Buying Bitcoin Locally vs Online: Which Bitcoin of America ...

Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ - Please read!

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net, the Princeton crypto series and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series.
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here.
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here and here.
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here (LOL!)

Key properties of Bitcoin

Where can I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy OTP Auth
Android Android N/A
iOS iOS iOS

Watch out for scams

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".

Where can I spend bitcoins?

Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more Bill payment
Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL Takeout delivered to your door
Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun Domain name registration
Stampnik Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project Freelancing
Lolli Earn bitcoin when you shop online!
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Adult services
A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.

Bitcoin-Related Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network Second layer scaling
Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain Sidechains
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
JoinMarket and Wasabi Wallet CoinJoin implementation
Coinffeine and Bisq Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase Identity & Reputation management
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
bitcoin BTC 1 bitcoin one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BitcoinFan7 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

d down, k up, everybody's a game theorist, titcoin, build wiki on Cardano, (e-)voting, competitive marketing analysis, Goguen product update, Alexa likes Charles, David hates all, Adam in and bros in arms with the scientific counterparts of the major cryptocurrency groups, the latest AMA for all!

Decreasing d parameter
Just signed the latest change management document, I was the last in the chain so I signed it today for changing the d parameter from 0.52 to 0.5. That means we are just about to cross the threshold here in a little bit for d to fall below 0.5 which means more than half of all the blocks will be made by the community and not the OBFT nodes. That's a major milestone and at this current rate of velocity it looks like d will decrement to zero around March so lots to do, lots to talk about. Product update, two days from now, we'll go ahead and talk about that but it crossed my desk today and I was really happy and excited about that and it seemed like yesterday that d was equal to one and people were complaining that we delayed it by an epoch and now we're almost at 50 percent. For those of you who want parameter-level changes, k-level changes, they are coming and there's an enormous internal conversation about it and we've written up a powerpoint presentation and a philosophy document about why things were designed the way that they're designed.
Increasing k parameter and upcoming security video and everybody's a game theorist
My chief scientist has put an enormous amount of time into this. Aggelos is very passionate about this particular topic and what I'm going to do is similar to the security video that I did where I did an hour and a half discussion about a best practice for security. I'm going to actually do a screencasted video where I talk about this philosophy document and I'm going to read the entire document with annotations with you guys and kind of talk through it. It might end up being quite a long video. It could be several hours long but I think it's really important to talk around the design philosophy of this. It's kind of funny, everybody, when they see a cryptographic paper or math paper, they tend to just say okay you guys figure that out. No one's an expert in cryptography or math and you don't really get strong opinions about it but game theory despite the fact that the topics as complex and in some cases more complex you tend to get a lot of opinions and everybody's a game theorist. So, there was enormous amount of thought that went into the design of the system, the parameters of system, everything from the reward functions to other things and it's very important that we explain that thought process in as detailed of a way as possible. At least the philosophy behind it then I feel that the community is in a really good position to start working on the change management. It is my position that I'd love to see k largely increased. I do think that the software needs some improvements to get there especially partial delegation delegation portfolios and some enhancements into the operation of staking especially.
E-voting
I'd love to see the existence of hybrid wallets where you have a cold part a hot part and we've had a lot of conversations about that and we will present some of the progress in that matter at the product updates. If not this October certainly in November. A lot of commercialization going along, a lot of things going on and flowing around and you know, commercial teams working hard. As I mentioned we have a lot of deals in the pipeline. The Wyoming event was half political, half sales. We were really looking into e-voting and we had very productive conversations along those lines. It is my goal that Cardano e-voting software is used in political primaries and my hope is for eventually to be used in municipal and state and eventually federal elections and then in national elections for countries like Ethiopia, Mongolia and other places. Now there is a long road, long, long road to get there and many little victories that have to begin but this event. Wyoming was kind of the opener into that conversation there were seven independent parties at the independent national convention and we had a chance to talk to the leadership of many of them. We will also engage in conversation with the libertarian party leadership as well and at the very least we could talk about e-voting and also blockchain-based voting for primaries that would be great start and we'll also look into the state of Wyoming for that as well. We'll you know, tell you guys about that in time. We've already gotten a lot of inquiries about e-voting software. We tend to get them along with the (Atala) Prism inquiries. It's actually quite easy to start conversations but there are a lot of security properties that are very important like end-to-end verifiability hybrid ballots where you have both a digital and a paper ballot delegation mechanics as well as privacy mechanics that are interesting on a case-by-case basis.
Goguen, voting, future fund3, competitive marketing analysis of Ouroboros vs. EOS, Tezos, Algorand, ETH2 and Polkadot, new creative director
We'll keep chipping away at that, a lot of Goguen stuff to talk about but I'm going to reserve all of that for two days from now for the product update. We're right in the middle, Goguen metadata was the very first part of it. We already have some commercialization platform as a result of metadata, more to come and then obviously lots of smart contract stuff to come. This update and the November update are going to be very Goguen focused and also a lot of alternatives as well. We're still on schedule for an HFC event in I think November or December. I can't remember but that's going to be carrying a lot of things related multisig token locking. There's some ledger rule changes so it has to be an HFC event and that opens up a lot of the windows for Goguen foundations as well as voting on chain so fund3 will benefit very heavily from that. We're right in the guts of Daedalus right now building the voting center, the identity center, QR-code work. All this stuff, it's a lot of stuff, you know, the cell phone app was released last week. Kind of an early beta, it'll go through a lot of rapid iterations every few weeks. We'll update it, google play is a great foundation to launch things on because it's so easy to push updates to people automatically so you can rapidly iterate and be very agile in that framework and you know we've already had 3500 people involved heavily in the innovation management platform ideascale and we've got numerous bids from everything. From John Buck and the sociocracy movement to others. A lot of people want to help us improve that and we're going to see steady and systematic growth there. We're still chipping away at product marketing. Liza (Horowitz) is doing a good job, meet with her two three-times a week and right now it's Ouroboros, Ouroboros, Ouroboros... We're doing competitive analysis of Ouroboros versus EOS, Tezos, Algorand, ETH2 and Polkadot. We think that's a good set. We think we have a really good way of explaining it. David (David Likes Crypto now at IOHK) has already made some great content. We're going to release that soon alongside some other content and we'll keep chipping away at that.
We also just hired a creative director for IO Global. His name's Adam, incredibly experienced creative director, he's worked for Mercedes-Benz and dozens of other companies. He does very good work and he's been doing this for well over 20 years and so the very first set of things he's going to do is work with commercial and marketing on product marketing. In addition to building great content where hope is make that content as pretty as possible and we have Rod heavily involved in that as well to talk about distribution channels and see if we can amplify the distribution message and really get a lot of stuff done. Last thing to mention, oh yeah, iOS for catalyst. We're working on that, we submitted it to the apple store, the iOS store, but it takes a little longer to get approval for that than it does with google play but that's been submitted and it's whenever apple approves it or not. Takes a little longer for cryptocurrency stuff.
Wiki shizzle and battle for crypto, make crypto articles on wiki great again, Alexa knows Charles, Everpedia meets Charles podcast, holy-grail land of Cardano, wiki on Cardano, titcoin
Wikipedia... kind of rattled the cage a little bit. Through an intermediary we got contact with Jimmy Wales. Larry Sanger, the other co-founder also reached out to me and the everpedia guys reached out to me. Here's where we stand, we have an article, it has solidified, it's currently labeled as unreliable and you should not believe the things that are said in it which is David Gerard's work if you look at the edits. We will work with the community and try to get that article to a fair and balanced representation of Cardano and especially after the product marketing comes through. We clearly explain the product I think the Cardano article can be massively strengthened. I've told Rod to work with some specialized people to try to get that done but we are going to work very hard at a systematic approval campaign for all of the scientific articles related to blockchain technology in the cryptocurrency space. They're just terrible, if you go to the proof of work article, the proof of stake or all these things, they're just terrible. They're not well written, they're out of date and they don't reflect an adequate sampling of the science. I did talk to my chief scientist Aggelos and what we're gonna do is reach out to the scientific counterparts that most of the major cryptocurrency groups that are doing research and see if they want to work with us at an industry-wide effort to systematically improve the scientific articles in our industry so that there are a fair and balanced representation of what the current state of the art are, the criticisms, the trade-offs as well as the reference space and of course obviously we'll do quite well in that respect because we've done the science. We're the inheritor of it but it's a shame because when people search proof of stake on google usually wikipedia results are highly biased. We care about wikipedia because google cares about wikipedia, amazon cares about wikipedia.
If you ask Alexa who is Charles Hoskinson, the reason why Alexa knows is because it's reading directly from the wikipedia page. If I didn't have a wikipedia page Alexa would know that so if somebody says Alexa what is Cardano it's going to read directly from the wikipedia page and you know and we can either just pretend that reality doesn't exist or we can accept it and we as a community working with partners in the broader cryptocurrency community can universally improve the quality of cryptocurrency pages. There's been a pattern of commercial censorship on wikipedia for cryptocurrencies in general since bitcoin itself. In fact I think the bitcoin article is actually taken down once back in, might have been, 2010 or 2009 but basically wikipedia has not been a friend of cryptocurrencies. That's why everpedia exists and actually their founders reached out to me and I talked to them over twitter through PMs and we agreed to actually do a podcast. I'm going to do a streamyard, stream with these guys and they'll come on talk all about everpedia and what they do and how they are and we'll kind of go through the challenges that they've encountered. How their platform works and so forth and obviously if they want to ever leave that terrible ecosystem EOS and come to the holy-grail land of Cardano we'd be there to help them out. At least they can tell the world how amazing their product is and also the challenges they're having to overcome. We've also been in great contact with Larry Sanger.
He's going to do an internal seminar at some point with with us and talk about some protocols he's been developing since he left wikipedia specifically to decentralize knowledge management and have a truly decentralized encyclopedia. I'm really looking forward to that and I hope that presentation gives us some inspiration as an ecosystem of things we can do. That's a great piece of infrastructure regardless and after we learn a lot more about it and we talk to a lot of people in ecosystem. If we can't get people to move on over, it would be really good to see through ideascale in the innovation management platform for people to utilize the dc fund to build their own variant of wikipedia on Cardano. In the coming months there will certainly be funding available. If you guys are so passionate about this particular problem that you want to go solve it then I'd be happy to play Elon Musk with the hyperloop and write a white paper on a protocol design and really give a good first start and then you guys can go and try to commercialize that technology as Cardano native assets and Plutus smart contracts in addition to other pieces of technology that have to be brought in to make it practical.
Right now we're just, let's talk to everybody phase, and we'll talk to the everpedia guys, we're going to talk to Larry and we're going to see whoever else is in this game and of course we have to accept the incumbency as it is. So, we're working with obviously the wikipedia side to improve the quality of not only our article but all of the articles and the scientific side of things so that there's a fair and accurate representation of information. One of the reasons why I'm so concerned about this is that I am very worried that Cardano projects will get commercially censored like we were commercially censored. So, yes we do have a page but it took five years to get there and we're a multi-billion dollar project with hundreds of thousands of people. If you guys are doing cutting-edge novel interesting stuff I don't want your experience to be the same as ours where you have to wait five years for your project to get a page even after government's adopted. That's absurd, no one should be censored ever. This is very well a fight for the entire ecosystem, the entire community, not just Cardano but all cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, ethereum and Cardano have all faced commercial censorship and article deletions during their tenure so I don't want you guys to go through that. I'm hoping we can prove that situation but you know you don't put all your eggs in one basket and frankly the time has come for wikipedia to be fully decentralized and liberated from a centralized organization and massively variable quality in the editor base. If legends of valor has a page but Cardano didn't have one until recently titcoin, a pornography coin from 2015, that's deprecated, no one uses it, has a page but Cardano couldn't get one there's something seriously wrong with the quality control mechanism and we need to improve that so it'll get done.
submitted by stake_pool to cardano [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to ethereum [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to privacycoins [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Blockchain in the Public Sector – Webcast Q&A

Blockchain in the Public Sector – Webcast Q&A
Link to our website: https://block.co/blockchain-in-the-public-sector-webcast-qa/
Block.co fourth webcast titled "Digital Transformation of the Public Sector & The Upcoming Legislation of Blockchain Technology in Cyprus” was an immense success. We gathered some of the best experts in the field, Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos, Jeff Bandman, Steve Tendon, and Christiana Aristidou to share their experience and discuss with us the latest updates regarding Blockchain in the Public Sector.
In its fourth series of webcasts, Block.co gathered 281 people watching the event from 41 different countries, for a two-hour webcast where guests answered participants’ questions. Following the impressive outcome and response we received from the audience, Block.co’s team has done its best to address all the questions for which public information is available.
Below is a list of the questions that were made and were not answered due to time constraints during the webcast. For the remaining questions from our audience, the team will reach out to our distinguished guests to receive their comments and feedback. Please note, that the below information is only for informational purposes!
Question 1:
How can asset tracing be accomplished with bitcoins and cryptocurrency? And how can this be regulated?
Block.co Team Answer:
Digital Asset tracing may be accomplished with cryptocurrency intelligence solutions such as Cipher Trace and the ICE cryptocurrency intelligence program. FATF (Financial Action Task Force) embarked on a program of work from summer 2018 to June 2019 to strengthen and update the provisions dealing with virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. FATF updated Recommendations in October 2018 and Guidance in June 2019 include several new obligations that apply to VASPs. The so-called “Travel Rule” FATF announced in October 2019 agreed on the assessment criteria for how it will assess countries’ compliance with the new global standards. Under the Travel Rule, the transmitter’s financial institutions must include and send information in the transmittal order such as Information about the identity, name, address, and account number of the sender and its financial institution Information about the identity, name, address and account number of the recipient. The ”Travel Rule” is effectively being applied to cryptoasset transfers when there is a virtual asset service provider (VASP) involved. The scope of focus has broadened from “convertible” virtual assets to any virtual asset. Countries should make sure businesses can freeze crypto wallet or exchange accounts for sanctioned individuals.
Question 2:
Which kind of software or technical knowledge is required to develop cryptocurrency?
Block.co Team Answer:
It depends on the type of cryptocurrency you wish to create, as well as the preferred functionality and features, and characteristics of the token or coin (i.e. will it be pre-mined, what type of hashing or cryptographic algorithm will be used (i.e. proof of work (POW) or proof of stake (POS) or a hybrid of both), etc. Likewise, it is useful to utilize a programming language that is broadly used and supported by a vast and active development community; more data could be found here: more information could be found here: top programming languages in 2015/2016, published by IEEE here, and TIOBE. Hypothetically, you can utilize any programming language to make cryptocurrency digital money, however, the most widely recognized are C, C++, Java, Python, Perl. The beauty of cryptocurrencies is that you can literally have access to the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum open-source programming scripts, and create your alternate coin (altcoin).
Question 3:
Hello all, I want to know about the current status of the European Union Blockchain initiative in currency or public identity.
Block.co Team Answer:
Please refer to the European Services Blockchain Infrastructure (EBSI) website.
Question 4:
Mining is also the process of confirmation of transactions in the Bitcoin Blockchain. What is the process of confirmation of transactions in the Blockchain of an Organization? How do we call it?
Block.co Team Answer:
That would depend on the specific consensus algorithm used for the confirmation of transactions. The consensus algorithm is part of the blockchain protocol that defines the rules on how consensus is reached on that blockchain. In order to participate, entities on the blockchain must obey and follow the same consensus algorithm. Make sure to check our glossary for more information.
Question 5:
How does a small business implement blockchain into its current non-blockchain software systems? Who do they hire to install it?
Block.co Team Answer:
It is easy when there are APIs to connect the various software. For more information, you can check Block.co API.
Question 6:
What is your opinion on digitizing developing economies like India by using AI and blockchain?
Block.co Team Answer:
Watch a very interesting webinar on the matter by Mr. Prasanna:
Question 7:
Blockchain technologies have been around since 2008. What would you say has been the biggest obstacle in widespread adoption?
Block.co Team Answer:
In our opinion, the biggest obstacles are volatile cryptoasset prices, complicated UIs, undefined blockchain technology standards. Moreover, the legislation around the technologies is still now being developed and does not offer legal certainty for broader adoption.
Question 8:
Limitations to Blockchain Usability in the Public Sector?
Block.co Team Answer:
Blockchain in the Public Sector, like any other innovative concept with big potential, cannot be a solution to every problem. Users and developers are still figuring out technological and managerial challenges. From a technological perspective, some aspects such as platform scalability, validation methods, data standardization, and systems integration must still be addressed. From a managerial point of view, the questions include business model transformation, incentive structure, and transaction scale, and maturity. Read more here.
Question 9:
How can these blockchain initiatives be practical for the African context
Block.co Team Answer:
As long as the internet infrastructure is in place, these blockchain initiatives may have the same benefits for the African region.
Question 10:
What are some compelling use cases you’ve seen lately, and how do they serve to further legitimize blockchain as a solution?
Block.co Team Answer:
You can see the global trends from all around the world when it comes to further legitimization as a solution, with China leading the way. Read more here.
Question 11:
How does digital currency manage the issue of money laundering?
Block.co Team Answer:
Depends under which context you are looking at the term digital currency. A digital currency usually refers to a balance or a record stored in a distributed database, in an electronic computer database, within digital files or a stored-value card. Some examples of digital currencies are cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and e-Cash. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to fight money laundering. Since 2001 FATF is also looking into terrorism financing. The objectives of FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF is a “policy-making body” that works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. FATF monitors progress in implementing its Recommendations through “peer reviews” (“mutual evaluations”) of member countries. It is the global watchdog for anti-money laundering & counter-terrorist finance. In June 2019, it updated its guidance paper for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) regarding the transfer of digital assets. There was an insertion of a new interpretive note that sets out the application of the FATF Standards to virtual asset activities and service providers. To apply FATF Recommendations, countries should consider virtual assets as “property,” “proceeds,” “funds,” “funds or other assets,” or other “corresponding value.” Countries should apply the relevant measures under the FATF Recommendations to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Read more about the FATF recommendations here).

https://preview.redd.it/58tt7mt1pld51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=d24811c4864ebf02cb9aacc8d6b877a1fbc3756b
Question 12:
To what extent can blockchain be used to improve the privacy of healthcare?
Block.co team Answer:
Please refer to our previous webcast, blog, and articles for more information.
Question 13:
What is Blockchain technology in Shipping?
Block.co team Answer:
The shipping sector has been in the hold of phony maritime institutes charging exorbitant fees via agents, issuing certificates to candidates who do not have the imperative attendance, or those candidates who just pay the fees for the course and ask for the certificate. In view of these fake accreditations, the possibility exists that someone could be harmed or killed, and we could face any number of potential ecological disasters. Having the option to easily verify the genuine origin of a certificate by an approved maritime center is foremost for shipping companies to fast-track their operation and streamline their labor.
Question 14:
Different uses of blockchain other than cryptocurrency?
Block.co team Answer:
Please refer to our blog and glossary.
Question 15:
Upcoming trends in Blockchain concerning Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations in the Public and Private sectors.
Block.co Team Answer:
Regarding the application of blockchain technology to media copyrights, please see Block.co use case proposal during the Bloomen Ideathon.

https://preview.redd.it/48zc8j38pld51.png?width=3622&format=png&auto=webp&s=79987d1dc7eb8d0c8e32dbce8680b17801d0d244
Question 16:
How to create a decentralized blockchain?
Block.co Team Answer:
An excessive number of individuals feel that blockchain is some supernatural innovation that makes up a decentralized system. In truth, this innovation only enables decentralization. Which means, it permits cryptocurrency to work in a decentralized way. Yet, it doesn’t give any guarantees that it will work that way. Along these lines, it’s really, some outer variables that decide genuine decentralization. Technology, itself never really guarantees it. That is the reason it’s a mistake to expect that if it’s a blockchain — it’s decentralized. From a technical perspective, both blockchains, centralized, and decentralized are comparative, as they take work on distributed peer to peer to network. This implies every node is individually responsible to verify and store the shared ledger. Both Blockchains utilize either a proof-of-work or proof-of-stake mechanisms to make a solitary record and they have to give upper and lower limits on the security and productivity of the system. For more information please refer to our infographic.
Question 17:
Dubai government Blockchain implementation progress?
Block.co Team Answer:
You can see more information here.
Question 18:
How Blockchain and IoT can be integrated to secure data being transmitted through IoT devices.
Block.co Team Answer:
You can read more about it here.
Question 19:
How can the Nigerian government use Blockchain to effectively implement its existing launched eGovernment master plan?
Block.co Team Answer:
Perhaps it can draw its attention to the initiatives of Dubai, Estonia, and Malta to prepare an implementation framework.
Question 20:
What impact is blockchain going to have in today world of business especially in the financial sector
Block.co Team Answer:
Please refer to our recent article titled Benefits of Blockchain Technology in the Banking Industry.
Question 21:
Is Blockchain Technology affect individuals?
Block.co Team Answer:
The social effect of blockchain innovation has just started to be acknowledged and this may simply be a hint of something larger. Cryptocurrencies have raised questions over financial services through digital wallets, and while considering that there are in excess of 3,5 billion individuals on the planet today without access to banking, such a move is surely impactful. Maybe the move for cryptocurrencies will be simpler for developing nations than the process of fiat cash and credit cards. It is like the transformation that developing nations had with mobile phones. It was simpler to acquire mass amounts of mobile phones than to supply another infrastructure for landlines telephones. In addition to giving the underprivileged access to banking services, greater transparency could also raise the profile and effectiveness of charities working in developing countries that fall under corrupt or manipulative governments.
An expanded degree of trust in where the cash goes and whose advantages would without a doubt lead to expanded commitments and backing for the poor in parts of the world that are in urgent need of help. Blockchain technology is well placed to remove the possibility of vote-apparatus and the entirety of different negatives related to the current democratic procedure. Obviously, with new innovation, there are new obstacles and issues that will arise, yet the cycle goes on and those new issues will be comprehended with progressively modern arrangements. A decentralized record would give the entirety of the fundamental information to precisely record votes on an anonymous basis, and check the exactness and whether there had been any manipulation of the voting procedure.
Question 22:
As Andreas Antonopoulos often says in his MOOC: ”is a blockchain even needed?” Ie. Are there better methods?
Block.co Team Answer:
In combination with nascent technologies, IoT, distributed computing, and distributed ledger technologies, governments can provide inventive services and answers for the citizens and local municipalities. Blockchain can provide the component to create a safe framework to deal with these functions. In particular, it can provide a safe interoperable infrastructure that permits all smart city services and capacities to work past presently imagined levels. On the off chance that there were better techniques, they would be researched.
Question 23:
Would any of this be also applicable to the educational sector (as part of the general public sector), and if so in which way?
Block.co Team Answer:
Yes, please refer to our Webcast on Education and our blog post.
Question 24:
Will we be able to get a hold of this recording upon completion of the meeting?
Block.co Team Answer:
Yes, here is a link to the recording of our webcast Blockchain in the Public Sector.
Question 25:
Was wondering if there are any existing universal framework in governing the blockchain technology?
Block.co Team Answer:
The short answer is NO, as this framework is currently being prepared in collaboration with the various Member States.
We would like to thank everyone for attending our webcast and hoping to interact with you in future webinars. If you would like to watch the webinar again, then click here!
For more info, contact Block.co directly or email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
Tel +357 70007828
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ProgPoW resources

Informational

May 2, 2018 EIPs/eip-1057.md at master · ethereum/EIPs · GitHub
May 3, 2018 ProgPOW/README.md at master · ifdefelse/ProgPOW · GitHub
May 3, 2018 EIP-ProgPoW: a Programmatic Proof-of-Work - EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
May 29, 2018 The Problem with Proof of Work - K. L. Minehan - Medium
October 25, 2018 Understanding ProgPoW - IfDefElse - Medium
Nov 17, 2018 progpow-wiki/ProgPoW.md at master · MariusVanDerWijden/progpow-wiki · GitHub
December 10, 2018 ProgPoW - A Programmatic Proof of Work by Kristy-Leigh Minehan (Devcon4) - YouTube
January 10, 2019 ProgPoW FAQ - IfDefElse - Medium
January 14, 2019 What GPU miners may not know about ProgPoW - Andrea Lanfranchi - Medium
January 17, 2019 ProgPoW: Progress Update #1 - IfDefElse - Medium
February 14, 2019 Council of Denver - HackMD
February 17, 2019 The Miners Benchmark ProgPoW - Theodor Ghannam - Medium
February 21, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW Explained - Crypto Mining Blog
March 18, 2019 13 Questions about Ethereum’s Movement to ProgPow by Jon Stevens - Medium
March 20, 2019 Skeptical about #ProgPoW? I am too! - Bryant Eisenbach - Medium
March 27, 2019 Comprehensive ProgPoW Benchmark by Theodor Ghannam - Medium
March 28, 2019 My stance on Progpow by Martin Holst Swende
March 30, 2019 The Cost of ASIC Design - IfDefElse - Medium
April 12, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW Update - Crypto Mining Blog
September 23, 2019 In Defense of ProgPow : ethereum
February 4, 2020 Antminer E3 Stops Mining Ethereum Classic, Just Over a Month Remaining for Ethereum - Crypto Mining Blog

Ethereum Magicians

August 2, 2108 Final Request From the GPU Mining Community - EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
August 26, 2018 EIP-1355: Ethash 1a - EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
September 3, 2108 What has to be done to get ProgPoW on Ethereum - EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
January 1, 2019 Guidelines for ProgPow Hardware Developers - Primordial Soup - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
February 2, 2019 On the progpow audit - Action Item - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
March 3, 2019 My technical take on ProgPow’s weakest link - EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
March 4, 2019 Governance concerns after listening to ~all ProgPow discussions on Core Dev calls - Process Improvement - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
March 29, 2019 Motion to NOT include ProgPow without audit - EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
March 30, 2109 ProgPoW - A Compilation of Reference Material - Core EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
May 23, 2019 ProgPoW Audit Delay Issue - EIPs - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
July 8, 2019 Ensuring ETH 1.x’s Success Without Disenfranchising The Community - Ethereum 1.x Ring - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians
August 8, 2019 EIP-centric forking - Process Improvement - Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians

YouTube

October 8, 2018 Cardano Rust Project | Petro Public Sale | ProgPow | WSJ Attacks Shapeshift (October 2nd, 2018) - YouTube
October 23 2018 Ethereum Mining News | FPGA’s Mining | ProgPoW LIKELY | Profitability | Hard Fork Delayed 2019 - YouTube
December 13, 2018 Why ProgPoW is BAD for Ethereum - YouTube
December 19, 2018 Bitcoin Rallies Towards 4k - Why? Ethereum Launches ProgPoW GPU Mining Testnet | New HD Minable Coin - YouTube
January 4, 2019 Ethereum moving to PROGPOW! What’s it mean for Miners? - YouTube
January 4, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW CONFIRMED! - YouTube
January 5, 2019 Mining on the ProgPoW Gangnam Ethereum Testnet! - YouTube
January 6, 2019 6 x Asus RX 570 4GB ProgPoW Gangnam Ethereum Testnet TEST! - YouTube
January 7, 2019 ProgPOW Explained - A Brave New World for Ethereum Miners? - YouTube
January 20, 2019 CES2019 - North American Bitcoin Conference - GRIN / BEAM - PROGPOW and more! - YouTube
January 23, 2019 Ethereum to ZERO? Eth Chain Split. ProgPow & ETC 51 % Attack. GPU vs ASIC Miners. - YouTube
January 29, 2019 Nick Johnson: Future of the Ethereum Name Service and thoughts on ProgPOW - YouTube
February 19, 2019 Ethereum Hard Fork Soon? ProgPoW Voting? - YouTube
February 20, 2019 ProgPoW Merged Into Parity Ethereum | ETHNews Brief - YouTube
February 25, 2019 How does R7 370, R9 380,380x,390 and more perform on PROGPOW and other Cryptocurrencies in 2019? - YouTube
March 7, 2019 PROGPOW Explained in under 4 min. & why it matters to GPU Miners - YouTube
March 19, 2019 What is BBT doing with PROGPOW, Why all of the testing? - YouTube
March 25, 2019 eVGA RTX 2080Ti FTW3 11GB DDR6 Cryptocurrency Performance Test PROGPOW ETH RVN BEAM GRIN29 GRIN31 - YouTube
March 29, 2019 Ethereum & ProgPoW… What Is Going On? - YouTube
May 2, 2019 Ethereum ProgPow Audit Has Been Funded & Approved - YouTube
July 5, 2019 Mining News! Monero RandomX | Ethereum ProgPoW 2019 Update | Grin Embraces ASIC miners | Zel Zelhash - YouTube
July 24, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW AUDIT Is Finally Getting Started… - YouTube
September 13, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW Algorithm Audits Finalized - YouTube
September 24, 2019 An Argument Against ProgPoW a Day - Part 1 - YouTube
October 4, 2019 82 - Defending ProgPoW with Kristy-Leigh Minehan - YouTube
October 10, 2019 #36 - Kristy-Leigh of ProgPow discusses the EIP, Satoshi, Code Contributions, and Crypto Mining 2020 - YouTube
November 24, 2019 Ethereum Classic REJECTS ProgPoW… - YouTube
December 16, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW Implementation Is STILL Coming Right? - YouTube
December 26, 2019 Panel: Least Authority’s ProgPoW Audit (Devcon5) - YouTube

Podcasts

April 11, 2019 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/blockchannel/id1307284590?i=1000434669782
September 10, 2019 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ethhub-weekly-recap-78-ethboston-compound-drama-eth2/id1443920565?i=1000449269536
September 25, 2019 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ethhub-weekly-recap-80-progpow-discussion-doj-extortion/id1443920565?i=1000451214746
October 4, 2019 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/82-defending-progpow-with-kristy-leigh-minehan/id1436674724?i=1000452312677

Official Updates

May 18, 2019 Dev Call #38 - May 18, 2018
August 24, 2018 Dev Call #45 - August 24, 2018
September 28, 2018 Dev Call #47 - September 28, 2018
January 4, 2019 Dev Call #52 - January 4, 2019
January 18, 2019 Dev Call#53 - January 18, 2019
February 1, 2019 Dev Call #54 - February 1, 2019
February 11, 2019 Ethereum Cat Herders Update#1 : EthereumCatHerders
March 15, 2019 Dev Call #57 - March 15, 2019
May 24, 2019 Dev Call #62 - May 24, 2019
July 18, 2019 Dev Call #65 - July 18, 2019
September 10, 2019 ProgPoW Audits Released - Ethereum Cat Herders - Medium
September 6, 2019 Dev Call #70 - September 6, 2019
November 1, 2019 Dev Call #74 - November 1, 2019
December 13, 2019 Dev Call #77 - December 13, 2019
January 24, 2019 Dev Call #79 - January 24, 2020
February 21, 2020 Dev Call#81 - February 21, 2020

News Articles

January 4, 2019 Ethereum Core Devs to Move Forward With ASIC-Resistant PoW Algorithm
January 5, 2019 Ethereum (ETH) Developers Plan to Implement ASIC-Resistant Proof of Work Mining Algorithm
January 7, 2019 BREAKING: Ethereum Classic (ETC) Hit With 51 Percent Attack A Week Before Ethereum (ETH) Constantinople Hard Fork – Crypto.IQ | Bitcoin and Investment News from Inside Experts You Can Trust
January 8, 2019 ETH Dev Suggests Moving to ‘ASIC-Friendly Algorithm’ After ProgPoW Decision
January 8, 2019 Ethereum Miner Linzhi Calls Out Project Coders for Proposed ASIC Ban - CoinDesk
January 8, 2019 Ethereum (ETH) Core Developers Propose an ASIC Resistant Upgrade - Ethereum World News
January 9, 2019 Ethereum Classic (ETC) 51% attack proof that shitcoins have no hope of succeeding? | CaptainAltcoin
January 9, 2019 What’s ProgPoW? Meet the hot new debate in the Ethereum community | finder.com.au
January 18, 2019 Ethereum Core Devs Constantinople Meeting to Be Held on Jan 18
February 1, 2019 Ethereum Core Dev Call #54: Waiting for ProgPoW - The Block
February 3, 2019 Will Ethereum Adopt ‘ProgPoW,’ the ASIC-Resistant Mining Algorithm? | CryptoSlate
February 4, 2019 Is Ethereum Going to be Adopting ASIC-Resistant ‘ProgPow’ as a Mining Algorithm?
February 15, 2019 Ethereum Core Dev Call #55: ProgPoW audits and Vitalik’s Phase 2 updates - The Block
February 15, 2019 Recompensas por minería en Ethereum llegan a mínimo histórico | CriptoNoticias
February 28, 2019 Coinhive dice adiós a la minería web por caída del mercado | CriptoNoticias
March 6, 2019 Ethereum Core Dev Meeting : ProgPow Implementation Receives More Than 50 Percent Votes from Miners - CryptoNewsZ
March 7, 2019 The ASIC Resistant Mining Campaign from Ethereum Miners Is Just Getting Started
March 12, 2019 Ethereum’s ProgPoW Proposal: An Expensive Game of Whack-a-Mole - CoinDesk
March 12, 2019 Ethereum’s ProgPoW Mining Change to Be Considered for Istanbul Upgrade - CoinDesk
March 14, 2019 As ProgPoW Aimed at Stopping ASIC Mining Gets Supporting Votes, New Conspiracies and Debates Appear
March 15, 2019 Ethereum’s ProgPow Mining Change Approved Again, But Timeline Unclear - CoinDesk
March 17, 2019 Ethereum Devs Once Again Approve ASIC-Resistant Algorithm ProgPoW
March 18, 2019 Ethereum (ETH) to Be ASIC-Resistant, No Date Set However - Cryptovest
March 27, 2019 Aumentan desacuerdos en Ethereum por decisión de avanzar con ProgPoW | CriptoNoticias
March 29, 2019 Bitmain Co-founder, Jihan Wu: ASIC Miners Makes a Blockchain Network More Decentralized - Coindoo
April 8, 2019 A Fight Over Specialized Chips Threatens an Ethereum Split | WIRED
April 26, 2019 Funding Approved for Audit of Ethereum’s ProgPoW Mining Proposal - CoinDesk
April 28, 2019 Ethereum Core Devs: Funding for ProgPoW 3rd-Party Audit Approved
April 20, 2019 Ethereum’s Recent Decline in Hashrate ‘Not Surprising’: Cyber Threat Expert Explains | CryptoGlobe
June 14, 2019 Proposed Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork Combed With A Fine Tooth at Cat Herders Meeting
July 13, 2019 ¿Qué es ProgPoW? La propuesta de algoritmo contra mineros ASIC en Ethereum | CriptoNoticias
August 17, 2019 Ethereum: ProgPow will be activated on the mainnet next year as a part of Istanbul 2 - AMBCrypto
August 18, 2019 Ethereum’s ProgPoW To Be Released The First Quarter Of 2020 | UseTheBitcoin
August 19, 2019 Ethereum to Switch to ProgPoW Mining Algorithm in Upcoming Istanbul Hard Fork
September 8, 2019 Ethereum: ProgPoW high level design goals are reasonable towards achieving its intended economic effect - AMBCrypto
September 11, 2019 Chinese Firm Linzhi Set To Mass Produce Ethereum and ETC ASIC Miners As Tests Go Live
September 18, 2019 Ethereum ProgPOW author uninvited from ETC Summit due to Craig Wright association | CryptoSlate
September 19, 2019 Ethereum reveals launch dates for testing Istanbul - Decrypt
September 19, 2019 Hashing Out: ProgPoW Debate Kicks Up in Ethereum Community Again
September 19, 2019 ETC Summit Invitees List Has No Space for Kristy Minehan
September 22, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW upgrade causing chain split more likely to be from the user side instead of the miner side - AMBCrypto
September 23, 2019 ProgPow advocate uninvited to Ethereum Classic Summit over links to Craig Wright
September 24, 2019 ProgPoW backer steps down from controversial role - Decrypt
September 25, 2019 ProgPOW author steps down as Core Scientific CTO, vows to implement algorithm on Ethereum | CryptoSlate
September 25, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW proponent Kristy-Leigh Minehan steps down citing perceived conflict of interest - AMBCrypto
September 25, 2019 Core Scientific CTO Steps Down To Push Through Ethereum ProgPOW
September 25, 2019 ProgPoW author Kristy-Leigh Minehan resigns as CTO of Core Scientific | Cryptopolitan
September 26, 2019 New Ethereum ASIC dominates GPU mining performance | CryptoSlate
September 26, 2019 New Ethereum ASIC Fuels Discord Among Ethereum Community
September 28, 2019 The (alleged) plot against the Ethereum network - Decrypt
October 9, 2019 ProgPoW, the Algorithm Dividing the Ethereum Community: a GPU Manufacturer Ploy? - Ethereum World News
October 9, 2019 Ethereum Hard Fork Is Coming — Here’s What You Need to Know About ‘Istanbul’ – BeInCrypto October 27, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW’s raison d’etre: To be or not to be - AMBCrypto
November 4, 2019 Aragon Opposes Change to Ethereum’s Mining Algorithm Before 2.0 Version
November 7, 2019 Aragon community against Ethereum ProgPOW
November 8, 2019 Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork Release Date Confirmed By Core Developer
November 16, 2019 Ethereum ProgPoW audit contributors on Gitcoin to be refunded in full - AMBCrypto
November 26, 2019 Ethereum’s Buterin: PoW algorithms offering medium-level ASIC resistance can be created - AMBCrypto
December 17, 2019 Ethereum devs move ProgPoW into ‘Eligible for Inclusion’ list - AMBCrypto
January 1, 2020 [Is the ASIC Resistance dream closer to reality, despite claims of it being a myth? - AMBCrypto](https://eng.ambcrypto.com/is-the-asic-resistance-dream-closer-to-reality-despite-claims-of-it-being-a-myth/
submitted by greerso to ethereum [link] [comments]

Quant Network: Token valuation dynamics and fundamentals

Quant Network: Token valuation dynamics and fundamentals
This post intends to illustrate the dynamics and fundamentals related to the mechanics and use of the Quant Network Utility Token (QNT), in order to provide the community with greater clarity around what holding the token actually means.
This is a follow-up on two articles David W previously wrote about Quant Network’s prospects and potential, which you can find here:
For holders not intending to use Overledger for business reasons, the primary goal of holding the QNT token is to benefit from price appreciation. Some are happy to believe that speculation will take the QNT price to much higher levels if and when large-scale adoption/implementation news comes out, whilst others may actually prefer to assess the token’s utility and analyse how it would react to various scenarios to justify a price increase based on fundamentals. The latter is precisely what I aim to look into in this article.
On that note, I have noticed that many wish to see institutional investors getting involved in the crypto space for their purchase power, but the one thing they would bring and that is most needed in my opinion is fundamental analysis and valuation expectations based on facts. Indeed, equity investors can probably access 20 or 30 reports that are 15 pages long and updated on a quarterly basis about any blue chip stock they are invested in, but how many of such (professional) analyst reports can you consult for your favorite crypto coins? Let me have a guess: none. This is unfortunate, and it is a further reason to look into the situation in more details.
To be clear, this article is not about providing figures on the expected valuation of the token, but rather about providing the community with a deeper analysis to better understand its meaning and valuation context. This includes going through the (vast) differences between a Utility Token and a Company Share since I understand it is still blurry in some people’s mind. I will incorporate my thoughts and perspective on these matters, which should not be regarded as a single source of truth but rather as an attempt to “dig deeper”.
In order to share these thoughts with you in the most pertinent manner, I have actually entirely modelled the Quant Treasury function and analysed how the QNT token would react to various scenarios based on a number of different factors. That does not mean there is any universal truth to be told, but it did help in clarifying how things work (with my understanding of the current ruleset at least, which may also evolve over time). This is an important safety net: if the intensity of speculation in crypto markets was to go lower from here, what would happen to the token price? How would Quant Treasury help support it? If the market can feel comfortable with such situation and the underlying demand for the token, then it can feel comfortable to take it higher based on future growth expectations — and that’s how it should be.
Finally, to help shed light on different areas, I must confess that I will have to go through some technicalities on how this all works and what a Utility Token actually is. That is the price to pay to gain that further, necessary knowledge and be in a position to assess the situation more thoroughly — but I will make it as readable as I possibly can, so… if are you ready, let’s start!

A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what is the difference?

It is probably fair to say that many people involved in the crypto space are unfamiliar with certain key financial terms or concepts, simply because finance is not necessarily everyone’s background (and that is absolutely fine!). In addition, Digital Assets bring some very novel concepts, which means that everyone has to adapt in any case.
Therefore, I suggest we start with a comparison of the characteristics underpinning the QNT Utility Token and a Quant Network Company Share (as you may know, the Company Shares are currently privately held by the Quant Network founders). I believe it is important to look at this comparison for two reasons:
  1. Most people are familiar with regular Company Shares because they have been traded for decades, and it is often asked how Utility Tokens compare.
  2. Quant Network have announced a plan to raise capital to grow their business further (in the September 2019 Forbes article which you can find here). Therefore, regardless of whether the Share Offering is made public or private, I presume the community will want to better understand how things compare and the different dynamics behind each instrument.
So where does the QNT Utility Token sit in Quant Network company and how does it compare to a Quant Network Company Share? This is how it looks:
https://preview.redd.it/zgidz8ed74y31.png?width=1698&format=png&auto=webp&s=54acd2def0713b67ac7c41dae6c9ab225e5639fa
What is on the right hand side of a balance sheet is the money a company has, and what is on the left hand side is how it uses it. Broadly speaking, the money the company has may come from the owners (Equity) or from the creditors (Debt). If I were to apply these concepts to an individual (you!), “Equity” is your net worth, “Debt” is your mortgage and other debt, and “Assets” is your house, car, savings, investments, crypto, etc.
As you can see, a Company Share and a Utility Token are found in different parts of the balance sheet — and that, in itself, is a major difference! They indeed serve two very different purposes:
  • Company Shares: they represent a share of a company’s ownership, meaning that you actually own [X]% of the company ([X]% = Number of shares you possess / Total number of shares) and hence [X]% of the company’s assets on the left hand side of the balance sheet.
  • Utility Tokens: they are keys to access a given platform (in our case, Quant Network’s Operating System: Overledger) and they can serve multiple purposes as defined by their Utility Document (in QNT’s case, the latest V0.3 version can be found here).
As a consequence, as a Company Shareholder, you are entitled to receive part or all of the profits generated by the company (as the case may arise) and you can also take part in the management decisions (indeed, with 0.00000001% of Apple shares, you have the corresponding right to vote to kick the CEO out if you want to!).
On the other hand, as a Utility Token holder, you have no such rights related to the company’s profits or management, BUT any usage of the platform has to go through the token you hold — and that has novel, interesting facets.

A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what happens in practice?

Before we dig further, let’s now remind ourselves of the economic utilities of the QNT token (i.e. in addition to signing and encrypting transactions):
  1. Licences: a licence is mandatory for anyone who wishes to develop on the Overledger platform. Enterprises and Developers pay Quant Network in fiat money and Quant Treasury subsequently sets aside QNT tokens for the same amount (a diagram on how market purchases are performed can be found on the Overledger Treasury page here). The tokens are locked for 12 months, and the current understanding is that the amount of tokens locked is readjusted at each renewal date to the prevailing market price of QNT at the time (this information is not part of the Utility Token document as of now, but it was given in a previous Telegram AMA so I will assume it is correct pending further developments).
  2. Usage: this relates to the amount of Overledger read and write activity performed by clients on an ongoing basis, and also to the transfer of Digital Assets from one chain to another, and it follows a similar principle: fiat money is received by Quant Network, and subsequently converted in QNT tokens (these tokens are not locked, however).
  3. Gateways: information about Gateways has been released through the Overledger Network initiative (see dedicated website here), and we now know that the annual cost for running a Gateway will be 500 QNT whilst Gateway holders will receive a percentage of transaction fees going through their setup.
  4. Minimum holding amounts: the team has stated that there will be a minimum QNT holding amount put in place for every participant of the Overledger ecosystem, although the details have not been released yet.
That being said, it now becomes interesting to illustrate with indicative figures what actually happens as Licences, Usage and Gateways are paid for and Quant Network company operates. The following diagram may help in this respect:
Arbitrary figures from myself (i.e. no currency, no unit), based on an indicative 20% Net Income Ratio and a 40% Dividend yield
We have now two different perspectives:
  • On the right hand side, you see the simplified Profit & Loss account (“P&L”) which incorporates Total Revenues, from which costs and taxes are deducted, to give a Net Income for the company. A share of this Net Income may be distributed to Shareholders in the form of a Dividend, whilst the remainder is accounted as retained profits and goes back to the balance sheet as Equity to fund further growth for instance. Importantly, the Dividend (if any) is usually a portion of the Net Income so, using an indicative 40% Dividend yield policy, shareholders receive here for a given year 80 out of total company revenues of 1,000.
  • On the left hand side, you see the QNT requirements arising from the Overledger-related business activity which equal 700 here. Note that this is only a portion of the Total Revenues (1,000) you can see on the right hand side, as the team generates income from other sources as well (e.g. consultancy fees) — but I assume Overledger will represent the bulk of it since it is Quant Network’s flagship product and focus. In this case, the equivalent fiat amount of QNT tokens represents 700 (i.e. 100% of Overledger-related revenues) out of the company’s Total Revenues of 1,000. It is to be noted that excess reserves of QNT may be sold and generate additional revenues for the company, which would be outside of the Overledger Revenues mentioned above (i.e. they would fall in the “Other Revenues” category).
A way to summarise the situation from a very high level is: as a Company Shareholder you take a view on the company’s total profits whereas as a Utility Token holder you take a view on the company’s revenues (albeit Overledger-related).
It is however too early to reach any conclusion, so we now need to dig one level deeper again.

More considerations around Company Shares

As we discussed, with a Company Share, you possess a fraction of the company’s ownership and hence you have access to profits (and losses!). So how do typical Net Income results look in the technology industry? What sort of Dividend is usually paid? What sort of market valuations are subsequently achieved?
Let’s find out:
https://preview.redd.it/eua9sqlt74y31.png?width=2904&format=png&auto=webp&s=3500669942abf62a0ea1c983ab3cea40552c40d1
As you can see, the typical Net Income Ratio varies between around 10% and 20% in the technology/software industry (using the above illustrated peer group). The ratio illustrates the proportion of Net Income extracted from Revenues.
In addition, money is returned to Company Shareholders in the form of a Dividend (i.e. a portion of the Net Income) and in the form of Share repurchases (whereby the company uses its excess cash position to buy back shares from Shareholders and hence diminish the number of Shares available). A company may however prefer to not redistribute any of the profits, and retain them instead to fund further business growth — Alphabet (Google) is a good example in this respect.
Interestingly, as you can see on the far right of the table, the market capitalisations of these companies reflect high multiples of their Net Income as investors expect the companies to prosper in the future and generate larger profits. If you wished to explore these ideas further, I recommend also looking into the Return on Equity ratio which takes into account the amount of resources (i.e. Capital/Equity) put to work to generate the companies’ profits.
It is also to be noted that the number of Company Shares outstanding may vary over time. Indeed, aside from Share repurchases that diminish the number of Shares available to the market, additional Shares may be issued to raise additional funds from the market hence diluting the ownership of existing Shareholders.
Finally, (regular) Company Shares are structured in the same way across companies and industries, which brings a key benefit of having them easily comparable/benchmarkable against one another for investors. That is not the case for Utility Tokens, but they come with the benefit of having a lot more flexible use cases.

More considerations around the QNT token

As discussed, the Utility Token model is quite novel and each token has unique functions designed for the system it is associated with. That does not make value assessment easy, since all Utility Tokens are different, and this is a further reason to have a detailed look into the QNT case.
https://preview.redd.it/b0xe0ogw74y31.png?width=1512&format=png&auto=webp&s=cece522cd7919125e199b012af41850df6d9e9fd
As a start, all assets that are used in a speculative way embed two components into their price:
A) one that represents what the asset is worth today, and
B) one that represents what it may be worth in the future.
Depending on whether the future looks bright or not, a price premium or a price discount may be attached to the asset price.
This is similar to what we just saw with Company Shares valuation multiples, and it is valid across markets. For instance, Microsoft generates around USD 21bn in annual Net Income these days, but the cost of acquiring it entirely is USD 1,094bn (!). This speculative effect is particularly visible in the crypto sector since valuation levels are usually high whilst usage/adoption levels are usually low for now.
So what about QNT? As mentioned, the QNT Utility model has novel, interesting facets. Since QNT is required to access and use the Overledger system, it is important to appreciate that Quant Network company has three means of action regarding the QNT token:
  1. MANAGING their QNT reserves on an ongoing basis (i.e. buying or selling tokens is not always automatic, they can allocate tokens from their own reserves depending on their liquidity position at any given time),
  2. BUYING/RECEIVING QNT from the market/clients on the back of business activity, and
  3. SELLING QNT when they deem their reserves sufficient and/or wish to sell tokens to cover for operational costs.
Broadly speaking, the above actions will vary depending on business performance, the QNT token price and the Quant Network company’s liquidity position.
We also have to appreciate how the QNT distribution will always look like, it can be broken down as follows:
https://preview.redd.it/f20h7hvz74y31.png?width=1106&format=png&auto=webp&s=f2f5b63272f5ed6e3f977ce08d7bae043851edd1
A) QNT tokens held by the QNT Community
B) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are locked (i.e. those related to Licences)
C) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are unlocked (i.e. those related to other usage, such as consumption fees and Gateways)
D) the minimum QNT amount held by all users of the platform (more information on this front soon)
So now that the situation is set, how would we assess Quant Network’s business activity effect on the QNT token?
STEP 1: We would need to define the range of minimum/maximum amounts of QNT which Quant Network would want to keep as liquid reserves (i.e. unlocked) on an ongoing basis. This affects key variables such as the proportion of market purchases vs. the use of their own reserves, and the amount of QNT sold back to the market. Also, interestingly, if Quant Network never wanted to keep less than, for instance, 1 million QNT tokens as liquid reserves, these 1 million tokens would have a similar effect on the market as the locked tokens because they would never be sold.
STEP 2: We would need to define the amount of revenues that are related to QNT. As we know, Overledger Licences, Usage and Gateways generate revenues converted into QNT (or in QNT directly). So the correlation is strong between revenues and QNT needs. Interestingly, the cost of a licence is probably relatively low today in order to facilitate adoption and testing, but it will surely increase over time. The same goes for usage fees, especially as we move from testing/pilot phases to mass implementation. The number of clients will also increase. The Community version of Overledger is also set to officially launch next year. More information on revenue potential can be found later in this article.
STEP 3: We would need to define an evolution of the QNT token price over time and see how things develop with regards to Quant Network’s net purchase/sale of tokens every month (i.e. tokens required - tokens sold = net purchased/sold tokens).
Once assumptions are made, what do we observe?
In an undistorted environment, there is a positive correlation between Quant Network’s QNT-related revenues and the market capitalisation they occupy (i.e. the Quant Network share of the token distribution multiplied by the QNT price). However, this correlation can get heavily twisted as the speculative market prices a premium to the QNT price (i.e. anticipating higher revenues). As we will see, a persistent discount is not really possible as Quant Treasury would mechanically have to step in with large market purchases, which would provide strong support to the QNT price.
In addition, volatility is to be added to the equation since QNT volatility is likely to be (much) higher than that of revenues which can create important year-on-year disparities. For instance, Quant Treasury may lock a lot of tokens at a low price one year, and be well in excess of required tokens the next year if the QNT token price has significantly increased (and vice versa). This is not an issue per se, but this would impact the amount of tokens bought/sold on an ongoing basis by Quant Treasury as reserves inflate/deflate.
If we put aside the distortions created by speculation on the QNT price, and the subsequent impact on the excess/deficiency of Quant Network token reserves (whose level is also pro-actively managed by the company, as previously discussed), the economic system works as follows:
High QNT price vs. Revenue levels: The value of reserves is inflated, fewer tokens need to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides low support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution diminishes.
Low QNT price vs. Revenue levels: Reserves run out, a higher number of tokens needs to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides higher support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution increases.
Summary table:
https://preview.redd.it/q7wgzpv384y31.png?width=2312&format=png&auto=webp&s=d8c0480cb34caf2e59615ec21ea220d81d79b153
The key here is that, whatever speculation on future revenue levels does to the token in the first place, if the QNT price was falling and reaching a level that does not reflect the prevailing revenue levels of Overledger at a given time, then Quant Treasury would require a larger amount of tokens to cover the business needs which would mean the depletion of their reserves, larger purchases from the market and strong support for the QNT price from here. This is the safety net we want to see, coming from usage! Indeed, in other words, if the QNT price went very high very quickly, Quant Treasury may not be seen buying much tokens since their reserves would be inflated BUT that fall back mechanics purely based on usage would be there to safeguard QNT holders from the QNT price falling below a certain level.
I would assume this makes sense for most, and you might now wonder why have I highlighted the bottom part about the token distribution in red? That is because there is an ongoing battle between the QNT community and Quant Treasury — and this is very interesting.
The ecosystem will show how big a share is the community willing to let Quant Network represent. The community actually sets the price for the purchases, and the token distribution fluctuates depending on the metrics we discussed. An equilibrium will be formed based on the confidence the market has in Quant Network’s future revenue generation. Moreover, the QNT community could perceive the token as a Store of Value and be happy to hold 80/90% of all tokens for instance, or it could perceive QNT as more dynamic or risky and be happy to only represent 60/70% of the distribution. Needless to say that, considering my previous articles on the potential of Overledger, I think we will tend more towards the former scenario. Indeed, if you wished to store wealth with a technology-agnostic, future proof, globally adopted, revenue-providing (through Gateways) Network of Networks on which most of the digitalised value is flowing through — wouldn’t you see QNT as an appealing value proposition?
In a nutshell, it all comes down to the Overledger revenue levels and the QNT holders’ resistence to buy pressure from Quant Treasury. Therefore, if you are confident in the Overledger revenue generation and wish to see the QNT token price go up, more than ever, do not sell your tokens!
What about the locked tokens? There will always be a certain amount of tokens that are entirely taken out of circulation, but Quant Network company will always keep additional unlocked tokens on top of that (those they receive and manage as buffer) and that means that locked tokens will always be a subset of what Quant Network possesses. I do not know whether fees will primarily be concentrated on the licencing side vs. the usage side, but if that were to be the case then it would be even better as a higher amount of tokens would be taken out of circulation for good.
Finally, as long as the company operates, the revenues will always represent a certain amount of money whereas this is not the case for profits which may not appear before years (e.g. during the first years, during an economic/business downturn, etc.). As an illustration, a company like Uber has seen vast increases in revenues since it launched but never made any profit! Therefore, the demand for the QNT token benefits from good resilience from that perspective.
Quant Network vs. QNT community — What proportion of the QNT distribution will each represent?

How much revenues can Overledger generate?

I suggest we start with the basis of what the Quant Network business is about: connecting networks together, building new-generation hyper-decentralised apps on top (called “mApps”), and creating network effects.
Network effects are best defined by Metcalfe’s law which states: “the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system” (Source: Wikipedia). This is illustrated by the picture below, which demonstrates the increasing number of possible connections for each new user added to the network. This was also recently discussed in a YouTube podcast by QNT community members “Luke” and “Ghost of St. Miklos” which you can watch here.
Source: applicoinc.com
This means that, as Overledger continues to connect more and more DLTs of all types between themselves and also with legacy systems, the number of users (humans or machines) connected to this Network of Networks will grow substantially — and the number of possible connections between participants will in turn grow exponentially. This will increase the value of the network, and hence the level of fees associated with getting access to it. This forms the basis of expected, future revenue generation and especially in a context where Overledger remains unique as of today and embraced by many of the largest institutions in the world (see the detailed summary on the matter from community member “Seq” here).
On top of this network, multi-chain hyper-decentralised applications (‘mApps’) can be built — which are an upgrade to existing dApps that use only one chain at a time and hence only benefit from the user base and functionalities of the given chain. Overledger mApps can leverage on the users and abilities of all connected chains at the same time, horizontal scaling, the ability to write/move code in any language across chains as required, write smart contracts on blockchains that do not support them (e.g. Bitcoin), and provide easier connection to other systems. dApps have barely had any success so far, as discussed in my first article, but mApps could provide the market with the necessary tools to build applications that can complement or rival what can be found on the Apple or Google Play store.
Also, the flexibility of Overledger enables Quant Network to target a large number of industries and to connect them all together. A sample of use cases can be found in the following illustration:
https://preview.redd.it/th8edz5b84y31.png?width=2664&format=png&auto=webp&s=105dd4546f8f9ab2c66d1a5a8e9f669cef0e0614
It is to be noted that one of the use cases, namely the tokenisation of the entire world’s assets, represents a market worth hundreds of trillions of USD and that is not even including the huge amount of illiquid assets not currently traded on traditional Capital Markets which could benefit from the tokenisation process. More information on the topic can be found in my previous article fully focused on the potential of Overledger to capture value from the structural shift in the world’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers.
Finally, we can look at what well established companies with a similar technology profile have been able to achieve. Overledger is an Operating System for DLTs and legacy systems on top of which applications can be built. The comparison to Microsoft Windows and the suite of Microsoft Software running on top (e.g. Microsoft Office) is an obvious one from that perspective to gauge the longer term potential.
As you can see below, Microsoft’s flagship softwares such as Windows and Office each generate tens of billions of USD of revenues every year:
Source: Geekwire
We can also look at Oracle, the second largest Enterprise software company in the world:
Source: Statista
We can finally look at what the Apple store and the Google Play store generate, since the Quant Network “mApp store” for the community side of Overledger will look to replicate a similar business model with hyper-decentralised applications:
Source: Worldwide total revenue by app store, 2018 ($bn)
The above means total revenues of around USD 70bn in 2018 for the Apple store and Google Play store combined, and the market is getting bigger year-on-year! Also, again, these (indicative!) reference points for Overledger come in the context of the Community version of the system only, since the Enterprise version represents a separate set of verticals more comparable to the likes of Microsoft and Oracle which we just looked at.

Conclusion

I hope this article helped shed further light on the QNT token and how the various market and business parameters will influence its behavior over time, as the Quant Network business is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
In the recent Forbes interview, Quant Network’s CEO (Gilbert Verdian) stated : “Our potential to grow is uncapped as we change and transform industries by creating a secure layer between them at speed. Our vision is to build a mass version of what I call an internet of trust, where value can be securely transferred between global partners not relying on defunct internet security but rather that of blockchain.”.
This is highly encouraging with regards to business prospects and also in comparison to what other companies have been able to achieve since the Web as we know it today emerged (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc.). The Internet is now entering a new phase, with DLT technology at its core, and Overledger is set to be at the forefront of this new paradigm which will surely offer a vast array of new opportunities across sectors.
I believe it is an exciting time for all of us to be part of the journey, as long as any financial commitment is made with a good sense of responsibility and understanding of what success comes down to. “Crypto” is still immature in many respects, and the emergence of a dedicated regulatory framework combined with the expected gradual, selective entrance of institutional money managers will hopefully help shed further light and protect retail token holders from the misunderstandings, misinformation and misconduct which too many have suffered from in the last years.
Thanks for your time and interest.
Appendix:
First article: “The reasons why Quant Network (QNT) will rise to the Top of the crypto sphere in the coming months”
Second article: “The potential of Quant Network’s technology to capture value from the structural shift in the World’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers”
October 2019 City AM interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
October 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
July 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
February 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO): Click here
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About the original author of the article:
My name is David and I spent years in the Investment Banking industry in London. I hold QNT tokens and the above views are based on my own thoughts and research only. I am not affiliated with the Quant Network team in any way. This is not investment advice, please do your own research and understand what you are buying before doing so. It is also my belief that more than 90% of all other crypto projects will fail because what matters is what is getting adopted; please do not put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.
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