Running Bitcoin Cash: An Introduction to Operating a Full Node

Monthly Nano News: December 2019 + Year Recap Special

This is what NANO has been up to lately. I don't think I lie if I say it has been quite an amazing year!
See you soon and happy new year! Something nice is coming soon that I have been working on for a while, stay tuned..

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

Apr 2019

Mar 2019

Feb 2019

Jan 2019


More news here: https://nanolinks.info/news

https://preview.redd.it/9sw5nkoxlt741.png?width=749&format=png&auto=webp&s=3426d4eafb9430c0304a6d161596102536df4318
submitted by Joohansson to nanocurrency [link] [comments]

Cosmos — an early in-depth analysis at the ecosystem of connected blockchains — Part One

Cosmos — an early in-depth analysis at the ecosystem of connected blockchains — Part One
This is part one of three articles where i will discuss what i have learnt whilst looking into Cosmos. I will provide links throughout the article to provide reference to sections as well as a list of sources at the bottom of the article for you to look into specific areas in more detail if required. Hopefully it will be useful for those interested in learning more about the project.
Cosmos is still very early in development process with components such as IBC which connects two blockchains together currently in research / specification stage, as a result can change by the time its released.

What is Cosmos?

Cosmos is a network and a framework for interoperability between blockchains. The zones are powered by Tendermint Core, which provides a high-performance, consistent, secure PBFT-like consensus engine, where strict fork-accountabilityguarantees hold over the behaviour of malicious actors. Cosmos is not a product but an ecosystem built on a set of modular, adaptable and interchangeable tools.
In Tendermint, consensus nodes go through a multi-round voting proposal process first before coming to consensus on the contents of a block. When 2/3 of those nodes decide on a block, then they run it through the state transition logic providing instant finality. In current proof of work consensus for Ethereum, the consensus process is inverted, where miners pick the transactions to include in a block, run state updates, then do “work” to try and mine the block.
Tendermint BFT can handle up to thousands of transactions per second (depending on the number of validators). However, this only takes into account the consensus part, the application layer is the limiting factor though. Ethermint (described below) has achieved up to 200 tps to give you an idea of the speed available per blockchain which is significantly more than current versions of Ethereum and Bitcoin etc.
The Tendermint consensus is used in a wide variety of projects, some of the most notable include Binance Chain, Hyperledger Burrow. It’s important to note though that just using Tendermint consensus doesn’t mean they can connect to other chains with the cosmos ecosystem, they would need to fork their code to implement IBC as a native protocol to allow interoperability through IBC.
see https://raw.githubusercontent.com/devcorn/hackatom/mastetminfo.pdf for high res

The Tendermint consensus algorithm follows a traditional approach which relies on all validators to communicate with one another to reach consensus. Because of the communication overhead, it does not scale to 1000s of validators like Bitcoin or Ethereum, which can have an unlimited number of validators. Tendermint works when there are 100s of validators. (Cosmos Hub currently has a maximum of 100 validators and the maximum tested so far with Tendermint is 180 validators)
Therefore, one of the downsides of a blockchain built using Tendermint is that, unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, it requires the validators to be known ahead of time and doesn’t allow for miners to come and go as they please.Besides this, it also requires the system to maintain some notion of time, which is known to be a complex problem in theory. Although in practice, Tendermint has proven this can be done reasonably well if you use the timestamp aggregates of each node.
In this regard, one could argue that Tendermint consensus protocol is “less decentralized” than Bitcoin because there are fewer validators, and they must be known ahead of time.
Tendermint’s protocol guarantees safety and liveness, assuming more than 2/3 of the validators’ voting power is not Byzantine (i.e., malicious). In other words, if less than 1/3 of the network voting power is Byzantine, the protocol can guarantee safety and liveness (i.e., validators will never commit conflicting blocks at the same height and the blockchain continues to make progress).https://www.preethikasireddy.com/posts/how-does-cosmos-work-part1
To see the process of how Tendermint works please see this diagram as well as more info here

Sovereignty

Cosmos goal is to provide sovereignty through governance to developers by making it easy to build blockchains via the Cosmos SDK and provide interoperability between them, using Tendermint consensus. This is their main differentiator compared to competition like Polkadot and Ethereum 2.0. Ethereum 2.0 and Polkadot are taking a different approach by only using shared security, where there is a root chain which controls the security / prevents double spending for all connected blockchains.
In Hub governance all stakers vote, the validators vote is superseded if the delegator votes directly
Governance is where all stakers vote on proposals to determine what changes are implemented in the future for their own blockchain, stakers can either choose to delegate their vote to the validator or they can instead vote directly. Without sovereignty all DAPPs share the same underlying environment. If an application requires a new feature in the EVM it has to rely entirely on the governance of the Ethereum Platform to accept it for example. However, there are also tradeoffs to having sovereignty as each zone is going to need a way to incentivise others to validate / create blocks on the Zone by running Full Nodes. Whilst it may be easy to create a blockchain using the cosmos SDK and to mint a token, there are the legal costs / regulation associated with creating your own token. How are you going to distribute the tokens? How are you going to list them on exchanges? How are you going to incentivise others to use the token without being classed as a security? All of which have led to a significant reduction in the number of ICOs being done. With every zone needing their own validator set, there’s going to be a huge number of validators required each trying to persuade them to validate their zone with only a finite number of validators available.
Each Zone / App is essentially a mini DAO and not all are going to be comfortable about having their project progress been taken out of their hands and instead relying on the community to best decide on the future (unless they control 2/3 of the tokens). The Cosmos Hub has proved this can be successful, but others may be risk averse to having their application be a mini DAO. Should someone / competitor acquire 1/3 of the tokens of a zone then they could potentially prevent any further progress being made by rejecting all governance votes (this would be very costly to do on the Cosmos Hub due to its high amount staked, but for all the other less secure zones this potentially may be an issue).
Security for some zones will likely be a lot lower with every developer needing to validate their own blockchain and tokenise them with POS with no easy way to validate the setup of a validator to ensure its secure. Whilst the Cosmos hub is very secure with its current value staked, how secure zone’s will be with significantly less staked remains to be seen. Whilst providing soverignty was Cosmos’s main goal from the start, they are also looking at being able to provide shared security by having validators of a connected Hub also validate /create new blocks on the connected zone’s blockchain for them as well. They are still going to need some way to incentivise the validators to this. Another option is if the developers didn’t want to create a token, nor want sovereignty etc, then they could just build a DAPP on the EVM on a zone such as Ethermint.
As can be seen their are potential advantages and disadvantages to each method, but rather than forcing shared security like Ethereum and Polkadot, Cosmos is giving the developer the choice so will be interesting to see which they prefer to go for.

Layers of a blockchain

From an architecture standpoint, each blockchain can be divided into three conceptual layers:
  • Application: Responsible for updating the state given a set of transactions, i.e. processing transactions.
  • Networking: Responsible for the propagation of transactions and consensus-related messages.
  • Consensus: Enables nodes to agree on the current state of the system.
The state machine is the same as the application layer. It defines the state of the application and the state-transition functions. The other layers are responsible for replicating the state machine on all the nodes that connect to the network.
The Cosmos SDK is a generalized framework that simplifies the process of building secure blockchain applications on top of Tendermint BFT. The goal of the Cosmos SDK is to create an ecosystem of modules that allows developers to easily spin up application-specific blockchains without having to code each bit of functionality of their application from scratch. Anyone can create a module for the Cosmos SDK and using ready built modules in your blockchain is as simple as importing them into your application.
The Tendermint BFT engine is connected to the application by a socket protocol called the Application Blockchain Interface (ABCI). This protocol can be wrapped in any programming language, making it possible for developers to choose a language that fits their needs.

https://preview.redd.it/5vpheheqmba31.png?width=770&format=png&auto=webp&s=ec3c58fb7fafe10a512dbb131ecef6e841e6721c

Hub and Spoke Topology

Cosmos follows a hub and spoke topology as its not feasible to connect every zone together. If you were to connect every blockchain together the number of connections in the network would grow quadratically with the number of zones. So, if there are 100 zones in the network then that would equal 4950 connections.
Zones are regular heterogenous blockchains and Hubs are blockchains specifically designed to connect Zones together. When a Zone creates an IBC connection with a Hub, it can automatically access (i.e. send to and receive from) every other Zone that is connected to it. As a result, each Zone only needs to establish a limited number of connections with a restricted set of Hubs. Hubs also prevent double spending among Zones. This means that when a Zone receives a token from a Hub, it only needs to trust the origin Zone of this token and each of the Hubs in its path. Hubs do not verify or execute transactions committed on other zones, so it is the responsibility of users to send tokens to zones that they trust.
There will be many Hubs within Cosmos network the first Hub to launch was the Cosmos Hub whose native staking token is called ATOM. ATOM tokens are specific to just the Cosmos Hub which is one hub of many, each with their own token. Transaction fees for the Cosmos Hub will be payable in multiple tokens so not just ATOMs whereas other Hubs such as IRIS has made it so that all transaction fees are paid in IRIS for transactions on its hub.
As mentioned, the Cosmos Hub is one of many hubs in the network and currently has a staking ratio of around 70% with its token ATOM having a market cap of just over $800 million. IRISnet was the second Hub to launch which currently has around 28% bonded with its token IRIS which has a market cap of just under $17 million. The Third Hub about to be launched later this month has its token SENT which has a market cap of around $3.4 million. As you can see the security of these 3 hubs differ wildly and as more and more hubs and then zones are brought online there is going to need to be a lot of tokens / incentivisation for validators.
Ethermint
Standard Cosmos zones / hubs don’t have smart contract functionality and so to enable this, as the Application layer is abstracted from the consensus layer via ABCI API described earlier, it allows Cosmos to port the code over from other blockchains such as Ethereum and use it with the Tendermint Consensus to provide access to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This is what is called Ethermint.
This allows developers to connect their zones to specialised zones such as Ethermint to build and run smart contracts based on Solidity, whilst benefiting from the faster performance of the tendermint Conensus over the existing POW implementation currently. Whereas a normal Go Ethereum process runs at ~12.5 transactions per second (TPS), Ethermint caps out at 200 TPS. This is a comparison against existing Ethereum speeds, whilst obviously Ethereum are working on their own scaling solutions with Ethereum 2.0 which will likely be ready around the same time. Existing tools / dapps used on ethereum should easily be able to be ported over to Ethermint by the developer if required.
In addition to vertical scaling (with the increase in tps by using Tendermint consensus), it can also have multiple parallel chains running the same application and operated by a common validator set. So if 1 Ethermint zone caps out at 200 TPS then 4 Ethermint zones running in parallel would theoretically cap out at 800 TPS for example.

https://preview.redd.it/e2pghr9smba31.png?width=554&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6e472a6e4a0f3845b03c36caef8b42d77125e46
There is a huge number of developers / apps currently built on Ethereum, should a developer choose to migrate their DAPP over to Ethermint they would lose native compatibility with those on Ethereum (except through Peg Zone), but would gain compatibility with those running on Ethermint and others in the cosmos ecosystem.
You can find out more about Ethermint here and here

IBC

IBC stands for inter-blockchain communication protocol and is an end-to-end, connection-oriented, stateful protocol for reliable, ordered, authenticated communication between modules on separate distributed ledgers. Ledgers hosting IBC must provide a certain set of functions for consensus transcript verification and cryptographic commitment proof generation, and IBC packet relayers (off-chain processes) are expected to have access to network protocols and physical datalinks as required to read the state of one ledger and submit data to another.
In the IBC architecture, modules are not directly sending messages to each other over networking infrastructure, but rather creating messages to be sent which are then physically relayed via “Relayers”. “Relayers” run off-chain and continuously scan the state of each ledger via a light client connected to each of the 2 chains and can also execute transactions on another ledger when outgoing datagrams have been committed. For correct operation and progress in a connection between two ledgers, IBC requires only that at least one correct and live relayer process exists which can relay between the ledgers. Relays will need to be incentivised to perform this task (the method to which hasn’t been established as of this writing)
The relay process must have access to accounts on both chains with sufficient balance to pay for transaction fees. Relayers may employ application-level methods to recoup these fees, such by including a small payment to themselves in the packet data. More information on Relayers can be found here

https://preview.redd.it/qr4k6cxtmba31.png?width=1100&format=png&auto=webp&s=d79871767ced4bcb0b2632cc137c118f70c3863a
A high-level overview of the process is that Zone 1 commits an outbound message on its blockchan about sending say 1 x Token A to Hub1 and puts 1 x Token A in escrow. Consensus is reached in Zone 1, and then it’s passed to the IBC module to create a packet which contains the reference to the committed block, source and destination channel/ connection and timeout details and is added to Zone 1’s outbound queue as proof.
All relayers (who run off-chain) are continuously monitoring the state of Zone 1 via the Zone 1 light client. A Relayer such as Relayer 1 is chosen and submits a proof to Hub1 that Zone 1.
Hub 1 then sends a receipt as proof that it has received the message from Zone 1, relayer1 sends it to Zone 1. Zone 1 then removes it from its outbound queue and sends proof via another receipt to Hub1. Hub1 verifies the proof and mints the token.

https://preview.redd.it/qn7895rumba31.png?width=770&format=png&auto=webp&s=96d9d808b2284f87d45fa0bd7b8bff297c86c2da
This video below explains the process in more detail as well as covers some of the other points i raise later in this article so worth a watch (time stamped from 22:24 to 32:25) and also here from 38:53 to 42:50
https://youtu.be/5h8DXul4lH0?t=1344
Whilst there is an option for UDP style transfer where a zone will send a message to a Hub and it doesn’t care whether it gets there or in any order etc, Token transfers are going to require the TCP style connections in IBC where there is a send, receipt and then another receipt as explained above. Each Send, receipt followed by another receipt is going to take at least 2 blocks and so using Cosmos Hub block times as an example with 6.88 second block times a transfer between one zone and hub could take a minimum of 41.28 seconds. You also then have to factor in the amount of other transactions going through those at that time and relevant gas price to see whether it is able to use 2 consecutive blocks or whether it may take more. This is also explained in this video “ILP Summit 2019 | Cosmos and Interledger | Sunny Aggarwal” (time stamped) from to 12:50 to 15:45

In Part Two we will look at potential issues with multi hop routing, token transfers across multiple routes and Peg Zones, whilst also looking at other interoperability solutions that would resolve some of these issues and compliment the cosmos ecosystem. Part Two can be found here
submitted by xSeq22x to cosmosnetwork [link] [comments]

r/Bitcoin recap - May 2019

Hi Bitcoiners!
I’m back with the 29th monthly Bitcoin news recap. (sorry a bit late this month)
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.
You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com
A recap of Bitcoin in May 2019
Adoption
Development
Security
Mining
Business
Research
Education
Regulation & Politics
Archeology (Financial Incumbents)
Price & Trading
Fun & Other
submitted by SamWouters to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

NYC Meetup - Full Summary!

Following up on my other post which shared only a few high level points I thought people would be interested in, here's a more in-depth summary of the meetup. THIS IS VERY LONG! I don't really have a TL;DR beyond my other short highlight thread, but I think there are some other high level summaries. This is for those who want a very thorough recap of what was discussed. I'm happy to update this with anything shared in the comments which I remember and think is additive to the summary, definitely didn't catch every single thing.
I'm leaving out a few talking points/questions that either 1) I didn't totally catch, 2) provided no incremental information or 3) were just bad questions (there were some).
Sunny's Speech
Sunny began with a history of blockchain, from the bitcoin whitepaper to the first few alt coins to the advent of Ethereum. He then went on to discuss the extent to which these various stages involved meaningful/useful innovation: original alt coins did not, ethereum of course did, but is heavily flawed for enterprise use. He then went on to discuss what those primary flaws are and how VeChain is trying to solve them (scalability, governance, cost, etc.) He noted that technology is not blockchain's biggest obstacle, it's adoption. He talked about how, although some people will tell him to "get lost or something" he doesn't really believe in full decentralization. I think his point was that although it's nice in theory, it just isn't really practical, and it's a bad approach in particular for trying to get this new blockchain technology adopted in the mainstream. This goes back to something he said in another interview at some point - you can't just come in with totally new, radical technology outside the existing framework and replace everything that exists from the outside. You have to start within the existing framework, show people what's possible, and then change the system from the inside out.
He went on to discuss what he sees as problems with some of the existing projects. Talked about how projects in the top 20 have ecosystems worth 2 billion dollars, hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of their own tokens to be used for the project's development etc., but they don't have a CFO. He thinks that should concern people.
I don't remember exactly where it fit in the narrative, but he discussed valuation/speculation. He pointed out that they have a number of their university research partners trying to work out token valuation models. He made a general point that more utility should equal more value, the implication being VeChain will have more real utility (and should therefore have more value) than any other blockchain. They had a slide showing some calculations and pointed out that if you look at the known metrics, the dividends, etc., the price of Google's stock is 85.7% speculation. Only $161 of it's $1,128 value (at the time they ran these numbers) can be tied to the current value. For Tencent, it's 93.5% speculation. He jokingly pointed out that in crypto it's about 99.99%, but I think one of the unspoken points here is that it's silly to think that on mainnet launch speculation about the future value is going to go away and you'll just have token value based on current Thor production. That isn't how markets or valuation work.
He then basically mocked people complaining about the code not yet being open source, and there being no whitepaper - the people who think these are red flags and that the project might be a 'scam'. As if PwC and DNV GL didn't do extensive diligence.
On this point, I'll quote GarzyWarzy from another thread:
"Sunny mentioned that the crypto community as a whole doesn’t seem to appreciate the level of reputational risk that these multi billion dollar enterprise partners take by publicly backing a blockchain startup (“what do people think would happen if PwC backed us and we failed in 6 months?”). As an investment banker who deals extensively with corporate governance issues and every type of business risk imaginable, I will add my two cents that this risk is massive and that is it a clear sign of extensive diligence and extreme trust in the VeChain team to execute their business plan for developing their ecosystem. Always remember, “it takes many years to build a reputation, and seconds to ruin it”."
I'm a corporate lawyer and couldn't agree with this more. The people who think a whitepaper (which they likely wouldn't even understand) is more reassuring than the endorsement by DNV GL, PwC, Draper and Breyer (who would never, ever make such an investment without extensive due diligence) have no idea how things work in the corporate world. DNV GL and PwC are recommending VeChain to clients, and Draper and Breyer have made investments through their funds, where they have a fiduciary duty to the investors in those funds. The amount of diligence that occurs before taking those reputational and legal (negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, etc.) risks is truly exhaustive.
Back to adoption, Sunny went on to compare blockchain to TCP/IP, as he's done in the past. Most people use email every day, but do they care about TCP/IP? Of course not. Blockchain will be the protocol infrastructure for things people use every day, whether they know it or not.
At this point, continuing to talk about adoption and use cases, he mentioned that they signed a top 3 insurance company in China as a client, and he also mentioned a CRM use case that's in the works.
He said the whitepaper will be out in a few days, and will explain a lot of what they're doing/what they're trying to do, and what some of the use cases are. They are focused on developing as many practical use cases as possible - this is how you get adoption. Once the use cases are defined, you can start "developing killer dApps" in relation to them. I think this is, to some degree, a subtle shot at Ethereum - his point here being that developing lots of dApps on a platform doesn't really mean much unless those dApps actually relate to a practical, defined real world use cases which ensures they will be used and adopted.
The whitepaper took so long because, in Sunny's words, his "english sucks" and after he wrote it, his teams needed to double, triple, and quadruple review/edit/refine what he wrote so that it is in professional english.
Back to adoption, he stated there are around 13/14 crypto projects they are working with who intend to use VeChain (either porting over from Ethereum or launching an ICO on the platform. More on this in the Q&A section). One of them is a company that already generates $50 million/month in revenue and want to 'blockchain-ize' their business. He pointed out here this is a company that isn't just interested in padding their coffers - they have money, that isn't an issue. These are the types of projects they like to work with. They aren't interested in being a 'shitcoin generator' (this was said by Sunny in the Q&A and got a laugh and round of applause). Last point on this, he noted that BitOcean is taking so long because the "Japanese government are being assholes". That's a direct quote. Sunny is hilarious. I can't overstate how likable he is - he comes off as a down to earth, cool, funny and easy going guy.
Kevin's Speech
Next, Kevin spoke. This was a short update on authority nodes and the mainnet. He mentioned that most projects have masternodes as basically a marketing tool, they aren't that meaningful or necessary. VeChain's authority masternodes are essential to the ecosystem. You can not become an authority node if you can not meaningfully contribute to growing the ecosystem. There is no room for negotiation on this. They aren't interested in having random people running validating authority nodes for profit and nothing else. As far as the application process, they received over 100 applications and are expecting more (authority node application and monitoring process will be ongoing to make sure VeChain has the best authority nodes possible and that each node is continuing to fulfill all of its obligations). As far as the applicant pool, they were about 71% enterprise, 29% individual. About 52% China, 23% America, then a mix of HK, Singapore, Japan, and others.
He then addressed the mainnet. Internal testing is done, they are now moving on to the public alpha testing, which is by invite only and is not the open source phase. This phase starts today and includes a number of professional firms auditing the code: PwC's cybersecurity team, secureware.io, Slow Mist, and Hosho. They will also be putting a bug bounty on Hacken eventually, finding a critical vulnerability could get you up to 2000 VEN tokens. This private testing will go on for a few weeks, before the public testing begins in early June which involves the code becoming open source - as of now, they expect it to start in the first week or two of June.
Then, he announced the 1 VEN to 100 VET token split. The example he gave was talking to friends about buying Bitcoin - some responded "it's already $8000, I can't buy a bitcoin I can't afford it". Kevin would respond, well actually you can buy .001 bitcoin if you want... and then they'd lose interest. I think what he's getting at is they want to be prepared for years down the road when demand is enormous - they don't want people dealing in fractions. Yes, I'm also sure they are aware of the implications for this in terms of price and the attractiveness of a 5 cent token verses a 5 dollar token. I don't deny that. Look at fucking Tron.
The Q&A Session
Someone asked about how the authority nodes will be monitored. Kevin explained there will be a dedicated team for this. They are serious about having the highest quality authority nodes and holding them to the standards they expect. There will be a quarterly review process, and any issues will be brought to the Steering Committee, which may decide to remove/replace an authority nodeholder if they aren't contributing and fulfilling their obligations. He noted that the whitepaper will include a thorough section on their governance model.
Question about it being difficult, currently, for companies (especially in the west) to find out how to contact them and work with them. What are VeChain's plans in terms of a business development team, marketing, etc. Sunny explained that while obviously they'll have an internal BD team, and this is being built out, they also want to heavily leverage the resources of the community. In a way, the community will be a giant business development team, and they will create standard toolkits for the community to use to market/introduce VeChain to people in the first instance. The guy then asked what if I got you Pfizer - that's enormous, what's my incentive? Sunny responded there will be rewards in VET tokens for bringing them clients.
I don't remember what the exact question was, but it was noted at this point that although the private, consortium chain is an Ethereum fork, the mainnet was built from scratch and is not an Ethereum fork. They did intentionally use the Ethereum Virtual Machine, though, so that Ethereum dApps can be easily ported over to VeChain. It sounds like they expect this to happen quite a bit. They also talked about how they went through the web3 libraries and 80% will be able to work directly with VeChain. They want interoperability, compatibility, and ultimately, an easy transition for Ethereum developers and dApps.
Someone asked about them building out their own IoT business or letting others do the IoT work. Sunny talked about how he believes IoT is the way to connect blockchain to the physical world. There was a story not worth sharing about why they initially acquired an IoT team, but he gave this example: when Apple first released the app store and the ability to develop, nobody knew how or used it. So, Apple built the apps themselves and basically showed everybody what was possible and how to do it by example. So too will VeChain take this approach. They are partnering with IoT manufacturers and developing some of their own IoT solutions, and they'll continue to do this, but the point isn't to dominate IoT. They are showing the world by example what can be done in terms of IoT on the VeChain platform, and they ultimately want people/enterprises to be able to create their own value and their own IoT solutions on the VeChain blockchain. Anyone who wants to do so will be able to.
Question about enterprises buying once the enterprise pool runs out - what happens if enterprises aren't comfortable doing what all of us have done (wiring money to a fiat gateway exchange, buying bitcoin/ethereum, moving it to binance, buying in the market, transferring out of binance, etc.). Kevin isn't really worried about this. They are talking to exchanges and service providers about it, they're talking to Circle about fiat pairing, etc., but realistically Kevin can see that exchanges are becoming more advanced and that ultimately they will be institutionalized in a way that basically just mitigates this concern.
Question about storage of VET tokens after mainnet. There will be a mobile wallet launch at the exact same time. This mobile wallet will 1) facilitate the token swap from VEN to VET (most people will probably do this on exchanges, but eventually you'll be able to do it in the mobile wallet if you missed doing it on an exchange), 2) have a module that shows you what kind of node you are, 3) automatically receive your generated Thor, and 4) eventually allow you to hold other ERC-20 tokens. They also mentioned that although they're talking to ledger, etc. they are developing their own hardware wallet. Kevin explained this is essential for enterprises serving as authority nodes or holding large amounts of VET. They aren't going online and ordering a ledger and setting it up. VeChain needs to be able to provide this service and assurance for them, and they will. This is why these guys are lightyears ahead in terms of enterprise adoption. They've thought about these things.
Question about 'competitors' like Waltonchain. First, Sunny goes "who?" and Kevin goes "what's Waltonchain?" But then Sunny went on by saying the "right" thing - there are no competitors in such a fledgling industry. He would love to hold hands with the other blockchain projects trying to do good things, and walk into the future together. He thinks projects can learn from each other and help each other. They aren't trying to crush competitors or beat anyone or anything like that. However, Sunny also jokingly asked "Seriously, why do people think Waltonchain is our competitor? We are what, 15th biggest project, and they are...?" He also went on to say that he is judging some competition or tech demo later this month on the 26th-28th, and that Waltonchain is the demo product. He thinks this is sort of funny, but also said if their product is great and the demo is good, there is no reason he wouldn't support them, vote for them, etc.
Question about Breyer and Draper relationships. Draper is invested in many cryptocurrency projects and many companies, has tons of connections, and he gives VeChain a way of talking to all of those projects/companies. Breyer was the one who set them up with the research team at a Chinese university, he was the link to Circle to discuss fiat onramps, etc. The connections these guys bring are tremendous. I should note here that in a small group conversation with Kevin during the networking portion after the speeches, which was initiated by GarzyWarzy (perhaps he can elaborate further), he confirmed that Breyer and Draper are both meaningfully invested in tokens, not just equity of the technology portion of the company.
Some clown actually used up time to ask "is CCK here?" Sunny said someone asked him this at Harvard also, and he was absolutely adamant that he doesn't know who this person is or how they are getting the information they have. He did not comment on it beyond that. He clearly thought it was a dumb question and said seriously that once and for all, he really doesn't know who it is.
Question about how many projects will be running on the mainnet day 1. Sunny said it's hard to say for sure, but that there are currently between 20 and 25 use cases deployed on the consortium chain, all of which will be moved over in the first few months. He also mentioned the 15ish crypto projects that will be moving over to or launching on the platform, and the fact that their client pipeline is now over 250. He transitioned a bit from this point to discuss how they "don't want to be a shitcoin generator". If you come to them with a project that is just an ICO with a whitepaper and no product, no proof of concept, etc., they're not going to want you to launch that. They would rather invest in you if they think you're a good project, help you develop those things, prove out what you're trying to do, then help you launch a serious ICO or dApp with a real use case. Again, they are all about practical use cases, this is the path to adoption. That said, the project will be open source ("you guys asked for open source, so") there will be some shitcoins, it's unavoidable.
I think that covers most of what I remember. Hope you all enjoy!
submitted by CryptopherWalken to Vechain [link] [comments]

Cosmos — an early in-depth analysis at the ecosystem of connected blockchains — Part One

Cosmos — an early in-depth analysis at the ecosystem of connected blockchains — Part One
This is part one of three articles where i will discuss what i have learnt whilst looking into Cosmos. I will provide links throughout the article to provide reference to sections as well as a list of sources at the bottom of the article for you to look into specific areas in more detail if required. Hopefully it will be useful for those interested in learning more about the project.
Cosmos is still very early in development process with components such as IBC which connects two blockchains together currently in research / specification stage, as a result can change by the time its released.

What is Cosmos?

Cosmos is a network and a framework for interoperability between blockchains. The zones are powered by Tendermint Core, which provides a high-performance, consistent, secure PBFT-like consensus engine, where strict fork-accountabilityguarantees hold over the behaviour of malicious actors. Cosmos is not a product but an ecosystem built on a set of modular, adaptable and interchangeable tools.
In Tendermint, consensus nodes go through a multi-round voting proposal process first before coming to consensus on the contents of a block. When 2/3 of those nodes decide on a block, then they run it through the state transition logic providing instant finality. In current proof of work consensus for Ethereum, the consensus process is inverted, where miners pick the transactions to include in a block, run state updates, then do “work” to try and mine the block.
Tendermint BFT can handle up to thousands of transactions per second (depending on the number of validators). However, this only takes into account the consensus part, the application layer is the limiting factor though. Ethermint (described below) has achieved up to 200 tps to give you an idea of the speed available per blockchain which is significantly more than current versions of Ethereum and Bitcoin etc.
The Tendermint consensus is used in a wide variety of projects, some of the most notable include Binance Chain, Hyperledger Burrow. It’s important to note though that just using Tendermint consensus doesn’t mean they can connect to other chains with the cosmos ecosystem, they would need to fork their code to implement IBC as a native protocol to allow interoperability through IBC.

see https://raw.githubusercontent.com/devcorn/hackatom/mastetminfo.pdf for high res

The Tendermint consensus algorithm follows a traditional approach which relies on all validators to communicate with one another to reach consensus. Because of the communication overhead, it does not scale to 1000s of validators like Bitcoin or Ethereum, which can have an unlimited number of validators. Tendermint works when there are 100s of validators. (Cosmos Hub currently has a maximum of 100 validators and the maximum tested so far with Tendermint is 180 validators)
Therefore, one of the downsides of a blockchain built using Tendermint is that, unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, it requires the validators to be known ahead of time and doesn’t allow for miners to come and go as they please.Besides this, it also requires the system to maintain some notion of time, which is known to be a complex problem in theory. Although in practice, Tendermint has proven this can be done reasonably well if you use the timestamp aggregates of each node.
In this regard, one could argue that Tendermint consensus protocol is “less decentralized” than Bitcoin because there are fewer validators, and they must be known ahead of time.
Tendermint’s protocol guarantees safety and liveness, assuming more than 2/3 of the validators’ voting power is not Byzantine (i.e., malicious). In other words, if less than 1/3 of the network voting power is Byzantine, the protocol can guarantee safety and liveness (i.e., validators will never commit conflicting blocks at the same height and the blockchain continues to make progress).https://www.preethikasireddy.com/posts/how-does-cosmos-work-part1
To see the process of how Tendermint works please see this diagram as well as more info here

Sovereignty

Cosmos goal is to provide sovereignty through governance to developers by making it easy to build blockchains via the Cosmos SDK and provide interoperability between them, using Tendermint consensus. This is their main differentiator compared to competition like Polkadot and Ethereum 2.0. Ethereum 2.0 and Polkadot are taking a different approach by only using shared security, where there is a root chain which controls the security / prevents double spending for all connected blockchains.
Governance is where all stakers vote on proposals to determine what changes are implemented in the future for their own blockchain, stakers can either choose to delegate their vote to the validator or they can instead vote directly. Without sovereignty all DAPPs share the same underlying environment. If an application requires a new feature in the EVM it has to rely entirely on the governance of the Ethereum Platform to accept it for example. However, there are also tradeoffs to having sovereignty as each zone is going to need a way to incentivise others to validate / create blocks on the Zone by running Full Nodes. Whilst it may be easy to create a blockchain using the cosmos SDK and to mint a token, there are the legal costs / regulation associated with creating your own token. How are you going to distribute the tokens? How are you going to list them on exchanges? How are you going to incentivise others to use the token without being classed as a security? All of which have led to a significant reduction in the number of ICOs being done. With every zone needing their own validator set, there’s going to be a huge number of validators required each trying to persuade them to validate their zone with only a finite number of validators available.
Each Zone / App is essentially a mini DAO and not all are going to be comfortable about having their project progress been taken out of their hands and instead relying on the community to best decide on the future (unless they control 2/3 of the tokens). The Cosmos Hub has proved this can be successful, but others may be risk averse to having their application be a mini DAO. Should someone / competitor acquire 1/3 of the tokens of a zone then they could potentially prevent any further progress being made by rejecting all governance votes (this would be very costly to do on the Cosmos Hub due to its high amount staked, but for all the other less secure zones this potentially may be an issue).
Security for some zones will likely be a lot lower with every developer needing to validate their own blockchain and tokenise them with POS with no easy way to validate the setup of a validator to ensure its secure. Whilst the Cosmos hub is very secure with its current value staked, how secure zone’s will be with significantly less staked remains to be seen. Whilst providing soverignty was Cosmos’s main goal from the start, they are also looking at being able to provide shared security by having validators of a connected Hub also validate /create new blocks on the connected zone’s blockchain for them as well. They are still going to need some way to incentivise the validators to this. Another option is if the developers didn’t want to create a token, nor want sovereignty etc, then they could just build a DAPP on the EVM on a zone such as Ethermint.
As can be seen their are potential advantages and disadvantages to each method, but rather than forcing shared security like Ethereum and Polkadot, Cosmos is giving the developer the choice so will be interesting to see which they prefer to go for.

Layers of a blockchain

From an architecture standpoint, each blockchain can be divided into three conceptual layers:
  • Application: Responsible for updating the state given a set of transactions, i.e. processing transactions.
  • Networking: Responsible for the propagation of transactions and consensus-related messages.
  • Consensus: Enables nodes to agree on the current state of the system.
The state machine is the same as the application layer. It defines the state of the application and the state-transition functions. The other layers are responsible for replicating the state machine on all the nodes that connect to the network.
The Cosmos SDK is a generalized framework that simplifies the process of building secure blockchain applications on top of Tendermint BFT. The goal of the Cosmos SDK is to create an ecosystem of modules that allows developers to easily spin up application-specific blockchains without having to code each bit of functionality of their application from scratch. Anyone can create a module for the Cosmos SDK and using ready built modules in your blockchain is as simple as importing them into your application.
The Tendermint BFT engine is connected to the application by a socket protocol called the Application Blockchain Interface (ABCI). This protocol can be wrapped in any programming language, making it possible for developers to choose a language that fits their needs.

https://preview.redd.it/go1bgareiba31.png?width=770&format=png&auto=webp&s=c9a2c9faa9c99dd8c7a7b6925c7ea281e203eb47

Hub and Spoke Topology

Cosmos follows a hub and spoke topology as its not feasible to connect every zone together. If you were to connect every blockchain together the number of connections in the network would grow quadratically with the number of zones. So, if there are 100 zones in the network then that would equal 4950 connections.
Zones are regular heterogenous blockchains and Hubs are blockchains specifically designed to connect Zones together. When a Zone creates an IBC connection with a Hub, it can automatically access (i.e. send to and receive from) every other Zone that is connected to it. As a result, each Zone only needs to establish a limited number of connections with a restricted set of Hubs. Hubs also prevent double spending among Zones. This means that when a Zone receives a token from a Hub, it only needs to trust the origin Zone of this token and each of the Hubs in its path. Hubs do not verify or execute transactions committed on other zones, so it is the responsibility of users to send tokens to zones that they trust.
There will be many Hubs within Cosmos network the first Hub to launch was the Cosmos Hub whose native staking token is called ATOM. ATOM tokens are specific to just the Cosmos Hub which is one hub of many, each with their own token. Transaction fees for the Cosmos Hub will be payable in multiple tokens so not just ATOMs whereas other Hubs such as IRIS has made it so that all transaction fees are paid in IRIS for transactions on its hub.
As mentioned, the Cosmos Hub is one of many hubs in the network and currently has a staking ratio of around 70% with its token ATOM having a market cap of just over $800 million. IRISnet was the second Hub to launch which currently has around 28% bonded with its token IRIS which has a market cap of just under $17 million. The Third Hub about to be launched later this month has its token SENT which has a market cap of around $3.4 million. As you can see the security of these 3 hubs differ wildly and as more and more hubs and then zones are brought online there is going to need to be a lot of tokens / incentivisation for validators.

Ethermint

Standard Cosmos zones / hubs don’t have smart contract functionality and so to enable this, as the Application layer is abstracted from the consensus layer via ABCI API described earlier, it allows Cosmos to port the code over from other blockchains such as Ethereum and use it with the Tendermint Consensus to provide access to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This is what is called Ethermint.
This allows developers to connect their zones to specialised zones such as Ethermint to build and run smart contracts based on Solidity, whilst benefiting from the faster performance of the tendermint Conensus over the existing POW implementation currently. Whereas a normal Go Ethereum process runs at ~12.5 transactions per second (TPS), Ethermint caps out at 200 TPS. This is a comparison against existing Ethereum speeds, whilst obviously Ethereum are working on their own scaling solutions with Ethereum 2.0 which will likely be ready around the same time. Existing tools / dapps used on ethereum should easily be able to be ported over to Ethermint by the developer if required.
In addition to vertical scaling (with the increase in tps by using Tendermint consensus), it can also have multiple parallel chains running the same application and operated by a common validator set. So if 1 Ethermint zone caps out at 200 TPS then 4 Ethermint zones running in parallel would theoretically cap out at 800 TPS for example.

https://preview.redd.it/oboyonufiba31.png?width=554&format=png&auto=webp&s=18560aa44596fc2357590b54ddb39fd8ee1c8783
There is a huge number of developers / apps currently built on Ethereum, should a developer choose to migrate their DAPP over to Ethermint they would lose native compatibility with those on Ethereum (except through Peg Zone), but would gain compatibility with those running on Ethermint and others in the cosmos ecosystem.
You can find out more about Ethermint here and here
IBC
IBC stands for inter-blockchain communication protocol and is an end-to-end, connection-oriented, stateful protocol for reliable, ordered, authenticated communication between modules on separate distributed ledgers. Ledgers hosting IBC must provide a certain set of functions for consensus transcript verification and cryptographic commitment proof generation, and IBC packet relayers (off-chain processes) are expected to have access to network protocols and physical datalinks as required to read the state of one ledger and submit data to another.
In the IBC architecture, modules are not directly sending messages to each other over networking infrastructure, but rather creating messages to be sent which are then physically relayed via “Relayers”. “Relayers” run off-chain and continuously scan the state of each ledger via a light client connected to each of the 2 chains and can also execute transactions on another ledger when outgoing datagrams have been committed. For correct operation and progress in a connection between two ledgers, IBC requires only that at least one correct and live relayer process exists which can relay between the ledgers. Relays will need to be incentivised to perform this task (the method to which hasn’t been established as of this writing)
The relay process must have access to accounts on both chains with sufficient balance to pay for transaction fees. Relayers may employ application-level methods to recoup these fees, such by including a small payment to themselves in the packet data. More information on Relayers can be found here

https://preview.redd.it/twjzlc8hiba31.png?width=1100&format=png&auto=webp&s=2e546142573b61af031e27dac83ddca675a4b693
A high-level overview of the process is that Zone 1 commits an outbound message on its blockchan about sending say 1 x Token A to Hub1 and puts 1 x Token A in escrow. Consensus is reached in Zone 1, and then it’s passed to the IBC module to create a packet which contains the reference to the committed block, source and destination channel/ connection and timeout details and is added to Zone 1’s outbound queue as proof.
All relayers (who run off-chain) are continuously monitoring the state of Zone 1 via the Zone 1 light client. A Relayer such as Relayer 1 is chosen and submits a proof to Hub1 that Zone 1.
Hub 1 then sends a receipt as proof that it has received the message from Zone 1, relayer1 sends it to Zone 1. Zone 1 then removes it from its outbound queue and sends proof via another receipt to Hub1. Hub1 verifies the proof and mints the token.

https://preview.redd.it/d4dclm3iiba31.png?width=770&format=png&auto=webp&s=9ca521efc8580800067e1c4e3f74c0ab8df30555
This video below explains the process in more detail as well as covers some of the other points i raise later in this article so worth a watch (time stamped from 22:24 to 32:25) and also here from 38:53 to 42:50
https://youtu.be/5h8DXul4lH0?t=1344

Whilst there is an option for UDP style transfer where a zone will send a message to a Hub and it doesn’t care whether it gets there or in any order etc, Token transfers are going to require the TCP style connections in IBC where there is a send, receipt and then another receipt as explained above. Each Send, receipt followed by another receipt is going to take at least 2 blocks and so using Cosmos Hub block times as an example with 6.88 second block times a transfer between one zone and hub could take a minimum of 41.28 seconds. You also then have to factor in the amount of other transactions going through those at that time and relevant gas price to see whether it is able to use 2 consecutive blocks or whether it may take more. This is also explained in this video “ILP Summit 2019 | Cosmos and Interledger | Sunny Aggarwal” (time stamped) from to 12:50 to 15:45

In Part Two we will look at potential issues with multi hop routing, token transfers across multiple routes and Peg Zones, whilst also looking at other interoperability solutions that would resolve some of these issues and compliment the cosmos ecosystem. Part Two can be found here
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