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Majority attack - Bitcoin Wiki
Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
https://preview.redd.it/al1gy9t9v9q51.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=b29a60402d30576a4fd95f592b392fae202026ca Hopefully any questions you have will be answered by the resources below, but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments. If you're quite technically-minded, the Zano whitepaper gives a thorough overview of Zano's design and its main features. So, what is Zano? In brief, Zano is a project started by the original developers of CryptoNote. Coins with market caps totalling well over a billion dollars (Monero, Haven, Loki and countless others) run upon the codebase they created. Zano is a continuation of their efforts to create the "perfect money", and brings a wealth of enhancements to their original CryptoNote code. Development happens at a lightning pace, as the Github activity shows, but Zano is still very much a work-in-progress. Let's cut right to it: Here's why you should pay attention to Zano over the next 12-18 months. Quoting from a recent update:
Anton Sokolov has recently joined the Zano team. ... For the last months Anton has been working on theoretical work dedicated to log-size ring signatures. These signatures theoretically allows for a logarithmic relationship between the number of decoys and the size/performance of transactions. This means that we can set mixins at a level from up to 1000, keeping the reasonable size and processing speed of transactions. This will take Zano’s privacy to a whole new level, and we believe this technology will turn out to be groundbreaking!
If successful, this scheme will make Zano the most private, powerful and performant CryptoNote implementation on the planet. Bar none. A quantum leap in privacy with a minimal increase in resource usage. And if there's one team capable of pulling it off, it's this one.
What else makes Zano special?
You mean aside from having "the Godfather of CryptoNote" as the project lead? ;) Actually, the calibre of the developers/researchers at Zano probably is the project's single greatest strength. Drawing on years of experience, they've made careful design choices, optimizing performance with an asynchronous core architecture, and flexibility and extensibility with a modular code structure. This means that the developers are able to build and iterate fast, refining features and adding new ones at a rate that makes bigger and better-funded teams look sluggish at best. Zano also has some unique features that set it apart from similar projects: Privacy Firstly, if you're familiar with CryptoNote you won't be surprised that Zano transactions are private. The perfect money is fungible, and therefore must be untraceable. Bitcoin, for the most part, does little to hide your transaction data from unscrupulous observers. With Zano, privacy is the default. The untraceability and unlinkability of Zano transactions come from its use of ring signatures and stealth addresses. What this means is that no outside observer is able to tell if two transactions were sent to the same address, and for each transaction there is a set of possible senders that make it impossible to determine who the real sender is. Hybrid PoW-PoS consensus mechanism Zano achieves an optimal level of security by utilizing both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake for consensus. By combining the two systems, it mitigates their individual vulnerabilities (see 51% attack and "nothing at stake" problem). For an attack on Zano to have even a remote chance of success the attacker would have to obtain not only a majority of hashing power, but also a majority of the coins involved in staking. The system and its design considerations are discussed at length in the whitepaper. Aliases Here's a stealth address: ZxDdULdxC7NRFYhCGdxkcTZoEGQoqvbZqcDHj5a7Gad8Y8wZKAGZZmVCUf9AvSPNMK68L8r8JfAfxP4z1GcFQVCS2Jb9wVzoe. I have a hard enough time remembering my phone number. Fortunately, Zano has an alias system that lets you register an address to a human-readable name. (@orsonj if you want to anonymously buy me a coffee) Multisig Multisignature (multisig) refers to requiring multiple keys to authorize a Zano transaction. It has a number of applications, such as dividing up responsibility for a single Zano wallet among multiple parties, or creating backups where loss of a single seed doesn't lead to loss of the wallet. Multisig and escrow are key components of the planned Decentralized Marketplace (see below), so consideration was given to each of them from the design stages. Thus Zano's multisig, rather than being tagged on at the wallet-level as an afterthought, is part of its its core architecture being incorporated at the protocol level. This base-layer integration means months won't be spent in the future on complicated refactoring efforts in order to integrate multisig into a codebase that wasn't designed for it. Plus, it makes it far easier for third-party developers to include multisig (implemented correctly) in any Zano wallets and applications they create in the future. (Double Deposit MAD) Escrow With Zano's escrow service you can create fully customizable p2p contracts that are designed to, once signed by participants, enforce adherence to their conditions in such a way that no trusted third-party escrow agent is required. https://preview.redd.it/jp4oghyhv9q51.png?width=1762&format=png&auto=webp&s=12a1e76f76f902ed328886283050e416db3838a5 The Particl project, aside from a couple of minor differences, uses an escrow scheme that works the same way, so I've borrowed the term they coined ("Double Deposit MAD Escrow") as I think it describes the scheme perfectly. The system requires participants to make additional deposits, which they will forfeit if there is any attempt to act in a way that breaches the terms of the contract. Full details can be found in the Escrow section of the whitepaper. The usefulness of multisig and the escrow system may not seem obvious at first, but as mentioned before they'll form the backbone of Zano's Decentralized Marketplace service (described in the next section).
What does the future hold for Zano?
The planned upgrade to Zano's privacy, mentioned at the start, is obviously one of the most exciting things the team is working on, but it's not the only thing. Zano Roadmap Decentralized Marketplace From the beginning, the Zano team's goal has been to create the perfect money. And money can't just be some vehicle for speculative investment, money must be used. To that end, the team have created a set of tools to make it as simple as possible for Zano to be integrated into eCommerce platforms. Zano's API’s and plugins are easy to use, allowing even those with very little coding experience to use them in their E-commerce-related ventures. The culmination of this effort will be a full Decentralized Anonymous Marketplace built on top of the Zano blockchain. Rather than being accessed via the wallet, it will act more as a service - Marketplace as a Service (MAAS) - for anyone who wishes to use it. The inclusion of a simple "snippet" of code into a website is all that's needed to become part a global decentralized, trustless and private E-commerce network. Atomic Swaps Just as Zano's marketplace will allow you to transact without needing to trust your counterparty, atomic swaps will let you to easily convert between Zano and other cyryptocurrencies without having to trust a third-party service such as a centralized exchange. On top of that, it will also lead to the way to Zano's inclusion in the many decentralized exchange (DEX) services that have emerged in recent years.
Where can I buy Zano?
Zano's currently listed on the following exchanges: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/zano/markets/ It goes without saying, neither I nor the Zano team work for any of the exchanges or can vouch for their reliability. Use at your own risk and never leave coins on a centralized exchange for longer than necessary. Your keys, your coins! If you have any old graphics cards lying around(both AMD & NVIDIA), then Zano is also mineable through its unique ProgPowZ algorithm. Here's a guide on how to get started. Once you have some Zano, you can safely store it in one of the desktop or mobile wallets (available for all major platforms).
How can I support Zano?
Zano has no marketing department, which is why this post has been written by some guy and not the "Chief Growth Engineer @ Zano Enterprises". The hard part is already done: there's a team of world class developers and researchers gathered here. But, at least at the current prices, the team's funds are enough to cover the cost of development and little more. So the job of publicizing the project falls to the community. If you have any experience in community building/growth hacking at another cryptocurrency or open source project, or if you're a Zano holder who would like to ensure the project's long-term success by helping to spread the word, then send me a pm. We need to get organized. Researchers and developers are also very welcome. Working at the cutting edge of mathematics and cryptography means Zano provides challenging and rewarding work for anyone in those fields. Please contact the project's Community Manager u/Jed_T if you're interested in joining the team. Social Links: Twitter Discord Server Telegram Group Medium blog I'll do my best to keep this post accurate and up to date. Message me please with any suggested improvements and leave any questions you have below. Welcome to the Zano community and the new decentralizedprivateeconomy!
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
A Glance at the Heart: Proof-of-Authority Technology in the UMI Network
https://preview.redd.it/vhvj6v093df51.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=00c0c223d9758edec8ed49a8cb9024f96d3ee343 Greetings from the UMI Team! Our Whitepaper describes in detail the key pros and cons of the two mechanisms which the great majority of other cryptocurrencies are based on: ● Proof-of-Work (PoW) — mining technology. Used in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, etc. ● Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and its derivatives — forging technology. Used in Nxt, PeerCoin, NEO, PRIZM, etc. As a result of a careful analysis of PoW and PoS, which are designed to fight against centralization, there came a conclusion that they both fail to perform their main mission and, in the long run, they lead to the network centralization and poor performance. For this reason, we took a different approach. We use Proof-of-Authority (PoA) algorithm coupled with master nodes, which can ensure the UMI network with decentralization and maximum speed. The Whitepaper allows you to understand the obvious things. This article will give you a clear and detailed explanation of the technology implemented in the UMI network. Let's glance at the heart of the network right now. Proof-of-Authority: How and Why It Emerged It's been over a decade since the first transaction in the Bitcoin network. Over this time, the blockchain technology has undergone some qualitative changes. It's down to the fact that the cryptocurrency world seeing the emerging Proof-of-Work defects in the Bitcoin network year after year has actively searched for ways to eliminate them. PoW decentralization and reliability has an underside of low capacity and scalability problem that prevents the network from rectifying this shortcoming. Moreover, with the growing popularity of Bitcoin, greed of miners who benefit from high fees resulting from the low network throughput has become a serious problem. Miners have also started to create pools making the network more and more centralized. The “human factor” that purposefully slowed down the network and undermined its security could never be eliminated. All this essentially limits the potential for using PoW-based cryptocurrencies on a bigger scale. Since PoW upgrade ideas came to nothing, crypto community activists have suggested cardinally new solutions and started to develop other protocols. This is how the Proof-of-Stake technology emerged. However, it proved to be excellent in theory rather than in practice. Overall, PoS-based cryptocurrencies do demonstrate a higher capacity, but the difference is not as striking. Moreover, PoS could not fully solve the scalability issue. In the hope that it could cope with the disaster plaguing all cryptocurrencies, the community came up with brand new algorithms based on alternative operating principles. One of them is the Proof-of-Authority technology. It was meant to be an effective alternative with a high capacity and a solution to the scalability problem. The idea of using PoA in cryptocurrencies was offered by Gavin Wood — a high-profile blockchain programmer and Ethereum co-founder. Proof-of-Authority Major Features PoA's major difference from PoW and PoS lies in the elimination of miner or forger races. Network users do not fight for the right to be the first to create a block and receive an award, as it happens with cryptocurrencies based on other technologies. In this case blockchain's operating principle is substantially different — Proof-of-Authority uses the “reputation system” and only allows trusted nodes to create blocks. It solves the scalability problem allowing to considerably increase capacity and handle transactions almost instantly without wasting time on unnecessary calculations made by miners and forgers. Moreover, trusted nodes must meet the strict capacity requirements. This is one the main reasons why we have selected PoA since this is the only technology allowing to fully use super-fast nodes. Due to these features, the Proof-of-Authority algorithm is seen as one of the most effective and promising options for bringing blockchain to various business sectors. For instance, its model perfectly fits the logistics and supply chain management sectors. As an outstanding example, PoA is effectively used by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to offer various tools for bringing blockchain solutions to businesses. How the UMI Network Gets Rid of the Defects and Incorporates the Benefits of Proof-of-Authority Method Any system has both drawbacks and advantages — so does PoA. According to the original PoA model, each trusted node can create a block, while it is technically impossible for ordinary users to interfere with the system operation. This makes PoA-based cryptocurrencies a lot more centralized than those based on PoW or PoS. This has always been the main reason for criticizing the PoA technology. We understood that only a completely decentralized product could translate our vision of a "hard-to-hit", secure and transparent monetary instrument into reality. Therefore, we started with upgrading its basic operating principle in order to create a product that will incorporate all the best features while eliminating the defects. What we’ve got is a decentralized PoA method. We will try to explain at the elementary level: - We've divided the nodes in the UMI network into two types: master nodes and validator nodes. - Only master nodes have the right to create blocks and confirm transactions. Among master node holders there's the UMI team and their trusted partners from across the world. Moreover, we deliberately keep some of our partners — those who hold master nodes — in secret in order to secure ourselves against potential negative influence, manipulation, and threats from third parties. This way we ensure maximum coherent and reliable system operation. - However, since the core idea behind a decentralized cryptocurrency rules out any kind of trust, the blockchain is secured to prevent master nodes from harming the network in the event of sabotage or collusion. It might happen to Bitcoin or other PoW- or PoS-based cryptocurrencies if, for example, several large mining pools unite and perform a 51% attack. But it can’t happen to UMI. First, the worst that bad faith master node holders can do is to negligibly slow down the network. But the UMI network will automatically respond to it by banning such nodes. Thus, master nodes will prevent any partner from doing intentional harm to the network. Moreover, it will not be able to do this, even if most other partners support it. Nothing — not even quantum computers — will help hackers. Read our post "UMI Blockchain Six-Level Security" for more details. - A validator node can be launched by any participant. Validator nodes maintain the network by verifying the correctness of blocks and excluding the possibility of fakes. In doing so they increase the overall network security and help master nodes carry out their functions. More importantly, those who hold validator nodes control those who hold master nodes and confirm that the latter don't violate anything and comply with the rules. You can find more details about validator nodes in the article we mentioned above. - Finally, the network allows all interested users to launch light nodes (SPV), which enables viewing and sending transactions without having to download the blockchain and maintain the network. With light nodes, any network user can make sure if the system is operating properly and doesn't have to download the blockchain to do this. - In addition, we are developing the ability to protect the network in case 100% of the master nodes (10,000 master nodes in total) are "disabled" for some reason. Even this is virtually impossible, we've thought ahead and in the worst-case scenario, the system will automatically move to PoS. By doing so, it will be able to continue processing transactions. We're going to tell you about this in our next publications. Thus, the UMI network uses an upgraded version of this technology which possesses all its advantages with drawbacks eliminated. This model is truly decentralized and maximum secured. Another major drawback of PoA-based cryptos is no possibility to grant incentives to users. PoA doesn't imply forging or mining which allow users to earn cryptocurrency while generating new coins. No reward for maintaining the network is the main reason why the crypto community is not interested in PoA. This is, of course, unfair. With this in mind, the UMI team has found the best solution — the unique staking smart-contract. It allows you to increase the number of your coins up to 40% per month even with no mining or forging meaning the human factor cannot have a negative impact on the decentralization and network performance. New-Generation Proof-of-Authority The UMI network uses an upgraded version of PoA technology which possesses all its advantages with drawbacks virtually eliminated. This makes UMI a decentralized, easily scalable, and yet the most secure, productive, profitable and fair cryptocurrency, working for the sake of all people. The widespread use of UMI can change most aspects of society in different areas, including production, commerce, logistics, and all financial arrangements. We are just beginning this journey and thrilled to have you with us. Let's change the world together! Best regards, UMI Team!
PoW or PoS: The Difference Between Mined and Non-Mined Crypto
The whole crypto world discusses how Ethereum will switch from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake now. This change can significantly affect the cryptocurrency market. What are the positive and negative sides of PoW and PoS? Cryptocurrencies can be divided into two types: those that can be mined (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero) and pre-mined ones (Ripple, Stellar, Cardano, EOS, NEO).
What is the big difference?
Although they differ in the method of generation, the basis of both types of crypto is the same: verification. Every transaction processed by the network must be verified by someone to ensure that virtual money has not been spent twice. Here we are talking about the difference in the verification process. Transaction groups are combined into a block; after verification, the block joins other previously confirmed blocks, and create a chain of transactions, or blockchain.
PoW: Mined Crypto
Mining is a process in which individuals, groups, or companies solve complex mathematical equations to verify transaction blocks using powerful computers. These math problems are part of the encryption process that protects transactions from cybercriminals and third party access. The first who solves the problem and signs a block of transactions receives a reward. The miner, who confirmed the block of transactions e.g. in the Bitcoin network, receives a reward in BTC.
Disadvantages of Mined Crypto
Mining can be very expensive due to the large amounts of electricity consumed. In mined crypto with less capitalization, competition is usually lower than in BTC.
BTC mining requires special ASIC chips, that are combined into huge farms. Electricity is one of the main expenses for these projects. That is why China, where electricity is relatively cheap, has become a home to four of the five largest Bitcoin mining companies in the world.
Mining farms have to spend significant money funds on new equipment, which becomes out of date very fast.
Large projects need additional cooling, as servers and graphics cards heat up to high temperatures during operations.
The Proof-of-Work model is potentially vulnerable to a 51% attack (when a group of people with 51% of the computing power gains control of the network and its participants). For popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR) this is not a problem due to their large capitalization. However, minor cryptocurrencies with long block processing times and low daily volumes are risking a lot.
PoS: Non-Mined Crypto
At the other end of the spectrum are pre-mined cryptocurrencies such as Ripple (XRP), Stellar, Cardano, EOS, and NEO. In the PoS model, super-powered computers are not needed, and participants do not compete for the right to sign the next block. Thus, the costs of this approach are significantly lower. Transaction verification is carried out by cryptocurrency owners. The more cryptocurrencies you have, the longer you own it, the higher the probability that you will be selected to check the transaction block. Certain mechanisms are built into the system that prevents the dominance of large cryptocurrency holders over the verification process. There are many random ways to select owners who get the right to sign a transaction block. This ensures that small holders have a chance to participate in the process.
Disadvantages of Non-Mined Crypto
Despite the fact that the costs of the Proof-of-Stake method are lower, PoS has its drawbacks.
Such cryptocurrencies are not threatened by an attack of 51%, however, another trouble replaces it — a person who posses 51% of all tokens in circulation can gain control of the network and its participants. Of course, in the case of cryptocurrencies with high capitalization, the possibility of this scenario is low, but small partners may suffer from this vulnerability.
The Proof-of-Stake model also gives major owners additional votes in determining the future development of the network. Most NEO tokens) belong to several founders, for instance. This helps increase transaction speed and reduces consensus-building time, but also makes cryptocurrency too centralized. In other words, in the PoS model, large players gain significant power, which is theoretically impossible with the PoW model.
Which method is better?
Both methods have their pros and cons. Nevertheless, sooner or later, some of the largest mined currencies (e.g. BTC) will reach their token limit. At this point, they will have to switch to Proof-of-Stake. Since it significantly reduces power consumption and doesn't require powerful computers, gradually all crypto including BTC will switch to a non-mined model just like Ether did.
Bitcoin (BTC) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that aims to function as a means of exchange that is independent of any central authority. BTC can be transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable, and immutable way.
Launched in 2009, BTC is the first virtual currency to solve the double-spending issue by timestamping transactions before broadcasting them to all of the nodes in the Bitcoin network. The Bitcoin Protocol offered a solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem with ablockchainnetwork structure, a notion first created byStuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta in 1991.
Bitcoin’s whitepaper was published pseudonymously in 2008 by an individual, or a group, with the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”, whose underlying identity has still not been verified.
The Bitcoin protocol uses an SHA-256d-based Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm to reach network consensus. Its network has a target block time of 10 minutes and a maximum supply of 21 million tokens, with a decaying token emission rate. To prevent fluctuation of the block time, the network’s block difficulty is re-adjusted through an algorithm based on the past 2016 block times.
With a block size limit capped at 1 megabyte, the Bitcoin Protocol has supported both the Lightning Network, a second-layer infrastructure for payment channels, and Segregated Witness, a soft-fork to increase the number of transactions on a block, as solutions to network scalability.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that aims to function as a means of exchange and is independent of any central authority. Bitcoins are transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable, and immutable way.
Network validators, whom are often referred to as miners, participate in the SHA-256d-based Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to determine the next global state of the blockchain.
The Bitcoin protocol has a target block time of 10 minutes, and a maximum supply of 21 million tokens. The only way new bitcoins can be produced is when a block producer generates a new valid block.
The protocol has a token emission rate that halves every 210,000 blocks, or approximately every 4 years.
Unlike public blockchain infrastructures supporting the development of decentralized applications (Ethereum), the Bitcoin protocol is primarily used only for payments, and has only very limited support for smart contract-like functionalities (Bitcoin “Script” is mostly used to create certain conditions before bitcoins are used to be spent).
In the Bitcoin network, anyone can join the network and become a bookkeeping service provider i.e., a validator. All validators are allowed in the race to become the block producer for the next block, yet only the first to complete a computationally heavy task will win. This feature is called Proof of Work (PoW). The probability of any single validator to finish the task first is equal to the percentage of the total network computation power, or hash power, the validator has. For instance, a validator with 5% of the total network computation power will have a 5% chance of completing the task first, and therefore becoming the next block producer. Since anyone can join the race, competition is prone to increase. In the early days, Bitcoin mining was mostly done by personal computer CPUs. As of today, Bitcoin validators, or miners, have opted for dedicated and more powerful devices such as machines based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (“ASIC”). Proof of Work secures the network as block producers must have spent resources external to the network (i.e., money to pay electricity), and can provide proof to other participants that they did so. With various miners competing for block rewards, it becomes difficult for one single malicious party to gain network majority (defined as more than 51% of the network’s hash power in the Nakamoto consensus mechanism). The ability to rearrange transactions via 51% attacks indicates another feature of the Nakamoto consensus: the finality of transactions is only probabilistic. Once a block is produced, it is then propagated by the block producer to all other validators to check on the validity of all transactions in that block. The block producer will receive rewards in the network’s native currency (i.e., bitcoin) as all validators approve the block and update their ledgers.
The Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Merkle tree data structure in order to organize hashes of numerous individual transactions into each block. This concept is named after Ralph Merkle, who patented it in 1979. With the use of a Merkle tree, though each block might contain thousands of transactions, it will have the ability to combine all of their hashes and condense them into one, allowing efficient and secure verification of this group of transactions. This single hash called is a Merkle root, which is stored in the Block Header of a block. The Block Header also stores other meta information of a block, such as a hash of the previous Block Header, which enables blocks to be associated in a chain-like structure (hence the name “blockchain”). An illustration of block production in the Bitcoin Protocol is demonstrated below. https://preview.redd.it/m6texxicf3151.png?width=1591&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4253304912ed8370948b9c524e08fef28f1c78d
Block time and mining difficulty
Block time is the period required to create the next block in a network. As mentioned above, the node who solves the computationally intensive task will be allowed to produce the next block. Therefore, block time is directly correlated to the amount of time it takes for a node to find a solution to the task. The Bitcoin protocol sets a target block time of 10 minutes, and attempts to achieve this by introducing a variable named mining difficulty. Mining difficulty refers to how difficult it is for the node to solve the computationally intensive task. If the network sets a high difficulty for the task, while miners have low computational power, which is often referred to as “hashrate”, it would statistically take longer for the nodes to get an answer for the task. If the difficulty is low, but miners have rather strong computational power, statistically, some nodes will be able to solve the task quickly. Therefore, the 10 minute target block time is achieved by constantly and automatically adjusting the mining difficulty according to how much computational power there is amongst the nodes. The average block time of the network is evaluated after a certain number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, the difficulty level will decrease; if it is less than the expected block time, the difficulty level will increase.
What are orphan blocks?
In a PoW blockchain network, if the block time is too low, it would increase the likelihood of nodes producingorphan blocks, for which they would receive no reward. Orphan blocks are produced by nodes who solved the task but did not broadcast their results to the whole network the quickest due to network latency. It takes time for a message to travel through a network, and it is entirely possible for 2 nodes to complete the task and start to broadcast their results to the network at roughly the same time, while one’s messages are received by all other nodes earlier as the node has low latency. Imagine there is a network latency of 1 minute and a target block time of 2 minutes. A node could solve the task in around 1 minute but his message would take 1 minute to reach the rest of the nodes that are still working on the solution. While his message travels through the network, all the work done by all other nodes during that 1 minute, even if these nodes also complete the task, would go to waste. In this case, 50% of the computational power contributed to the network is wasted. The percentage of wasted computational power would proportionally decrease if the mining difficulty were higher, as it would statistically take longer for miners to complete the task. In other words, if the mining difficulty, and therefore targeted block time is low, miners with powerful and often centralized mining facilities would get a higher chance of becoming the block producer, while the participation of weaker miners would become in vain. This introduces possible centralization and weakens the overall security of the network. However, given a limited amount of transactions that can be stored in a block, making the block time too longwould decrease the number of transactions the network can process per second, negatively affecting network scalability.
3. Bitcoin’s additional features
Segregated Witness (SegWit)
Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, is a protocol upgrade proposal that went live in August 2017. SegWit separates witness signatures from transaction-related data. Witness signatures in legacy Bitcoin blocks often take more than 50% of the block size. By removing witness signatures from the transaction block, this protocol upgrade effectively increases the number of transactions that can be stored in a single block, enabling the network to handle more transactions per second. As a result, SegWit increases the scalability of Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin. SegWit also makes transactions cheaper. Since transaction fees are derived from how much data is being processed by the block producer, the more transactions that can be stored in a 1MB block, the cheaper individual transactions become. https://preview.redd.it/depya70mf3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6499aa2131fbf347f8ffd812930b2f7d66be48e The legacy Bitcoin block has a block size limit of 1 megabyte, and any change on the block size would require a network hard-fork. On August 1st 2017, the first hard-fork occurred, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”), which introduced an 8 megabyte block size limit. Conversely, Segregated Witness was a soft-fork: it never changed the transaction block size limit of the network. Instead, it added an extended block with an upper limit of 3 megabytes, which contains solely witness signatures, to the 1 megabyte block that contains only transaction data. This new block type can be processed even by nodes that have not completed the SegWit protocol upgrade. Furthermore, the separation of witness signatures from transaction data solves the malleability issue with the original Bitcoin protocol. Without Segregated Witness, these signatures could be altered before the block is validated by miners. Indeed, alterations can be done in such a way that if the system does a mathematical check, the signature would still be valid. However, since the values in the signature are changed, the two signatures would create vastly different hash values. For instance, if a witness signature states “6,” it has a mathematical value of 6, and would create a hash value of 12345. However, if the witness signature were changed to “06”, it would maintain a mathematical value of 6 while creating a (faulty) hash value of 67890. Since the mathematical values are the same, the altered signature remains a valid signature. This would create a bookkeeping issue, as transactions in Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks are documented with these hash values, or transaction IDs. Effectively, one can alter a transaction ID to a new one, and the new ID can still be valid. This can create many issues, as illustrated in the below example:
Alice sends Bob 1 BTC, and Bob sends Merchant Carol this 1 BTC for some goods.
Bob sends Carols this 1 BTC, while the transaction from Alice to Bob is not yet validated. Carol sees this incoming transaction of 1 BTC to him, and immediately ships goods to B.
At the moment, the transaction from Alice to Bob is still not confirmed by the network, and Bob can change the witness signature, therefore changing this transaction ID from 12345 to 67890.
Now Carol will not receive his 1 BTC, as the network looks for transaction 12345 to ensure that Bob’s wallet balance is valid.
As this particular transaction ID changed from 12345 to 67890, the transaction from Bob to Carol will fail, and Bob will get his goods while still holding his BTC.
With the Segregated Witness upgrade, such instances can not happen again. This is because the witness signatures are moved outside of the transaction block into an extended block, and altering the witness signature won’t affect the transaction ID. Since the transaction malleability issue is fixed, Segregated Witness also enables the proper functioning of second-layer scalability solutions on the Bitcoin protocol, such as the Lightning Network.
Lightning Network is a second-layer micropayment solution for scalability. Specifically, Lightning Network aims to enable near-instant and low-cost payments between merchants and customers that wish to use bitcoins. Lightning Network was conceptualized in a whitepaper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. Since then, it has been implemented by multiple companies. The most prominent of them include Blockstream, Lightning Labs, and ACINQ. A list of curated resources relevant to Lightning Network can be found here. In the Lightning Network, if a customer wishes to transact with a merchant, both of them need to open a payment channel, which operates off the Bitcoin blockchain (i.e., off-chain vs. on-chain). None of the transaction details from this payment channel are recorded on the blockchain, and only when the channel is closed will the end result of both party’s wallet balances be updated to the blockchain. The blockchain only serves as a settlement layer for Lightning transactions. Since all transactions done via the payment channel are conducted independently of the Nakamoto consensus, both parties involved in transactions do not need to wait for network confirmation on transactions. Instead, transacting parties would pay transaction fees to Bitcoin miners only when they decide to close the channel. https://preview.redd.it/cy56icarf3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=b239a63c6a87ec6cc1b18ce2cbd0355f8831c3a8 One limitation to the Lightning Network is that it requires a person to be online to receive transactions attributing towards him. Another limitation in user experience could be that one needs to lock up some funds every time he wishes to open a payment channel, and is only able to use that fund within the channel. However, this does not mean he needs to create new channels every time he wishes to transact with a different person on the Lightning Network. If Alice wants to send money to Carol, but they do not have a payment channel open, they can ask Bob, who has payment channels open to both Alice and Carol, to help make that transaction. Alice will be able to send funds to Bob, and Bob to Carol. Hence, the number of “payment hubs” (i.e., Bob in the previous example) correlates with both the convenience and the usability of the Lightning Network for real-world applications.
Schnorr Signature upgrade proposal
Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (“ECDSA”) signatures are used to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. https://preview.redd.it/hjeqe4l7g3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=8014fb08fe62ac4d91645499bc0c7e1c04c5d7c4 However, many developers now advocate for replacing ECDSA with Schnorr Signature. Once Schnorr Signatures are implemented, multiple parties can collaborate in producing a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys. This would primarily be beneficial for network scalability. When multiple addresses were to conduct transactions to a single address, each transaction would require their own signature. With Schnorr Signature, all these signatures would be combined into one. As a result, the network would be able to store more transactions in a single block. https://preview.redd.it/axg3wayag3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=93d958fa6b0e623caa82ca71fe457b4daa88c71e The reduced size in signatures implies a reduced cost on transaction fees. The group of senders can split the transaction fees for that one group signature, instead of paying for one personal signature individually. Schnorr Signature also improves network privacy and token fungibility. A third-party observer will not be able to detect if a user is sending a multi-signature transaction, since the signature will be in the same format as a single-signature transaction.
4. Economics and supply distribution
The Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Nakamoto consensus, and nodes validate blocks via Proof-of-Work mining. The bitcoin token was not pre-mined, and has a maximum supply of 21 million. The initial reward for a block was 50 BTC per block. Block mining rewards halve every 210,000 blocks. Since the average time for block production on the blockchain is 10 minutes, it implies that the block reward halving events will approximately take place every 4 years. As of May 12th 2020, the block mining rewards are 6.25 BTC per block. Transaction fees also represent a minor revenue stream for miners.
Bitcoin is the most censorship resistant money in the world.
You don't have to buy a “whole” bitcoin so don't freak out if you look at the price. You can buy a piece of one no problem.
The Dallas Mavericks accept Bitcoin on their website. You don't trust Mark Cuban. He's the best shark.
Bitcoin is the best performing asset of the last decade (better than S&P500).
Diversify your current portfolio.
It's not illegal in the USA.
You holding just one satoshi slightly limits the supply and can rise the price for everyone else.
[In late 2019] hash rate is the highest it has ever been
Suicide insurance; if Bitcoin rises in price there is no worse feeling than regret.
Some of the smartest people in computer science and cryptography are working on it. Trust nerds.
Look at the all time historical chart. No technical analysis just tell me what you think when you look at it.
Money is a belief system... and I want to believe.
Transparent ledger, no funny business going on it's easy to audit.
Elon Musk appears to be a fan. How's that for an appeal to authority
There is a fixed limit in the number of bitcoins that will exist. 21 million bitcoin, 7 billion people on earth. Do the math.
There are so many examples of governments inflating their currency to the point where it becomes unusable. Read the wikipedia page for Venezuela or Zimbabwe.
Altcoins make sacrifices in either security or centralization. There are altcoins out there that claim to be innovating but just check the scoreboard nothing has flipped Bitcoin in market value or even gotten close.
With technology developing at a rate faster than law, governments and for-profit businesses have the ability to monitor our purchases, location, our habits, and all of this has happened without consent. People made jokes and conspiracy theory, but sometimes conspiracy is real. Most people are good, but there is absolutely evil out there. There are absolutely evil people in positions of power. There are absolutely evil people that work together in positions of power. Does anyone actually believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. Go read about Leslie Wexner. Go read the cypherpunk manifesto.
The upcoming halvening in 2020 will reduce the number of Bitcoin created in each block, making them more scarce, and if history repeats more valuable.
Bitcoin has lower fees than traditional banking.
Gold has the advantage of being a physical thing. But unlike gold you know Bitcoin is not forged, or mixed with another metal, and you can easily break it into tiny pieces and send it over the internet to someone.
Bitcoin could spark new interests maybe you start to read more into economics, computer science, or Brock Pierce.
Bitcoin has survived with no leader, marketing team, public relations, or legal team.
Because Wired magazine said Bitcoin was dead at $2, Forbes said it was dead at $15, NY Times at $208, and CNN at $333.
Just do a cost benefit analysis. What happens if Bitcoin fails and it goes to zero vs. what happens if it succeeds, and becomes world money.
Bitcoin encourages long term thinking, planning, saving. Due to inflation we are punished by holding on to cash. Look up the statistics on the average savings account while we are bombarded with consumerist bullshit like Funko pop heads, Loot crate subscription services, and new syrup flavors for coffee. Currently we are encouraged to spend now, seek immediate gratification, and ignore what we are becoming as Amazon picks out our clothes and toothpaste ships it to the house and we sit and watch streaming services where content is pushed to us and I'm supposed to buy that this garbage is actually “trending”. Our lives have become so comfortable that idiots spend $60 to escape a room and have someone take your picture when you get out. What would our ancestors think.
Maybe you're a day trader looking to use a trading bot in an unregulated market.
Bitcoin has 7 letters in it. Lucky number 7.....
Bitcoin promises to bank the unbanked, and provide services to those not otherwise “qualified” to open a bank account.
It's just cool, don't you want to seem smart to all your friends.
The origin story is so nuts there's going to be a movie or several movies about the early days of Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto remains anonymous to this day. Imagine if the inventor of the cell phone was anonymous.
If you have money to burn, don't buy soda, weed, or some girls private snapchat it's a dead end put it towards Bitcoin and give it to your child in the future.
To avoid getting ripped off by foreign exchange fees just because you were born one place and your friends were born in another place.
Can't live off the grid in your log cabin and still use Mastercard. Bitcoin is one piece of opting out.
If one country adopts BTC as the national currency, it doesn't take much thought to realise that others will follow.
Join a welcoming and unique community. Everyone is super nice because they want your money.
You can stick it to the baby boomers.
You can stick it to the vegans.
You can stick it Roger Ver.
Maybe your IQ is 70 and you'll do whatever CNBC Fast Money recommends.
Maybe a hacker infects your computer, records you doing that thing, and threatens to release the tape if you do not pay them 1.5 Bitcoin.
You're a risk taker looking for some risky investment.
Aliens attack like Independence Day, blow up major cities in major countries, your money is still safe with Bitcoin. As long as there is a some guy, some person, living on an island with a copy of the ledger out there on your'e good. We're all good.
Many proposals to scale the number of transactions, may the best plan win.
One day you might have to use BTC to pay taxes, buy food, and charge your Tesla.
You want to support a political group and remain private.
You can trust math more than you can trust people to set an emission rate.
Government don't know how much you have.
The first response to Bitcoin being published by Hal Finney stated that Bitcoin was positioned to reach million dollar valuation. Hal was the first bull and passed away in 2014, missing a lot #doitforHal.
Baddies can't freeze your money if they mad at you.
The Big Bang Theory mentioned it, maybe you want to be like Sheldon the bazinga guy.
Be contrarian. In a world where everyone zigs it's sometimes good to zag.
Don't have any hobbies, and you just need a reason to get up in the morning.
Enjoy learning? Bitcoin is a topic where there is so much to learn, and so much development, that it really becomes a never ending journey. For someone who likes learning, it's more productive than speedrunning a video game.
Yolo. You only live once. This isn't a dress rehearsal, if there's something your kind of interested in pursue it. That's true for anything not just Bitcoin. But if you're reading this I'm assuming you're interested.
Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme. The difference is Bitcoin does not need new people buying in to work, blocks being added will continue even if the community stopped growing.
With religion on the decline maybe you want to join a cult. Crypto twitter is a great echo chamber to meet like minded people.
Satoshi Nakamoto found a way to distribute a global currency in a fair way with the ability to adjust the mining difficulty as we go, it's really incredible. You still need computers and electricity to mine new bitcoin today but it's an extremely fair way for people to earn. There was no premine of Bitcoin. Everyone who has Bitcoin either bought it at what the market said, or they earned it.
No CEO in charge of Bitcoin to make bad decisions or a board of directors that can make changes. The users, an ever growing number, are in charge.
Bitcoin has no days off, it has no workers in charge who can get sick or take a holiday.
Bitcoin has survived 10 years (and more). While there will always be dangers, I'd argue that those first few years it was most vulnerable to fail.
Have some trust in the cypherpunks. Anyone who held and didn't sell bitcoin as it went from pennies to five figures is not looking to get rich. They want to change the world.
Potential president Tulsi Gabbard disclosed owning some.
Digital money is the future, anyone who has tried Venmo can see that. Well Bitcoin is a digitally native asset.
Refugees can use Bitcoin to store their wealth as they flee a failing country.
Bitcoin is an open source project. Anthony Pompliano likes to call it a virus but I like how the author of the Bitcoin Standard describes it. Bitcoin is like a song. As long as one person remembers it you can't destroy a song.
Triple entry accounting. When humans first started recording who owes who what we had single-entry accounting. The king's little brother would keep everything written down, but we had to really trust this guy because he could simply erase a line and that money would be gone. When double-entry accounting started to spread 500 years ago it brought with it massive innovation. Businesses could now form relationships across the ocean as they each kept a record. We did not have innovation again until Satoshi's Bitcoin, where blockchain can be used as the neutral third party to keep record. It might not sound important but blockchain allows us to agree upon an objective reality.
Bitcoin is non-political.
Bitcoin is easy to accept. I mean kind of. It's certainly easier than setting up a bank account.
A sandwich used to cost 10 cents in America, I walk into Subway and they don't even have $5 foot longs anymore. Inflation man..
It's a peaceful protest.
Critics say that mining wastes electricity, but if Bitcoin adoption continues the world will actually be incentivized to produce more renewable energy. There are so many waterfalls and sources of energy in the middle of nowhere right now. People might not see a reason to build a power plant over there now, but in the future it can make business sense. Take that waterfall mine bitcoin, and sell them to the people who can't mine. It allows for a business to sell their energy anywhere.
Get into debates around Bitcoin, build those critical thinking skills.
“Predicting rain doesn't count, building arks does”
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”
"I never considered for one second having anything to do with it. I detested it the moment it was raised. It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.”
The immaculate conception. No cryptocurrency can have a start the grassroots way Bitcoin did, it's just impossible given how the space has changed.
There are more than 1000x more U.S. dollars today than there were a hundred years ago.
Bitcoin is the largest transfer of wealth this decade from the least curious to the curious.
The concept of the Star Wars Cantina, Galt's Gulch, or young Beat Generation kids sitting in a basement smoking cigarettes and questioning the world can only exist if money remains fungible.
You can send money to your Dad even if he lives in a country run by bad boys.
Memorize your key, and walk around the world carrying your money in your head.
The Federal Reserve is objectively way too powerful.
John Mcafe promised that if bitcoins were not valued at 1 million dollars by the end of 2020 he would eat his own penis on national television. It will be a sad day if we don't hit that 1 million.
The Apple credit card.
If we ever get artificial intelligence it'll be able to interact with Bitcoin.
Katy Perry is aware of crypto so if by some chance you run into her, you get one chance to strike up conversation, so here's your chance to shine. You don't ask for a picture, you don't say she's pretty, or name your favorite song. Take your shot and ask about what type of cold storage she uses for her bitcoin.
Many people are afraid of a world currency because it's associated with a centralized world power taking control. Bitcoin allows for neutral world money.
Bitcoin Gold a Shitcoin Vulnerable to Attack Despite $200 Million Market Cap
https://preview.redd.it/vddehe8qfo321.png?width=690&format=png&auto=webp&s=44a4111dddd126729769612bd27e1ebc30753e14 https://cryptoiq.co/bitcoin-gold-a-shitcoin-vulnerable-to-attack-despite-200-million-market-cap/ The War On Shitcoins Episode 1: Bitcoin Gold (BTG). The war on shitcoins is a Crypto.IQ series that targets and shoots down cryptocurrencies that are not worth investing in either due to their being scams, having serious design flaws, being centralized, or in general just being worthless copies of other cryptocurrencies. There are thousands of shitcoins that are ruining the markets, and Crypto.IQ intends to expose all of them. The crypto space needs an exorcism, and we are happy to provide it. There are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap, and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is near the top at number 25 with a market cap of $207 million. This would seem to indicate that Bitcoin Gold is a major cryptocurrency, but it is simply a copycat of Bitcoin with one key and debilitating difference that makes it worse than Bitcoin. Bitcoin Gold is designed to block ASIC miners, leaving only GPU miners. The idea was that GPU miners would rally around Bitcoin Gold since GPU Bitcoin miners were disenfranchised by ASIC miners years ago. Ultimately, this decision to only allow GPUs resulted in such a low mining hash rate that Bitcoin Gold is vulnerable to 51 percent attacks, and a serious 51 percent attack has already happened once. Further, Bitcoin Gold has had centralization problems from the very beginning. When Bitcoin Gold launched in November 2017 the developers did a massive premine of 8,000 blocks, which yielded them about 100,000 BTG. At today’s price $12 this is $1.2 million, and when BTG’s price peaked near $500, this was $50 million. This premine is unfair to other BTG miners, traders, and investors. Supposedly, the premined BTG were placed in an “endowment,” which means the developers will receive all of that money eventually, just not all at once. There is no way to verify if this is even true, however, and the excessive 97 percent BTG price crash since January 2018 might be partially due to developers dumping their coins. A far more serious issue than the premine is BTG’s lack of network security. BTG made mining ASIC resistant by using the Equishash Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm. However, ASICs were eventually developed for Equihash since ASICs can be developed for any PoW algorithm. In May 2018 a 51 percent double spend attack occurred on the Bitcoin Gold network, and a hacker stole $18.6 million from cryptocurrency exchanges that listed BTG. This caused the developers to hard fork in order to implement a newer version of Equihash that is supposedly more ASIC resistant. Clearly, the developers did not learn their lesson that there is no ASIC-resistant PoW algorithm. If Bitcoin Gold became valuable enough, someone would produce an ASIC for it. It is unclear if Equihash ASICs were the reason for the 51 percent attack, since an attacker could literally just rent some hash rate on a cloud mining site and successfully 51 percent attack Bitcoin Gold. Currently it only takes 1.6 MH/s of rented mining power to successfully perform a double spend attack on the Bitcoin Gold network, and this costs about $1,000 per hour if the hash rate is rented from NiceHash. Effectively, Bitcoin Gold is not cryptographically secure. The original purpose of banning ASIC miners so that GPU miners could thrive ended up being a fatal flaw for Bitcoin Gold. It is ridiculous that major exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex still offer BTG trading. This is a true disservice to the users of these exchanges and is a risk for the exchanges themselves. Crypto users need to educate themselves thoroughly before buying any cryptocurrency, or they could end up buying a shitcoin like Bitcoin Gold just because it has a high ranking on CoinMarketCap. BTG has already lost 97 percent of its value since January 2018, and there is strong potential for it to become completely worthless once someone decides to rent some hash power and perform a vicious 51 percent attack.
Constructing an Opt-In alternative reward for securing the blockchain
Since a keyboard with a monero logo got upvoted to the top I realized I should post various thoughts I have and generate some discussion. I hope others do the same. Monero is currently secured by a dwindling block reward. There is a chance that the tail emission reward + transaction fees to secure the blockchain could become insufficient and allow for a scenario where it is profitable for someone to execute a 51% attack. To understand this issue better, read this:
In Game Theory, Tragedy of the Commons is a market failure scenario where a common good is produced in lower quantities than the public desires, or consumed in greater quantities than desired. One example is pollution - it is in the public's best interest not to pollute, but every individual has incentive to pollute (e.g. because burning fossil fuel is cheap, and individually each consumer doesn't affect the environment much). The relevance to Bitcoin is a hypothetical market failure that might happen in the far future when the block reward from mining drops near zero. In the current Bitcoin design, the only fees miners earn at this time are Transaction fees. Miners will accept transactions with any fees (because the marginal cost of including them is minimal) and users will pay lower and lower fees (in the order of satoshis). It is possible that the honest miners will be under-incentivized, and that too few miners will mine, resulting in lower difficulty than what the public desires. This might mean various 51% attacks will happen frequently, and the Bitcoin will not function correctly. The Bitcoin protocol can be altered to combat this problem - one proposed solution is Dominant Assurance Contracts. Another more radical proposal (in the sense that the required change won't be accepted by most bitcoiners) is to have a perpetual reward that is constant in proportion to the monetary base. That can be achieved in two ways. An ever increasing reward (inflatacoin/expocoin) or a constant reward plus a demurrage fee in all funds that caps the monetary base (freicoin). This scenario was discussed on several threads: - Tragedy of the Commons - Disturbingly low future difficulty equilibrium https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=6284.0 - Stack Exchange http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3111/will-bitcoin-suffer-from-a-mining-tragedy-of-the-commons-when-mining-fees-drop-t Currently there is no consensus whether this problem is real, and if so, what is the best solution.
Dominant assurance contracts Dominant assurance contracts, created by Alex Tabarrok, involve an extra component, an entrepreneur who profits when the quorum is reached and pays the signors extra if it is not. If the quorum is not formed, the signors do not pay their share and indeed actively profit from having participated since they keep the money the entrepreneur paid them. Conversely, if the quorum succeeds, the entrepreneur is compensated for taking the risk of the quorum failing. Thus, a player will benefit whether or not the quorum succeeds; if it fails he reaps a monetary return, and if it succeeds, he pays only a small amount more than under an assurance contract, and the public good will be provided. Tabarrok asserts that this creates a dominant strategy) of participation for all players. Because all players will calculate that it is in their best interests to participate, the contract will succeed, and the entrepreneur will be rewarded. In a meta-game, this reward is an incentive for other entrepreneurs to enter the DAC market, driving down the cost disadvantage of dominant assurance contract versus regular assurance contracts.
Monero doesn't have a lot of scripting options to work with currently so it is very hard for me to understand how one might go about creating a Dominant Assurance Contract using Monero, especially in regards to paying out to a miner address. This is how it could work in Bitcoin:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Dominant_Assurance_Contracts This scheme is an attempt at Mike Hearn's exercise for the reader: an implementation of dominant assurance contracts. The scheme requires the use of multisignature transactions, nLockTime and transaction replacement which means it won't work until these features are available on the Bitcoin network. A vendor agrees to produce a good if X BTC are raised by date D and to pay Y BTC to each of n contributors if X BTC are not raised by date D, or to pay nY BTC if X BTC are raised and the vendor fails to produce the good to the satisfaction of 2 of 3 independent arbitrators picked through a fair process The arbitrators specify a 2-of-3 multisignature script to use as an output for the fundraiser with a public key from each arbitrator, which will allow them to judge the performance on actually producing the good For each contributor: The vendor and the contributor exchange public keys They create a 2-of-2 multisignature output from those public keys With no change, they create but do not sign a transaction with an input of X/n BTC from the contributor and an input of Y BTC from the vendor, with X/n+Y going to the output created in 3.2 The contributor creates a transaction where the output is X+nY to the address created in step 2 and the input is the output of the transaction in 3.3, signs it using SIGHASH_ALL | SIGHASH_ANYONECANPAY, with version = UINT_MAX and gives it to the vendor The vendor creates a transaction of the entire balance of the transaction in 3.3 to the contributor with nLockTime of D and version < UINT_MAX, signs it and gives it to the contributor The vendor and contributor then both sign the transaction in 3.3 and broadcast it to the network, making the transaction in 3.4 valid when enough contributors participate and the transaction in 3.5 valid when nLockTime expires As date D nears, nLockTime comes close to expiration. If enough (n) people contribute, all of the inputs from 3.4 can combine to make the output valid when signed by the vendor, creating a valid transaction sending that money to the arbitrators, which only agree to release the funds when the vendor produces a satisfactory output If not enough people ( Note that there is a limit at which it can be more profitable for the vendor to make the remaining contributions when D approaches Now the arbitrators have control of X (the payment from the contributors) + nY (the performance bond from the vendor) BTC and pay the vendor only when the vendor performs satisfactorily Such contracts can be used for crowdfunding. Notable examples from Mike Hearn include: Funding Internet radio stations which don't want to play ads: donations are the only viable revenue source as pay-for-streaming models allow undercutting by subscribers who relay the stream to their own subscribers Automatically contributing to the human translation of web pages
Monero has these features:
LockTime (but it is much different then BTCs)
A possibility to do MoJoin (CoinJoin) like transactions, even if less then optimally private. There is hope that the MoJoin Schemes will allow for better privacy in the future:
I have a draft writeup for a merged-input system called MoJoin that allows multiple parties to generate a single transaction. The goal is to complete the transaction merging with no trust in any party, but this introduces significant complexity and may not be possible with the known Bulletproofs multiparty computation scheme. My current version of MoJoin assumes partial trust in a dealer, who learns the mappings between input rings and outputs (but not true spends or Pedersen commitment data).
First, let’s look at some of the issues facing Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus that led to the development of PoS.
Excessive energy consumption — In 2017, many concerns were raised over the amount of electricity used by the bitcoin network (Largest PoW blockchain). Since then the energy consumption has increased by over 400%, to the point where 1 single transaction on this network has the same carbon footprint of 736,722 Visa transactions or consumes the same amount of electricity as over 20 U.S. households.
Varying Electricity Costs — The profit of any miner on the network is tied to two costs, the initial startup cost to obtain the hardware and infrastructure, and more critically, the running cost of said equipment in relation to electricity usage. Electricity costs can vary from fractions of a cent per kWh to over 50 cents (USD) and in some cases it is free. When a user may only be earning $0.40 USD per hour then this will clearly rule out certain demographics based purely on electricity costs, reducing the potential for complete decentralization.
Reduced decentralization — Due to the high cost of the mining equipment, those with large financial bases setup mining farms, either for others to rent out individual miners or entirely for personal gains. This results in large demographic hotspots on the network reducing the decentralized aspect to a point where it no longer accomplishes this aspect.
Conflicted interests — The requirements of running miners on the network are purely based on having possession of the hardware, electricity and internet connection. There are no limits to the amount a miner can earn, nor do they need to hold any stake in the network, and thus there is very little incentive for them to vote on upgrades that may benefit the network but reduce their rewards.
I want to take this moment to mention a potential benefit to PoW that I have not seen anyone mention previously. It is a very loose argument so don’t take this to heart too strongly. Consistent Fiat Injection — The majority of miners will be paying for their electricity in fiat currency. At a conservative rate of $0.1 USD per kWh, the network currently uses 73.12 TWh per year. This equates to an average daily cost of over $20 million USD. This means every day around $20 million of fiat currency is effectively being injected into the bitcoin network. Although this concept is somewhat flawed in the sense that the same amount of bitcoin will be released each day regardless of how much is spent on electricity, I’m looking at this from the eyes of the miners, they are reducing their fiat bags and increasing their bitcoin bags. This change of bags is the essence of this point which will inevitably encourage crypto spending. If the bitcoin bags were increased but fiat bags did not decrease, then there would be less incentive to spend the bitcoin, as would see in a staking ecosystem. https://preview.redd.it/8dtqt6e204c41.png?width=631&format=png&auto=webp&s=065aedde87b55f0768968307e59e62a35eac949d
Different approaches have been taken to tackle different issues the PoS protocol faces. Will Little has an excellent article explaining this and more in PoS, but let me take an excerpt from his piece to go through them:
Coin-age selection — Blockchains like Peercoin (the first PoS chain), start out with PoW to distribute the coins, use coin age to help prevent monopolization and 51% attacks (by setting a time range when the probability of being selected as a node is greatest), and implement checkpoints initially to prevent NoS problems.
Randomized block selection — Chains like NXT and Blackcoin also use checkpoints, but believe that coin-age discourages staking. After an initial distribution period (either via PoW or otherwise), these chains use algorithms to randomly select nodes that can create blocks.
Ethereum’s Casper protocol(s) — Being already widely distributed, Ethereum doesn’t have to worry about the initial distribution problem when/if it switches to PoS. Casper takes a more Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) approach and will punish nodes by taking away (“slashing”) their stake if they do devious things. In addition, consensus is formed by a multi-round process where every randomly assigned node votes for a specific block during a round.
Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) — Invented by Dan Larimer and first used in Bitshares (and then in [aelf,] Steem, EOS, and many others), DPoS tackles potential PoS problems by having the community “elect” delegates that will run nodes to create and validate blocks. Bad behavior is then punished by the community simply out-voting the delegated nodes.
Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (DBFT) — Similar to DPoS, the NEO community votes for (delegates) nodes, but instead of each node producing blocks and agreeing on consensus, only 2 out of 3 nodes need to agree on what goes in every block (acting more like bookkeepers than validators).
Masternodes — First introduced by DASH, a masternode PoS system requires nodes to stake a minimum threshold of coins in order to qualify as a node. Often this comes with requirements to provide “service” to a network in the form of governance, special payment protocols, etc…
Proof of Importance (POI) — NEM takes a slightly different approach by granting an “importance calculation” to masternodes staking at least 10,000 XEM. This POI system then rewards active nodes that act in a positive way over time to impact the community.
In order to understand how one can earn money from these networks, I’ll break them down into 3 categories: Simple staking, Running nodes, and Voting. Simple Staking - This is the simplest of the 3 methods and requires almost no action by the user. Certain networks will reward users by simply holding tokens in a specified wallet. These rewards are generally minimal but are the easiest way to earn. Running a node - This method provides the greatest rewards but also requires the greatest action by the user and most likely will require ongoing maintenance. Generally speaking, networks will require nodes to stake a certain amount of tokens often amounting to thousands of dollars. In DPoS systems, these nodes must be voted in by other users on the network and must continue to provide confidence to their supporters. Some companies will setup nodes and allow users to participate by contributing to the minimum staking amount, with a similar concept to PoW mining pools. Voting - This mechanism works hand in hand with running nodes in relation to DPoS networks. Users are encouraged to vote for their preferred nodes by staking tokens as votes. Each vote will unlock a small amount of rewards for each voter, the nodes are normally the ones to provide these rewards as a portion of their own reward for running a node.
Aelf’s DPoS system
The aelf consensus protocol utilizes a form of DPoS. There are two versions of nodes on the network, active nodes & backup nodes (official names yet to be announced). Active nodes run the network and produce the blocks, while the backup nodes complete minor tasks and are on standby should any active nodes go offline or act maliciously. These nodes are selected based upon their number of votes received. Initially the top 17 nodes will be selected as active nodes, while the next 100 will stand as the backup ones, each voting period each node may change position should they receive more or less votes than the previous period. In order to be considered as a node, one must stake a minimum amount of ELF tokens (yet to be announced). https://preview.redd.it/47d3wqe604c41.png?width=618&format=png&auto=webp&s=062a6aa6186b826d400a0015d4c91fd1a4ed0b65 In order to participate as a voter, there is no minimum amount of tokens to be staked. When one stakes, their tokens will be locked for a designated amount of time, selected by the voter from the preset periods. If users pull their tokens out before this locked period has expired no rewards are received, but if they leave them locked for the entire time frame they will receive the set reward, and the tokens will be automatically rolled over into the next locked period. As a result, should a voter decide, once their votes are cast, they can continue to receive rewards without any further action needed. Many projects have tackled with node rewards in order to make them fair, well incentivized but sustainable for everyone involved. Aelf has come up with a reward structure based on multiple variables with a basic income guaranteed for every node. Variables may include the number of re-elections, number of votes received, or other elements. As the system matures, the number of active nodes will be increased, resulting in a more diverse and secure network. Staking as a solution is a win-win-win for network creators, users and investors. It is a much more resource efficient and scalable protocol to secure blockchain networks while reducing the entry point for users to earn from the system.
"Valuing Bitcoin: Which Metrics Do Matter?" - Suggestions/Input/Data Sources needed
Hello together, I am currently in the final months of my Masters at Imperial College and I am slowly getting started with my final project: “Valuing Bitcoin: Which Metrics Do Matter? An Empirical Analysis” Well, sounds boring at first, and I found a few papers that tried to value Bitcoin before. However, each paper went into detail with only a number of metrics (either trading volume, or transactions per second, etc.). This feels like not looking at the whole picture. Here are some examples:
Instead of following this narrow approach, my idea is to pack as many metrics as possible into a regression and see how their importance changes over time. To be more specific, I would sort metrics roughly into three categories: - Bitcoin as a speculative asset
Google Trends Activity
Number of Trades/Volume at exchanges
Momentum (impact of today’s price on tomorrows)
- Bitcoin as a commodity and store of value
Security of the network (hash rate, probability of 51% attack, number of nodes, hash rate distribution)
Correlation with other asset classes
Cost of production
- Bitcoin as a currency
Network capacity (1st and 2nd layer)
Number of transactions (on-chain/off-chain)
Now I was wondering if you guys could help me out with a few things:
Suggest other metrics (that are not too hard to obtain) that might be of interest for running a regression.
3 facts proving NSA/US Fed created Bitcoin. Challenge the 3 facts, I dare you.
We are often way too focused on the price of Bitcoin, to question Bitcoin’s origin. Yet the facts are right under the spot light, how 1 million of Bitcoin is kept in reserve, how SHA 256 is a baby of NSA, and how it takes less than $20 billion to crack Bitcoin yet the US Gov has done nothing 10 years after the invention of Bitcoin. FACT 1: "Satoshi" kept 1,000,000 Bitcoins for "himself". Satoshi is NOT a kind benevolent saviour who invented Bitcoin to save the world. Satoshi invented Bitcoin and kept 1,000,000 Bitcoin for himself, in hope one day when Bitcoin becomes the single world currency he/his organisation will at least own 5% of Bitcoin, aka 5% of global purchasing power, at least. The Fiat System is collapsing. If we crypto/bitcoin enthusiasts on the Reddit forum can see it, of course the guys at the top of the pyramid can see it, and they saw it long before we did. They did something about it, they invented Bitcoin. And yes, it would take more than one computer nerd to come up with Bitcoin. It would have involved many years of work in complete secrecy by many number of experts with a lot of computing power. Which organisation fits the bill besides NSA? And yes they kept 1,000,000 Bitcoin. FACT 2: Bitcoin's Sha 256 is a subset of cryptographic hash functions designed by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm 2) is a set of cryptographic hash functions designed by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). The SHA-2 family consists of six hash functions with digests (hash values) that are 224, 256, 384 or 512 bits: SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512, SHA-512/224, SHA-512/256. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-2 BOOM! Yes people, NSA actually came up with the backbone of Bitcoin. It is right under the spotlight. Who else, besides from NSA, could have taken NSA tech and use it to create Bitcoin? FACT 3: If the Fed/NSA/US Government really wanted to destroy Bitcoin, they could have and would have done a 51% attack already, it is dirt cheap. But no, instead they sent a hairless patsy like Brad Sherman to whine about it in public. Do you really think Sherman is the US government's best shot against Bitcoin? To launch a 51% attack on Bitcoin, it only takes $8.4 billion USD in hardware, and a day run rate of $5 million USD to do so. https://gobitcoin.io/tools/cost-51-attack/ To put things into perspective, the Fed just sold $27 billion USD worth of US Treasuries on 8th of May. Apple's market value is $859 billion USD. Yes NSA/Fed/US Government could easily break Bitcoin if they wanted to. Once again. the 3 facts: FACT 1: "Satoshi" kept 1,000,000 Bitcoins for "himself". FACT 2: Bitcoin's Sha 256 is a subset of cryptographic hash functions designed by NSA FACT 3: If the Fed/NSA/US Government really wanted to destroy Bitcoin, they could have and would have done a 51% attack already, it is dirt cheap for the US government to do so. Conclusion: Yes Bitcoin is designed by the NSA/Fed/US Gov. That is absolutely fine because if anything it is actually sign that Bitcoin will actually flourish, given the implicit government backing Bitcoin has. They pulled it off with Fiat Money for 80 years. They realised the fiat game is ending. They started a new game - Bitcoin!
Pioneer in blockchain gaming. Currently has biggest auditory and market turnover per day. But since no new functionality has been added by developers(you could only breed, buy and sell), market is dropping prices each day. Hard to enter for newbies and earn something. On other hand has interesting science side to breed new cats. Honestly think it will be one of the longest projects, however it is hard earn there right now, HODLers very rare cats might win at the end of 2018(Gen0 cats will no appear). It is just very short description about project, more details coming soon. With current prices and price of breeding there are very little kittyfans right now
One of the most potentially best blockchain games with battle mechanic(will be working from 8th Jan but is already implemented in smart contracts) and design looks like Pokemons. Started as ponzi-like scheme, but developers turned it into amazing solution as gen0 holders which might moon just in next few weeks. Those who hadn't returned their ROI received eggs which will turn into additional gen0 mons. Moreover project leader nakasatoshi has opened weekly thread about current status and seems to be very positive and hardworking guy. Personally I'm very excited about Etheremons and waiting starting trade/lease/battle functionality. Project spend 0(ZERO) dollars on marketing and have already huge community.
Another cool projects with solid White Paper and smart contracts which will start very soon. Early adopters are already defined(1500 persons), but still project has very big potential. I'm recommending subscribe to their channels and start playing as soon as they'll start, should be very good. They have announced cooperation with Decentraland
Interesting project, will be starting very soon, now with Horses, not only siring/breeding, but competition game, where you can compete in horseracing with your own champion and win Ethers. Join now to get chance win Gen 0.
Potentially one of the hugest TCG on blockchain. They're are starting initial coin sell in couple of hours. Whitepaper looks very solid at least right now. Only one project with user agreement during buying tokens.
Don't know if it is true game, or just a gambling one, cause no rules and FAQs working on site. It seems the mechanics is as follows: you buy a fish, it stays in aquarium until some shark attacks (1 time per 24 hrs?), if your fish survives it gains additional ether in its price.
Start of project has been postponed due to developing smart contract, developers had redunf to all persons who had bought monster and didnt know about smart contract absence. Seems pretty fair. Gen0 sales will start on Jan 09
Simple collectible game, where you could buy token with your favourite celebrity (only 1 token of each celebrity exists). You're owner of token until someone decides double your price (so you'll get x2 you'd paid)
Currently only buy seeds and get flowers with certain probability: Very Common (50.9%), Common (20.5%), Uncommon (12.7%), Rare (6.4%), Very Rare(3.2%), Epic (0.8%), Legendary (0.4%), and an exceedingly exclusive Secret Tulip (0.1%)!
1st producer of digital high-end luxury vehicles on the Ethereum blockchain. Etherlambos are tokens of craftsmanship dedicated to collect the desire of people to possess unique items of value. Etherlambos can be collected, traded, and tuned. All Etherlambos come in a limited edition.
Beyond the Void is a 1v1 MOBA game with decisive features from RTS games. The gameplay is a unique mix of genres. It takes place in a universe of sci-fi and fantasy. It’s powered by blockchain as the in-game items are available to purchase only in Nexium (NXC) - the dedicated cryptocurrency. The objective is to offer a new game experience for players as they will truly own their in-game items, be able to use their cross-gaming items in feature Nexarium games and, to trade or sell them on the Beyond the Void’s shop
CryptoCelebrities - like game, at least for now. Developers promised add gaming elements and not just trading. As for now it is not recommended for newbies, as you could stuck with expensive country card
Ether Dungeon is a real ethereum blockchain based game in which players can explore the depth of dungeons, collecting & upgrading epic heroes, powerful items, challenge fierce enemies, and finally become the Dungeon Master!
ÐWorld is a game centered around owning and trading parts of the world. We call them plots. Each plot is owned by you: no one else can claim it or take it from you, unless they pay you more than you did. You can customize your plots for everyone to see.
Cryptocities - brand new blockchain game with possibility to discover new cities each 12-14 hours, and sell/rent them. Aim is to discover most valuable cities. More details could be found on site or on Discord. I like their idea and 'no rushing' cooldown before each new action. Long term project for sure
Built on Ethereum blockchain, Dragonereum is a cryptocollectible player vs. player game, allowing users to collect, breed and battle unique dragons. As for me project seems to be very promising with very cool design and idea.
Augmentors Game will be for all mobile devices when launching in Q4 2018. The game features Augmented Reality. The creatures are AR and can battle anywhere in the world. There are collectible Creature that are in limited supply as they were part of the ICO nearly a year ago. These creatures are unlike most games seen today, you can use them in real battles in real AR all over the world.
CryptoArts is a Blockchain based Virtual Gallery where players can invest into masterpieces and earn, art lovers can browse virtual gallery via mobile app in AVR. Galleries and individual artists can host exhibitions. Very ambitious and promising project. I really like and idea!
New fantasy game with RPG elements where you can battle your heroes against other players on arena or challenge on big tournament. Current prices for arena battles are high, but overall concept and design is very good
New promising and first on blockchain Football Manager. Join a team or create your own, play together with friends in the pursuit to climb the top and claim the biggest share. Train your own champions and sell them for Ether or enroll them to your own dream team!
Pandemic reborn on blockchain. Funny viruses mutation game with pyramid scheme. Create your own virus and try to infect as much as possible people. Read FAQ carefully to understand how to play properly
Etherwaifu (do not mix up with scam Ethwaifus) is fresh crafting collectible game with amazing artworks from two raising talents Jubi and Agro. Each of this fantastic artwork has thousands of unique variations, and you can craft a new one by combining traits of other artworks you own. See the magic yourself.
The benefits of a 51% attack are detailed on our page How does Bitcoin works?. Assumptions. The attacker is starting from scratch. The attacker could be a mining pool and start already close to 51%. See current Hashrate Distribution. The attacker has no ability to get hardware cheaper than the current best offer. The attacker could for example be a hardware manufacturer. Honest earnings. By ... From Bitcoin Wiki. Jump to: navigation, search. A majority attack (usually labeled 51% attack or >50% attack) is an attack on the network. This attack has a chance to work even if the merchant waits for some confirmations, but requires extremely high relative hashrate. The attacker submits to the merchant/network a transaction which pays the merchant, while privately mining a blockchain fork ... Gavin & Co. could release a patch where miners can decide to NOT accept a longer chain upon certain conditions, which deems the longer chain a 51% or selfish mining attack [both of which look the same by the way]. These conditions could be well and cautiously engineered, for example the rejection of the longer chain could take effect if ALL of the following conditions are met: Bitcoin currency could have been destroyed by '51%' attack This article is more than 6 years old 'Impossible' attack briefly possible for Ghash.io consortium, putting entire bitcoin network at ... Ethereum Classic Suffers 51% Attack Again: Delisting Risk Amplified. Beleaguered Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain suffered yet another 51% attack on August 29. The latest attack caused the ...
In what other ways do you think bitcoin could be attacked? Let us know in the comments section below. Read full story: https://news.bitcoin.com/a-51-attack-o... For the complete text guide visit: http://bit.ly/2T09w73 Join our 7-day Bitcoin crash course absolutely free: http://bit.ly/2pB4X5B Learn ANYTHING about Bitc... Bitcoin Cash 51 Percent Attack - is the network safe? I dig into this question and other philosophical crypto arguments that you need to be aware of in the c... Bitcoin 51% Attack - Clearly Explained In this video I explain what a 51% attack is in the world of blockchain & cryptocurrency. Did you enjoy this video? SUBSCRIBE for more: https://www.youtube ... Watch live: https://ivanontech.com/live