GitHub - jtremback/universal-state-channels

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

Maker Relay Ep 1

Maker Relay Ep 1
Whether you hold Maker (MKR) or DAI, own a vault, or want to get more involved in MakerDAO governance, this is your one-stop-shop for updates on the MakerDAO ecosystem.

Governance

Polls

Some Polls use instant run-off so you can select multiple options and ranked-choices will be prioritized.

Collateral

Collateral inclusion polls will run until Monday July 6, 2020 at 4PM UTC.

MIPs Updates

There are no new MIP-related votes or polls this week, as the July Governance Cycle will launch the following week.
The June MIPs proposal Executive vote, ratifying a bundle of proposals, was passed. These proposals covered:

More about MIPs

Governance Cycle

  • The formal submission period for the July governance cycle ends July 8th. If you have any proposals in progress, post them in the forums to get review sooner rather than later.
  • Clarity about formal submissions on this post by Rich Brown.
Want to refresh your voting knowledge? Check out our voter onboarding guide!

Domain Teams

Smart Contracts Team

Small bug in the Flopper Contract

  • A small bug was discovered in the flopper contract.
  • We have also realized that the three different auction contracts: the flip, flop, and flap (or collateral, debt, and surplus auctions) require double liquidity when interacting with them in certain cases.
  • It has been already fixed, tested, and formally verified.
  • We plan on fixing those in the next governance cycle, deploying new versions of all of these contracts.

Impact

  • This is a change that impacts everybody running a keeper or Maker protocol UI (E.g., DeFi Saver). The only impact is that the interface needs to point to a new smart contract. Nothing in the interface changes.
  • This is not an emergency but an upgrade.

Working groups

Vault Compensation Analysis Team

The self-organized group led by Monet_Supply and MakerMan have released a Vault Compensation Plan Proposal for Governance discussion.
  • The extensive plan addresses possible ways of compensating victims of both zero-bid auctions, and sub-optimal self-liquidated vaults around the period of Black Thursday.
  • It includes 5 phases (zero through four) and includes calculations, examples, and indicates what steps MKR holders need to agree upon to move this forward.
5 Phase Plan - Vault Compensation

More information

State of the Peg

  • DAI price remains just slightly above peg, trading at $1.002. It continues it’s trend closing in on $1.
Dai:USD trades across exchanges - http://dai.descipher.io/
  • DAI supply at $128 million.
daistats.com
  • Volume at around $43 million this last week.
7 Day Dai VWAP Breakdown - http://dai.descipher.io/
  • Small price fluctuations haven’t particularly affected price as much as sustained downward momentum on ETH. In those conditions, Dai starts to trade at a premium in anticipation of possible liquidations.
https://daistats.com/#/ | http://dai.descipher.io/

From the Community

Articles

Maker Forum Deep Dai-ve

Discussion: Liquidity Mining Impacts A discussion about the COMP token drop and liquidity mining in general.
Wallet & CDP Liquidation-based Predictive Scoring Model
RFC: MIP14: Protocol DAI Transfer A generic process for transferring DAI from the Maker Protocol to a target Ethereum address.
The Gnosis team discusses Batch vs. Dutch auctions Why Gnosis uses batch rather than dutch auctions for liquidation.
A Liquidation System Redesign: A Pre-MIP Discussion
Adding a poll to prioritize collateral applications

Meetings and Events

MakerDAO Open Calls

Community Call

Community Collateral Onboarding

  • Wednesdays at 17:50 UTC | Zoom - Message #governance-and-risk in Maker Chat for password

Governance & Risk

Have Feedback?

We value your input!
Post in the forum, take our survey, or join us in the Community-Development channel to let us know what you want to see.
Disclaimer: This update is assembled by a group of contributing members in the MakerDAO community. This does and should not serve as financial advice or an inducement to vote in any specific way. This update is purely for informative and for communications purposes only.
Comment on the canonical version of this post on the forum.
submitted by mkrgov to MakerDAO [link] [comments]

Data Unions framework in public beta, phase 1 of tokenomics research complete, and Network end-to-end encryption 90% ready — read June's dev update from Henri Pihkala

Data Unions framework in public beta, phase 1 of tokenomics research complete, and Network end-to-end encryption 90% ready — read June's dev update from Henri Pihkala

Dev update, June 2020

https://preview.redd.it/zv2dq3ryl0b51.jpg?width=3739&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=47596edd1fc5c298b7bfd7d3638a8ae48fc741cb
This is the Streamr project dev update for June 2020, welcome! Here are the highlights of the month:
  • Data Unions framework now available in public beta!
  • Finished a proof-of-concept for a next-generation DU architecture
  • Network whitepaper being finalised, should be out in late July/early August
  • Completed Phase 1 of token economics research with BlockScience
  • End-to-end encryption with automatic key exchange now 80% ready

Data Unions in public beta

The Data Unions framework, which was in private beta since October last year, is now publicly available to everyone. So what’s new?
  • There are new docs, detailing the steps to create Data Unions and integrate apps to the framework.
  • The “Create a Product” wizard on the Marketplace now includes the option to create a Data Union, instead of a regular product.
  • For Data Union products, the product view now shows various stats about members, earnings, and Data Union parameters.
  • DU products also expose an admin section, where DU creators can manage members, app keys, and such.
  • The JS SDK ships with easy accessors to the DU-related methods, making integration a breeze for JS-based platforms. The Java SDK will get support before the official launch, and even if you’re working on a platform with no official SDK just yet, integration to the raw API isn’t hugely complicated, although it does require some effort (and we’re happy to help).
The beta is feature-complete in terms of the fundamentals. The purpose of the beta is to expose any remaining issues before the framework is officially launched after the summer. We’ll be expanding the SDK support as we go, as well as creating other useful tooling for Data Union admins, such as scripts to kick out inactive members and to implement custom join procedures (a Data Union might want to include a captcha to prevent bots from joining, etc.).

Upcoming Data Unions architecture

We have already started working on the first major post-release upgrade to the Data Unions framework. In the previous update, I mentioned we’re working on a proof-of-concept, and this task has now been completed.
We’re calling this upgrade Data Unions 2.0, communicating a major version bump with an improved architecture. In contrast to the current architecture built around Monoplasma and its OperatoValidator model for scalability and security, Data Unions 2.0 will feature an Ethereum sidechain to contain the Data Union state fully on-chain, with the POA TokenBridge (with AMB) connecting the sidechain to mainnet.
All the current Data Unions will be upgradable to the new infrastructure once it’s ready later this year. While the proof-of-concept has been completed and we’re now committed to this approach for the next upgrade, there is still plenty of work to be done. A blog post detailing the upgrade will be posted in due course

Network whitepaper

The whitepaper, detailing the Corea milestone of the Streamr Network, is almost ready. The experiments are complete, and we’re working on the text to accompany the results. In June, the work snowballed slightly, as we realised we need to prove the randomness of the generated network topologies in order to relate to some earlier literature, but that hurdle has thankfully now been crossed. If no further obstacles are encountered, the paper should be ready by the end of July or early August.

Phase 1 with BlockScience completed

We’ve reached the end of Phase 1 in the token economics research project with BlockScience. The Phase 1 deliverable was a document containing mathematical formulations of the objects and rules in the Streamr Network.
In Phase 2, we’ll start the actual modeling process, in which the first, simple simulations of the Streamr Network token economics are built using the cadCAD framework. In future phases, the models will be further refined and iterated, and those models will inform our decisions about the future incentive model.

End-to-end encryption with key exchange

Streamr has had protocol-level support for end-to-end encryption for a long time. It’s also been implemented in the SDKs as a pre-shared key variant. This is a simple implementation that relies on each party’s ability to communicate secrets outside the system, over another secure channel. The downside of the pre-shared key approach is that the publishing and subscribing parties need to know and contact each other in advance before they exchange encrypted data.
We’ve recently been working on a key exchange mechanism that happens directly on the Streamr Network to securely communicate the keys to the correct parties. This makes end-to-end encryption effortless and automatic for all parties involved. This is very important, because end-to-end encryption is obviously a requirement for decentralization; nodes in the network will generally be untrusted. And usability shouldn’t be sacrificed for security - the automatic key exchange achieves both.

Looking forward

July and August will be the epicentre of the team’s annual holidays, and we’ll be producing only one dev update over this period, due in the second half of August. However, over the next couple of months you can also look forward to dedicated posts about the Network whitepaper and the Data Unions 2.0 architecture.
A summary of the main development efforts in June is below, as well as a list of upcoming deprecations that developers building on Streamr should be aware of. As always, feel free to chat with us about Streamr in the official Telegram group or the community-run dev forum.

Network

  • Whitepaper making slow but steady progress, should be ready in late July/early August
  • Encryption key exchange 80% ready in both JS and Java SDKs
  • Discovered an issue where a tracker gives a node more peers than it should, working on a fix
  • WebRTC issues still being investigated, opening an issue with the library developers
  • Storage refactor in PR, working on data migration tool
  • Token economics research Phase 1 completed
  • Support for old ControlLayer protocol v0 and MessageLayer v28 and v29 dropped, as previously communicated in the breaking changes section

Data Unions

  • Data Unions framework launched into public beta
  • Alerts & system monitoring improvements to detect problems
  • Data Unions 2.0 proof-of-concept successfully completed

Core app, Marketplace, Website

  • Terms of use, contact details, and social media links added to Marketplace products
  • Working on a website update containing updates to the top page, a dedicated Data Unions page, and a Papers page to collect the whitepaper-like materials the project has published.
  • Stream page now shows code snippets for easy integration

Deprecations and breaking changes

This section summarises deprecated features and upcoming breaking changes. Items marked ‘Date TBD’ are known to happen in the medium term, but a date has not been set yet.
  • (Date TBD): Support for API keys will be dropped. As part of our progress towards decentralization, we will eventually end support for authenticating based on centralized secrets. Applications integrating to the API should authenticate with the Ethereum key-based challenge-response protocol instead. Instructions for upgrading from API keys to Ethereum keys will be posted well in advance of dropping the support for API keys.
  • (Date TBD): Support for unsigned data will be dropped. Unsigned data on the Network is not compatible with the goal of decentralization, because malicious nodes can tamper data that is not signed. As the Streamr Network will be ready to start decentralizing at the next major milestone (Brubeck), support for unsigned data will be ceased as part of the progress towards that milestone. Users should upgrade old client library versions to newer versions that support data signing, and use Ethereum key-based authentication (see above).
See the original post on the Streamr blog: https://blog.streamr.network/dev-update-june-2020/
submitted by thamilton5 to streamr [link] [comments]

Maker Relay 02 - 06/07/2020

Whether you hold Maker (MKR) or DAI, own a vault, or want to get more involved in MakerDAO governance, this is your one-stop-shop for updates on the MakerDAO ecosystem.

Governance

Executive

Polls

Polls use instant run-off), so you can select multiple options and ranked-choices will be prioritized.

Collateral Inclusion

Most of the collateral inclusion polls concluded on Monday July 6, 2020 at 4PM UTC.

MIPs Updates

The July Governance Cycle begins today. Two proposals are in the Request-For-Comments phase.
Learn more about Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs) in the Maker Forum

Governance Cycle

Want to refresh your voting knowledge? Check out community development’s voter onboarding guide!

Domain Teams

Smart Contracts

Token Smart Contract Assessments

The two latest evaluations found that both LEND and MANA are low risk contracts. Read more here:

Risk

COMP Summary and Risk Overview

COMP links on the forum
Highlights from Makerchat
Join the conversation in #governance-and-risk
u/Maker_Man “I think a distinction between dealing with COMP problem vs. dealing with general PEG stabilization mechanics is also a good distinction in discussion.”
@brianmcmichael “Seems to be a lot of demand for ETH vaults, but discussions are focused around stablecoins right now. A more aggressive debt ceiling raise for ETH-A should be on the table, IMO.”
@rune ‘what’s important is that the PSM gives maker governance the option to truly fix the peg with stablecoins, should MKR holders decide they are willing to take on the risk. This means governance isn’t forced to pick between abandoning the peg (Which could cause the system to death spiral) or work towards implementing negative rates, but that a third option will be on the table.’
u/Maker_Man “High PEG is good for DAI savers as when they need to buy something they get it at discounted prices. Good for borrowers when they do borrow because they get more $$ value for their DAI loan. Bad for anyone looking to pay down debt (borrowers) as it is an extra fee. I can see why certain applications really want a constant PEG or one really tight to whatever they are PEG’d to. But even PM’s the supposed ‘safe haven’ asset has price fluctuations. same with bonds though they can be held to maturity… I think the real issue is that every stable coin has a redeemer that will give $1USD for the coin BUT Maker.”

Working groups

Vault Compensation Analysis Team

The self-organized group led by Monet_Supply and MakerMan released a Vault Compensation Plan Proposal for Governance discussion. In addition, they added an informal forum poll to move forward with their plan.

More information

State of the Peg

Peg
Dai Supply
VWAP
📷
Liquidation Walls
https://daistats.com/#/ | http://dai.descipher.io/

From the Community

Articles

Maker Forum Deep Dai-ve

MakerDAO Governance Audit Report Based on interviews with stakeholders, this report provides an assessment of the state of Maker governance and several proposals on how to reduce friction in governance processes.
SourceCred Trial: Review of Month 1, Payout Increase 1 One month in, SourceCred notes that “As the Maker governance community is relatively small, high trust and known for its civility, we did not expect overt gaming or drama. We were right 📷 We also suspected that $5,000/month worth of DAI may not be enough to financially incentivize many contributors. This also appears to be the case.” and announces their decision “to increase the amount of DAI distributed each month from $5,000 to $10,000.”
Peg Stabilization Modules: A Pre-MIP Discussion A thread for evaluating various proposals for maintaining the Dai peg in light of “recent pressure caused by COMP farmers using Dai as their asset of choice.”

Meetings and Events

MakerDAO Open Calls

Community Call

Community Collateral Onboarding

Governance & Risk

Community Events

Hackathons

Reference Links

Discuss and debate Maker governance in the Forum and over Maker Chat
Propose technical changes, poll, and vote in the Governance Portal
Learn more about the Maker protocol in our Documentation

Have Feedback?

We value your input! Post in the forum, take our survey, or join us in the Community-Development channel to let us know what you want to see.
Disclaimer: This update is assembled by a group of contributing members in the MakerDAO community. This does and should not serve as financial advice or an inducement to vote in any specific way. This update is purely for informative and for communications purposes only.
submitted by mkrgov to MakerDAO [link] [comments]

Round up of Cryptocurrency News #3 Week 20/07 - 26/07

Pssst! Hey you. Scroll down for commentary!
Important/Notable/Highlights:
Special Mentions:
You haven't had enough news? Here is some more:
Speculation:
You made it! :)
First up, SORRY! This has been a late post, I have my reasons don't question them (if you must know I'll be posting in the discord - one time only haha). Secondly, I am sure you can agree with me when I say "Wow!" What an incredible week it has been. Last week I thought it was going to take a couple more weeks for more moving price action when it had only taken a few days which has seen Bitcoin reach and pass the $10,000 region. We have also seen the total Market cap for cryptocurrencies increase from about 280B to over 300B (308B at time of writing) within just a few days. A huge injection of liquidity, about 40B, into the market and just to name a few of the best rises in the top 20 (on Coinmarketcap.com), the price of ETH BTC ADA have given good performances/positive responses (With this I will start adding screenshots at the end of each week for timestamp purposes).
This may be a combination from Binance, Mastercard, Paypal, Grayscale investments, VISA AND the DEFI sector. Let me explain... Last week we read about Binance integrating with the company Swipe (SXP) to issue there own debit card expanding the use and reach of cryptocurrency to 31 countries within Europe. Binance's Q2 scheduled token burn of $60.5 Million, this figure correlates with its exchange, margin and futures trading platforms where approximately 20% of profits get burned to increase the price of BNB token (careful as the price has been steady after the burn).
This week we find out Mastercard's expansion into the Cryptosphere as they expand and integrate with the Wirex team to issue a Mastercard-backed Bitcoin debit card, thus further extending the reach of cryptocurrency availability internationally.
"The cryptocurrency market continues to mature and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy " "...Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay"
Mastercard is also reaching out to other emerging cryptocurrency firms to apply to become principal members [Partners] with Mastercard as they have relaxed their digital assets program and look to expand into the Digital Assets and Blockchain environment.
Paypals expression of interest in cryptocurrency facilitiation may bear fruits as it is said Paypal has partnered up with stablecoin operator Paxos (who is already in partnership with Revolut in the US) to facilitate trading through a cryptocurrency brokerage which will enable other firms to integrate cryptocurrency trading functionalities with them. In my opinion this looks much more promising than the Libra association they pulled out from last October as regulations.
Grayscale Investments clears regulatory hurdle as they have been given the green light for its Bitcoin Cash Trust (BCHG) and Litecoin Trust (LTCN) to be quoted in over-the-counter (OTC) markets by US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
“The Trusts are open-ended trusts sponsored by Grayscale and are intended to enable exposure to the price movement of the Trusts’ underlying assets through a traditional investment vehicle, avoiding the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping digital Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin directly.”
More green lights for Cryptocurrency in the US as regulators allow banks to provide cryptocurrency custody services (which may go further than just custody services). A little bit strange as it seems unnecessary and undermines one of the key factors and uses of cryptocurrency which is to be in complete control of your own finances... On another outlook this may be bullish as it allows US banks to provide banking services directly to lawful cryptocurrency businesses and show support for Bitcoin.
Visa shows support stating they have a roadmap for their further expansion into the Crypto sphere. Already working with Crypto platform Coinbase and Fold they have stated they recognise the role of digital assets in the future of money. To be frank, it appears to be focused on stable coins, cost effectiveness and transaction speeds. However they are expanding their support for crypto assets.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, DeFI! Our very own growing section in crypto. Just like the 2017 ICO boom we are seeing exorbitant growth and FOMO into the Decentralised Finance sector (WBTC, Stablecoins, Yield farming, DEXs etc). The amount of active addresses on Ethereum has doubled but with the FOMO on their network have sky rocketed their fees! Large use-cases of stable coins such as USDT ($6B in circulation using ERC-20 standard), DAI, TUSD, and PAX. $114M Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) on their network acts as a fluid side chain for Bitcoin and DEX trade volume has touched $1.6B this month. With all this action happening on Ethereum I saw the 24HR volume surpass BTC briefly on Worldcoinindex.com
In other news, Bitcoin has been set as a new precedent in a US federal court in a case against Larry Dean Harmon, the operator of an underground trading platform Helix. Bitcoin has now legally been ruled as a form of money.
“After examination of the relevant statutes, case law, and other sources, the Court concludes that bitcoin is money under the MTA and that Helix, as described in the indictment, was an `unlicensed money transmitting business´ under applicable federal law.”
Quick news in China/Asia as floods threaten miners and the most dominant ASIC Bitcoin mining rig manufacturer Bitmain loses 10,000 Antminers worth millions alledgedly goes missing or "illegally transfered" with ongoing leadership dispute between cofounders.
Last but not least, Cardano (ADA) upgrade Shelley is ready to launch! Hardfork is initiated as final countdown clock is switched on. At time of writing the point of no return has been reached, stress tests done and confirmation Hardfork is coming 29/07 The Shelley Mainnet upgrade is a step toward fast, capable and decentralised crypto that can serve billions of people. With the Shelley Mainnet is ADA staking rewards and pools! Here is a chance for us Gravychainers to set up a small pool of our own. Small percentage of profits going into the development of the community, and you keep the rest!
If you read all of my ramblings thanks heaps! I appreciate it! I have added an extra piece of reading called speculation. Most you can speculate on by just reading the headline some others have more depth to them.
Another post next week for a weekly round up! Where do you think the market is going? What is in your portfolio? Let us know in the Gravychain Discord Channel
See you soon!
🍕 Bring some virtual pizza to share 🍕
Come have a chat, stimulate a discussion, ask a question or share some knowledge. We are all friendly crypto enthusiasts up for a chat, supportive and want to help each other with knowledge and investments!
Big thanks to our Telegram and My Crypto HQ for the constant news updates!
P.S.
Dr Seuss collectables on the blockchain HECK YEAH! and Bitcoin enters NASCAR, remember when Doge did this? it was like when Doge was trending on TikTok.
... Oh yeah did I also mention Steve Wozniak is suing Youtube, Google over rampant Bitcoin scams. Wait, what? Sydney based law firm JPB Liberty is suing Google, Facebook and Twitter for up to $300B. Just another day in the Cryptosphere.
submitted by IOTAbesomewhere to Gravychain [link] [comments]

Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
A whirlwind tour of Defi, paying close attention to protocols that we’re leveraging at Genesis Block.
https://reddit.com/link/hrrt21/video/cvjh5rrh12b51/player
This is the third post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
Last week we explored how building on legacy finance is a fool’s errand. The future of money belongs to those who build with crypto and blockchain at their core. We also started down the crypto rabbit hole, introducing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi (decentralized finance). That post is required reading if you hope to glean any value from the rest of this series.
97% of all activity on Ethereum in the last quarter has been DeFi-related. The total value sitting inside DeFi protocols is roughly $2B — double what it was a month ago. The explosive growth cannot be ignored. All signs suggest that Ethereum & DeFi are a Match Made in Heaven, and both on their way to finding strong product/market fit.
So in this post, we’re doing a whirlwind tour of DeFi. We look at specific examples and use-cases already in the wild and seeing strong growth. And we pay close attention to protocols that Genesis Block is integrating with. Alright, let’s dive in.

Stablecoins

Stablecoins are exactly what they sound like: cryptocurrencies that are stable. They are not meant to be volatile (like Bitcoin). These assets attempt to peg their price to some external reference (eg. USD or Gold). A non-volatile crypto asset can be incredibly useful for things like merchant payments, cross-border transfers, or storing wealth — becoming your own bank but without the stress of constant price volatility.
There are major governments and central banks that are experimenting with or soon launching their own stablecoins like China with their digital yuan and the US Federal Reserve with their digital dollar. There are also major corporations working in this area like JP Morgan with their JPM Coin, and of course Facebook with their Libra Project.
Stablecoin activity has grown 800% in the last year, with $290B of transaction volume (funds moving on-chain).
The most popular USD-pegged stablecoins include:
  1. Tether ($10B): It’s especially popular in Asia. It’s backed by USD in a bank account. But given their lack of transparency and past controversies, they generally aren’t trusted as much in the West.
  2. USDC ($1B): This is the most reputable USD-backed stablecoin, at least in the West. It was created by Coinbase & Circle, both well-regarded crypto companies. They’ve been very open and transparent with their audits and bank records.
  3. DAI ($189M): This is backed by other crypto assets — not USD in a bank account. This was arguably the first true DeFi protocol. The big benefit is that it’s more decentralized — it’s not controlled by any single organization. The downside is that the assets backing it can be volatile crypto assets (though it has mechanisms in place to mitigate that risk).
Other notable USD-backed stablecoins include PAX, TrueUSD, Binance USD, and Gemini Dollar.
tablecoins are playing an increasingly important role in the world of DeFi. In a way, they serve as common pipes & bridges between the various protocols.
https://preview.redd.it/v9ki2qro12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=dbf591b122fc4b3d83b381389145b88e2505b51d

Lending & Borrowing

Three of the top five DeFi protocols relate to lending & borrowing. These popular lending protocols look very similar to traditional money markets. Users who want to earn interest/yield can deposit (lend) their funds into a pool of liquidity. Because it behaves similarly to traditional money markets, their funds are not locked, they can withdraw at any time. It’s highly liquid.
Borrowers can tap into this pool of liquidity and take out loans. Interest rates depend on the utilization rate of the pool — how much of the deposits in the pool have already been borrowed. Supply & demand. Thus, interest rates are variable and borrowers can pay their loans back at any time.
So, who decides how much a borrower can take? What’s the process like? Are there credit checks? How is credit-worthiness determined?
These protocols are decentralized, borderless, permissionless. The people participating in these markets are from all over the world. There is no simple way to verify identity or check credit history. So none of that happens.
Credit-worthiness is determined simply by how much crypto collateral the borrower puts into the protocol. For example, if a user wants to borrow $5k of USDC, then they’ll need to deposit $10k of BTC or ETH. The exact amount of collateral depends on the rules of the protocol — usually the more liquid the collateral asset, the more borrowing power the user can receive.
The most prominent lending protocols include Compound, Aave, Maker, and Atomic Loans. Recently, Compound has seen meteoric growth with the introduction of their COMP token — a token used to incentivize and reward participants of the protocol. There’s almost $1B in outstanding debt in the Compound protocol. Mainframe is also working on an exciting protocol in this area and the latest iteration of their white paper should be coming out soon.
There is very little economic risk to these protocols because all loans are overcollateralized.
I repeat, all loans are overcollateralized. If the value of the collateral depreciates significantly due to price volatility, there are sophisticated liquidation systems to ensure the loan always gets paid back.
https://preview.redd.it/rru5fykv12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=620679dd84fca098a042051c7e7e1697be8dd259

Investments

Buying, selling, and trading crypto assets is certainly one form of investing (though not for the faint of heart). But there are now DeFi protocols to facilitate making and managing traditional-style investments.
Through DeFi, you can invest in Gold. You can invest in stocks like Amazon and Apple. You can short Tesla. You can access the S&P 500. This is done through crypto-based synthetics — which gives users exposure to assets without needing to hold or own the underlying asset. This is all possible with protocols like UMA, Synthetix, or Market protocol.
Maybe your style of investing is more passive. With PoolTogether , you can participate in a no-loss lottery.
Maybe you’re an advanced trader and want to trade options or futures. You can do that with DeFi protocols like Convexity, Futureswap, and dYdX. Maybe you live on the wild side and trade on margin or leverage, you can do that with protocols like Fulcrum, Nuo, and DDEX. Or maybe you’re a degenerate gambler and want to bet against Trump in the upcoming election, you can do that on Augur.
And there are plenty of DeFi protocols to help with crypto investing. You could use Set Protocol if you need automated trading strategies. You could use Melonport if you’re an asset manager. You could use Balancer to automatically rebalance your portfolio.
With as little as $1, people all over the world can have access to the same investment opportunities and tools that used to be reserved for only the wealthy, or those lucky enough to be born in the right country.
You can start to imagine how services like Etrade, TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and even Robinhood could be massively disrupted by a crypto-native company that builds with these types of protocols at their foundation.
https://preview.redd.it/agco8msx12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=3bbb595f9ecc84758d276dbf82bc5ddd9e329ff8

Insurance

As mentioned in our previous post, there are near-infinite applications one can build on Ethereum. As a result, sometimes the code doesn’t work as expected. Bugs get through, it breaks. We’re still early in our industry. The tools, frameworks, and best practices are all still being established. Things can go wrong.
Sometimes the application just gets in a weird or bad state where funds can’t be recovered — like with what happened with Parity where $280M got frozen (yes, I lost some money in that). Sometimes, there are hackers who discover a vulnerability in the code and maliciously steal funds — like how dForce lost $25M a few months ago, or how The DAO lost $50M a few years ago. And sometimes the system works as designed, but the economic model behind it is flawed, so a clever user takes advantage of the system— like what recently happened with Balancer where they lost $500k.
There are a lot of risks when interacting with smart contracts and decentralized applications — especially for ones that haven’t stood the test of time. This is why insurance is such an important development in DeFi.
Insurance will be an essential component in helping this technology reach the masses.
Two protocols that are leading the way on DeFi insurance are Nexus Mutual and Opyn. Though they are both still just getting started, many people are already using them. And we’re excited to start working with them at Genesis Block.
https://preview.redd.it/wf1xvq3z12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=70db1e9587f57d0c470a4f9f4523c216929e1876

Exchanges & Liquidity

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) were one of the first and most developed categories in DeFi. A DEX allows a user to easily exchange one crypto asset for another crypto asset — but without needing to sign up for an account, verify identity, etc. It’s all via decentralized protocols.
Within the first 5 months of 2020, the top 7 DEX already achieved the 2019 trading volume. That was $2.5B. DeFi is fueling a lot of this growth.
https://preview.redd.it/1dwvq4e022b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=97a3d756f60239cd147031eb95fc2a981db55943
There are many different flavors of DEX. Some of the early ones included 0x, IDEX, and EtherDelta — all of which had a traditional order book model where buyers are matched with sellers.
Another flavor is the pooled liquidity approach where the price is determined algorithmically based on how much liquidity there is and how much the user wants to buy. This is known as an AMM (Automated Market Maker) — Uniswap and Bancor were early leaders here. Though lately, Balancer has seen incredible growth due mostly to their strong incentives for participation — similar to Compound.
There are some DEXs that are more specialized — for example, Curve and mStable focus mostly only stablecoins. Because of the proliferation of these decentralized exchanges, there are now aggregators that combine and connect the liquidity of many sources. Those include Kyber, Totle, 1Inch, and Dex.ag.
These decentralized exchanges are becoming more and more connected to DeFi because they provide an opportunity for yield and earning interest.
Users can earn passive income by supplying liquidity to these markets. It usually comes in the form of sharing transaction fee revenue (Uniswap) or token rewards (Balancer).
https://preview.redd.it/wrug6lg222b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=9c47a3f2e01426ca87d84b92c1e914db39ff773f

Payments

As it relates to making payments, much of the world is still stuck on plastic cards. We’re grateful to partner with Visa and launch the Genesis Block debit card… but we still don’t believe that's the future of payments. We see that as an important bridge between the past (legacy finance) and the future (crypto).
Our first post in this series shared more on why legacy finance is broken. We talked about the countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). We talked about the slow settlement times.
The future of payments will be much better. Yes, it’ll be from a mobile phone and the user experience will be similar to ApplePay (NFC) or WePay (QR Code).
But more importantly, the underlying assets being moved/exchanged will all be crypto — digital, permissionless, and open source.
Someone making a payment at the grocery store check-out line will be able to open up Genesis Block, use contactless tech or scan a QR code, and instantly pay for their goods. All using crypto. Likely a stablecoin. Settlement will be instant. All the middlemen getting their pound of flesh will be disintermediated. The merchant can make more and the user can spend less. Blockchain FTW!
Now let’s talk about a few projects working in this area. The xDai Burner Wallet experience was incredible at the ETHDenver event a few years ago, but that speed came at the expense of full decentralization (can it be censored or shut down?). Of course, Facebook’s Libra wants to become the new standard for global payments, but many are afraid to give Facebook that much control (newsflash: it isn’t very decentralized).
Bitcoin is decentralized… but it’s slow and volatile. There are strong projects like Lightning Network (Zap example) that are still trying to make it happen. Projects like Connext and OmiseGo are trying to help bring payments to Ethereum. The Flexa project is leveraging the gift card rails, which is a nice hack to leverage existing pipes. And if ETH 2.0 is as fast as they say it will be, then the future of payments could just be a stablecoin like DAI (a token on Ethereum).
In a way, being able to spend crypto on daily expenses is the holy grail of use-cases. It’s still early. It hasn’t yet been solved. But once we achieve this, then we can ultimately and finally say goodbye to the legacy banking & finance world. Employees can be paid in crypto. Employees can spend in crypto. It changes everything.
Legacy finance is hanging on by a thread, and it’s this use-case that they are still clinging to. Once solved, DeFi domination will be complete.
https://preview.redd.it/svft1ce422b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=9a6afc9e9339a3fec29ee2ae743c07c3042ea4ce

Impact on Genesis Block

At Genesis Block, we’re excited to leverage these protocols and take this incredible technology to the world. Many of these protocols are already deeply integrated with our product. In fact, many are essential. The masses won’t know (or care about) what Tether, USDC, or DAI is. They think in dollars, euros, pounds and pesos. So while the user sees their local currency in the app, the underlying technology is all leveraging stablecoins. It’s all on “crypto rails.”
https://preview.redd.it/jajzttr622b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=fcf55cea1216a1d2fcc3bf327858b009965f9bf8
When users deposit assets into their Genesis Block account, they expect to earn interest. They expect that money to grow. We leverage many of these low-risk lending/exchange DeFi protocols. We lend into decentralized money markets like Compound — where all loans are overcollateralized. Or we supply liquidity to AMM exchanges like Balancer. This allows us to earn interest and generate yield for our depositors. We’re the experts so our users don’t need to be.
We haven’t yet integrated with any of the insurance or investment protocols — but we certainly plan on it. Our infrastructure is built with blockchain technology at the heart and our system is extensible — we’re ready to add assets and protocols when we feel they are ready, safe, secure, and stable. Many of these protocols are still in the experimental phase. It’s still early.
At Genesis Block we’re excited to continue to be at the frontlines of this incredible, innovative, technological revolution called DeFi.
---
None of these powerful DeFi protocols will be replacing Robinhood, SoFi, or Venmo anytime soon. They never will. They aren’t meant to! We’ve discussed this before, these are low-level protocols that need killer applications, like Genesis Block.
So now that we’ve gone a little deeper down the rabbit hole and we’ve done this whirlwind tour of DeFi, the natural next question is: why?
Why does any of it matter?
Most of these financial services that DeFi offers already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be on a blockchain? Why does it need to be decentralized? What new value is unlocked? Next post, we answer these important questions.
To look at more projects in DeFi, check out DeFi Prime, DeFi Pulse, or Consensys.
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Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Follow our social channels:https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Download the app. We're a digital bank that's powered by crypto:https://genesisblock.com/download
submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]

What is the official launch date for Ethereum 2.0?

Does anyone know the official date when Ethereum 2.0 will launch?
submitted by CuongTruong777 to ethereum [link] [comments]

Weekly Update: Parachute Crypto League, Constellation Mainnet Launched, Uptrennd Blockchain Awards, $COTI on Bidesk... – 24 Apr - 30 Apr'20

Weekly Update: Parachute Crypto League, Constellation Mainnet Launched, Uptrennd Blockchain Awards, $COTI on Bidesk... – 24 Apr - 30 Apr'20
Sup Parachuters! Eid Mubarak to everyone around the world. Continuing with our weekly update catch up series, here’s your week at Parachute + partners (24 Apr - 30 Apr'20):

The Parachute-themed Crypto Leagues weekly game went live this week. As Cap said last week: "...it’s a game where you get play money to invest in any coins ya want. At the end of the week whoever does the best is going to win some PAR...It’s not real money" and top 5 get cool $PAR prizes from a 400k $PAR pot..."anyone who signs up and partipicates is going to get some PAR!". Hope you got a chance to get in. Don't forget to share feedback with Mark (@Kryptopia) in Parachute or the Crypto Leagues Telegram channel. Before the start of the game, Kyle (@Liquidh8) was kind enough to share some trading 101 lessons with other Parachuters. Don’t forget to check out Rakesh’s (Mr. Nobody on Telegram) massive $PAR giveaway on Twitter. Gian’s 2FT theme continued its journey along the alphabet train with "videos featuring bands or artists whose name starts with the letters Q, R, S, or T". As always, you can catch up on all the posts from Sebastian’s playlist. Interesting Parena rules Foo. Haha. And congrats to Carlos for winning the finale. Victor’s trivia in TTR was pretty fun as well. Jason's #wholesomewed prompt for this week was mad libs: "I want you to create one! It needs to have atleast 3 prompts for me to answer and then tell me what the mad libs says...".
Call-of-Duty – Doc Vic Edition
The weekly 20k $AXPR burn happened like clockwork. aXpire’s Bilr application now has a dedicated YouTube channel. Should becoming a Citizen be made mandatory for using the XIO dApp? Current XIO Citizens discussed on this topic for this week’s #XIOSocial talks. Zachary’s latest Around the Block post shared thoughts of 33 crypto personalities on what it would take for crypto to gain mass adoption. Birdchain crew published an article detailing the history of SMS messages along with some cool trivia. If you have issues using the app, don’t forget to send them an email. Congratulations to Voyager for being named as an Honoree in the Annual Webby Awards for 2020. Click here and here to read Fantom’s latest technical and general updates. The technical update also covers a sneak peek into the upcoming Ledger integration. Click here to see that in action. If you have been wondering how to stake $FTM from MyEtherWallet, check out Michael’s explainer video. The crew sat down for a virtual meetup with MakerDAO this week. Uptrennd crossed 90k+ users this week. Woohoo! As hinted last week, Uptrennd launched their first community-driven blockchain awards this week with a crowd-sourced nomination process. Beaxy exchange joined the platform. Click here to check the latest stats on the platform. Altcoin Buzz also published an overview of Uptrennd. A Freewrite contest was started for the creatively inclined. CEO Jeff Kirdeikis appeared for an interview with BeInCrypto to discuss the current state of cryptocurrencies. You can watch the full interview here.
The new Uptrennd login page looks fresh
To read the latest District Weekly from District0x, click here. And for the biweekly Dev Update, click here. Hydro added Amazon Web Services’ Key Management Service (KMS) as an integration. The team also published a blogpost on blockchain use cases in banking and payments. To read on the latest Sentivate code updates, click here, here and here. Mycro announced a partnership with Bitbook to have their campaign hosted on the Mycro Hunter App. OST Head of Engagement Simona Pop will be speaking at Ready Layer One’s community event next week. If you’re a SelfKey Newsletter reader and have feedback regarding it, don’t forget to share it with them. The first set of most voted for feature ideas by the community were added to the Mobile App this week. The team shared tips for WFH professionals. Plus, a introduction article on crypto lending. Looking for some fresh $DAG merch? Constellation’s new gift shop is here. Saweet! And finally, congratulations on the mainnet launch. If you follow Wibson, you’ll know that they are a regular in the Ethereum meetup circuit. This week, the crew joined the Ethereum Buenos Aires meetup that featured speakers from MakerDAO and Decentraland. The new IntelliShare website was launched. Here’s an operation manual to navigate around it. In order to be achieve DAO-like governance, the project opened up recruitment for its 6th Autonomous Committee. Part 2 of GET Protocol CEO Maarten Bloemers’ interview with HKB News of Korea was released. Click here to read the project update summary of April.
Fresh Constellation merch from the newly opened gift store
Harmony moved into the final testing phase or Pangaea Phase 3 this week. Lots of rewards in store for the community. If you’re just starting to read up on Harmony, do check out the introduction and testnet staking 101 articles. Co-founder Sahil Dewan was interviewed by CXO Worldwide where he talked about DeFi and how Harmony could play a role in Indian scene. His interview on Crypto News Point was also published this week. $ONE is now supported on Guarda Wallet. Founder Stephen Tse spoke at the Block Covid Virtual Summit. Click here to watch. If you have a Harmony Validator on Ankr, don’t forget to check out the updates. The team held a quiz in preparation for Open Staking. For the latest #pow thread, click here. Folks working on smart contracts on the Harmony Network, hopefully you didn’t miss the webinar this week. If you did, fret not. You can watch it here. Nikolaos Kostopoulos from the team attended a roundtable representing Harmony. Stephen also sat down for a community AMA along with a series of video updates (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) to close off the week. COTI’s first testnet operator joined as a mainnet operator this week. Speaks volumes of the community stickiness. Constellation will be running an advanced node on COTI’s network starting next month. Bidesk listed $COTI with $BTC and $USDT pairings. The token was added to Blockfolio Signal as well. So all users of the tracker will get push notifications for the project updates. And here’s a bit of epicness that nobody should miss – A bonafide dance contest by $DYT and $INE fans. Check out the videos here. Haha. So awesome. And congratulations to the winners! $DYT was listed on ETOR exchange. The staking program allows HODLers to earn 1% bonus every month. How? Click here to find out.

And with that, it’s a wrap! See you again with another update. Cheers!
submitted by abhijoysarkar to ParachuteToken [link] [comments]

The Streamr Network whitepaper, progress towards the Brubeck milestone, BlockScience tokenomics research, and the Data Unions public beta — read the latest in the Streamr dev update!

The Streamr Network whitepaper, progress towards the Brubeck milestone, BlockScience tokenomics research, and the Data Unions public beta — read the latest in the Streamr dev update!

Dev Update May 2020

https://preview.redd.it/dyidbljo8a551.png?width=1600&format=png&auto=webp&s=832022ddbabb8a0cbe53121be2e73493e7e758d0
Welcome to Streamr dev update for May 2020! Looking back at last month’s update, we’re happy to realise that many major development strands that were still seeking solutions only a month ago, have now found them and fallen nicely into place. Here’s a few hand-picked highlights from May:
  • Solved all remaining problems blocking the upcoming Network whitepaper
  • Started testing the WebRTC flavour of the Network at scale
  • Got the Data Unions framework relatively stable in advance of entering public beta
  • Started planning a roadmap towards the next major Data Unions upgrade
  • Completed Phase 0 of token economics research with BlockScience
The Network whitepaper
For over 9 months now, a few people in the Network team have been hard at work at documenting and benchmarking the Network at scale. The deliverable of that effort is an academic paper, intended for deep tech audiences, in both the enterprise and crypto spaces, as a source of detailed information and metrics about the Network.
This blog post from September outlined the approaches and toolkit we were using to conduct the experiments, but the road to the goal turned out to be quite complicated. We’ve sort of learned to expect the unexpected, because pretty much everything we do is in uncharted territory, but trouble can still come in surprising shapes and sizes.
We worked steadily on setting up a sophisticated distributed network benchmarking environment based on the CORE network emulator, only to ditch it several months later because it was introducing inaccuracies and artifacts into our experiments at larger network sizes of 1000 nodes or more. We then activated Plan B, which meant running the experiments in a real-world environment instead of the emulator.
We chose 16 AWS data centres across the globe and ran between 1 and 128 nodes in each of them, creating Streamr Networks of 16–2048 nodes in size. The new approach was foolproof in the sense that the connections between nodes were real, actual internet connections, but running a large-scale distributed experiment across thousands of machines brought its own problems. I’ll give some examples here. First of all, it needed pretty sophisticated orchestration to be able to bring the whole thing up and tear it down in between experiments. Secondly, accurately measuring latencies required the clocks of each machine to be synchronised to sub-millisecond precision. Thirdly, the resulting logs needed to be collected from each machine and then assembled for analysis. None of these things were necessary in the earlier emulator approach, but the reward for the extra trouble was accurate, artifact-free results from real-world conditions, adding a lot of relevance and impact to the results.
During May, we finally got each and every problem solved, and managed to eliminate all unexpected artifacts in the measured results. Right now we are finalising the text around the experiments and their results, and we are expecting the paper to become available on the project website in July.
Network progress towards Brubeck
Working towards the next milestone, Brubeck, means making many important improvements. One of them is enabling nodes behind NATs to connect to each other, which will allow us to make each client application basically a node. This, in turn, helps achieve almost infinite scalability in the Network, because then clients will help propagate messages to other clients. The key to unlocking this is migrating from websocket connections to WebRTC connections between nodes. This work is now in advanced stages, although we are still observing some issues when there are large amounts of connections per machine. Having developed the scalability testing framework for the whitepaper comes in handy here; the correct functioning of the WebRTC flavour network can be validated by repeating the same experiments and checking that the results are, in line with the ones we got with the websocket edition.
Another step towards the next milestone is making the tracker setup more elaborate. Trackers are utility nodes that help other nodes discover each other and form efficient and fair message broadcasting topologies. When the Corea milestone version launched, it supported only one tracker, statically configured in the nodes’ config files, making peer discovery in the Network a centralized single point of failure; if the tracker failed, message propagation in the Network would still function, but new nodes would have trouble joining, over time deteriorating the Network. Thanks to recent improvements, the nodes can now map the universe of streams to a set of trackers, which can be run by independent parties, allowing for decentralization. Trackers can now be discovered from a shared and secure source of truth, a smart contract on Ethereum mainnet, which in the future could be a token-curated registry (TCR) or a DAO-governed registry. The setup is somewhat analogous to the root DNS servers of the internet, governed by ICANN — only much more transparent and decentralized.
Ongoing work also includes improving the storage facilities of the Network. Storage is implemented by nodes with storage capabilities. They basically store messages in assigned streams into a local Cassandra cluster and use the stored data to serve requests for old messages (resends). The current way we store data in Cassandra has been problematic when it comes to high-volume streams, leading to uneven distribution of data across the Cassandra cluster, which in turn leads to query timeouts and failing resends. In the improved storage schema, data will be more evenly distributed, and this kind of hotspot streams shouldn’t cause problems going forward. As a result, the Network will offer reliable and robust resends and queries for historical data.
There’s also ongoing work to upgrade the encryption capabilities of the Network — or more specifically the SDKs. The protocol and Network have actually supported end-to-end encryption since the Corea release, but the official SDKs (JS and Java so far) only implement end-to-end encryption with a pre-shared key. The manual step of pre-sharing the encryption key limits the usefulness of the feature. The holy grail here is to add a key exchange mechanism, which enables publishing and subscribing parties to automatically exchange the decryption keys for a stream. This feature is now in advanced stages of implementation, and effortless encryption should become generally available during the summer months.
Data Unions soon in public beta
The Data Unions framework is approaching a stable state. In the April update, we discussed some issues where the off-chain state of the DUs became corrupted, leading to lower than expected balances. All known issues were solved during May, and the system has been operating without apparent problems since then.
The Data Unions framework has been in private beta since late last year, with a couple of indie teams ( Swash having made the most progress so far) building on top of it. During private beta, we’ve been working on stability, documentation, and frontend support for the framework. We’re now getting ready to push the DU framework into public beta, which means that everyone can soon start playing around with it. The goal of the public beta phase over the summer months is to get more developers hands-on with the framework, and to iron out remaining problems that might occur at larger-scale use (and abuse).
We’ve also started planning the first major post-release upgrade to Data Unions architecture, which improves the robustness and usability of the framework. We are currently working on a proof of concept, and we’ll be talking more about the upgrade over the course of the summer.
Phase 0 of token economics research completed
As was mentioned in one of the earlier updates, we started a collaboration with BlockScience to research and economically model the Streamr Network’s future token incentives. It’s a long road and we’ve only just started, but it’s worth sharing that in May we reached the end of Phase 0. This month-long phase was all about establishing a baseline: transferring information across teams, establishing a glossary, documenting the current Network state and future goal state, and writing down what we currently know as well as key open questions.
The work continues on an ongoing basis with Phase 1, the goal of which is to define mathematical representations of the actors, actions, and rules in the Streamr Network. In future phases, the Network’s value flows will be simulated, based on this mathematical modeling, to test alternative models and their parameters and inform decisions that lead to incentive models sustainable at scale.
Looking forward
By the next monthly update, we should have Data Unions in public beta, and hopefully also the Network whitepaper released. Summer holidays will slow down the development efforts over July-August, but based on the previous summers, it shouldn’t prevent us from making good progress.
To conclude this post, I’ll include a bullet-point summary of main development efforts in May, as well as a list of upcoming deprecations that developers building on Streamr should be aware of. As always, you’re welcome to chat about building with Streamr on the community-run dev forum or follow us on one of the Streamr social media channels.
Network
  • Experiments for the Network whitepaper have been completed. Finalising text content now
  • Java client connection handling issues solved. Everything running smoothly again, including canvases
  • The Network now supports any number of trackers
  • Brokers can now read a list of trackers from an Ethereum smart contract on startup
  • WebRTC version of the Network is ready for testing at scale
  • Token economics research Phase 0 completed
  • Working on a new Cassandra schema and related data migration for storage nodes.
  • Working on key exchange in JS and Java clients to enable easy end-to-end encryption of data.
Data Unions
  • Data Union developer docs are complete
  • Problems causing state corruption were fixed
  • Started planning a major architectural upgrade to Data Unions
Core app, Marketplace, Website
  • Streamr resource permissions overhaul is done
  • Buyer whitelisting feature for Marketplace is done
  • Working on adding terms of use, contact details, and social media links to Marketplace products
  • Working on a website update containing updates to the top page, a dedicated Data Unions page, and a Papers page to collect the whitepaper-like materials the project has published.
Deprecations and breaking changes
This section summarises deprecated features and upcoming breaking changes. Items with dates TBD are known already but will occur in the slightly longer term.
  • (Date TBD): Authenticating with API keys will be deprecated. As part of our progress towards decentralisation, we will eventually end support for authenticating based on centralised secrets. Integrations to the API should authenticate with the Ethereum key-based challenge-response protocol instead, which is supported by the JS and Java libraries. At a later date (TBD), support for API keys will be dropped. Instructions for upgrading from API keys to Ethereum keys will be posted well in advance.
  • (Date TBD): Publishing unsigned data will be deprecated. Unsigned data on the Network is not compatible with the goal of decentralization, because untrusted nodes could easily tamper data that is not signed. As the Streamr Network will be ready to start decentralizing at the next major milestone (Brubeck), support for unsigned data will be ceased prior to reaching that. Users should upgrade old client library versions to newer versions that support data signing, and use Ethereum key-based authentication (see above), which enables data signing by default.
Read the original post here.
submitted by thamilton5 to streamr [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

MaterialX (featuring Lucasfilm and Allegorithmic) - YouTube Ethereum 2.0, Electroneum Phase 2, Cardano ADA, Zilliqa, Neo 3.0  Bitcoin and Crypto News Ethereal Virtual Summit 2020 - YouTube

State channels are two way transaction channels for users or machines. State channels give the option of taking transactions between two users off of the blockchain in order to improve scalability and to provide transactional privacy. Because the transactions are taking place off the main blockchain and is exclusively between two users, it results in cheap and fast execution. Ethereum 1.x Summary. Ethereum 1.x is a codename for a comprehensive set of upgrades to the Ethereum mainnet intended for near-term adoption. Ethereum 2.0 (Serenity) won't be fully rolled out for another 2-3 years with Phase 0 and Phase 1 due within 1-2 and Phase 2 due sometime in 2022. Ethereum's major network upgrade, dubbed Ethereum 2.0, Eth2 or Serenity, will bring with it Sharding, Proof of Stake, a new virtual machine (eWASM) and more. It’s important to understand that this upgrade will not take place at a single point in time - instead, it will be rolled out in phases. Phase 2 is the addition of state and execution on more shards than just the original Ethereum shard. There are many forms that this can take. Figuring out which form, and the details behind it, is a hot bed of research and prototyping today. Right now, state channels are mostly used for blockchain-based games in Ethereum. Think gambling with crypto currencies. There are ways to encrypt the information to keep reveal it later which is

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MaterialX (featuring Lucasfilm and Allegorithmic) - YouTube

Session and panel recordings from Ethereal Virtual Summit 2020. 7-8 May 2020 – The two-day Ethereal Virtual Summit agenda features 100+ ecosystem leaders and... State Channels - Ethereum is Open for Business - Duration: 39:37. ConsenSysMedia 3,678 views. 39:37. How does a blockchain work - Simply Explained - Duration: 6:00. Browse channels Sign in to like videos, comment, and subscribe. ... Not Ethereum", Coinbase Insider Trading & Bitcoin ETF Prediction ... Ripple XRP In The Netscape Phase by Digital Asset Investor. Salut à tous ! Bienvenue sur ma chaîne YouTube sur laquelle je vous présente une de mes passions qui est la cryptomonnaie ! 👉 100 abonnés le 1/04/2020 👉 500 ... after completion of above phase, we can say fully ethereum 2.0 works complete. Ethereum 2.0 is a very complex and difficult task but ethereum team will complete this for ethereum main stream.