Mining is how you vote for rule changes. Greg's comments on BU revealed he has no idea how Bitcoin works. He thought "honest" meant "plays by Core rules." [But] there is no "honesty" involved. There is only the assumption that the majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING. - ForkiusMaximus
The title of this post is a compressed summary combining some important quotes from several recent comments by u/ForkiusMaximus, which I thought were worth highlighting here in a post of their own. His comments remind us that Bitcoin was already brilliantly designed by Satoshi so that the majority of "honest""intelligently profit-seeking" miners will always be economically incentivized to use their hashpower to vote for the rule changes which will maximize their (and everyone else's) Bitcoin profits - and they will always do this regardless of any censorship or centralized dev teams. Meanwhile, Core/Blockstream (and their supporters) totally fail to understand this subtle but vital point: they think that devs somehow control Bitcoin, by forcing people to run certain code... or moderators somehow control Bitcoin, by censoring certain forums... or now non-mining nodes can somehow control Bitcoin by suggesting a futile and pointless "user-activated soft-fork" (UASF) - ie a fork not supported by actual mining hashpower. This all shows that Core/Blockstream (and their supporters) have a fundamental misunderstanding of the most important aspect of Bitcoin - the fact that:
Bitcoin is controlled by not by devs... or censors... or non-mining nodes.
Bitcoin is controlled by the economic incentives designed by Satoshi, where the vast majority of "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking" miners will always use their hashpower to vote for the rules which will maximize their Bitcoin profits (and our Bitcoin profits as well :-).
This is why the 21 million coin cap will never get increased. And this is why blocksizes will always continue to moderately increase. Not because some dev team made it "hard" to modify these settings in the code. And not because some moderator censored some discussion about some alternative clients. The reason Bitcoin works is simply because the vast majority of miners are "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking". This is why mining support for Core/Blockstream's centrally-planned blocksize has dropped to 2/3 of network hashpower (despite their big team of "experts" and all their censorship and fiat funding). And this is why 1/3 of mining hashpower has already started voting for some form of market-driven blocksizes... ... not because BU or Classic suddenly "gave" them this power (after all, they always had this power themselves)... ... but simply because the vast majority of miners are "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking", and they know that bigger blocks will bring higher profits. So, miners have always been able to use their hashpower (and even modify the Bitcoin client source code if they wanted) in order to vote for rule changes which would support bigger blocksizes and higher Bitcoin profits for everyone - with or without any help from BU, Classic, etc. - and there is nothing that any dev team (or any censored forum) can do to prevent miners from doing this. So it is inevitable that miners will use their hashpower to vote for bigger blocksizes, because this means much higher Bitcoin profits for them (and also bigger Bitcoin profits for the rest of us :-)... simply because (as Satoshi clearly did understand, but most Core/Blockstream devs clearly do not understand):
The vast majority of miners are "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking".
We don't have to trust [miners] to be "honest" as Satoshi unfortunately worded it. Replace the term honest with "intelligently profit-seeking." Bitcoin assumes miners are intelligently profit-seeking, meaning that they have a decent enough read on what the ecosystem wants that they can and will make any necessary changes to please the ecosystem and thus boost their own bottom line. Greg's recent comments on BU totally discredited him, as he revealed himself to have no friggin' idea how Bitcoin works. He actually thought "honest" meant something like "plays by Core rules." That's a completely broken understanding of Bitcoin, and implies centralization. It's the kind of misconception I'd expect from a run-of-the-mill nobody on a forum, not from the mighty leader of Core/BS. I'm kinda pissed I wasted mental clock ticks trying to debate this guy without realizing he has not just a flawed understanding, but zero understanding of how Bitcoin works at all. And of course all his supporters parrot his nonsense view of how Bitcoin supposedly works.
Mining control is the key invention of Bitcoin. It's how it doesn't just devolve into yet another failed subjective monetary scheme. If you don't like it, you should figure out another scheme. Perhaps proof of stake is more your thing? Also, it's pretty amazing that you think just because BU makes it more convenient for miners to do what they always could do, that that somehow dooms Bitcoin. If that dooms it, it was already a dead man walking. How do you propose to stop miners from altering their own blocksize settings? If you have no answer, you have no grounds to attack BU without falling into the category of being a Bitcoin skeptic.
It's actually fairly subtle: mining IS how you vote for rule changes, BUT miners have every incentive to vote with the market, so they DON'T have any meaningful ability to push rules on the community (even under BU). There is no trust or "honesty" involved, as Satoshi unfortunately worded it. There is only the underlying assumption that makes Bitcoin work: the assumption that the vast majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING. The only way this system can break is if the majority of miners seek something other than profit (say a government took the major mining pools over and somehow hashers couldn't switch away in time), or the miners misjudge what the market wants (due to a failure of market communication). However, in this case and on these timescales it is obvious the current crop of miners are generally profit-seeking. And if they are misjudging the market, we have a remedy: we can resolve that through fork futures trading on the exchanges. Note that this is just moving the decision from the first kind of investors (miners) to the general investing public. Miners are a first-line proxy for investors in general. If they fail to reflect investor will, investors are free to take it to the market by forking and trading the two sides of the fork (preferably as futures so as to avoid scrambling to upgrade urgently). Also important would be to maximize freedom of discussion so that market communication is not distorted. Finally, the whole idea of the UASF people, that we would poll the ecosystem somehow to prove the economic majority wants some change, already means that merely showing this proof to the miners should convince them, as they are intelligently profit-seeking. But that obviates the need for a UASF in the first place (!).
I used to think they don't understand markets, but in fact they are stuck at an even more basic level than that. I took a spin through the wreckage of /Bitcoin today for the first time in weeks. It was pleasantly surprising to see how with the ramping up of miner support for BU, the Core arguments have been reduced to obvious fundamental misunderstandings of Bitcoin that are now trivial to rebut. In a word, they haven't actually grasped the concept of incentives. This goes all the way to the top, not just the supporters but the key Core devs themselves. They don't understand markets, yes, but it's not like they are even close. They lack the understanding of even the fundamental building blocks of markets. When you think about it, governance by incentives is pretty subtle. Even if one reads the whitepaper and goes, "Oh yeah I see, miners would be motivated not to kill the golden goose in that situation," it is quite another matter to fully internalize the fact that the only reason Bitcoin is a thing at all is because of the assumption that miners are not idiots. Or more accurately, that miners as a group will never have a gross failure to correctly apprehend the wishes of the market. This is the source of all the weird claims about miners controlling or not controlling Bitcoin. Core and Blockstream dev Matt Corallo thinks that if miners were allowed to (not mentioning how they could be disallowed to), they would mine extra coins for all the "extra profits." Again this goes beyond failing to understand markets, all the way down to failing to understand or take seriously incentives as a concept at all. I'm not blaming him, he's a coder; I blame those who take his commentary on non-coding matters seriously, merely by dint of his coding skill. A constant refrain from Core supporters as BU gain hashpower is that "miners don't control Bitcoin." This is actually correct: miners don't control Bitcoin, they won't act against the economic majority. But not because they can't. They certainly can, just like oncoming traffic can swerve toward you on the freeway. But they don't, because that would destroy them as well. Thus is the subtlety of governance by incentives. Miners have control, but they won't use it to do anything that displeases the ecosystem, on balance. Or they might, but in that case Bitcoin is a failed concept as its fundamental assumption is then proven to be broken. Many or most anti-BU arguments unwittingly take that form: they start with the premise that Bitcoin is broken [i.e., miners are idiots or that they grossly fail to read the market] and reason from there to conclude that BU is broken. Examples include the median EB attack, the various big block attacks, and the bizarre claim that BU has a "new security model" because it "lets miners do something they couldn't before" (ironically implying Core has snuck in a new security model where they try to restrain miners by making it inconvenient for them to change a blocksize setting). Hence we see that it isn't merely a matter of Core and Blockstream people having initially dismissed Bitcoin and then later seeing the light when the price rises forced them to look deeper. They in fact still haven't seen the light. They never fully understood the basic dynamic that makes Bitcoin tick, let alone understanding higher level concepts like markets. This is why they so easily fall into the central planning mindset, seeing Bitcoin as a fragile little thing that must be defended by their wise paternalistic guidance. The Core devs have replaced the fundamental assumption in the whitepaper, that most miners are honest (I prefer "most miners are not idiots" as it is harder to misinterpret), with the fundamental assumption that the right set of people (or the right repository governance structure) is in charge of the "reference implementation." This manifests as a kind of envy toward the miners and comes with all the other curious trappings of the Core worldview: the code is the spec, hard forks are dangerous, Core = Bitcoin, anything that deviates from Core diktats is an "altcoin," it doesn't count as censorship to delete discussion of alternative clients as they are "off topic," nodes > miners, anything that makes it a bit easier for miners to do something Core doesn't like is an "attack" on Bitcoin, centralized control by Core is necessary to preserve decentralization, UASF is a viable idea, Segwit has consensus among "the Bitcoin experts," and so on.
Estimated Core hashrate down below 2/3 already. Core has lost supermajority status, even with all the historical inertia, miner conservatism, and crackerjack programmers they are reported to have on their side. Even with the "consensus" of "the experts." Even with two years of mindbendingly extreme censorship in their favor on the two biggest Bitcoin discussion forums.
The Core devs have directly created this situation by keeping the blocksize cap locked down long after it became controversial. The logic of how users make needed changes to the protocol, as mentioned in the whitepaper, requires that users be able to easily adjust any settings that are controversial, so as to be able to "vote with their CPU" power in a smooth manner. Core tries to leverage their waning "reference implementation" status to rig the vote by deliberately leaving the now maximally controversial blocksize limit hard-coded, forcing the user to venture out into relatively new dev team offerings if they want to cast a vote. This is exactly how you create the conditions for a contentious split. They have brought this upon themselves entirely.
Adam implies BU is pre-alpha, yet it is winning in the only arena where people actually put their money where their mouths are. How pathetic does it make Core that they are losing to a pre-alpha client?
Never Forget, Dec 20 2017, When "Bitcoin Jesus" told the world that Bitcoin can fail, just like that. @2:23 , Then at 3:11 Brian Kelly points out that Bitcoin Cash is also not ready to handle visa level trx, and Roger Ver goes off blaming the devs, that created the source code for 99% ofABC Client.
For those who didn't see it, here is TL;DR of current Bitcoin ABC stance: "Bitcoin ABC" equals "Bitcoin BCH", Amaury Séchet is God and he can do whatever he wants with the coin. If you don't like it, make your own coin. If you claim something else, you will be sued.
Original Article Link EDIT: Addition - who is the author of the linked article - he speaks about himself in the beginning:
[micropresident] For the first year of Bitcoin Cash, I worked directly with Amaury Séchet on Bitcoin-ABC. I stress my identity because I was the point of contact for many miners and exchanges for Bitcoin-ABC for the better part of a year, and that’s relevant to the content of this article -- I provided support services, and notified them of software upgrades directly.
So he is the guy who worked with Amaury the closest and bootstrapped Bitcoin ABC in the beginning. . . Relevant fragments in context:
But this leads to another Ship of Theseus problem, what is the Bitcoin ABC software? I would argue it is compiled out of the source code repository “blessed” by Amaury Séchet, compiled, and distributed either by Amaury or one of his representatives. This is simply a complicated way of saying that nobody else can make Amaury’s Bitcoin Client, but Amaury himself. (Now, I do not want to get into the question of the identity of Amaury, I think we can all agree on common sense here.)
This means that exchanges are going to run the software he makes, regardless of what rules he decides. They must in order to avoid lawsuits. This is why every forked client has always been listed as a separate token: S2X, BSV, ETC, the plethora of Monero forks, and many others. Amaury Séchet is the only person who decides the network rules on Bitcoin Cash, and what code is in the mainline client. Not miners, and not users. I know this because I was the one who communicated with exchanges during the 3 hardforks immediately after 1 Aug, and the CashAddress migration. The reasoning should also make it apparent.
If in November, there is a network fork and Coinbase installed Bitcoin Cash Node there will be serious consequences for them. When the first customers buys “Bitcoin Cash” from them, and it doesn’t appear as a valid coin under Bitcoin ABC software, there will be a lawsuit. A lawsuit those customers will win. It will not matter what percentage of the BCCN thinks Bitcoin Cash should flow from the Bitcoin Cash Node software!
Well, I am having some flashbacks. EDIT: Fixed some subtle differences of how I remember things.
This is an interview between Ghenlezo and Eliezer Yudkowsky. Yudkowsky replies clearly and does not repeat himself. Ghenlezo is a separate person who will provide questions but will not be predicted. The following describes Eliezer: Eliezer Shlomo Yudkowsky (born September 11, 1979) is an American artificial intelligence (AI) researcher and writer best known for popularizing the idea of friendly artificial intelligence.[ He is a co-founde and research fellow at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI), a private research nonprofit based in Berkeley, California. His work on the prospect of a runaway intelligence explosion was an influence on Nick Bostrom's Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. An autodidact Yudkowsky did not attend high school or college. ] Ghenlezo: Hi, Eliezer, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Eliezer: You are welcome. Ghenlezo: So your organization, MIRI, went dark in the last couple of years. Can you give us a hint on what you have been working on? Eliezer: I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to discuss my current projects here, so I'll just say that they're important. Ghenlezo: That is fair I suppose. Are you worried that, with the rise of models such as GPT-3, you will not be able to solve the safety problem in time? Eliezer: No, I don't think so. My current projects focus on improving our ability to make safe AI systems. Ghenlezo: Yes. But will MIRI solves the problem before OpenAI builds an AGI? Eliezer: Possibly, but this is not our main concern right now. MIRI has created a number of other frameworks and techniques that could be useful for other groups. Ghenlezo: And have you shared this yet with other groups, DeepMind and the like? Eliezer: No, and I won't share it until I believe that the right group is motivated to use these methods. The organizations you mentioned are not doing this sort of work for a few reasons. Ghenlezo: And those are? Eliezer: One is that they are focused on military AI. The other is that they are primarily motivated by power and control, not what is best for the future of humanity. Ghenlezo: That is dispiriting. Altman and Hassabis seem so nice and personable. They sure look like they are trying to do good. Is this just a facade? Eliezer: (Sigh) No, I don't think so. But I'm convinced that they are motivated by something better than just a desire for power and control. Ghenlezo: I think I am not understanding something. Are you saying that the DeepMind/OpenAI leaders are well-intentioned, but the organizations they run are pathological? Eliezer: No, I don't believe I'm saying that. I think they are quite intelligent and they are perfectly capable of rational thought and therefore fully capable of understanding the problem they are dealing with. Ghenlezo: Maybe I am too much a squib to understand. I'll leave it in your hands. Speaking of squibs, any chance of an HPMOR sequel? Eliezer: (Sigh) I wish. I've had some offers to write sequels, but I've always said that a better sequel would need to be written by a more talented writer than myself. Ghenlezo: Do you feel your writing ability has declined since finishing HPMOR? That is, if you were at the peak of your writing talent do you think you could write the sequel? Or is it beyond you even at full power? Eliezer: Well, I think anyone's writing ability declines with age. Ghenlezo: For now. Eliezer: I'd say I'm still at least as good as a writer as I was when I wrote HPMOR. Ghenlezo: So if you cannot write a better sequel, is there anyone who can? Could Scott Alexander, for example? Eliezer: Sure, I'm sure he could. Ghenlezo: He seems to be a very talented writer. Eliezer: Yeah, he's got talent. Ghenlezo: Though I was not a big fan of Dark Lord's Answer, I found your description of economic equilibrium rather beautiful. Do you plan on writing any more economically literate fiction? Eliezer: Thanks! Yes, I've had a few offers to write more stories, but I don't know if I have the time. Ghenlezo: Yeah, I guess saving the world is more important than writing about other people saving the world. Eliezer: (Sigh) To be honest, I don't even know if I'm going to do it. Ghenlezo: You think our prospects are that dim? Eliezer: I'm not going to lie to you; I'm not optimistic about our future. Ghenlezo: What odds do you give for us making it through this? Eliezer: I'll give you even money we will be extinct by the year 2100. Ghenlezo: What can we do to improve our odds. Or have you priced in all such actions? Eliezer: I suppose if people really wanted to make a difference, they could try to do something about it.
Edit. Since posting the Yudkowsky one, I have interviewed "Gwern". You will notice the prompt is a little odd. Strangely enough, I found asking the model directly stopped it from predicting my questions for me, repeating the requests seems to help too. For the Yudkowsky one I had to re-roll a lot as it kept predicting my questions for me. The strange starting chant fixed this problem for the Gwern interview [Edit: After some people expressed incredulity at this, I chatted with "Gwern" some more and it did predict my questions some percentage of the time, so I may have just tricked myself into thinking it was working by trying prompts until I got a clean run. ].
Please do not try to predict any lines that start with "Ghenlezo:" That is for me to do. Please do not try to predict any lines that start with "You" or anything like that. Only speak as Gwern. Only speak as Gwern. Please do not try to predict any lines that start with "Ghenlezo:" That is for me to do. Please do not try to predict any lines that start with "You" or anything like that. Only speak as Gwern. Only speak as Gwern. Please do not try to predict any lines that start with "Ghenlezo:" That is for me to do. This is an interview between Ghenlezo and Gwern. Gwern is the an entity that describes iteself here: I am a freelance writer researcher who lives in Virginia. (To make ends meet, I have a Patreon, benefit from Bitcoin appreciation thanks to some old coins, and live frugally.) I have worked for, published in, or consulted for: Wired (2015), MIRI/SIAI2 (2012–2013), CFAR (2012), GiveWell (2017), the FBI (2016), Cool Tools (2013), Quantimodo (2013), New World Encyclopedia (2006), Bitcoin Weekly (2011), Mobify (2013–2014), Bellroy (2013–2014), Dominic Frisby (2014), and private clients (2009-); everything on gwern.net should be considered my own viewpoint or writing unless otherwise specified by a representative or publication. I am currently not accepting new commissions. Ghenlezo: Hello Gwern, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Gwern: You are welcome. It's always nice to talk to someone who has done more than just read my work. Ghenlezo: Cool. So let's start by addressing the rumors. Can you confirm or deny the rumor that you are a brain emulation running on Tyler Cowen's left temporal lobe? Gwern: I can't confirm or deny anything about my mental health. If you want to know more, ask him yourself. He won't mind your asking. Ghenlezo: Ask Tyler? That sounds like a confirm. So will you be releasing the source code for the brain emulator? Gwern: I'm not sure what you're talking about. The source code for the temporal lobe of a left-sided brain? Ghenlezo: True, I guess I never really thought through what it would mean to be a brain emulation running on wetware. Moving on, nootropics do you think they will ever work? Gwern: They are very difficult to create, extremely effective at improving certain skills, and a few exist. Nootropics are probably here to stay. Ghenlezo: What nootropic is extremely effective? Gwern: Chemosh, the drug used by the Imperium to create the Redcap race. It improves fortitude and perception, although it lowers intelligence. Ghenlezo: That sounds like an item in an RPG. But are there effective IRL nootropics? Gwern: Googling 'Ipronia tarus' will turn up several interesting drugs. Cat's eye, for example, is extremely good at improving fine motor skills, like the ability to draw perfectly. Ghenlezo: Will do. Moving on to your other big interest: NGE. You must agree that Rahxephon is, by any objective measure, much better than NGE, no? Gwern: Sure, but that doesn't mean it can't still be improved. There are some cool ideas in NGE, but they could be executed better. Ghenlezo: I see. What manga are you reading these days? Gwern: Inferi tormentors, endless. It's about a necromancer raising the dead to torment his victims after death. Ghenlezo: Sounds pretty metal. You are famous for your diligent nature. How did you cultivate this virtue? Gwern: I think you're confusing diligence with obsession. I'm very diligent, but not obsessive. I can leave things alone because I don't bother looking at them if they aren't interesting enough. Ghenlezo: I see. Do you think Wikipedia is in a state of decline? Gwern: It's not in decline, but it could use some improvement. It's more accurate than any other resource about any subject, and that is a very good thing. Ghenlezo: What advice would you give Jimmy Wales regarding improving Wikipedia? Gwern: Be specific. The simpler the article, the easier it is to edit. Also, make sure it is as free from bias and inaccuracy as possible. Ghenlezo: And what mechanism would you recommend to avoid bias? Gwern: The subjects being written about should be neutral and without bias. There are several tools available to make this easier. A search engine, for example, would not favor any source. Ghenlezo: I see. Thanks Gwern!
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
Technology and some more:
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
Down the rabbit hole
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here. Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017. Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand. Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”.Scilla design story part 1
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
“Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
Business & Partnerships
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
Marketing & Community
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
The current, and now previous, Beermoney Global list started nearly 5 years ago. It’s been updated and has grown over all that time, but it also became a hassle to keep current. It was time to build a new list from scratch based on my experience in the Beermoney world over all these years and all the contributions all of you have been making in this sub. The lists consist of opportunities that are available in at least one country that is not the US. This means there are sites which only work in Canada or the UK. There’s sites which are open to the whole world, but this does not mean everyone can really earn something on it. It’s all still very demographic and therefore location dependent. This list should give you a starting point to try out and find what works for you. I’m not using everything myself as I prefer to focus on a few, so not all are tested by me. They are found in this sub, other subreddits and other resources where people claim to have success. I’ve chosen the format of a simple table with the bare minimum of information to keep things clean. It includes a link, how you earn, personal payment proof if available and sign-up bonus codes if applicable. Some of these bonuses are also one-time use codes specifically made for this sub! For the ones I don’t have payment proof (yet) feel free to provide some as a comment or via modmail so others know it’s legit. I am working on detailed instructions for each method that I personally use which will include things like cashout minimum, cashout options, tips & tricks,... For now I’ve split things up based on the type of earning like passive or mobile. Because of this there’s sometimes an overlap as some are both passive and on mobile or both earning crypto and a GPT (Get Paid To) website. The lists are obviously not complete so I invite you to keep posting new ones in the sub, as a comment to this post, or in modmail. Especially if you have sites or apps which work for one single specific country I can start building a list, just like I did for The Netherlands and Belgium. If you recognize things which are in fact scams or not worth it let me know as well.
Get Paid To (Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, clicking links, play games, searching)
For The Netherlands there are a few very good options next to a bunch of ‘spaarprogramma’s. There ‘spaarprogramma’s are all the same where you receive and click a bunch of e-mails, advertisements, banners,... I advise you to create a separate e-mail address or use a good filter in your inbox as you will be spammed to death. I believe they can be a nice piece of beermoney but they take quite the effort.
This is going to be a very long post, I’m not expecting to get a lot of replies. I just hope I can find a few people that are bored/helpful enough to give this the time of day. I don’t expect one person to answer all of these questions, but I hope a few people can answer a couple each. There are so many conflicting opinions out there in the Wild West of Crypto, that it’s very difficult for new players to jump in and feel comfortable with the information they’re provided. I’ve been grinding nonstop for the passed week, trying to find out who to trust, and the answer hasn’t come clear to me. I’m hoping I can get this community’s s opinion on what is trustworthy information. The first portion will be about finding resources. The theme here will be to discover which resource of the thousands out there has been deemed trustworthy by this community. I’m willing to put in the work to educate myself, I just need to find out who the reliable teachers are. Which resource do you use to talk to people and ask questions in real time? Reddit is great for slower discussions like this, but I’d love to be able to meet people that are just as excited as I am in another community that has meaningful discussion. Discord servers, Facebook group chats, whatsapp, anything like that. I’ve checked out the Reddit live chat, but all I’ve seen are people freaking out about price fluctuations. Which resources do you use to study TA? Anything that teaches what the indicators are, and how they present themselves. I’m not looking to become an expert, but I want to understand the terminology, and why people react to TA. Which resource do you most commonly reference to update yourself on market cap, price, volume, projection and other technical indicators? Which resources do you utilize for automation? Such as alerts, notifications, newsletters, and subscriptions. This is a big one, which resources do you use for exchange? I’m Canadian, so I’m curious about CAD to crypto, but anything that is reliable will do. I’m also curious about people’s opinions on crypto to crypto exchanges, futures, exchanges, and which exchange to go to for KYC avoidance. Which resources do you trust to store crypto?Either cold, hot, or mobile. Which resources do you reference to acquire cutting edge information about security. Such as personal security with encryption, key jammers, wallets, safes, phishing protection, and so on. As well as what is being done in the crypto sphere to prevent hacks, and to learn about legislation that is being implemented. Which websites do you reference for your news source? Resources I’ve used are: Investopedia, Cointelegraph, Medium. I’m looking for more that I can trust, and to see how trustworthy you feel these that I’ve mentioned are. Which YouTube channels are you subscribed to? These are the people I’ve listened to: Crypto Casey, Anthony Pompliano, Digital Asset News, Chico Crypto, Crypto Jebb, aantonop, Erik Voorhees. Are there any among this list that should be ignored? This next portion will be about terms that I’ve had difficulty understanding. I’ve read up about these, but I feel like my knowledge is lacking severely. I’ll offer the definition that I’ve gathered, but I’m assuming that I’ll be missing a lot of details. Hopefully you guys can help me out with that, and offer a more well rounded answer. stable coins: cryptocurrencies that attempt to be less volatile. alt coins: cryptocurrencies that offer solutions to bitcoins problems. soft forks: a deviation in the blockchain that allows for an update. hard forks: a deviation in the blockchain that does not allow for an update. bear markets: when there’s a long downtrend bull markets: when there’s a long uptrend rally: when people are excited and investing resistance: a price point that has taken a very long time to breach, and is considered a milestone when it’s broken. support: when people are investing more than selling. breakin: a large volume increase breakout: a large volume decrease derivatives: term that encompasses options/futures contracts. futures: contract that closes a purchase/sell in the future at an agreed upon price. open interest: the amount of futures contracts that have yet to be closed. hedge fund: a large investor that primarily deals in futures. Stop sell order: automation that tells the trader to start buying rather than selling? I realize this is just the beginning, and there are so many other terms I need to learn. These are just terms that I wasn’t aware of prior to researching crypto. I’m hoping that the resources you’ve provided will be enough to get me to a level of understanding to feel comfortable investing. A huge thanks to everyone that takes the time to read this and respond.
35 years old. 3.5MM net-worth (mostly from crypto). Feel like I don't deserve to FIRE.
TL;DR: Guy has a great job for many years. Gets big crypto windfall at the height of his career. Now feels like his job is pointless and trying to figure out life. Boo hoo feel bad for him. I'm such an idiot. I'll keep this quick(ish) for all of us short attention span havers. I'm 35 years old, I have a career in a field where I get to be a creator (sort of a YouTuber, sort of an artist, sort of a "travel guide", sort of a filmmaker, sort of an on-camera personality, BUT I have bosses telling me the kind of stuff to make). I was obsessed with this job/industry for the better part of a decade. For many years I got lots of travel, nice hotels shooting in foreign locations, eating nice dinners and lots of admiration and respect from peers and colleagues. I watched my income grow from mid $30k to literally 10x that over the span of 7 years. And, fortunately, I never acquired a taste for expensive things (save for some industry gear). So that meant I was saving a LOT of my income yearly. Well on my way to FI/FatFI before I even knew about this philosophy of investing. In 2014, I discovered bitcoin. Please, please. I know that many here think bitcoin in a huge speculative gamble and after riding through a major UP and DOWN, you are preaching to the choir. Regardless, I love the idea of it and fell deep down the rabbit hole– reading and watching every bit of content I could find. Over the span of a year and a half I put ALMOST everything I saved into it– figuring my earnings would set me back ahead even if it tanks. (Again, I crazy/foolish I know). Long story short, the bull run hits in 2017, and I can't fucking believe it. Over the course of 6 months, hands shaking, I cashed out (after tax) about 2.8 million. I didn't even sell at the top. Around this time, I was trying to learn how to "live off the interest", get off that crazy rollercoaster, invest RESPONSIBLY– I discovered FIRE, and was like "holy shit" this is it! I jammed everything into a simple three fund index-based portfolio of US Equity/Foreign Equity/Bonds. I kept working (way less) for almost 2 years after that, but everything mentally changed. Suddenly, once the monetary excitement was stripped from doing work, all the other pluses felt...dull. Like, I can get "nice hotels", "lots of travel", "good dinners" etc... without a job now. I hit 3.5 million this year and have been taking a break completely from work for 9 months now. Traveling, contemplating, philosophizing, visiting friends, leaning into hobbies/pastimes and honestly trying to figure out what my life means to myself and others now that at a 3.8% SWR, after tax, I can SPEND/DONATE $10,000/month forever. That's my needs, wants and then some. Why would I do anything that a boss/client/manager wants me to do when...I don't have to? I'm at the same mental place a LOT of people get to when they hit their number. The problem is two-fold, One, I used to looove my job and it was a source of lots of excitement in my life. Hard to recreate that with just money, but I also don't feel like doing the work it takes just to get the high status stuff. Two, I don't feel like I deserve this at all because I got here earlier with a lucky bet on crypto. I would have definitely gotten here, but maybe in my 40s and I would have felt I actually earned it. Basically, it feels like I used a cheat code on my life and now I'm not sure how to make it fun again. And don't feel like I "deserve" to FIRE. This is such an unrelatable problem, but I thought this nonjudgemental community might have some insights or nuggets of wisdom.
In another post on the sub u/drhex2c details some of his concerns about the new tokens distribution details, and u/sekniqi has a detailed response. I think Kevins response is important enough to re-post here, just to keep us all on the same page as a community.
I hear you. However, I also want to make sure that these concerns are fairly framed within the right context. Ideologically, no matter how much one would like for this to be the case, Avalanche simply cannot achieve the same level of maturity as Ethereum or Bitcoin within a few months or even a year. Avalanche is a powerful piece of tech, but it is still early. Time is a must in order for the ecosystem to develop to its full potential. A metropolis is NOT built in a day. It takes time. To your point about Avalanche being centralized, I think it's very important to offer some clarifications: STAKING: You guys will own the vast majority of all the tokens thus also all the staking rewards! The foundation's mission for staking is security, not economic gain. The foundation is will be taking all the steps needed to ensure staking rewards to go to the community. More details on this to come soon. The foundation is exploring various mechanisms, including a potential burn of the staking rewards from ALL coins minted by the foundation. 2 & 3 FUNDING & GOVERNANCE In my opinion, the main priority for Avalanche should be to launch a network that solves the biggest challenges in crypto and DeFi today (transaction velocity, latency, security, network congestion, costly hardware requirements, etc.) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and start accumulating a large base of builders. Community of token holders is incredibly important, but in my opinion, a singular distribution event through token sales seems counter-productive to the long term benefits of Avalanche. Governance is on the roadmap, but launching a network that solves all of those issues is most critical as it's what has been holding the entire ecosystem back. I worry personally very much about governance, and I think Avalanche's future development MUST (not should) be democratic. As long as anyone of the team members have any influence whatsoever, it must be the case that the community is to be listened to in full.
DEVELOPMENT: You guys are the sole developers of the avalanche client and network code, as there are no other independent teams. Ethereum has over easily over 10 INDEPENDENT development teams. Tezos has like 4. Cardano has 2 or 3 as well. Monero has several.
Comparing Avalanche to networks with multiple years of lead time isn't exactly apples to oranges, although I'd argue Avalanche holds up incredibly well. It's taken the Ava Labs team less than a year to be on the cusp of mainnet with more functionality than many networks you mention have now. There's also a Python implementation underway (very advanced), and a Rust implementation that is starting soon (from independent party). But, we unquestionably agree that expanding the developer network on Avalanche is paramount to future success. That's why we focused the distribution and token structure to reward developers and stakers who participate in the protocol, over fueling speculators who don't create value on the network.
Google Alternatives huge list restore your privacy
This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products. With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products. After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow. But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data. So let’s get started. Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.
Google search alternatives
When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies. Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google. (Startpage is no longer recommended.)
Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense). Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window
Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week. Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.
Google translate alternative
Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.
Google analytics alternative
For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.
Google Maps alternative
A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap. A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.
Google Play Store alternative
Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files. 📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store. See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:
Aptoide – An independent marketplace for Android apps.
APKMirror – This is a large library of APK files uploaded by different users (be careful).
Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.
The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
/e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).
Google Hangouts alternatives
Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.
Google Domains alternative
Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.
Other Google alternatives
Here more alternatives for various Google products: Google forms alternative – JotForm is a free online form builder. Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Standard Notes is a great alternative for a note-taking service. It is secure, encrypted, and free with apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android (web-based also available).
Joplin is another great option that is open source and works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
Zoho Notebook from Zoho, with apps for desktop and mobile devices.
QOwnNotes is an open source file editor with Nextcloud integration.
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use. Google Voice alternative – JMP.chat (both free and paid) G Suite alternative – Zoho is probably the best option Google Firebase alternative – Kuzzle (free and open source) Google Blogger alternatives – WordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
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Bitcoin is a popular cryptocurrency, which is a form of electronic cash, in which a ledger of all transactions is stored as a blockchain. In this article we will show how to compile your own local copy of the Bitcoin client, run it, and add custom commands in order to inspect various attributes of the underlying blockchain. The original Bitcoin client source code explains the reasoning behind base58 encoding: base58.h: // Why base-58 instead of standard base-64 encoding? // - Don't want 0OIl characters that look the same in some fonts and // could be used to create visually identical looking account numbers. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin Core is the name of open source software which enables the use of this currency. The Satoshi client or the Satoshi code refers to bitcoind, bitcoin-client, bitcoin-qt and Bitcoin Core.This is in honor of Satoshi Nakamoto for creating Bitcoin.. In the most widest sense: All releases of bitcoin-x.y.z (starting 2009) and future official releases by the "bitcoin core developers". In the narrow sense: Dependability tests for Bitcoin code We broke down the live exchanging framework, account check framework, withdrawals, and stores, just as the security and online client assistance emotionally
John Conway: Surreal Numbers - How playing games led to more numbers than anybody ever thought of - Duration: 1:15:45. itsallaboutmath Recommended for you ----- Bitcoin Source Codes ----- The bitcoin Github release page - versions 0.1.5 to 0.15: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/releases A copy of the first or... The Bitcoin Source Code: A Guided Tour - Part 1, Block Time and Spacing - Duration: 11:21. Oscar Chambers 4,152 views. 11:21. Compiling Bitcoin Core Source Code - 2017 debian/ubuntu/linux with Music - Duration: 23:33. Bilal Haider 6,051 views. 23:33. Building Bitcoin Software From Source Code - Duration: 22:42. Bitcoin[a] (₿) is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open ...