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1. What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
2. Bitcoin’s core featuresFor a more beginner’s introduction to Bitcoin, please visit Binance Academy’s guide to Bitcoin.
Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) modelA UTXO transaction works like cash payment between two parties: Alice gives money to Bob and receives change (i.e., unspent amount). In comparison, blockchains like Ethereum rely on the account model.
Nakamoto consensusIn the Bitcoin network, anyone can join the network and become a bookkeeping service provider i.e., a validator. All validators are allowed in the race to become the block producer for the next block, yet only the first to complete a computationally heavy task will win. This feature is called Proof of Work (PoW).
The probability of any single validator to finish the task first is equal to the percentage of the total network computation power, or hash power, the validator has. For instance, a validator with 5% of the total network computation power will have a 5% chance of completing the task first, and therefore becoming the next block producer.
Since anyone can join the race, competition is prone to increase. In the early days, Bitcoin mining was mostly done by personal computer CPUs.
As of today, Bitcoin validators, or miners, have opted for dedicated and more powerful devices such as machines based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (“ASIC”).
Proof of Work secures the network as block producers must have spent resources external to the network (i.e., money to pay electricity), and can provide proof to other participants that they did so.
With various miners competing for block rewards, it becomes difficult for one single malicious party to gain network majority (defined as more than 51% of the network’s hash power in the Nakamoto consensus mechanism). The ability to rearrange transactions via 51% attacks indicates another feature of the Nakamoto consensus: the finality of transactions is only probabilistic.
Once a block is produced, it is then propagated by the block producer to all other validators to check on the validity of all transactions in that block. The block producer will receive rewards in the network’s native currency (i.e., bitcoin) as all validators approve the block and update their ledgers.
Block productionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Merkle tree data structure in order to organize hashes of numerous individual transactions into each block. This concept is named after Ralph Merkle, who patented it in 1979.
With the use of a Merkle tree, though each block might contain thousands of transactions, it will have the ability to combine all of their hashes and condense them into one, allowing efficient and secure verification of this group of transactions. This single hash called is a Merkle root, which is stored in the Block Header of a block. The Block Header also stores other meta information of a block, such as a hash of the previous Block Header, which enables blocks to be associated in a chain-like structure (hence the name “blockchain”).
An illustration of block production in the Bitcoin Protocol is demonstrated below.
Block time and mining difficultyBlock time is the period required to create the next block in a network. As mentioned above, the node who solves the computationally intensive task will be allowed to produce the next block. Therefore, block time is directly correlated to the amount of time it takes for a node to find a solution to the task. The Bitcoin protocol sets a target block time of 10 minutes, and attempts to achieve this by introducing a variable named mining difficulty.
Mining difficulty refers to how difficult it is for the node to solve the computationally intensive task. If the network sets a high difficulty for the task, while miners have low computational power, which is often referred to as “hashrate”, it would statistically take longer for the nodes to get an answer for the task. If the difficulty is low, but miners have rather strong computational power, statistically, some nodes will be able to solve the task quickly.
Therefore, the 10 minute target block time is achieved by constantly and automatically adjusting the mining difficulty according to how much computational power there is amongst the nodes. The average block time of the network is evaluated after a certain number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, the difficulty level will decrease; if it is less than the expected block time, the difficulty level will increase.
What are orphan blocks?In a PoW blockchain network, if the block time is too low, it would increase the likelihood of nodes producingorphan blocks, for which they would receive no reward. Orphan blocks are produced by nodes who solved the task but did not broadcast their results to the whole network the quickest due to network latency.
It takes time for a message to travel through a network, and it is entirely possible for 2 nodes to complete the task and start to broadcast their results to the network at roughly the same time, while one’s messages are received by all other nodes earlier as the node has low latency.
Imagine there is a network latency of 1 minute and a target block time of 2 minutes. A node could solve the task in around 1 minute but his message would take 1 minute to reach the rest of the nodes that are still working on the solution. While his message travels through the network, all the work done by all other nodes during that 1 minute, even if these nodes also complete the task, would go to waste. In this case, 50% of the computational power contributed to the network is wasted.
The percentage of wasted computational power would proportionally decrease if the mining difficulty were higher, as it would statistically take longer for miners to complete the task. In other words, if the mining difficulty, and therefore targeted block time is low, miners with powerful and often centralized mining facilities would get a higher chance of becoming the block producer, while the participation of weaker miners would become in vain. This introduces possible centralization and weakens the overall security of the network.
However, given a limited amount of transactions that can be stored in a block, making the block time too longwould decrease the number of transactions the network can process per second, negatively affecting network scalability.
3. Bitcoin’s additional features
Segregated Witness (SegWit)Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, is a protocol upgrade proposal that went live in August 2017.
SegWit separates witness signatures from transaction-related data. Witness signatures in legacy Bitcoin blocks often take more than 50% of the block size. By removing witness signatures from the transaction block, this protocol upgrade effectively increases the number of transactions that can be stored in a single block, enabling the network to handle more transactions per second. As a result, SegWit increases the scalability of Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
SegWit also makes transactions cheaper. Since transaction fees are derived from how much data is being processed by the block producer, the more transactions that can be stored in a 1MB block, the cheaper individual transactions become.
The legacy Bitcoin block has a block size limit of 1 megabyte, and any change on the block size would require a network hard-fork. On August 1st 2017, the first hard-fork occurred, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”), which introduced an 8 megabyte block size limit.
Conversely, Segregated Witness was a soft-fork: it never changed the transaction block size limit of the network. Instead, it added an extended block with an upper limit of 3 megabytes, which contains solely witness signatures, to the 1 megabyte block that contains only transaction data. This new block type can be processed even by nodes that have not completed the SegWit protocol upgrade.
Furthermore, the separation of witness signatures from transaction data solves the malleability issue with the original Bitcoin protocol. Without Segregated Witness, these signatures could be altered before the block is validated by miners. Indeed, alterations can be done in such a way that if the system does a mathematical check, the signature would still be valid. However, since the values in the signature are changed, the two signatures would create vastly different hash values.
For instance, if a witness signature states “6,” it has a mathematical value of 6, and would create a hash value of 12345. However, if the witness signature were changed to “06”, it would maintain a mathematical value of 6 while creating a (faulty) hash value of 67890.
Since the mathematical values are the same, the altered signature remains a valid signature. This would create a bookkeeping issue, as transactions in Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks are documented with these hash values, or transaction IDs. Effectively, one can alter a transaction ID to a new one, and the new ID can still be valid.
This can create many issues, as illustrated in the below example:
Since the transaction malleability issue is fixed, Segregated Witness also enables the proper functioning of second-layer scalability solutions on the Bitcoin protocol, such as the Lightning Network.
Lightning NetworkLightning Network is a second-layer micropayment solution for scalability.
Specifically, Lightning Network aims to enable near-instant and low-cost payments between merchants and customers that wish to use bitcoins.
Lightning Network was conceptualized in a whitepaper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. Since then, it has been implemented by multiple companies. The most prominent of them include Blockstream, Lightning Labs, and ACINQ.
A list of curated resources relevant to Lightning Network can be found here.
In the Lightning Network, if a customer wishes to transact with a merchant, both of them need to open a payment channel, which operates off the Bitcoin blockchain (i.e., off-chain vs. on-chain). None of the transaction details from this payment channel are recorded on the blockchain, and only when the channel is closed will the end result of both party’s wallet balances be updated to the blockchain. The blockchain only serves as a settlement layer for Lightning transactions.
Since all transactions done via the payment channel are conducted independently of the Nakamoto consensus, both parties involved in transactions do not need to wait for network confirmation on transactions. Instead, transacting parties would pay transaction fees to Bitcoin miners only when they decide to close the channel.
One limitation to the Lightning Network is that it requires a person to be online to receive transactions attributing towards him. Another limitation in user experience could be that one needs to lock up some funds every time he wishes to open a payment channel, and is only able to use that fund within the channel.
However, this does not mean he needs to create new channels every time he wishes to transact with a different person on the Lightning Network. If Alice wants to send money to Carol, but they do not have a payment channel open, they can ask Bob, who has payment channels open to both Alice and Carol, to help make that transaction. Alice will be able to send funds to Bob, and Bob to Carol. Hence, the number of “payment hubs” (i.e., Bob in the previous example) correlates with both the convenience and the usability of the Lightning Network for real-world applications.
Schnorr Signature upgrade proposalElliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (“ECDSA”) signatures are used to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
However, many developers now advocate for replacing ECDSA with Schnorr Signature. Once Schnorr Signatures are implemented, multiple parties can collaborate in producing a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.
This would primarily be beneficial for network scalability. When multiple addresses were to conduct transactions to a single address, each transaction would require their own signature. With Schnorr Signature, all these signatures would be combined into one. As a result, the network would be able to store more transactions in a single block.
The reduced size in signatures implies a reduced cost on transaction fees. The group of senders can split the transaction fees for that one group signature, instead of paying for one personal signature individually.
Schnorr Signature also improves network privacy and token fungibility. A third-party observer will not be able to detect if a user is sending a multi-signature transaction, since the signature will be in the same format as a single-signature transaction.
4. Economics and supply distributionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Nakamoto consensus, and nodes validate blocks via Proof-of-Work mining. The bitcoin token was not pre-mined, and has a maximum supply of 21 million. The initial reward for a block was 50 BTC per block. Block mining rewards halve every 210,000 blocks. Since the average time for block production on the blockchain is 10 minutes, it implies that the block reward halving events will approximately take place every 4 years.
As of May 12th 2020, the block mining rewards are 6.25 BTC per block. Transaction fees also represent a minor revenue stream for miners.
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For someone first starting out as a cryptocurrency investor, finding a trustworthy manual for screening a cryptocurrency’s merits is nonexistent as we are still in the early, Wild West days of the cryptocurrency market. One would need to become deeply familiar with the inner workings of blockchain to be able to perform the bare minimum due diligence.submitted by Kosass to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]
One might believe, over time, that finding the perfect cryptocurrency may be nothing short of futile. If a cryptocurrency purports infinite scalability, then it is probably either lightweight with limited features or it is highly centralized among a limited number of nodes that perform consensus services especially Proof of Stake or Delegated Proof of Stake. Similarly, a cryptocurrency that purports comprehensive privacy may have technical obstacles to overcome if it aims to expand its applications such as in smart contracts. The bottom line is that it is extremely difficult for a cryptocurrency to have all important features jam-packed into itself.
The cryptocurrency space is stuck in the era of the “dial-up internet” in a manner of speaking. Currently blockchain can’t scale – not without certain tradeoffs – and it hasn’t fully resolved certain intractable issues such as user-unfriendly long addresses and how the blockchain size is forever increasing to name two.
In other words, we haven’t found the ultimate cryptocurrency. That is, we haven’t found the mystical unicorn cryptocurrency that ushers the era of decentralization while eschewing all the limitations of traditional blockchain systems.
“But wait – what about Ethereum once it implements sharding?”
“Wouldn’t IOTA be able to scale infinitely with smart contracts through its Qubic offering?”
“Isn’t Dash capable of having privacy, smart contracts, and instantaneous transactions?”
Those thoughts and comments may come from cryptocurrency investors who have done their research. It is natural for the informed investors to invest in projects that are believed to bring cutting edge technological transformation to blockchain. Sooner or later, the sinking realization will hit that any variation of the current blockchain technology will always likely have certain limitations.
Let us pretend that there indeed exists a unicorn cryptocurrency somewhere that may or may not be here yet. What would it look like, exactly? Let us set the 5 criteria of the unicorn cryptocurrency:
(1) Perfectly solves the blockchain trilemma:
o Infinite scalability
o Full security
o Full decentralization
(2) Zero or minimal transaction fee
(3) Full privacy
(4) Full smart contract capabilities
(5) Fair distribution and fair governance
For each of the above 5 criteria, there would not be any middle ground. For example, a cryptocurrency with just an in-protocol mixer would not be considered as having full privacy. As another example, an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) may possibly violate criterion (5) since with an ICO the distribution and governance are often heavily favored towards an oligarchy – this in turn would defy the spirit of decentralization that Bitcoin was found on.
There is no cryptocurrency currently that fits the above profile of the unicorn cryptocurrency. Let us examine an arbitrary list of highly hyped cryptocurrencies that meet the above list at least partially. The following list is by no means comprehensive but may be a sufficient sampling of various blockchain implementations:
Bitcoin is the very first and the best known cryptocurrency that started it all. While Bitcoin is generally considered extremely secure, it suffers from mining centralization to a degree. Bitcoin is not anonymous, lacks smart contracts, and most worrisomely, can only do about 7 transactions per seconds (TPS). Bitcoin is not the unicorn notwithstanding all the Bitcoin maximalists.
Ethereum is widely considered the gold standard of smart contracts aside from its scalability problem. Sharding as part of Casper’s release is generally considered to be the solution to Ethereum’s scalability problem.
The goal of sharding is to split up validating responsibilities among various groups or shards. Ethereum’s sharding comes down to duplicating the existing blockchain architecture and sharing a token. This does not solve the core issue and simply kicks the can further down the road. After all, full nodes still need to exist one way or another.
Ethereum’s blockchain size problem is also an issue as will be explained more later in this article.
As a result, Ethereum is not the unicorn due to its incomplete approach to scalability and, to a degree, security.
Dash’s masternodes are widely considered to be centralized due to their high funding requirements, and there are accounts of a pre-mine in the beginning. Dash is not the unicorn due to its questionable decentralization.
Nano boasts rightfully for its instant, free transactions. But it lacks smart contracts and privacy, and it may be exposed to well orchestrated DDOS attacks. Therefore, it goes without saying that Nano is not the unicorn.
While EOS claims to execute millions of transactions per seconds, a quick glance reveals centralized parameters with 21 nodes and a questionable governance system. Therefore, EOS fails to achieve the unicorn status.
One of the best known and respected privacy coins, Monero lacks smart contracts and may fall short of infinite scalability due to CryptoNote’s design. The unicorn rank is out of Monero’s reach.
IOTA’s scalability is based on the number of transactions the network processes, and so its supposedly infinite scalability would fluctuate and is subject to the whims of the underlying transactions. While IOTA’s scalability approach is innovative and may work in the long term, it should be reminded that the unicorn cryptocurrency has no middle ground. The unicorn cryptocurrency would be expected to scale infinitely on a consistent basis from the beginning.
In addition, IOTA’s Masked Authenticated Messaging (MAM) feature does not bring privacy to the masses in a highly convenient manner. Consequently, the unicorn is not found with IOTA.
PascalCoin as a Candidate for the Unicorn Cryptocurrency
Please allow me to present a candidate for the cryptocurrency unicorn: PascalCoin.
According to the website, PascalCoin claims the following:
“PascalCoin is an instant, zero-fee, infinitely scalable, and decentralized cryptocurrency with advanced privacy and smart contract capabilities. Enabled by the SafeBox technology to become the world’s first blockchain independent of historical operations, PascalCoin possesses unlimited potential.”
The above summary is a mouthful to be sure, but let’s take a deep dive on how PascalCoin innovates with the SafeBox and more. Before we do this, I encourage you to first become acquainted with PascalCoin by watching the following video introduction:
The rest of this section will be split into 10 parts in order to illustrate most of the notable features of PascalCoin. Naturally, let’s start off with the SafeBox.
Part #1: The SafeBox
Unlike traditional UTXO-based cryptocurrencies in which the blockchain records the specifics of each transaction (address, sender address, amount of funds transferred, etc.), the blockchain in PascalCoin is only used to mutate the SafeBox. The SafeBox is a separate but equivalent cryptographic data structure that snapshots account balances. PascalCoin’s blockchain is comparable to a machine that feeds the most important data – namely, the state of an account – into the SafeBox. Any node can still independently compute and verify the cumulative Proof-of-Work required to construct the SafeBox.
The PascalCoin whitepaper elegantly highlights the unique historical independence that the SafeBox possesses:
“While there are approaches that cryptocurrencies could use such as pruning, warp-sync, "finality checkpoints", UTXO-snapshotting, etc, there is a fundamental difference with PascalCoin. Their new nodes can only prove they are on most-work-chain using the infinite history whereas in PascalCoin, new nodes can prove they are on the most-work chain without the infinite history.”
Some cryptocurrency old-timers might instinctively balk at the idea of full nodes eschewing the entire history for security, but such a reaction would showcase a lack of understanding on what the SafeBox really does.
A concrete example would go a long way to best illustrate what the SafeBox does. Let’s say I input the following operations in my calculator:
5 * 5 – 10 / 2 + 5
It does not take a genius to calculate the answer, 25. Now, the expression “5 \ 5 – 10 / 2 + 5”* would be forever imbued on a traditional blockchain’s history. But the SafeBox begs to differ. It says that the expression “5 \ 5 – 10 / 2 + 5”* should instead be simply “25” so as preserve simplicity, time, and space. In other words, the SafeBox simply preserves the account balance.
But some might still be unsatisfied and claim that if one cannot trace the series of operations (transactions) that lead to the final number (balance) of 25, the blockchain is inherently insecure.
Here are four important security aspects of the SafeBox that some people fail to realize:
(1) SafeBox Follows the Longest Chain of Proof-of-Work
The SafeBox mutates itself per 100 blocks. Each new SafeBox mutation must reference both to the previous SafeBox mutation and the preceding 100 blocks in order to be valid, and the resultant hash of the new mutated SafeBox must then be referenced by each of the new subsequent blocks, and the process repeats itself forever.
The fact that each new SafeBox mutation must reference to the previous SafeBox mutation is comparable to relying on the entire history. This is because the previous SafeBox mutation encapsulates the result of cumulative entire history except for the 100 blocks which is why each new SafeBox mutation requires both the previous SafeBox mutation and the preceding 100 blocks.
So in a sense, there is a single interconnected chain of inflows and outflows, supported by Byzantine Proof-of-Work consensus, instead of the entire history of transactions.
More concretely, the SafeBox follows the path of the longest chain of Proof-of-Work simply by design, and is thus cryptographically equivalent to the entire history even without tracing specific operations in the past. If the chain is rolled back with a 51% attack, only the attacker’s own account(s) in the SafeBox can be manipulated as is explained in the next part.
(2) A 51% Attack on PascalCoin Functions the Same as Others
A 51% attack on PascalCoin would work in a similar way as with other Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies. An attacker cannot modify a transaction in the past without affecting the current SafeBox hash which is accepted by all honest nodes.
Someone might claim that if you roll back all the current blocks plus the 100 blocks prior to the SafeBox’s mutation, one could create a forged SafeBox with different balances for all accounts. This would be incorrect as one would be able to manipulate only his or her own account(s) in the SafeBox with a 51% attack – just as is the case with other UTXO cryptocurrencies. The SafeBox stores the balances of all accounts which are in turn irreversibly linked only to their respective owners’ private keys.
(3) One Could Preserve the Entire History of the PascalCoin Blockchain
No blockchain data in PascalCoin is ever deleted even in the presence of the SafeBox. Since the SafeBox is cryptographically equivalent to a full node with the entire history as explained above, PascalCoin full nodes are not expected to contain infinite history. But for whatever reason(s) one may have, one could still keep all the PascalCoin blockchain history as well along with the SafeBox as an option even though it would be redundant.
Without storing the entire history of the PascalCoin blockchain, you can still trace the specific operations of the 100 blocks prior to when the SafeBox absorbs and reflects the net result (a single balance for each account) from those 100 blocks. But if you’re interested in tracing operations over a longer period in the past – as redundant as that may be – you’d have the option to do so by storing the entire history of the PascalCoin blockchain.
(4) The SafeBox is Equivalent to the Entire Blockchain History
Some skeptics may ask this question: “What if the SafeBox is forever lost? How would you be able to verify your accounts?” Asking this question is tantamount to asking to what would happen to Bitcoin if all of its entire history was erased. The result would be chaos, of course, but the SafeBox is still in line with the general security model of a traditional blockchain with respect to black swans.
Now that we know the security of the SafeBox is not compromised, what are the implications of this new blockchain paradigm? A colorful illustration as follows still wouldn’t do justice to the subtle revolution that the SafeBox ushers. The automobiles we see on the street are the cookie-and-butter representation of traditional blockchain systems. The SafeBox, on the other hand, supercharges those traditional cars to become the Transformers from Michael Bay’s films.
The SafeBox is an entirely different blockchain architecture that is impressive in its simplicity and ingenuity. The SafeBox’s design is only the opening act for PascalCoin’s vast nuclear arsenal. If the above was all that PascalCoin offers, it still wouldn’t come close to achieving the unicorn status but luckily, we have just scratched the surface. Please keep on reading on if you want to learn how PascalCoin is going to shatter the cryptocurrency industry into pieces. Buckle down as this is going to be a long read as we explore further about the SafeBox’s implications.
Part #2: 0-Confirmation Transactions
To begin, 0-confirmation transactions are secure in PascalCoin thanks to the SafeBox.
The following paraphrases an explanation of PascalCoin’s 0-confirmations from the whitepaper:
“Since PascalCoin is not a UTXO-based currency but rather a State-based currency thanks to the SafeBox, the security guarantee of 0-confirmation transactions are much stronger than in UTXO-based currencies. For example, in Bitcoin if a merchant accepts a 0-confirmation transaction for a coffee, the buyer can simply roll that transaction back after receiving the coffee but before the transaction is confirmed in a block. The way the buyer does this is by re-spending those UTXOs to himself in a new transaction (with a higher fee) thus invalidating them for the merchant. In PascalCoin, this is virtually impossible since the buyer's transaction to the merchant is simply a delta-operation to debit/credit a quantity from/to accounts respectively. The buyer is unable to erase or pre-empt this two-sided, debit/credit-based transaction from the network’s pending pool until it either enters a block for confirmation or is discarded with respect to both sender and receiver ends. If the buyer tries to double-spend the coffee funds after receiving the coffee but before they clear, the double-spend transaction will not propagate the network since nodes cannot propagate a double-spending transaction thanks to the debit/credit nature of the transaction. A UTXO-based transaction is initially one-sided before confirmation and therefore is more exposed to one-sided malicious schemes of double spending.”
Phew, that explanation was technical but it had to be done. In summary, PascalCoin possesses the only secure 0-confirmation transactions in the cryptocurrency industry, and it goes without saying that this means PascalCoin is extremely fast. In fact, PascalCoin is capable of 72,000 TPS even prior to any additional extensive optimizations down the road. In other words, PascalCoin is as instant as it gets and gives Nano a run for its money.
Part #3: Zero Fee
Let’s circle back to our discussion of PascalCoin’s 0-confirmation capability. Here’s a little fun magical twist to PascalCoin’s 0-confirmation magic: 0-confirmation transactions are zero-fee. As in you don’t pay a single cent in fee for each 0-confirmation! There is just a tiny downside: if you create a second transaction in a 5-minute block window then you’d need to pay a minimal fee. Imagine using Nano but with a significantly stronger anti-DDOS protection for spam! But there shouldn’t be any complaint as this fee would amount to 0.0001 Pascal or $0.00002 based on the current price of a Pascal at the time of this writing.
So, how come the fee for blazingly fast transactions is nonexistent? This is where the magic of the SafeBox arises in three ways:
(1) PascalCoin possesses the secure 0-confirmation feature as discussed above that enables this speed.
(2) There is no fee bidding competition of transaction priority typical in UTXO cryptocurrencies since, once again, PascalCoin operates on secure 0-confirmations.
(3) There is no fee incentive needed to run full nodes on behalf of the network’s security beyond the consensus rewards.
Part #4: Blockchain Size
Let’s expand more on the third point above, using Ethereum as an example. Since Ethereum’s launch in 2015, its full blockchain size is currently around 2 TB, give or take, but let’s just say its blockchain size is 100 GB for now to avoid offending the Ethereum elitists who insist there are different types of full nodes that are lighter. Whoever runs Ethereum’s full nodes would expect storage fees on top of the typical consensus fees as it takes significant resources to shoulder Ethereum’s full blockchain size and in turn secure the network. What if I told you that PascalCoin’s full blockchain size will never exceed few GBs after thousands of years? That is just what the SafeBox enables PascalCoin to do so. It is estimated that by 2072, PascalCoin’s full nodes will only be 6 GB which is low enough not to warrant any fee incentives for hosting full nodes. Remember, the SafeBox is an ultra-light cryptographic data structure that is cryptographically equivalent to a blockchain with the entire transaction history. In other words, the SafeBox is a compact spreadsheet of all account balances that functions as PascalCoin’s full node!
Not only does the SafeBox’s infinitesimal memory size helps to reduce transaction fees by phasing out any storage fees, but it also paves the way for true decentralization. It would be trivial for every PascalCoin user to opt a full node in the form of a wallet. This is extreme decentralization at its finest since the majority of users of other cryptocurrencies ditch full nodes due to their burdensome sizes. It is naïve to believe that storage costs would reduce enough to the point where hosting full nodes are trivial. Take a look at the following chart outlining the trend of storage cost.
As we can see, storage costs continue to decrease but the descent is slowing down as is the norm with technological improvements. In the meantime, blockchain sizes of other cryptocurrencies are increasing linearly or, in the case of smart contract engines like Ethereum, parabolically. Imagine a cryptocurrency smart contract engine like Ethereum garnering worldwide adoption; how do you think Ethereum’s size would look like in the far future based on the following chart?
Ethereum’s future blockchain size is not looking pretty in terms of sustainable security. Sharding is not a fix for this issue since there still needs to be full nodes but that is a different topic for another time.
It is astonishing that the cryptocurrency community as a whole has passively accepted this forever-expanding-blockchain-size problem as an inescapable fate.
PascalCoin is the only cryptocurrency that has fully escaped the death vortex of forever expanding blockchain size. Its blockchain size wouldn’t exceed 10 GB even after many hundreds of years of worldwide adoption. Ethereum’s blockchain size after hundreds of years of worldwide adoption would make fine comedy.
Part #5: Simple, Short, and Ordinal Addresses
Remember how the SafeBox works by snapshotting all account balances? As it turns out, the account address system is almost as cool as the SafeBox itself.
Imagine yourself in this situation: on a very hot and sunny day, you’re wandering down the street across from your house and ran into a lemonade stand – the old-fashioned kind without any QR code or credit card terminal. The kid across you is selling a lemonade cup for 1 Pascal with a poster outlining the payment address as 5471-55. You flip out your phone and click “Send” with 1 Pascal to the address 5471-55; viola, exactly one second later you’re drinking your lemonade without paying a cent for the transaction fee!
The last thing one wants to do is to figure out how to copy/paste to, say, the following address 1BoatSLRHtKNngkdXEeobR76b53LETtpyT on the spot wouldn’t it? Gone are the obnoxiously long addresses that plague all cryptocurrencies. The days of those unreadable addresses will be long gone – it has to be if blockchain is to innovate itself for the general public. EOS has a similar feature for readable addresses but in a very limited manner in comparison, and nicknames attached to addresses in GUIs don’t count since blockchain-wide compatibility wouldn’t hold.
Not only does PascalCoin has the neat feature of having addresses (called PASAs) that amount to up to 6 or 7 digits, but PascalCoin can also incorporate in-protocol address naming as opposed to GUI address nicknames. Suppose I want to order something from Amazon using Pascal; I simply search the word “Amazon” then the corresponding account number shows up. Pretty neat, right?
The astute reader may gather that PascalCoin’s address system makes it necessary to commoditize addresses, and he/she would be correct. Some view this as a weakness; part #10 later in this segment addresses this incorrect perception.
Part #6: Privacy
As if the above wasn’t enough, here’s another secret that PascalCoin has: it is a full-blown privacy coin. It uses two separate foundations to achieve comprehensive anonymity: in-protocol mixer for transfer amounts and zn-SNARKs for private balances. The former has been implemented and the latter is on the roadmap. Both the 0-confirmation transaction and the negligible transaction fee would make PascalCoin the most scalable privacy coin of any other cryptocurrencies pending the zk-SNARKs implementation.
Part #7: Smart Contracts
Next, PascalCoin will take smart contracts to the next level with a layer-2 overlay consensus system that pioneers sidechains and other smart contract implementations.
In formal terms, this layer-2 architecture will facilitate the transfer of data between PASAs which in turn allows clean enveloping of layer-2 protocols inside layer-1 much in the same way that HTTP lives inside TCP.
· The layer-2 consensus method is separate from the layer-1 Proof-of-Work. This layer-2 consensus method is independent and flexible. A sidechain – based on a single encompassing PASA – could apply Proof-of-Stake (POS), Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS), or Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) as the consensus system of its choice.
· Such a layer-2 smart contract platform can be written in any languages.
· Layer-2 sidechains will also provide very strong anonymity since funds are all pooled and keys are not used to unlock them.
· This layer-2 architecture is ingenious in which the computation is separate from layer-2 consensus, in effect removing any bottleneck.
· Horizontal scaling exists in this paradigm as there is no interdependence between smart contracts and states are not managed by slow sidechains.
· Speed and scalability are fully independent of PascalCoin.
One would be able to run the entire global financial system on PascalCoin’s infinitely scalable smart contract platform and it would still scale infinitely. In fact, this layer-2 architecture would be exponentially faster than Ethereum even after its sharding is implemented.
All this is the main focus of PascalCoin’s upcoming version 5 in 2019. A whitepaper add-on for this major upgrade will be released in early 2019.
Part #8: RandomHash Algorithm
Surely there must be some tradeoffs to PascalCoin’s impressive capabilities, you might be asking yourself. One might bring up the fact that PascalCoin’s layer-1 is based on Proof-of-Work and is thus susceptible to mining centralization. This would be a fallacy as PascalCoin has pioneered the very first true ASIC, GPU, and dual-mining resistant algorithm known as RandomHash that obliterates anything that is not CPU based and gives all the power back to solo miners.
Here is the official description of RandomHash:
“RandomHash is a high-level cryptographic hash algorithm that combines other well-known hash primitives in a highly serial manner. The distinguishing feature is that calculations for a nonce are dependent on partial calculations of other nonces, selected at random. This allows a serial hasher (CPU) to re-use these partial calculations in subsequent mining saving 50% or more of the work-load. Parallel hashers (GPU) cannot benefit from this optimization since the optimal nonce-set cannot be pre-calculated as it is determined on-the-fly. As a result, parallel hashers (GPU) are required to perform the full workload for every nonce. Also, the algorithm results in 10x memory bloat for a parallel implementation. In addition to its serial nature, it is branch-heavy and recursive making in optimal for CPU-only mining.”
One might be understandably skeptical of any Proof-of-Work algorithm that solves ASIC and GPU centralization once for all because there have been countless proposals being thrown around for various algorithms since the dawn of Bitcoin. Is RandomHash truly the ASIC & GPU killer that it claims to be?
Herman Schoenfeld, the inventor behind RandomHash, described his algorithm in the following:
“RandomHash offers endless ASIC-design breaking surface due to its use of recursion, hash algo selection, memory hardness and random number generation.
For example, changing how round hash selection is made and/or random number generator algo and/or checksum algo and/or their sequencing will totally break an ASIC design. Conceptually if you can significantly change the structure of the output assembly whilst keeping the high-level algorithm as invariant as possible, the ASIC design will necessarily require proportional restructuring. This results from the fact that ASIC designs mirror the ASM of the algorithm rather than the algorithm itself.”
Polyminer1 (pseudonym), one of the members of the PascalCoin core team who developed RHMiner (official software for mining RandomHash), claimed as follows:
“The design of RandomHash is, to my experience, a genuine innovation. I’ve been 30 years in the field. I’ve rarely been surprised by anything. RandomHash was one of my rare surprises. It’s elegant, simple, and achieves resistance in all fronts.”
PascalCoin may have been the first party to achieve the race of what could possibly be described as the “God algorithm” for Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies. Look no further than one of Monero’s core developers since 2015, Howard Chu. In September 2018, Howard declared that he has found a solution, called RandomJS, to permanently keep ASICs off the network without repetitive algorithm changes. This solution actually closely mirrors RandomHash’s algorithm. Discussing about his algorithm, Howard asserted that “RandomJS is coming at the problem from a direction that nobody else is.”
Link to Howard Chu’s article on RandomJS:
Yet when Herman was asked about Howard’s approach, he responded:
In the end, PascalCoin may have successfully implemented the most revolutionary Proof-of-Work algorithm, one that eclipses Howard’s burgeoning vision, to date that almost nobody knows about. To learn more about RandomHash, refer to the following resources:
Technical proposal for RandomHash:
Someone might claim that PascalCoin still suffers from mining centralization after RandomHash, and this is somewhat misleading as will be explained in part #10.
Part #9: Fair Distribution and Governance
Not only does PascalCoin rest on superior technology, but it also has its roots in the correct philosophy of decentralized distribution and governance. There was no ICO or pre-mine, and the developer fund exists as a percentage of mining rewards as voted by the community. This developer fund is 100% governed by a decentralized autonomous organization – currently facilitated by the PascalCoin Foundation – that will eventually be transformed into an autonomous smart contract platform. Not only is the developer fund voted upon by the community, but PascalCoin’s development roadmap is also voted upon the community via the Protocol Improvement Proposals (PIPs).
This decentralized governance also serves an important benefit as a powerful deterrent to unseemly fork wars that befall many cryptocurrencies.
Part #10: Common Misconceptions of PascalCoin
“The branding is terrible”
PascalCoin is currently working very hard on its image and is preparing for several branding and marketing initiatives in the short term. For example, two of the core developers of the PascalCoin recently interviewed with the Fox Business Network. A YouTube replay of this interview will be heavily promoted.
Some people object to the name PascalCoin. First, it’s worth noting that PascalCoin is the name of the project while Pascal is the name of the underlying currency. Secondly, Google and YouTube received excessive criticisms back then in the beginning with their name choices. Look at where those companies are nowadays – surely a somewhat similar situation faces PascalCoin until the name’s familiarity percolates into the public.
“The wallet GUI is terrible”
As the team is run by a small yet extremely dedicated developers, multiple priorities can be challenging to juggle. The lack of funding through an ICO or a pre-mine also makes it challenging to accelerate development. The top priority of the core developers is to continue developing full-time on the groundbreaking technology that PascalCoin offers. In the meantime, an updated and user-friendly wallet GUI has been worked upon for some time and will be released in due time. Rome wasn’t built in one day.
“One would need to purchase a PASA in the first place”
This is a complicated topic since PASAs need to be commoditized by the SafeBox’s design, meaning that PASAs cannot be obtained at no charge to prevent systematic abuse. This raises two seemingly valid concerns:
· As a chicken and egg problem, how would one purchase a PASA using Pascal in the first place if one cannot obtain Pascal without a PASA?
· How would the price of PASAs stay low and affordable in the face of significant demand?
With regards to the chicken and egg problem, there are many ways – some finished and some unfinished – to obtain your first PASA as explained on the “Get Started” page on the PascalCoin website:
More importantly, however, is the fact that there are few methods that can get your first PASA for free. The team will also release another method soon in which you could obtain your first PASA for free via a single SMS message. This would probably become by far the simplest and the easiest way to obtain your first PASA for free. There will be more new ways to easily obtain your first PASA for free down the road.
What about ensuring the PASA market at large remains inexpensive and affordable following your first (and probably free) PASA acquisition? This would be achieved in two ways:
· Decentralized governance of the PASA economics per the explanation in the FAQ section on the bottom of the PascalCoin website (https://www.pascalcoin.org/)
· Unlimited and free pseudo-PASAs based on layer-2 in the next version release.
“PascalCoin is still centralized after the release of RandomHash”
Did the implementation of RandomHash from version 4 live up to its promise?
The official goals of RandomHash were as follow:
(1) Implement a GPU & ASIC resistant hash algorithm
(2) Eliminate dual mining
The two goals above were achieved by every possible measure.
Yet a mining pool, Nanopool, was able to regain its hash majority after a significant but a temporary dip.
The official conclusion is that, from a probabilistic viewpoint, solo miners are more profitable than pool miners. However, pool mining is enticing for solo miners who 1) have limited hardware as it ensures a steady income instead of highly profitable but probabilistic income via solo mining, and 2) who prefer convenient software and/or GUI.
What is the next step, then? While the barrier of entry for solo miners has successfully been put down, additional work needs to be done. The PascalCoin team and the community are earnestly investigating additional steps to improve mining decentralization with respect to pool mining specifically to add on top of RandomHash’s successful elimination of GPU, ASIC, and dual-mining dominance.
It is likely that the PascalCoin community will promote the following two initiatives in the near future:
(1) Establish a community-driven, nonprofit mining pool with attractive incentives.
(2) Optimize RHMiner, PascalCoin’s official solo mining software, for performance upgrades.
A single pool dominance is likely short lived once more options emerge for individual CPU miners who want to avoid solo mining for whatever reason(s).
Let us use Bitcoin as an example. Bitcoin mining is dominated by ASICs and mining pools but no single pool is – at the time of this writing – even close on obtaining the hash majority. With CPU solo mining being a feasible option in conjunction with ASIC and GPU mining eradication with RandomHash, the future hash rate distribution of PascalCoin would be far more promising than Bitcoin’s hash rate distribution.
PascalCoin is the Unicorn Cryptocurrency
If you’ve read this far, let’s cut straight to the point: PascalCoin IS the unicorn cryptocurrency.
It is worth noting that PascalCoin is still a young cryptocurrency as it was launched at the end of 2016. This means that many features are still work in progress such as zn-SNARKs, smart contracts, and pool decentralization to name few. However, it appears that all of the unicorn criteria are within PascalCoin’s reach once PascalCoin’s technical roadmap is mostly completed.
Based on this expository on PascalCoin’s technology, there is every reason to believe that PascalCoin is the unicorn cryptocurrency. PascalCoin also solves two fundamental blockchain problems beyond the unicorn criteria that were previously considered unsolvable: blockchain size and simple address system. The SafeBox pushes PascalCoin to the forefront of cryptocurrency zeitgeist since it is a superior solution compared to UTXO, Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), Block Lattice, Tangle, and any other blockchain innovations.
Author: Tyler Swob
https://preview.redd.it/5r9soz2ltq421.jpg?width=268&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6a89685f735b53ec1573eefe08c8646970de8124submitted by Josephbitcoin to u/Josephbitcoin [link] [comments]
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an experimental system of transfer and verification of property based on a network of peer to peer without any central authority.
The initial application and the main innovation of the Bitcoin network is a system of digital currency decentralized unit of account is bitcoin.
Bitcoin works with software and a protocol that allows participants to issue bitcoins and manage transactions in a collective and automatic way. As a free Protocol (open source), it also allows interoperability of software and services that use it. As a currency bitcoin is both a medium of payment and a store of value.
Bitcoin is designed to self-regulate. The limited inflation of the Bitcoin system is distributed homogeneously by computing the network power, and will be limited to 21 million divisible units up to the eighth decimal place. The functioning of the Exchange is secured by a general organization that everyone can examine, because everything is public: the basic protocols, cryptographic algorithms, programs making them operational, the data of accounts and discussions of the developers.
The possession of bitcoins is materialized by a sequence of numbers and letters that make up a virtual key allowing the expenditure of bitcoins associated with him on the registry. A person may hold several key compiled in a 'Bitcoin Wallet ', 'Keychain' web, software or hardware which allows access to the network in order to make transactions. Key to check the balance in bitcoins and public keys to receive payments. It contains also (often encrypted way) the private key associated with the public key. These private keys must remain secret, because their owner can spend bitcoins associated with them on the register. All support (keyrings) agrees to maintain the sequence of symbols constituting your keychain: paper, USB, memory stick, etc. With appropriate software, you can manage your assets on your computer or your phone.
Bitcoin on an account, to either a holder of bitcoins in has given you, for example in Exchange for property, either go through an Exchange platform that converts conventional currencies in bitcoins, is earned by participating in the operations of collective control of the currency.
The sources of Bitcoin codes have been released under an open source license MIT which allows to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the software, subject to insert a copyright notice into all copies.
Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto
What is the Mining of bitcoin?
Technical details :
During mining, your computer performs cryptographic hashes (two successive SHA256) on what is called a header block. For each new hash, mining software uses a different random number that called Nuncio. According to the content of the block and the nonce value typically used to express the current target. This number is called the difficulty of mining. The difficulty of mining is calculated by comparing how much it is difficult to generate a block compared to the first created block. This means that a difficulty of 70000 is 70000 times more effort that it took to Satoshi Nakamoto to generate the first block. Where mining was much slower and poorly optimized.
The difficulty changes each 2016 blocks. The network tries to assign the difficulty in such a way that global computing power takes exactly 14 days to generate 2016 blocks. That's why the difficulty increases along with the power of the network.
In the beginning, mining with a processor (CPU) was the only way to undermine bitcoins. (GPU) graphics cards have possibly replaced the CPU due to their nature, which allowed an increase between 50 x to 100 x in computing power by using less electricity by megahash compared to a CPU.
Although any modern GPU can be used to make the mining, the brand AMD GPU architecture has proved to be far superior to nVidia to undermine bitcoins and the ATI Radeon HD 5870 card was the most economical for a time.
For a more complete list of graphics cards and their performance, see Wiki Bitcoin: comparison of mining equipment
In the same way that transition CPU to GPU, the world of mining has evolved into the use of the Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) as a mining platform. Although FPGAs did not offer an increase of 50 x to 100 x speed of calculation as the transition from CPU to GPU, they offered a better energy efficiency.
A typical HD/s 600 graphics card consumes about 400w of power, while a typical FPGA device can offer a rate of hash of 826 MH/s to 80w of power consumption, a gain of 5 x more calculations for the same energy power. Since energy efficiency is a key factor in the profitability of mining, it was an important step for the GPU to FPGA migration for many people.
The world of the mining of bitcoin is now migrating to the Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). An ASIC is a chip designed specifically to accomplish a single task. Unlike FPGAs, an ASIC is unable to be reprogrammed for other tasks. An ASIC designed to undermine bitcoins cannot and will not do anything else than to undermine bitcoins.
The stiffness of an ASIC allows us to offer an increase of 100 x computing power while reducing power consumption compared to all other technologies. For example, a classic device to offer 60 GH/s (1 hashes equals 1000 Megahash. 1GH/s = 1000 Mh/s) while consuming 60w of electricity. Compared to the GPU, it is an increase in computing power of 100 x and a reduction of power consumption by a factor of 7.
Unlike the generations of technologies that have preceded the ASIC, ASIC is the "end of the line" when we talk about important technology change. The CPUs have been replaced by the GPUs, themselves replaced by FPGAs that were replaced by ASICs.
There is nothing that can replace the ASICs now or in the immediate future. There will be technological refinements in ASIC products, and improvements in energy efficiency, but nothing that may match increased from 50 x to 100 x the computing power or a 7 x reduction in power consumption compared with the previous technology.
Which means that the energy efficiency of an ASIC device is the only important factor of all product ASIC, since the estimated lifetime of an ASIC device is superior to the entire history of the mining of bitcoin. It is conceivable that a purchased ASIC device today is still in operation in two years if the unit still offers a profitable enough economic to keep power consumption. The profitability of mining is also determined by the value of bitcoin but in all cases, more a device has a good energy efficiency, it is profitable.
There are two ways to make mining: by yourself or as part of a team (a pool). If you are mining for yourself, you must install the Bitcoin software and configure it to JSON-RPC (see: run Bitcoin). The other option is to join a pool. There are multiple available pools. With a pool, the profit generated by any block generated by a member of the team is split between all members of the team. The advantage of joining a team is to increase the frequency and stability of earnings (this is called reduce the variance) but gains will be lower. In the end, you will earn the same amount with the two approaches. Undermine solo allows you to receive earnings huge but very infrequent, while miner with a pool can offer you small stable and steady gains.
Once you have your software configured or that you have joined a pool, the next step is to configure the mining software. The software the most populare for ASIC/FPGA/GPU currently is CGminer or a derivative designed specifically for FPGAS and ASICs, BFGMiner.
If you want a quick overview of mining without install any software, try Bitcoin Plus, a Bitcoin minor running in your browser with your CPU. It is not profitable to make serious mining, but it is a good demonstration of the principle of the mining team.
21 Bitcoin Computer. The 21 Bitcoin Computer isn’t the typical USB Bitcoin miner. It does, however, plugin to your computer via USB. In terms of $ / hash rate, it’s not a very good choice. But since it’s still technically a USB miner we have included it in this list. If you’re not impressed, we don’t blame you! USB Bitcoin mining was ... You can try mining through the computer, but only as a hobby or to understand how this process occurs. The hash power (computing power) and the hash rate of conventional computers are significantly lower (about 40-50 times) than mining rig. Quick jump to >> 3 Best Bitcoin Miners for 2019-2020 << Hardware Profitability Factors Check your GPU hash rates below. Although an ASIC can be built to provide optimal hashrates on an algorithm, the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is much more powerful than the CPU, and more flexible than an ASIC in their application. 21 Bitcoin Computer. The 21 Bitcoin Computer isn't the typical USB Bitcoin miner. However, via USB you can plugin it to your computer. It’s not a very good choice though in terms of $ / hash rate. We just included it in this list since it's still technically a USB miner. We don’t blame you, if you’re not impressed though! Check your RandomX CPU hash rates below. The CPU is the Central Processing Unit – essentially the brains of the computer. Our calculator considers the Intel and AMD made processors that are found in most laptops, desktops and servers. Currently Monero is listed since it's the most popular CPU mined coin. Top CPUs. Model / cores / frequency Hash rate Monthly revenue; AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core ...
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