Bitcoin mining the hard way: the algorithms, protocols

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]

Introduction to Bitterfly: Butterfly Matrix Entropy Weight Consensus Algorithm

When Bitcoin launched 11 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto had the vision of giving people power over their money. His vision lives on through BTC. However, the Bitcoin network has a few flaws. One of those flaws is the Proof of Work mechanism. Mining Bitcoin requires a huge amount of resources that are out of reach for most ordinary people. The result is that the BTC network is increasingly being placed in centralized control.The Bitterfly project hopes to change that using a revolutionary consensus mechanism called the Buttery that will be used on the Bitterfly blockchain.
About Bitterfly
Bitterfly wants to continue the vision that Nakamoto had for Bitcoin. The goal is to give power back to the people and place them in control of their finances. To do this, the Bitterfly team is working on three main areas that require improvement:
· The consensus mechanism
· The blockchain performance
· Community Governance
The Consensus Mechanism
To improve the consensus mechanism, the team behind Bitterfly has created the Butterfly algorithm that they will add to the PoW mechanism. Not only can it ensures that the hash rate is obtained fairly, it ensures that the hash rate of the whole network is enhanced via the butterfly effect.
Performance
In terms of performance, the Bitterfly blockchain has been upgraded to have a confirmed commercial speed of 5000TPS. Bitterfly is designed as a Blockchain As a Service open-source platform, which can be used in different applications.
Bitterfly will support different types of computing services that include cloud servers. As a result, it will utilize idle server resources to boost the hash rate support for the network.
Community Governance
When it comes to community Governance, Bitterfly plans to introduce a node competition mechanism that will release 210 nodes over time to enhance the butterfly effect. First, they will introduce the nodes via the Butterfly matrix network. Later, they will do so via a fair elimination process. The goal is to ensure that the nodes contribute to the success of Bitterfly.
The Encryption Algorithm
Encryption and decryption of data are at the core of the operation of any blockchain. It helps to guarantee the security of the whole blockchain. Only a corresponding private key can unlock data encrypted using a public key.
In most blockchains, the Hash Function and the Asymmetric Key Encryption Algorithm are used to encrypt and decrypt data. For the Hush Function, the main algorithms used are SHA and MD5.Bitterfly uses the SHA256 algorithm for encryption and RSA, DSA, and Elliptic curve algorithms for decryption. For the verification phase, Bitterfly developed the DFLYSChnorr, which is based on the SCHNOOR algorithm.
Consensus Algorithm
The consensus mechanism is used in the blockchain to ensure that each transaction is accurate. Bitterfly plans to operate within the enterprise space, which requires comprehensive and heterogeneous systems that are integrated with various communication protocols.
To deal with the challenges that might arise, Bitterfly developed a two-layer consensus algorithm for the PoW mechanism called the PBFT algorithm. Here is how the Bitterfly algorithm works:
· The network Structure
Bitterfly is designed as an internet payment and application protocol that is based on embracing the digital economy. It can facilitate value storage as well as the decentralized exchange of digital assets, payments, as well as clearing functions. Within Bitterfly, everyone can participate in productively. It will place a huge demand on Bitterfly. The network will offer performance guarantees as well as smart contracts.
· Bitterfly Consensus Algorithm
To meet the goal of decentralization and security, Bittefly wants to become a global computer instead of a P2P information system. Besides satisfying the decentralization and security needs of its users via PoW, the system will also need to perform at a high level.
As a result, the team opted to support smart contracts in commercial applications. To deal with the issue of energy consumption, the team came up with the Butterfly algorithm. The algorithm allows the use of PoW as well as other cross-chain methods such as the Layer 2 protocol. Confirmation of transactions is done via verification nodes.
Each node is preconfigured with a list of trusted nodes known as the Consensus Achievement List (CAL). The node list can be used to confirm transactions. Once a transaction is confirmed with the local ledger, it is integrated into the transaction candidate set while all illegal ones are discarded.
To improve the security of the network, the verification confirmation was raised to 60% unlike in other networks where it is 50% +1. A transaction is officially confirmed once it is confirmed by 80% of the CAL nodes. The process is known as the Last Closed Ledger, which represents the latest changes to the ledger.
Within Bitterfly, the identities of those taking part in the confirmation of transactions are known beforehand. AS a result, transactions are faster and the blockchain is more efficient.
Butterfly Matrix Entropy Weight Algorithm
Entropy is used to measure the level of uncertainty in the system. Bitterfly built a way to establish consensus using multiple factors. In the network, each data set has a corresponding weight.
Summary
For the past 11 years, Bitcoin has enjoyed tremendous success. The launch of Bitcoin ushered in a new era for humanity. For the first time in history, decentralized money that is outside the control of governments and other central entities is possible.
The new type of money gives people the power to control their finances and avoid the harsh effects of inflation caused by the wanton printing of government currency. When a new economic downturn hit the global economy, Bitcoin failed the litmus test. While Bitcoin should have helped to save people’s finances as the money printing began, it seemed to have followed the same trend as the sinking global economy.
It revealed that BTC still had numerous weaknesses that need to be corrected. Bitterfly wants to build on what Bitcoin has accomplished and do more with it. The team behind this project is quite optimistic. They believe that they can achieve what Bitcoin has achieved in the past 11 years. Besides that, they believe they can achieve where Bitcoin has failed in those past 11 years.
Social Media Links
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BitterflyD
MEDIUM: https://medium.com/@BitterflyD
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxSNCzuQsNj-oCgepxzoXQg
TELEGRAM: https://t.me/Bitterfly_Disciples
submitted by Bitterfly_Disciples to u/Bitterfly_Disciples [link] [comments]

Large-scale updates of Tkeycoin. What’s next? — listing on the crypto exchange. Are you with us?

Large-scale updates of Tkeycoin. What’s next? — listing on the crypto exchange. Are you with us?

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Hello, everyone, It’s been a long time since you heard our team, someone thought we were gone, someone was waiting, and someone disappeared himself.
All this time we have worked hard to bring you good news. We will tell you what we have prepared for you, what events will be soon, what you can use right now and what else will be new in the year. And so, let’s go!

Preparing for listing on the exchange

The pandemic period played into the hands of the entire team and we managed to build beauty in our services. In anticipation of the exchange, the team tidied up the sites and services and connected new tools. First of all, we paid attention to the preparation of all services for a foreign audience, taking into account its mentality.
New sections, localizations, nice things, and much more to ensure the most efficient use of the TKEY resource. In addition to the new tabs, the services that we will talk about in this material, there is a special page for representatives of the exchange with the necessary documentation for listing — https://tkeycoin.com/en/documentation/.

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Full localization

Already today the official website tkeycoin.com available in 5 languages: Russian, English, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional).

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We made adjustments to the Russian and English versions of the site, including support for Korean and Chinese for each section of the site. Professionals in their field, native speakers translated and adapted the information as it should be, and we, in turn, structured and framed it properly. So welcome!

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We will update language support for the site, and soon it will include support for all languages that are available in the mobile app.

QR Codes for Asian Audience


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Our friends and residents of Asian countries actively use QR codes in their lives, both when paying in stores and when working with websites. QR codes are used almost everywhere when renting a car or bike, we just open the phone, scan and the mode of transport becomes available for use, anything is available for rent, even a battery, even an umbrella.
“It was a hot May day. Seven-year-old Wang Jiaozui came out of school and saw his grandfather, who came to pick him up. He was standing in the sun, and his shirt was soaked with sweat. Jiaozui invited the grandfather to buy a cold Cola in the shop, but he forgot her purse at home. It turned out that this is not important — the boy took his grandfather’s smartphone and called the payment app with a QR code on the screen.” ©
What to say if QR codes are used even to identify entire farms. By pasting QR codes on farm buildings and then scanning them, government inspectors can quickly figure out who owns the building and whether its owners are violating any laws.

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We must be on the trend! Now a special library generates QR codes for the desired page, any tab on the site tkeycoin.com in Chinese and Korean-accompanied by a QR code that leads to the requested page: fast, convenient, and simple.
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Providing this opportunity to our colleagues and future users of Tkeycoin from Asia is a friendly approach and most importantly, a strategic step on our part. After implementing QR codes, we are undoubtedly drawn into the convenience of this function, which we recommend to You:) If you like it, we will make QR codes on the Russian and English versions of the site.

Buying and withdrawing cryptocurrency to a Bankcard


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On the site, you can now buy Bitcoin for pound, dollars, euro, and any other currency. This is a powerful automated service for instant exchange of fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies. The system works around the clock and seven days a week, allowing everyone to conduct exchanges at any time of the day and in the shortest possible time.
Withdrawal to a Bank card will be available until the end of the month, we finish the details, the page is available now, and the withdrawal itself will be activated during this week. You can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other currency right now.

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These features are the future for the function of purchasing any product or service for TKEY at any point of sale, which will form the basis of the mobile app, quickly, conveniently, and most importantly, observing the letter of the law.
All we do is build an Empire that is being built before your eyes. Every service and product is connected, so any update promises the appearance of even more cool and effective features than before.

Buying cryptocurrency for pound, dollars, euros, and other currencies

At the end of February, we told you that we are working on building a payment service that will include the provision of services: buy cryptocurrencies, sell a cryptocurrency, withdraw cryptocurrency to Bank cards, etc.
This day has come, now you can buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether USDT, Basic Attention Token (BAT), Algorand (ALGO), Tron (TRX), OKB (Token Okex.com).

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The purchase is available in any currency: Russian ruble, US Dollar, Euro, British pound, Ukrainian hryvnia, Indonesian rupiah, South Korean won, Japanese yen, Turkish Lira, Argentine peso.
As you can see, the currency corridors are quite extensive, which allows you to make exchanges fast and at a favorable rate. Just choose the right pair to exchange or buy, available fiat currencies: RUB, USD, EUR, GBP, UAH, IDR, KRW, JPY, TRY, ARS, available cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, BAT, USDT, ALGO, TRX, OKB.
Even if this wide list does not include the currency you want to buy, such as Bitcoin or USDT, it’s okay — the service will automatically convert your currency into the payment currency and the Bank will make the exchange. Exchanges take place within 1–3 minutes, it is enough to pass quick verification once, which allows you to work with a volume of > 15,000 euros per month.

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Exchange of cryptocurrencies for pound, dollars, euros, and withdrawal of Bankcard

In addition to the fact that you can now easily buy a cryptocurrency for fiat currencies, pound, dollars or any other, during this week we will finish work on the withdrawal to a Bank card and you can easily withdraw your profit to the card, the most important thing is that this is a completely legal method, and all operations pass through banks and jurisdictions where work with digital assets is legalized.
This means that when you buy or make a withdrawal to the card, you get legal funds that are credited to you by the Bank or payment system.
If you are used to working with effective tools that work in a new way, or rather correctly and legally, then this service is for you. Fast crediting, easy exchange, a large selection of currency pairs, that’s what the company is betting on.
We work with the most reliable third-party partners to make your cryptocurrency process easy and convenient, and most importantly safe for You. The service supports plastic and virtual Bank cards VISA, MasterCard, MIR, and other payment systems for fast payment processing.

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On the exchange page, you can choose any currency pair to exchange in the opposite direction, for example, GBP to BTC or USD to BTC. Choose a suitable pair for exchange, available fiat currencies: RUB, USD, EUR, GBP, UAH, IDR, KRW, JPY, TRY, ARS, available cryptocurrencies for exchange: BTC, ETH, BAT, USDT, ALGO, TRX, OKB.
How it works
When buying cryptocurrency for the first time, your Bank reserves (holds) the requested amount, then this amount is transferred to the authorization waiting state. As soon as the Bank freezes the fiat funds, the service fixes the exchange rate at the time of creating the application, reserves the cryptocurrency, and provides you with 30–40 minutes to complete verification. After successful verification, the service charges cryptocurrency to the wallet.

Quick verification

Verification takes 2–3 minutes and requires only one time to perform operations every day. The “Know Your Customer” (KYC) procedure is necessary to exchange cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies.

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As you understand, you need to pass verification 1 time, regardless of whether you withdraw funds or buy currency, after passing verification, all services are available to You without any further confirmation.

New currency

Support for other currencies, including TKEY, will be added gradually and highlighted through service updates. As for the TKEY exchange, it will become available in exchange services after listing on the exchange. Listing on an exchange allows you to automate the exchange process, link the necessary services, and most importantly, the exchange provides liquidity, which is key when we talk about exchanging for a particular currency.
We will tell you more about the operation of the service and its advantages, chips, in a separate material dedicated to the withdrawal and purchase of cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies, as well as touch on various banking issues and tell you how you can combine the SWAP service for more efficient exchange and withdrawal to the card.

Charitable activity

By making an exchange or purchase of cryptocurrency, you help children and people who need our help. We deduct 0.1% of the profit from each transaction to charity funds.
This is the fastest and most comfortable way of charity, which allows you to bring together people who are not indifferent to other people’s problems. TKEY enables people to do good deeds, and the resulting turnover profit of 0.1% is sent to charity funds every month. Together with You, we create new opportunities for people in need who need help — “Big things have small beginnings”.
How does it work?
You have made an exchange or purchase operation, the company has accumulated the volume of these operations for a month->the company has chosen a charity Fund->sent funds to the charity Fund’s account. Priority charity funds are children’s aid funds. You can always suggest a candidate for a particular Fund by sending a message to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
Why do we write Funds and not a Fund?
This is the first launch of the service, so depending on the monthly volume, we will focus on distributing funds to one charity or several. For example, if we have accumulated $ 10,000, we can distribute $ 5,000 to 2 funds. if we have accumulated $ 100, it is logical that we will only send this amount to 1 Fund. With the development of the service, we will be able to focus on several funds, which we will actively help due to the received volume.

New sections, improvements for existing services

Menu logic and site structure

The menu logic has been revised. now more items are available on the menu and they are divided into sections. Navigation through the sections has become much easier and more convenient. for some sections, QR codes are available for Russian and English-speaking audiences, and for representatives of Asian countries, all sections are available by QR code.

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TKEYSPACE Promo Page

New blocks were added, the entire page was fully localized and is available in Chinese, Korean, English and Russian, and QR codes were added for easy navigation for the Asian audience.

Documentation for the exchange

We have already mentioned that there is a section for exchanges with the necessary documentation for listing, now it is available in English. In the next updates, it will be translated into Russian, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and Korean.

Market Data (Coin Data)

The market data section has been optimized for mobile apps. Charts are expanded and optimized page borders for most mobile devices, and you can search for cryptocurrencies and tokens that interest you.

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FAQ

Added answers to frequently asked questions in various sections of the site, You can find the information directly on the section page, for example, TKEY-QT, SWAP or Core. Right on the page there is a FAQ section, in which we disclose answers to questions, for example: How are You going to solve the scalability problem, or why did you choose Phoenix as the logo and symbol of the project, or how do you exchange cryptocurrency for pound or dollars? As you can see, you can get answers to different questions, depending on the topic of the site section.

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Footer

For convenience, the site’s footer has been expanded and new sections (quick tabs) are included, which are also available in the QR-code format. In addition to various details, the footer is now accompanied by the company’s coat of arms — the Phoenix, which is the symbol of the entire community, the Phoenix Alliance.

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Page 404

Added page 404, which is also an integral part of the site. now when you go to a non-existent site page, all the necessary menu items are fully available to us, which will quickly Orient You and direct you to the desired section.

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What is waiting for us in the nearest future?

In addition to various improvements, connecting services, our team has been working every day on other main areas of the Tkeycoin project, which are already being prepared for the next release and we will tell you what updates, what plans, events, and what else will be interesting this year.

Online conference with management

An online conference in question-answer format will be organized. The main task of the conference, in addition to questions and answers, is to discuss plans, talk about new directions, touch on issues of legislation, and analyze current issues of users.
The online meeting format will allow you to get feedback and discuss a large number of issues in a short time. Questions related to technical support and other questions that can be answered through the administration will not be discussed.
The meeting involves the development, constructive, and suggestions from users for further development of the Tkeycoin project. If you are interested in participating in the conference, you can also make business proposals during it, please use the time to your advantage. We work for you.

New content: reports, new categories, useful information

Based on user feedback, we introduce new categories to our content plan:
Reports This section will be accompanied by information about the work done by the team for the month, the format of submission — abstracts, highlights. This format will help establish feedback between users and developers.
Question-answer
In addition to the content that we produce ourselves, users have questions that arise during the process of working with the project’s services, as well as during interaction with the project itself. To avoid making guesses and making up stories, we have introduced the question-answer category.
Users ask questions in comments, and the company prepares answers based on the questions and they are published in the post. Depending on the number of questions, the post generates all the answers, or the post is divided into parts if the number of questions for the past period was the largest. In addition to asking questions, you can make suggestions to the project, for example, about new features or directions.
This format also builds feedback and helps to improve all services. the most important thing is that it can not only help us but also you, as the offer and questions will help you focus on the tasks that the end-user wants to see.

TKEY-POOL (Tkeycoin pool)

We are completing the work and debugging of the official pool for Tkeycoin, this is a completely new approach for mining Tkeycoin. The pool will feature higher performance and stable architecture, a light interface, and objective commissions.
A pool is a highly loaded system that works 24/7/365, it turns out that such a product hides a sufficient number of lines of code and, most importantly, is built on a reliable architecture that can withstand +50000–100000 miners, not to mention the number of connected devices for this number of miners.
A cryptocurrency pool is a combination of the hardware power of many miners at once to increase the probability of finding a block. The reward for a block obtained by the pool is distributed among all participants.
The TKEY pool is developed taking into account the features of the Tkeycoin blockchain, including multi-blockchain, transaction model, hashing, blocks, and other nuances that are an upgrade of the blockchain among others. Together with the pool, the TKEY network is being tested: high loads, attacks, and other tests that show positive results, proving that the TKEY blockchain can work under any loads and is protected from attacks.
Our task was to: 1. Stable system for handling high loads; 2. Adaptation pool for any software; 3. Connecting any hardware for mining cryptocurrency Tkeycoin; 4. Fair remuneration calculation; 5. Security.
The main goal is for any user, regardless of the software and hardware used, to be able to connect to Tkeycoin mining via a pool. The first releases will be accompanied by a simple user-friendly interface, easy connection, instructions for various mining programs that can be connected.
In future releases, we will optimize the operation of the pool, add new features, as well as tracking functions and other nice things. any suggestions from miners and the community are interesting to us and will be implemented, so do not hesitate to send your suggestions after the launch.

TKEYSPACE updates


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Work on the TkeySpace mobile app is also not standing still. We will soon release updates for TkeySpace on Android and iOS.
This release is a complete transition to the most stable version of the mobile wallet. This means that after the update, even with the largest changes, the user will not need to completely reinstall or restore to use the new features, as before, just update the app via the AppStore or GooglePlay.
Between the previous update has been a sufficient amount of time, on average, updates are released once a month. This update will be one of the major ones. We are finishing work on the code to prepare the app for the new features that will be available this year. Besides, we are improving the app’s logic, data processing speed, optimizing the code, restoring order, and preparing for the global market.

Exchange, purchase of cryptocurrency and withdrawal to the Debit/Credit Card


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In addition to pleasant optimizations, the app will display the exchange and withdrawal to a Bankcard, tab with an optimized page for exchange, withdrawal, and the purchase will be available directly in the mobile app. This upgrade will also capture the cryptocurrency exchange SWAP page, which can be evaluated after the update. Other features and new features will be announced by the developers immediately after the release.

SWAP Update

The development team is finishing work on optimizing the SWAP service. Regardless of updates, it is available in working mode 24/7/365. The team is working on improving the operation, optimizing the page, changing the interfaces, improving navigation, and speeding up query processing. This update is also among the upcoming ones, along with the pool, mobile wallets, and other news that will excite.

Network Statistics

In the network statistics section, there are several sections that will be fixed — this is the hash rate of the network and the volume of Tkeycoin. Now the volume of Tkeycoin is displayed by mTKEY, and the graph itself indicates M TKEY, the user may incorrectly understand the volume of transactions in the network, so, given the current volume, it is advisable to switch the display to TKEY, and in the future switch to mTKEY for large volumes.
TKEY is divided into cryptograms (CryptoGramm, cgr), uTKEY (keys), and mTKEY. 1 TKEY = 100 000 000 cryptograms. 1 mTKEY = 100,000 cryptograms. 1 TKEY contains 1000 mTKEY. 1 mTKEY = 0.00100000 TKEY 1 uTKEY =100 cryptograms 1 TKEY contains 1,000,000 utkeys. 1 uTKEY (keys) = 0.00000100 TKEY 1 cgr = 0.00000001 TKEY

Cryptocurrency Exchange

This issue has become the cause of mass discussions, disputes, investigations, the subject of memes, kitchen, and online conversations, that just did not happen, that TKEY is not taken anywhere, someone made guesses that we are waiting for everyone to run away, or TKEY is a world conspiracy and around some actors, you can write a book or shoot a great series, not worse than Breaking Bad.
Jokes, jokes, but the question is serious. Since the 4th quarter of last year, the company has been actively working on the issue of listing, prepared the necessary platform for this, held several meetings, negotiations, released the necessary products, figured out various transfers of funds to the blockchain, worked out many small things, many major issues that were behind the scenes. Everything is ready, and it’s time to start soon. This will be a surprise, believe it or not, and we will meet you on the stock exchanges :)

What other plans does the company have?

Enabling payment at retail outlets

After entering the exchange, we will actively engage in connecting payments to implement them and link them to TKEY. The plan, strategy, and legal component are ready.

Payment development

This implies the development of payments and services that will expand the use of digital currencies in the commercial sphere. Application on the territory of Russia will depend on the Federal law on the CFA, in any case, we plan to analyze the law, after its release, to find a legal way to implement payments based on blockchain and digital assets. Therefore, until the law is released, we are keeping this initiative in the future, and we will work on other jurisdictions that will support it.
We left some plans behind the scenes, because they will make the greatest impact on the market and the value of our asset, and this — likes silence.

What useful materials will be released soon?

How to effectively use the SWAP service together with the exchange and purchase of cryptocurrency from a Bank card?

We will tell you in detail how to use these 2 services, how to save on payments and purchases, how to exchange tokens that are very difficult to exchange, how to quickly get money for them to the card, and much more.

The law CFA

Our opinion about the law of cryptocurrencies in Russia, what to pay attention to, what to prepare for, how to act if there is a complete ban. Let’s talk about legal nuances and banking practices.

TKEY blockchain

In this material, we will talk about the blockchain, analyze the issues of the system, expand the questions on attacks, payment processing, and touch on the system of multiple chains. The article suggests your suggestions, perhaps someone will have ideas that we will implement in the chain.
At the end,
Don’t forget to ask questions in the comments or send suggestions to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) we will be happy to respond and consider your requests for any of our services. Collaboration, feedback, help us make the whole platform better.
Thank you for being with us! Until new meetings, stay tuned for news, updates, because the most unexpected news comes spontaneously.
submitted by tkeycoin to Tkeycoin_Official [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]

Most profitable way to get paid for mining?

I am pretty new to mining so I have been testing out only a couple of different ways to mine Etherium. I like the idea of getting paid in Bitcoin, however, I do not really know if I am getting the shorter end of the stick by using an OS such as Nicehash. I understand Nicehash is a “market” for selling hash rate and NOT a traditional “mining pool” but I am more curious about the profitability aspect.
So my question is: Does mining Etherium directly (using Geth for example) prove to be more profitable than using a mining operating system such as (Nicehash or Minerstat for example)?
I just want to know what other people's experiences are.
submitted by miner_ED to EtherMining [link] [comments]

Full overview of Eth 2.0 & 1.x roadmaps from Messari

Full section on Messari's Ethereum trends for 2020 here

ETH 2.0 Research/Governance/Roadmap at a glance

If history is any guide, we’re not going to see ETH 2.0 until 2022 at the earliest, even if the earliest phases of “Serenity” begin getting pushed in mid-2020. ETH 2.0’s rollout breaks down into seven (7!!!) phases and brings with it the promise of staking, sharding, a new virtual machine, and more dancing badgers.
(One of our analysts, Wilson Withiam, put together an excellent overview of both the ETH 2.0 and ETH 1.x roadmaps for this report. They are critical to track and understand at a high-level given how much Ethereum’s performance will affect other competitive projects and most of the DeFi and Web 3 infrastructure. So these next two sections are longer and more technical.)
Here’s what you need to know about the current game plan for crypto’s largest platform.
Phase 0 marks the launch of the “beacon chain”, which will serve as the backbone for a new blockchain. The beacon chain will manage network validators (large early stakers like ConsenSys) and ultimately assign validators to individual shards (slicing the new blockchain into smaller chunks is a key, difficult, controversial scaling decision that’s been made). The new chain will support Ethereum’s new proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, and offer inflation rewards with new ETH2 for those that pony up and lock 32 ETH1 tokens into an irreversible contract. That one way bridge into the new system is also contentious, but it means ETH1 supply will start getting “effectively burned” once token holder begin claiming beacon chain validator slots. Initial reports claimed Jan. 3 as a realistic launch date (lol). It will be amazing to see this launched by end of June.
Phase 1 will introduce 64 individual shard chains (reduced from 1,024!!!) to the network, with the option to increase the total down the road as the design gets tested. The Ethereum elite see sharding as the “key to future scalability” as shards can parallelize transaction processing, something that could improve network performance and reduce individual validator’s costs (good for decentralization). It comes with big risk: this is still theoretical. No network the size of Ethereum has successfully sharded its blockchain. In Phase 1, shard chains will only contain simple data sets (no smart contracts or transaction executions) to test the system’s structure. As with Phase 0, the beacon chain will continue to run in parallel with ETH 1.x throughout the phase. Don’t expect Phase 1 anytime before 2021.
Phase 2 marks the full launch of the ETH2 chain, allowing for on-chain contract execution and introducing the new eWASM virtual machine (dubbed EVM 2.0). At this point, existing dApps can start migrating their contracts from ETH 1.x to a specific shard (one shard per contract) in the new network. Storage rent, charging contract owners for storing data on the network (more on this below), is in the cards as well, which would require mass contract rewrites. Even though Phase 2 intends to replace the original Ethereum blockchain entirely, ETH 1.x may still live on as a shard within ETH2. (How confused are you by now? See why bitcoin will still dominate the macro narrative for a while?) A late 2021 release for Phase 2 is optimistic. Before the end of 2022 would be a win.
The final four phases are less defined, and without an attached timeline:
Phase 3 implements state-minimized clients (because stateless clients are just too much). Phase 4 allows for cross-shard transactions. Phase 5 improves network security and the availability of data proofs. Phase 6 introduces meta-shards, as in “shards within shards within shards,” for near-infinite scaling. If you’re scratching your head and are sadistic enough to read more, the Sharding Wiki page does note, “this may be difficult.”
Scaling and compilation efficiencies aside, the most notable change in Ethereum’s metamorphosis is the transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. PoW is the more battle tested security model for blockchain networks, while PoS may prove to be more efficient but with new and less obvious attack vectors. For the more technical, we recommend reading Bison Trails’ Viktor Bunin on the subject of PoS security threats.
Past research has also shown PoS requires an extra layer of “trust” vs. PoW, to help nodes sync to the network. Most models share specific characteristics to address this trust issue, such as allowing for a dynamic set of validators (rotate your security), promoting token holder participation in consensus, and assessing steep penalties (slashing) for any network participant that violates the protocol guidelines. ETH 2.0 will function similarly, but may be able to learn from other PoS networks (and their R&D) as well as those come live and see real world issues. As Vitalik points out, recent research in PoS resulted in “great theoretical progress,” But...
Listen, we're talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We're talking about practice. Not a game….Practice? We're talking about practice, man? We're talking about practice. We're talking about practice. We ain't talking about the game. We're talking about practice, man.
Vitalik was eight when this happened, so the clip might help and prove metaphoric.

2 ETH 1.x Research/Governance/Roadmap at a glance.

Ok, one more. Bear with us. Let’s reiterate, ETH 2.0 is a brand new blockchain. It’s going to be a chaotic and high-risk transition. In the meantime, the existing network needs to run existing applications (particularly financial settlements for DeFi transactions). More critical upgrades are needed in the current system.
To that end, ETH 1.x devs have three goals to boost performance and reduce blockchain bloat: (1) introduce client optimizations that increase transaction capacity; (2) cap disk space requirements and prune old, memory-sucking data (so running a node is less expensive and more decentralized); and (3) upgrade the EVM to eWASM, a newer open standard for code compilers that simplifies debugging, and is also used by all the newer smart contract platforms. ETH 1.x developers have decided to split the major tasks amongst four working groups:

Core developers intend to introduce most of these implementations through a series of hard forks, the latest of which activated just over a week ago (Istanbul, Dec. 7). However, Istanbul’s second phase, tentatively scheduled for Q2 next year, has Ethereans at each other’s throats. The controversy boils down to the fork’s inclusion of ProgPoW, an ASIC-resistant hashing algorithm designed to replace Ethereum’s current algo. ProgPoW aims to even the playing field for GPU miners and ward off the entrance of potential ASIC competitors. The miners like that. But many miners and investors see ProgPoW as a threat to their investments. For miners, the change would shift the power dynamic away from mining farms and render expensive, specialized mining hardware useless. Ethereum (and ERC-20) investors intent on securing their assets might balk because ASIC miners typically prop up hash rates (overall chain security) and their costs “naturally create a price-floor for ASK prices of miners’ sell-orders.”
This saga is far from over. The infighting will likely continue leading up to ProgPoW’s activation date mid-next year, and presents the strongest potential for a network split since “The DAO” fork that spawned Ethereum Classic. The looming transition to ETH 2.0 (and proof-of-stake) will likely deter investor pushback, because it’s a short-term battle in a war the miners are ultimately going to lose, anyway.
Unless the roadmap changes back to supporting a hybrid PoW/PoS system, of course, but... Oh my god, I’m just kidding. This section is mercifully over.
submitted by CryptigoVespucci to ethereum [link] [comments]

Does the increase in bitcoin hashrate correlate with bitcoin price?

Bitcoin hashrate indicates the strength of its Blockchain network. Studying the foregoing statement, it may also mean that the bitcoin price is influenced somehow. The increase in price value of bitcoin has consistently been a controversial subject across mainstream media, since the birth of bitcoin back in 2009.

Similarity in hash rates from 2009 and price changes

Although most publications reject cryptocurrency as extremely unpredictable and arbitrary, certain data sets indicate that market fluctuations can be traced back to common metrics. Using data from https://blockchain.com and the superimposing market background to test patterns, Reddit post noticed the strange similarity in Bitcoin hash rates from 2009 and price changes.
For marginal traders, the observation appears useful — purchasing bitcoin once values rise above the hash value result precedes major price increases in four instances accompanied by a slow sell-off. This correlation means that bitcoin is not as random as the popular consensus appears to say. Transaction costs, pricing behaviour, technological research, and simple news both drive bitcoin rates, just like conventional markets.

The Holy Grail of bitcoin hashrate

In contrast, the mining operation and price of Bitcoin have risen steadily since 2009, suggesting a wider sample collection to be measured before utilizing hash rates as a feasible trading strategy. The increase of price seems to have created numerous speculative and retail interests within the cryptocurrency world, where stakeholders are looking to make fast profits with little intention of utilizing digital assets in the real world.
However, this Connection is not exempt from scrutiny. Most Reddit users have gone on to refer hash rates and prices as chicken-and-egg games; moreover, the hash rate chart has recently been showing signs of flat-lining. Bitcoin’s statistical sophistication has multiplied — showing that a staggering 74 quintillion calculations take place every second — and on the 12th of May, 2020 the mining rewards are expected to plummet to only 6.25 BTC.
Finally, a flat line could mean that bitcoin hashrate could reach its zenith and stabilize in the nearest future, with increased mining costs and lower rewards, even as the value of bitcoin decouples from the hashrate data. completely
submitted by PresentType to bitcoingameinfo [link] [comments]

Groestlcoin 6th Anniversary Release

Introduction

Dear Groestlers, it goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult time for millions of people worldwide. The groestlcoin team would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone our best to everyone coping with the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19. Let it bring out the best in us all and show that collectively, we can conquer anything.
The centralised banks and our national governments are facing unprecedented times with interest rates worldwide dropping to record lows in places. Rest assured that this can only strengthen the fundamentals of all decentralised cryptocurrencies and the vision that was seeded with Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper over 10 years ago. Despite everything that has been thrown at us this year, the show must go on and the team will still progress and advance to continue the momentum that we have developed over the past 6 years.
In addition to this, we'd like to remind you all that this is Groestlcoin's 6th Birthday release! In terms of price there have been some crazy highs and lows over the years (with highs of around $2.60 and lows of $0.000077!), but in terms of value– Groestlcoin just keeps getting more valuable! In these uncertain times, one thing remains clear – Groestlcoin will keep going and keep innovating regardless. On with what has been worked on and completed over the past few months.

UPDATED - Groestlcoin Core 2.18.2

This is a major release of Groestlcoin Core with many protocol level improvements and code optimizations, featuring the technical equivalent of Bitcoin v0.18.2 but with Groestlcoin-specific patches. On a general level, most of what is new is a new 'Groestlcoin-wallet' tool which is now distributed alongside Groestlcoin Core's other executables.
NOTE: The 'Account' API has been removed from this version which was typically used in some tip bots. Please ensure you check the release notes from 2.17.2 for details on replacing this functionality.

How to Upgrade?

Windows
If you are running an older version, shut it down. Wait until it has completely shut down (which might take a few minutes for older versions), then run the installer.
OSX
If you are running an older version, shut it down. Wait until it has completely shut down (which might take a few minutes for older versions), run the dmg and drag Groestlcoin Core to Applications.
Ubuntu
http://groestlcoin.org/forum/index.php?topic=441.0

Other Linux

http://groestlcoin.org/forum/index.php?topic=97.0

Download

Download the Windows Installer (64 bit) here
Download the Windows Installer (32 bit) here
Download the Windows binaries (64 bit) here
Download the Windows binaries (32 bit) here
Download the OSX Installer here
Download the OSX binaries here
Download the Linux binaries (64 bit) here
Download the Linux binaries (32 bit) here
Download the ARM Linux binaries (64 bit) here
Download the ARM Linux binaries (32 bit) here

Source

ALL NEW - Groestlcoin Moonshine iOS/Android Wallet

Built with React Native, Moonshine utilizes Electrum-GRS's JSON-RPC methods to interact with the Groestlcoin network.
GRS Moonshine's intended use is as a hot wallet. Meaning, your keys are only as safe as the device you install this wallet on. As with any hot wallet, please ensure that you keep only a small, responsible amount of Groestlcoin on it at any given time.

Features

Download

iOS
Android

Source

ALL NEW! – HODL GRS Android Wallet

HODL GRS connects directly to the Groestlcoin network using SPV mode and doesn't rely on servers that can be hacked or disabled.
HODL GRS utilizes AES hardware encryption, app sandboxing, and the latest security features to protect users from malware, browser security holes, and even physical theft. Private keys are stored only in the secure enclave of the user's phone, inaccessible to anyone other than the user.
Simplicity and ease-of-use is the core design principle of HODL GRS. A simple recovery phrase (which we call a Backup Recovery Key) is all that is needed to restore the user's wallet if they ever lose or replace their device. HODL GRS is deterministic, which means the user's balance and transaction history can be recovered just from the backup recovery key.

Features

Download

Main Release (Main Net)
Testnet Release

Source

ALL NEW! – GroestlcoinSeed Savior

Groestlcoin Seed Savior is a tool for recovering BIP39 seed phrases.
This tool is meant to help users with recovering a slightly incorrect Groestlcoin mnemonic phrase (AKA backup or seed). You can enter an existing BIP39 mnemonic and get derived addresses in various formats.
To find out if one of the suggested addresses is the right one, you can click on the suggested address to check the address' transaction history on a block explorer.

Features

Live Version (Not Recommended)

https://www.groestlcoin.org/recovery/

Download

https://github.com/Groestlcoin/mnemonic-recovery/archive/master.zip

Source

ALL NEW! – Vanity Search Vanity Address Generator

NOTE: NVidia GPU or any CPU only. AMD graphics cards will not work with this address generator.
VanitySearch is a command-line Segwit-capable vanity Groestlcoin address generator. Add unique flair when you tell people to send Groestlcoin. Alternatively, VanitySearch can be used to generate random addresses offline.
If you're tired of the random, cryptic addresses generated by regular groestlcoin clients, then VanitySearch is the right choice for you to create a more personalized address.
VanitySearch is a groestlcoin address prefix finder. If you want to generate safe private keys, use the -s option to enter your passphrase which will be used for generating a base key as for BIP38 standard (VanitySearch.exe -s "My PassPhrase" FXPref). You can also use VanitySearch.exe -ps "My PassPhrase" which will add a crypto secure seed to your passphrase.
VanitySearch may not compute a good grid size for your GPU, so try different values using -g option in order to get the best performances. If you want to use GPUs and CPUs together, you may have best performances by keeping one CPU core for handling GPU(s)/CPU exchanges (use -t option to set the number of CPU threads).

Features

Usage

https://github.com/Groestlcoin/VanitySearch#usage

Download

Source

ALL NEW! – Groestlcoin EasyVanity 2020

Groestlcoin EasyVanity 2020 is a windows app built from the ground-up and makes it easier than ever before to create your very own bespoke bech32 address(es) when whilst not connected to the internet.
If you're tired of the random, cryptic bech32 addresses generated by regular Groestlcoin clients, then Groestlcoin EasyVanity2020 is the right choice for you to create a more personalised bech32 address. This 2020 version uses the new VanitySearch to generate not only legacy addresses (F prefix) but also Bech32 addresses (grs1 prefix).

Features

Download

Source

Remastered! – Groestlcoin WPF Desktop Wallet (v2.19.0.18)

Groestlcoin WPF is an alternative full node client with optional lightweight 'thin-client' mode based on WPF. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is one of Microsoft's latest approaches to a GUI framework, used with the .NET framework. Its main advantages over the original Groestlcoin client include support for exporting blockchain.dat and including a lite wallet mode.
This wallet was previously deprecated but has been brought back to life with modern standards.

Features

Remastered Improvements

Download

Source

ALL NEW! – BIP39 Key Tool

Groestlcoin BIP39 Key Tool is a GUI interface for generating Groestlcoin public and private keys. It is a standalone tool which can be used offline.

Features

Download

Windows
Linux :
 pip3 install -r requirements.txt python3 bip39\_gui.py 

Source

ALL NEW! – Electrum Personal Server

Groestlcoin Electrum Personal Server aims to make using Electrum Groestlcoin wallet more secure and more private. It makes it easy to connect your Electrum-GRS wallet to your own full node.
It is an implementation of the Electrum-grs server protocol which fulfils the specific need of using the Electrum-grs wallet backed by a full node, but without the heavyweight server backend, for a single user. It allows the user to benefit from all Groestlcoin Core's resource-saving features like pruning, blocks only and disabled txindex. All Electrum-GRS's feature-richness like hardware wallet integration, multi-signature wallets, offline signing, seed recovery phrases, coin control and so on can still be used, but connected only to the user's own full node.
Full node wallets are important in Groestlcoin because they are a big part of what makes the system be trust-less. No longer do people have to trust a financial institution like a bank or PayPal, they can run software on their own computers. If Groestlcoin is digital gold, then a full node wallet is your own personal goldsmith who checks for you that received payments are genuine.
Full node wallets are also important for privacy. Using Electrum-GRS under default configuration requires it to send (hashes of) all your Groestlcoin addresses to some server. That server can then easily spy on your transactions. Full node wallets like Groestlcoin Electrum Personal Server would download the entire blockchain and scan it for the user's own addresses, and therefore don't reveal to anyone else which Groestlcoin addresses they are interested in.
Groestlcoin Electrum Personal Server can also broadcast transactions through Tor which improves privacy by resisting traffic analysis for broadcasted transactions which can link the IP address of the user to the transaction. If enabled this would happen transparently whenever the user simply clicks "Send" on a transaction in Electrum-grs wallet.
Note: Currently Groestlcoin Electrum Personal Server can only accept one connection at a time.

Features

Download

Windows
Linux / OSX (Instructions)

Source

UPDATED – Android Wallet 7.38.1 - Main Net + Test Net

The app allows you to send and receive Groestlcoin on your device using QR codes and URI links.
When using this app, please back up your wallet and email them to yourself! This will save your wallet in a password protected file. Then your coins can be retrieved even if you lose your phone.

Changes

Download

Main Net
Main Net (FDroid)
Test Net

Source

UPDATED – Groestlcoin Sentinel 3.5.06 (Android)

Groestlcoin Sentinel is a great solution for anyone who wants the convenience and utility of a hot wallet for receiving payments directly into their cold storage (or hardware wallets).
Sentinel accepts XPUB's, YPUB'S, ZPUB's and individual Groestlcoin address. Once added you will be able to view balances, view transactions, and (in the case of XPUB's, YPUB's and ZPUB's) deterministically generate addresses for that wallet.
Groestlcoin Sentinel is a fork of Groestlcoin Samourai Wallet with all spending and transaction building code removed.

Changes

Download

Source

UPDATED – P2Pool Test Net

Changes

Download

Pre-Hosted Testnet P2Pool is available via http://testp2pool.groestlcoin.org:21330/static/

Source

submitted by Yokomoko_Saleen to groestlcoin [link] [comments]

RTX 2080 TI Mining Hashrate What Does Hashrate Mean?  Hashrate Mining Explained Blockchain Basics Explained - Hashes with Mining and Merkle trees How to fix Low Hashrate on your Mining Rig - very easy way Time to Buy Bitcoin’s Rising Hash Rate Shows Confidence: Chainlink Integrates With Social Network

On April 8th, 2020, the Texas State Securities Board (“TSSB”) made a large ruling on hashrate in America. In a cease and desist letter to cloud mining company, Ultra Mining, the TSSB labeled computing power to mine cryptocurrency (“hashrate”) as a security.This follows a 2-year period since South Carolina’s ruling on Genesis Mining.. For people in the mining industry, it is clear With a downward volt of up to 240 W, the hash rate fell to 11.2 MH / s. This means that the new model makes it possible to get almost the same hash rate (which will surely grow even after full optimization) with much lower power consumption. This makes the video card more profitable in the long term, compared to the top of the previous 10-series. To find a hash every ten minutes, the Bitcoin hash rate needs to be insanely large. Currently, the miners on the Bitcoin network are doing about 25 million gigahashes per second. That is, every second about 25,000,000,000,000,000 blocks gets hashed. Profitability Factors. The Bitcoin price and the total network hash rate are the two main factors that will affect your profitability. Our calculator is more accurate than most others because ours assumes the 0.4527678% daily increase in network hash rate. Ethereum v/s Bitcoin – ETH Transactions Surpass to $571 billion Transactions in 2020 Elrond (ERD) Soars By 23% As Alts Dominate Crypto Markets Top Gainers India Records Highest Trading Volume on P2P Exchanges – Report

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RTX 2080 TI Mining Hashrate

The test processor while digging for cryptotab on linux system. 80 H/s Join to https://getcryptotab.com/284871. LiteHouse Mining https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PH8YAxO5QM&feature=youtu.be Support with crypto: https://streamlabs.com/brandoncoin1#/crypto go follow on t... Don't forget: to see if you qualify to be a part of my team for Bitcoin mining leverage, go here to answer a few questions: https://goo.gl/fRM4cK Hash rate is used as the speed indicator of a ... The world’s largest crypto exchange is deploying a physical server node for its pool at BitRiver, the largest bitcoin mining hosting provider in Bratsk, Russia. Source: BlockchainDifficulty refers to the effort required to solve equations on the Bitcoin blockchain, while hash rate is a rough measure of the computing power dedicated to mining.

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