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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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I bought $1000 worth of the Top Ten Cryptos on January 1st, 2020 (April Update) - UP 42%

I bought $1000 worth of the Top Ten Cryptos on January 1st, 2020 (April Update) - UP 42%

EXPERIMENT - Tracking 2020 Top Ten Cryptocurrencies – Month Four - UP 42%
See the full blog post with all the nerdy tables here.
tl;dr - Tezos wins April, all coins in the green for the month. Tezos overtakes BSV for the overall lead, BTC mid-field. When taken together, all three experiments (2018 + 2019 + 2020 Top Ten Cryptos) are basically even with S&P 500 since Jan 2018. More details that you probably care about below and stay safe out there.

The Experiment:

Instead of hypothetically tracking cryptos, I made an actual $1000 investment, $100 in each of the Top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap on the 1st of January 2018. The result? The 2018 Top Ten portfolio ended the year down 85%, my $1000 worth only $150. I repeated the experiment on the 1st of January 2019 with the new 2019 Top Ten cryptos, then again in 2020. Think of the Top Ten Experiments as a lazy man’s Index Fund (no weighting or rebalancing), less technical, but hopefully still a proxy for the market as a whole – or at the very least an interesting snapshot of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crypto space. I am trying to keep this project simple/accessible for beginners and those looking to get into crypto but maybe not quite ready to jump in yet. I try not to take sides or analyze, but rather attempt to report in a detached manner letting the numbers speak for themselves. This experiment is designed to be documentary in nature, describing a specific period in cryptocurrency history.

The Rules:

Buy $100 of each the Top 10 cryptocurrencies in January 2018, 2019, and 2020. Hold only. No selling. No trading. Report monthly.

Month Four – UP 42%

After a very bloody March, the 2020 Top Ten have bounced back bigly (or is it big league?). March was all red, April all green. Out of the three portfolios, the 2020 Top Ten (+42%) is the best performing for the third month in a row.

Ranking and March Winners and Losers

EOS and Binance Coin switched places, but that’s it – the rest of the 2020 Top Ten were locked in place.
April WinnersTezos, up +76%, easily bested its peers. Second place goes to ETH, up +57% this month.
April Losers – The same two losers as the 2019 Top Ten group: Tether was outperformed by the rest of the cryptos. The second worst performance in April was turned in by Bitcoin Cash, up +15%.
For those keeping score, I also keep a tally of which coins have the most monthly wins and losses. After four months, Tether has two losses and Tezos has two wins.

Overall update – Tezos overtakes BSV for the lead and 100% are in positive territory.

Tezos (+121%) took the lead over from BSV (+115%) this month, a lead which BSV had held since the beginning of the year. Not counting Tether, the worst performing crypto, Bitcoin Cash, is still up +15% since January 2020.

Total Market Cap for the entire cryptocurrency sector:

The overall crypto market added about $63B in April 2020 and is now close to where it was in late February. It is up +31% since the beginning of the experiment in January 2020.

Bitcoin dominance:

Bitcoin dominance (or BitDom as I like to call it) was steady in April. As of early May, there hasn’t been significant movement either way this year.

Overall return on investment since January 1st, 2020:

The 2020 Top Ten Portfolio regained $350 in April, not quite what it lost in March. After an initial $1000 investment, the 2020 Top Ten Portfolio is now worth $1,419, up about +42%. It is the best performing Top Ten Crypto Portfolio out of the three.
Here’s the month by month ROI of the 2020 Top Ten Experiment, hopefully helpful to maintain perspective and provide an overview as we go along:
Hopefully that zombie apocalypse drop in March will just be a blip this year.
So, how does the 2020 Top Ten Experiment compare to the parallel projects?
Taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line:
After a $3000 investment in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Top Ten Cryptocurrencies, my portfolios are worth $2,969‬.
That’s down about -1% for the combined portfolios.
Much better than last month (aka the zombie apocalypse) where it was down -24%. For context, the combined return in January 2020 was +13% and in February 2020 it was +6%.
So that’s the Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiments snapshot. Let’s take a look at how traditional markets are doing.

Comparison to S&P 500

I’m also tracking the S&P 500 as part of my experiment to have a comparison point with other popular investments options. Stocks rebounded a bit in April, but are still down -12% since the beginning of the year.
Over the same time period, the 2020 Top Ten Crypto Portfolio is returning about +42%, now worth about $1,419.
The money I put into crypto in January 2020 would now be worth $880 had it been redirected to the S&P 500. That’s an almost $540 swing on an initial $1,000 investment.
And what if I took the same approach with the S&P 500 as I took during the first three years of the Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiments? Here are the figures:
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2018: +$60
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2019: +$130
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2020: -$120
Taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line for a similar approach with the S&P:
After three $1,000 investments into an S&P 500 index fund in January 2018, 2019, and 2020, my portfolio would be worth $3,070.
$3,070 is up about +2% since January 2018, compared to the $2,969 value (-1%) of the combined Top Ten Crypto Experiment Portfolios.
That’s a only a 3% difference. Last month the gap was 13%.

Implications/Observations:

The crypto market as a whole is up +31% since the beginning of the year compared to the 2020 Top Ten cryptos which have gained +42%. Focusing on the Top Ten 2020 coins has now beaten the overall market four months in a row.
This is noteworthy because this hasn’t been the case very often since I started these Top Ten Experiments back in January 2018. Although there are a few examples of the Top Ten strategy outperforming the overall market in the 2019 Top Ten Experiment, it’s interesting to note at no point in the first twenty-eight months of the Top Ten 2018 Experiment has the approach of focusing on the Top Ten cryptos outperformed the overall market. Not even once.

Conclusion:

May should be interesting. The BTC Halving is only a few days away and the world continues to wage war on COVID-19. Stay tuned for how the crypto markets overall and the Top Ten Portfolios react to these events.
Final word: second waves of COVID-19 are definitely possible. Please take care of yourselves, your families, and your communities. Keep up the social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands. Be careful out there.
Thanks for reading and for supporting the experiment. I hope you’ve found it helpful. I continue to be committed to seeing this process through and reporting along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions and stay tuned for progress reports. Keep an eye out for the original 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment and the 2019 Top Ten Experiment follow up experiment.
submitted by Joe-M-4 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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12-04 11:13 - 'Have a Look at the Most Valuable Companies in Crypto Space' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/MonteCarloDEX removed from /r/Bitcoin within 465-475min

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Many things have been said about the champions who have been at the forefront of making things happen in the crypto space but not much has been known about them. The list below and the descriptions indicate the biggest companies in the industry not only by valuation and capitalization but also by goodwill and corporate presence both online and offline as well. They shall be listed in no particular order of preference.

Ripple (Valuation of about $5 Billion)

Many people have heard one way or the other about [Ripple Labs Inc]1 . It is widely associated with the now popular [XRP]2 token as it uses this coin in its solutions. Ripple Labs owns and runs RipppleNet. Driven by what is referred to as the Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm (RPCA), RippleNet is used for all kinds of transactions between financial institutions but with the introduction of new tools different kinds of platforms will be able to run off it making Ripple be not only the darling of the financial services sector but also to be one of the cryptocurrency companies to watch out for come next year. Ripple has been [tipped]3 to be worth about $5 billion.

Circle (about $3 Billion)

While [Circle]4 is quite popular these days with its hands in many pies in the crypto space, this cryptocurrency unicorn started out as a service where you could buy [Bitcoin]5 with credit card and has grown to be one of the most dynamic organizations out there also with its own stablecoin USDcoin which is tied to the United States Dollar. Sources indicate that Circle achieved its $3 billion valuation after a funding round of about $100 million last year.

Bitmain (about $12 Billion)

Now everyone knows that [Bitmain]6 is by far the largest cryptocurrency corporate organization by sheer size and valuation. Owning the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining facilities and being a major hardware manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining equipment, Bitmain has overtaken just about everyone else to be at the top when it comes to valuations. This does not mean however that it hasn’t had its share of corporate issues. Sources [estimated]7 last year that the total valuation of Bitmain stood at $12 billion.

Binance (about $2 Billion)

[Binance]8 is quite popular in the crypto space as it is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges at the moment. Its premier position in terms of trading volume (as the second largest) has only made it more obvious that it holds the top spot in the hearts and minds of many within the industry. Apart from trading cryptocurrencies, Binance is also known for other products such as [Binance Coin]9 and its decentralized trading blockchain Binance Chain. CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has [indicated]10 that Binance is worth at least $ 2 billion or more.

Canaan Creative (about $2 Billion)

While maybe not many new people know about this particular cryptocurrency mining company, Canaan Creative is also one of the leaders when it comes to cryptocurrency mining. Even though the company itself hasn’t been dong well as of late, it is still punching above its weight when it comes to having superstar status. Reports have it that the recent [IPO]11 places it at a little over $ 2 billion.

Coinbase (about $8 Billion)

We all know [Coinbase]12 and its cryptocurrency exchange platform were one way or the other going to be on the list. With other products such as the recently introduced Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Custody and even Coinbase Commerce, Coinbase is indeed on a curve to grow exponentially. So much so that the cryptocurrency exchange put its [valuation]13 at $8 billion last year after finishing its series E round of financing.

BitMEX (around $3 Billion)

With an innovative cryptocurrency trading platform that offers more than the usual trading of cryptocurrencies ( futures and perpetual contracts as well), [BitMEX]14 enables traders to use the necessary leverage to enhance the potential for profit as well. Reports [indicate]15 that BitMEX is worth $3.6 billion from last year although other reports contradict this and put the valuation at around $1 billion.

Robinhood (about $7 Billion)

[Robinhood]16 has created a more centrist appeal than many other cryptocurrency trading platforms. This has led to its massive success as its main focus are the millennials. Robinhood took off in the beginning as a fee-free stock trading platform. Its valuation at around $7 billion was [reported]17 earlier this year and this, of course, makes it be a force to be reckoned within the industry.

Block.One (around $3 Billion)

[Block.One]18 has been one of those organizations that have scaled through all the odds when it comes to corporate-startup challenges. Being a contender for the throne of king of Decentralized Applications, Block.One it has been [reported]19 has a valuation of about $3 billion with a significant majority of its holdings in fiat assets surprisingly for a company that rules its share of the crypto space.

Kraken (about $4 Billion)

[Kraken]20 is one of the premier cryptocurrency exchanges. This goes without saying that the recent [acquisition]21 of a futures trading platform and the closing of its last [funding round]22 to the tune of $13 million had quite a bit to do with its recent $ 4 billion valuation. It has, of course, raised the bar for the cryptocurrency trading platform whose future had reportedly been in the doldrums prior to the acquisition and new funding round.

Is It All about Money?

While the performance of the companies is as important as the reason that they were set up or are operational in the first place, the basic reason for the consideration of the most valued companies in terms of valuation is to gauge the health of the corporate actors currently on the big stage within the crypto space.
This also indicates the direction that the sphere is going in; the direction of greater adoption and inclusion in normal day-to-day events. One thing is certain from the above: a new industry has been born and those who can catch the “crypto-fire” may one day be also among these above-listed companies as many others are in fierce pursuit of being unicorns themselves.
'''
Have a Look at the Most Valuable Companies in Crypto Space
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: MonteCarloDEX
1: *ww*coi*s*ea*e*.*o**organi**tions*ripple-labs/ 2: w***coi*spe*ker.com/coi***xrp/ 3: *w**forbes.com/*ites/*ic***ldelcast*ll*/2018/0*/04/rip*le*-tril*ion-*o**a**ma*/ 4: www.**inspeaker.com/orga**z*tion**ci**l*/ 5: w**.coinspe*ker**o*/c*in*/bitcoin/ 6: w*w.coi*s*eaker.com**r*a*i*ation*/bitm*in/ 7: w**.caixinglobal.com/20*8-06-***crypto-c****czars**e*rc*-*or*ai-pow*red-future-10*27***4*htm* 8: **w.c*inspe*k*r.com/org*n*zations/bi**n*e/ 9: *w*.coinspeak*r.*om*coins*bi*ance**oi*/ 10: fork***.me*ia/ex*lus*v*-cz-bina*ce-on-***-**a*t*-values-russia-*nd-chi*a* 11: **w.c**nspeake*.co*/ca*aan-raise*90*mi**ion-i*o/ 12: ww*.*oins*eak*r.*o*/orga*i*ations*c**nbase/ 13: bl**.coinbas*.com/*o*nba*e-raises*serie*-e-*o*n*-o*-fin*nci**-to-***el**at*-th*-adop***n-of-c*yptocurren*ies-1ad92*46*81* 14: www.*oinspeaker.c****r*aniz*ti*ns/bitme** 15: www.th**i*es***.u*/**t*cle/wheres-*al*et-c*n-*o*-spot-ben-delo*the-*ks-*i*st*bitco*n*billion*ire-llp**k2r* 16: ww*.coi*s*eaker*c*m*org*n*zati*ns/rob*nho*d/ 17: www.theinf*rmati*n*com/*r*icle**robinh*od-*e*rs-f**ding-*t-*alua*ion*o*er-7-***lio* 18: *w*.c*inspeaker.c*m*tag*bl*ck-o*e/ 19: www.bl*omb*r*.com/new*/articles/**1*-****2/thiel-b*ck*d****pto-startup*pay*-out*6-567-*et*r* 20: **w.**in*p*aker*com/organiz**ion*/kraken/ 21: www.coi*s*e*ke*.*om/k*aken-cry*to*facili*ie*-s*o*-f*tu*es/ 22: w*w.co*n*peak*r*c*m/krakens-f*n*ing*valu*tion-*-bi**i*n/
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – August 2018

Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link) to see all the links.

Development

dcrd: Version 1.3.0 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is out! The main features of this release are significant performance improvements, including some that benefit SPV clients. Full release notes and downloads are on GitHub.
The default minimum transaction fee rate was reduced from 0.001 to 0.0001 DCkB. Do not try to send such small fee transactions just yet, until the majority of the network upgrades.
Release process was changed to use release branches and bump version on the master branch at the beginning of a release cycle. Discussed in this chat.
The codebase is ready for the new Go 1.11 version. Migration to vgo module system is complete and the 1.4.0 release will be built using modules. The list of versioned modules and a hierarchy diagram are available here.
The testnet was reset and bumped to version 3.
Comments are welcome for the proposal to implement smart fee estimation, which is important for Lightning Network.
@matheusd recorded a code review video for new Decred developers that explains how tickets are selected for voting.
dcrwallet: Version 1.3.0 RC1 features new SPV sync mode, new ticket buyer, new APIs for Decrediton and a host of bug fixes. On the dev side, dcrwallet also migrated to the new module system.
Decrediton: Version 1.3.0 RC1 adds the new SPV sync mode that syncs roughly 5x faster. The feature is off by default while it receives more testing from experienced users. Other notable changes include a design polish and experimental Politeia integration.
Politeia: Proposal editing is being developed and has a short demo. This will allow proposal owners to edit their proposal in response to community feedback before voting begins. The challenges associated with this feature relate to updating censorship tokens and maintaining a clear history of which version comments were made on. @fernandoabolafio produced this architecture diagram which may be of interest to developers.
@degeri joined to perform security testing of Politeia and found several issues.
dcrdata: mainnet explorer upgraded to v2.1 with several new features. For users: credit/debit tx filter on address page, showing miner fees on coinbase transaction page, estimate yearly ticket rewards on main page, cool new hamburger menu and keyboard navigation. For developers: new chain parameters page, experimental Insight API support, endpoints for coin supply and block rewards, testnet3 support. Lots of minor API changes and frontend tweaks, many bug fixes and robustness improvements.
The upcoming v3.0 entered beta and is deployed on beta.dcrdata.org. Check out the new charts page. Feedback and bug reports are appreciated. Finally, the development version v3.1.0-pre is on alpha.dcrdata.org.
Android: updated to be compatible with the latest SPV code and is syncing, several performance issues are worked on. Details were posted in chat. Alpha testing has started, to participate please join #dev and ask for the APK.
iOS: backend is mostly complete, as well as the front end. Support for devices with smaller screens was improved. What works now: creating and recovering wallets, listing of transactions, receiving DCR, displaying and scanning QR codes, browsing account information, SPV connection to peers, downloading headers. Some bugs need fixing before making testable builds.
Ticket splitting: v0.6.0 beta released with improved fee calculation and multiple bug fixes.
docs: introduced new Governance section that grouped some old articles as well as the new Politeia page.
@Richard-Red created a concept repository sandbox with policy documents, to illustrate the kind of policies that could be approved and amended by Politeia proposals.
decred.org: 8 contributors added and 4 removed, including 2 advisors (discussion here).
decredmarketcap.com is a brand new website that shows the most accurate DCR market data. Clean design, mobile friendly, no javascript required.
Dev activity stats for August: 239 active PRs, 219 commits, 25k added and 11k deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.

ASICs

Obelisk posted 3 email updates in August. DCR1 units are reportedly shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design.
Innosilicon announced the new D9+ DecredMaster: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15.
FFMiner DS19 claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299. Shipping Aug 20-25.
Another newly noticed miner offer is this unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR (which has now a page on asicminervalue).

Integrations

www.d1pool.com joined the list of stakepools for a total of 16.
Australian CoinTree added DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports.
Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges page at decred.org.
Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?

Adoption

Merchants:

Marketing

Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here.
Contribution to the @decredproject Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub)

Events

Attended:
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning)
The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)

Media

Decred Assembly episode 21 is available. @jy-p and lead dcrwallet developer @jrick discussed SPV from Satoshi's whitepaper, how it can be improved upon and what's coming in Decred.
Decred Assembly episodes 1-21 are available in audio only format here.
New instructional articles on stakey.club: Decrediton setup, Deleting the wallet, Installing Go, Installing dcrd, dcrd as a Linux service. Available in both English and Portuguese.
Decred scored #32 in the August issue of Chinese CCID ratings. The evaluation model was explained in this interview.
Satis Group rated Decred highly in their cryptoasset valuation research report (PDF). This was featured by several large media outlets, but some did not link to or omitted Decred entirely, citing low market cap.
Featured articles:
Articles:
Videos:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems news:
After another debate about chat systems more people began testing and using Matrix, leading to some gardening on that platform:
Highlights:
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons; ecosystem fund; a thread about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable is the Obelisk DCR1.
Chats: cross-chain trading via LN; plans for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring dev activity; what if the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system in Go; security of allowing Android app backups; why PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts about NIPoPoWs and SPV; prerequisites for shipping SPV by default (continued); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses, spending other people's money; why Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued); overview of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes in vgo; why project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations and multilingual environment.
An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading.

Markets

DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery.
@ImacallyouJawdy posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.

Relevant External

StopAndDecrypt published an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs.
The ongoing debates about the possible Sia fork yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky to have the treasury.
Mark B Lundeberg, who found a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue)
Medium took a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate to Ghost (that same project previously migrated away from Slack).
Regulation: Vietnam bans mining equipment imports, China halts crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups.
Reddit was hacked by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement explains the impact. Yet another data breach suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems.
Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins.
Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com.

About This Issue

This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack.
Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
submitted by jet_user to decred [link] [comments]

0xBitcoin General - Weeks 45 and 46, 2018

On this day, 19th of November on the year of our Lord 2018, bitcoin dropped under five thousand United States dollars a piece. These are truly dark times that we are living in, so let us take a glance upon the recent 0xBTC developments and try to sustain ourselves on hopium until this wretched bear market comes to an end.

Some general stats (and changes since last time):
Mining difficulty: 796,213,990 (-2.67%) (next: ~718,929,110) (-10.14%)​
Estimated hashrate: 1.17 Th/s (-55.17%)
Current average reward time: 47.37 minutes (+216.49%)
Tokens minted: 3,349,050 0xBTC (+0.65%)
Token holders: 4649 holders (+2.04%)
Total contract operations: 188834 txs (+0.23%)
Source: https://0x1d00ffff.github.io/0xBTC-Stats/?page=stats&#

Tokens required to be a top holder (and changes since last time):
Top 10: 36197.32435793 0xBTC (0.00%)
Top 25: 22697.97400257 0xBTC (+-3.88%)
Top 50: 14174 0xBTC (-1.22%)
Top 100: 7352.5851492 0xBTC (+2.69%)
Top 200: 3000 0xBTC (+0.2%)
Top 300: 1600 0xBTC (+3.22%)
Top 500: 675.17635038 0xBTC (+3.84%)​
Top 1000: 173.3201683 0xBTC (+1.76%)
Source: https://etherscan.io/token/0xb6ed7644c69416d67b522e20bc294a9a9b405b31#balance

Recent events:
  1. Lodge proposed a plan to use the PoW contributed towards mining 0xBTC to secure an offchain bridge. https://medium.com/@jlogelin/arbitrary-off-chain-security-using-0xbitcoin-merged-proof-of-work-7c4ff0d07d3f
  2. 0xBitcoin was listed on Rootrex, which is a DEX that's partnered with Bithumb. Acydutz lead the initiative by simply explaining the idea behind the project and sending them a few 0xBTC to play around with. https://medium.com/@oneroot/oxbitcoin-will-get-listed-on-rootrex-at-14-00-utc-8-on-november-13-77930052fc55
  3. 0xBTC was listed on CoinCalculators.io, a site which tracks the benefits of mining various cryptos. https://www.coincalculators.io/coin.aspx?crypto=0xbitcoin-mining-calculator
  4. The sponsored article was published on CryptoCurrencyNews last week. After the community gathered 9 ETH in donations to pay for the fee, MoonBoy3000 did most of the heavy lifting in regards to the writing, with a lot of help from Mr. F. The result of that was an eloquently written article that is sure to win some more people over to our camp. https://www.ccn.com/0xbitcoin-ethereums-answer-to-bitcoins-proof-of-work/
  5. Frogger pulled some strings and got us a 0xBitcoin banner on https://coinhub.news/.
  6. The SEC has really begun cracking down on ICOs (https://www.coindesk.com/after-fridays-sec-actions-experts-say-ico-party-is-truly-over). The developments effectively mark the end of the era of centrally-generated arcade tokens, clearing the path for a fairer, more transparent method of distribution. Userbrn has written a brief article about IMOs and how they could be used to start blockchain projects in a much more accountable manner. https://medium.com/0xbitcoinfoundation/developers-need-to-consider-initial-mining-offerings-on-ethereum-28be23fa05d9
  7. Userbrn submitted a listing application to Bittrex. Don't be bothering him about the progress on it though, since no decent exchange will speculate about listings. If it goes somewhere, then I'm more than sure that we'll know.
  8. Work on the LavaWallet is currently held up by improvements that have yet to be made to Ethereum, but as soon as those get ironed out the ball will surely get rolling again. In the meantime, Infernal_toast has written this short recap of the LavaWallet: "The LavaWallet contract is a custodial token contract and it is entirely non-owned. Any user is allowed to deposit tokens inside and they will be recorded in the contracts ledger for withdraw by that user at any time. Besides just allowing users to deposit and withdraw tokens, the contract also uses ECRecover so that any tokens inside can be spent by any other pre-specified third party who can submit a signed packet of data (a Lava Packet) which had been signed by the token owner to allow this action.This means that a LavaPacket acts just like a digital check. A user creates and signs this check which specifies an amount of tokens to send to a specific party. A reward (in tokens) can be embedded as well such that anyone who pays the ether gas to submit this check back to the contract will receive. Thus, this allows users to indirectly pay for token transfers using only tokens as the fee. The third parties (relayers) will pay the ether for gas. Once a lava packet is submitted, it cannot be submitted again. One clear fault of such a system is that if anyone can be a relayer and submit a lava packet, then packets which are broadcast to everyone will be submitted by everyone in a race and only the first will be successful. The rest will just lose gas and receive no reward, making for an inefficient system. To solve this minor fault, lava packet creators must specify an address called 'relayAuthority' which is either the address of a specific account , who becomes the only valid relayers for that packet , or a specific arbitrary smart contract whose method getAuthority() is called at time of packet submission which may only return a single address at any given time. Therefore this problem is solved and at any given time, there is only a single valid relayer for any LavaPacket, as enfoced by the contract. This means there will be fewer races, fewer failed tx even with packet broadcasting ,and the power is still in the hands of the user.One such example contract for a relayAuthority has been constructed which uses Proof of Stake and cycles through valid stakers in a ~15 minute interval. LavaPacket creators may use this as a relay authority so that the packet can be submitted by any of the 15 stakers, but still at any given time only one will be a valid submitter so there are still no races, still no reason for invalid TXes."
  9. 0xbitcoin's price can be tracked on Binance. What's noteworthy is that it's the only token on the site that does not have an "issue price". While simply being able to view 0xBTC on Binance is definitely not a sign of anything larger, then it does give hope tha- BUY BUY BUY FOMO IN QUICK BEFORE IT'S LISTED https://info.binance.com/en/currencies/0xbitcoin
submitted by MoonMission1001 to 0xbitcoin [link] [comments]

My "Let's go back to reality" crypto rantings

So I think I am not only one who thinks market have become extremely irrational. Vaporware (aka "kickstarter coins") without working project and merely promises get pumped to the moon like crazy. Even if those projects will get working product eventually, it is very unlikely they will attract significant userbase. In crypto world it is easy to attract investors, getting adoption is whole other story.
I was thinking about this a bit and seems the main thing that separates shitcoins from good project is how useful it is or may be become. If you are n-th smartcontract platform that is not very useful. If you do business which can be done without token, then your coin is not very useful either.
I gave each project a grade based on how I think useful project is. Please don't be bitter if your favourite project got bad grade. In some cases it may be because I have not researched it enough yet and I missed some strong points.
Grades go like this:
grade description
S very useful
A useful
B potentially useful
C neutral
D useless
E totally useless
F obvious scam
Here go actual ratings:
rank name grade
1 Bitcoin S
2 Ethereum S
3 Ripple C
4 Bitcoin Cash C
5 EOS D
6 Cardano A
7 Litecoin B
8 Stellar A
9 IOTA B
10 TRON D
11 NEO C
12 Monero A
13 Dash C
14 NEM C
15 VeChain C
16 Tether E
17 Ethereum Classic C
18 Qtum B
19 OmiseGo C
20 ICON C
21 Binance Coin A
22 Lisk C
23 Bitcoin Gold E
24 Verge E
25 Zcash C
26 Nano A
27 Aethernity C
28 Steem C
29 Bytecoin D
30 BitShares C
31 Bytom D
32 Ontology D
33 Siacoin C
34 Wanchain D
35 Populus D
36 Zilliqa C
37 Bitcoin Diamond E
38 Bitcoin Private E
39 Stratis C
40 Waves B
41 0x C
42 Maker B
43 Rchain B
44 Golem D
45 Dogecoin C
46 Decred B
47 Status E
48 DigixDAO D
49 Hshare E
50 Loopring D
51 Mixin D
52 IOStoken C
53 Aion D
54 Basic Attention Token C
55 aelf D
56 Waltonchain E
57 DigiByte C
58 Augur C
59 Ardor C
60 Komodo D
61 Mithril D
62 Nebulas C
63 Ark C
64 Kyber Network D
65 PIVX D
66 Substratum D
67 MonaCoin C
68 QASH D
69 KuCoin Shares C
70 WaykiChain D
71 Gas C
72 Syscoin C
73 ReddCoin D
74 Cortex D
75 Centrality D
76 Storm D
77 Cryptonex E
78 Ethos C
79 GXChain D
80 Dragonchain C
81 Pundi X D
82 Dentacoin E
83 Factom D
84 Nxt D
85 Fusion D
86 Loom Network D
87 Elastos D
88 SALT C
89 Bancor D
90 FunFair D
91 WAX D
92 Gifto D
93 Veritaseum D
94 Enigma C
95 Power Ledger D
96 Neblio D
97 ZCoin D
98 Nucleus Vision D
99 ChainLink C
100 Request Network C
101 Decentraland E
102 Monaco D
103 Electroneum C
104 CyberMiles D
105 Kin D
106 Achain D
107 Revain D
108 TenX D
109 MaidSafeCoin C
110 Bottos D
111 Cindicator D
112 Byteball Bytes C
113 DeepBrain Chain D
114 Time New Bank D
115 Storej D
116 Iconomi D
117 Nuls C
118 Polymath D
119 Civic D
120 Skycoin D
submitted by wojtek15 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Ethereum dropped by 25% and reached a minimum 236 TH/s. What happens next? Read our analytical report to find out

Ethereum dropped by 25% and reached a minimum 236 TH/s. What happens next? Read our analytical report to find out
We present to you the report filed by the analysts of our private club for November 19–25, 2018.
1. The key market events in the period from November 19–25, 2018
1) The launch of Bakkt and the start of futures trading with physical delivery are put off until January 24, 2019. 2) A tweet from CEO Binance: “I wish I could tell you my lame story from 2015, when the $btc price “crashed” to below $200, and I just sold my house and bought in at $600 a few months earlier… Well, I am still here.” 3) Hardfork of Bitcoin Cash resulted in losses for the traders of the OKex exchange, which was forced to close Bitcoin Cash futures contracts worth $135 million. 4) Poland introduces a 19% tax on profits from operations with cryptocurrencies, which would apply to individuals and companies. 5) The SharkPool mining pool has declared war on the Altcoins, as it believes that any bitcoin forks contradicts the Nakamoto consensus. 6) Ethereum hashrate fell by 25% and reached a minimum of 236 TH/s. Bitcoin also lost 11.6% of its hashrate when its price dropped. 7) The US Department of Justice initiated an investigation into the manipulation of bitcoin rate during a rally last year; Tether company is the main suspect. 8) Deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science Boris Chernyshov (LDPR) proposed to replace the Unified State Exam with an early talent identification system for schoolchildren, which runs on blockchain. 9) Tobacco shops in France have received government permission to sell small amounts of cryptocurrency starting from 2019. 10) A US mining company Giga Watt went bankrupt, its debt to customers reaches millions of dollars, but the company declared insolvency. 11) The class action lawsuit against Coinbase was updated with information on insider trading within Bitcoin Cash and was again filed with the court on November 20. 12) Saudi Arabia, together with the UAE, will release its own cryptocurrency, which will be used by banks as a payment instrument. 13) Due to the fall of the hashrate in China, ASIC miners are getting disposed of: they are dumped in a heap on the street, and the miners sell them by weight, according to cnLedger. 14) Banks of Europe will be a part of the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications of the European Union (IATBA), which will promote the technology and create protocols for it. 15) Ethereum team is preparing a new update, unknown to the general public. 16) The blockchain project of the Telegram Open Network, founded by Pavel Durov, is 70% complete. This became clear from the documents, published online by Button co-founder Mike Dudas. 17) Given the recent drop of the first cryptocurrency, the number of search queries for the word “bitcoin” increased by 30%. However, compared to December values, the current number of search queries for the word “Bitcoin” is very small. 18) Lightning network (LN) is growing exponentially. Over the week, the network has grown twofold.
2. Market analytics from club experts for November 19–25, 2018 The last week turned out to be a real test for all crypto-enthusiasts. The BTC price continued to fall at a fairly stable pace. The total capitalization of the crypto market dropped from $185 billion at the beginning of the week to $120 billion by its end. The trading volume reached $24.8 billion at peak times, but on average, nothing changed during the week, leaving the volume at $13–15 billion. The BTC share almost did not change — 56%, reaching 60% only at peak times as traders abandoned altcoins. The price for 1 BTC dropped from $5,615 at the beginning of the week to mere $ 3,800 by the end of it. Sometime during the week, the price remained at $4,600 and some traders already hoped for a reversal, but the BTC crushed that hope and dropped to $4,000. In the following days, the BTC continued falling to $3,400–3,600, even dropping to $3,000 on some small exchanges, however, it soon bounced back to roughly $3,850. Altcoins, of course, followed the main engine of the market. The general decline of the crypto market was accompanied by panic sales at some points. ETH dropped to $100! Cryptoinvestors, most of whom do not keep in touch with the global events, have already begun to declare the “bubble burst”. Experienced investors, on the other hand, compared the fall in the stock market (it reached 5% for the largest companies, and this is a lot) and the previous BTC price falls, and decided to continue purchasing the coins that was sold in panic. Renowned individuals — VC investors, traders and enthusiasts — say the BTC can even drop to $2000–2500, but at the same time, they also have no doubts about the subsequent amazing growth. During all difficult times, there were people who succumbed to panic, but hodlers or those who expand their portfolio now will definitely not regret it in the future!
3. Changes in the cost and capitalization of the TOP-10 cryptocurrencies in the period from November 19–25, 2018

https://preview.redd.it/zxvtzey4wo021.jpg?width=673&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e2bfe4c8be4753d400367392b25360fe02164042
4. TOP-3 growing coins from the long-term portfolio for November 19–25, 2018 (including portfolio updates)
In fact, not a single coin gained in price during the last week. QuarkChain showed some promise due to the launch of testnet and the possibility of mining, but it also fell a bit by the end of the week. Fusion is growing in ETH price, showing zero growth in USD. The bottom is out there.
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submitted by Golden_Island_Club to u/Golden_Island_Club [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrencies on pace to close volatile trading week positive following Ethereum Classic addition to Coinbase Index Fund and the launch of the BOLT privacy overlay for Zcash on the lightning network

Developments in Financial Services

Regulatory

General News

Sources:
https://www.ccn.com/asias-largest-stock-exchange-is-honestly-troubled-by-a-cryptocurrency-firm/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/13/does-50-decline-in-the-turkish-lira-prove-bitcoin-is-better-than-fiat/ https://news.bitcoin.com/crypto-cafe-and-coworking-space-hash-house-established-in-xian-china/ https://bitcoinist.com/cryptocurrency-regulations-india-months/ https://www.coinspeaker.com/2018/08/13/ripples-expansion-plans-overshadowing-its-lawsuit-worries/ https://bitcoinist.com/saudi-arabia-bitcoin-trading-illegal/ https://www.coindesk.com/square-expands-cash-app-bitcoin-purchases-to-all-50-us-states/ https://www.ccn.com/thailand-police-seek-more-arrests-in-24-million-bitcoin-fraud/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/venezuela-to-use-petro-as-unit-of-account-for-salaries-goods-and-services https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoins-taproot-privacy-tech-is-ready-but-one-things-standing-in-the-way/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/15/coinbase-continues-to-add-50000-users-a-day-during-bear-market/ https://www.coinspeaker.com/2018/08/15/crypto-goes-green-using-renewable-energy-in-cloud-mining https://cointelegraph.com/news/citrix-survey-more-than-half-of-uk-companies-hit-by-cryptojacking-malware-at-some-point https://cointelegraph.com/news/japans-messaging-giant-line-sets-up-10-million-hong-kong-blockchain-venture-fund https://www.coinspeaker.com/2018/08/16/google-blockchain-and-ethereums-future-vitalik-buterin-shares-his-thoughts-at-a-private-event-held-in-san-francisco/ https://blockonomi.com/vitalik-buterin-future-blockchain/ https://www.coindesk.com/pantera-capital-raises-71-million-for-third-crypto-venture-fund/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/16/ethereum-classic-etc-surges-after-coinbase-consumer-confirms-listing/ https://www.coindesk.com/asx-head-says-new-dlt-system-could-save-billions/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/soft-crypto-etf-alternative-now-geared-towards-us-investors-says-bloomberg https://www.ccn.com/gnosis-creator-ethereum-adoption-is-about-dapp-network-effect-not-users/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/16/crypto-exchange-huobi-partners-with-five-firms-to-launch-trading-platforms/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-lcx-launches-fiat-to-crypto-exchange-in-liechtenstein https://www.coindesk.com/ripple-endorses-preferred-crypto-exchanges-for-xrp-payments/ https://www.ccn.com/ripple-picks-three-crypto-exchanges-for-international-xrp-payments/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/ripple-partners-with-three-crypto-exchanges-as-part-of-xrapid-solution https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/17/xrp-recovers-as-ripple-expands-crypto-exchange-partners/ https://www.ccn.com/genesis-mining-offers-customers-a-discount-to-offset-falling-bitcoin-rewards/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/genesis-mining-compels-certain-customers-to-upgrade-btc-mining-contracts https://www.coindesk.com/jd-com-rolls-out-blockchain-platform-with-its-first-app/
submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

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