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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:
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:

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:
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.
submitted by VodkaHaze to badeconomics [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

Why UMI is a Step toward a Free Financial World

Why UMI is a Step toward a Free Financial World

https://preview.redd.it/sk4qzvg2o5p51.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=42c422967888ffb44288e1cf7b8e9b4ffd6e20a1
Quite recently, the world has seen a remarkable event — an anonymous bitcoin whale sent a total of $2.24 billion in a series of transactions. Large transactions are certainly not uncommon for the bitcoin network. Whale Alert — blockchain tracker and analytics system — regularly reports large and interesting transactions. Although $2.24 billion is the largest ever cryptocurrency transfer, the most remarkable thing about this event is not the transfer amount but the incredibly little fee the sender paid for the transaction — less than $1. With no checkups and intermediaries.
If such a transfer had happened a few years ago, it would have considered abnormal and unreal. Today it is a matter of fact. With each passing day, using cryptocurrency for making transfers is getting more attractive than bank transfers. The UMI network, which enables instant payments with no fees, fits in best with new realities. Let's explore this issue.
Freedom from Bank Charges
The BTC whale sent the above-mentioned amount in seven successive transactions within one hour. The total amount was 241,500 BTC, which was equivalent to $2.24 bln. Each transfer cost around 0.0001 BTC or just $0.93, giving a total of about $6.51 for the seven transfers.
Let's compare now how much you would be charged for an identical transfer in a bank.
In big banks, the international transfer fee is at least 1% of the amount, but it is often higher than that depending on the conditions. For instance, the VISA system charges 1 to 10% of the transaction amount for an international transfer (minimum of $10). Therefore, the more you transfer, the more you pay for it. To transfer the above-mentioned amount via a bank, a customer would have to part with as much as $22.4 mln (!!!), in the best-case scenario — that is if the fee is the minimum 1%. In other words, a bank would make a fortune — virtually at the drop of a hat, making no effort whatsoever — by simply taking someone's money. What makes it more absurd is that banks intend to further raise their fees amid coronavirus pandemic.
Cryptocurrencies are a completely different story. In most cryptocurrency networks, fees do not depend on the transaction amount — the same fee could be charged for transferring $1 or $1 bln. In the cryptocurrency world, it doesn't matter how much money you transfer. If you make a big transfer, no one makes you pay the “tithe”. With UMI, you don't have to pay anything to anyone — not a dime. But we'll get back to this a little later.
Freedom from Excessive Limits and Unneeded Checkups
First, let's consider another important factor — the very possibility to make unhindered transfers of large amounts via bank especially foreign transfers. The irony is that even if someone chooses to pay this multi-million dollar fee, the transfer would far from being 100% successful.
In most countries, including the Russian Federation, a $22 bln transaction would be virtually impossible to run in a state-owned bank, let alone private banks. Even going through a bunch of mandatory procedures as well as wasting lots of nerves and time wouldn't save the day. This is why a payment of this size is virtually impossible:
  1. The overwhelming majority of the world's banks just don't happen to have such large amounts on their correspondent accounts. Even if we assume they do have sufficient funds on the books, this money doesn't just sit idle — bankers use it in their own favor, for instance, to grant loans, make deposit payments, etc. No bank would agree to send all its reserve funds to another bank on your orders. Moreover, banks have no right to violate the law in terms of reserve requirements, including currency norms. And processing such a large amount contradicts the established rules and regulations. So, even if money is technically recorded on the customer's account, transferring it to another bank, especially in a foreign country, is still a virtually impossible task.
  2. In almost all states transactions of this scale are only allowed on the level of governments, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, or mega-tycoons with a declared multi-billion dollar income, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the like. In other words, only customers with a special status can make especially large transfers without restrictions. Any “abnormal” transactions fall under suspicion and automatically frozen. If you have always run $500 transactions on a monthly basis, any incoming or outgoing $10,000 transfer would most probably be frozen. Let alone billions of dollars. An average owner of a large business will only be allowed to transfer billions of dollars after they get approval from FATF on an individual basis. Obviously, they must also be verified using KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-money laundering) procedures and must establish the provenance of each dime they transfer. They have to do all this to transfer THEIR money, with a huge fee of billions of dollars.
  3. The situation is even worse because it is equally true for receiving monetary transfers. In other words, if you have a large amount successfully transferred to you, there is no guarantee that you can use this money. Sadly, even if the money leaves the sender's bank, the recipient's bank can instantly freeze it. On the very same day, you could get a visit from bank or government officials along with the state security service and a special interrogation. If you cannot provide provenance data for the funds, the transfer could easily remain frozen for good. Naturally, this system opens the doors for various types of abuse of power and manipulation by bankers, governments, and state services.
For the existing banking system, any big transaction makes you a suspect of some manipulations resulting in a frozen transfer. More importantly, it isn't only true for multi-billion or multi-million transfers. Any transaction involving hundreds of thousands, dozens of thousands, or simply thousands of dollars may be deemed suspicious and sanctioned. It means that anyone who runs relatively big transactions runs the risk of encountering certain problems at any time.
Cryptocurrencies are a step toward free transfers
The above-described situation proves that digital money helps people get rid of many problems related to bank transfers: high fees, payment amount limits, specification of personal data, verification procedures. With digital money, you don't have to prove or explain anything. This is a real revolution that makes people free from fees and manipulation. Cryptocurrencies allow people to be a master of their funds and no one has the power to change this. No one charges you crazy fees and no one can steal your coins.
With each passing minute, cryptocurrencies are becoming part of our life, and rather than profit from trading, investment, mining, or staking, they are regarded as a convenient way of sending funds. Only cryptocurrencies make people feel completely safe and allow them to transfer whatever amount wherever they want. This is a huge step towards changing the existing financial system, and it has already been made.
But UMI Goes Even Further
It may appear that problem with bank fees concerns only large businessmen. In real fact, regular people living live paycheck to paycheck are more sensitive to this issue. Being on a tight budget, most people have to pay for any bank transaction.
You always pay fees charged by banks — when you pay utility bills, buy online, deposit money to your bank card, receive money, transfer money between your accounts or withdraw cash from an ATM. Overall, bank fees cost people a lot of money. It's curious to know how much your pay banks every year for mediation.
Now let's see how you can make transactions using UMI.
In terms of fees, UMI is more profitable than banks and even more profitable than most of the other cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. There are no fees in the UMI network at all, even hidden ones. All transactions are instant. That is, if you sent $2.24 billion through the UMI network, it would be instant and completely free. There are no limits, verifications, and other nervous procedures. Instant, free, and secure — here and now.
This is the key advantage of UMI as a payment instrument. Our cryptocurrency empowers all people — from large businessmen to factory workers — with profitable and absolutely safe funds transfers. UMI gives all people around the globe equal opportunities. This is the next step toward a free financial world. We are the first to make it.
Sincerely yours, UMI team
submitted by UMITop to u/UMITop [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

Benefits of Blockchain Technology in the Banking Industry

Benefits of Blockchain Technology in the Banking Industry
Link to original article: https://block.co/benefits-of-blockchain-technology-in-the-banking-industry/
The rapidly growing interest around blockchain is creating an increased amount of use cases across multiple industries, and a high demand for adoption by many governments. Banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry is predicted to be drastically transformed by this disruptive technology. According to Allied Market Research 2019, the blockchain value in the BFSI market reached $277.1 million in 2018 and is projected to reach $22.46 billion by 2026. Blockchain technology has the potential to solve the pain points of the current banking systems and operations including security, transparency, trust, privacy, programmability, and performance.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is the technology behind the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, that was proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, as a response to the failing financial system during the crisis. It is often associated and confused with Bitcoin, but the scope of the technology is much wider. It is also important to differentiate between the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and blockchain, as the terms often used interchangeably. All blockchains are DLT, but not all DLTs are blockchains. DLT is simply a decentralized database managed on a peer-to-peer basis.
“Blockchain is a type of DLT, a subcategory of a more broad definition, much like how the word ‘car’ falls under the umbrella term ‘vehicles’ and ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ falls under ‘geniuses’.”
In essence, blockchain is a continuous sequential chain of records (‘blocks’) that are chronologically linked together with the aid of cryptography, to ensure immutability. These records are immutable, as any change to the information recorded in a particular block is stored in a new block. Moreover, the use of modern encryption algorithms enables the security of all the records from copying or editing by other users of the system. Blockchain can be programmed to record not only financial transactions as cryptocurrency but almost anything of value (Deloitte Insights, 2019).

https://preview.redd.it/k76j8u5401751.png?width=940&format=png&auto=webp&s=e7f6573a230c816a112ae4bf561f3501c353ad32
How Blockchain Can Improve Banking Industry?
The modern banking system is not perfect and commercial banks have not changed a lot to their servicing structure since the 1970s (Haycock & Richmond, 2015). Running a bank still requires large numbers of the workforce, reliance on quite outdated systems, bloated structures with high probabilities of human error, and manual work. There are several aspects, which could be improved by the application of blockchain technology in banking operations:
1) Security Enhancement
In the UK the overall value of the financial fraud losses (e.g. payment cards, remote banking, cheques) equaled £844.8 million in 2018. The situation is even worse in the US — $170 billion average yearly losses in the financial sector. According to KPMG’s Global Banking Fraud Survey 2019 the total volume, number, and value of the fraudulent activities are drastically increasing every year.
The nature of banking operations dictates the need for centralized systems, which proved to be vulnerable and subject to cyber and hack attacks. Now, the blockchain is immutable as it operates on the principles of decentralization and transparency, and all the network participants get an identical copy of the distributed ledger of transactions. Thus, if applied in banking, blockchain can increase the validity and security of the financial transactions, eliminate the need for third-party authentication, and solve the issue of a single point of failure and hacks.
Moreover, since each transaction on the blockchain has its unique fingerprint (hash) it can be easily traced and verified. Such functionality makes blockchain a great tool to combat money laundering and reduce fraudulent or illegal transactions (Guo & Liang, 2016).
2) Improving Financial Transactions Efficiency
As we mentioned previously, the utilization of obsolete mechanisms and operational systems slows down the performance of banking institutions and provides ground for human error, delays, and system failures. All these inefficiencies could be solved by applying blockchain technology. Take for example the time-consuming bilateral exchange. The process of data reconciliation needed for it could be simplified, as on the blockchain, it is inherently part of a transaction (IBM, 2016).
Blockchain and its decentralized nature eliminate intermediaries in banking operations, which significantly cuts transaction costs and boosts efficiency (Cocco et al., 2017). Blockchain does not require intermediaries, enables cross-border transfers and micro-payments, while drastically decreasing operational costs. Such transactions in the traditional banking environment are expensive (from 1% of the amount), and constitute a huge expense on a global scale. In cryptocurrency networks, transfers may range from a few minutes down to milliseconds, and the transaction fees are decided by the market forces, meaning users have the option to set their transaction fees (Deloitte, 2017).
3) Workflow Simplification
Blockchain can simplify the current complex workflow in banking institutions. As any operation can be traced, the ability to automate processes significantly reduces costs and the need for manual work. Moreover, it is impossible to make retroactive changes on the blockchain. This guarantees data immutability and excludes the human factor, thus the probability of error, data tampering, or even leakage. Using blockchain in banking operations will digitize and automate tons of manual work, greatly boost the productivity of the financial institutions and eliminate the probability of mistakes, delays, and errors.
4) Enhanced KYC & AML
Some financial institutions find it difficult to deal with problems related to policies such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC). Numerous organizations are not able to solve these problems, due to the rapidly escalating costs. The adoption of the blockchain technology will enable the creation of a system where all clients’ information may be stored safely, making the independent verification an easy process or even automated securely. In this way, both AML and KYC processes will become simpler and easier, as all involved organizations will share the same system and the information will be updated in real-time, perhaps through the use of Digital Identities. In addition to this, blockchain technology will assist the organizations to minimize their administrative costs and reduce the workload.

https://preview.redd.it/200e0ap701751.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=6caaf26c53786c1341b7905ca33dd340f8929059
5) Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are an innovative development of blockchain technology which enables for time and resources saving, as they do not require a third-party interaction. Traditional contracts do not differ a lot from smart contracts, however, their key benefit is that obligations are automatically enforced and cannot be avoided by anyone.
When smart contracts are integrated with blockchain technology, we enjoy benefits such as security, automation, immutability, and transparency. The integration of smart contracts in the financial sector will provide opportunities for transparent auditing and real-time remittances. Traditional contracts are paper-based and require financial institutions to invest money in paperwork and maintain records. These records can be easily manipulated as they are on paper. Smart contracts offer bank tools for bookkeeping based on blockchain. Smart contracts have already been applied to the financial industry to gain greater automation.
6) Decentralized Finance
Another application of blockchain is Decentralized Finance, also known as DeFi. This application is at an early stage but its disruptiveness enables millions of people across the world to have access to financial services. DeFi refers to decentralized applications, financial smart contracts, digital assets as well as protocols popular as DApps, which are built on public blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. The aim of DeFi is the creation of a decentralized financial system that will not depend on the traditional banking system.
Decentralized Finance offers numerous benefits to the users as it eliminates middlemen, enables everyone who does not has access to financial services to enter the global economy as it is a permission-less technology, and enables innovation with the combination of DeFi products. Besides, the use of decentralized finance increases the symmetry of information and democratizes financial services in this sense. The evolution of DeFi over the years means that most people around the world are only limited by their imagination when considering how to gain benefits from the financial ecosystem. However, there are still many complexities that need addressing to further expand the full extent of the possibilities of DeFi.
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submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

Announcing /r/finansial - the personal finance subreddit for the Indonesian market

Welcome to /finansial, a subreddit for news/discussions/questions about finance relevant to Indonesia. Content can be in English or Bahasa Indonesia, or gado-gado is a-OK as well.
I decided to start this up because of the recent discussions on the topics of personal finance in the past few weels. Basically sama dengan /IndoFinance yg udah deserted, but with more robust moderation, and hopefully keep it alive and thriving. Like /IndoFinance, this subreddit was created in the spirit of /personalfinance, but with content applicable to Indonesian finance.
As far as content policy is concerned, I'll be mostly leaving it to the community and the moderators to decide, tapi personally, gw prefer to keep the topics seluas mungking, asalkan bisa relevan to someone's financial situation.

Base Rule

Usual rules applies. Rule of thumb:

Topics

As mentioned before, gw prefer keep topic luas, asalkan relevan dgn finance, its OK. For example, these topics, be it discussion, news, questions are OK, and encouraged:
The following topics are not outright banned, but will be put under extra scrutiny, so make sure to tread carefully. Mods will be locking/removing the thread if it goes out of line.
These topics are no-no.
The rules aren't set in stone, and will definitely evolve as the community grows. Enforcement will also be a matter of the mods' guts feeling and human judgement. Deal with it.
So thats pretty much the idea of a subreddit I have in mind. Let me know what you think.
This is my first subreddit, still figuring things out. How to style the subreddits, setting up flairs, etc. Any help/suggestion is welcomed.
This being a new subreddit, bakalan perlu bantuan kalian semua to keep this alive. Gw start subreddit ini jg mostly karna selfish reason gw mau pny resources2 personal finance yang berkualitas & applicable to myself. If the above description of a subredit sounds interesting to you, please, post a question, share your knowledge, share a news. Mari ramaikan subreddit ini.
To get the ball rolling, berhubung gw sendiri belum lama ini ada buka rekening, I'll start with the low-hanging fruit of covering /indonesia's precious banking product, Jenius.
Also, mod recruitment is on as well. Please apply.
submitted by bytezilla to finansial [link] [comments]

How high chance that Tether will get shut down?

There are a lot of evidence that Tether is doing something fishy, I think we all know that. Here's a list of the reasons I could come up with on the top of my head:
- They never finished their promised audit.
- They lied about not being affected by crypto capital when they lost $850M.
- They moved $850M of their assets without letting the holders of Tether know.
- They CHANGED what their reserves were supposed to hold, from 1 - 1 USD backing to "Tether's" reserves.
- They resist every possibility of not handing over documents regarding how Tether is minted and it's related transactions.
- Tether in circulation and Bitcoin price seems to correlate.
- Lawyer did say they've held crypto currency as reserve.

Let's say the whole thing is legit and Tether hasn't been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, printing Tether without any backing or chasing liquidations on leverage platform with the help of Tether. Even if all of those things were true it does seem as if Tether could function as a very good way for money laundering, wouldn't this be enough to shut it down, just like they did with Liberty Reserve?
How high chance do you think it is that Tether will get shutdown within the next 2 years? I personally think it is somewhere around 50 - 60 % and essentially 100 % within the next 5 - 7 years. What type of potential downside do you think the crypto market could take from that hit? I see a 75 % downside in the whole crypto market cap if Tether gets shut down since it will instill a lot of distrust in the market as a whole and due to the 4 Billion USDT pushing the price up with a multiplier effect.
I currently have 35 % of my portfolio in fiat due to the uncertainty around Tether, I could be mistaken in my analysis and would like to hear some other guys opinion. Sometimes I've heard the argument that the price of BTC would rise if Tether collapse, that may be true in the short term but probably not in the long run. Another aspect which I have thought about is that the market already have priced in the Tether uncertainty, which I doubt since this market is mainly fueled by greed and risk-taking.
submitted by Malouw to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Newdex's USDT Cross-Chain Conversion Gateway

Newdex's USDT Cross-Chain Conversion Gateway
Image Source
Unbeknown to most cryptocurrency community members, bitcoin is not the most widely traded cryptocurrency in the world. That honor goes to Tether (USDT) which continues to dominate the stablecoin market. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose value is pegged to an asset that has a relatively more stable price. To keep USDT’s price pegged to the USD each USDT issued is backed with real US dollars. The popularity of USDT exploded since its initial release and has been attributed as one of the primary catalysts that have propelled bitcoin (BTC) to new all-time-highs.

Compliance

As an effort to maintain its leadership position in the industry Tether inc., the company behind USDT has recently tapped the services of Chainalysis, a blockchain forensics company to augment its anti-money laundering capabilities. This is a timely decision for the company as it has become the top cryptocurrency in terms of the trading volume. Moreover, it has been expanding the number of supported blockchains which include Omni, ethereum, EOS, liquid, tron, and algorand. According to Tether Chief Technology officer Paolo Ardoino, this will ensure a secure compliance program to regulators, law enforcers, and users.

Cross-chain Challenges

While supporting multiple chains is a great initiative from the leading stablecoin, it presents some challenges to users especially to those who are new to blockhain technology and do not understand the differences or incompatibilities of these different types of Tether. This adds another layer of complexity in using the said digital asset. More importantly, it puts new Tether users the risk as they might send Tether to incompatible blockchain types. Fortunately, some of the leading crypto exchanges in the industry have taken the steps to enable its users to convert their Tether to a blockchain that they prefer.
https://preview.redd.it/acbe8mm7fnh41.png?width=638&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f7f121b1671155f1be5af3e892657ed52ee1f15

Newdex USDT Cross Chain Conversion Function

To mitigate this risk and to add more value to its platform, leading decentralized exchange, Newdex has launched the USDT cross-chain gateway. With this new initiative, it effectively addresses the heart of the problem and has given unprecedented flexibility to its users. This feature was launched on December 25, 2019, and is available on the desktop through the webs portal or Dapp embedded in Wallet. For easier access to this feature, they have meticulously positioned its links on both PC and mobile. This gives users the convenience of conversion without having to leave the window or page they are working at.
The only requirement to be able to use this feature is that you have your own noncustodial wallet or personal account in EOS, TRON, and Ethereum. Most of Newdex's partner crypto wallets allow the creation of these accounts easily and free for TRON and Ethereum. EOS, on the other hand, needs initial EOS staked for resource allocation to enable feeless transactions. There are however ways how to get them for free as many of its partner dapps offer free EOS accounts creation, a quick google search will point you where to find them.
The USDT Cross-chain Conversion function currently supports four types of conversion. The first one is USDT EOS to USDT TRON. This type of conversion does not require any type of conversion or processing fee. This is also the same when doing the second type which going in the opposite direction. No fees are required when converting USDT TRON to USDT EOS. The third type of conversion of USDT EOS to USDT ETH. This requires a miner fee and a minimal conversion fee of 0.5 USDT. This is the same as the fourth type which is USDT ETH to USDT EOS.
Transaction Fees

This new feature is a nice compliment to the services of Newdex which has positioned itself as a one-stop-shop for cryptocurrency-related services having a multi-chain decentralized exchange, Over-the-counter OTC services and a partnership with third party next-generation staking pool Newpool. Only time will tell if the Newdex will support the other types of USDT, but, for the time being it supports the most relevant and active USDT versions — EOS, ETH and TRON USDTs. Now users of Newdex can seamlessly transfer their USDT to the different supported blockchains.

How to access the USDT Cross-chain Conversion Functionality

Accessing via PC

Accessing this feature is quite straight forward. For PC, all you have to do is go to the USDT market of the DEX. Once you are there you can see the “Convert USDT” link just below the right corner bottom of the graph or just above the sell order box as shown on the screenshot shown below.

![img](lwasplrcfnh41 " Image Source ")
It can also be accessed by clicking on your account name (Located on the upper hand right corner of the screen) to bring you to the personal asset center page as shown below. The “Convert USDT” link should be located just beside the search field.

![img](q197fm8kfnh41 " Image Source ")
The “Convert USDT” link in the USDT market and in the personal asset center page brings us to the same pop-out window where we are given the options to choose which blockchains we want to use and to what blockchain we want to convert the USDT into.

![img](9w7lu1emfnh41 "Image Source ")
As you can see we have four types of USDT conversion. USDT EOS to USDT TRON, USDT TRON to EOS, USDT EOS to USDT ETH, and USDT ETH to USDT EOS.

Accessing Via Mobile DApp

This feature can also be accessed via the DApp explorer of the various supported cryptocurrency wallets in both EOS and TRON. The location of the “Convert USDT” link is a little different from the PC version due to the size constraints of mobile devices. To access this you will have to access Newdex using the DApp explorer function of a supported wallet. Once you are in Newdex find the USDT market trading page and click on any of the trading pairs on that market. In our case we chose EOS/USDT, however, this can be any pair. Once clicked you will be able to find the “Convert USDT” beside the “Sell” red button as shown below.

![img](7fuistqofnh41 " Image Source ")
Like in the PC version the “Convert USDT” link can also be accessed via the personal asset center, as shown in the screenshot below.

![img](798kp24qfnh41 " Image Source ")
Both of these links go to the same pop-out window where users will be able to choose which USDT type to change and to what blockchain they want to change it to. A sample of the pop-out window screenshot is shown below.

![img](72ta06yrfnh41 " Image Source ")
As you can see from our screenshots operating the new feature is quite simple and best of all, there is no need to deposit or withdraw your tokens. Your USDTs are deposited and withdrawn directly to the user’s specified wallet. This is another awesome feature of Newdex as they continue to innovate and create value-adding features into their platform to benefit their users. No wonder Newdex has become the leading decentralized exchange worldwide, but don’t take our word for it check it out yourself.

You can know more about Newdex’s USDT cross-chain conversion feature in the following links below:

Website: https://newdex.io/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/NewdexOfficial Medium: https://medium.com/@marketing_27690
submitted by ankarlie to Tether [link] [comments]

Evidence Points to Bitcoin being an NSA-engineered Psyop to roll out One-World Digital Currency

Eye
I'm going to assume the readers who make it to this article are well informed enough that I don't have to go into the history of the global money changers and their desire for a one world currency.
(If you don't yet understand the goal of the globalist banking empire and the coming engineered collapse of the fiat currency system, you're already about 5,000 posts behind the curve.)
With that as a starting point, it's now becoming increasingly evident that Bitcoin may be a creation of the NSA and was rolled out as a "normalization" experiment to get the public familiar with digital currency.
Once this is established, the world's fiat currencies will be obliterated in an engineered debt collapse (see below for the sequence of events), then replaced with a government approved cryptocurrency with tracking of all transactions and digital wallets by the world's western governments.
NSA mathematicians detailed "digital cash" two decades ago
What evidence supports this notion?
First, take a look at this document entitled, "How to Make a Mint - The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash." This document, released in 1997 - yes, twenty years ago - detailed the overall structure and function of Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Who authored the document?
Try not to be shocked when you learn it was authored by,
"mathematical cryptographers at the National Security Agency's Office of Information Security Research and Technology." 
The NSA, in other words, detailed key elements of Bitcoin long before Bitcoin ever came into existence.
Much of the Bitcoin protocol is detailed in this document, including signature authentication techniques, eliminating cryptocoin counterfeits through transaction authentication and several features that support anonymity and untraceability of transactions.
The document even outlines the heightened risk of money laundering that's easily accomplished with cryptocurrencies. It also describes "secure hashing" to be "both one-way and collision-free."
Although Bitcoin adds mining and a shared, peer-to-peer blockchain transaction authentication system to this structure, it's clear that the NSA was researching cryptocurrencies long before everyday users had ever heard of the term.
Note, too, that the name of the person credited with founding Bitcoin is Satoshi Nakamoto, who is reputed to have reserved one million Bitcoins for himself.
Millions of posts and online threads discuss the possible identity of Satishi Nakamoto, and some posts even claim the NSA has identified Satoshi.
However, another likely explanation is that Satoshi Nakamoto is the NSA, which means he is either working for the NSA or is a sock puppet character created by the NSA for the purpose of this whole grand experiment.
The NSA also wrote the crypto hash used by Bitcoin to secure all transactions
On top of the fact that the NSA authored a technical paper on cryptocurrency long before the arrival of Bitcoin, the agency is also the creator of the SHA-256 hash upon which every Bitcoin transaction in the world depends.
As The Hacker News (THN) explains.
"The integrity of Bitcoin depends on a hash function called **SHA-256**, which was designed by the NSA and published by the *National Institute for Standards and Technology* ([NIST](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institute_of_Standards_and_Technology))." 
THN also adds:
"If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network." 
Cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said.
In other words, if the SHA-256 hash, which was created by the NSA, actually has a backdoor method for cracking the encryption, it would mean the NSA could steal everybody's Bitcoins whenever it wants (call it "Zero Day.")
That same article, written by Mohit Kumar, mysteriously concludes,
"Even today it's too early to come to conclusions about Bitcoin. Possibly it was designed from day one as a tool to help maintain control of the money supplies of the world." 
And with that statement, Kumar has indeed stumbled upon the bigger goal in all this:
To seize control over the world money supply as the fiat currency system crumbles and is replaced with a one-world *digital currency controlled by globalists*. 
Think cryptography is bulletproof? Think again…
Lest you think that the cryptography of cryptocurrency is secure and bulletproof, consider this article from The Hacker News, 'Researchers Crack 1024-bit RSA Encryption in GnuPG Crypto Library,' which states,
"The attack allows an attacker to extract the secret crypto key from a system by analyzing the pattern of memory utilization or the electromagnetic outputs of the device that are emitted during the decryption process." 
Note, importantly, that this is a 1024-bit encryption system.
The same technique is also said to be able to crack 2048-bit encryption. In fact, encryption layers are cracked on a daily basis by clever hackers.
Some of those encryption layers are powering various cryptocurrencies right now. Unless you are an extremely high-level mathematician, there's no way you can know for sure whether any crypto currency is truly non-hackable.
In fact, every cryptocurrency becomes obsolete with the invention of large-scale quantum computing.
Once China manages to build a working 256-bit quantum computer, it can effectively steal all the Bitcoins in the world (plus steal most national secrets and commit other global mayhem at will).
(Video)
Ten steps to crypto-tyranny - The "big plan" by the globalists (and how it involves Bitcoin)
In summary, here's one possible plan by the globalists to seize total control over the world's money supply, savings, taxation and financial transactions while enslaving humanity.
And it all starts with Bitcoin...
  1.  Roll out the NSA-created Bitcoin to get the public excited about a digital currency. 
  2.  Quietly prepare a globalist-controlled cryptocurrency to take its place. (JP Morgan, anyone...?) 
  3.  Initiate a massive, global-scale [false flag operation](http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_falseflag.htm) that crashes the global debt markets and sends fiat currencies down in flames (hoax alien invasion, hoax North Korean EMP attack, mass distributed power grid terrorism network, etc.) 
  4.  Blame whatever convenient enemy is politically acceptable (North Korea, "the Russians," Little Green Men or whatever it takes…) 
  5.  Allow the fiat currency debt pyramid to collapse and smolder until the sheeple get desperate. 
  6.  With great fanfare, announce a government-backed cryptocurrency replacement for all fiat currencies, and position world governments as the SAVIOR of humanity. Allow the desperate public to trade in their fiat currencies for official crypto currencies. 
  7.  [Outlaw cash](http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_globalbanking.htm#Cashless_Society) and *criminalize gold and silver ownership by private citizens*. All in the name of "security," of course. 
  8.  Criminalize all non-official cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, crashing their value virtually overnight and funneling everyone into the one world government crypto, where the NSA controls the blockchain. This can easily be achieved by blaming the false flag event (see above) on some nation or group that is said to have been "funded by Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency used by terrorists." 
  9.  Require [embedded RFID](http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/secret_projects/implants.htm#RFID) or biometric identifiers for all transactions in order to "authenticate" the one-world digital crypto currency activities. *Mark of the Beast* becomes reality. No one is allowed to eat, travel or earn a wage without being marked. 
  10.  Once absolute control over the new one-world digital currency is achieved, weaponize the government-tracked blockchain to track all transactions, investments and commercial activities. Confiscate a portion of all crypto under the guise of "automated taxation." In an emergency, the government can even announce *negative interest rates* where your holdings automatically decrease each day. 
With all this accomplished, globalists can now roll out absolute totalitarian control over every aspect of private lives by enforcing financial "blackouts" for those individuals who criticize the government.
They can put in place automatic deductions for traffic violations, vehicle license plate taxes, internet taxes and a thousand other oppressive taxes invented by the bureaucracy.
With automatic deductions run by the government, citizens have no means to halt the endless confiscation of their "money" by totalitarian bureaucrats and their deep state lackeys.
How do you feel about your Bitcoin now...?
Video
by Mike Adams December 10, 2017 from NaturalNews Website
Source
submitted by Metaliano to conspiracy [link] [comments]

My growing collection of info about NEO

It can be very time consuming to keep up to date on a single blockchain project let alone multiple ones. If you just heard about NEO a few weeks ago it would be impossible catch up on past occurrences due to high volume of Reddit posts and articles made on the project. I’m going to try and simplify the past, present and future as much as I can into one well thought-out post. I hope I can be helpful to anyone who has been investigating like myself. I will include sources with all of my research.
https://imgur.com/a/NBI7S (img for mobile backround)
Key notes from the White Paper http://docs.neo.org/en-us/
Digital Assets
Digital assets are programmable assets that exist in the form of electronic data. With blockchain technology, the digitization of assets can be decentralized, trustful, traceable, highly transparent, and free of intermediaries. On the NEO blockchain, users are able to register, trade, and circulate multiple types of assets. Proving the connection between digital and physical assets is possible through digital identity. Assets registered through a validated digital identity are protected by law.
Digital Identity
Digital identity refers to the identity information of individuals, organizations, and other entities that exist in electronic form. The more mature digital identity system is based on the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) X.509 standard. In NEO, we will implement a set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards. This set of digital identity standards, in addition to compatible X.509 level certificate issuance model, will also support Web Of Trust point-to-point certificate issuance model. Our verification of identity when issuing or using digital identities includes the use of facial features, fingerprint, voice, SMS and other multi-factor authentication methods.
Smart Contracts
The NeoContract smart contract system is the biggest feature of the seamless integration of the existing developer ecosystem. Developers do not need to learn a new programming language but use C#, Java and other mainstream programming languages in their familiar IDE environments (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.) for smart contract development, debugging and compilation. NEO's Universal Lightweight Virtual Machine, NeoVM, has the advantages of high certainty, high concurrency, and high scalability. The NeoContract smart contract system will allow millions of developers around the world to quickly carry out the development of smart contracts.
Economic Model
NEO has two native tokens, NEOand NeoGas NEO represents the right to manage the network. Management rights include voting for bookkeeping, NEO network parameter changes, and so on. The minimum unit of NEO is 1 and tokens cannot be subdivided. GAS is the fuel token for the realization of NEO network resource control. The NEO network charges for the operation and storage of tokens and smart contracts, thereby creating economic incentives for bookkeepers and preventing the abuse of resources. The minimum unit of GAS is 0.00000001.
Distribution Mechanism
NEO's 100 million tokens are divided into two portions. The first portion is 50 million tokens distributed proportionally to supporters of NEO during the crowdfunding. This portion has been distributed.
The second portion is 50 million NEO managed by the NEO Council to support NEO's long-term development, operation and maintenance and ecosystem. The NEO in this portion has a lockout period of 1 year and is unlocked only after October 16, 2017. This portion WILL NOT enter the exchanges and is only for long-term support of NEO projects. The plans for it are as below:
▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate NEO developers and members of the NEO Council
▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate developers in the NEO ecosystem
▪ 15 million tokens (15% total) will be used to cross-invest in other block-chain projects, which are owned by the NEO Council and are used only for NEO projects
▪ 15 million (15% total) will be retained as contingency
▪ The annual use of NEO in principle shall NOT exceed 15 million tokens
GAS distribution
GAS is generated with each new block. The initial total amount of GAS is zero. With the increasing rate of new block generation, the total limit of 100 million GAS will be achieved in about 22 years. The interval between each block is about 15-20 seconds, and 2 million blocks are generated in about one year. According to this release curve, 16% of the GAS will be created in the first year, 52% of the GAS will be created in the first four years, and 80% of the GAS will be created in the first 12 years. GAS will be distributed proportionally in accordance with the NEO holding ratio, recorded in the corresponding addresses. NEO holders can initiate a claim transaction at any time and claim these GAS tokens at their holding addresses.
Consensus mechanism: dBFT
The dBFT is called the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerant, a Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus mechanism that enables large-scale participation in consensus through proxy voting. The holder of the NEO token can, by voting, pick the bookkeeper it supports. The selected group of bookkeepers, through BFT algorithm, reach a consensus and generate new blocks. Voting in the NEO network continues in real time, rather than in accordance with a fixed term.
Cross-chain assets exchange agreement
NeoX has been extended on existing double-stranded atomic assets exchange protocols to allow multiple participants to exchange assets across different chains and to ensure that all steps in the entire transaction process succeed or fail together. In order to achieve this function, we need to use NeoContract function to create a contract account for each participant. If other blockchains are not compatible with NeoContract, they can be compatible with NeoX as long as they can provide simple smart contract functionality.
Cross-chain distributed transaction protocol
Cross-chain distributed transactions mean that multiple steps of a transaction are scattered across different blockchains and that the consistency of the entire transaction is ensured. This is an extension of cross-chain assets exchange, extending the behavior of assets exchange into arbitrary behavior. In layman's terms, NeoX makes it possible for cross-chain smart contracts where a smart contract can perform different parts on multiple chains, either succeeding or reverting as a whole. This gives excellent possibilities for cross-chain collaborations and we are exploring cross-chain smart contract application scenarios.
Distributed Storage Protocol: NeoFS
NeoFS is a distributed storage protocol that utilizes Distributed Hash Table technology. NeoFS indexes the data through file content (Hash) rather than file path (URI). Large files will be divided into fixed-size data blocks that are distributed and stored in many different nodes
Anti-quantum cryptography mechanism: NeoQS
The emergence of quantum computers poses a major challenge to RSA and ECC-based cryptographic mechanisms. Quantum computers can solve the large number of decomposition problems (which RSA relies on) and the elliptic curve discrete logarithm (which ECC relies on) in a very short time. NeoQS (Quantum Safe) is a lattice-based cryptographic mechanism. At present, quantum computers do not have the ability to quickly solve the Shortest Vector Problem (SVP) and the Closest Vector Problem (CVP), which is considered to be the most reliable algorithm for resisting quantum computers.
Reasons for choosing dBFT over PoW and PoS:
With the phenomenal success of Bitcoin and its increasing mainstream adoption, the project’s unbounded appetite for energy grew accordingly. Today, the average Bitcoin transaction costs as much energy as powering 3.67 average American homes, which amounts to about 3000 times more than a comparable Credit Card settlement.
This mind boggling amount of energy is not, as it is commonly believed, being wasted. It is put to good use: securing the Bitcoin network and rendering attacks on it infeasible. However, the cost of this security mechanism and its implications for an increasingly warming and resource hungry planet led almost the entire crypto industry to the understanding that an alternative has to be found, at least if we’re interested in seeing blockchain technology gaining overwhelming mainstream adoption.
The most popular alternative to PoW, used by most alternative cryptocurrency systems, is called Proof-of-Stake, or PoS. PoS is highly promising in the sense that it doesn’t require blockchain nodes to perform arduous, and otherwise useless, cryptographic tasks in order to render potential attacks costly and infeasible. Hence, this algorithm cuts the power requirements of PoS blockchains down to sane and manageable amounts, allowing them to be more scalable without guzzling up the planet's energy reserves.
As the name suggests, instead of requiring proof of cryptographic work, PoS requires blockchain nodes to proof stake in the currency itself. This means that in order for a blockchain node to be eligible for a verification reward, the node has to hold a certain amount of currency in the wallet associated with it. This way, in order to execute an attack, a malevolent node would have to acquire the majority of the existing coin supply, rendering attacks not only costly but also meaningless, since the attackers would primarily harm themselves.
PoS, as well as PoW, simply cause the blockchain to fork into two alternative versions if for some reason consensus breaks. In fact, most blockchains fork most of the time, only to converge back to a single source of truth a short while afterwards.
By many crypto enthusiasts, this obvious bug is very often regarded as a feature, allowing several versions of the truth to survive and compete for public adoption until a resolution is generated. This sounds nice in theory, but if we want to see blockchain technology seriously disrupt and/or augment the financial sector, this ever lurking possibility of the blockchain splitting into two alternative versions cannot be tolerated.
Furthermore, even the fastest PoS blockchains out there can accomodate a few hundred transactions per second, compare that to Visa’s 56,000 tx/s and the need for an alternative becomes clear as day.
A blockchain securing global stock markets does not have the privilege to fork into two alternative versions and just sit and wait it out until the market (or what’s left of it) declares a winner. What belongs to whom should be engraved in an immutable record, functioning as a single source of truth with no glitches permitted.
After investigating and studying the crypto industry and blockchain technologies for several years, we came to the conclusion that the delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance alternative (or dBFT) is best suited for such a system. It provides swift transaction verification times, de-incentivises most attack vectors and upholds a single blockchain version with no risk of forks or alternative blockchain records emerging - regardless of how much computing power, or coins an attacker possesses.
The term Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) derives its name from the Byzantine Generals problem in Game Theory and Computer Science, describing the problematic nature of achieving consensus in a distributed system with suboptimal communication between agents which do not necessarily trust each other.
The BFT algorithm arranges the relationship between blockchain nodes in such a way that the network becomes as good as resilient to the Byzantine Generals problem, and allows the system to remain consensus even if some nodes bare malicious intentions or simply malfunction.
To achieve this, Antshare’s version of the delegated BFT (or dBFT) algorithm acknowledges two kinds of players in the blockchain space: professional node operators, called bookkeeping nodes, who run nodes as a source of income, and users who are interested in accessing blockchain advantages. Theoretically, this differentiation does not exist in PoW and most PoS environments, practically, however, most Bitcoin users do not operate miners, which are mostly located in specialized venues run by professionals. At Antshares we understand the importance of this naturally occurring division of labor and use it to provide better security for our blockchain platform.
Accordingly, block verification is achieved through a consensus game held between specialized bookkeeping nodes, which are appointed by ordinary nodes through a form of delegated voting process. In every verification round one of the bookkeeping nodes is pseudo-randomly appointed to broadcast its version of the blockchain to the rest of the network. If ⅔ of the remaining nodes agree with this version, consensus is secured and the blockchain marches on. If less than ⅔ of the network agrees, a different node is appointed to broadcast its version of the truth to the rest of the system, and so forth until consensus is established.
In this way, successful system attacks are almost impossible to execute unless the overwhelming majority of the network is interested in committing financial suicide. Additionally, the system is fork proof, and at every given moment only one version of the truth exists. Without complicated cryptographic puzzles to solve, nodes operate much faster and are able to compete with centralized transaction methods.
https://www.econotimes.com/Blockchain-project-Antshares-explains-reasons-for-choosing-dBFT-over-PoW-and-PoS-659275
OnChain
It is important to note the technical difference between Onchain and NEO. Onchain is a private VC-backed company with over 40 employees. NEO is a public platform with different community-led groups contributing to this public project. There exists NEO council comprised of the original NEO creators, employees from Onchain, full time NEO council members and there is also the first Western based group called City of Zion. This confusion is likely the source of the rumour about Antshares and Alibaba having a connection. Onchain and NEO are separate entities who are intimately related via cross-chain communications and similar designs.
Onchain, a Shanghai-based blockchain R&D company, first started developing Antshares in February of 2014 which will eventually become the foundation of DNA. Onchain was founded by CEO Da HongFei and CTO Erik Zhang in response to the attention from private companies garnered by the development of Antshares, China’s first public blockchain. In contrast to the weeks-old start-ups launching ICOs that is happening currently in the blockchain world, it took them 22 long months of R&D to even begin providing services to their first customers. Finally, in April 2016, the first whitepaper on consensus protocol from China was born — the dBFT (delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) protocol.
2016 was a busy year for Onchain and they really picked up the pace that year. Other than continuing the development of Antshares, brushing shoulders with Fortune 500 companies, Onchain became the first Chinese blockchain company to join Hyperledger — an open source blockchain project started by the Linux Foundation specifically focusing on the development of private and consortium chains for businesses. It is here where the Da HongFei and Erik Zhang, entered the hyperbolic time chamber that is now known as Fabric, a platform by Hyperledger for distributed ledger solutions, and has consequently helped them to develop many aspects underpinning the design of DNA.
In June of 2016, during the first of many future partnerships with Microsoft China, Onchain founded Legal Chain specifically targeting the inadequacies of the digital applications within the legal system. In 2005, (Digital Signature Act) was passed into national law which permitted an effective digital signatures to gain the same legal rights as a real signature.
In company with Microsoft China, they are also aiming to integrate the technology with Microsoft’s face and voice recognition API function to kick start this digital revolution within the legal system. At the same time, a partnership was formed with FaDaDa, a third-party platform for electronic contracts that has processed over 27 million contracts to date, to provide secure evidence storage with DNA. If that’s not enough, they were also voted as KPMG’s top 50 Fintech Company in China and established a relationship with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry which led to the recent tour to Japan. Finally, at the end of 2016 they announced a partnership with Alibaba to provide attested email service for Ali Cloud with Legal Chain where it provides a proof-of-existence for a blockchain-powered email evidence repository for enterprise-level use.
Fosun Group, China’s largest private conglomerate, have recently invested into Onchain in order to apply DNA across all of its businesses. Currently, Fosun International has a market cap of 102.98 billion dollars on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and that is only its international branch.
The role of Onchain so far is reminiscent of Ethereum’s EEA in addition to a stronger emphasis of governmental cooperation. Onchain has identified the shortcomings of present laser focus of hype on public platforms such as NEO and Ethereum and addressing that with DNA. DNA envisions a future where a network of assorted, specifically designed blockchains serving private enterprises, consortiums, government and the public communicating with each other forming an interconnected blockchain network.
This is the goal of DNA — infiltrating every little inefficient niche that had no better alternatives before the invention of blockchain. What is especially critical to remember during this explosive time of hype driven partly by the obscene degree of greed is that not every little niche that blockchain can fill will be holding its own little ICO for you to “go to the moon on your rocket powered lambos”. Some of those efficiencies gained will simply be consumed by companies privately or by public systems such as the legal system.
https://hackernoon.com/neo-onchain-and-its-ultimate-plan-dna-4c33e9b6bfaa
http://www.onchain.com/
https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA
https://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/10/20/onchain-partners-with-alibaba-for-blockchain-powered-email-evidence-repository/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fosun-blockchain/chinas-fosun-invests-in-local-version-of-bitcoin-tech-blockchain-idUSKCN1B30KM
City of Zion (CoZ)
City of Zion (CoZ) is a global community of open source enthusiasts, with the shared goal of helping NEO achieve its full potential. CoZ primarily operates through the community Slack and CoZ Github, central places where the community shares knowledge and contributes to projects.
CoZ is neither a corporation, nor a consulting firm or a devshop / for-hire group.
Members
https://imgur.com/a/Gc9jT
CoZ aims to be low barrier of entry, the process is straightforward:
  1. Join the channel #develop.
  2. Fork or create a project.
  3. Publish as open source.
  4. After a couple of contributions a CoZ council member will invite you to the proper channel for your contributions.
  5. Receive rewards and back to 3.
Unit testing - Ongoing effort to implement code coverage for the core
Integration testing - Tools for automated testing, performance metrics and functionality validation on private test nets
Continuous integration - Automated multi-platform testing of all pull requests at GitHub.
Deployment pipeline - Automated tools and processes to ensure fast and reliable updates upon code changes
New C# implementation (NEO2) - Improve code quality, speed & testability
Roadmap
https://imgur.com/a/4CDhw
dApps competition
https://cityofzion.io/dapps/1
10 prizes of 1350 GAS, with 500 GAS to be used for smart contract deployment. Currently 19 dApps registered. Deadline is 16 of November 11:59 EST.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4wu5lNlukwybEstaEJMZ19kbjQ
Traveling
August 8th to August 12th:
From August 8th to August 12th, 2017, the NEO core team, led by founder & CEO Da Hongfei will travel to Japan to explore the forefront of Japan's Blockchain innovation. This trip represents the first in a series of trips around the world with the goal to foster international cooperation's and to keep up with the fast pace in Blockchain innovation. Starting in Japan, the NEO core team will visit famous local Blockchain research institutions and active communities to engage in bilateral communication. NEO will meet with Japanese tech-celebrities to gain insights about the latest developments in the Japanese Blockchain and digital currency community. Additionally, Japanese local tech media will conduct an interview allowing NEO to present its development status and its latest technological innovations.
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ry4s9/japan_the_neo_core_team_starts_out_on_an/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgTQ32CkxlU
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ssfx1/neo_meetup_in_tokyo_august_10th_2017_2100h/
19th August, 2017
Blockchain X Series - NEO example applications
20th August, 2017
NEO and Microsoft Azure host a blockchain programming training in Shanghai
23rd August, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 2nd Meeting
24th August, 2017
NEO Meetup in Taipei
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6wbebneo_taipei_meetup_long_post/
13th September, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 3rd Meeting
14th September, 2017
NEO Shanghai Meetup with NEO team
24th September, 2017
NEO Blockchain Programming Day - Hangzhou Station
27th September, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 4th Meeting
27th September, 2017
First London NEO Developer Meetup!
4th October, 2017
First San Francisco NEO Developer Social!
14th-16th October, 2017
GNOME.Asia Summit 2017, Chongqing, China
21st October, 2017
NEO JOY, Exploring Blockchain application, Nanjing, China
26th October, 2017
Inaugural Global Fintech & Blockchain China Summit 2017
Networks proves itself with the first ICO
ICOs, on other platforms such as Ethereum, often resulted in a sluggish network and transaction delays. While NEO’s dBFT consensus algorithm is designed to achieve consensus with higher efficency and greater network throughputt, no amount of theoretical calculations can simulate the reality of real-life conditions.
--Key Observations--
Smart Contract Invocations:
A total of 13,966 smart contracts invocations were executed on the NEO network over this time period, of which, nearly all called the RPX smart contract method mintTokens. A total of 543,348,500 RPX tokens were successfully minted and transferred to user accounts, totalling 10,097 smart contract executions.
Refunded Invocations:
A total of 4182 refund events were triggered by the smart contract method mintTokens. (Note: RPX has stated that these refunds will be processed within the next two weeks.)
Crowdsale statistics:
A successful mintTokens execution used around 1043 VM operations, while an execution that resulted in a refund used 809 VM operations. Within the hour and six minutes that the token sale was active, a total of 12,296,409 VM operations were executed. A total of 9,575 unique addresses participated in the RPX ICO. Half of these, approximately 4,800 unique addresses, participated through CoZ’s Neon wallet. The top 3 blocks with the most transactions were block 1445025 (3,242 transactions), block 1444902 (2,951 transactions), and block 1444903 (1609 transactions).
Final Thoughts
At the moment, the consensus nodes for the NEO network are operated by the NEO Council in China. By Q1 2018, NEO Council aims to control less than two-thirds of the consensus nodes.
We are pleased to note that the NEO network continuted to operate efficiently with minimal network impact, even under extreme network events. Block generation time initially slowed down to 3 minutes to process the largest block, but quickly recovered to approximately 25 seconds. Throughout the entire RPX ICO, consensus nodes were able to achieve consensus and propagate new block transactions to the rest of the network. In closing, while we consider this performance to be excellent, NEO Council and City of Zion areworking closely together on upgrades, that will increase the throughputs of the NEO network.
Hyperledger
Members and governance of Hyperledger:
Early members of the initiative included blockchain ISVs, (Blockchain, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, R3, Onchain), well-known technology platform companies (Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, NTT DATA, Red Hat, VMware), financial services firms (ABN AMRO, ANZ Bank, BNY Mellon, CLS Group, CME Group, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, J.P. Morgan, State Street, SWIFT, Wells Fargo), Business Software companies like SAP, Systems integrators and others such as: (Accenture, Calastone, Credits, Guardtime, IntellectEU, Nxt Foundation, Symbiont).
The governing board of the Hyperledger Project consists of twenty members chaired by Blythe Masters, (CEO of Digital Asset), and a twelve-member Technical Steering Committee chaired by Christopher Ferris, CTO of Open Technology at IBM.
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-hyperledger
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperledger
“As a leading open-source contributor in China’s blockchain community, Onchain shares the same values as the Linux Foundation and the Hyperledger project intrinsically. We believe international collaboration plus local experience are key to the adoption of distributed ledger technology in China; we are also very excited to see other Chinese blockchain startups join Hyperledger and look forward to adding our combined expertise to the project.” Da Hongfei, Founder and CEO of Onchain
https://hyperledger.org/testimonials/onchain
Important Articles
Distribution technology DNA framework went through the national block chain standard test On May 16th, the first China block chain development competition in Hangzhou announced that Onchain, became the first through the national standard test block system.
http://www.51cto.com/art/201705/539824.htm?mobile
Da Hongfei and OnChain working relationship with Chinese Government
https://finance.sina.cn/2017-04-13/detail-ifyeifqx5554606.d.html?from=wap
http://www.gz.chinanews.com/content/2017/05-28/73545.shtml
The Chinese government is reportedly preparing to allow the resumption of cryptocurrency trading in the country in the coming months, with the required anti-money laundering (AML) systems and licensing programs in place.
https://coingeek.com/cryptocurrency-trading-poised-to-make-a-return-in-china-report/
Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry - Working with OnChain and NEO
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-ribenjingjichanyesheng
Notice NEO will be invited to attend the INNO x Austrade China-Australia chain high-end exchange
AUSTRADE - The Australian Trade and Investment Commission is the official government, education and investment promotion agency of the Australian Government
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/LmXnW7MtzOX_fqIo7diU9A
Source for NEO/OnChain Microsoft Cooperation:
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-microsoft
Da Hongfei quotes
"There is no direct cooperation between Alibaba and NEO/Onchain, other than their mailbox service is using Law Chain to provide attested email service. In terms of Microsoft, yes we have cooperation with Microsoft China because NEO is built with C# and .NET Core, and NeoContract is the first in the world to support writing smart contract with C#"
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6puffo/we_are_da_hongfei_and_erik_zhang_founders_of_neo/dksm5ga/
"We have pretty good communication with government, with regulators. They don't have any negative impression with NEO and they like our technology and the way we deal with things. Regulation is not an issue for us"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpUdTIQdjVE&feature=youtu.be&t=1m16s
“Before they started cleaning up the market, I was asked for information and suggestions” “I do not expect the government to call me in the short-term and say, ‘Let’s use NEO as the blockchain technology infrastructure of China.’ But in the medium term? Why not? I think it’s possible.”
https://medium.com/@TheCoinEconomy/neo-founder-da-hongfei-advised-china-on-ico-exchange-ban-says-govt-4631b9f7971
-Upcoming Roadmap-
Decentralization of consensus nodes
▪ P2P Network optimization (2017Q4) – Network optimizations to ensure fast block generation after decentralization.
▪ Voting Algorithm Optimization (2017Q4) – Adjustments in voting algorithm to prevent identified attack vectors.
▪ Candidate List Website (2018Q1) – Published list of candidates so that voters know who they are voting for.
▪ NEO Council Consensus Node < 2/3 (2018Q1) – NEO Council shall operate less than two thirds of consensus nodes by the end of quarter 1, 2018.
Universal Data Format for Wallet/Node Prog.
▪ NEP2 – Private Key Encryption/Decryption (2017Q4) - Method for encrypting and encoding a passphrase-protected private key.
▪ NEP3 – Universal Data Format (2017Q4) – Standard data format to allow easier wallet and node programming.
https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65
Promotion/Ecosystem
▪ Globally Legal Token-raising Framework (2017Q4) – Following government interest to regulate ICO’s, NEO will complete a framework to raise tokens legally in all major markets by the end of 2017.
▪ NEO DevCon 1 (2017Q4) – First NEO Development Conference! More details at later date.
▪ CoZ Funding (2017Q4) – Continuous funding plan for CoZ covering next 5 years.
▪ Seed Projects (2017Q4) – First seed projects to be cross-invested with the dedicated NEO pool.
https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65
https://github.com/neo-project
Repositories - 14
People - 5
Contributors- 12
https://github.com/CityOfZion
Repositories - 35
People - 14
Contributors- 22
https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA
Repositories - 4
Contributors - 17
Donations welcome: ASdNxSa3E8bsxCE9KFKBMm3NA43sYJU9qZ
submitted by NEOcryptotrader to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

BITCOINs Deadly Use Case Revealed! China, Cartels & Drug Money Laundering! What is Virtual currency / Crypto currency & money laundering  what are the risk of holding Bitcoin Anti-Money Laundering and Cryptocurrencies in the EU - YouTube Bitcoin Report Volume 59 (Money Laundering) Money Laundering 101 💰 How Criminals Use Bitcoin To Hide ...

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BITCOINs Deadly Use Case Revealed! China, Cartels & Drug Money Laundering!

Drug dealers using bitcoin cashpoints to launder money: Police warn of explosion in use of digital currency by criminals to offload ill-gotten gains.Drug dealers and gangsters are pumping their ... Rick McDonell, Executive Director, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), Paris. / For the premium version, please visit http://... In this video we have covered the basic definition i.e. what is virtual currency or crypto currency, types of Virtual Currency e.g. bitcoin & Crypto-currency, parties involved and risk associated ... Bitcoin 2014's Rules of the Game: The Legal Landscape's Panel: Anti-Money Laundering on a Transparent Network took place on Friday, May 16, 2014 at the O7 from 3:30pm-4:30pm. How are criminals using bitcoin to launder money? How is money laundering with bitcoin different from traditional money laundering methods?

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