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Dragonchain Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off Public Proposal
Dragonchain Public Proposal TL;DR:
Dragonchain has demonstrated twice Reddit’s entire total daily volume (votes, comments, and postsper Reddit 2019 Year in Review) in a 24-hour demo on an operational network. Every single transaction on Dragonchain is decentralized immediately through 5 levels of Dragon Net, and then secured with combined proof on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Binance Chain, via Interchain. At the time, in January 2020, the entire cost of the demo was approximately $25K on a single system (transaction fees locked at $0.0001/txn). With current fees (lowest fee $0.0000025/txn), this would cost as little as $625. Watch Joe walk through the entire proposal and answer questions onYouTube. This proposal is also available on the Dragonchain blog.
Hello Reddit and Ethereum community!
I’m Joe Roets, Founder & CEO of Dragonchain. When the team and I first heard about The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off we were intrigued. We believe we have the solutions Reddit seeks for its community points system and we have them at scale. For your consideration, we have submitted our proposal below. The team at Dragonchain and I welcome and look forward to your technical questions, philosophical feedback, and fair criticism, to build a scaling solution for Reddit that will empower its users. Because our architecture is unlike other blockchain platforms out there today, we expect to receive many questions while people try to grasp our project. I will answer all questions here in this thread on Reddit, and I've answered some questions in the stream on YouTube. We have seen good discussions so far in the competition. We hope that Reddit’s scaling solution will emerge from The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off and that Reddit will have great success with the implementation.
Dragonchain is a robust open source hybrid blockchain platform that has proven to withstand the passing of time since our inception in 2014. We have continued to evolve to harness the scalability of private nodes, yet take full advantage of the security of public decentralized networks, like Ethereum. We have a live, operational, and fully functional Interchain network integrating Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and ~700 independent Dragonchain nodes. Every transaction is secured to Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Ethereum Classic. Transactions are immediately usable on chain, and the first decentralization is seen within 20 seconds on Dragon Net. Security increases further to public networks ETH, BTC, and ETC within 10 minutes to 2 hours. Smart contracts can be written in any executable language, offering full freedom to existing developers. We invite any developer to watch the demo, play with our SDK’s, review open source code, and to help us move forward. Dragonchain specializes in scalable loyalty & rewards solutions and has built a decentralized social network on chain, with very affordable transaction costs. This experience can be combined with the insights Reddit and the Ethereum community have gained in the past couple of months to roll out the solution at a rapid pace.
Response and PoC
In The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off post, Reddit has asked for a series of demonstrations, requirements, and other considerations. In this section, we will attempt to answer all of these requests.
A live proof of concept showing hundreds of thousands of transactions
On Jan 7, 2020, Dragonchain hosted a 24-hour live demonstration during which a quarter of a billion (250 million+) transactions executed fully on an operational network. Every single transaction on Dragonchain is decentralized immediately through 5 levels of Dragon Net, and then secured with combined proof on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Binance Chain, via Interchain. This means that every single transaction is secured by, and traceable to these networks. An attack on this system would require a simultaneous attack on all of the Interchained networks. 24 hours in 4 minutes (YouTube): 24 hours in 4 minutes The demonstration was of a single business system, and any user is able to scale this further, by running multiple systems simultaneously. Our goals for the event were to demonstrate a consistent capacity greater than that of Visa over an extended time period. Tooling to reproduce our demo is available here: https://github.com/dragonchain/spirit-bomb
Source code (for on & off-chain components as well tooling used for the PoC). The source code does not have to be shared publicly, but if Reddit decides to use a particular solution it will need to be shared with Reddit at some point.
Dragonchain’s architecture attacks the scalability issue from multiple angles. Dragonchain is a hybrid blockchain platform, wherein every transaction is protected on a business node to the requirements of that business or purpose. A business node may be held completely private or may be exposed or replicated to any level of exposure desired. Every node has its own blockchain and is independently scalable. Dragonchain established Context Based Verification as its consensus model. Every transaction is immediately usable on a trust basis, and in time is provable to an increasing level of decentralized consensus. A transaction will have a level of decentralization to independently owned and deployed Dragonchain nodes (~700 nodes) within seconds, and full decentralization to BTC and ETH within minutes or hours. Level 5 nodes (Interchain nodes) function to secure all transactions to public or otherwise external chains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. These nodes scale the system by aggregating multiple blocks into a single Interchain transaction on a cadence. This timing is configurable based upon average fees for each respective chain. For detailed information about Dragonchain’s architecture, and Context Based Verification, please refer to the Dragonchain Architecture Document.
An interesting feature of Dragonchain’s network consensus is its economics and scarcity model. Since Dragon Net nodes (L2-L4) are independent staking nodes, deployment to cloud platforms would allow any of these nodes to scale to take on a large percentage of the verification work. This is great for scalability, but not good for the economy, because there is no scarcity, and pricing would develop a downward spiral and result in fewer verification nodes. For this reason, Dragonchain uses TIME as scarcity. TIME is calculated as the number of Dragons held, multiplied by the number of days held. TIME influences the user’s access to features within the Dragonchain ecosystem. It takes into account both the Dragon balance and length of time each Dragon is held. TIME is staked by users against every verification node and dictates how much of the transaction fees are awarded to each participating node for every block. TIME also dictates the transaction fee itself for the business node. TIME is staked against a business node to set a deterministic transaction fee level (see transaction fee table below in Cost section). This is very interesting in a discussion about scaling because it guarantees independence for business implementation. No matter how much traffic appears on the entire network, a business is guaranteed to not see an increased transaction fee rate.
Dragonchain uses Docker and Kubernetes to allow the use of best practices traditional system scaling. Dragonchain offers managed nodes with an easy to use web based console interface. The user may also deploy a Dragonchain node within their own datacenter or favorite cloud platform. Users have deployed Dragonchain nodes on-prem on Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, MS Azure, and other hosting platforms around the world. Any executable code, anything you can write, can be written into a smart contract. This flexibility is what allows us to say that developers with no blockchain experience can use any code language to access the benefits of blockchain. Customers have used NodeJS, Python, Java, and even BASH shell script to write smart contracts on Dragonchain. With Docker containers, we achieve better separation of concerns, faster deployment, higher reliability, and lower response times. We chose Kubernetes for its self-healing features, ability to run multiple services on one server, and its large and thriving development community. It is resilient, scalable, and automated. OpenFaaS allows us to package smart contracts as Docker images for easy deployment. Contract deployment time is now bounded only by the size of the Docker image being deployed but remains fast even for reasonably large images. We also take advantage of Docker’s flexibility and its ability to support any language that can run on x86 architecture. Any image, public or private, can be run as a smart contract using Dragonchain.
Flexibility in Scaling
Dragonchain’s architecture considers interoperability and integration as key features. From inception, we had a goal to increase adoption via integration with real business use cases and traditional systems. We envision the ability for Reddit, in the future, to be able to integrate alternate content storage platforms or other financial services along with the token.
LBRY - To allow users to deploy content natively to LBRY
MakerDAO to allow users to lend small amounts backed by their Reddit community points.
STORJ/SIA to allow decentralized on chain storage of portions of content. These integrations or any other are relatively easy to integrate on Dragonchain with an Interchain implementation.
Cost estimates (on-chain and off-chain) For the purpose of this proposal, we assume that all transactions are on chain (posts, replies, and votes).
On the Dragonchain network, transaction costs are deterministic/predictable. By staking TIME on the business node (as described above) Reddit can reduce transaction costs to as low as $0.0000025 per transaction. Dragonchain Fees Table
How to run it
Building on Dragonchain is simple and requires no blockchain experience. Spin up a business node (L1) in our managed environment (AWS), run it in your own cloud environment, or on-prem in your own datacenter. Clear documentation will walk you through the steps of spinning up your first Dragonchain Level 1 Business node. Getting started is easy...
Download Dragonchain’s dctl
Input three commands into a terminal
Build an image
More information can be found in our Get started documents.
Dragonchain is an open source hybrid platform. Through Dragon Net, each chain combines the power of a public blockchain (like Ethereum) with the privacy of a private blockchain. Dragonchain organizes its network into five separate levels. A Level 1, or business node, is a totally private blockchain only accessible through the use of public/private keypairs. All business logic, including smart contracts, can be executed on this node directly and added to the chain. After creating a block, the Level 1 business node broadcasts a version stripped of sensitive private data to Dragon Net. Three Level 2 Validating nodes validate the transaction based on guidelines determined from the business. A Level 3 Diversity node checks that the level 2 nodes are from a diverse array of locations. A Level 4 Notary node, hosted by a KYC partner, then signs the validation record received from the Level 3 node. The transaction hash is ledgered to the Level 5 public chain to take advantage of the hash power of massive public networks. Dragon Net can be thought of as a “blockchain of blockchains”, where every level is a complete private blockchain. Because an L1 can send to multiple nodes on a single level, proof of existence is distributed among many places in the network. Eventually, proof of existence reaches level 5 and is published on a public network.
Dragonchain is open source and even though the platform is easy enough for developers to code in any language they are comfortable with, we do not have so large a developer community as Ethereum. We would like to see the Ethereum developer community (and any other communities) become familiar with our SDK’s, our solutions, and our platform, to unlock the full potential of our Ethereum Interchain. Long ago we decided to prioritize both Bitcoin and Ethereum Interchains. We envision an ecosystem that encompasses different projects to give developers the ability to take full advantage of all the opportunities blockchain offers to create decentralized solutions not only for Reddit but for all of our current platforms and systems. We believe that together we will take the adoption of blockchain further. We currently have additional Interchain with Ethereum Classic. We look forward to Interchain with other blockchains in the future. We invite all blockchains projects who believe in decentralization and security to Interchain with Dragonchain.
While we only have 700 nodes compared to 8,000 Ethereum and 10,000 Bitcoin nodes. We harness those 18,000 nodes to scale to extremely high levels of security. See Dragonchain metrics.
Some may consider the centralization of Dragonchain’s business nodes as an issue at first glance, however, the model is by design to protect business data. We do not consider this a drawback as these nodes can make any, none, or all data public. Depending upon the implementation, every subreddit could have control of its own business node, for potential business and enterprise offerings, bringing new alternative revenue streams to Reddit.
Costs and resources
Summary of cost & resource information for both on-chain & off-chain components used in the PoC, as well as cost & resource estimates for further scaling. If your PoC is not on mainnet, make note of any mainnet caveats (such as congestion issues).
Every transaction on the PoC system had a transaction fee of $0.0001 (one-hundredth of a cent USD). At 256MM transactions, the demo cost $25,600. With current operational fees, the same demonstration would cost $640 USD. For the demonstration, to achieve throughput to mimic a worldwide payments network, we modeled several clients in AWS and 4-5 business nodes to handle the traffic. The business nodes were tuned to handle higher throughput by adjusting memory and machine footprint on AWS. This flexibility is valuable to implementing a system such as envisioned by Reddit. Given that Reddit’s daily traffic (posts, replies, and votes) is less than half that of our demo, we would expect that the entire Reddit system could be handled on 2-5 business nodes using right-sized containers on AWS or similar environments. Verification was accomplished on the operational Dragon Net network with over 700 independently owned verification nodes running around the world at no cost to the business other than paid transaction fees.
This PoC should scale to the numbers below with minimal costs (both on & off-chain). There should also be a clear path to supporting hundreds of millions of users. Over a 5 day period, your scaling PoC should be able to handle: *100,000 point claims (minting & distributing points) *25,000 subscriptions *75,000 one-off points burning *100,000 transfers
During Dragonchain’s 24 hour demo, the above required numbers were reached within the first few minutes. Reddit’s total activity is 9000% more than Ethereum’s total transaction level. Even if you do not include votes, it is still 700% more than Ethereum’s current volume. Dragonchain has demonstrated that it can handle 250 million transactions a day, and it’s architecture allows for multiple systems to work at that level simultaneously. In our PoC, we demonstrate double the full capacity of Reddit, and every transaction was proven all the way to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Reddit Scaling on Ethereum
Solutions should not depend on any single third-party provider. We prefer solutions that do not depend on specific entities such as Reddit or another provider, and solutions with no single point of control or failure in off-chain components but recognize there are numerous trade-offs to consider
Dragonchain’s architecture calls for a hybrid approach. Private business nodes hold the sensitive data while the validation and verification of transactions for the business are decentralized within seconds and secured to public blockchains within 10 minutes to 2 hours. Nodes could potentially be controlled by owners of individual subreddits for more organic decentralization.
Billing is currently centralized - there is a path to federation and decentralization of a scaled billing solution.
Operational on-premises capabilities
Operational deployment to any datacenter
Over 700 independent Community Verification Nodes with proof of ownership
Operational Interchain (Interoperable to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic, open to more)
Usability Scaling solutions should have a simple end user experience.
Users shouldn't have to maintain any extra state/proofs, regularly monitor activity, keep track of extra keys, or sign anything other than their normal transactions
Dragonchain and its customers have demonstrated extraordinary usability as a feature in many applications, where users do not need to know that the system is backed by a live blockchain. Lyceum is one of these examples, where the progress of academy courses is being tracked, and successful completion of courses is rewarded with certificates on chain. Our @Save_The_Tweet bot is popular on Twitter. When used with one of the following hashtags - #please, #blockchain, #ThankYou, or #eternalize the tweet is saved through Eternal to multiple blockchains. A proof report is available for future reference. Other examples in use are DEN, our decentralized social media platform, and our console, where users can track their node rewards, view their TIME, and operate a business node. Examples:
Transactions complete in a reasonable amount of time (seconds or minutes, not hours or days)
All transactions are immediately usable on chain by the system. A transaction begins the path to decentralization at the conclusion of a 5-second block when it gets distributed across 5 separate community run nodes. Full decentralization occurs within 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on which interchain (Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ethereum Classic) the transaction hits first. Within approximately 2 hours, the combined hash power of all interchained blockchains secures the transaction.
Free to use for end users (no gas fees, or fixed/minimal fees that Reddit can pay on their behalf)
With transaction pricing as low as $0.0000025 per transaction, it may be considered reasonable for Reddit to cover transaction fees for users. All of Reddit's Transactions on Blockchain (month) Community points can be earned by users and distributed directly to their Reddit account in batch (as per Reddit minting plan), and allow users to withdraw rewards to their Ethereum wallet whenever they wish. Withdrawal fees can be paid by either user or Reddit. This model has been operating inside the Dragonchain system since 2018, and many security and financial compliance features can be optionally added. We feel that this capability greatly enhances user experience because it is seamless to a regular user without cryptocurrency experience, yet flexible to a tech savvy user. With regard to currency or token transactions, these would occur on the Reddit network, verified to BTC and ETH. These transactions would incur the $0.0000025 transaction fee. To estimate this fee we use the monthly active Reddit users statista with a 60% adoption rate and an estimated 10 transactions per month average resulting in an approximate $720 cost across the system. Reddit could feasibly incur all associated internal network charges (mining/minting, transfer, burn) as these are very low and controllable fees. Reddit Internal Token Transaction Fees Reddit Ethereum Token Transaction Fees When we consider further the Ethereum fees that might be incurred, we have a few choices for a solution.
Offload all Ethereum transaction fees (user withdrawals) to interested users as they wish to withdraw tokens for external use or sale.
Cover Ethereum transaction fees by aggregating them on a timed schedule. Users would request withdrawal (from Reddit or individual subreddits), and they would be transacted on the Ethereum network every hour (or some other schedule).
In a combination of the above, customers could cover aggregated fees.
Integrate with alternate Ethereum roll up solutions or other proposals to aggregate minting and distribution transactions onto Ethereum.
Users should be able to view their balances & transactions via a blockchain explorer-style interface
From interfaces for users who have no knowledge of blockchain technology to users who are well versed in blockchain terms such as those present in a typical block explorer, a system powered by Dragonchain has flexibility on how to provide balances and transaction data to users. Transactions can be made viewable in an Eternal Proof Report, which displays raw data along with TIME staking information and traceability all the way to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and every other Interchained network. The report shows fields such as transaction ID, timestamp, block ID, multiple verifications, and Interchain proof. See example here. Node payouts within the Dragonchain console are listed in chronological order and can be further seen in either Dragons or USD. See example here. In our social media platform, Dragon Den, users can see, in real-time, their NRG and MTR balances. See example here. A new influencer app powered by Dragonchain, Raiinmaker, breaks down data into a user friendly interface that shows coin portfolio, redeemed rewards, and social scores per campaign. See example here.
Exiting is fast & simple
Withdrawing funds on Dragonchain’s console requires three clicks, however, withdrawal scenarios with more enhanced security features per Reddit’s discretion are obtainable.
Interoperability Compatibility with third party apps (wallets/contracts/etc) is necessary.
Proven interoperability at scale that surpasses the required specifications. Our entire platform consists of interoperable blockchains connected to each other and traditional systems. APIs are well documented. Third party permissions are possible with a simple smart contract without the end user being aware. No need to learn any specialized proprietary language. Any code base (not subsets) is usable within a Docker container. Interoperable with any blockchain or traditional APIs. We’ve witnessed relatively complex systems built by engineers with no blockchain or cryptocurrency experience. We’ve also demonstrated the creation of smart contracts within minutes built with BASH shell and Node.js. Please see our source code and API documentation.
Scaling solutions should be extensible and allow third parties to build on top of it Open source and extensible APIs should be well documented and stable
Third-party permissionless integrations should be possible & straightforward Smart contracts are Docker based, can be written in any language, use full language (not subsets), and can therefore be integrated with any system including traditional system APIs. Simple is better. Learning an uncommon or proprietary language should not be necessary.
Advanced knowledge of mathematics, cryptography, or L2 scaling should not be required. Compatibility with common utilities & toolchains is expected. Dragonchain business nodes and smart contracts leverage Docker to allow the use of literally any language or executable code. No proprietary language is necessary. We’ve witnessed relatively complex systems built by engineers with no blockchain or cryptocurrency experience. We’ve also demonstrated the creation of smart contracts within minutes built with BASH shell and Node.js.
Bonus Points: Show us how it works. Do you have an idea for a cool new use case for Community Points? Build it!
Community points could be awarded to Reddit users based upon TIME too, whereas the longer someone is part of a subreddit, the more community points someone naturally gained, even if not actively commenting or sharing new posts. A daily login could be required for these community points to be credited. This grants awards to readers too and incentivizes readers to create an account on Reddit if they browse the website often. This concept could also be leveraged to provide some level of reputation based upon duration and consistency of contribution to a community subreddit.
Dragonchain has already built a social media platform that harnesses community involvement. Dragon Den is a decentralized community built on the Dragonchain blockchain platform. Dragon Den is Dragonchain’s answer to fake news, trolling, and censorship. It incentivizes the creation and evaluation of quality content within communities. It could be described as being a shareholder of a subreddit or Reddit in its entirety. The more your subreddit is thriving, the more rewarding it will be. Den is currently in a public beta and in active development, though the real token economy is not live yet. There are different tokens for various purposes. Two tokens are Lair Ownership Rights (LOR) and Lair Ownership Tokens (LOT). LOT is a non-fungible token for ownership of a specific Lair. LOT will only be created and converted from LOR. Energy (NRG) and Matter (MTR) work jointly. Your MTR determines how much NRG you receive in a 24-hour period. Providing quality content, or evaluating content will earn MTR.
Security. Users have full ownership & control of their points.
All community points awarded based upon any type of activity or gift, are secured and provable to all Interchain networks (currently BTC, ETH, ETC). Users are free to spend and withdraw their points as they please, depending on the features Reddit wants to bring into production.
Balances and transactions cannot be forged, manipulated, or blocked by Reddit or anyone else
Users can withdraw their balance to their ERC20 wallet, directly through Reddit. Reddit can cover the fees on their behalf, or the user covers this with a portion of their balance.
Users should own their points and be able to get on-chain ERC20 tokens without permission from anyone else
Through our console users can withdraw their ERC20 rewards. This can be achieved on Reddit too. Here is a walkthrough of our console, though this does not show the quick withdrawal functionality, a user can withdraw at any time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNlTMxnfVHw
Points should be recoverable to on-chain ERC20 tokens even if all third-parties involved go offline
If necessary, signed transactions from the Reddit system (e.g. Reddit + Subreddit) can be sent to the Ethereum smart contract for minting.
A public, third-party review attesting to the soundness of the design should be available
To our knowledge, at least two large corporations, including a top 3 accounting firm, have conducted positive reviews. These reviews have never been made public, as Dragonchain did not pay or contract for these studies to be released.
Bonus points Public, third-party implementation review available or in progress
Compatibility with HSMs & hardware wallets
For the purpose of this proposal, all tokenization would be on the Ethereum network using standard token contracts and as such, would be able to leverage all hardware wallet and Ethereum ecosystem services.
Minting/distributing tokens is not performed by Reddit directly
This operation can be automated by smart contract on Ethereum. Subreddits can if desired have a role to play.
One off point burning, as well as recurring, non-interactive point burning (for subreddit memberships) should be possible and scalable
This is possible and scalable with interaction between Dragonchain Reddit system and Ethereum token contract(s).
Fully open-source solutions are strongly preferred
Dragonchain is fully open source (see section on Disney release after conclusion).
Whether it is today, or in the future, we would like to work together to bring secure flexibility to the highest standards. It is our hope to be considered by Ethereum, Reddit, and other integrative solutions so we may further discuss the possibilities of implementation. In our public demonstration, 256 million transactions were handled in our operational network on chain in 24 hours, for the low cost of $25K, which if run today would cost $625. Dragonchain’s interoperable foundation provides the atmosphere necessary to implement a frictionless community points system. Thank you for your consideration of our proposal. We look forward to working with the community to make something great!
Disney Releases Blockchain Platform as Open Source
The team at Disney created the Disney Private Blockchain Platform. The system was a hybrid interoperable blockchain platform for ledgering and smart contract development geared toward solving problems with blockchain adoption and usability. All objective evaluation would consider the team’s output a success. We released a list of use cases that we explored in some capacity at Disney, and our input on blockchain standardization as part of our participation in the W3C Blockchain Community Group. https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-blockchain/2016May/0052.html
In 2016, Roets proposed to release the platform as open source to spread the technology outside of Disney, as others within the W3C group were interested in the solutions that had been created inside of Disney. Following a long process, step by step, the team met requirements for release. Among the requirements, the team had to:
Obtain VP support and approval for the release
Verify ownership of the software to be released
Verify that no proprietary content would be released
Convince the organization that there was a value to the open source community
Convince the organization that there was a value to Disney
Offer the plan for ongoing maintenance of the project outside of Disney
Itemize competing projects
Verify no conflict of interest
Change the project name to not use the name Disney, any Disney character, or any other associated IP - proposed Dragonchain - approved
Obtain legal approval
Approval from corporate, parks, and other business units
Approval from multiple Disney patent groups Copyright holder defined by Disney (Disney Connected and Advanced Technologies)
Trademark searches conducted for the selected name Dragonchain
Obtain IT security approval
Manual review of OSS components conducted
OWASP Dependency and Vulnerability Check Conducted
Obtain technical (software) approval
Offer management, process, and financial plans for the maintenance of the project.
Meet list of items to be addressed before release
Remove all Disney project references and scripts
Create a public distribution list for email communications
Remove Roets’ direct and internal contact information
Create public Slack channel and move from Disney slack channels
Create proper labels for issue tracking
Rename internal private Github repository
Add informative description to Github page
Expand README.md with more specific information
Add information beyond current “Blockchains are Magic”
Add getting started sections and info on cloning/forking the project
Add installation details
Add uninstall process
Add unit, functional, and integration test information
Detail how to contribute and get involved
Describe the git workflow that the project will use
Move to public, non-Disney git repository (Github or Bitbucket)
Obtain Disney Open Source Committee approval for release
On top of meeting the above criteria, as part of the process, the maintainer of the project had to receive the codebase on their own personal email and create accounts for maintenance (e.g. Github) with non-Disney accounts. Given the fact that the project spanned multiple business units, Roets was individually responsible for its ongoing maintenance. Because of this, he proposed in the open source application to create a non-profit organization to hold the IP and maintain the project. This was approved by Disney. The Disney Open Source Committee approved the application known as OSSRELEASE-10, and the code was released on October 2, 2016. Disney decided to not issue a press release. Original OSSRELASE-10 document
Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the fifteenth monthly Bitcoin news recap. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. And a lot has happened. It's easy to forget with so much focus on the price. Take a moment and scroll through the list below. You'll find an incredibly eventful month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in March 2018
Cryptocurrency NEO-review and analysis of prospects
https://preview.redd.it/92i8bo3tm1v31.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=392f964144975e5e2e11a6ea784f6f03923017b3 The NEO digital asset platform was previously called Antshares. But in recent times, a complete rebranding has been made. In addition to the name change, the startup updated blockchain nodes and technical documentation, as well as the stock Ticker. In addition, the official website and social media were redesigned. The transition to a new version of the smart contract system, called NEO-2.0, was carried out. The NEO cryptocurrency has been showing stable and non-stopping growth for a long time. Very quickly, the Chinese creation took seventh place in the top of Coinmarketcap. This, without a doubt, is a serious bid for prospects, given the high competition in the cryptocurrency market. And Ether confidently holds the second line after the famous Bitcoin. So the crypto currency NEO clearly has all the chances to rise much higher than the seventh line. At the moment, the price fluctuates around $45. The cost for three months has increased 20 times. The volumes of neo cryptocurrency reserves are clearly defined and limited to 100 million tokens. So far, only half of the available potential — 50 million tokens-is available on the market. So the crypto currency NEO clearly has all the chances to rise much higher than the seventh line. The project is actively developing. OnChain cooperates with other players in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. At the moment, there are connections with blockchain startups Coindash, Bancor, Agrello and others. The Chinese project Red Pulse has announced the creation of a financial research platform based on the NEO-2.0 smart contract system. Also, in cooperation with NEO, there is an intensive development of The Elastos operating system based on blockchain technologies.
THE history of the emergence and development of neo cryptocurrency
https://preview.redd.it/2f7c6ryop1v31.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=300b03be2a471d857d7d22d5659f2a4ef74c5e8b The date of origin of the project can be considered 2014. NEO Creator Da Hongfei is a Director of Shanghai-based OnChain. In 2014, onchain, according to Da Hongfei's idea, launches the AntShares blockchain project. On the basis of this platform, a cryptocurrency of the same name was also created. Yes Junpei put to the company is simple, but a global problem. His goal was to build a fundamentally new system of financial interaction. This system should unite the sectors of the real and virtual economy into a single whole with the help of high-tech contracts. And cryptocurrency from OnChain should become a unit of payment for these contracts. Soon OnChain enters into a contract for cooperation with the Wings blockchain project, as well as contracts with economic giants Microsoft and Alibaba. In August 2017 begins the story of NEO already in its current form with the current name. Da Hongfei carried out a complete rebranding and technical modernization of the project. The rebranding was a huge success, and the price of cryptocurrency from OnChain soared 40 times. But not without problems. On the fourth of September, the Chinese authorities adopt a package of sanctions laws against cryptocurrencies and ICO. It was a heavy blow, which at the time almost 2 times brought down the course of the brainchild of Hongfei. However, soon the NEO cryptocurrency moved away from the blow and began to confidently win back the lost positions. At the moment, OnChain is actively upgrading the product and simultaneously trying to find a compromise with the Chinese authorities for the legalization and quiet operation of its offspring.
Features and principle of operation NEO
https://preview.redd.it/tj1goppoq1v31.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=0c39d14754ba9dd99e2c6bfb692f0f7bdd6c1838 From a technical point of view, the Chinese cryptocurrency is very similar to Ethereum. The basis of the platform is the construction of smart contracts and their subsequent payment with tokens. Also an important part of the project is the ability to create new technologies based on the platform, as well as easy integration with other services. Despite the fact that NEO is often called "Chinese Ether" and the fact that the Ether still occupies a higher position in the ratings, the product from OnChain has advantages that the Ether lacks. NEO is much more practical and functional. This, no doubt, opens up the potential to move the Airwaves in the ratings in the near future. Let's see in detail how everything works. Transactions within the system are possible when paying a Commission. The Commission is paid in-system currency. That is, for the transaction you have to throw in the system additional "fuel". The developers of OnChain decided to create an additional in-system currency, called GAS, as a fuel (a means of paying commissions). NEO mining is impossible. There is a final coin value of 100 million. 50 million thrown on the market during the ICO. The second half of the developers keep at home. However, GAS mining is possible. However, it occurs when holding coins in a purse. That is, the more tokens you have, the more GAS coins you can get to pay commissions. Today, 2000 coins in the wallet accumulate 1 coin GAS every twenty-four hours. Such mining is associated with the work of the network on the Proof-Of-Stake algorithm. Coins generate themselves. Without the use of farms of video cards and megawatts of electricity. Like any cryptocurrency, NEO has advantages and disadvantages. The benefits of NEO:
the publicity of the company and experienced team;
contracts and cooperation with corporate giants;
a wide functionality, much superior to the functionality of Ether (it is difficult for a simple person to understand what the salt is, but for a specialist NEO opens the widest horizons for development and operations);
activity in meetings and seminars;
active struggle of OnChain for legalization (although there are some problems with this now in China, however, there is a high probability that soon all issues with the government will be settled, which will attract large investors and significantly increase the already considerable capitalization of NEO).
The shortcomings of NEO:
all gas storage nodes belong to OnChain, that is, NEO is a centralized structure, although it is served as decentralized, this means that blockchains are in the hands of a narrow circle;
OnChain has the technical ability to monitor the transactions of coin owners, transmit information to the authorities, as well as personally block funds in users ' accounts and regulate the rate.
However, there are great economic and technical prospects for the development and increase in the price of the coin.
Direct mining of NEO is not feasible, you can only mine GAS to pay commissions.
Bitcoin mining depends on the power of the technical base of the miner. The larger the pool of farms from video cards, the more active is the production. In the NEO system, gas mining occurs exclusively due to the presence of coins in the wallet.
To organize a large Bitcoin mining requires large purchases of iron and organization of production (supply of high-power power supply line, cooling system, etc.). A direct injection of investment is sufficient for the development of GAS. Each purchased 2000 coins of "Chinese ether" will steadily accumulate exactly 1 coin of GAS per day.
Bitcoin has the most decentralized system of blockchains, as opposed to pseudo-centralization of NEO.
The processing speed of one NEO block is only 15 seconds. For bitcoin-as much as ten minutes. In the future, it is predicted to accelerate the processing of blocks for NEO to 1 second.
Despite the risks associated with the organization of blockchains, NEO remains a very promising platform in the cryptocurrency market.
NEO storage wallets
On the official NEO website you can find links to the following wallets.
Wallet NEON-Wallet from the group of independent developers City of Zion. Quite good, but the factor of third-party development and the presence of bugs impose their risks.
NEO-CLI. This wallet is recommended only for programmers and people who are good at command line.
NEO-GUI. The best option for the average user. To use it, you need to download the application, synchronize the blockchains and make a backup of the wallet. All. Now you can safely carry out financial transactions using Chinese kryptonite.
There is also the option of storing directly on the exchanges, however it is risky. Also, holding coins on an exchange rather than in a personal NEO wallet will not generate GAS.
As the value and popularity of NEO increases, a massive increase in trading platforms where you can buy or sell "Chinese Ether" is predicted.
Ways to get NEO
Unfortunately, at the moment there is no way FOR direct NEO mining in the manner of Bitcoins and Ether. However, there is a way out. NEO cranes can be used. Cranes are resources where the user receives a cryptocurrency reward for performing certain tasks or participating in lotteries. There is a high probability that if successful in the legalization negotiations, OneChain will provide additional ways to get their tokens. As you can see, NEO is a very promising and rapidly developing cryptocurrency. And although the Chinese government has created some difficulties, on the example of Bitcoin, we see how high the rate of the crypto currency can rise if the factors interfering with the development disappear. So, the prospects of NEO are optimistic and you can risk investing in them.
On May 6th, 2017, Bitcoin hit an all-time high in transactions processed on the network in a single day: it moved 375,000 transactions which accounted for a nominal output of about $2.5b. Average fees on the Bitcoin network had climbed over a dollar for the first time a couple days prior. And they kept climbing: by early June average fees hit an eye-watering $5.66. This was quite unprecedented. In the three-year period from Jan. 1 2014 to Jan. 1 2017, per-transaction fees had never exceeded 31 cents on a weekly average. And the hits kept coming. Before 2017 was over, average fees would top out at $48 on a weekly basis. When the crypto-recession set in, transaction count collapsed and fees crept back below $1. During the most feverish days of the Bitcoin run-up, when normal users found themselves with balances that would cost more to send than they were worth, cries for batching — the aggregation of many outputs into a single transaction — grew louder than ever. David Harding had written a blog post on the cost-savings of batching at the end of August and it was reposted to the Bitcoin subreddit on a daily basis. The idea was simple: for entities sending many transactions at once, clustering outputs into a single transaction was more space- (and cost-) efficient, because each transaction has a fixed data overhead. David found that if you combined 10 payments into one transaction, rather than sending them individually, you could save 75% of the block space. Essentially, batching is one way to pack as many transactions as possible into the finite block space available on Bitcoin. When fees started climbing in mid-2017, users began to scrutinize the behavior of heavy users of the Bitcoin blockchain, to determine whether they were using block space efficiently. By and large, they were not — and an informal lobbying campaign began, in which these major users — principally exchanges — were asked to start batching transactions and be good stewards of the scarce block space at their disposal. Some exchanges had been batching for years, others relented and implemented it. The question faded from view after Bitcoin’s price collapsed in Q1 2018 from roughly $19,000 to $6000, and transaction load — and hence average fee — dropped off. But we remained curious. A common refrain, during the collapse in on-chain usage, was that transaction count was an obfuscated method of apprehending actual usage. The idea was that transactions could encode an arbitrarily large (within reason) number of payments, and so if batching had become more and more prevalent, those payments were still occurring, just under a regime of fewer transactions. “hmmm” Some sites popped up to report outputs and payments per day rather than transactions, seemingly bristling at the coverage of declining transaction count. However, no one conducted an analysis of the changing relationship between transaction count and outputs or payments. We took it upon ourselves to find out. Table Of Contents: Introduction to batching A timeline Analysis Conclusion Bonus content: UTXO consolidation
Introduction to batching
Bitcoin uses a UTXO model, which stands for Unspent Transaction Output. In comparison, Ripple and Ethereum use an account/balance model. In bitcoin, a user has no balances, only UTXOs that they control. If they want to transfer money to someone else, their wallet selects one or more UTXOs as inputs that in sum need to add up to the amount they want to transfer. The desired amount then goes to the recipient, which is called the output, and the difference goes back to the sender, which is called change output. Each output can carry a virtually unlimited amount of value in the form of satoshis. A satoshi is a unit representing a one-hundred-millionth of a Bitcoin. This is very similar to a physical wallet full of different denominations of bills. If you’re buying a snack for $2.50 and only have a $5, you don’t hand the cashier half of your 5 dollar bill — you give him the 5 and receive some change instead. Unknown to some, there is no hardcoded limit to the number of transactions that can fit in a block. Instead, each transaction has a certain size in megabytes and constitutes an economic incentive for miners to include it in their block. Because miners have limited space of 2 MB to sell to transactors, larger transactions (in size, not bitcoin!) will need to pay higher fees to be included. Additionally, each transaction can have a virtually unlimited number of inputs or outputs — the record stands at transactions with 20,000 inputs and 13,107 outputs. So each transaction has at least one input and at one output, but often more, as well as some additional boilerplate stuff. Most of that space is taken up by the input (often 60% or more, because of the signature that proves they really belong to the sender), while the output(s) account for 15–30%. In order to keep transactions as small as possible and save fees, Bitcoin users have two major choices: Use as few inputs as possible. In order to minimize inputs, you can periodically send your smaller UTXOs to yourself in times when fees are very low, getting one large UTXO back. That is called UTXO consolidation or consolidating your inputs. Users who frequently make transfers (especially within the same block) can include an almost unlimited amount of outputs (to different people!) in the same transaction. That is called transaction batching. A typical single output transaction takes up 230 bytes, while a two output transaction only takes up 260 bytes, instead of 460 if you were to send them individually. This is something that many casual commentators overlook when comparing Bitcoin with other payment systems — a Bitcoin transaction can aggregate thousands of individual economic transfers! It’s important to recognize this, as it is the source of a great deal of misunderstanding and mistaken analysis. We’ve never encountered a common definition of a batched transaction — so for the purposes of this study we define it in the loosest possible sense: a transaction with three or more outputs. Commonly, batching is understood as an activity undertaken primarily by mining pools or exchanges who can trade off immediacy for efficiency. It is rare that a normal bitcoin user would have cause to batch, and indeed most wallets make it difficult to impossible to construct batched transactions. For everyday purposes, normal bitcoiners will likely not go to the additional effort of batching transactions. We set the threshold at three for simplicity’s sake — a normal unbatched transaction will have one transactional output and one change output — but the typical major batched transaction from an exchange will have dozens if not hundreds of outputs. For this reason we are careful to provide data on various different batch sizes, so we could determine the prevalence of three-output transactions and colossal, 100-output ones. We find it helpful to think of a Bitcoin transaction as a mail truck full of boxes. Each truck (transaction) contains boxes (outputs), each of contains some number of letters (satoshis). So when you’re looking at transaction count as a measure of the performance and economic throughput of the Bitcoin network, it’s a bit like counting mail trucks to discern how many letters are being sent on a given day, even though the number of letters can vary wildly. The truck analogy also makes it clear why many see Bitcoin as a settlement layer in the future — just as mail trucks aren’t dispatched until they’re full, some envision that the same will ultimately be the case for Bitcoin. Batching
So what actually happened in the last six months? Let’s look at some data. Daily transactions on the Bitcoin network rose steadily until about May 2017, when average fees hit about $4. This precipitated the first collapse in usage. Then began a series of feedback loops over the next six months in which transaction load grew, fees grew to match, and transactions dropped off. This cycle repeated itself five times over the latter half of 2017. more like this on coinmetrics.io The solid red line in the above chart is fees in BTC terms (not USD) and the shaded red area is daily transaction count. You can see the cycle of transaction load precipitating higher fees which in turn cause a reduction in usage. It repeats itself five or six times before the detente in spring 2018. The most notable period was the December-January fee crisis, but fees were actually fairly typical in BTC terms — the rising BTC price in USD however meant that USD fees hit extreme figures. In mid-November when fees hit double digits in USD terms, users began a concerted campaign to convince exchanges to be better stewards of block space. Both Segwit and batching were held up as meaningful approaches to maximize the compression of Bitcoin transactions into the finite block space available. Data on when exchanges began batching is sparse, but we collected information where it was available into a chart summarizing when exchanges began batching. Batching adoption at selected exchanges We’re ignoring Segwit adoption by exchanges in this analysis; as far as batching is concerned, the campaign to get exchanges to batch appears to have persuaded Bitfinex, Binance, and Shapeshift to batch. Coinbase/GDAX have stated their intention to begin batching, although they haven’t managed to integrate it yet. As far as we can tell, Gemini hasn’t mentioned batching, although we have some mixed evidence that they may have begun recently. If you know about the status of batching on Gemini or other major exchanges please get in touch. So some exchanges have been batching all along, and some have never bothered at all. Did the subset of exchanges who flipped the switch materially affect the prevalence of batched transactions? Let’s find out.
3.1 How common is batching? We measured the prevalence of batching in three different ways, by transaction count, by output value and by output count. The tl;dr. Batching accounts for roughly 12% of all transactions, 40% of all outputs, and 30–60% of all raw BTC output value. Not bad. 3.2 Have batched transactions become more common over time? From the chart in 3.1, we can already see a small, but steady uptrend in all three metrics, but we want to dig a little deeper. So we first looked at the relationship of payments (all outputs that actually pay someone, so total outputs minus change outputs) and transactions. More at transactionfee.info/charts The first thing that becomes obvious is that the popular narrative — that the drop in transactions was caused by an increase in batching — is not the case; payments dropped by roughly the same proportion as well. Dividing payment count by transaction count gives us some insight into the relationship between the two. In our analysis we want to zoom into the time frame between November 2017 and today, and we can see that payments per transactions have actually been rallying, from 1.5 payments per transaction in early 2017 to almost two today. 3.3 What are popular batch sizes? In this next part, we will look at batch sizes to see which are most popular. To determine which transactions were batched, we downloaded a dataset of all transactions on the Bitcoin network between November 2017 and May 2018from Blockchair. We picked that period because the fee crisis really got started in mid-November, and with it, the demands for exchanges to batch. So we wanted to capture the effect of exchanges starting to batch. Naturally a bigger sample would have been more instructive, but we were constrained in our resources, so we began with the six month sample. We grouped transactions into “batched” and “unbatched” groups with batched transactions being those with three or more outputs. We then divided batched transactions into roughly equal groups on the basis of how much total output in BTC they had accounted for in the six-month period. We didn’t select the batch sizes manually — we picked batch sizes that would split the sample into equal parts on the basis of transaction value. Here’s what we ended up with: All of the batch buckets have just about the same fraction of total BTC output over the period, but they account for radically different transaction and output counts over the period. Notice that there were only 183,108 “extra large” batches (with 41 or more outputs) in the six-month period, but between them there were 23m outputs and 30m BTC worth of value transmitted. Note that output value in this context refers to the raw or unadjusted figure — it would have been prohibitively difficult for us to adjust output for change or mixers, so we’re using the “naive” estimate. Let’s look at how many transactions various batch sizes accounted for in the sample period: Batched transactions steadily increased relative to unbatched ones, although the biggest fraction is the small batch with between 3 and 5 outputs. The story for output counts is a bit more illuminating. Even though batched transactions are a relatively small fraction of overall transaction count, they contain a meaningful number of overall outputs. Let’s see how it breaks down: Lastly, let’s look at output value. Here we see that batched transactions represent a significant fraction of value transmitted on Bitcoin. As we can see, even though batched transactions make up an average of only 12% of all transactions, they move between 30%-60% of all Bitcoins, at peak times even 70%. We think this is quite remarkable. Keep in mind, however that the ‘total output’ figure has not been altered to account for change outputs, mixers, or self-churn; that is, it is the raw and unadjusted figure. The total output value is therefore not an ideal approximation of economic volume on the Bitcoin network. 3.4 Has transaction count become an unreliable measure of Bitcoin’s usage because of batching? Yes. We strongly encourage any analysts, investors, journalists, and developers to look past mere transaction count from now on. The default measure of Bitcoin’s performance should be “payments per day” rather than transaction count. This also makes Bitcoin more comparable with other UTXO chains. They generally have significantly variable payments-per-transaction ratios, so just using payments standardizes that. (Stay tuned: Coinmetrics will be rolling out tools to facilitate this very soon.) More generally, we think that the economic value transmitted on the network is its most fundamental characteristic. Both the naive and the adjusted figures deserve to be considered. Adjusting raw output value is still more art than science, and best practices are still being developed. Again, Coinmetrics is actively developing open-source tools to make these adjustments available.
We started by revisiting the past year in Bitcoin and showed that while the mempool was congested, the community started looking for ways to use the blockspace more efficiently. Attention quickly fell on batching, the practice of combining multiple outputs into a single transaction, for heavy users. We showed how batching works on a technical level and when different exchanges started implementing the technique. Today, around 12% of all transactions on the Bitcoin network are batched, and these account for about 40% of all outputs and between 30–60% of all transactional value. The fact such that a small set of transactions carries so much economic weight makes us hopeful that Bitcoin still has a lot of room to scale on the base layer, especially if usage trends continue. Lastly, it’s worth noting that the increase in batching on the Bitcoin network may not be entirely due to deliberate action by exchanges, but rather a function of its recessionary behavior in the last few months. Since batching is generally done by large industrial players like exchanges, mixers, payment processors, and mining pools, and unbatched transactions are generally made by normal individuals, the batched/unbatched ratio is also a strong proxy for how much average users are using Bitcoin. Since the collapse in price, it is quite possible that individual usage of Bitcoin decreased while “industrial” usage remained strong. This is speculation, but one explanation for what happened. Alternatively, the industrial players appear to be taking their role as stewards of the scarce block space more seriously. This is a significant boon to the network, and a nontrivial development in its history. If a culture of parsimony can be encouraged, Bitcoin will be able to compress more data into its block space and everyday users will continue to be able to run nodes for the foreseeable future. We view this as a very positive development. Members of the Bitcoin community that lobbied exchanges to add support for Segwit and batching should be proud of themselves.
Bonus content: UTXO consolidation
Remember that we said that a second way to systematically save transaction fees in the Bitcoin network was to consolidate your UTXOs when fees were low? Looking at the relationship between input count and output count allows us to spot such consolidation phases quite well. Typically, inputs and outputs move together. When the network is stressed, they decouple. If you look at the above chart carefully, you’ll notice that when transactions are elevated (and block space is at a premium), outputs outpace inputs — look at the gaps in May and December 2017. However, prolonged activity always results in fragmented UTXO sets and wallets full of dust, which need to be consolidated. For this, users often wait until pressure on the network has decreased and fees are lower. Thus, after transactions decrease, inputs become more common than outputs. You can see this clearly in February/March 2017. Here we’ve taken the ratio of inputs to outputs (which have been smoothed on a trailing 7 day basis). When the ratio is higher, there are more inputs than outputs on that day, and vice versa. You can clearly see the spam attack in summer 2015 in which thousands (possibly millions) of outputs were created and then consolidated. Once the ratio spikes upwards, that’s consolidation. The spike in February 2018 after the six weeks of high fees in December 2017 was the most pronounced sigh of relief in Bitcoin’s history; the largest ever departure from the in/out ratio norm. There were a huge number of UTXOs to be consolidated. It’s also interesting to note where inputs and outputs cluster. Here we have histograms of transactions with large numbers of inputs or outputs. Unsurprisingly, round numbers are common which shows that exchanges don’t publish a transaction every, say, two minutes, but instead wait for 100 or 200 outputs to queue up and then publish their transaction. Curiously, 200-input transactions were more popular than 100-input transactions in the period. We ran into more curiosities when researching this piece, but we’ll leave those for another time. Future work on batching might focus on: Determining batched transactions as a portion of (adjusted) economic rather than raw volume Looking at the behavior of specific exchanges with regards to batching Investigating how much space and fees could be saved if major exchanges were batching transactions Lastly, we encourage everyone to run their transactions through the service at transactionfee.info to assess the efficiency of their transactions and determine whether exchanges are being good stewards of the block space. Update 31.05.2018 Antoine Le Calvez has created a series of live-updated charts to track batching and batch sizes, which you can find here. We’d like to thank 0xB10C for their generous assistance with datasets and advice, the people at Blockchair for providing the core datasets, and David A. Harding for writing the initial piece and answering our questions.
Crypto and the Latency Arms Race: Crypto Exchanges and the HFT Crowd
News by Coindesk: Max Boonen Carrying on from an earlier post about the evolution of high frequency trading (HFT), how it can harm markets and how crypto exchanges are responding, here we focus on the potential longer-term impact on the crypto ecosystem. First, though, we need to focus on the state of HFT in a broader context.
Conventional markets are adopting anti-latency arbitrage mechanisms
In conventional markets, latency arbitrage has increased toxicity on lit venues and pushed trading volumes over-the-counter or into dark pools. In Europe, dark liquidity has increased in spite of efforts by regulators to clamp down on it. In some markets, regulation has actually contributed to this. Per the SEC:
“Using the Nasdaq market as a proxy, [Regulation] NMS did not seem to succeed in its mission to increase the display of limit orders in the marketplace. We have seen an increase in dark liquidity, smaller trade sizes, similar trading volumes, and a larger number of “small” venues.”
Why is non-lit execution remaining or becoming more successful in spite of its lower transparency? In its 2014 paper, BlackRock came out in favour of dark pools in the context of best execution requirements. It also lamented message congestion and cautioned against increasing tick sizes, features that advantage latency arbitrageurs. (This echoes the comment to CoinDesk of David Weisberger, CEO of Coinroutes, who explained that the tick sizes typical of the crypto market are small and therefore do not put slower traders at much of a disadvantage.) Major venues now recognize that the speed race threatens their business model in some markets, as it pushes those “slow” market makers with risk-absorbing capacity to provide liquidity to the likes of BlackRock off-exchange. Eurex has responded by implementing anti-latency arbitrage (ALA) mechanisms in options: “Right now, a lot of liquidity providers need to invest more into technology in order to protect themselves against other, very fast liquidity providers, than they can invest in their pricing for the end client. The end result of this is a certain imbalance, where we have a few very sophisticated liquidity providers that are very active in the order book and then a lot of liquidity providers that have the ability to provide prices to end clients, but are tending to do so more away from the order book”, commented Jonas Ullmann, Eurex’s head of market functionality. Such views are increasingly supported by academic research. XTX identifies two categories of ALA mechanisms: policy-based and technology-based. Policy-based ALA refers to a venue simply deciding that latency arbitrageurs are not allowed to trade on it. Alternative venues to exchanges (going under various acronyms such as ECN, ATS or MTF) can allow traders to either take or make, but not engage in both activities. Others can purposefully select — and advertise — their mix of market participants, or allow users to trade in separate “rooms” where undesired firms are excluded. The rise of “alternative microstructures” is mostly evidenced in crypto by the surge in electronic OTC trading, where traders can receive better prices than on exchange. Technology-based ALA encompasses delays, random or deterministic, added to an exchange’s matching engine to reduce the viability of latency arbitrage strategies. The classic example is a speed bump where new orders are delayed by a few milliseconds, but the cancellation of existing orders is not. This lets market makers place fresh quotes at the new prevailing market price without being run over by latency arbitrageurs. As a practical example, the London Metal Exchange recently announced an eight-millisecond speed bump on some contracts that are prime candidates for latency arbitrageurs due to their similarity to products trading on the much bigger CME in Chicago. Why 8 milliseconds? First, microwave transmission between Chicago and the US East Coast is 3 milliseconds faster than fibre optic lines. From there, the $250,000 a month Hibernia Express transatlantic cable helps you get to London another 4 milliseconds faster than cheaper alternatives. Add a millisecond for internal latencies such as not using FPGAs and 8 milliseconds is the difference for a liquidity provider between investing tens of millions in speed technology or being priced out of the market by latency arbitrage. With this in mind, let’s consider what the future holds for crypto.
Crypto exchanges must not forget their retail roots
We learn from conventional markets that liquidity benefits from a diverse base of market makers with risk-absorption capacity. Some have claimed that the spread compression witnessed in the bitcoin market since 2017 is due to electronification. Instead, I posit that it is greater risk-absorbing capacity and capital allocation that has improved the liquidity of the bitcoin market, not an increase in speed, as in fact being a fast exchange with colocation such as Gemini has not supported higher volumes. Old-timers will remember Coinsetter, a company that, per the Bitcoin Wiki , “was created in 2012, and operates a bitcoin exchange and ECN. Coinsetter’s CSX trading technology enables millisecond trade execution times and offers one of the fastest API data streams in the industry.” The Wiki page should use the past tense as Coinsetter failed to gain traction, was acquired in 2016 and subsequently closed. Exchanges that invest in scalability and user experience will thrive (BitMEX comes to mind). Crypto exchanges that favour the fastest traders (by reducing jitter, etc.) will find that winner-takes-all latency strategies do not improve liquidity. Furthermore, they risk antagonising the majority of their users, who are naturally suspicious of platforms that sell preferential treatment. It is baffling that the head of Russia for Huobi vaunted to CoinDesk that: “The option [of co-location] allows [selected clients] to make trades 70 to 100 times faster than other users”. The article notes that Huobi doesn’t charge — but of course, not everyone can sign up. Contrast this with one of the most successful exchanges today: Binance. It actively discourages some HFT strategies by tracking metrics such as order-to-trade ratios and temporarily blocking users that breach certain limits. Market experts know that Binance remains extremely relevant to price discovery, irrespective of its focus on a less professional user base. Other exchanges, take heed. Coinbase closed its entire Chicago office where 30 engineers had worked on a faster matching engine, an exercise that is rumoured to have cost $50mm. After much internal debate, I bet that the company finally realised that it wouldn’t recoup its investment and that its value derived from having onboarded 20 million users, not from upgrading systems that are already fast and reliable by the standards of crypto. It is also unsurprising that Kraken’s Steve Hunt, a veteran of low-latency torchbearer Jump Trading, commented to CoinDesk that: “We want all customers regardless of size or scale to have equal access to our marketplace”. Experience speaks. In a recent article on CoinDesk , Matt Trudeau of ErisX points to the lower reliability of cloud-based services compared to dedicated, co-located and cross-connected gateways. That much is true. Web-based technology puts the emphasis on serving the greatest number of users concurrently, not on serving a subset of users deterministically and at the lowest latency possible. That is the point. Crypto might be the only asset class that is accessible directly to end users with a low number of intermediaries, precisely because of the crypto ethos and how the industry evolved. It is cheaper to buy $500 of bitcoin than it is to buy $500 of Microsoft shares. Trudeau further remarks that official, paid-for co-location is better than what he pejoratively calls “unsanctioned colocation,” the fact that crypto traders can place their servers in the same cloud providers as the exchanges. The fairness argument is dubious: anyone with $50 can set up an Amazon AWS account and run next to the major crypto exchanges, whereas cheap co-location starts at $1,000 a month in the real world. No wonder “speed technology revenues” are estimated at $1 billion for the major U.S. equity exchanges. For a crypto exchange, to reside in a financial, non-cloud data centre with state-of-the-art network latencies might ironically impair the likelihood of success. The risk is that such an exchange becomes dominated on the taker side by the handful of players that already own or pay for the fastest communication routes between major financial data centres such as Equinix and the CME in Chicago, where bitcoin futures are traded. This might reduce liquidity on the exchange because a significant proportion of the crypto market’s risk-absorption capacity is coming from crypto-centric funds that do not have the scale to operate low-latency strategies, but might make up the bulk of the liquidity on, say, Binance. Such mom-and-pop liquidity providers might therefore shun an exchange that caters to larger players as a priority.
Exchanges risk losing market share to OTC liquidity providers
While voice trading in crypto has run its course, a major contribution to the market’s increase in liquidity circa 2017–2018 was the risk appetite of the original OTC voice desks such as Cumberland Mining and Circle. Automation really shines in bringing together risk-absorbing capacity tailored to each client (which is impossible on anonymous exchanges) with seamless electronic execution. In contrast, latency-sensitive venues can see liquidity evaporate in periods of stress, as happened to a well-known and otherwise successful exchange on 26 June which saw its bitcoin order book become $1,000 wide for an extended period of time as liquidity providers turned their systems off. The problem is compounded by the general unavailability of credit on cash exchanges, an issue that the OTC market’s settlement model avoids. As the crypto market matures, the business model of today’s major cash exchanges will come under pressure. In the past decade, the FX market has shown that retail traders benefit from better liquidity when they trade through different channels than institutional speculators. Systematic internalizers demonstrate the same in equities. This fact of life will apply to crypto. Exchanges have to pick a side: either cater to retail (or retail-driven intermediaries) or court HFTs. Now that an aggregator like Tagomi runs transaction cost analysis for their clients, it will become plainly obvious to investors with medium-term and long-term horizons (i.e. anyone not looking at the next 2 seconds) that their price impact on exchange is worse than against electronic OTC liquidity providers. Today, exchange fee structures are awkward because they must charge small users a lot to make up for crypto’s exceptionally high compliance and onboarding costs. Onboarding a single, small value user simply does not make sense unless fees are quite elevated. Exchanges end up over-charging large volume traders such as B2C2’s clients, another incentive to switch to OTC execution. In the alternative, what if crypto exchanges focus on HFT traders? In my opinion, the CME is a much better venue for institutional takers as fees are much lower and conventional trading firms will already be connected to it. My hypothesis is that most exchanges will not be able to compete with the CME for fast traders (after all, the CBOE itself gave up), and must cater to their retail user base instead. In a future post, we will explore other microstructures beyond all-to-all exchanges and bilateral OTC trading. Fiber threads image via Shutterstock
I’ve been researching privacy coins deeply and feel I’ve reached a sufficient findings to merit sharing my stance re SUMO.
By Taylor Margot. Everyone should read this! THE BASICS SUMOkoin is a fork of MONERO (XMR). XMR is a fork of Bytecoin. In my opinion, XMR is hands down the most undervalued coin in the top 15. Its hurdle is that people do not know how to price in privacy to the price of a coin yet. Once people figure out how to accurately assess the value privacy into the value of a coin, XMR, along with other privacy coins like SUMOkoin, will go parabolic. Let’s be clear about something. I am not here to argue SUMOkoin is superior to XMR. That’s not what this article is about and frankly is missing the point. I don’t find the SUMOkoin vs. XMR debate interesting. From where I stand, investing in SUMOkoin has nothing to do with SUMOkoin overtaking XMR or who has superior tech. If anything, I think the merits of XMR underline the value of SUMOkoin. What I do find interesting is return on investment (“ROI”). Imagine SUMO was an upcoming ICO. But you knew ahead of time that they had a proven product-market fit and an awesome, blue chip code base. That’s basically what you have in SUMO. Most good ICOs raise over 20mil (meaning their starting market cap is $20 mil) but after that, it’s a crapshoot. Investing in SUMO is akin to getting ICO prices but with the amount of information associated with more established coins. Let me make one more thing clear. Investing is all about information. Specifically it’s about the information imbalance between current value and the quality of your information. SUMO is highly imbalanced. The fact of the matter is that if you are interested in getting the vision and product/market fit of a $6 billion market cap coin for $20 mil, you should keep reading. If you are interested in arguing about XMR vs. SUMOkoin, I point you to this infographic Background I’m a corporate tech & IP lawyer in Silicon Valley. My practice focuses on venture capital (“VC)”) and mergers & acquisitions (“M&A”). Recently I have begun doing more IP strategy. Basically I spend all day every day reviewing cap tables, stock purchase agreements, merger agreements and patent portfolios. I’m also the CEO of a startup (Scry Chat) and have a team of three full-time engineers. I started using BTC in 2014 in conjunction with Silk Road and TOR. I recently had a minor conniption when I discovered how much BTC I handled in 2014. My 2017 has been good with IOTA at sub $0.30, POWR at $0.12, ENJIN at $0.02, REQ at $0.05, ENIGMA at $0.50, ITC (IoT Chain) and SUMO. My crypto investing philosophy is based on betting long odds. In the words of Warren Buffet, consolidate to get rich, diversify to stay rich. Or as I like to say, nobody ever got rich diversifying. That being said I STRONGLY recommend you have an IRA and/or 401(k) in place prior to venturing into crypto. But when it comes to crypto, I’d rather strike out dozens of times to have a chance at hitting a 100x home run. This approach is probably born out of working with VCs in Silicon Valley who do the same only with companies, not coins. I view myself as an aggressive VC in the cryptosphere. The Number 1 thing I’ve taken away from venture law is that it pays to get in EARLY. Did you know that the typical founder buys their shares for $0.00001 per share? So if a founder owns 5 million shares, they bought those shares for $50 total. The typical IPO goes out the door at $10-20 per share. My iPhone calculator says ERROR when it tries to divide $10/0.00001 because it runs out of screen real estate. At the time of this writing, SUMO has a Marketcap of $18 million. That is 3/10,000th or 1/3333th. Let that sink in for a minute. BCH is a fork of BTC and it has the fourth largest market cap of all cryptos. Given it’s market cap, I am positive SUMO is the best value proposition in the Privacy Coin arena at the time of this writing. * ROI MERITS OF SUMOkoin So what’s so good about SUMOkoin? Didn’t you say it was just a Monero knock-off? 1) Well, sort of. SUMO is based on CryptoNote and was conceived from a fork of Monero, with a little bit of extra privacy thrown in. It would not be wrong to think SUMO is to Litecoin as XMR is to Bitcoin. 2) Increased Privacy. Which brings us to point 2. SUMO is doing several things to increase privacy (see below). If Monero is the King of Privacy Coins, then SUMO is the Standard Bearer fighting on the front lines. Note: Monero does many of these too (though at the time of fork XMR could not). Don’t forget Monero is also 5.8 billion market cap to SUMO’s 18 million. a) RingCT. All transactions since genesis are RingCT (ring confidential transactions) and the minimum “mixin” transactions is 13 (12 plus the original transaction). This passes the threshold to statistically resist blockchain attacks. No transactions made on the SUMO blockchain can ever be traced to the actual participants. Nifty huh? Monero (3+1 mixins) is considering a community-wide fork to increase their minimum transactions to 6, 9, or 12. Not a bad market signal if you’re SUMOkoin eh? b) Sub-addresses. The wallet deploys disposable sub-addresses to conceal your real sumo wallet address even from senders (who typically would need to know your actual address to send currency). Monero also does this. 3) Fungibility aka “Digital Cash” aka Broad Use Case. “Fungibility” gets thrown about a bunch but basically it means ‘how close is this coin to cash in terms of usage?’ SUMO is one of a few cryptos that can boast true fungibility — it acts just like physical cash i.e. other people can never trace where the money came from or how many coins were transferred. MONERO will never be able to boast this because it did not start as fungible. 4) Mining Made Easy Mode. Seeing as SUMO was a fork, and not an ICO, they didn’t have to rewrite the wheel. Instead they focused on product by putting together solid fundamentals like a great wallet and a dedicated mining app. Basically anyone can mine with the most intuitive GUI mining app out there. Google “Sumo Easy Miner” – run and mine. 5) Intuitive and Secure Wallet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, yet in this day and age, apparently it is not a prereq. They have a GUI wallet plus those unlimited sub-addresses I mentioned above. Here’s the github if you’d like to review: https://github.com/sumoprojects/SumoGUIWallet The wallet really is one of the best I have seen (ENJIN’s will be better). Clear, intuitive, idiot proof (as possible). 6) Decentralization. SUMO is botnet-proof, and therefore botnet mining resistant. When a botnet joins a mining pool, it adjusts the mining difficulty, thereby balancing the difficulty level of mining. 7) Coin Emission Scheme. SUMO’s block reward changes every 6-months as the following “Camel” distribution schema (inspired by real-world mining production like of crude oil, coal, etc. that is often slow at first, then accelerated in before decline and depletion). MONERO lacks this schema and it is significant. Camel ensures that Sumokoin won’t be a short-lived phenomena. Specifically, since Sumo is proof-of-work, not all SUMO can be mined. If it were all mined, miners would no longer be properly incentivized to contribute to the network (unless transaction fees were raised, which is how Bitcoin plans on handling when all 21 million coins have been mined, which will go poorly given that people already complain about fees). A good emission scheme is vital to viability. Compare Camel and Monero’s scheme if you must: https://github.com/sumoprojects/sumokoin/blob/mastescripts/sumokoin_camel_emission_cal.cpp vs. https://monero.stackexchange.com/questions/242/how-was-the-monero-emission-curve-chosen/247. 8) Dev Team // Locked Coins // Future Development Funds. There are lots of things that make this coin a ‘go.’ but perhaps the most overlooked in crypto is that the devs have delivered ahead of schedule. If you’re an engineer or have managed CS projects, you know how difficult hitting projected deadlines can be. These guys update github very frequently and there is a high degree of visibility. The devs have also time-locked their pre-mine in a publicly view-able wallet for years so they aren’t bailing out with a pump and dump. The dev team is based in Japan. 9) Broad Appeal. If marketed properly, SUMO has the ability to appeal to older individuals venturing into crypto due to the fungibility / similarities to cash. This is not different than XMR, and I expect it will be exploited in 2018 by all privacy coins. It could breed familiarity with new money, and new money is the future of crypto. 10) Absent from Major Exchanges. Thank god. ALL of my best investments have happened off Binance, Bittrex, Polo, GDAX, etc. Why? Because by the time a coin hits a major exchange you’re already too late. Your TOI is fucked. You’re no longer a savant. SUMO is on Cryptopia, the best jenky exchange. 11) Marketing. Which brings me to my final point – and it happens to be a weakness. SUMO has not focused on marketing. They’ve instead gathered together tech speaks for itself (or rather doesn’t). So what SUMO needs a community effort to distribute facts about SUMO’s value prop to the masses. A good example is Vert Coin. Their team is very good at disseminating information. I’m not talking about hyping a coin; I’m talking about how effectively can you spread facts about your product to the masses. To get mainstream SUMO needs something like this VertCoin post: https://np.reddit.com/vertcoin/comments/7ixkbf/vertbase_a_vertcoin_to_usd_exchange/ MARKET CAP DISCUSSION For a coin with using Monero’s tech, 20 million is minuscule. For any coin 20 mil is nothing. Some MC comparisons [as of Jan 2, 2017]:
SUMO: 18 million
ENJIN: 150 million (9x)
Enigma: 465 million (26x)
REQ: 500 million (28x)
POWR: 500 million (28x)
Monero: 5.8 billion (mental maths iz hard)
Let’s talk about market cap (“MC”) for a minute. It gets tossed around a lot but I don’t think people appreciate how important getting in as early as possible can be. Say you buy $1000 of SUMO at 20 mil MC. Things go well and 40 million new money gets poured into SUMO. Now the MC = 60 million. Your ROI is 200% (you invested $1,000 and now you have 3,000, netting 2,000). Now let’s says say you bought at 40 million instead of 20 million. $20 mill gets poured in until the MC again reaches 60 mil. Your ROI is 50% (you put in $1,000, you now have 1,500, netting 500). Remember: investing at 20 mil MC vs. 40 mil MC represents an EXTREMELY subtle shift in time of investment (“TOI”). But the difference in net profit is dramatic. the biggest factor is that your ROI multiplier is locked in at your TOI — look at the difference in the above example. 200% ROI vs. 50% ROI. That’s huge. But the difference was only 20 mil — that’s 12 hours in the crypto world. I strongly believe SUMO can and will 25x in Q1 2018 (400m MC) and 50x by Q4 2018 reach. There is ample room for a tricked out Monero clone at 1 bil MC. That’s 50x. Guess how many coins have 500 mil market caps? 58 as of this writing. 58! Have many of these coins with about ~500 mil MC have you heard of? MaidSafeCoin? Status? Decred? Veritaseum? DRAGONCHAIN ARE YOU KIDDING ME THE ROLE OF PRIVACY I want to close with a brief discussion of privacy as it relates to fundamental rights and as to crypto. 2018 will be remembered as the Year of Privacy Coins. Privacy has always been at the core of crypto. This is no coincidence. “Privacy” is the word we have attached to the concept of possessing the freedom to do as you please within the law without explaining yourself to the government or financial institution. Discussing privacy from a financial perspective is difficult because it has very deep political significance. But that is precisely why it is so valuable. Privacy is the right of billions of people not to be surveilled. We live in a world where every single transaction you do through the majority financial system is recorded, analyzed and sold — and yet where the money goes is completely opaque. Our transactions are visible from the top, but we can’t see up. Privacy coins turn that upside down. Privacy is a human right. It is the guarantor of American constitutional freedom. It is the cornerstone of freedoms of expression, association, political speech and all our other freedoms for that matter. And privacy coins are at the root of that freedom. What the internet did for freedom of information, privacy coins will do for freedom of financial transactions. POST SCRIPT: AN ENGINEER’S PERSPECTIVE Recently a well respected engineer reached out to me and had this to say about SUMO. I thought I’d share. "I’m messaging you because I came at this from a different perspective. For reference, I started investing in Sumo back when it was around $0.5 per coin. My background is in CS and Computer Engineering. I currently research in CS. When I was looking for a coin to invest in, I approached it in a completely different way from what you described in your post, I first made a list of coins with market caps < 20m, and then I removed all the coins that didn’t have active communities. Next, because of my background, I read through the code for each of the remaining coins, and picked the coins which had both frequent commits to GitHub (proving dev activity), and while more subjective, code that was well written. Sumo had both active devs, and (very) well written code. I could tell that the people behind this knew what they were doing, and so I invested. I say all of this, because I find it interesting how we seem to have very different strategies for selecting ‘winners’ but yet we both ended up finding Sumo." — Legal Disclaimer: THIS POST AND ANY SUBSEQUENT STATEMENTS BY THE AUTHOR DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE OR RELIED UPON. NO REFERENCES TO THIS POST SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE. THIS POST REPRESENTS THE LONE OPINION OF A NON-SOPHISTICATED INVESTOR.
Thermodynamics & Silent Weapons for Secret Wars or Crypto Anarchy 101: Statists Failing & Anarchists Thriving
Crypto Anarchy 101: Statists Failing & Anarchists Thriving The black-market, the free-market, is what kept people alive throughout the worst of oppressions. The black market has been the art of surviving amidst all types of tyrannies and slaveries. The black market, aka System D, is something that everyone in the world will need to start getting comfortable with. CryptoAnarchy is the ultimate manifestation of complete market freedom, and it is here to stay. Libertarians are beginning to finally realize their incredible advantage within this new market environment. The unfortunate statist masses have been programmed to feel uncomfortable with the mere idea of complete market freedom. Keep in mind that as of 2009, half of the world’s workers- around 1.8 billion – were employed by System D. The black market is only expected to grow even more so with the incentive structures being built out in order to advance the technological advancements of cryptography. Humanity has never experienced a true free-market until now. For the first time in history one is beginning to take shape. The traditional business sector is beginning to realize that they are not even mentally equipped for the implications of having applied cryptography that is powered by market incentives. This is evident in their trite attempts at integrating these new technologies with traditional banking and financial systems. Their lack of creativity, and dependence on government, is a clear testament to how much they will be hurt in the coming future. Statists Double Down after Failure: Tether and Stablecoins Many within the crypto space have attempted to bridge the gap between legacy banking and cryptocurrencies. Amongst the various attempts at capitalizing with these new technologies, the idea of a stablecoin entered the space via Tether (USDT). A stable coin is a cryptocurrency that is pegged on a 1 to 1 ratio to the US dollar, or any other asset- like gold- or fiat. Tether operated as a stable coin pegged to the US dollar on a 1 to 1 ratio. The biggest attribute behind stablecoins resided in their ability to provide stability in an otherwise volatile market. For a long time many within the crypto space were curious about Tether’s means of operating with USD. Earlier this year TDV was the first entity to exclusively reported to its subscribers the origin of Tether’s “secret sauce;” fractional reserve banking. The laws of fractional reserve banking allowed the Noble Bank of Puerto Rico to provide Tether with the legal means of operating as a stable coin pegged to the US dollar. The Noble Bank recently went bankrupt due to being insolvent. Noble Bank was the bank of Bitfinex and Tether. As a result, Tether and Bitfinex ended their relationship with Noble Bank. It is important that you as a subscriber move your crypto out of Bitfinex. You should never keep your cryptoin exchanges. When you do this you don’t actually control the private keys of your coins. (If you are an active trader, please consider using Bisq. Bisq is an open source decentralized exchange that does not control your private keys while trading. It is the most Anarchist exchange in the market right now.) After losing its partnership with Noble Bank, Bitfinex began banking with HSBC. On October 15th, Bitfinex tweeted that their fiat deposit system was re-enabled. Overall, Bitfinex is still in the midst of reorganizing itself as an exchange with proper banking liquidity. For this reason we are of the opinion that it is best to stay away from Bitfinex until they are more solvent in their banking partnerships. Tether (USDT) on the other hand is suffering from a lack of proper banking structures. Binance paused all USDT withdrawals and KuCoin, the exchange, also paused USDT deposits and withdrawals. Tether is currently at around 2.1bn dollar market cap. Tether holders are having a difficult time cashing out of their Tether for USD. It is expected that unless Tether gets its banking situation sorted out, we will see movement out of Tether. This situation has caused the price of Tether to hit a low of $0.90 to the USD. As of writing this, Tether is trading at around $0.97 to the dollar. The situation for Tether is dire at the present moment. We expect to see many Tether holders drop their Tether for Bitcoin, or other more cryptographically secure cryptocurrencies. This will more than likely be one of the main strategies that will be implemented in order to cash out of Tether. This overall situation is once again showing us how unstable things are when dealing with fiat. We hope for the market to realize that there is more security in cryptocurrencies than there is in fiat backed stablecoins. Stablecoins will always have the instability of the fiat currencies that they are pegged to. The time will eventually come when people will realize that cryptocurrencies are a better store of value than stablecoins. In spite of all of the issues circulating Tether, statist entrepreneurs are doubling down on their desire for stablecoins. We are seeing the beginning of what we believe will be a trend in the upcoming future; that is, stable coins pegged to various countries’ fiat and assets like precious metals. The new USD stablecoins recently announced to the market are GeminiUSD, TrueUSD, and Paxos Standard. Volatility as a Sign of Life in the Market Contrary to the statist perception on volatility, one can also view volatility in crypto as proper to a market that is fully alive. Crypto, for the first time in history, freed the market from bankster manipulation. Arguably, volatility is to be expected in an unregulated free-market where everyone in the world is for the first time welcomed to participate. In comparison to the legacy financial system, crypto is fully alive while the former is handicapped by regulations, coercion, and disconnected from true free-market signals. That is, volatility signals of a free-market that breathes freely for the first time. Volatility is indicative of a market that is fully alive. The desire for individuals to attach crypto to the legacy financial system, under the pretense of “less volatility,” is indicative of individuals that will have a hard time operating outside the bounds of regulation and government coercion. As long as we have statists uncomfortable with Anarchy, we will have stablecoins pegged to fiat. Various Libertarian entrepreneurs are also beginning to dabble with the idea of a stablecoin that is pegged to precious metals. The challenge of these projects will be the same regulation that oversees fiat. Remember that the difference offered to the world by cryptocurrencies resides in crypto’s ability to operate freely within System D, without regulation. It is this new market, the true free-market, that for the first time is unstoppable. Bitfinex’s Effect on EOS Bitfinex is one of the entities that holds the greatest amount of votes for EOS Block Producers (BPs). For this and other reasons, we are currently expecting a shakeup of votes for selected top BPs. It is important that you remain attentive to the happenings within EOS and move your votes accordingly. We will soon be coming out with more details on our perceptions regarding various BPs. There are various discussions regarding BPs pending arbitration. This is a good thing. All shakeups lead us closer to more transparency and accountability. This should not directly affect the price of EOS, aside from what will result from the expected FUD of future BP shake-ups. The Resilience of CryptoAnarchy after Blockstream’s Fake Sidechain Amongst the various innovations within Bitcoin, sidechains have- for the past 5 years- existed as one of the holy grails of innovation. Blockstream, as a company, was put together to manifest sidechains. They sold us the concept of a sidechain as they were sourcing capital during their first rounds of investment; this was in October of 2014. Sidechains were supposed to be delivered by Blockstream as a way to make Bitcoin innovation competitive to that of altcoin innovation. Sidechains were supposed to be “the Altcoin killer.” After all of this time, Blockstream only delivered Liquid - which is not a sidechain- and called it a “sidechain.” That is, Liquid is not a sidechain when properly defined. Liquid is a multi-signature layer that allows for multiple exchanges to pool their money together to transfer funds amongst themselves. Liquid is not a true sidechain, it is more precisely a multi-signature wallet. Calling Liquid a “sidechain” was just a marketing scheme by Blockstream in order to impress the illusion that they had delivered what they had promised. They didn’t. Blockstream gave up in attempting to create a true sidechain and created a multi-signature wallet instead. Keep in mind that Liquid is a “private sidechain.” Note that a proper sidechain ought to be made with open-source innovation in mind. Many of us see the actions of Blockstream as a bait and switch marketing scheme. (For the rest of this article I will use the words “Drivechains” and “sidechains” interchangeably as synonyms. Drivechains are what sidechains originally were supposed to be- according to the original Blockstream Sidechain white paper. Blockstream’s bait and switch marketing scheme led to them calling “sidechain” a multisignature wallet that is not at all what they promoted on their white paper. Paul Sztorc, in an attempt to differentiate himself from the Blockstream perversion of the word “sidechains,” called his development of true sidechains “Drivechains.”) Drivechain Sidechains Paul Sztorc, the creator of decentralized prediction markets, was very much looking forward to Blockstream’s creation of sidechains. It was his hope that his decentralized prediction market would run as a Bitcoin sidechain. At about the end of 2015 Sztorc was done with BitcoinHiveMind, his decentralized predictions market (previously known as TruthCoin). After realizing that Blockstream was not going to deliver on sidechains, as promised, Sztorc felt he needed to build it himself. The creation of his Drivechains started off as a means to an end for Sztorc; he needed true Sidechains for his decentralized predictions market- so he build it himself. On September 24, 2018 Paul Sztorc announced the launch of the first Drivechain release. This release was accompanied with fervent followingof old-school Bitcoiners that immediately jumped into experimenting with Drivechains on the testnet known as “Testdrive.” The Drivechain protocol is an alternative to the sidechain project originally proposed by Blockstream. It is a simpler design that enables blockchain compatibility in which the system still utilizes the same 21 million bitcoin ruleset- the Nakamoto consensus. Drivechains are intended to allow for permissionless innovation without diluting or challenging the value of the main cryptocurrency. Contrary to other means of innovation within crypto, any innovation that comes from a Drivechain sidechain actually adds value to the Bitcoin protocol- for it does not dilute the main cryptocurrency. Satoshi vaguely discussed the importance of the ideas of sidechains and multi-blockchain connectivity on June 17, 2010. This creation, of providing varied market options, make infighting and political discourses regarding consensus upgrades now seem infantile. Drivechains will provide the market with ongoing competitive solutions for blockchain development. Investors will now be exposed to options that would otherwise have been shunned in a less free environment. The strategic advantage of Drivechain sidechains is that they will offer investors various options in the form of alternative chains. It is important to keep in mind that Drivechains are available for blockchains with the same UTXO set. That is, Drivechains are available for both BitcoinCore (BTC) and BitcoinCash (BCH). How Drivechains work Namecoin was the vision of early Bitcoin adopters of creating a DNS and identity infrastructure based on Bitcoin; that is, .bit DNS. This technology piggy backed on top of Bitcoin mining. That is, if you so chose you could merged-mined Namecoin alongside BTC or BCH. Namecoin can absorb hashrate from BTC or BCH without needing its own miners. Merge-mining with BTC or BCH is also the process of validating and safeguarding Drivechain sidechains. Unlike Namecoin, Drivechain sidechains don’t require miners to run special software. For Drivechain sidechains miners implement what is known as blind-merge-mining. In blind-merge-mining the nodes of the sidechain run the software, not the miners. This operates under the assumption that the nodes running the software also hold BTC or BCH. A payment fee is paid to miners to blind-merge-mine the sidechain, in a similar way that Namecoin merge-mining pays a fee. In this process, miners don’t have to run any software- they just passively make money for blind-merge-mining blocks with sidechains. The main difference with sidechains is that you are not mining another coin like Namecoin, but rather you are mining the same BTC or BCH in another sidechain when you do the blind-merge-mining. Miners don’t get paid with the sidechain, they receive payment from the mainchain that they already trust when they blind-merge-mine. Miners are also economically benefited by always getting paid in the superior coin that they are already intentionally mining; BTC or BCH. As BTC or BCH moves in and out from the mainchain to a sidechain, there might be claims of ownership that may cause disputes. Drivechain prevents this by emphasizing the superiority of the mainchain over sidechains. Sidechains have to report on exactly what it is doing- at all times- to the main chain. Whenever a sidechain wants to transfer money back to the mainchain it has to do it very slowly. This safeguards the network from theft. The slow movement of funds from the sidechain to the mainchain can be arbitrage by individuals who will be willing to purchase sidechain receipts for BTC or BCH coming from sidechains at a discount. People will also be able to do atomic swaps between chains in the near future. (Atomic swaps, or atomic cross chain trading, is the exchange of one cryptocurrency to another cryptocurrency, without the need of trusting a third-party). It is the intent of Drivechains to create the interaction of miners with sidechains as seamless as possible. However, it is still important to have guarantee that money ends up in the right place. This is the reason for the slow movement of funds from sidechains to the mainchain. The movement of a certain amount of transactions coming from a sidechain to the mainchain is batched up into one transaction with its own transaction ID. This transaction is frozen in place where miners and developers can examine it for at least a month (there are talks of even making this process longer between 3 to 6 months). During this time miners vote on whether to allow the payment to go through or not. Upon receiving enough upvotes, the batched up transactions are released unto the mainchain. The slowing down of movement of BTC or BCH from sidechains to mainchain decreases the threat of miners stealing BTC or BCH from a sidechain. The sidechains are always watching the mainchain, so they know to credit people immediately when the mainchain sends money to it. Sidechains also know when the miners have accepted the release of batched up locked funds that are released unto the mainchain. Once the sidechain receives notification of the miners acceptance of funds in the mainchain, the sidechain destroys the funds that were frozen awaiting miner upvotes. It is overall acknowledged that sidechains increase the value of BTC and BCH, which eventually make mining more profitable. It would be counterproductive for miners to attack and steal funds from sidechains. That is, miners acting maliciously decreases the value of their own equipment. In spite of this fact, it is good that Drivechains make it increasingly more difficult for theft to occur. Miners, through their voting process, also get to punish bad sidechain actors. Any malicious sidechain will be cleaned out by miners. This is the opposite of the Ethereum model where anyone can code anything into the Ethereum blockchain, to the point that it could become a detriment to the Ethereum mainchain itself. That is, anyone can create a new ERC20 or ERC721 token without any vetting from the network. Coins are moved from the mainchain to the sidechain by means of sending coins to an address that represents the sending of funds from the mainchain to the sidechain. Anyone running the given sidechain software will recognize that funds were sent to the sidechain- this will automatically credit the person with the same amount of BTC or BCH on the sidechain. Also, the sidechain is programmed to recognize the reception of funds unto the mainchain address from where it will automatically credit the user the same amount of BTC or BCH unto a sidechain wallet. People on the mainchain don’t have to know anything about this particular address. As far as they know, it is just another address. Embrace the Spontaneous Order of Market Anarchy It is important that people within BTC and BCH take on a more Hayekian approach to entrepreneurship. Many within crypto are uncomfortable with the mere notion of spontaneous order. It is important that we as Ancaps lead the way in motivating people to experiment with their entrepreneurship. In the past few years, the desire of individuals to covet the development of crypto has become more apparent. These people need to be ignored. No one is the leader of Bitcoin or crypto development. The best innovators within crypto are those that create tools that empower other entrepreneurs to create more options. It is this spontaneous order that we should welcome and promote at all times. Many within BTC and BCH will not accept or feel comfortable with the radical spontaneous order enabled by Drivechains. This is good reasonto brush up on your Austrian Economics in order to properly confront minds that are fearful of human freedom. The Ancap entrepreneurs who are most comfortable with spontaneous order will be the same ones who will produce the greatest amount of value. The development of CryptoAnarchy is guided by the science of praxeology and Austrian Economics. Drivechains are testament to the augmentation of our libertarian order are necessary for CryptoAnarchy to thrive. Drivechains and Investment Strategy The philosophical and economic advantage of sidechain innovation is that it enables the development of BTC and BCH with an investor-centric intention. It is the market’s investment that now decides the best means for scaling and development. Politics and propaganda take an almost insignificant backseat to that of market forces. The technology is now readily available for investors to test drive with their BTC or BCH on any given proposed sidechain. That is, you actually get to experience the value, or lack of value of a new innovation without jeopardizing your position as an investor. All investment decisions are about strategy. Sidechains empower the investor’s strategy by allowing the investor to survey all of the possible value propositions of his/her original investment without having to incur any actual costs. In a similar way, sidechains also provide developers with quick market feedback on the aspects of development that are most favored by the market. Drivechains are a pivotal step in maturing the crypto space into becoming more conscientious in considering the investment strategy of those buying the coins. It is important for innovators to start taking the investor’s strategy into account. Drivechains force developers to consider what is best for the investor, not just what is desired by a given team of developers. Here we have not only a better proposition for investors, but also an incentive for developers to use Drivechains in future crypto experimentation. When experimenting with an altcoin, the measure of success is contingent on this new altcoin gathering a new pool of investors to literally buy into the project. With a sidechain you are already dealing with a more seasoned group of investors that will provide you with more accurate market feedback, being that their investment is now fortified by all other sidechain experimentations that they have already tested at no cost. Altcoins will soon no longer be the locus of innovation within crypto. All future innovation will be offered the option to experiment within BTC or BCH via sidechains. Keep in mind that all previous innovations, already tested in the market by successful altcoins, are now easily adopted by BTC or BCH. It is also important to note that creative experimentation on sidechains do not at all jeopardize the mainnets of BTC or BCH. On the contrary, sidechains will make BTC and BCH much more valuable. When the Drivechain craze begins we will see a BTC and BCH bull run. Don’t be surprised if sidechains are the main reason for the next all time highs. Statists Failing & Anarchists Thriving It is important that we understand that the legacy banking system is completely dead. They are barely adopting simulations of cryptocurrencies unto their banking structures to stay alive. Stablecoins are a manifestation of this bankster angst to remain current. True market innovation is found in the embrace of Market Anarchy. CryptoAnarchy is growing exponentially with tools that are beyond the reach of state megalomaniacs. Drivechains are an example of the CryptoAnarchist tools that will result in further anti-fragility of this new crypto free-market. Proper Austrian Economic incentive structures coupled with applied cryptography is our lethal weapon against nation states and central banks. Arguably, our Ancap philosophy is what guides applied cryptography in the market towards success. For this reason it is important that we keep revisiting the texts of Rothbard, Mises, Hayek, and Konkin throughout our crypto endeavors. Peace! by Rafael LaVerde Source TL;DR: How familiar are you with thermodynamics and silent weapons for secret wars? How familiar are you with the Brave New World Order?
[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] I’ve been researching privacy coins deeply and feel I’ve reached a sufficient findings to merit s...
The following post by MaesterEmi is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed. The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link: np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7qfr3r The original post's content was as follows:
By Taylor Margot. Everyone should read this! THE BASICS SUMOkoin is a fork of MONERO (XMR). XMR is a fork of Bytecoin. In my opinion, XMR is hands down the most undervalued coin in the top 15. Its hurdle is that people do not know how to price in privacy to the price of a coin yet. Once people figure out how to accurately assess the value privacy into the value of a coin, XMR, along with other privacy coins like SUMOkoin, will go parabolic. Let’s be clear about something. I am not here to argue SUMOkoin is superior to XMR. That’s not what this article is about and frankly is missing the point. I don’t find the SUMOkoin vs. XMR debate interesting. From where I stand, investing in SUMOkoin has nothing to do with SUMOkoin overtaking XMR or who has superior tech. If anything, I think the merits of XMR underline the value of SUMOkoin. What I do find interesting is return on investment (“ROI”). Imagine SUMO was an upcoming ICO. But you knew ahead of time that they had a proven product-market fit and an awesome, blue chip code base. That’s basically what you have in SUMO. Most good ICOs raise over 20mil (meaning their starting market cap is $20 mil) but after that, it’s a crapshoot. Investing in SUMO is akin to getting ICO prices but with the amount of information associated with more established coins. Let me make one more thing clear. Investing is all about information. Specifically it’s about the information imbalance between current value and the quality of your information. SUMO is highly imbalanced. The fact of the matter is that if you are interested in getting the vision and product/market fit of a $6 billion market cap coin for $20 mil, you should keep reading. If you are interested in arguing about XMR vs. SUMOkoin, I point you to this infographic Background I’m a corporate tech & IP lawyer in Silicon Valley. My practice focuses on venture capital (“VC)”) and mergers & acquisitions (“M&A”). Recently I have begun doing more IP strategy. Basically I spend all day every day reviewing cap tables, stock purchase agreements, merger agreements and patent portfolios. I’m also the CEO of a startup (Scry Chat) and have a team of three full-time engineers. I started using BTC in 2014 in conjunction with Silk Road and TOR. I recently had a minor conniption when I discovered how much BTC I handled in 2014. My 2017 has been good with IOTA at sub $0.30, POWR at $0.12, ENJIN at $0.02, REQ at $0.05, ENIGMA at $0.50, ITC (IoT Chain) and SUMO. My crypto investing philosophy is based on betting long odds. In the words of Warren Buffet, consolidate to get rich, diversify to stay rich. Or as I like to say, nobody ever got rich diversifying. That being said I STRONGLY recommend you have an IRA and/or 401(k) in place prior to venturing into crypto. But when it comes to crypto, I’d rather strike out dozens of times to have a chance at hitting a 100x home run. This approach is probably born out of working with VCs in Silicon Valley who do the same only with companies, not coins. I view myself as an aggressive VC in the cryptosphere. The Number 1 thing I’ve taken away from venture law is that it pays to get in EARLY. Did you know that the typical founder buys their shares for $0.00001 per share? So if a founder owns 5 million shares, they bought those shares for $50 total. The typical IPO goes out the door at $10-20 per share. My iPhone calculator says ERROR when it tries to divide $10/0.00001 because it runs out of screen real estate. At the time of this writing, SUMO has a Marketcap of $18 million. That is 3/10,000th or 1/3333th. Let that sink in for a minute. BCH is a fork of BTC and it has the fourth largest market cap of all cryptos. Given it’s market cap, I am positive SUMO is the best value proposition in the Privacy Coin arena at the time of this writing. * ROI MERITS OF SUMOkoin So what’s so good about SUMOkoin? Didn’t you say it was just a Monero knock-off? 1) Well, sort of. SUMO is based on CryptoNote and was conceived from a fork of Monero, with a little bit of extra privacy thrown in. It would not be wrong to think SUMO is to Litecoin as XMR is to Bitcoin. 2) Increased Privacy. Which brings us to point 2. SUMO is doing several things to increase privacy (see below). If Monero is the King of Privacy Coins, then SUMO is the Standard Bearer fighting on the front lines. Note: Monero does many of these too (though at the time of fork XMR could not). Don’t forget Monero is also 5.8 billion market cap to SUMO’s 18 million. a) RingCT. All transactions since genesis are RingCT (ring confidential transactions) and the minimum “mixin” transactions is 13 (12 plus the original transaction). This passes the threshold to statistically resist blockchain attacks. No transactions made on the SUMO blockchain can ever be traced to the actual participants. Nifty huh? Monero (3+1 mixins) is considering a community-wide fork to increase their minimum transactions to 6, 9, or 12. Not a bad market signal if you’re SUMOkoin eh? b) Sub-addresses. The wallet deploys disposable sub-addresses to conceal your real sumo wallet address even from senders (who typically would need to know your actual address to send currency). Monero also does this. 3) Fungibility aka “Digital Cash” aka Broad Use Case. “Fungibility” gets thrown about a bunch but basically it means ‘how close is this coin to cash in terms of usage?’ SUMO is one of a few cryptos that can boast true fungibility — it acts just like physical cash i.e. other people can never trace where the money came from or how many coins were transferred. MONERO will never be able to boast this because it did not start as fungible. 4) Mining Made Easy Mode. Seeing as SUMO was a fork, and not an ICO, they didn’t have to rewrite the wheel. Instead they focused on product by putting together solid fundamentals like a great wallet and a dedicated mining app. Basically anyone can mine with the most intuitive GUI mining app out there. Google “Sumo Easy Miner” – run and mine. 5) Intuitive and Secure Wallet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, yet in this day and age, apparently it is not a prereq. They have a GUI wallet plus those unlimited sub-addresses I mentioned above. Here’s the github if you’d like to review: https://github.com/sumoprojects/SumoGUIWallet The wallet really is one of the best I have seen (ENJIN’s will be better). Clear, intuitive, idiot proof (as possible). 6) Decentralization. SUMO is botnet-proof, and therefore botnet mining resistant. When a botnet joins a mining pool, it adjusts the mining difficulty, thereby balancing the difficulty level of mining. 7) Coin Emission Scheme. SUMO’s block reward changes every 6-months as the following “Camel” distribution schema (inspired by real-world mining production like of crude oil, coal, etc. that is often slow at first, then accelerated in before decline and depletion). MONERO lacks this schema and it is significant. Camel ensures that Sumokoin won’t be a short-lived phenomena. Specifically, since Sumo is proof-of-work, not all SUMO can be mined. If it were all mined, miners would no longer be properly incentivized to contribute to the network (unless transaction fees were raised, which is how Bitcoin plans on handling when all 21 million coins have been mined, which will go poorly given that people already complain about fees). A good emission scheme is vital to viability. Compare Camel and Monero’s scheme if you must: https://github.com/sumoprojects/sumokoin/blob/mastescripts/sumokoin_camel_emission_cal.cpp vs. https://monero.stackexchange.com/questions/242/how-was-the-monero-emission-curve-chosen/247. 8) Dev Team // Locked Coins // Future Development Funds. There are lots of things that make this coin a ‘go.’ but perhaps the most overlooked in crypto is that the devs have delivered ahead of schedule. If you’re an engineer or have managed CS projects, you know how difficult hitting projected deadlines can be. These guys update github very frequently and there is a high degree of visibility. The devs have also time-locked their pre-mine in a publicly view-able wallet for years so they aren’t bailing out with a pump and dump. The dev team is based in Japan. 9) Broad Appeal. If marketed properly, SUMO has the ability to appeal to older individuals venturing into crypto due to the fungibility / similarities to cash. This is not different than XMR, and I expect it will be exploited in 2018 by all privacy coins. It could breed familiarity with new money, and new money is the future of crypto. 10) Absent from Major Exchanges. Thank god. ALL of my best investments have happened off Binance, Bittrex, Polo, GDAX, etc. Why? Because by the time a coin hits a major exchange you’re already too late. Your TOI is fucked. You’re no longer a savant. SUMO is on Cryptopia, the best jenky exchange. 11) Marketing. Which brings me to my final point – and it happens to be a weakness. SUMO has not focused on marketing. They’ve instead gathered together tech speaks for itself (or rather doesn’t). So what SUMO needs a community effort to distribute facts about SUMO’s value prop to the masses. A good example i...
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Binance Launches Crypto Mining Pool Amid Centralization Concerns
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