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Running a full node on Amazon AWS? /r/Bitcoin

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Telegram AMA - Summary

Telegram AMA - Summary
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Zhuling Chen
It’s always great to hang out in this group. This group means a lot to the Aelf community. It is the first Aelf community and has been there through all the ups and downs in the world. I would like to start with wishing everyone is staying safe at home during the virus outbreak. It definitely has been a difficult time for all of us, but together we can pull through it.
We understand that the situation is quite striking to all of us. But I really believe that the solution to the virus outbreak is about more global coordination and collaboration.
All of you to be assured, our team in different places are all safe and working from home as normal.
The Aelf team in Beijing were among the early ones experiencing the virus outbreak. As everyone was on the way home for Lunar New Year holiday and then experienced a total city lock-down followed by a 40 days’ work from home policy. It was definitely not easy for them, but our team stayed strong, took necessary precautions and focused on work with the right morale. Mappo has recently published some tips on how to work from home effectively based on our experience. Do check it out. Despite not working in the office since February, we have achieved great progress, including launching Aelf 1.0 preview, which is an important milestone in technical delivery and also the roadmap to mainnet launch (which listed out the essential steps for the community to work together to launch a successful public network)
Let's first talk about Aelf v1.0 preview. It is the cornerstone of the mainnet launch. The product itself has all the features that the public network is needed. The codebase has been reviewed and tested rigorously by the team. And a few highlights of how the network would look like:
  1. The code allows a stable and high throughput blockchain network to operate publicly.
  2. For developers, they will love how flexible the system is to be customized, the number of tools and documentation to help them start developing applications on the network
  3. For the whole community, the system is an ever-evolving one where the voting system is ready in place to conduct network-wide voting on various topics, such as transaction fee adjustment, network protocol upgrade, incentive adjustment, etc
  4. Aelf system is able to run multi-chain architecture where each side chain will host different applications and still ready to work with each other
So you may ask since the software is ready, why have we not yet launched the public network? The answer, in short, is that a public blockchain is launched not by a team but through a community effort and that's why we are coordinating the community effort based on the roadmap we proposed. Aelf team has launched the public testnet based on Aelf v1.0 preview and currently, all nodes are under the team. The goal is to let the community and elected nodes to take it over and launch it on a global scale. Not only launch it but also be familiar with the network and also set the launch parameters in a decentralized way. If we take a car as an example, we have made the car, but ultimately the drivers are you guys and therefore before it really hits on the road, we need to guide the community to do a test drive, adjust the car based on what really works for YOU, and ultimately let YOU drive the car freely and safely
So how are we going to help the community launch the network:
First of all, we have launched the codes, documents about the economic system and governance model and technical features. With all the things available, you are able to understand what the system is about, as a token holder what's your benefit in the system, and being a node in the system plays a big role in the governance
Next, without yet electing the nodes, we will get all token holders to join the current Aelf network through a mapping event. That means as long as you have Aelf tokens, you will be able to get 1:1 test tokens on the public testnet. that gives you full access to all the features, and you will feel like you are already using the mainnet. You will get rewarded in making transactions, voting, etc.
Do try out the Aelf wallet and voting features, you will see how easy to transfer tokens cross-chain. and also how flexible the system allows people to make changes. For example, the community may want to adjust the block rewarding parameters or fees to use certain services on mainnet, they can initiate a discussion and then vote in the system and once voted through, it will be reflected on mainnet.
For people or organizations that want to play a bigger role in the system, we will do a dry run of node election. Take it as the real node election before mainnet launch. We will see who the active members of the community are and being trusted by the community. Among the nodes, we will form a network launch committee. The committee will be the crucial party to oversees and ensures the smooth launch of Aelf mainnet, instead of just relying on the Aelf team. This is our step towards decentralization.
The committee will agree on the actual launch process, final checking all the parameters in the system to be ready for launch and then decide when the criteria are met to launch the network. Once all that is decided. We will invite all interested nodes to apply for the election and let the community know what's their plan to grow the Aelf network. the network will initially be launched with a few nodes from the committee and gradually be replaced by the selected nodes (a bootstrap phase). Along the way, we will work with exchanges to conduct token swap (which we are also designing an innovative system to further enhance security and usability of Aelf tokens in exchanges)
Among this isolated and worrisome time, at least we all have something to look forward to: a successful launch of Aelf network! Once it is launched, we are excited to see a vibrant and technically superior network that is good for Dapps to run on top of it.
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Doris Guo Q1: As a Blockchain start-up, what difficulties have you overcome when starting Aelf project? What motivates you to solve difficulties and achieve success today?
Zhuling Chen First, just like launching any start-up, its community and investors are usually regional. There is always some bias on if Asian projects are solid. It is really rare to have an Asian project to be supported by western funds and community from day 1. We were lucky to have overcome that obstacle. Having a global investor line-up from day 1. Having a global team from day 1 and also working with a global community from day 1. This benefited us to have an international perspective which is crucial in the blockchain industry.
Secondly, as a hardcore technology company, it is really hard to put in plain words what is our ambition. Our ambition is huge, achieving key innovations in multiple fronts of blockchain technology and organically combined them to serve real users for the future. Our marketing team has been working really hard to elaborate on what Aelf is. Now we have come to a point that the product is ready. Therefore, it is much easier for all of us to understand how solid Aelf is by trying out the network ourselves! That's exactly what the following events will be about - Try out all the exciting features of Aelf network before mainnet launch.
Doris Guo Q2: What critical problems do you see occurring in the blockchain industry nowadays? How does Aelf solve these problems?
Haobo Ma First, we need to distinguish the difference between BTC and ETH. One is Digital Cash and the other is the Smart Contract Platform. Aelf addresses most of the latter's problems. In short, it can be summarized as performance, end-user friendly, developer-friendly, network economy, and self-governance and upgrading. Each of these areas will probably take up a lot of space, and as a whole are the issues described in our two white papers. In short, Aelf is faster, end-users do not need to know the rules of the blockchain, developers can set up the development environment in 10 minutes, have a good economic model and can carry out proposal governance on the chain.
Doris Guo Q3: What is your long-term vision about the industry which Aelf is working at? Are you afraid someday there will be another project with more innovative technology can replace Aelf?
Haobo Ma Let's talk about where Aelf stands in the traditional Internet. It is essentially a cloud service provider, Aelf provides resources and infrastructure for developers to deploy their services, known as smart contracts. We eventually want Aelf to grow like AAA (Amazon, Azure, AliCloud). Because Aelf is a network that can be dynamically scaled, we can accept any new technology, some of the more advanced technologies we can put on a side chain.
Doris Guo Q4: Why did Aelf choose for cross-chain interaction?
Haobo Ma As I mentioned earlier, Aelf solves the Smart Contract Platform problem. However, there are other digital cash problems as well which we would need to use existing infrastructure such as Bitcoin's chain in order to interact with Bitcoin. There are a lot of infrastructures on Ethereum that we want to interact with. Multi-chain on Aelf network mainly is to isolate resources to improve network performance and network stability.
Doris Guo Q5: What difficulties do the Aelf team have now (I talk about COVID-19)? How does the Aelf team solve it? Have you changed the roadmap?
Haobo Ma There is no great impact. The teams in Singapore and Beijing are communicating with each other remotely on a regular basis. The only change is that most of us are now working from home which has no impact and in fact, it seems conducive to the acceptance of more community developers in the future to come. From the internal working schedule and development timeline, there is no great impact. We do not publish specific timeline as we do not want short term holders (traders) to create too much negative pressure on product development.
Doris Guo Q6: Aelf is an open-source blockchain, and there's the common problem of taking a substantial amount of time for the different participants to agree on strategic decisions. What types of governance models do you use in Aelf to address this issue???
Haobo Ma The issue is about public blockchain network, and who can decide the direction of the network. Our answer is long-term holders. For the short-term holders (traders), we refuse to allow them to participate in any discussion of the direction of Aelf because the short-term holders are likely to make a profit and sell quickly, which is essentially the same example of a person who cheats the President and then runs away for his personal gain. We defined a number of proposal processes, including the logic of the two-party system in the United States, and the participation in the referendum to ensure that the final proposal represents the majority. At the same time, we are looking for some legal solutions to avoid bifurcation, such as prohibiting exchanges from intervening in bifurcated new tokens. While we cannot limit a community, we should be able to find ways to limit a centralized organization. This restriction is akin to a ban on national secession.
Doris Guo Q7: How will Aelf empower Investors, Companies, Developers, Platform Users to deliver impactful solutions and bring value to people all over the world?
Haobo Ma We will learn from the operational experience of successful foundations such as the LINUX foundation and license some commercial companies to use Aelf solutions to solve business problems. At the same time, Aelf is an open-source product under the MIT License, and we accept any use that does not violate this open-source principle.
Zhuling Chen Let me add on to Haobo’s statement: to incentivize and empower the community, we are also exploring ways to let the community decide how to use the funds for Aelf (allocate to where it matters to our community) once mainnet is launched. This means you guys can decide what are the projects to be funded on Aelf, etc
Doris Guo Q8:When will the node campaign start? How will Aelf attract users to participate in nodes election?
Haobo Ma According to our published roadmap, the timeline can be dynamic, but I don't think it will be too long. The main idea is to let everyone understand what we envision Aelf to be like, and what are the rights and benefits of being a node in the future. We hope to find nodes that fully recognize the efforts of Aelf at the present stage and are willing to participate in the future development of Aelf. We will run a simulation of the node campaign on the testnet and set up a temporary mainnet launch committee. Please follow our official Twitter for more upcoming details!
Doris Guo Q9: Token swap form 2 is some kind of cross-chain transfer? It will be handled by a smart contract?
Haobo Ma It is handled by the smart contract, we define an asset cross-chain transfer protocol, but it may be opened after a snapshot.
Doris Guo Q10: Which Exchanges will support token swap? Do you have any plan to list Aelf in some big exchange like Binance, Houbi, Kucoin, .......?
Haobo Ma We are already in talks with some exchanges, there is still competition between exchanges, and many are still hoping to attract more users by getting access to mainnet token swap early.
Doris Guo Q11: Aside conversion of the current tokens to mainnet tokens, what other main features will be accomplished with the mainnet launch?
Haobo Ma We have a documentation file that has been published, which has listed some features: https://Aelf.io/gridcn/Aelf_public_testnet_and_supporting_features_introduction_en_v1.0.pdf
Doris Guo Q12: Do you have any plan to burn or buyback your coin?
Haobo Ma We have plans for the community to govern through DAO, we have no interest in short-term price incentive adjustment as we would prefer to drive the project to higher adoption. After mainnet starts operation, there will be a part of network revenue get destroyed automatically.
Doris Guo Q13: Often, as a newbie developer, I face difficulties on most blockchains. How easy and convenient is it for me on Aelf, and what programming language and tools are needed??
Haobo Ma We set up staging for DAPP developers on GitHub and configured CI. Develop a smart contract using C# with React Native on the front end. So, in fact, developers can fork the source code without setting up the environment locally, and you can conduct unit testing with the help of CI. You can also release the smart contract and generate the installation package of iOS and android online. https://github.com/AElfProject/Aelf-boilerplate
Doris Guo Q14: What is the progress of business development and what are some of your commercial partnerships? How will Aelf rapidly develop the number & performance of DAPP?
Haobo Ma First of all, the blockchain industry is still fairly small and users with ETH and EOS wallets are considered a very small group and its not effective to even promote within these groups. What we need to consider is how to enable users who have never been exposed to blockchain to use DAPP. The competitiveness of Aelf is to make it easier for Aelf developers to promote their DAPP to ordinary users, rather than to teach ordinary users a lot on blockchain knowledge. The average user doesn't like to hear about private keys, mnemonic, Gas Price, RAM, CPU, etc. Only until we solve such problems, companies that need to solve problems through blockchain will be more inclined to use Aelf in technology selection. Therefore, our main work is to explain the competitive advantages of Aelf, ETH and EOS to everyone. We have some business cooperation’s, but we also believe that simply through case-by-case business cooperation will not be able to gain adoption so quickly, therefore we still need to put our products to stay ahead of the next generation.
Doris Guo Q15: What other activities can encourage more people to be confident about Aelf?
Haobo Ma We are only going to state the truth by having those that have faith in us to stay and those that don't to leave. The development of Aelf is not driven by a single foundation, but by a steady stream of contributions from the community. In the future, we will also place the activities in the DAO for on-chain governance, and let the community make decisions by itself.

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Kun Aguero As you know that in the present market situation many new coins or either dying or thriving for liquidity? How will you manage this liquidity problem?
Zhuling Chen Aelf started in 2017. we have gone through a few cycles in the market, still, remember the big down period in 2018-2019. Aelf is financially solid and the team has always been working hard. if you are referring to liquidity in exchanges, we are among the lucky ones that are listed in all major exchanges
Xinshu Dong Hello, great discussions! I would like to ask what are the criteria to join the committee for launching the mainnet? Would love to participate
Zhuling Chen Hi xinshu, great to see you here. The committee will be chosen among the nodes elected during the testnet dry run. Which means, it is really important to participate in the testnet dry run and also start to establish your reputation in the community so that people will elect you as a node. The detailed criteria will include what is your plan to help Aelf to grow, tech competency and reputation.
An Da What are Aelf’s achievements in 2019? Who had supported you to get those things?
Zhuling Chen To name a few, in 2019, Aelf is one of the most active projects on GitHub. This means Aelf is evolving and improving fast in this space and our team has the tech strength. In addition, we have also successfully listed on all major cloud service providers, such as AWS, Azure, Google. So large companies can easily launch Aelf side chains in their organization with minimum hassle.
John How does the voting for master nodes candidates occur? And why is the development of this system important for your project?
Zhuling Chen Voting is going to be pretty simple. All token holders can vote for the nodes they support on our block explorer.
Miha After mainnet lunch, how will you assure that transactional fees will stay low? We know what sometimes happens to fees on ETH blockchain.
Zhuling Chen First of all, due to the fact that is Aelf is scalability, this will reduce transaction fee. Secondly, all transaction fees will be voted by the nodes (which will be elected by you). So they will represent your interest
Bobbyfernandito Currently, as we see All projects are concerned with the speed and security. So, tell us here - what are the facilities Aelf provide to their user and investors?
Haobo Ma Security: we have an automated smart contract code audit. During contract deployment, production nodes and the community audit participation are required. On the other hand, we are also planning to provide a standardized model of centralized exchange access for 100% asset certification and emergency measures to deal with exchange attacks, which we will be released later. Speed: Aelf has been working on improving performance, which is transparent to users which they can also experience by themselves.
An Da What effect does Aelf token have on the Aelf ecosystem? Holding Aelf, what benefits will users receive?
Zhuling Chen Holding ELF enables you to use all the services on the Aelf network. ELF has a deflating system where the total amount will reduce as the network grows. token holders can also vote for the nodes to run the network and also vote for big decisions in the network. part of the fees in the system will also be distributed to token holders via a smart contract
ahihi132 Which companies do you view them as potential partners and that they are somewhat also beneficial for both the user base and Aelf itself?
Zhuling Chen Great question, if I could write a wish list, that will be: let medium-sized financial institutions to use Aelf to challenge the big boys. Let telecommunication companies use Aelf for micro-payment and other innovative business models. We also would like to try out a few public sector projects, which blockchain will is still more transparency and trust
Misun Q1: Which programming languages are you using in your project? And why? Q2-What are another big MILESTONES you have planned for 2020 roadmap and how are they supposed to benefit your costumers? Will it be an exciting year?
Haobo Ma For Q1: We mainly use C# for development, I personally like it. Performance is good, development environment IDEs are strong, and C# creators are influential in the industry. We believe in the right thing, though it may take a while to develop. The smart contract will then add support for multiple languages, such as WebAssembly, depending on the needs of the community. Now it seems that C# is enough.
Hambi crypto Which platforms are your competitors? How will you soar above them, and what better things do you offer than them? So, What’s your outlook on the future of cryptocurrencies in this year and next few years?
Haobo Ma As I have already mentioned this before, Eth and Eos. We provide better performance, cross-chain support (already implemented), end-users do not need to know the details of the blockchain, developer’s payment models and so on.
Floris-Jan What plans is Aelf making to prevent centralized exchange to take over the DPoS algorithm like what happened to Steem? Are we talking about blacklisting exchange wallets, or having the foundation say "No", or putting all trust in the community?
Zhuling Chen Great question, Floris. I’m not going to give away all the details of what Haobo has proposed to work on this, but in a nutshell, in Aelf system, exchange wallets will not be allowed to vote, but only the sub-wallets for each individual can vote. This will also help exchanges to prevent hacking and theft in the future
Alex What your plans in place for global expansion, are Aelf wallet focusing on the only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Can you explain this?
Haobo Ma Our core focus will be through the developers to promote, developers will help Aelf to attract more users. So our product has to be attractive to developers. Just like AWS, they only focus on getting their service right, their developers will think about how to promote it. We don't want to burden them in their promotion process.
Ellkay What do you think are the major threats and barriers that could face the development and adoption of Aelf?
Haobo Ma If I'm a DAPP developer and I need to promote my APP to people who don't recognize blockchain, then I'd like to choose a platform that doesn't have to explain a lot of blockchain details to the end-user, so they can use it easily. We've provided some options in the Boilerplate that allow you to log-in simply via QR code + Password, and our recommended Dapp is an independent wallet and a separate iOS/Android application.
ahihi132 Give me some important reasons why we need to hold Aelf token where in fact hundreds of projects failed and it went to bankruptcy or even developers run when they collect millions/billions of funds?
Haobo Ma First of all, we will not give any suggestions as we only describe the fact that the long-term token holder will be able to govern the Aelf network, get Aelf mining reward and Aelf network profit. At the same time, Aelf network is a deflation model, Aelf network received transaction fees, profit dividends will immediately destroy 10% etc. All investments are risky, and we don't judge the behaviour of other developers. There are so many things in this world that cannot be understood and unfair. It is important to do our job well. I cannot explain these things.
见愁 I remember that boss Ma mentioned to only find those truly innovative applications and enterprises with blockchain, how to find and win partners in these aspects?
Haobo Ma When Linus was developing Linux, I did not think he would find a lot of collaboration when the code was not good. The response we can give is that we already have a lot of interest in cooperation, including what we have announced, what we have not announced, etc.
见愁 How interested are cloud computing providers in participating nodes?
Haobo Ma The vast majority of our nodes should be using cloud services, and as long as a large number of our 17 nodes and other candidate nodes are based on cloud services, our network robustness is determined by these cloud computing providers. Of course, in the expansion, we can also use cloud computing services.
submitted by Floris-Jan to aelfofficial [link] [comments]

Lately, there’s been a lot of debate around what Ethereum is or what it represents. Here’s my shot at it: Ethereum is a Global Trust Provider (or Global Trust Network).

Ethereum can mean different things to different people. Some say it’s money, some say it’s a world computer. These seem to be properties or applications, other than its true nature.
To understand what Ethereum is, we need to go back to what it’s really, really, really doing: settling smart contract transactions. What’s the service it’s really providing: a decentralized trust (with certain economic value at stake) that’s being endorsed on each piece of transaction and on-chain data. The product we are really is this decentralized trust. People pay for this product in terms of gas.
How do we measure this trust product? 1) its total economic value at stake. In the case of POW, it’s the total replacement value of total hashrate mining the chain. In the case of POS, it’s the token value being staked. 2) not just the total value at stake, but also the distribution of that value. For example, I would trust 100 people with $100 across the globe not cheating at the same time, more than trusting some individual with $10,000 not cheating. 3) it’s not just the value at stake, but the actual value at risk. For example, in the case of POW, it’s only the electricity that’s being lost for the cheaters, while in POS, potentially the whole stake is at risk. Also in a cloud computing setup, for example, AWS has the total value of amazon the company ($1T) at stake, but nothing was getting slashed when AWS was down for a few hours a couple weeks ago.
Is there demand for such trust: Yes, and it’s growing. Just look at Tether moving more and more USDT to Ethereum, and DiFi applications, running decentralized organizations, and look at real estate assets being tokenized and traded on chain. The most appropriate applications at this stage would be high value transactions or data processing that required high value and high quality of trust. And these kind of transactions actually don’t require 1 second confirmation, so speed is not really the important factor here (I used to think scalability is the most urgent thing for Ethereum, but under this framework, it’s becoming clear to me that POS and privacy is way more important to upgrade our core product – trust).
This framework can also help settle some of the other debates currently in this space: 1) store of value debate; 2) Ethereum killer debate:
1) Store of value: this is mainly a debate between Bitcoin and Ethereum. Let’s say total Bitcoin mining equipment is worth $2B (I could be off, but I think the order of magnitude is about right). Bitcoin miners burn about $4B of electricity per year, but to attack the network for a day, it’s only $10M electricity per day at risk. Right now, as in POW, Bitcoin is more secure than Ethereum. But when we move to POS, with 10% of token at stake, that’s explicitly $2B of value at stake and $2B of value at risk (implicitly transactions are backed by full faith and credit of the whole Ethereum community ($20B) since we can fork when attacks happen). Also look at the quality of this trust – POW mining has great amount of concentration, while distribution of staking is greatly mimicking the token distribution (not to mention, Ethereum researchers have gone through great pain to make sure the staking nodes are anti-correlated). Some people claim Bitcoin’s 21M hard cap makes it a store of value. I think they are completely missing the point. It doesn’t matter whether the hard cap is 15M, or 21M, or 30M, if someone can just take all your asset away. When Ethereum moves to POS, from the trust value at stake, trust value at risk, quality of the trust and lastly the issuance rate points of view, Ethereum will be a way better place to store value.
2) Ethereum killers: Most of the so called Ethereum killers focus on speed and scalability. They now seem to have all missed the point under this framework. The issue is that they can’t create high value and high quality trust based on their market caps and token distributions. And low value/quality trust just simply doesn’t need blockchain for it to be delivered. Your banks or most public traded companies can deliver high value/low quality trust.
3) What can really derail Ethereum from becoming the premier global trust provider network? A couple possible but not plausible scenarios: A) internationally coordinately distribute $20B of token X to 1M individuals across globe, and have them run a POS chain. B) fork Bitcoin blockchain (token distribution will be as good as BTC) and have the new chain run POS (this hypothetical fork chain is unlikely to have high value because it breaks Bitcoin’s enshrined monetary policy).
4) How do we value such network? I think market cap to annual transaction fee ratio will be the most important one. Token holders initially subsidized miners/validators to bring the blockchain to the point where transaction fee revenue is greater than security budget. The overage is burnt, effectively distributing back to token holders. Currently, Eth1.0 can easily generate $100M per year. When we move to Eth2.0, with better product (higher value/higher quality trust) and the capacity to deliver 1B of the such products (on-chain transactions), we can reasonably expect the chain to generate billions of dollars of transaction fee revenue (oh, and state rent revenue). You do the math how much ether will be worth at that point (although an even higher monetary premium will be derived from ether being the best store of value at that point).
5) Ethereum will enjoy this positive reinforcing feedback loop: higher trust generates higher revenue, in turn attracts more economic value to participate, in turn creates higher trust.
A couple more thoughts:
1) What’s ether? Ether (32 eth) is the ticket to participate this global trust network as a provider. You can also use it to redeem the trust you needed for your on-chain activities. It can also be money or store of value, which are derived properties of ether having utility (the ticket) and the backing of high value high quality trust. Without both, it’s just simply delusional to think a certain cryptocurrency has any value.
2) What’s the role of POW under this light? A long running of POW ensures token distributions are sufficiently decentralized. But by itself, it can’t generate high value and high quality of trust. POW can only be an embryonic stage of a blockchain, but it’s not suitable for delivering the final Core product.
submitted by mrnobodyman to ethfinance [link] [comments]

AMA/Tutorial: Run a full node on AWS free tier with local LAN storage

AMA/Tutorial: Run a full node on AWS free tier with local LAN storage
This is a tutorial/AMA on how you can be running a full node, in the AWS cloud, for very low cost or even free.
I used to run a node on my local network but there is a problem with this; your public IP is broadcast, and then it gets associated with Bitcoin. Node owners are likely to own Bitcoin, and this raises your personal threat profile, validated against my IDS/IPS logs.
Run a VPN? Many VPNs are automatically blocked, or sketchy. Tor is also blocked on a large portion of the internet. Neither provide you with a real static IP, and that helps out the network.
There is a easy solution to this; run a node on the AWS free tier, and use an elastic IP so you have a static address. Bandwidth is free in, and low cost out, and you can control how much of that you use easily, and control your spent. The problem is that Amazon charges a LOT for online storage and even with a 1MB blocksize, the blockchain is very large and growing steadily! We mitigate this by using a VPN back to your network, where you can store the blockchain on a SMB share.
It is not complicated to do, but there are very many moving pieces to keep track of and configure. In order to fully trust your node, the best way is to build it from scratch. This is my goal in walking you through the process.
There are lots of ways to accomplish this same task; I only want to present one that works, and you can go from there. Once you have access to the blockchain in the cloud for reasonable prices, you can also look at things like the Lightning Network.
This article makes four major assumptions:

  1. That you have a OpenVPN server on your network and know how to configure it. I use pfSense and OpenVPN; others will work just as well, but you'll need to do a little work to figure out the particulars. If you don't know how, do not fret! There are loads of good tutorials for just about every platform. Or ask below. I also limited the user with access to the share at the firewall specifically to the IP hosting the share to lower the threat envelope.
  2. That you have the blockchain downloaded locally and reasonably up to date. If you don't, head on over to bitcoin.org and download it for OSX or Windows or Linux, whatever you use for your workstation. Follow the directions to set up the software and download/synchronize it to the network. This will take awhile! Once you've synchronized, copy the data directory to your SMB share you want the AWS instance to access. You could also synchronize everything directly on AWS too, but it will likely take longer and may cost a bit for the bandwidth.
  3. That you're on windows. OSX and Linux will have slightly different processes to connect to the instance via the terminal and SSH. If you need help, ask, and I am sure we can get you fixed up.
  4. That you've read the excellent bitcoin.org full node tutorial here: https://bitcoin.org/en/full-node

With that, on with the show!
First: Head on over to https://aws.amazon.com/ and make yourself an account.
Once you've set up you'll need to start the process of creating a virtual machine on AWS. Look for this graphic and click on it:

Start by launching a new machine

Follow the rabbit hole, and you'll be looking to create a plain jane Amazon AMI Linux instance. It looks like this:

Pick the basic AMI instance
Keep in mind you want to pick the x86 version, which is the default.

Continue clicking, you'll want to select the t2.micro instance that is eligible for the free tier for new accounts.

Pick the free tier. You can also upgrade to the smaller tier for more ram, but the micro works for now.
Now, you're going to need a way to connect to your soon-to-be-created node in the cloud. Amazon uses SSH keys to do this, so the next step means you're going to make some. You need to save this file, as if you lose it, you won't be able to access your node anymore. Much like your wallet private keys!

Beware losing your keys!

If you've made it this far, you're almost launched!
Now we need to convert the key to a format that we can use to connect to the instance from Windows. I recommend using Putty! https://www.putty.org/ if you don't have it already; if you're on OSX or Linux, you likely have what you need already.
Follow the guide here to get connected: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/putty.html

Next you'll need to set up a opening in the firewall if you want incoming connections. This is done by adding to the security group in the "Network and Security" section; edit it to look like this:

Change the inbound security rules for the instance to accept incoming connections on 8333.

The hard part is over!
Optional: Configuring a static IP. Amazon calls their implementation "elastic" IPs, but it's really a static IP that you can move around between instances very easily. It will ensure your public address on AWS does not change; it isn't required, but it is better if you intend on allowing outgoing connections.
Go back to the main dashboard display.
In "Network and Security", click on "Elastic IPs".
Select Allocate New Address (blue button on top) and then select it in the table. In actions, you will see "Associate Address". Select this then assign the address to the instance you have previously configured. Done!

Next up: Log into your machine, and immediately update everything. Use the IP provided by Amazon, or the Elastic IP if you assigned one to the instance in the last step.
type: "sudo yum update"

Now, let's get the VPN configured.
First step is to install OpenVPN. We need to install the extended package library to do this.
type: "sudo amazon-linux-extras install epel"
type: "sudo yum-config-manager --enable epel"
Now you can install OpenVPN.
type: "sudo yum install openvpn"
You will need your credential file from OpenVPN; it's a file you generate that will have a .ovpn extension. But you're going to need to upload it to the instance. You can do this through the scp command on OSX or Linux, but if you're on Windows, you'll need another utility. Get WinSCP here: https://winscp.net/eng/download.php
But we'll have to tell it where your key file is so you can login. Select "New Session", then use the same IP and username as you did to connect before. We'll need to tell it about the key file though! Select the "Advanced" tab then under the SSH section, click on "Authentication" and then select your private key file you generated in the tutorial above.
Connect and upload the .ovpn file that you generated when you added a user for the VPN. This step depends on your OpenVPN configuration - ask below if you have problems.
Next, let's verify we can connect to the VPN!
type: "openvpn --config my-configuration-file-made-by-openvpn.ovpn &"
You will be prompted for a password if you configured one.
Verify operation by pinging your LAN router, e.g.
type: "ping 192.168.2.1" or the address of the SMB server where you shared the information.

Allllrighty! Next up is getting connected to your blockchain. Create a directory where the data directory will be mounted.
type: "mkdir blockchain"
We need to install samba and some utilities to get things mounted.
type: "sudo yum install samba"
type: "sudo yum install cifs-utils"

Now let's mount the folder:
type: "sudo mount -t cifs //192.168.2.100/Bitcoin ./blockchain -o user=bitcoin,vers=2.0,uid=ec2-user,gid=ec2 user,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777"
Where " //192.168.2.100/Bitcoin" is the address of the SMB server and share where you put the data directory from your initial sync. If you didn't, and just want to sync everything from AWS, then make sure it's a folder where your user has access. In this case, I'm assuming you've made a SMB user with the name "Bitcoin". The command will prompt you for the password to access the share. The other bits ensure you can have read and write access to the share once it's mounted in AWS.

Now we're ready for some Bitcoin! Props to the tutorial here: https://hackernoon.com/a-complete-beginners-guide-to-installing-a-bitcoin-full-node-on-linux-2018-edition-cb8e384479ea
But I'll summarize for you:
Download and then re-upload with WinSCP, or download directly to your instance with wget, the most current Bitcoin core. In this case, it's bitcoin-0.18.0-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz downloaded from https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/.
Let's verify it hasn't been tampered with once you have it uploaded to the terminal:
type: "sha256sum bitcoin-0.18.0-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz"
Then compare that with the hash value that's listed in the SHA256SUMS.asc file on bitcoin.org. In this case, "36ce9ffb375f6ee280df5a86e61038e3c475ab9dee34f6f89ea82b65a264183b" all matches up, so we know nobody has done anything evil or nefarious to the file.
Unzip the file:
type: "tar zxvf bitcoin-0.18.0-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz"
There is a warning about a symbolic link; everything seems to work OK regardless, but if anyone knows what or how to fix, please comment.
We'll need to get some missing libraries before we can run it; these aren't in the basic AMI instance.
type: "sudo yum install glibc.i686"
type: "yum install libgcc_s.so.1"

FINALLY! We are ready to launch the program. Go to the "bin" directory inside where you unzipped the Bitcoin Core tarball. (e.g. /home/ec2-useblockchain/bitcoin-0.18.0/bin)
./bitcoind -datadir=/home/ec2-useblockchain/data
You will see the program either start to sync and download, or start to read the existing blockchain file that you put in the share from before.

Congrats!

There are a couple extra steps to have it automatically start on reboot, but let's see if anyone gets this far first. I use the "screen" program to do this, but there's also a daemon mode, and some other functionality that is discussed in the hackernoon tutorial.
The primary cost will be outgoing bandwidth. AWS charges $0.10/GB beyond 15GB; You can limit the outgoing bandwidth easily according to your budget: https://bitcoin.org/en/full-node#reduce-traffic

Hope this encourages people to try running a free, or very low cost, cloud node, with a substantially reduced threat profile.
submitted by xtal_00 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Which are your Top 5 favourite coins out of the Top 100? An analysis.

I am putting together my investment portfolio for 2018 and made a complete summary of the current Top 100. Interestingly, I noticed that all coins can be categorized into 12 markets. Which markets do you think will play the biggest role in the coming year?
Here is a complete overview of all coins in an excel sheet including name, market, TPS, risk profile, time since launch (negative numbers mean that they are launching that many months in the future) and market cap. You can also sort by all of these fields of course. Coins written in bold are the strongest contenders within their market either due to having the best technology or having a small market cap and still excellent technology and potential. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=0
The 12 markets are
  1. Currency 13 coins
  2. Platform 25 coins
  3. Ecosystem 9 coins
  4. Privacy 10 coins
  5. Currency Exchange Tool 8 coins
  6. Gaming & Gambling 5 coins
  7. Misc 15 coins
  8. Social Network 4 coins
  9. Fee Token 3 coins
  10. Decentralized Data Storage 4 coins
  11. Cloud Computing 3 coins
  12. Stable Coin 2 coins
Before we look at the individual markets, we need to take a look of the overall market and its biggest issue scalability first:
Cryptocurrencies aim to be a decentralized currency that can be used worldwide. Its goal is to replace dollar, Euro, Yen, all FIAT currencies worldwide. The coin that will achieve that will be worth several trillion dollars.
Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second (TPS). In order to replace all FIAT, it would need to perform at at least VISA levels, which usually processes around 3,000 TPS, up to 25,000 TPS during peak times and a maximum of 64,000 TPS. That means that this cryptocurrency would need to be able to perform at least several thousand TPS. However, a ground breaking technology should not look at current technology to set a goal for its use, i.e. estimating the number of emails sent in 1990 based on the number of faxes sent wasn’t a good estimate.
For that reason, 10,000 TPS is the absolute baseline for a cryptocurrency that wants to replace FIAT. This brings me to IOTA, which wants to connect all 80 billion IoT devices that are expected to exist by 2025, which constantly communicate with each other, creating 80 billion or more transactions per second. This is the benchmark that cryptocurrencies should be aiming for. Currently, 8 billion devices are connected to the Internet.
With its Lightning network recently launched, Bitcoin is realistically looking at 50,000 possible soon. Other notable cryptocurrencies besides IOTA and Bitcoin are Nano with 7,000 TPS already tested, Dash with several billion TPS possible with Masternodes, Neo, LISK and RHOC with 100,000 TPS by 2020, Ripple with 50,000 TPS, Ethereum with 10,000 with Sharding.
However, it needs to be said that scalability usually goes at the cost of decentralization and security. So, it needs to be seen, which of these technologies can prove itself resilient and performant.
Without further ado, here are the coins of the first market

Market 1 - Currency:

  1. Bitcoin: 1st generation blockchain with currently bad scalability currently, though the implementation of the Lightning Network looks promising and could alleviate most scalability concerns, scalability and high energy use.
  2. Ripple: Centralized currency that might become very successful due to tight involvement with banks and cross-border payments for financial institutions; banks and companies like Western Union and Moneygram (who they are currently working with) as customers customers. However, it seems they are aiming for more decentralization now.https://ripple.com/dev-blo