications), and identity (provides a registry of all clients). DFINITY’s consensus mechanism has four layers Figure1: DFINITY’s consensus mechanism layers 1. Identity layer: Active participants in the DFINITY Network are called clients. Where clients are registered with permanent identities under a pseudonym. Moreover, DFINITY supports open membership by providing a protocol for registering new clients by depositing a stake with an insurance period. This is the responsibility of the first layer. 2. Random Beacon layer: Provides the source of randomness (VRF) for all higher layers including ap- plications (smart contracts). The random beacon in the second layer is an unbiasable, verifiable random function (VRF) that is produced jointly by registered clients. Each random output of the VRF is unpredictable by anyone until just before it becomes avail- able to everyone. This is a key technology of the DFINITY system, which relies on a threshold signature scheme with the properties of uniqueness and non-interactivity. https://preview.redd.it/hkcf53ic05e51.jpg?width=441&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=44d45c9602ee630705ce92902b8a8379201d8111 3. Blockchain layer: The third layer deploys the “probabilistic slot protocol” (PSP). This protocol ranks the clients for each height of the chain, in an order that is derived determin- istically from the unbiased output of the random beacon for that height. A weight is then assigned to block proposals based on the proposer’s rank such that blocks from clients at the top of the list receive a higher weight. Forks are resolved by giving favor to the “heaviest” chain in terms of accumulated block weight — quite sim- ilar to how traditional proof-of-work consensus is based on the highest accumulated amount of work. The first advantage of the PSP protocol is that the ranking is available instantaneously, which allows for a predictable, constant block time. The second advantage is that there is always a single highest-ranked client, which allows for a homogenous network bandwidth utilization. Instead, a race between clients would favor a usage in bursts. 4. Notarization layer: Provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers. DFINITY deploys the novel technique of block notarization in its fourth layer to speed up finality. A notarization is a threshold signature under a block created jointly by registered clients. Only notarized blocks can be included in a chain. Of all RSA-based alternatives exist but suffer from an impracticality of setting up the thresh- old keys without a trusted dealer. DFINITY achieves its high speed and short block times exactly because notarization is not full consensus. DFINITY does not suffer from selfish mining attack or a problem nothing at stake because the authentication step is impossible for the opponent to build and maintain a series of linked and trusted blocks in secret. DFINITY’s consensus is designed to operate on a network of millions of clients. To en- able scalability to this extent, the random beacon and notarization protocols are designed such as that they can be safely and efficiently delegated to a committee
1.1 OVERVIEW ABOUT DFINITY
DFINITY is a blockchain-based cloud-computing project that aims to develop an open, public network, referred to as the “internet computer,” to host the next generation of software and data. and it is a decentralized and non-proprietary network to run the next generation of mega-applications. It dubbed this public network “Cloud 3.0”. DFINITY is a third generation virtual blockchain network that sets out to function as an “intelligent decentralised cloud,”¹ strongly focused on delivering a viable corporate cloud solution. The DFINITY project is overseen, supported and promoted by DFINITY Stiftung a not-for-profit foundation based in Zug, Switzerland. DFINITY is a decentralized network design whose protocols generate a reliable “virtual blockchain computer” running on top of a peer-to-peer network upon which software can be installed and can operate in the tamperproof mode of smart contracts. DFINITY introduces algorithmic governance in the form of a “Blockchain Nervous System” that can protect users from attacks and help restart broken systems, dynamically optimize network security and efficiency, upgrade the protocol and mitigate misuse of the platform, for example by those wishing to run illegal or immoral systems. DFINITY is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform that is implementing some revolutionary ideas to address blockchain performance, scaling, and governance. Whereas DFINITY could pose a credible threat to Ethereum’s extinction, the project is pursuing a coevolutionary strategy by contributing funding and effort to Ethereum projects and freely offering their technology to Ethereum for adoption. DFINITY has labeled itself Ethereum’s “crazy sister” to express it’s close genetic resemblance to Ethereum, differentiated by its obsession with performance and neuron-inspired governance model. Dfinity raised $61 million from Andreesen Horowitz and Polychain Capital in a February 2018 funding round. At the time, Dfinity said it wanted to create an “internet computer” to cut the costs of running cloud-based business applications. A further $102 million funding round in August 2018 brought the project’s total funding to $195 million. In May 2018, Dfinity announced plans to distribute around $35 million worth of Dfinity tokens in an airdrop. It was part of the company’s plan to create a “Cloud 3.0.” Because of regulatory concerns, none of the tokens went to US residents. DFINITY be broadening and strengthening the EVM ecosystem by giving applications a choice of platforms with different characteristics. However, if DFINITY succeeds in delivering a fully EVM-compatible smart contract platform with higher transaction throughput, faster confirmation times, and governance mechanisms that can resolve public disputes without causing community splits, then it will represent a clearly superior choice for deploying new applications and, as its network effects grow, an attractive place to bring existing ones. Of course the challenge for DFINITY will be to deliver on these promises while meeting the security demands of a public chain with significant value at risk.
1.1.1 DFINITY FUTURE
DFINITY aims to explore new blockchain territory related to the original goals of the Ethereum project and is sometimes considered “Ethereum’s crazy sister.”
DFINITY is developing blockchain-based infrastructure to support a new style of the internet (akin to Ethereum’s “World Computer”), one in which the internet itself will support software applications and data rather than various cloud hosting providers.
The project suggests this reinvented software platform can simplify the development of new software systems, reduce the human capital needed to maintain and secure data, and preserve user data privacy.
Dfinity aims to reduce the costs of cloud services by creating a decentralized “internet computer” which may launch in 2020
Dfinity claims transactions on its network are finalized in 3–5 seconds, compared to 1 hour for Bitcoin and 10 minutes for Ethereum.
1.1.2 DFINITY’S VISION
DFINITY’s vision is its new internet infrastructure can support a wide variety of end-user and enterprise applications. Social media, messaging, search, storage, and peer-to-peer Internet interactions are all examples of functionalities that DFINITY plans to host atop its public Web 3.0 cloud-like computing resource. In order to provide the transaction and data capacity necessary to support this ambitious vision, DFINITY features a unique consensus model (dubbed Threshold Relay) and algorithmic governance via its Blockchain Nervous System (BNS) — sometimes also referred to as the Network Nervous System or NNS.
February 15, 2017 Ethereum based community seed round raises 4M Swiss francs (CHF) The DFINITY Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation entity based in Zug, Switzerland, raised the round. The foundation held $10M of assets as of April 2017. February 8, 2018 Dfinity announces a $61M fundraising round led by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz The round $61M round led by Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, along with an DFINITY Ecosystem Venture Fund which will be used to support projects developing on the DFINITY platform, and an Ethereum based raise in 2017 brings the total funding for the project over $100 million. This is the first cryptocurrency token that Andressen Horowitz has invested in, led by Chris Dixon. August 2018 Dfinity raises a $102,000,000 venture round from Multicoin Capital, Village Global, Aspect Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital, Amino Capital and SV Angel. January 23, 2020 Dfinity launches an open source platform aimed at the social networking giants
Dfinity is building what it calls the internet computer, a decentralized technology spread across a network of independent data centers that allows software to run anywhere on the internet rather than in server farms that are increasingly controlled by large firms, such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud. This week Dfinity is releasing its software to third-party developers, who it hopes will start making the internet computer’s killer apps. It is planning a public release later this year. At its core, the DFINITY consensus mechanism is a variation of the Proof of Stake (PoS) model, but offers an alternative to traditional Proof of Work (PoW) and delegated PoS (dPoS) networks. Threshold Relay intends to strike a balance between inefficiencies of decentralized PoW blockchains (generally characterized by slow block times) and the less robust game theory involved in vote delegation (as seen in dPoS blockchains). In DFINITY, a committee of “miners” is randomly selected to add a new block to the chain. An individual miner’s probability of being elected to the committee proposing and computing the next block (or blocks) is proportional to the number of dfinities the miner has staked on the network. Further, a “weight” is attributed to a DFINITY chain based on the ranks of the miners who propose blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to choose between competing chains (i.e. resolve chain forks). A decentralized random beacon manages the random selection process of temporary block producers. This beacon is a Variable Random Function (VRF), which is a pseudo-random function that provides publicly verifiable proofs of its outputs’ correctness. A core component of the random beacon is the use of Boneh-Lynn-Shacham (BLS) signatures. By leveraging the BLS signature scheme, the DFINITY protocol ensures no actor in the network can determine the outcome of the next random assignment. Dfinity is introducing a new standard, which it calls the internet computer protocol (ICP). These new rules let developers move software around the internet as well as data. All software needs computers to run on, but with ICP the computers could be anywhere. Instead of running on a dedicated server in Google Cloud, for example, the software would have no fixed physical address, moving between servers owned by independent data centers around the world. “Conceptually, it’s kind of running everywhere,” says Dfinity engineering manager Stanley Jones. DFINITY also features a native programming language, called ActorScript (name may be subject to change), and a virtual machine for smart contract creation and execution. The new smart contract language is intended to simplify the management of application state for programmers via an orthogonal persistence environment (which means active programs are not required to retrieve or save their state). All ActorScript contracts are eventually compiled down to WebAssembly instructions so the DFINITY virtual machine layer can execute the logic of applications running on the network. The advantage of using the WebAssembly standard is that all major browsers support it and a variety of programming languages can compile down to Wasm (not just ActorScript). Dfinity is moving fast. Recently, Dfinity showed off a TikTok clone called CanCan. In January it demoed a LinkedIn-alike called LinkedUp. Neither app is being made public, but they make a convincing case that apps made for the internet computer can rival the real things.
2.1 DFINITY CORE APPLICATIONS
The DFINITY cloud has two core applications:
Enabling the re-engineering of business: DFINITY ambitiously aims to facilitate the re-engineering of mass-market services (such as Web Search, Ridesharing Services, Messaging Services, Social Media, Supply Chain, etc) into open source businesses that leverage autonomous software and decentralised governance systems to operate and update themselves more efficiently.
Enable the re-engineering of enterprise IT systems to reduce costs: DFINITY seeks to re-engineer enterprise IT systems to take advantage of the unique properties that blockchain computer networks provide.
At present, computation on blockchain-based computer networks is far more expensive than traditional, centralised solutions (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc). Despite increasing computational cost, DFINITY intends to lower net costs “by 90% or more” through reducing the human capital cost associated with sustaining and supporting these services. Whilst conceptually similar to Ethereum, DFINITY employs original and new cryptography methods and protocols (crypto:3) at the network level, in concert with AI and network-fuelled systemic governance (Blockchain Nervous System — BNS) to facilitate Corporate adoption. DFINITY recognises that different users value different properties and sees itself as more of a fully compatible extension of the Ethereum ecosystem rather than a competitor of the Ethereum network. In the future, DFINITY hopes that much of their “new crypto might be used within the Ethereum network and are also working hard on shared technology components.” As the DFINITY project develops over time, the DFINITY Stiftung foundation intends to steadily increase the BNS’ decision-making responsibilities over time, eventually resulting in the dissolution of its own involvement entirely, once the BNS is sufficiently sophisticated. DFINITY consensus mechanism is a heavily optimized proof of stake (PoS) model. It places a strong emphasis on transaction finality through implementing a Threshold Relay technique in conjunction with the BLS signature scheme and a notarization method to address many of the problems associated with PoS consensus.
2.2 THRESHOLD RELAY
As a public cloud computing resource, DFINITY targets business applications by substantially reducing cloud computing costs for IT systems. They aim to achieve this with a highly scalable and powerful network with potentially unlimited capacity. The DFINITY platform is chalk full of innovative designs and features like their Blockchain Nervous System (BNS) for algorithmic governance. One of the primary components of the platform is its novel Threshold Relay Consensus model from which randomness is produced, driving the other systems that the network depends on to operate effectively. The consensus system was first designed for a permissioned participation model but can be paired with any method of Sybil resistance for an open participation model. “The Threshold Relay is the mechanism by which Dfinity randomly samples replicas into groups, sets the groups (committees) up for threshold operation, chooses the current committee, and relays from one committee to the next is called the threshold relay.” Threshold Relay consists of four layers (As mentioned previously):
Notary layer, which provides fast finality guarantees to clients and external observers and eliminates nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks, providing Sybil attack resistance.
Blockchain layer that builds a blockchain from validated transactions via the Probabilistic Slot Protocol driven by the random beacon.
Random beacon, which as previously covered, provides the source of randomness for all higher layers like the blockchain layer smart contract applications.
Identity layer that provides a registry of all clients.
2.2.1 HOW DOES THRESHOLD RELAY WORK?
Threshold Relay produces an endogenous random beacon, and each new value defines random group(s) of clients that may independently try and form into a “threshold group”. The composition of each group is entirely random such that they can intersect and clients can be presented in multiple groups. In DFINITY, each group is comprised of 400 members. When a group is defined, the members attempt to set up a BLS threshold signature system using a distributed key generation protocol. If they are successful within some fixed number of blocks, they then register the public key (“identity”) created for their group on the global blockchain using a special transaction, such that it will become part of the set of active groups in a following “epoch”. The network begins at “genesis” with some number of predefined groups, one of which is nominated to create a signature on some default value. Such signatures are random values — if they were not then the group’s signatures on messages would be predictable and the threshold signature system insecure — and each random value produced thus is used to select a random successor group. This next group then signs the previous random value to produce a new random value and select another group, relaying between groups ad infinitum and producing a sequence of random values. In a cryptographic threshold signature system a group can produce a signature on a message upon the cooperation of some minimum threshold of its members, which is set to 51% in the DFINITY network. To produce the threshold signature, group members sign the message individually (here the preceding group’s threshold signature) creating individual “signature shares” that are then broadcast to other group members. The group threshold signature can be constructed upon combination of a sufficient threshold of signature shares. So for example, if the group size is 400, if the threshold is set at 201 any client that collects that many shares will be able to construct the group’s signature on the message. Other group members can validate each signature share, and any client using the group’s public key can validate the single group threshold signature produced by combining them. The magic of the BLS scheme is that it is “unique and deterministic” meaning that from whatever subset of group members the required number of signature shares are collected, the single threshold signature created is always the same and only a single correct value is possible. Consequently, the sequence of random values produced is entirely deterministic and unmanipulable, and signatures generated by relaying between groups produces a Verifiable Random Function, or VRF. Although the sequence of random values is pre-determined given some set of participating groups, each new random value can only be produced upon the minimal agreement of a threshold of the current group. Conversely, in order for relaying to stall because a random number was not produced, the number of correct processes must be below the threshold. Thresholds are configured so that this is extremely unlikely. For example, if the group size is set to 400, and the threshold is 201, 200 or more of the processes must become faulty to prevent production. If there are 10,000 processes in the network, of which 3,000 are faulty, the probability this will occur is less than 10e-17.
2.3 DFINITY TOKEN
The DFINITY blockchain also supports a native token, called dfinities (DFN), which perform multiple roles within the network, including:
Fuel for deploying and running smart contracts.
Security deposits (i.e. staking) that enable participation in the BNS governance system.
Security deposits that allow client software or private DFINITY cloud networks to connect to the public network.
Although dfinities will end up being assigned a value by the market, the DFINITY team does not intend for DFN to act as a currency. Instead, the project has envisioned PHI, a “next-generation” crypto-fiat scheme, to act as a stable medium of exchange within the DFINITY ecosystem. Neuron operators can earn Dfinities by participating in network-wide votes, which could be concerning protocol upgrades, a new economic policy, etc. DFN rewards for participating in the governance system are proportional to the number of tokens staked inside a neuron.
DFINITY is constantly developing with a structure that separates consensus, validation, and storage into separate layers. The storage layer is divided into multiple strings, each of which is responsible for processing transactions that occur in the fragment state. The verification layer is responsible for combining hashes of all fragments in a Merkle-like structure that results in a global state fractionation that is stored in blocks in the top-level chain.
2.5 DFINITY CONSENSUS ALGORITHM
The single most important aspect of the user experience is certainly the time required before a transaction becomes final. This is not solved by a short block time alone — Dfinity’s team also had to reduce the number of confirmations required to a small constant. DFINITY moreover had to provide a provably secure proof-of-stake algorithm that scales to millions of active participants without compromising any bit on decentralization. Dfinity soon realized that the key to scalability lay in having an unmanipulable source of randomness available. Hence they built a scalable decentralized random beacon, based on what they call the Threshold Relay technique, right into the foundation of the protocol. This strong foundation drives a scalable and fast consensus layer: On top of the beacon runs a blockchain which utilizes notarization by threshold groups to achieve near-instant finality. Details can be found in the overview paper that we are releasing today. The roots of the DFINITY consensus mechanism date back to 2014 when thair Chief Scientist, Dominic Williams, started to look for more efficient ways to drive large consensus networks. Since then, much research has gone into the protocol and it took several iterations to reach its current design. For any practical consensus system the difficulty lies in navigating the tight terrain that one is given between the boundaries imposed by theoretical impossibility-results and practical performance limitations. The first key milestone was the novel Threshold Relay technique for decentralized, deterministic randomness, which is made possible by certain unique characteristics of the BLS signature system. The next breakthrough was the notarization technique, which allows DFINITY consensus to solve the traditional problems that come with proof-of-stake systems. Getting the security proofs sound was the final step before publication. DFINITY consensus has made the proper trade-offs between the practical side (realistic threat models and security assumptions) and the theoretical side (provable security). Out came a flexible, tunable algorithm, which we expect will establish itself as the best performing proof-of-stake algorithm. In particular, having the built-in random beacon will prove to be indispensable when building out sharding and scalable validation techniques.
The startup has rather cheekily called this “an open version of LinkedIn,” the Microsoft-owned social network for professionals. Unlike LinkedIn, LinkedUp, which runs on any browser, is not owned or controlled by a corporate entity. LinkedUp is built on Dfinity’s so-called Internet Computer, its name for the platform it is building to distribute the next generation of software and open internet services. The software is hosted directly on the internet on a Switzerland-based independent data center, but in the concept of the Internet Computer, it could be hosted at your house or mine. The compute power to run the application LinkedUp, in this case — is coming not from Amazon AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, but is instead based on the distributed architecture that Dfinity is building. Specifically, Dfinity notes that when enterprises and developers run their web apps and enterprise systems on the Internet Computer, the content is decentralized across a minimum of four or a maximum of an unlimited number of nodes in Dfinity’s global network of independent data centers. Dfinity is an open source for LinkedUp to developers for creating other types of open internet services on the architecture it has built. “Open Social Network for Professional Profiles” suggests that on Dfinity model one can create “Open WhatsApp”, “Open eBay”, “Open Salesforce” or “Open Facebook”. The tools include a Canister Software Developer Kit and a simple programming language called Motoko that is optimized for Dfinity’s Internet Computer. “The Internet Computer is conceived as an alternative to the $3.8 trillion legacy IT stack, and empowers the next generation of developers to build a new breed of tamper-proof enterprise software systems and open internet services. We are democratizing software development,” Williams said. “The Bronze release of the Internet Computer provides developers and enterprises a glimpse into the infinite possibilities of building on the Internet Computer — which also reflects the strength of the Dfinity team we have built so far.” Dfinity says its “Internet Computer Protocol” allows for a new type of software called autonomous software, which can guarantee permanent APIs that cannot be revoked. When all these open internet services (e.g. open versions of WhatsApp, Facebook, eBay, Salesforce, etc.) are combined with other open software and services it creates “mutual network effects” where everyone benefits. On 1 November, DFINITY has released 13 new public versions of the SDK, to our second major milestone [at WEF Davos] of demoing a decentralized web app called LinkedUp on the Internet Computer. Subsequent milestones towards the public launch of the Internet Computer will involve:
On boarding a global network of independent data centers.
Fully tested economic system.
Fully tested Network Nervous Systems for configuration and upgrades
2.7 WHAT IS MOTOKO?
Motoko is a new software language being developed by the DFINITY Foundation, with an accompanying SDK, that is designed to help the broadest possible audience of developers create reliable and maintainable websites, enterprise systems and internet services on the Internet Computer with ease. By developing the Motoko language, the DFINITY Foundation will ensure that a language that is highly optimized for the new environment is available. However, the Internet Computer can support any number of different software frameworks, and the DFINITY Foundation is also working on SDKs that support the Rust and C languages. Eventually, it is expected there will be many different SDKs that target the Internet Computer. Full article
Thank you for being a part of the ColossusXT Reddit AMA! Below we will summarize the questions and answers. The team responded to 78 questions! If you question was not included, it may have been answered in a previous question. The ColossusXT team will do a Reddit AMA at the end of every quarter. The winner of the Q2 AMA Contest is: Shenbatu Q: Why does your blockchain exist and what makes it unique? A: ColossusXT exists to provide an energy efficient method of supercomputing. ColossusXT is unique in many ways. Some coins have 1 layer of privacy. ColossusXT and the Colossus Grid will utilize 2 layers of privacy through Obfuscation Zerocoin Protocol, and I2P and these will protect users of the Colossus Grid as they utilize grid resources. There are also Masternodes and Proof of Stake which both can contribute to reducing 51% attacks, along with instant transactions and zero-fee transactions. This protection is paramount as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. Grid Computing will have a pivotal role throughout the world, and what this means is that users will begin to experience the Internet as a seamless computational universe. Software applications, databases, sensors, video and audio streams-all will be reborn as services that live in cyberspace, assembling and reassembling themselves on the fly to meet the tasks at hand. Once plugged into the grid, a desktop machine will draw computational horsepower from all the other computers on the grid. Q: What is the Colossus Grid? A: ColossusXT is an anonymous blockchain through obfuscation, Zerocoin Protocol, along with utilization of I2P. These features will protect end user privacy as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. The Colossus Grid will connect devices in a peer-to-peer network enabling users and applications to rent the cycles and storage of other users’ machines. This marketplace of computing power and storage will exclusively run on COLX currency. These resources will be used to complete tasks requiring any amount of computation time and capacity, or allow end users to store data anonymously across the COLX decentralized network. Today, such resources are supplied by entities such as centralized cloud providers which are constrained by closed networks, proprietary payment systems, and hard-coded provisioning operations. Any user ranging from a single PC owner to a large data center can share resources through Colossus Grid and get paid in COLX for their contributions. Renters of computing power or storage space, on the other hand, may do so at low prices compared to the usual market prices because they are only using resources that already exist. Q: When will zerocoin be fully integrated? A: Beta has been released for community testing on Test-Net. As soon as all the developers consider the code ready for Main-Net, it will be released. Testing of the code on a larger test network network will ensure a smooth transition. Q: Is the end goal for the Colossus Grid to act as a decentralized cloud service, a resource pool for COLX users, or something else? A: Colossus Grid will act as a grid computing resource pool for any user running a COLX node. How and why we apply the grid to solve world problems will be an ever evolving story. Q: What do you think the marketing role in colx.? When ll be the inwallet shared nodes available...i know its been stated in roadmap but as u dont follow roadmap and offer everything in advance...i hope shared MN's to be avilable soon. A: The ColossusXT (COLX) roadmap is a fluid design philosophy. As the project evolves, and our community grows. Our goal is to deliver a working product to the market while at the same time adding useful features for the community to thrive on, perhaps the Colossus Grid and Shared Masternodes will be available both by the end of Q4 2018. Q: When will your github be open to the public? A: The GitHub has been open to the public for a few months now. You can view the GitHub here: https://github.com/ColossusCoinXT The latest commits here: https://github.com/ColossusCoinXT/ColossusCoinXT/commits/master Q: Why should I use COLX instead of Monero? A: ColossusXT offers Proof of Stake and Masternodes both which contribute layers in protection from 51% attacks often attributed with Proof of Work consensus, and in being Proof of Work(Monero) ColossusXT is environmentally friendly compared to Proof of Work (Monero). You can generate passive income from Proof of Stake, and Masternodes. Along with helping secure the network.What really sets ColossusXT apart from Monero, and many other privacy projects being worked on right now, is the Colossus Grid. Once plugged into the Colossus Grid, a desktop machine will draw computational horsepower from all the other computers on the grid. Blockchain, was built on the core value of decentralization and ColossusXT adhere to these standards with end-user privacy in mind in the technology sector. Q: With so many coins out with little to no purpose let alone a definitive use case, how will COLX distinguish itself from the crowd? A: You are right, there are thousands of other coins. Many have no purpose, and we will see others “pumping” from day to day. It is the nature of markets, and crypto as groups move from coin to coin to make a quick profit. As blockchain regulations and information is made more easily digestible projects like ColossusXT will rise. Our goal is to produce a quality product that will be used globally to solve technical problems, in doing so grid computing on the ColossusXT network could create markets of its own within utilizing Super-computing resources. ColossusXT is more than just a currency, and our steadfast approach to producing technical accomplishments will not go unnoticed. Q: Tell the crowd something about the I2P integration plan in the roadmap? 🙂 A: ColossusXT will be moving up the I2P network layer in the roadmap to meet a quicker development pace of the Colossus Grid. The I2P layer will serve as an abstraction layer further obfuscating the users of ColossusXT (COLX) nodes. Abstraction layer allows two parties to communicate in an anonymous manner. This network is optimised for anonymous file-sharing. Q: What kind of protocols, if any, are being considered to prevent or punish misuse of Colossus Grid resources by bad actors, such as participation in a botnet/denial of service attack or the storage of stolen information across the Grid? A: What defines bad actors? ColossusXT plans on marketing to governments and cyber security companies globally. Entities and individuals who will certainly want their privacy protected. There is a grey area between good and bad, and that is something we can certainly explore as a community. Did you have any ideas to contribute to this evolving variable?What we mean when we say marketing towards security companies and governments is being utilized for some of the projects and innovating new ways of grid computing. Security: https://wiki.ncsa.illinois.edu/display/cybersec/Projects+and+Software Governments: https://www.techwalla.com/articles/what-are-the-uses-of-a-supercomputer Q: The Colossus Grid is well defined but I don't feel easily digestible. Has their been any talk of developing an easier to understand marketing plan to help broaden the investoadoptor base? A: As we get closer to the release of the Colossus Grid marketing increase for the Colossus Grid. It will have a user friendly UI, and we will provide Guides and FAQ’s with the release that any user intending to share computing power will be able to comprehend. Q: Can you compare CollossusXT and Golem? A: Yes. The Colosssus Grid is similar to other grid computing projects. The difference is that ColossusXT is on it’s own blockchain, and does not rely on the speed or congestion of a 3rd party blockchain. The Colossus Grid has a privacy focus and will market to companies, and individuals who would like to be more discreet when buying or selling resources by offering multiple levels of privacy protections. Q: How do you guys want to achieve to be one of the leaders as a privacy coin? A: Being a privacy coin leader is not our end game. Privacy features are just a small portion of our framework. The Colossus Grid will include privacy features, but a decentralized Supercomputer is what will set us apart and we intend to be leading this industry in the coming years as our vision, and development continue to grow and scale with technology. Q: With multiple coins within this space, data storage and privacy, how do you plan to differentiate COLX from the rest? Any further partnerships planned? A: The Colossus Grid will differentiate ColossusXT from coins within the privacy space. The ColossusXT blockchain will differentiate us from the DATA storage space. Combining these two features with the ability to buy and sell computing power to complete different computational tasks through a decentralized marketplace. We intend to involve more businesses and individuals within the community and will invite many companies to join in connecting the grid to utilize shared resources and reduce energy waste globally when the BETA is available. Q: Has colossus grid had the best come up out of all crypto coins? A: Possibly. ColossusXT will continue to “come up” as we approach the launch of the Colossus Grid network. Q: How far have Colossus gone in the ATM integration A: ColossusXT intends to and will play an important role in the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. We already have an ongoing partnership with PolisPay which will enable use of COLX via master debit cards. Along with this established relationship, ColossusXT team is in touch with possible companies to use colx widely where these can only be disclosed upon mutual agreement. Q: How does COLX intend to disrupt the computing industry through Grid Computing? A: Using the Colossus Grid on the ColossusXT blockchain, strengthens the network. Computers sit idly by for huge portions of the day. Connecting to the Colossus Grid and contributing those idle resources can make use of all the computing power going to waste, and assist in advancing multiple technology sectors and solving issues. Reducing costs, waste, and increased speed in technology sectors such as scientific research, machine learning, cyber security, and making it possible for anyone with a desktop PC to contribute resources to the Colossus Grid and earn passive income. Q: What kind of partnerships do you have planned and can you share any of them? :) A: The ColossusXT team will announce partnerships when they are available. It’s important to finalize all information and create strong avenues of communication between partners ColossusXT works with in the future. We are currently speaking with many different exchanges, merchants, and discussing options within our technology sector for utilizing the Colossus Grid. Q: Will shared Masternodes be offered by the COLX team? Or will there be any partnerships with something like StakingLab, StakeUnited, or SimplePosPool? StakingLab allows investors of any size to join their shared Masternodes, so any investor of any size can join. Is this a possibility in the future? A: ColossusXT has already partnered with StakingLab. We also plan to implement shared Masternodes in the desktop wallet. Q: How innovative is the Colossus Grid in the privacy coin space? A: Most privacy coins are focused on being just a currency / form of payment. No other project is attempting to do what we are doing with a focus on user privacy. Q: Hey guys do you think to integrated with some other plataforms like Bancor? I would like it! A: ColossusXT is in touch with many exchange platforms, however, due to non disclosure agreements details cannot be shared until it is mutually decided with the partners. We will always be looking for new platforms to spread the use of colx in different parts of the world and crypto space. Q: What is the reward system for the master node owners? A: From block 388.800 onwards, block reward is 1200 colx and this is split based on masternode ownestaker ratio. This split is based on see-saw algorithm. With an increasing number of masternodes the see-saw algorithm disincentivizes the establishment of even more masternodes because it lowers their profitability. To be precise, as soon as more than 41.5% of the total COLX coin supply is locked in masternodes, more than 50% of the block reward will be distributed to regular staking nodes. As long as the amount of locked collateral funds is below the threshold of 41.5%, the see-saw algorithm ensure that running a masternode is financially more attractive than running a simple staking node, to compensate for the additional effort that a masternode requires in comparison to a simple staking node.Please refer to our whitepaper for more information. Q: What other marketplaces has the COLX team been in contact with? Thanks guys! Love the coin and staff A: ColossusXT gets in touch for different platforms based on community request and also based on partnership requests received upon ColossusXT business team’s mutual agreement. Unfortunately, these possibilities cannot be shared until they are mutually agreed between the partners and ColossusXT team due to non disclosure agreements. Q:What do you think about the new rules that will soon govern crypto interactions in the EU?they are against anonymous payments A: Blockchain technology is just now starting to become clear to different governments. ColossusXT's privacy features protect the end-user from oversharing personal information. As you are probably aware from the multiple emails you've received recently from many websites. Privacy policies are always being updated and expanded upon. The use of privacy features with utility coins like ColossusXT should be a regular norm throughout blockchain. This movement is part is about decentralization as much as it is about improving technology. While this news may have a role to play. I don't think it is THE role that will continuously be played as blockchain technology is implemented throughout the world. Q: Any hints on the next big feature implementation you guys are working on? According to road map - really excited to hear more about the Shared MN and the scale of the marketplace! A: Current work is focused on the privacy layer of Colossus Grid and completing the updated wallet interface. Q: Why choose COLX, or should I say why should we believe in COLX becoming what you promise in the roadmap. What are you different from all the other privacy coins with block chain establishment already in effect? A: ColossusXT is an environmentally friendly Proof of Stake, with Masternode technology that provide dual layers of protection from 51% attacks. It includes privacy features that protect the user while the utilize resources from the Colossus Grid. Some of the previous questions within this AMA may also answer this question. Q: What tradeoffs do you have using the Colossus Grid versus the more typical distribution? A: The advantage of supercomputers is that since data can move between processors rapidly, all of the processors can work together on the same tasks. Supercomputers are suited for highly-complex, real-time applications and simulations. However, supercomputers are very expensive to build and maintain, as they consist of a large array of top-of-the-line processors, fast memory, custom hardware, and expensive cooling systems. They also do not scale well, since their complexity makes it difficult to easily add more processors to such a precisely designed and finely tuned system.By contrast, the advantage of distributed systems (Like Colossus Grid) is that relative to supercomputers they are much less expensive. Many distributed systems make use of cheap, off-the-shelf computers for processors and memory, which only require minimal cooling costs. In addition, they are simpler to scale, as adding an additional processor to the system often consists of little more than connecting it to the network. However, unlike supercomputers, which send data short distances via sophisticated and highly optimized connections, distributed systems must move data from processor to processor over slower networks making them unsuitable for many real-time applications. Q: Why should I choose Colossus instead of another 100,000 altcoins? A: Many of these alt-coins are all very different projects. ColossusXT is the only Grid computing project with a focus on user privacy. We have instant transactions, and zero-fee transactions and ColossusXT is one of the very few coins to offer live support. Check out our Whitepaper! Q: Will there be an option (in the future) to choose between an anonymous or public transaction? A: Zerocoin is an evolution of the current coin mixing feature. Both allow an individual to decide how they would like to send their transactions. Q: What exchange has highest volume for ColossusXT, and are there any plans for top exchanges soon ? A: Currently Cryptopia carries the majority of ColossusXT volume. We are speaking with many different exchanges, and preparing requested documentation for different exchanges. ColossusXT intends to be traded on every major exchange globally. Q: What is the TPS speed that colx blockchain achieves? A: ColossusXT achieves between 65-67 TPS depending on network conditions currently. Q: Plans on expanding the dev team? A: As development funds allow it, the team will be expanded. Development costs are high for a unique product like ColossusXT, and a good majority of our budget is allocated to it. Q: Can you explain what is and what are the full porpose of the COLOSSUSXT GRID PROJECT ? A: Colossus Grid is explained in the whitepaper. The uses for grid computing and storage are vast, and we are only starting to scratch the surface on what this type of computing power can do. There is also a description within the formatting context within the AMA of the Colossus Grid. Q: Is there mobile wallet for Android and iOS? If not, is there a roadmap? A: There Android wallet is out of beta and on the Google PlayStore: iOS wallet is planned for development. The roadmap can be found here: https://colossusxt.io/roadmap/ Q: Is ColossusXT planning on partnering up with other cryptocurrency projects? Such as: Bread and EQUAL. A: ColossusXT plans on partnering with other crypto projects that make sense. We look for projects that can help alleviate some of our development work / provide quality of life upgrades to our investors so that we can focus on Colossus Grid development. When absolutely love it when the community comes to us with great projects to explore. Q: Did you ever considered a coinburn? Don't you think a coin burn will increase COLX price and sustain mass adoption? Do you plan on keeping the price of COLX in a range so the potential big investors can invest in a not so much volatile project? A**:** There are no plans to do a coinburn at this time. Please check out our section in the whitepaper about the supply. Q: what is the next big exchange for colx to be listed ? A: There are several exchanges that will be listing ColossusXT soon. Stay tuned for updates within the community as some have already been announced and future announcements.
Q: How will Colx compete with other privacy coins which claim to be better like Privacy? A: ColossusXT is not competing with other privacy coins. ColossusXT will evolve into the Colossus Grid, which is built on the backbone of a privacy blockchain. In our vision, all these other privacy coins are competing for relevancy with ColossusXT. There are also similar responses to question that may hit on specifics. Q: Does COLX have a finite number of coins like bitcoin? A: No, ColossusXT is Proof of Stake. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof-of-stake Q: What are the advantages of COLX over other competitor coins (eg. ECA)? A: The only similarities between ColossusXT and Electra is that we are both privacy blockchains. ColossusXT is very much an entirely different project that any other privacy coin in the blockchain world today. The Colossus Grid will be a huge advantage over any other privacy coin. Offering the ability for a desktop machine to rent power from others contributing to the Colossus Grid and perform and compute high level tasks. Q: How do you feel about some countries frowning upon privacy coins and how do you plan to change their minds (and what do you plan to do about it?) A: The ColossusXT team tries to view opinions from multiple perspectives so that we can understand each line of thinking. As blockchain technology becomes more widely adopted, so will the understanding of the importance of the privacy features within ColossusXT. Privacy is freedom. Q: How do you see COLX in disrupting cloud gaming services such as PlayStation Now? A: Cloud gaming services have not been discussed. Initial marketing of our private grid computing framework will be targeted at homes users, governments, and cyber security firms who may require more discretion / anonymity in their work. Q: Since colx is a privacy coin and is known for its privacy in the transactions due to which lot of money laundering and scams could take place, would colx and its community be affected due to it? And if does then how could we try to prevent it? A: ColossusXT intends to be known for the Colossus Grid. The Colossus Grid development will be moved up from Q1 2019 to Q3 2018 to reflect this message and prevent further miscommunication about what privacy means for the future of ColossusXT. Previous answers within this AMA may further elaborate on this question. Q: When do you plan to list your coin on other "bigger" exchanges? A: ColossusXT is speaking with many different exchanges. These things have many different factors. Exchanges decide on listing dates and we expect to see ColossusXT listed on larger exchanges as we approach the Colossus Grid Beta. The governance system can further assist in funding. Q: What was the rationale behind naming your coin ColossusXT? A:Colossus was a set of computers developed by British codebreakers in the years 1943–1945. XT symbolises ‘extended’ as the coin was forked from the original Cv2 coin. Q: Can you give any details about the E Commerce Marketplace, and its progress? A: The Ecommerce Marketplace is a project that will receive attention after our development pass on important privacy features for the grid. In general, our roadmap will be changing to put an emphasis on grid development. Q: How will someone access the grid, and how will you monetize using the grid? Will there be an interface that charges COLX for time on the grid or data usage? A: The Colossus Grid will be integrated within the ColossusXT wallet. Buying & Selling resources will happen within the wallet interface. You won't be able to charge for "time" on the grid, and have access to unlimited resources. The goal is to have users input what resources they need, and the price they are willing to pay. The Colossus Grid will then look for people selling resources at a value the buyer is willing to pay. Time may come into play based on which resources you are specifically asking for. Q: Are there any plans to launch an official YouTube channel with instructional videos about basic use of the wallets and features of COLX? Most people are visually set and learn much faster about wallets when actually seeing it happen before they try themselves. This might attract people to ColossusXT and also teach people about basic use of blockchain and cryptocurrency wallets. I ask this because I see a lot of users on Discord and Telegram that are still learning and are asking a lot of real basic questions. A: ColossusXT has an official YT account with instructional videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCmMLUSK4YoxKvrLoKJnzng Q: What are the usp's of colx in comparing to other privacy coins? A: Privacy coins are a dime a dozen. ColossusXT has different end goals than most privacy coins, and this cannot be stated enough. Our goal is not just to be another currency, but to build a sophisticated computing resource sharing architecture on top of the privacy blockchain. Q: A new exchange will probably gain more liquidity for our coin. If you might choose 3 exchanges to get COLX listed, what would be your top 3? A: ColossusXT intends to be listed on all major exchanges globally. :) Q: What is the future of privacy coins? What will be the future colx userbase (beyond the first adopters and enthusiasts)? A: The future of privacy is the same it has always been. Privacy is something each and everyone person owns, until they give it away to someone else. Who is in control of your privacy? You or another person or entity?The future of the ColossusXT user base will comprise of early adopters, enthusiast, computer science professionals, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics professionals for which these users can utilize the Colossus Grid a wide range of needs. Q: Will ColossusXT join more exchanges soon?? A: Yes. :) Q: So when will Colossus put out lots of advertisement to the various social media sites to get better known? Like Youtube videos etc. A: As we get closer to a product launch of the Colossus Grid, you’ll begin to see more advertisements, YouTubers, and interviews. We’re looking to also provide some presentations at blockchain conferences in 2018, and 2019. Q: In your opinion, what are some of the issues holding COLX back from wider adoption? In that vein, what are some of the steps the team is considering to help address those issues? A: One of the main issues that is holding ColossusXT back from a wider adoption is our endgame is very different from other privacy coins. The Colossus Grid. In order to address this issue, the ColossusXT team intends to have a Colossus Grid Beta out by the end of Q4 and we will move development of the Colossus Grid from Q1 2019 to Q3 2018. Q: Or to see it from another perspective - what are some of the biggest issues with crypto-currency and how does COLX address those issues? A: Biggest issue is that cryptocurrency is seen as a means to make quick money, what project is going to get the biggest “pump” of the week, and there is not enough focus on building blockchain technologies that solve problems or creating legitimate business use cases. For the most part we believe the base of ColossusXT supporters see our end-game, and are willing to provide us with the time and support to complete our vision. The ColossusXT team keeps its head down and keeps pushing forward. Q: I know it's still early in the development phase but can you give a little insight into what to look forward to regarding In-wallet voting and proposals system for the community? How much power will the community have regarding the direction COLX development takes in the future? A: The budget and proposal system is detailed in the whitepaper. Masternode owners vote on and guide the development of ColossusXT by voting on proposals put forth by the community and business partners. Our goal is to make this process as easy and accessible as possible to our community. Q: Will there be an article explaining the significance of each partnership formed thus far? A: Yes, the ColossusXT team will announce partners on social media, and community outlets. A detailed article of what partnerships mean will be available on our Medium page: https://medium.com/@colossusxt Q: What potential output from the Grid is expected and what would it's use be? For example, x teraflops which could process y solutions to protein folding in z time. A: There are many uses for grid computing. A crypto enthusiast mining crypto, a cyber security professional cracking a password using brute force, or a scientist producing climate prediction models. The resources available to put towards grid projects will be determined by the number of nodes sharing resources, and the amount of resources an individual is willing to purchase with COLX. All individuals will not have access to infinite grid resources. Q: Is there a paper wallet available? A: Yes, see https://mycolxwallet.org Q: Is there a possibility of implementing quantum computer measures in the future? A: This is a great idea for potentially another project in the future. Currently this is not possible with the Colossus Grid. Instead of bits, which conventional computers use, a quantum computer uses quantum bits—known as qubits. In classical computing, a bit is a single piece of information that can exist in two states – 1 or 0. Quantum computing uses quantum bits, or 'qubits' instead. These are quantum systems with two states. However, unlike a usual bit, they can store much more information than just 1 or 0, because they can exist in any superposition of these values. Q: Do you plan to do a coin burn? A: No future coin burns are planned. Anything like this would go through a governance proposal and Masternode owners would vote on this. This is not anything we’ve seen within the community being discussed. Q: Can I check the exact number of current COLX master node and COLX staking node? A: Yes. You can view the Masternodes and the amount of ColossusXT (COLX) being staked by viewing the block explorer. Block explorer: https://chainz.cryptoid.info/colx/#!extraction Q: What incentive could we give a youtuber to do the BEST video of ColossusXT (COLX)? A: We've been approached by several YouTubers. The best thing a YouTuber can do is understand what ColossusXT is, join the community, ask questions if there is something they don't understand. The problem with many YouTubers is that some of them are just trying to get paid, they don't really care to provide context or research a project. Disclaimer: This is not all YouTubers, but many. Q: In which ways is the ColossusGrid different from other supercomputer / distributed computing projects out there. Golem comes to mind. Thanks! A: The main difference is that we are focused on the end users privacy, and the types of users that we will be targeting will be those that need more discretion / anonymity in their work. We are building framework that will continue to push the boundaries of user privacy as it relates to grid computing. Q: Can we please complete our roadmap ahead of schedule? I find most other coins that do this actually excell in terms of price and community members. Keep on top of the game :) A: The Colossus XT roadmap is a very fluid document, and it is always evolving. Some items are moved up in priority, and others are moved back. The roadmap should not be thought of something that is set in stone. Q: Does COLX have master nodes? A: Yes. ColossusXT has masternodes. Q: Have thought about providing a method to insert a form of payment in colx in any page that wants to use cryptocurrencies in a fast and simple way in order to masive adoption???? A: There is already this option.https://mycryptocheckout.com/coins/ Q: What do you think your community progress till now? A: The community has grown greatly in the last 3 months. We’re very excited to go from 13 to 100 questions in our quarterly AMA. Discord, Telegram, and Twitter are growing everyday. Q: I noticed on Roadmap: Coinomi and ahapeshift wallet integration. Can you tell me more about this? I am new in crypto and new ColX investor so I don't know much about this. Thanks and keep a good work. A: Coinomi is a universal wallet. ColossusXT will have multiple wallet platforms available to it. Shapeshift allows you to switch one crypto directly for another without the use of a coupler (BTC). Q: Is "A general-purpose decentralized marketplace" written in the whitepaper the same as "E-COMMERCE MARKETPLACE" written on the roadmap? Please tell me about "A general-purpose decentralized marketplace" or "E-COMMERCE MARKETPLACE" in detail. A: Details will be posted as we get closer to the marketplace. It will be similar to other marketplaces within blockchain. Stay tuned for more information by following us on Twitter. Q: History has shown that feature-based technologies always get replaced by technologies with platforms that incorporate those features; what is colossius big picture? A: The Colossus Grid. Which has been explained within this AMA in a few different ways. Q: What are the main objectives for COLX team this year? Provide me 5 reason why COLX will survive in a long term perspective? Do you consider masternodes working in a private easy to setup wallet on a DEX network? Already big fan, have a nice day! A: Getting into Q3 our main object is to get a working product of the Colossus Grid by the end of Q4.
Community - Our community is growing everyday as knowledge about what we’re building grows. When the Colossus Grid is online we expect expansion to grow at a rapid pace as users connect to share resources.
Team - The ColossusXT team will continue to grow. We are stewards of a great community and an amazing project. Providing a level of support currently unseen in many other projects through Discord. The team cohesion and activity within the community is a standard we intend to set within the blockchain communities.
Features - ColossusXT and The Colossus Grid will have user friendly AI. We understand the difficulties when users first enter blockchain products. The confusion between keys, sending/receiving addresses, and understanding available features within. Guides will always be published for Windows/Mac/Linux with updates so that these features can be easily understood.
Colossus Grid - The Colossus Grid answers real world problems, and provides multiple solutions while also reducing energy consumption.
Use Case - Many of the 1000+ other coins on the market don’t have the current use-case that ColossusXT has, let alone the expansion of utility use-cases in multiple sectors.
Good morning. Since it's a holiday today, I can write thoughts earlier.
An interesting discussion on the 1MB transaction limit
At https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=673415.0, gavinandresen has some interesting comments about a proposal to increase the block frequency of bitcoins. In the thread, it is proposed that, instead of increaqsing the block size, the developers should instead change the difficulty so that blocks are generated more frequently. If the difficulty is reduced by a factor of 20, then blocks appear every 30 seconds instead of every 10 minutes. That also means that 20MB of transactions can occur every 10 minutes, with transaction confirmations being less binary than they are now. Currently, if five minutes has passed and you don't have your transaction in a block, then you are no better off than you were five minutes ago. The odds of finding a block in the next time interval are no higher than they were five minutes ago. With a shorter time interval, you might have 3 confirmations of lower strength already. For midsize transactions, this is beneficial because the possibility of your transaction being double-spent lies somewhere between 0 and 1, rather than remaining at exactly 1. However, this runs into problems that are prevalent in many altcoins. Netcoins are an example of an altcoin that has extremely fast block confirmation times. Their difficulty fluctuates wildly. Mining netcoins can produce 20 blocks in ten seconds. We had to disable netcoin mining because even though they are theoretically the most profitable coin, 75% of the blocks were orphaned. Reducing the block time to several blocks per minute turns coins into a free-for-all, where a "confirmation" doesn't mean anything anymore. I disagree with the assertions in that thread that it would be possible to reduce the block confirmation time down to 5 seconds and that everything would be fine. Such frequent confirmations would result in the mining turning into a race like the stock market is now, where you build dedicated fiber lines from you to the stock exchange to shave off 1ms from your ping time. If people think that centralized mining is a problem now, wait until 5-second blocks appear. The only possible way to compete in a 5-second block environment is to have a large pool with gigabit upload bandwidth and a very low ping time, something that costs $10k/month.
A non-fork solution to the limit
An extremely interesting suggestion that Andresen brings up, and which is the first actually viable idea I've heard to resolve the 1MB transaction limit, is to build a "new P2P" pool. The pool would find "share-blocks" every few seconds. When one of the "new P2P" pool's shares exceeds the difficulty of the original 10-minute network, then it is published to the original blockchain. As the "new P2P" pool grows in size and eventually gains 51% of the hashrate, it essentally becomes the new bitcoin network, even though this blockchain is operating on top of the original chain. Eventually, the pool and the original blockchain both become integrated into the same client, so that it appears that there is only one blockchain, when the actual implementation is a convoluted way behind the scenes. As he states, "we can do this without a hard fork." However, Andresen misses that even if the "new P2P" pool is a wild success, each of the 5-second blocks can only be 10KB or so in size. Otherwise, the original blockchain would exceed 1MB every 10 minutes. To address this issue, a missing link of consolidating transactions needs to be developed that can make transactions in the original blockchain become pointers to the pool's blockchain. The way I see the 1MB limit nowadays is as just another engineering problem that needs to be solved. It may be human-created, but it's just as much an impediment to progress at this point as are the laws of physics. Resolving the problem will require the same development process as solving other intractable problems does. You can't change how cancer behaves, so you accept it as a fact of life and then set about figuring out a cure. Similarly, there can't be any hard forks anymore, so the mistakes in the original bitcoin protocol are now as much a problem as the lack of the protocol once was, and it will take innovative ideas to develop something on top of them to solve the problem. The "new P2P" pool idea is a promising solution to the 1MB transaction limit. There are a few engineering challenges that need to be addressed, but any idea that doesn't require a hard fork is one that can keep bitcoin viable for the long-term.
Time running out?
While there is still time left for the bubble cycle to hold, time seems to be running out. If this bubble doesn't peak within one (or two, but that is probably stretching it) weeks of three Thursdays from now, then the predictions of many will have been inaccurate. After a brief rise after the auction, the price is again starting to slide down towards the lower boundary, which should now be rising above $550. A break of the lower boundary, as you may recall, would likely signal the end of the cycle, because that has not happened in the past five years.
"Bitcoins are too difficult" is an excuse
There are still people who believe that bitcoins are too difficult for the average person to hold and spend. I disagree with that viewpoint. As I stated elsewhere, cold storage is pretty easy and the risk, while not 100%, is very low with reasonable precautions. Printing out a wallet at bitaddress.org and putting the paper in a safe deposit box is only vulnerable to theft in the case that some screen-grabbing virus happens to be taking pictures of the screen exactly at the time the wallet is created, sending the images to some server across the Internet, and (most importantly) the hacker knows what he has. Stealing passwords at phishing sites is easy; doing image processing across videos from a botnet is impossible. As to people who say they would not want to print to a printer, are there any bitcoin-stealing printer firmware viruses that even exist? Given that all routers come with default firewalls and (unlike Windows) there is no single printer architecture, how would anyone even go about targeting your printer? There's a difference between theoretical attacks that could happen to someone, someday, and stuff that is actually happening now. As to spending bitcoins, everyone has a cell phone and anyone can understand how to point a camera at a QR code. I propose that the idea that bitcoins are insecure is a product of a few people who post the same story to many forums claiming that they lost hundreds of bitcoins due to some virus, when in reality there are millions of people using bitcoins and about 10 people have ever lost their life savings due to a virus. Some of the stories aren't true, so the number of people who lost bitcoins is even smaller. People figure out elaborate scams and kickbacks and accounting tricks all the time to rip each other off. Most of these scams are so convoluted and pull in so little money that it is more profitable to simply get a job. It is nonsense to suggest that if people could make a significant amount of money by spending bitcoins rather than credit cards, people wouldn't go to great lengths to save cash. The reality is that if retailers started offering discounts to pay in bitcoins, then people would be motivated to figure out how to use bitcoins, even if it was actually difficult to create a wallet. Why doesn't Overstock give a 3% discount instead of donating 3% to foundations - as the 3% discount would both benefit them and do more to further bitcoins than anything else would? When you add credit card fees and losses due to chargeback fraud, most retailers could give a 5% discount without any problem. When Coinbase and Bitpay start convincing merchants to offer such bonuses, then the excuse that "it's too difficult" will go away.
I was asked on Wednesday to write about Toastmasters, an organization dedicated to improving public speaking skills. I attend Toastmaters meetings every other Thursday, which is why I usually do not contribute on Thursdays. Toastmasters is a great organization that is geared towards people who know little about speaking. My belief is that people who know a little more about public speaking can still learn a lot, but the "competent communicator" manuals that Toastmasters provides focus a great deal on fear of public speaking. People who enjoy public speaking, like myself, or at least people who have no fear of it, may find themselves disappointed by how much emphasis Toastmasters places on eliminating fear of speaking. One way that Toastmasters addresses fear of speaking is to provide evaluations. But I am always frustrated at evaluation speeches, because the Toastmasters manuals specify that 90% of evaluation speeches should be focused on positive comments. If I performed poorly, I want to know about it; I'm not worried about hurt feelings. In Toastmasters-sponsored speech contests, they do not announce anyone except the winners, which has made me less likely to participate because I can't gain anything from contests where I don't know who I was better than. Despite these shortcomings, I would still recommend Toastmasters to anyone interested in improving their speaking as there are few alternatives. If anyone knows of a group where feelings and emotions are viewed as less important, please let know as I think there is a need for people who have no fear but could still improve their skills.
Hello, I summarized what I could find out about Bitcoin for my convenience, thought you might find it useful.
First introduced in 2008, Bitcoin is the first example of a peer-to-peer cryptographic currency. In Bitcoin; • Computers solve randomly created equations, whose difficulty automatically adjusts so that they are solved to the tune of one every ten minutes, regardless of processing power. • Difficulty of these equations is set to adjust every 2016 blocks, or two weeks. So after significant advances in mining technology (Such as Asic miners) up to two weeks of Bitcoins might be mined in a significantly shorter period of time. • Through solving these equations “Blocks” are created, which encode all new transactions, and impart a set number of Bitcoins to the solver. • The number of Bitcoins rewarded per block is set to halve every 210,000 blocks or approximately every four years. • The current Block reward of Bitcoins is 25 Bitcoins, the reward has been halved once so far. The next halving is set to occur in late 2016. • This reward structure means that assuming the value of Bitcoins continues to rise, while the total number of new Bitcoins minted yearly may continue to fall, their value might not. • The total number of Bitcoins is capped at 21 million units, the last of which is expected to be minted in the year 2140 AD. Regarding Bitcoin; • Bitcoins are sub-divisible up to the eighth decimal place, although this limit may easily be removed if the value of Bitcoins rises to the point of requiring it. • This smallest unit (0.00000001 Bitcoins) is currently called a Satoshi, and should cover most needs until valuations of more than a million USD, at which point a Satoshi would be worth 1 us penny. • The number of possible Bitcoin addresses is 2160 as each address is a 160 byte hash of a public key Benefits of Bitcoins; • Bitcoin allows near instant transactions with no required cost, although speeds can be expedited through a reward of approximately 1-5 US cents (0.0001-0.0005 BTC currently) attached to the transaction for the first miner who verifies it. • This is quite useful for merchants as methods of payment such as credit cards or paypal generally have high fees of up to 3%. • Wallets can be generated at will, without need of any form of credentials or verification. • Transactions are unblockable so long as the sending party has access to an internet connection. • Bitcoin Funds do not exist in any specific country (unlike regular money which even when in digital form must exist in some country) but exists on the internet, and hence essentially in all countries at once. • Lack of inflation, Bitcoin is designed to prevent any third party from being able to artificially increase the supply of Bitcoins, although minor predetermined inflation will occur through mining until approximately the year 2140. • Irreversibility of transactions, A Bitcoin transaction confirmed once is essentially irreversible from the sender’s side, reversing transactions before the first confirmation, meanwhile, is possible, but highly difficult, and only useable with goods which are dispatched instantly such as internet downloads. • Ease of movement, Bitcoin is one of the first means of Capital which is essentially perfectly mobile, as owners of Bitcoin can easily transfer funds(in Bitcoin) over any regional/political boundaries. History of Bitcoins; Intro; Bitcoin is currently one of the world’s most volatile currencies, and although the average price of a Bitcoin has been rising continuously when looked at from a yearly point of view, it has several times crashed and lost up to 68 percent of its value over a relatively short period of time. • This is commonly attributed to Bitcoins similarity to both economic bubbles in the seventeenth century, and the advent of the tcp/ip(internet) protocol in the more recent past. • After each bubble the total viability of Bitcoin as a currency grew as more people gained Bitcoins, became aware of Bitcoins, as more businesses started accepting Bitcoins, and as more services grew around Bitcoins. Crashes; • The first crash in Bitcoins value was in June2011 when Bitcoins price fell from a high of 32 USD to a low of 2 USD. • The second crash occurred approximately seven months later in January 2012 when Bitcoins price fell from a high of 7.20 USD to a low of 4.6 USD , eventually settling at around 6.23 USD • The third crash occurred another seven months later in August 2012, when Bitcoins price fell from a high of 15.25 USD to a low of 7.5 USD. • Two mini crashes occurred approximately another seven months later in March 2013, when Bitcoins price twice fell from a high of 49 USD to a low of around 34 USD, Bitcoin ended the month on a high note however at above 90 USD. • The fourth crash occurred a month after these two mini-crashes in April 2013 when Bitcoins Price fell from a high of 266 USD to a low of approximately 54 USD, before settling at a price of around 100 USD around which value it remained until early October 2013 • In early October 2013 the price of Bitcoin once again began to rise, reaching a six month high of approximately 200 USD by the end of the month. Rises in Price continued in November, where the news concerning Bitcoins senate hearing briefly propelled Bitcoins to values of over 1000 usd, before a price correction to approximately 500 USD from where it has since been rising to a current value of approximately 700 USD. Limits/Criticisms of Bitcoin;
• Bitcoin currently has a transaction limit of 7 per second, due a 1mb per block restriction on Block size, created to prevent block chain bloat. This is quite low compared to Visa’s average of 2000 transactions per second. Bitcoin is currently, however, only averaging one transaction per second, and it is expected that the limit will be removed long before the average number of Bitcoin transactions reaches this point.
• Bitcoins relatively unstable value renders it unsuitable for merchants or as a store of value.
• Supporters of Bitcoin claim that this this relative instability of value only exists as Bitcoin is currently in its introductory stage, and that these fluctuations in value will reach usual levels when Bitcoin approaches it’s true valuation.(estimates of this range from 10 thousand USD per Bitcoin to 1 Million USD per Bitcoin) • Supporters also point out that services such as Bitpay allow merchants accept Bitcoin while distancing themselves from its risks, as through these services they link the items price in Bitcoins to the conversion rate between Bitcoin and a chosen currency, and through this get paid in their chosen currency, despite accepting Bitcoin.
• Bitcoins once lost are irretrievable. If a Bitcoin key is lost, or the Bitcoins are sent to an inactive or non-existent address there is no recourse by which to re-obtain those Bitcoins.
• Ease of duplicating the Bitcoin code. Although it is impossible to generate fake Bitcoins, critics point out that there is nothing to stop the generation of new and improved versions of Bitcoin, as has already occurred through coins such as Namecoin, or Peercoin.
• Supporters point out several issues with this • The First school of thought says that Bitcoin has several advantages over altcoins, such as having the greatest amount of services and developers, which form a barrier to success for other crypto currencies. They also point out that Bitcoins great sub-divisibility renders any need for alternate crypto currencies moot, and that if a notable improvement does come out, bitcoin can just build it into their own code.(see colored coins/mastercoin/zerocoin) • The second school of thought claims that although Alternate coins debuted early enough with significant differences from Bitcoin(see Peercoin, Namecoin, Zerocoin, Primecoin) might manage to capture a portion of the crypto coin market, Bitcoins will remain the most prominent Crypto currency for the foreseeable future.
• Governments/Big banks will not allow Bitcoin to succeed.
• Supporters argue against this point on several fronts claiming; • Firstly that although some governments might decide to outlaw Bitcoin, or some Big businesses might try to stop it, Crypto currency is a new technology whose time has come and the most such actions will be able to do is to stall/delay the success of Bitcoin, and in the process lose any business generated by Bitcoin. • Secondly that it would be very difficult to legally stop Bitcoin, as laws outlawing Bitcoin leave several avenues open for lawsuits, and although it might be possible to hinder Bitcoin through inefficient legislation/red tape this would be against a countries best interests, due to potential growth offered by upcoming Bitcoin industries. edit; some formatting issues occured in the last line, the numbers should go 1 2 3 4 5 6... rather than 1 2 1 2 1 2 The dots and explanation only apply the one point(number) above them not both.
TLDR: The difference between a soft fork and a hard fork is not technical, only historical and psychological. In both cases, once the protocol change goes into effect, the evolution of the system depends only on how the hashpower is divided between the two versions. Validity rules Accordingto the bitcoin protocol, all players must look for the blockchain that consists entirely of valid blocks and has the most proof-of-work. The rules that define when a block is valid are called consensus rules in the bitcoin developer's jargon. Here I will use the term validity rules instead, to avoid confusion with the common meaning of 'consensus'. Some validity rules can be checked by looking only at one block in isolation. For example, every input of every transaction in the block must have a cryptographic signature taht is valid for the corresponding address. Other validity rules require looking at all the previous blocks, or at some subset of them. For example, one of the rule is that the parent block, whose hash is included in the block's header, must be itself valid; and so on recursively for the whole blockchain. Another rule is that any input of any transaction must be an output of some previous transaction, which as not been used by any other transaction confirmed between the two. To check whether the block has enough proof of work, the timestamps in the previous blocks (up to 4200 of them) may have to be checked, to determine the difficulty required at that time. Some rules only apply after a certain block number; or after a blockchain voting event -- the first sequence of N consecutive blocks that contains M blocks with a specified version tag; or after K blocks following such an event. Validity rule changes Occasionally, the validity rules must be modified -- to improve some aspect of the system, to remove bugs as they are discovered, to adapt to changing economic conditions, etc.. Usually, the changes are only proactive, that is, are scheduled to apply only starting with some future critical block index N. For all previous blocks, the new rules coincide with the old ones. (However, the change sometimes is slightly retroactive in that it is declared to apply starting at some past block. That is, the last K blocks, valid by the old rules, are considered invalid, and must be rebuilt and re-mined acording to the new rules.) Soft and hard forks In the bitcoin developer folklore, as put out in the Bitcoin Wiki, changes to the validity rules can be of two types: soft forks and hard forks, depending on whether the changes make the rules more restrictive or more liberal, respectively. Soft forks are claimed to be relatively benign, while hard forks would be terribly dangerous things -- like antineutronium fragmentation grenades covered in radioactive smallpox virus, or a test tube in Texas. In my understanding, this classification is logically incomplete, because there are more flavors of forks -- including clean forks, the kind, in my view, should be the only one used. The classification is also misleading, because both soft and hard forks are equally risky. They are called "forks" because they can result in a splitting of the blockchain, and hence of the coin. However, as argued below, they are technically identical. They differ only on the historical and psychological aspects of the human actions that lead to the change, but once started they may evolve in the same ways. States after a restrictive ot liberalizing change In both soft and hard forks, as defined in the wiki, there are two versions of the software, vP (the more permissive one) and vR (the more restrictive one). Suppose someone mines a block BP(N) that is valid according to version vP of the rules, but invalid according to version vR. Miners running vP will accept BP(N) as valid, and ditto for any other block mined on top of it. Fully-checking miners running vR will reject BP(N), and any block mined on top of it, even if it is otherwise valid by their rules. They will keep mining until they get an alternative block BR(N) that is valid by their rules; and will continue mining more blocks on top of that. The chain then will split into two branches, vP and vR. From that point on, vP players will consider both branches valid and will choose among them by their length; whereas the full-checking vR players will consider only the vR branch valid, whatever the lengths. The system then will be in one of two states:
State Ⓐ: vP has more hashpower than vR. The vP branch will tend to grow faster than the vR branch. The chain split will be persistent. The miners running vP software will extend only the vP branch, while the vR miners will extend only the vR branch. In this 'split-chain' state Ⓐ, all vP clients will consider only the vP branch, and fully validating vR clients will consider only the vR branch. However, if transactions are not version-tagged (as it has been the practice so far), the clients will have no control of which branch(es) will include them. Moreover, lazy vR clients, that do not check the entire chain, may get confused and take the vP chain as true, because it is longer, not realizing that it is invalid by their chosen rules. The inconsistency may confuse those clients, and cause them to fail in arbitrary ways. State Ⓑ: vR has more hashpower than vP. The vR branch will tend to grow faster than the vP branch. By luck, the vP miners may succeed at mining another block BP(N+1) on top of B(N); and maybe a few more. Even if those blocks are vR-valid by themselves, they will be ignored by careful vR players, for being connected to a vR-invalid block. However, as soon as the vR branch gets ahead, the vP miners will abandon those blocks and switch to extend the vR branch, too. Now and then, the vP miners will mine another block that is vR-invalid; and then the chain will fork again. So the chain will be continually splitting off side branches, that start with a vP-valid but vR-invalid block, and die after a few blocks. The frequency of these branches depends on the relative hashpower fractions, and on the rarity of vP-but-not-vR blocks. In this 'stuttering' state Ⓑ, fully validating clients running vR will not notice any problem; but clients running vP, and lazy vR clients, will see frequent stutterings of the blockchain, and had better wait for several confirmations -- especially if the hashpower fractions are close to 50% each.
Note that, in this situation -- when one version of the rules is just a restriction of the other-- it is not relevant which version is 'new' and which is 'original' (which is the usual criterion to distinguish 'soft' and 'hard' forks). In other words, before the block when the change is supposed to start, the two versions of the rules must have identical outcomes; but it does not matter whether they are both vP, both vR, or some other set of rules entirely. What matters is which version has the more hashpower after the change gets into effect. Systems evolution How will these states evolve? Normally, if the system gets into the 'stuttering' state Ⓑ, the minority miners running vP may get tired of the frequent orphans, and switch to the majority version vR. If all of them switch, vP will die and vR will be "the" bitcoin. Neither the vP nor the vR clients will notice anything. In particular, the vP clients will not have to switch, although that may leave them slighltly less secure in theory (since they are not checling the extra conditions that distinguish vR from vP). However, if the system is in state Ⓑ, it could happen that the vP miners persist, and enough vR miners switch to vP for the latter to become majority, and the system will be in state Ⓐ. If the system is the 'split chain' state Ⓐ, and all minority vR miners decide to switch to vP, then the vR branch will die. Clients running vP will not notice anything. Full vR clients will notice that the vR chain died, and will presumably switch to vP. Lazy vR clients will not notice anything, but will be using a chain that is actually vR-invalid, but assuming that it is vR-valid. That may cause the client to get confused and fail in arbitrary ways. Conversely, if the system is in state Ⓐ, and some vP miners switch to vR, the state would change to Ⓑ. Soft and hard forks are equally bad Note that, in both states Ⓐ and Ⓑ, there will be a serious risks and inconveniences for all kinds of clients, if the hashpower balance shifts in unfavorable ways. The risk is especially severe if the system starts out close to the boundary between the two states, with the haspower split almost equally between the two versions. The risks will be higher for some clients, e.g. lazy vR clients in state Ⓐ, or all vP clients in state Ⓑ. However, even the fuly validating vR clients may suffer serious economic consequences if the vR chain dies after they have executed many transactions on it. One significant risk factor is that, in the way these changes are usually implemented, most transactions are equally valid under both versions of the rule. Therefore, whenever the chain is split, each transaction coud in principle be executed on both chains. This is assumed to be a good feature, because it often lets clients use either version of the software, without having to be aware of the state of the blockchain. It is hoped that, when a client software switches between branches of the chain, some transactions that were confirmed may become unconfirmed; but then they will be confirmed again, and all will be well. However, this convenience is dangerous, because the system may happen to confirm two conflicting transactions, one in each branch. Then, if the evolution of the system causes the client to switch to the other branch, the state of the blockchain will change in a way that will not correct itself in time, and may not be correctable by the client. Thus, instead of 'soft fork' and 'hard fork', I think that this way of implementing a change in the validity ruleset should be called 'gooey sticky mushy fork'. Why distinguish soft and hard forks? The difference between soft and hard forks, as defined in the wiki, is not technical, but merely historical. It depends on whether the old validiy rules vO, that applied before the critical block index N, are identical to the resrtictive version vR, or to the permissive version vP. However, this distinction is irrelevant for the future evolution of the system. The old rules vO couls also be completely different from both vP and vR. Again, the only thing that matters is how much hashpower is supporting each one; and this parameter could vary up and down, causing the system to cross the Ⓐ / Ⓑ boundary several times, before settling down in one of the two limiting cases -- with serious harm to the usability of the coin. The reasons why the two cases have different images seem to be entirely psychological and political, due to the developers' policy (or bad habit) of implementing protocol changes by stealth depolyment -- without explicit adhesion of clients or miners, or even their knowledge. Namely, the new version of the ruleset is implemented in what is described as a routine maintenance release of the software, but programmed to be activated only after enough miners have upgraded. Clients are not warned of the rule change, and are not urged to upgrade. Soft forks, revisited Thus, a soft fork is not just a change to a mor restrictive ruleset vR from a permissive one vO = vP, but specifically the stealth depoyment of such a change. In a soft fork, right after the critical block the system will in the 'stuttering' state Ⓑ. At that point, fully verifying vR clients will be fine, but vP clients and lazy vR ones will see the chain stutter, and could experience double spends; until all miners have upgraded to vR, when all clients, vP or vR, may think that things are working as usual. When the developers choose to do a 'soft fork', they are betting that the transition period will be short, so that the chance of clients noticing the stuttering and maybe suffering a double spend are small. That is how the BIP66 change was deployed; and the two 'fork of july' events (orphaned vP branches with 6 and 3 blocks, respectively) illustrate what can go wrong, even when 95% of the miners are running vR. However, even after the system has stabilized, with all miners running vR, the vP clients (and there will be many of them, because they were not urged to upgrade) will still have problems. The 'fully checking' vP clients will not be really fully checking, so they are not really secure -- they only think they are. And, if a vP client issues a transaction that is vP-valid but vR-invalid, he will see the transaction being ignored and/or discarded by the miners, without a clue as to why. But, since when should hackers care about 'lusers' who do not read the development forums every day? Hard forks, revisited A 'hard fork' is a change to a more permissive ruleset VP, from a restrictive one vO = vR. (Increasing the block size limit is a good example.) Such a change could be deployed stealthily at first, too, and programmed to be activated when enough miners have switched to vP. However, after the critical block index, the system will be in the 'split-chain' state Ⓐ: with a vigorous vP branch, and a stunted, slowly growing vR branch. The 'fully checking' clients running the out-of-date version vR (and there will be many of them) will see their transactions pile up, unconfirmed, in the pools of out-of-date vR relay nodes, but disappear from the pools of vP nodes, since they are being confirmed (or maybe not) in the vP branch. Lazy vR nodes may think that the vP branch is the right one, and may crash or fail in mysterious ways when they run into a block that is vP-valid but vR-invalid. This would be a rather messy situation. messier than the soft-fork one. Therefore, the developers will not be able to use stealth depolyment, and hope to be lucky. They will have to issue warnings before the critical block, and urge all vR players -- especially, all remaining vR miners -- to upgrade before that block. How changes shoudl be deployed instead Given the above analysis, I think that the mantra "soft forks good, hard forks bad" is mistaken: what is bad is the attempt to change the protocol by 'stealth deployment'. For such changes, ensuring safety during and after the transition should be infinitely more important than trying to accomodate the laggards who do not update in time, or trying to hide the change from the users. Moreover, stealth deployment is (almost) viable only for restriction-type changes. Therefore, I think that any change in the validity ruleset shoud be formulated so that every transaction and every block (even an empty one) that is valid for the old ruleset is invalid for the new ruleset, and vice-versa. The change could be triggered to happen only if and when the new version has acquired sufficient hashpower, with a grace period during which the minority players should be be warned to upgrade. With such a 'clean fork', after the critical block, the network and the blockchain will cleanly split into two mutually incompatible versions; that are logically disjoint, instead of being nested. If the change has sufficient appeal among the miners, surely any laggard miners will upgrade to the new version, before the critical block. If the change was unpopular, surely the miners who upgraded will revert to the original version, also before the critical block. Either way, the clients who have switched to the majority version vM will see the system work fine through the change, at normal speed; whereas clients who find themselves running the unpopular version vU will not be able to move their coins, until they update too. There would be no client confusion, no false impression of security, no visible stuttering or inconsistency, no risk of double-spends. In the unlikely case that some miners continue using the unpopular version vU after the critical block, they and any remaining vU clients will be using an independent altcoin. For those clients, the network will seem to work normally, as it did before the critical block, except that confirmations will take a long time; and when they try to transact with vM clients, neither side will see the transactions of the other. In general, the vU clients will not notice the existance of the vM coin, and the transactions that they issue will not be executed on the vM branch. Hopefully those vU coins will be seen as worthless by everybody else, and rejected by major merchants and services, so the vU clients will be forced to switch to vM and abandon their vU coins. When they do, their coisn will be just as they were before the critical block,and any vM payment that they received after that wil be waiting for them. There will be still some risk of human confusion, e.g. a vU user may send goods to a vU client in exchange for vU coins, while both think that they are dealing with vM coins. But those confusions will not affect the vM coins.
Multi-Stage Merge-Mine Headers Hard-Fork BIP | James Hilliard | Feb 24 2016
James Hilliard on Feb 24 2016: https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/pull/340 BIP: ? Title: 2016 Multi-Stage Merge-Mine Headers Hard-Fork Author: James Hilliard Status: Draft Type: Standards Track Created: 2016-02-23 ==Abstract== Use a staged hard fork to implement a headers format change that is merge mine incompatible along with a timewarp to kill the previous chain. ==Specification== We use a block version flag to activate this fork when 3900 out of the previous 4032 blocks have this the version flag set. This flag locks in both of the below stages at the same time. Merge Mine Stage: The initial hard fork is implemented using a merge mine which requires that the original pre-fork chain be mined with a generation transaction that creates no new coins in addition to not containing any transactions. Additionally we have a consensus rule that requires that ntime be manipulated on the original chain to artificially increase difficulty and hold back the original chain so that all non-upgraded clients can never catch up with current time. The artificial ntime is implemented as a consensus rule for blocks in the new chain. Headers Change Stage: This is the final stage of the hard fork where the header format is made incompatible with merge mining, this is activated ~50,000 blocks after the Merge Mine Stage and only at the start of the 2016 block difficulty boundary. ==Motivation== There are serious issues with pooled mining such as block withhold attacks that can only be fixed by making major changes to the headers format. There are a number of other desirable header format changes that can only be made in a non-merge mine compatible way. There is a high risk of there being two viable chains if we don't have a way to permanently disable the original chain. ==Rationale== Our solution is to use a two stage hard fork with a single lock in period. The first stage is designed to kill off the previous chain by holding back ntime to artificially increase network difficulty on the original chain to the point where it would be extremely difficult to mine the 2016 blocks needed to trigger a difficulty adjustment. This also makes it obvious to unupgraded clients that they are not syncing properly and need to upgrade. By locking in both stages at the same time we ensure that any clients merge mining are also locked in for the headers change stage so that the original chain is dead by the time the headers change takes place. We timewarp over a year of merge mining to massively increase the difficulty on the original chain to the point that it would be incredibly expensive to reduce the difficulty enough that the chain would be able to get caught up to current time. ==Backward Compatibility== This hardfork will permanently disable all nodes, both full and light, which do not explicitly add support for it. However, their security will not be compromised due to the implementation. To migrate, all nodes must choose to upgrade, and miners must express supermajority support. ==Reference Implementation== TODO original: http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2016-February/012457.html
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