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[Article] O V E R D A R K
So I'm looking through my old yearbooks, and I'm realizing that I missed out on a crucial part of my life: during high school, I was supposed to have a punk phase. I can't believe I missed it! It seemed like everyone was rocking their unruly hair, their unkempt clothes, and their general disaffection towards life. Man, Green Day released new records, and there was an unrelenting hatred for all types of authority figures... Wait, this is just a slab of concrete with newspaper articles from 2020 stapled to it, isn't it. Regardless, the universe is telling me it's time for me to reclaim my lost childhood experiences; to go back to a better time. Unfortunately, latent legal issues surrounding my controversial "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" sign prevent me from going within 500 feet of any type of school, so winning the basketball championship and visiting the aquarium are right out. But I can still be the moodiest, edgiest, darkest person on the planet, and now that I've beaten Shadow the Hedgehog all the way through and went to Hot Topic, it's time to build a commander deck that's truly me. Presenting: RAMSESO V E R D A R K!
Ramses is the bad boy your mother would never let take you to IHOP. Not that he'd care; his business is killing, and he's efficient at it too, costing the least out of any commander I've ever written about. You want to sit around and drink tea with your little enchanted princess friends? Ramses Overdark is here to tell you how the real world works. Nothing personnel, kid.
Commander For You
Like a TI-83 Silver Edition, Ramses is a stone-cold calculating problem solver, but he only gets that way with some preparation. See, killing is a business, Ramses' business, and the one thing every business needs is synergy. So call me Nathan Fielder, because I'm going to unveil the plan that will keep this enterprise running smoothly:
Procure the payment.
Keep your friends close.
Keep your enemies closer.
Go to work.
As a teenager, I procrastinated from my task of being edgy by protesting government-backed financial institutions with the Bitcoin community, and one thing you learn there very quickly is that assassination ain't cheap. The first and most obvious barrier to breaking 18 U.S. Code § 1117 is his six mana casting cost, and unlike Gabriel, Ramses demands something a little more tangible than a green thumb to appease him. We're going to use the usual fare: rings, trinkets, stones, lockets, relics... archives... spheres? With you as an investor, Ramses' business (which is killing) will make a killing, letting us take full advantage of Revel in Riches as both a ramp tool and backup win condition. Ramses will also often require additional gas to keep going, whether it be finding a steady stream of enchantments to throw onto enemies, or to finding ways to close out games.
And don't forget about the artifacts that sacrifice themselves for cards: In a pinch, you can throw Curator's Ward onto them instead of Ramses.
Enchantment payoffs are few and far between in Dimir, so we're keeping this build a bit creature-light; but the ones we take with are absolutely vital for our success. While Ramses is no Cleopatra, he's still managed to form relationships with some important Greek allies:
Hateful Eidolon is another great draw engine. You're going to be enchanting enemy creatures constantly, so it'll be a steady stream of card advantage.
Protean Thaumaturge can transform into copies of anything on the board, and since you're usually targeting huge threats, he's straight value.
If you prefer just taking creatures instead of becoming them, Rootwater Matriarch is the mother everyone wants to follow, as she takes control of enemy enchanted creatures.
Man, she's way cooler than my mom. Incidentally, these control changing effects can go away, so lets include a sacrifice outlet, like Blasting Station.
Nighthowler is both the name of my new punk band and a decent Bestow creature. Cast it as a creature directly, or use it to build up Ramses' hit-list first.
Blightcaster lets you snipe less relevant creatures while you go for the big ones. I like saying "pew!" when I ping things. Please, take me seriously.
Grim Guardian is an Aristocrats-style payoff for enchantments, which is exactly the sort of talent Ramses' agents should be recruiting.
Rootwater Shaman gives your enchantments flash, making your targets subtle and you s n e a k y. Pretty sus, bro.
Agent of Erebos is repeatable graveyard exile, which isn't necessarily worth a slot but it pisses off Sandy, my Muldrotha-playing ex-wife.
Our deck only runs sixteen creatures, and while being a lone-wolf is edgy, it's not the type of edge I want to be. I feel like I'm a Halloween bobbing apple -- razor edgy; the type of edge that speaks to people, in the very depths of their soul, and causes them to rebel against the man. In the end, I will be so edgy that even those rotten adults will realize I'm right. Enchant opposing creatures with reanimation-on-death enchantments:
Once opposing creatures are enchanted with one of these Auras, they become juicy targets for Ramses, as killing them will put them into play under your control. Unfortunately, six isn't a critical mass for Ramses; to ensure that Ramses' business isn't killed by a lack of clientele, let's use some recursive enchantments.
Remember Dragon Fangs from the last article? Dragon Shadow and Dragon Wings come back to haunt your opponents, auto-enchanting beefy boys at your discretion to give Ramses a target.
Echoing Fallen Angel from Ramses' set League of Legends, Fallen Ideal is a recursive enchantment that's also a sacrifice outlet.
The "Most 2020 Mood Award" goes to Despondency, which lowers a creature's power and keeps comin' back, again and again.
Screams from Within is unique in that it will auto-attach after death instead of coming back to your hand. Be aware that if you've got no enemy targets, it's gonna end up on Ramses.
Slow Motion's Pendrell-type effect might be enough to save you a Ramses activation if your opponent doesn't care enough to pay the toll.
Rounding out the auras, we've got a few utility spells we can play for neat effects:
Ramses' weapon of choice is obviously the Doom Blade, which he'll cast for you if his target is enchanted with Chime of Night.
If you prefer opponents to discard cards instead, Dying Wail's got you covered.
Your opponents will be at world's end when you exile their big threats off the top of their deck with Dead Man's Chest. This is the type of luxury even Gonti's jealous of!
And here's some spicy tech for you: Ensoul Artifact lets Ramses remove an artifact with his ability.
A lot of creatures are going to end up dead, which makes Rise of the Dark Realms a great end-game finisher. But that's boring. Are you ready to learn Ramses' true dark secret? Because here's where I blow your mind.
...lets you sacrifice Iridescent Drake to Blasting Station which...
...deals 1 damage and triggers the enchantment which means...
..Iridescent Drake goes onto the battlefield, returning...
This combo will make you feel like Joker, because your opponents will never see it coming. You've got some redundancy in the deck in case things don't pan out: use Fallen Ideal as your sacrifice outlet and win condition to swing with an evasive infinity/infinity attacker, or deal damage using Grim Guardian's Constellation trigger. Should Iridescent Drake be interacted with (which is illegal, by the way), use Ill Gotten Gains to get your combo pieces back to hand and recur some protective counterspells. I'm not a punk, I'm a goddamn dragon genius. Finally, the deck is truly me!
In conclusion, the Ramses Overdark deck for the Commander format is a fun and powerful budget deck for you to try. I hope you enjoyed reading my paper as much as I enjoyed writing- ...Buh? Oh. I guess I reverted to hastily written high school paper writing. Is that really what I sounded like? You know, people say you never really realize what you have until it's gone. It's easy to look to memories of better days and feel that melancholy drop in your stomach. It's natural to feel wistful for a time past when rain drips down the window. But the truth is also that you don't really realize what you don't have until you obtain it. Our experiences may be painful now, but that's no reason to give up hope. You can get over darkness. Look forward instead of back, because in that future lies a wiser you.
Scaling Reddit Community Points with Arbitrum Rollup: a piece of cake
https://preview.redd.it/b80c05tnb9e51.jpg?width=2550&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=850282c1a3962466ed44f73886dae1c8872d0f31 Submitted for consideration toThe Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off Baked by the pastry chefs atOffchain Labs Please send questions or comments to [[email protected] ](mailto:[email protected]) 1. Overview We're excited to submit Arbitrum Rollup for consideration to The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off. Arbitrum Rollup is the only Ethereum scaling solution that supports arbitrary smart contracts without compromising on Ethereum's security or adding points of centralization. For Reddit, this means that Arbitrum can not only scale the minting and transfer of Community Points, but it can foster a creative ecosystem built around Reddit Community Points enabling points to be used in a wide variety of third party applications. That's right -- you can have your cake and eat it too! Arbitrum Rollup isn't just Ethereum-style. Its Layer 2 transactions are byte-for-byte identical to Ethereum, which means Ethereum users can continue to use their existing addresses and wallets, and Ethereum developers can continue to use their favorite toolchains and development environments out-of-the-box with Arbitrum. Coupling Arbitrum’s tooling-compatibility with its trustless asset interoperability, Reddit not only can scale but can onboard the entire Ethereum community at no cost by giving them the same experience they already know and love (well, certainly know). To benchmark how Arbitrum can scale Reddit Community Points, we launched the Reddit contracts on an Arbitrum Rollup chain. Since Arbitrum provides full Solidity support, we didn't have to rewrite the Reddit contracts or try to mimic their functionality using an unfamiliar paradigm. Nope, none of that. We launched the Reddit contracts unmodified on Arbitrum Rollup complete with support for minting and distributing points. Like every Arbitrum Rollup chain, the chain included a bridge interface in which users can transfer Community Points or any other asset between the L1 and L2 chains. Arbitrum Rollup chains also support dynamic contract loading, which would allow third-party developers to launch custom ecosystem apps that integrate with Community Points on the very same chain that runs the Reddit contracts. 1.1 Why Ethereum Perhaps the most exciting benefit of distributing Community Points using a blockchain is the ability to seamlessly port points to other applications and use them in a wide variety of contexts. Applications may include simple transfers such as a restaurant that allows Redditors to spend points on drinks. Or it may include complex smart contracts -- such as placing Community Points as a wager for a multiparty game or as collateral in a financial contract. The common denominator between all of the fun uses of Reddit points is that it needs a thriving ecosystem of both users and developers, and the Ethereum blockchain is perhaps the only smart contract platform with significant adoption today. While many Layer 1 blockchains boast lower cost or higher throughput than the Ethereum blockchain, more often than not, these attributes mask the reality of little usage, weaker security, or both. Perhaps another platform with significant usage will rise in the future. But today, Ethereum captures the mindshare of the blockchain community, and for Community Points to provide the most utility, the Ethereum blockchain is the natural choice. 1.2 Why Arbitrum While Ethereum's ecosystem is unmatched, the reality is that fees are high and capacity is too low to support the scale of Reddit Community Points. Enter Arbitrum. Arbitrum Rollup provides all of the ecosystem benefits of Ethereum, but with orders of magnitude more capacity and at a fraction of the cost of native Ethereum smart contracts. And most of all, we don't change the experience from users. They continue to use the same wallets, addresses, languages, and tools. Arbitrum Rollup is not the only solution that can scale payments, but it is the only developed solution that can scale both payments and arbitrary smart contracts trustlessly, which means that third party users can build highly scalable add-on apps that can be used without withdrawing money from the Rollup chain. If you believe that Reddit users will want to use their Community Points in smart contracts--and we believe they will--then it makes the most sense to choose a single scaling solution that can support the entire ecosystem, eliminating friction for users. We view being able to run smart contracts in the same scaling solution as fundamentally critical since if there's significant demand in running smart contracts from Reddit's ecosystem, this would be a load on Ethereum and would itself require a scaling solution. Moreover, having different scaling solutions for the minting/distribution/spending of points and for third party apps would be burdensome for users as they'd have to constantly shuffle their Points back and forth. 2. Arbitrum at a glance Arbitrum Rollup has a unique value proposition as it offers a combination of features that no other scaling solution achieves. Here we highlight its core attributes. Decentralized. Arbitrum Rollup is as decentralized as Ethereum. Unlike some other Layer 2 scaling projects, Arbitrum Rollup doesn't have any centralized components or centralized operators who can censor users or delay transactions. Even in non-custodial systems, centralized components provide a risk as the operators are generally incentivized to increase their profit by extracting rent from users often in ways that severely degrade user experience. Even if centralized operators are altruistic, centralized components are subject to hacking, coercion, and potential liability. Massive Scaling. Arbitrum achieves order of magnitude scaling over Ethereum's L1 smart contracts. Our software currently supports 453 transactions-per-second for basic transactions (at 1616 Ethereum gas per tx). We have a lot of room left to optimize (e.g. aggregating signatures), and over the next several months capacity will increase significantly. As described in detail below, Arbitrum can easily support and surpass Reddit's anticipated initial load, and its capacity will continue to improve as Reddit's capacity needs grow. Low cost. The cost of running Arbitrum Rollup is quite low compared to L1 Ethereum and other scaling solutions such as those based on zero-knowledge proofs. Layer 2 fees are low, fixed, and predictable and should not be overly burdensome for Reddit to cover. Nobody needs to use special equipment or high-end machines. Arbitrum requires validators, which is a permissionless role that can be run on any reasonable on-line machine. Although anybody can act as a validator, in order to protect against a “tragedy of the commons” and make sure reputable validators are participating, we support a notion of “invited validators” that are compensated for their costs. In general, users pay (low) fees to cover the invited validators’ costs, but we imagine that Reddit may cover this cost for its users. See more on the costs and validator options below. Ethereum Developer Experience. Not only does Arbitrum support EVM smart contracts, but the developer experience is identical to that of L1 Ethereum contracts and fully compatible with Ethereum tooling. Developers can port existing Solidity apps or write new ones using their favorite and familiar toolchains (e.g. Truffle, Buidler). There are no new languages or coding paradigms to learn. Ethereum wallet compatibility. Just as in Ethereum, Arbitrum users need only hold keys, but do not have to store any coin history or additional data to protect or access their funds. Since Arbitrum transactions are semantically identical to Ethereum L1 transactions, existing Ethereum users can use their existing Ethereum keys with their existing wallet software such as Metamask. Token interoperability. Users can easily transfer their ETH, ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens between Ethereum and the Arbitrum Rollup chain. As we explain in detail below, it is possible to mint tokens in L2 that can subsequently be withdrawn and recognized by the L1 token contract. Fast finality. Transactions complete with the same finality time as Ethereum L1 (and it's possible to get faster finality guarantees by trading away trust assumptions; see the Arbitrum Rollup whitepaper for details). Non-custodial. Arbitrum Rollup is a non-custodial scaling solution, so users control their funds/points and neither Reddit nor anyone else can ever access or revoke points held by users. Censorship Resistant. Since it's completely decentralized, and the Arbitrum protocol guarantees progress trustlessly, Arbitrum Rollup is just as censorship-proof as Ethereum. Block explorer. The Arbitrum Rollup block explorer allows users to view and analyze transactions on the Rollup chain. Limitations Although this is a bake-off, we're not going to sugar coat anything. Arbitrum Rollup, like any Optimistic Rollup protocol, does have one limitation, and that's the delay on withdrawals. As for the concrete length of the delay, we've done a good deal of internal modeling and have blogged about this as well. Our current modeling suggests a 3-hour delay is sufficient (but as discussed in the linked post there is a tradeoff space between the length of the challenge period and the size of the validators’ deposit). Note that this doesn't mean that the chain is delayed for three hours. Arbitrum Rollup supports pipelining of execution, which means that validators can keep building new states even while previous ones are “in the pipeline” for confirmation. As the challenge delays expire for each update, a new state will be confirmed (read more about this here). So activity and progress on the chain are not delayed by the challenge period. The only thing that's delayed is the consummation of withdrawals. Recall though that any single honest validator knows immediately (at the speed of L1 finality) which state updates are correct and can guarantee that they will eventually be confirmed, so once a valid withdrawal has been requested on-chain, every honest party knows that the withdrawal will definitely happen. There's a natural place here for a liquidity market in which a validator (or someone who trusts a validator) can provide withdrawal loans for a small interest fee. This is a no-risk business for them as they know which withdrawals will be confirmed (and can force their confirmation trustlessly no matter what anyone else does) but are just waiting for on-chain finality. 3. The recipe: How Arbitrum Rollup works For a description of the technical components of Arbitrum Rollup and how they interact to create a highly scalable protocol with a developer experience that is identical to Ethereum, please refer to the following documents: Arbitrum Rollup Whitepaper Arbitrum academic paper (describes a previous version of Arbitrum) 4. Developer docs and APIs For full details about how to set up and interact with an Arbitrum Rollup chain or validator, please refer to our developer docs, which can be found at https://developer.offchainlabs.com/. Note that the Arbitrum version described on that site is older and will soon be replaced by the version we are entering in Reddit Bake-Off, which is still undergoing internal testing before public release. 5. Who are the validators? As with any Layer 2 protocol, advancing the protocol correctly requires at least one validator (sometimes called block producers) that is honest and available. A natural question is: who are the validators? Recall that the validator set for an Arbitrum chain is open and permissionless; anyone can start or stop validating at will. (A useful analogy is to full nodes on an L1 chain.) But we understand that even though anyone can participate, Reddit may want to guarantee that highly reputable nodes are validating their chain. Reddit may choose to validate the chain themselves and/or hire third-party validators.To this end, we have begun building a marketplace for validator-for-hire services so that dapp developers can outsource validation services to reputable nodes with high up-time. We've announced a partnership in which Chainlink nodes will provide Arbitrum validation services, and we expect to announce more partnerships shortly with other blockchain infrastructure providers. Although there is no requirement that validators are paid, Arbitrum’s economic model tracks validators’ costs (e.g. amount of computation and storage) and can charge small fees on user transactions, using a gas-type system, to cover those costs. Alternatively, a single party such as Reddit can agree to cover the costs of invited validators. 6. Reddit Contract Support Since Arbitrum contracts and transactions are byte-for-byte compatible with Ethereum, supporting the Reddit contracts is as simple as launching them on an Arbitrum chain. Minting. Arbitrum Rollup supports hybrid L1/L2 tokens which can be minted in L2 and then withdrawn onto the L1. An L1 contract at address A can make a special call to the EthBridge which deploys a "buddy contract" to the same address A on an Arbitrum chain. Since it's deployed at the same address, users can know that the L2 contract is the authorized "buddy" of the L1 contract on the Arbitrum chain. For minting, the L1 contract is a standard ERC-20 contract which mints and burns tokens when requested by the L2 contract. It is paired with an ERC-20 contract in L2 which mints tokens based on whatever programmer provided minting facility is desired and burns tokens when they are withdrawn from the rollup chain. Given this base infrastructure, Arbitrum can support any smart contract based method for minting tokens in L2, and indeed we directly support Reddit's signature/claim based minting in L2. Batch minting. What's better than a mint cookie? A whole batch! In addition to supporting Reddit’s current minting/claiming scheme, we built a second minting design, which we believe outperforms the signature/claim system in many scenarios. In the current system, Reddit periodically issues signed statements to users, who then take those statements to the blockchain to claim their tokens. An alternative approach would have Reddit directly submit the list of users/amounts to the blockchain and distribute the tokens to the users without the signature/claim process. To optimize the cost efficiency of this approach, we designed an application-specific compression scheme to minimize the size of the batch distribution list. We analyzed the data from Reddit's previous distributions and found that the data is highly compressible since token amounts are small and repeated, and addresses appear multiple times. Our function groups transactions by size, and replaces previously-seen addresses with a shorter index value. We wrote client code to compress the data, wrote a Solidity decompressing function, and integrated that function into Reddit’s contract running on Arbitrum. When we ran the compression function on the previous Reddit distribution data, we found that we could compress batched minting data down to to 11.8 bytes per minting event (averaged over a 6-month trace of Reddit’s historical token grants)compared with roughly 174 bytes of on-chain data needed for the signature claim approach to minting (roughly 43 for an RLP-encoded null transaction + 65 for Reddit's signature + 65 for the user's signature + roughly 8 for the number of Points) . The relative benefit of the two approaches with respect to on-chain call data cost depends on the percentage of users that will actually claim their tokens on chain. With the above figures, batch minting will be cheaper if roughly 5% of users redeem their claims. We stress that our compression scheme is not Arbitrum-specific and would be beneficial in any general-purpose smart contract platform. 8. Benchmarks and costs In this section, we give the full costs of operating the Reddit contracts on an Arbitrum Rollup chain including the L1 gas costs for the Rollup chain, the costs of computation and storage for the L2 validators as well as the capital lockup requirements for staking. Arbitrum Rollup is still on testnet, so we did not run mainnet benchmarks. Instead, we measured the L1 gas cost and L2 workload for Reddit operations on Arbitrum and calculated the total cost assuming current Ethereum gas prices. As noted below in detail, our measurements do not assume that Arbitrum is consuming the entire capacity of Ethereum. We will present the details of our model now, but for full transparency you can also play around with it yourself and adjust the parameters, by copying the spreadsheet found here. Our cost model is based on measurements of Reddit’s contracts, running unmodified (except for the addition of a batch minting function) on Arbitrum Rollup on top of Ethereum. On the distribution of transactions and frequency of assertions. Reddit's instructions specify the following minimum parameters that submissions should support: Over a 5 day period, your scaling PoC should be able to handle:
100,000 point claims (minting & distributing points)
75,000 one-off points burning
We provide the full costs of operating an Arbitrum Rollup chain with this usage under the assumption that tokens are minted or granted to users in batches, but other transactions are uniformly distributed over the 5 day period. Unlike some other submissions, we do not make unrealistic assumptions that all operations can be submitted in enormous batches. We assume that batch minting is done in batches that use only a few percent on an L1 block’s gas, and that other operations come in evenly over time and are submitted in batches, with one batch every five minutes to keep latency reasonable. (Users are probably already waiting for L1 finality, which takes at least that long to achieve.) We note that assuming that there are only 300,000 transactions that arrive uniformly over the 5 day period will make our benchmark numbers lower, but we believe that this will reflect the true cost of running the system. To see why, say that batches are submitted every five minutes (20 L1 blocks) and there's a fixed overhead of c bytes of calldata per batch, the cost of which will get amortized over all transactions executed in that batch. Assume that each individual transaction adds a marginal cost of t. Lastly assume the capacity of the scaling system is high enough that it can support all of Reddit's 300,000 transactions within a single 20-block batch (i.e. that there is more than c + 300,000*t byes of calldata available in 20 blocks). Consider what happens if c, the per-batch overhead, is large (which it is in some systems, but not in Arbitrum). In the scenario that transactions actually arrive at the system's capacity and each batch is full, then c gets amortized over 300,000 transactions. But if we assume that the system is not running at capacity--and only receives 300,000 transactions arriving uniformly over 5 days-- then each 20-block assertion will contain about 200 transactions, and thus each transaction will pay a nontrivial cost due to c. We are aware that other proposals presented scaling numbers assuming that 300,000 transactions arrived at maximum capacity and was executed in a single mega-transaction, but according to our estimates, for at least one such report, this led to a reported gas price that was 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than it would have been assuming uniform arrival. We make more realistic batching assumptions, and we believe Arbitrum compares well when batch sizes are realistic. Our model. Our cost model includes several sources of cost:
L1 gas costs: This is the cost of posting transactions as calldata on the L1 chain, as well as the overhead associated with each batch of transactions, and the L1 cost of settling transactions in the Arbitrum protocol.
Validator’s staking costs: In normal operation, one validator will need to be staked. The stake is assumed to be 0.2% of the total value of the chain (which is assumed to be $1 per user who is eligible to claim points). The cost of staking is the interest that could be earned on the money if it were not staked.
Validator computation and storage: Every validator must do computation to track the chain’s processing of transactions, and must maintain storage to keep track of the contracts’ EVM storage. The cost of computation and storage are estimated based on measurements, with the dollar cost of resources based on Amazon Web Services pricing.
It’s clear from our modeling that the predominant cost is for L1 calldata. This will probably be true for any plausible rollup-based system. Our model also shows that Arbitrum can scale to workloads much larger than Reddit’s nominal workload, without exhausting L1 or L2 resources. The scaling bottleneck will ultimately be calldata on the L1 chain. We believe that cost could be reduced substantially if necessary by clever encoding of data. (In our design any compression / decompression of L2 transaction calldata would be done by client software and L2 programs, never by an L1 contract.) 9. Status of Arbitrum Rollup Arbitrum Rollup is live on Ethereum testnet. All of the code written to date including everything included in the Reddit demo is open source and permissively licensed under the Apache V2 license. The first testnet version of Arbitrum Rollup was released on testnet in February. Our current internal version, which we used to benchmark the Reddit contracts, will be released soon and will be a major upgrade. Both the Arbitrum design as well as the implementation are heavily audited by independent third parties. The Arbitrum academic paper was published at USENIX Security, a top-tier peer-reviewed academic venue. For the Arbitrum software, we have engaged Trail of Bits for a security audit, which is currently ongoing, and we are committed to have a clean report before launching on Ethereum mainnet. 10. Reddit Universe Arbitrum Rollup Chain The benchmarks described in this document were all measured using the latest internal build of our software. When we release the new software upgrade publicly we will launch a Reddit Universe Arbitrum Rollup chain as a public demo, which will contain the Reddit contracts as well as a Uniswap instance and a Connext Hub, demonstrating how Community Points can be integrated into third party apps. We will also allow members of the public to dynamically launch ecosystem contracts. We at Offchain Labs will cover the validating costs for the Reddit Universe public demo. If the folks at Reddit would like to evaluate our software prior to our public demo, please email us at [email protected] and we'd be more than happy to provide early access. 11. Even more scaling: Arbitrum Sidechains Rollups are an excellent approach to scaling, and we are excited about Arbitrum Rollup which far surpasses Reddit's scaling needs. But looking forward to Reddit's eventual goal of supporting hundreds of millions of users, there will likely come a time when Reddit needs more scaling than any Rollup protocol can provide. While Rollups greatly reduce costs, they don't break the linear barrier. That is, all transactions have an on-chain footprint (because all calldata must be posted on-chain), albeit a far smaller one than on native Ethereum, and the L1 limitations end up being the bottleneck for capacity and cost. Since Ethereum has limited capacity, this linear use of on-chain resources means that costs will eventually increase superlinearly with traffic. The good news is that we at Offchain Labs have a solution in our roadmap that can satisfy this extreme-scaling setting as well: Arbitrum AnyTrust Sidechains. Arbitrum Sidechains are similar to Arbitrum Rollup, but deviate in that they name a permissioned set of validators. When a chain’s validators agree off-chain, they can greatly reduce the on-chain footprint of the protocol and require almost no data to be put on-chain. When validators can't reach unanimous agreement off-chain, the protocol reverts to Arbitrum Rollup. Technically, Arbitrum Sidechains can be viewed as a hybrid between state channels and Rollup, switching back and forth as necessary, and combining the performance and cost that state channels can achieve in the optimistic case, with the robustness of Rollup in other cases. The core technical challenge is how to switch seamlessly between modes and how to guarantee that security is maintained throughout. Arbitrum Sidechains break through this linear barrier, while still maintaining a high level of security and decentralization. Arbitrum Sidechains provide the AnyTrust guarantee, which says that as long as any one validator is honest and available (even if you don't know which one will be), the L2 chain is guaranteed to execute correctly according to its code and guaranteed to make progress. Unlike in a state channel, offchain progress does not require unanimous consent, and liveness is preserved as long as there is a single honest validator. Note that the trust model for Arbitrum Sidechains is much stronger than for typical BFT-style chains which introduce a consensus "voting" protocols among a small permissioned group of validators. BFT-based protocols require a supermajority (more than 2/3) of validators to agree. In Arbitrum Sidechains, by contrast, all you need is a single honest validator to achieve guaranteed correctness and progress. Notice that in Arbitrum adding validators strictly increases security since the AnyTrust guarantee provides correctness as long as any one validator is honest and available. By contrast, in BFT-style protocols, adding nodes can be dangerous as a coalition of dishonest nodes can break the protocol. Like Arbitrum Rollup, the developer and user experiences for Arbitrum Sidechains will be identical to that of Ethereum. Reddit would be able to choose a large and diverse set of validators, and all that they would need to guarantee to break through the scaling barrier is that a single one of them will remain honest. We hope to have Arbitrum Sidechains in production in early 2021, and thus when Reddit reaches the scale that surpasses the capacity of Rollups, Arbitrum Sidechains will be waiting and ready to help. While the idea to switch between channels and Rollup to get the best of both worlds is conceptually simple, getting the details right and making sure that the switch does not introduce any attack vectors is highly non-trivial and has been the subject of years of our research (indeed, we were working on this design for years before the term Rollup was even coined). 12. How Arbitrum compares We include a comparison to several other categories as well as specific projects when appropriate. and explain why we believe that Arbitrum is best suited for Reddit's purposes. We focus our attention on other Ethereum projects. Payment only Rollups. Compared to Arbitrum Rollup, ZK-Rollups and other Rollups that only support token transfers have several disadvantages:
As outlined throughout the proposal, we believe that the entire draw of Ethereum is in its rich smart contracts support which is simply not achievable with today's zero-knowledge proof technology. Indeed, scaling with a ZK-Rollup will add friction to the deployment of smart contracts that interact with Community Points as users will have to withdraw their coins from the ZK-Rollup and transfer them to a smart contract system (like Arbitrum). The community will be best served if Reddit builds on a platform that has built-in, frictionless smart-contract support.
All other Rollup protocols of which we are aware employ a centralized operator. While it's true that users retain custody of their coins, the centralized operator can often profit from censoring, reordering, or delaying transactions. A common misconception is that since they're non-custodial protocols, a centralized sequencer does not pose a risk but this is incorrect as the sequencer can wreak havoc or shake down users for side payments without directly stealing funds.
Sidechain type protocols can eliminate some of these issues, but they are not trustless. Instead, they require trust in some quorum of a committee, often requiring two-third of the committee to be honest, compared to rollup protocols like Arbitrum that require only a single honest party. In addition, not all sidechain type protocols have committees that are diverse, or even non-centralized, in practice.
Plasma-style protocols have a centralized operator and do not support general smart contracts.
13. Concluding Remarks While it's ultimately up to the judges’ palate, we believe that Arbitrum Rollup is the bakeoff choice that Reddit kneads. We far surpass Reddit's specified workload requirement at present, have much room to optimize Arbitrum Rollup in the near term, and have a clear path to get Reddit to hundreds of millions of users. Furthermore, we are the only project that gives developers and users the identical interface as the Ethereum blockchain and is fully interoperable and tooling-compatible, and we do this all without any new trust assumptions or centralized components. But no matter how the cookie crumbles, we're glad to have participated in this bake-off and we thank you for your consideration. About Offchain Labs Offchain Labs, Inc. is a venture-funded New York company that spun out of Princeton University research, and is building the Arbitrum platform to usher in the next generation of scalable, interoperable, and compatible smart contracts. Offchain Labs is backed by Pantera Capital, Compound VC, Coinbase Ventures, and others. Leadership Team Ed Felten Ed Felten is Co-founder and Chief Scientist at Offchain Labs. He is on leave from Princeton University, where he is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs. From 2015 to 2017 he served at the White House as Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer and senior advisor to the President. He is an ACM Fellow and member of the National Academy of Engineering. Outside of work, he is an avid runner, cook, and L.A. Dodgers fan. Steven Goldfeder Steven Goldfeder is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Offchain Labs. He holds a PhD from Princeton University, where he worked at the intersection of cryptography and cryptocurrencies including threshold cryptography, zero-knowledge proof systems, and post-quantum signatures. He is a co-author of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, the leading textbook on cryptocurrencies, and he has previously worked at Google and Microsoft Research, where he co-invented the Picnic signature algorithm. When not working, you can find Steven spending time with his family, taking a nature walk, or twisting balloons. Harry Kalodner Harry Kalodner is Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Offchain Labs where he leads the engineering team. Before the company he attended Princeton as a Ph.D candidate where his research explored economics, anonymity, and incentive compatibility of cryptocurrencies, and he also has worked at Apple. When not up at 3:00am writing code, Harry occasionally sleeps.
I applied price discovery algorithms to 5 Min OHLCV data from Bitmex and CME contracts and Bitstamp, Coinbase, HitBTC, Kraken, Poloniex, Binance, and OkEx BTCUSD/BTCUSDT markets from March 2016 to May 2020. Some exciting results I got was:
Before the 2017/18 bull run, Bitfinex dominated the price discovery process. They started the run. But as the price increased, trades on other exchanges, Binance and Bitstamp played a more dominant role in leading the price up.
Since then, CME Contracts and Bitmex contracts have had an increasing role in price discovery. Today Bitmex and CME Contracts play the most substantial role in determining the direction of Bitcoin price.
In 2020, market dominance by Bitmex has been negatively correlated with price. Dominance by Bitfinex, Huobi and OkCoin has had high positive correlation with price.
Price discovery is the overall process of setting the price of an asset. Price discovery algorithms identify the leader exchanges whose traders define the price. Two approaches are most famous for use in Price Discovery. Gonzalo and Granger (1995) and Hasbrouck (1995). But they assume random walk, and a common efficient price. I do not feel comfortable assuming random walk and common efficient price in Bitcoin Markets. So I used this little know method by De Blasis (2019) for this analysis. This work assumes that "the fastest price to reflect new information releases a price signal to the other slower price series." I thought this was valid in our market. It uses Markov Chains to measure Price Discovery. Without going into the mathematical details the summary steps used was:
Data is first grouped into a daily interval. Then inside each daily interval's 5-minute candles, the change in prices between the current time t and previous time t-1 is calculated. The difference across the same time t across all exchanges in a given day is juxtaposed to create an initial matrix.
The initial matrix is used to create a Transition Matrix, which measures the probability of price changing to something else at time t+1 for its state at t.
Then other Markov Chain based algorithms are used to measure the influence an exchange at time t had over all other exchanges' price movement at time t+1 individually.
Reduction and normalization is done to this data. In the end, each exchange receives a single number that sums to 1 for a given day.
De Blasis (2019) names this number Price Leadership Share (PLS). High PLS indicates a large role in price discovery. As the sum of the numbers is 1, they can be looked at as a percentage contribution. I recommend reading the original paper if you are interested to know more about the mathematical detail.
Andersen (2000) argues that 5 Minute window provides the best trade-off between getting enough data and avoiding noise. In one of the first work on Bitcoin's Price Discovery, Brandvold et al. 2015 had used 5M window. So I obtained 5M OHLCV data using the following sources:
Poloniex, Bitfinex, Binance and HitBTC: Exchange's API through CCXT.
CME: Okay, this was was supposed to be tricky and expensive. I broke a TOS and scraped the data for free, removing the expensive part from the equation. I will not go into detail about where I scraped this data.
Futures data are different from other data because multiple futures contract trades at the same time. I formed a single data from the multiple time series by selecting the nearest contract until it was three days from expiration. I used the next contract when the contract was three days from expiration. This approach was advocated by Booth et al ( 1999 )
I can't embed the chart on reddit so open this https://warproxxx.github.io/static/price_discovery.html In the figure above, each colored line shows the total influence the exchange had towards the discovery of Bitcoin Price on that day. Its axis is on the left. The black line shows a moving average of the bitcoin price at the close in Bitfinex for comparison. The chart was created by plotting the EMA of price and dominance with a smoothing factor of 0.1. This was done to eliminate the noise. Let's start looking from the beginning. We start with a slight Bitfinex dominance at the start. When the price starts going up, Bitfinex's influence does too. This was the time large Tether printing was attributed to the rise of price by many individuals. But Bitfinex's influence wanes down as the price starts rising (remember that the chart is an exponential moving average. Its a lagging indicator). Afterward, exchanges like Binance and Bitstamp increase their role, and there isn't any single leader in the run. So although Bitfinex may have been responsible for the initial pump trades on other exchanges were responsible for the later rally. CME contracts were added to our analysis in February 2018. Initially, they don't have much influence. On a similar work Alexandar and Heck (2019) noted that initially CBOE contracts had more influence. CBOE later delisted Bitcoin futures so I couldn't get that data. Overall, Bitmex and CME contracts have been averaging around 50% of the role in price discovery. To make the dominance clear, look at this chart where I add Bitmex Futures and Perp contract's dominance figure to create a single dominance index. There bitmex leads 936 of the total 1334 days (Bitfinex leads 298 days and coinbase and binance get 64 and 6 days). That is a lot. One possible reason for this might be Bitmex's low trading fee. Bitmex has a very generous -0.025% maker fee and price discovery tend to occur primarily in the market with smaller trading costs (Booth et al, 1999). It may also be because our market is mature. In mature markets, futures lead the price discovery.
Table 1: Days Lead
Out of 1334 days in the analysis, Bitmex futures leads the discovery in 571 days or nearly 43% of the duration. Bitfinex leads for 501 days. Bitfinex's high number is due to its extreme dominance in the early days.
Table 2: Correlation between the close price and Exchange's dominance index
Binance, Huobi, CME, and OkCoin had the most significant correlation with the close price. Bitmex, Coinbase, Bitfinex, and Bitstamp's dominance were negatively correlated. This was very interesting. To know more, I captured a yearwise correlation.
Table 3: Yearwise Correlation between the close price and Exchange's dominance index Price movement is pretty complicated. If one factor, like a dominant exchange, could explain it, everyone would be making money trading. With this disclaimer out of the way, let us try to make some conclusions. This year Bitfinex, Huobi, and OkEx, Tether based exchanges, discovery power have shown a high correlation with the close price. This means that when the traders there become successful, price rises. When the traders there are failing, Bitmex traders dominate and then the price is falling. I found this interesting as I have been seeing the OkEx whale who has been preceding price rises in this sub. I leave the interpretation of other past years to the reader.
My analysis does not include market data for other derivative exchanges like Huobi, OkEx, Binance, and Deribit. So, all future market's influence may be going to Bitmex. I did not add their data because they started having an impact recently. A more fair assessment may be to conclude this as the new power of derivative markets instead of attributing it as the power of Bitmex. But Bitmex has dominated futures volume most of the time (until recently). And they brought the concept of perpetual swaps.
There is a lot in this data. If you are making a trading algo think there is some edge here. Someday I will backtest some trading logic based on this data. Then I will have more info and might write more. But, this analysis was enough for to shift my focus from a Bitfinex based trading algorithm to a Bitmex based one. It has been giving me good results. If you have any good ideas that you want me to write about or discuss further please comment. If there is enough interest in this measurement, I can setup a live interface that provides the live value.
[Researh] In 2017 bitcoin network consumed 5 TWh of energy, in 2018 – 29 TWh, in 2019 – 43 TWh. Banking industry consumes 74 TWh per year.
Electricity consumed by bitcoin network has been constantly and noticeably increasing. During the past years the consumption reached such big a scale, that it can be compared to electricity consumption of some countries, according to BlockchainAnalytics.pro research. The world’s first cryptocurrency is steadily becoming more popular and expensive every year. This motivates more individuals and companies to enter the mining business to earn a bitcoin share.
More miners, more efficient equipment
To validate a block of transactions and receive a reward, miners compete with each other by solving a deliberately complicated mathematical task, or puzzle. Those miners who own more computing power (hashrate) have more chances to win the competition. This incentivizes miners to buy more powerful equipment that consumes more electricity. At the same time, mining equipment efficiency is constantly improving, and with time less electricity is required to produce the same hashrate. This factor allows to slow down the increasing demand for electricity. For example, in 2016 Bitmain, world’s largest manufacturer of mining equipment, launched the legendary Antminer S9, which consumed 100 watts to produce one terahash per second, or 100 W/TH/s. The best modification of Antminer S15, released in 2018, consumed 57 W/TH/s. Currently, the most efficient Antminer S17 consumes only 40 W/TH/s. https://preview.redd.it/gh343l3p09j41.png?width=930&format=png&auto=webp&s=e350c1e7832e37c1e3c3aeac974428cca7f0f874 It is assumed that the market competition compels manufacturers to keep up with each other in developing more efficient hardware. If some manufacturer brings next-generation chips to market, other manufacturers start to produce chips with the same characteristics at about the same time. On the other hand, new miners are joining the network, thus increasing the hashrate. So the demand for electricity continues to grow. Also, it can be noticed later that the electricity consumption chart is similar to that of hashrate chart. https://preview.redd.it/3k32ci6q09j41.png?width=930&format=png&auto=webp&s=e70f600419bcbc9e7e82506b5f12bf4da6f00584
The incremental volume of electricity consumption is calculated by multiplying newly added hashrate by the best mining efficiency available at that moment. The sum of incremental volumes represents cumulative amount of electricity consumed by bitcoin network. The metric is expressed in terawatt-hours (TWh). To get annualized volume in terawatt-hours we multiply the consumption by 24 hours and 365 days. A 100-day moving average was applied to hashrate to make the final result less dependent on the short-term hashrate fluctuations. Assumptions, used in this study, are very conservative. It means that the results are in the lower limit of the range of possible volumes, and the actual electricity consumption can be higher. A detailed explanation and interactive charts are provided here: https://www.blockchainanalytics.pro/btc/electricity-consumption/ https://preview.redd.it/jol3703r09j41.png?width=929&format=png&auto=webp&s=252d4d67ff6882bb32ad63238537a41305719f05
Currently, annualized electricity consumption in bitcoin network is 57 TWh. To help readers get an idea of how much electricity the bitcoin network consumes, a comparison with some countries is provided alongside. Portugal consumes 49 TWh per year, Romania – 50 TWh, Czech Republic – 59 TWh. Some more numbers for comparison:
Want to start fresh after the crypto crash? Here is a comprehensive guide on how to invest and prosper over the long term.
Well its happened, the crypto market just experienced the worst crash since 2014, the bubble has burst. The idiocy of newbies FOMO-ing into anything with low nominal value lead to endless twitter timelines like this, and now nobody has any idea where the market settles. What do you do now? In the following weeks it will be a good time to rethink your investment approach and how you arrive at your decisions. Just buying whatever is shilled on Twitter or Reddit and jumping from one crypto to another isn't going to work like it did these last two months. The good news is that we're finally back closer and closer to our long term moving average which is much more healthy for entrants, the bad news is that the fear might continue compounding if outstanding issues are not dealt with. Tether is the big concern for me personally for reasons I've stated many times, but some relief in the short term may come if the SEC and CFTC meeting on February 6th goes well. Nobody really knows where the bottom is but I think we're now past the "irrational exhuberance" stage and we're entering a period of more serious inspection where cryptos will actually have to prove themselves as useful. I suspect hype artists like CryptoNick and John McAfee will fall out of favor. But perhaps most importantly use this as a learning experience, don't try to point fingers now. The type of dumb behavior that people were engaging in that was rewarded in a bull market (chasing pumps, going all in on a shillcoin, following hype..etc) could only ever lead to what we are experiencing now. Just like so many people jumped on the crypto bandwagon during the bull run, they will just as quickly jump on whatever bandwagon is to be used to blame for the deflation of the bubble. Nobody who pumped money into garbage without any use case will accept that they themselves with their own investing behavior were the real reason for the gross overvaluation of most cryptocurrencies, and the inevitable crash. So if you're looking for a fresh start after the massacre (or just want to get in now), here is a guide:
Part A: Making a Investment Strategy
This is your money, put some effort into investing it with an actual strategy. Some simple yet essential advice that should apply to everyone, regardless of individual strategy:
Slow down and research each crypto that you're buying for at least a week.
Don't buy something just because it has risen.
Don't exit a position just because it has declined.
Invest only as much as you can afford to lose.
Prepare enter and exit strategies in advance.
First take some time to think about your ROI target, set your hold periods for each position and how much you are actually ready to risk losing. ROI targets A lot of young investors who are in crypto have unrealistic expectations about returns and risk. A lot of them have never invested in any other type of financial asset, and hence many seem to consider a 5-10% ROI in a month to be unexciting. But its important to temper your hype and realize why we had this exponential growth in the last year and how unlikely it is that we see 10x returns in the next year. What we saw recently was Greater Fool Theory in action. Those unexciting returns of 5-10% a month are much more of the norm, and much more healthy for an alternative investment class. You can think about setting a target in terms of the market ROI over a relevant holding period and then add or decrease based on your own risk profile. Example: Calculating a 2 year ROI target Lets say you want to hold for 2 years now, how could you set a realistic target to strive for? You could look at a historical 2 year return as a base, preferably during a period similar to what we're facing now. Now that we had a major correction, I think we can look at the two year period starting in 2015 after we had the 2014 crash. To calculate a 2 year CAGR starting in 2015:
Total Crypto Market Cap
Jan 1, 2015:
Jan 1, 2017:
Compounded annual growth return (CAGR): [(18/5.5)1/2]-1 = 81% This annual return rate of 81% comes out to about 4.9% compounded monthly. This may not sound exciting to the lambo moon crowd, but it will keep you grounded in reality. You can aim for a higher return (say 2x of that 81% rate) if you choose to take on more risky propositions. I can't tell you what return target you should set for yourself, but just make sure its not depended on you needing to achieve continual near vertical parabolic price action in small cap shillcoins because that isn't sustainable. Once you have a target you can construct your risk profile (low risk vs. high risk category coins) in your portfolio based on your target. Risk Management Everything you buy in crypto is risky, but it still helps to think of these 3 risk categories:
Core holdings - This is the exchange pairing cryptos and those that are well established. These are almost sure to be around in 5 years, and will recover after any bear market. The Coinbase pairs (Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum) are in this class of risk, and I would also argue Monero.
Medium Risk Speculative - These would be cryptos which generally have a working product and niche, but higher risk than Core. Things like ZCash and Ripple, relatively established history but still uncertainty over long term viability.
High Risk Speculative - This is anything created within the last few months, ICOs, low caps, shillcoins...etc. Most cryptos are in this category.
How much risk should you take on? That depends on your own life situation for one, but also it should be proportional to how much expertise you have in both financial analysis and technology. The general starting point I would recommend is:
50-70% for newbies in Low Risk Core, then you can go down to 30% as you gains confidence and experience
Always try to keep at least a 1/3rd in safe core positions
Don't go all in on speculative picks.
Some more core principles on risk management to consider:
Diversify across sectors and rebalance your allocations periodically.
Consider using dollar cost averaging to enter a position. This generally means investing a X amount over several periods, instead of at once. You can also use downward biased dollar cost averaging to mitigate against downward risk. For example instead of investing $1000 at once in a position at market price, you can buy $500 at the market price today then set several limit orders at slightly lower intervals (for example $250 at 5% lower than market price, $250 at 10% lower than market price). This way your average cost of acquisition will be lower if the crypto happens to decline over the short term.
Don't have more than 5-10% of your net worth in crypto.
Have the majority of your holdings in things you feel good holding for at least 2 years. Don't use the majority of your investment for day trading or short term investing.
Remember you didn't actually make any money until you take some profits, so take do some profits when everyone else is at peak FOMO-ing mode.
Have some fiat in reserve at a FDIC-insured exchange (ex. Gemini), and be ready to add to your winning positions on a pullback. This should be part of your entry strategy.
Consider what level of loss you can't accept in a position with a high risk factor, and use stop-limit orders to hedge against sudden crashes. Set you stop price at about 5-10% above your lowest limit. Stop-limit orders aren't perfect but they're better than having no hedging strategy for a risky microcap in case of some meltdown. Only you can determine what bags you are unwilling to hold.
You can think of each crypto having a risk factor that is the summation of the general crypto market risk (Rm), but also its own inherent risk specific to its own goals (Ri). Rt = Rm +Ri The market risk is something you cannot avoid, it is essentially the risk that is carried by the entire market over things like regulations. What you can minimize though the Ri, the specific risks with your crypto. That will depend on the team composition, geographic risks (for example Chinese coins like NEO carry regulatory risks specific to China), competition within the space and likelihood of adoption and other factors, which I'll describe in Part 2: Crypto Picking Methodology. Portfolio Allocation Along with thinking about your portfolio in terms of risk categories described above, I really find it helpful to think about the segments you are in. OnChainFX has some segment categorization but I generally like to bring it down to:
Think about your "Circle of Competence", your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Your ability to properly judge risk and potential is going to largely correlated to your understanding of the subject matter. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? If you don't understand anything about the tech when you read the Cardano paper, are you really able to determine how likely it is to be adopted? Consider the historic correlations between your holdings. Generally when Bitcoin pumps, altcoins dump but at what rate depends on the coin. When Bitcoin goes sideways we tend to see pumping in altcoins, while when Bitcoin goes down, everything goes down. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you have over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well.
Part B: Crypto Picking Methodology (Due Dilligence)
Do you struggle on how to fundamentally analyze cryptocurrencies? Here is a 3-step methodology to follow to perform your due dilligence:
Step 1: Filtering and Research
There is so much out there that you can get overwhelmed. The best way to start is to think back to your own portfolio allocation strategy and what you would like to get more off. For example in my view enterprise-focused blockchain solutions will be important in the next few years, and so I look to create a list of various cryptos that are in that segment. Upfolio has brief descriptions of the top 100 cryptos and is filterable by categories, for example you can click the "Enterprise" category and you have a neat list of VEN, FCT, WTC...etc. Once you have a list of potential candidates, its time to read about them:
Critically evaluate the website. If it's a cocktail of nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and poorly made, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on.
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts selling? Try to figure out who the whales are (not always easy!) and what the foundation/founder account is based on the initial allocation.
Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
Search out the subreddit and look at a few Medium or Steem blogs about the coin. How "shilly" is the community, and how much engagement is there between developer and the community?
I would also go through the BitcoinTalk thread and Twitter mentions, judge both the length and quality of the discussion.
You can actually filter out a lot of scams and bad investments by simply keeping your eye out on the following red flags:
allocations that give way too much to the founder
guaranteed promises of returns (Bitcooonnneeeect!)
vague whitepapers filled with buzzwords
vague timelines and no clear use case
Github with no useful code and sparse activity
a team that is difficult to find information on
Step 2: Passing a potential pick through a checklist
Once you feel fairly confident that a pick is worth analyzing further, run them through a standardized checklist of questions. This is one I use, you can add other questions yourself:
Crypto Analysis Checklist
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
How big is the market they're targeting?
Who is their competition and what does it do better?
What is the roadmap they created and how well have they kept to it?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
Is there any new tech, and is it informational or governance based?
Can it be easily copied?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
The last question is the most important. This is where the riskiness of your crypto is evaluated, the Ri I talked about above. Here you should be able to accurate place the crypto into one of the three risk categories. I also like to run through this checklist of blockchain benefits and consider which specific properties of the blockchain are being used by the specific crypto to provide some increased utility over the current transactional method:
Benefits of Cryptocurrency
Decentralization - no need for a third party to agree or validate transactions.
Transparency and trust - As blockchain are shared, everyone can see what transactions occur. Useful for something like an online casino.
Immutability - It is extremely difficult to change a transaction once its been put onto a blockchain
Distributed availability - The system is spread on thousands of nodes on a P2P network, so its difficult to take the system down.
Security - cryptographically secured transactions provide integrity
Simplification and consolidation - a blockchain can serve as a shared ledger in industries where multiple entities previously kept their own data sources
Quicker Settlement - In the financial industry when we're dealing with post-trade settlement, a blockchain can drastically increase the speed of verification
Cost - in some cases avoiding a third party verification would drastically reduce costs.
Step 3: Create a valuation model
You don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do: Probablistic Scenario Valuation This is all about thinking of scenarios and probability, a helpful exercise in itself. For example: Bill Miller, a prominent value investor, wrote a probabilistic valuation case for Bitcoin in 2015. He looked at two possible scenarios for probabalistic valuation:
becoming a store-of-value equal to gold (a $6.4 trillion value), with a .25% probability of occurring
replacing payment processors like VISA, MasterCard, etc. (a $350 million dollar value) with a 2.5% probability
Combining those scenarios would give you the total expected market cap: (0.25% x 6.4 trillion) + (2.5% x 350 million). Divide this by the outstanding supply and you have your valuation. Metcalfe's Law Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic. We can alter this to crypto by thinking about it in terms of both users and transactions: For example, compare the Coinbase pairs:
Daily Transactions (last 24hrs)
Active Addresses (Peak 1Yr)
Metcalfe Ratio (Transactions Based)
Metcalfe Ratio (Address Based)
Generally the higher the ratio, the higher the valuation given for each address/transaction. Market Cap to Industry comparisons Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry. More complex valuation models If you would like to get into more fleshed out models with Excel, I highly recommend Chris Burniske's blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done by Nodar Janashia using Chris' model . You should create multiple scenarios with multiple assumptions, both positive and negative. Have a base scenario and then moderately optimistic/pessimistic and highly optimistic/pessimistic scenario. Personally I like to see at least a 50% upward potential before investing from my moderately pessimistic scenario, but you can set your own safety margin. The real beneficial thing about modelling isn't even the price or valuation comparisons it spits out, but that it forces you to think about why the coin has value and what your own assumption about the future are. For example the discount rate you apply to the net present utility formula drastically affects the valuation, and it reflects your own assumptions of how risky the crypto is. What exactly would be a reasonable discount rate? What about the digital economy you are assuming for the coin, what levers affects its size and adoption and how likely are your assumptions to come true? You'll be a drastically more intelligent investor if you think about the fundamental variables that give your coin the market cap you think it should hold.
Summing it up
The time for lambo psychosis is over. But that's no reason to feel down, this is a new day and what many were waiting for. I've put together in one place here how to construct a portfolio allocation (taking into consideration risk and return targets), and how to go through a systematic crypto picking method. I'm won't tell you what to buy, you should always decide that for yourself and DYOR. But as long as you follow a rational and thorough methodology (feel free to modify anything I said above to suit your own needs) you will feel pretty good about your investments, even in times like these. Edit: Also get a crypto prediction ferret. You won't regret it.
Understanding Tether: Why it accounts for a substantial part of the crypto market cap and why its the #1 outstanding issue in crypto markets today
In this post I will go in-depth on:
How Tether got to be what it is today
Why Tether's market cap is a lot more than 0.5% of the total market cap for crypto you see on CoinMarketCap
Tether printing timing
What could happen to the market if Tether is found to not be backed by reserves
Tether is incredibly important to the cryptocurrency market ecosystem and I've noticed far too few people understand what is going on. Very little actual discussion of the 2nd biggest crypto by volume happens here and whenever someone starts a discussion they most often got slapped for "FUD". Tether themselves recently hired the major New York based PR firm 5W to spread positive information online and take down critics, I'm sure some of their operatives are probably on Reddit. But its absolutely critical you understand the risks behind Tether and especially now with the explosion in reserve liability, breakdown in relationship with banks and their auditor and recently announced subpoena.
What exactly is Tether and what happened so far?
Tether is a cryptocurrency asset issued by Tether Limited (incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and a sister company of Bitfinex), on top of the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omni Protocol Layer. It is meant to give people a "stablecoin", for example a merchant who accepts bitcoin but fears its volatility could shift bitcoin into tether, which can be easier to do than exchanging bitcoin for dollars. Recently they've also added an Ethereum-based ERC20 token. Tether Ltd claims that each one of the tokens issued is backed by actual US dollar (and more recently Euro) reserves. The idea is that when a business partner deposits US dollars in Tether’s bank account, Tether creates a matching amount of tokens and transfers them to that partner, it is NOT a fractional reserve system. Tether makes the two following key promises in its whitepaper on which the entire premise is build:
Each tether issued will be backed by the equivalent amount of currency unit (one USDTether equals one dollar). Professional auditors will regularly verify, sign, and publish our underlying bank balance and financial transfer statement.
Tether is centralized and dependent on your trust of Bitfinex/Tether Limited, and that the people behind it are honest people. For the new entrants to this market it will be greatly beneficial understand the timeline of Tether and their connection to Bitfinex. A brief timeline:
Bitfinex operators Phil Potter and CFO Giancarlo Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but told the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate. Throughout 2015 and 2016, the amount of Tether stays relatively flat.
In August 2nd, 2016, the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history happened, when Bitfinex lost nearly 120,000 bitcoin. Bitfinex never revealed full details of the hack, but BitGo (the security company that had to sign off on the transactions) claims its servers were not breached.
Just 4 days after the hack Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each.
Two weeks after the hack Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, to investigate the theft and perform a financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets. The public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.
In May 2017, after long standing calls for an actual audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to "complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit."
November 7, 2017: Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals.
November 19, 2017: Tether is hacked, with 31 million USDT suddenly disappearing. Tether Limited reacts to this by creating a hard fork.
December 4, 2017: Right after hiring the PR firm 5W to help improve their image, Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics.
December 6, 2017 - CFTC issues a subpoena to Tether and Bitfinex. This news isn't made public until the end of January.
December 21, 2017 : Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.
After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 before they can begin trading.
Friedman LLP completely cut ties with Tether on January 27, 2017.
Most common misconception: Tether is only a small part of the total market cap
One of the most common misconception people have about cryptocurrencies is that the "market cap" amount they see on CoinMarketCap.com is actually the amount of money that is invested in each coin. I often hear people online dismiss any issue with tether by simply claiming its not big enough to cause any effect, saying "Well Tether is only $2.2 billion on CoinMarketCap and the market is 400 billion, its only 0.5% of the market". But this misunderstands what market capitalization for cryptocurrency is, and just how different the market cap for Tether is to every other token. The market cap is simply the last trade price times the circulating supply. It doesn't take into account the order book depth at all. The majority of Bitcoin (and most coins) are held by those who either mined or purchased for a very low price early on and simply held on as very small portions of the total supply was rapidly bid up to their current price. An increase in market cap of X does NOT represent an inflow of X dollars invested, not even close. A 400 billion dollar market cap for crypto does NOT mean that there is 400 billion dollars underwriting the assets. Meanwhile a 2 billion dollar Tether market cap means there should be exactly $2 billion backing up the asset. Nobody can tell for sure exactly how much money has been invested in cryptocurrency market, but analysts from JPMorgan found that there was only net inflow of $6 billion fiat that resulted in $300 billion market cap at the time. This gives us a roughly 50:1 ratio of market cap to fiat inflow. Prominent crypto evangelist Julian Hosp gives the following estimate: "For a cryptocurrency to have a market cap of $1 billion, maybe only $50 million actually moved into the cryptocurrency." For Tether however the market cap is simply the outstanding supply, 2.2 billion USDT is actually equal to 2.2 billion USD. In order to get $50 USDT you have to deposit $50 real U.S. dollars and then 50 completely new tokens will be issued, which never existed before on the market. What is also often ignored is that Bitfinex allows margin trading, at a 3.3x leverage. Bitfinexed did an excellent analysis on how tether is entering Bitfinex to fund margin positions There are $2.2 billion in Tether outstanding and the current market cap of the entire market is $400 billion according to CoinMarketCap. You can actually calculate Tether as a % of total fiat invested in the market according to the JP Morgan estimate, the following table outlines for a scenario of no margin lending and 15/25% of tether being on a 3.3x leverage margin account:
Fiat Inflow/Market Cap Ratio
Tether as % of total market (no margin)
Tether as % of total market (15% on margin)
Tether as % of total market (25% on margin)
JP Morgan estimate (50:1)
Even without any margin lending Tether is underwriting the worth of about 27.5% of the cryptocurrency market, and if we assume only 25% was leveraged out at 3.3x on margin we have a whole 43% of the market cap being driven by Tether inflow. A much better indicator on CoinMarketCap of just how influential Tether is actually the volume, its currently the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by volume and there are even days where its volume exceeds its market cap. What this all means is that not only is the market cap for cryptocurrencies drastically overestimating the amount of actual fiat capital that is underwriting those assets, but a substantial portion of the entire market cap is being derived from the value of Tether's market cap rather than real money. Its incredibly important that more new investors realize that Tether isn't a side issue or a minor cog in the machine, but one of the core underlying mechanisms on which the entire market worth is built. Ensuring that whoever controls this stablecoin is honest and transparent is absolutely critical to the health of the market.
Two main concerns with Tether
The primary concerns with Tether can be split into two categories:
Tether issuance timing - Does Tether Ltd issue USDT organically or is it timed to stop downward selling pressure?
Reserves - Does Tether Ltd actually have the fiat reserves at a 1:1 ratio, and why is there still no audit or third party guarantee of this?
Does Tether print USDT to prop up Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
In the last 3 months the amount of USDT has nearly quadrupled, with nearly a billion being printed in January alone. Some people have found the timing of the most recent batch of Tether as highly suspect because it seemed to coincide with Bitcoin's price being propped up. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/bitfinex-bitcoin-price.html This was recently analyzed statistically:
Author’s opinion - it is highly unlikely that Tether is growing through any organic business process, rather that they are printing in response to market conditions. Tether printing moves the market appreciably; 48.8% of BTC’s price rise in the period studied occurred in the two-hour periods following the arrival of 91 different Tether grants to the Bitfinex wallet. Bitfinex withdrawal/deposit statistics are unusual and would give rise to further scrutiny in a typical accounting environment.
https://www.tetherreport.com I'm still undecided on this and I would love to see more statistical analysis done, because the price of Bitcoin is so volatile while Tether printing only happens in large batches. Simply looking at the Bitcoin price graph over the last 3 months and then the Tether printing its pretty clear there is a relationship but it doesn't seem to hold over longer periods. Ultimately to me this timing isn't that much of an issue, as long Tether is backed by US dollars. If Bitfinex was timing the prints then it accounts to not much more than an organized pumping scheme, which isn't a fundamental problem. The much more serious concern is whether those buy order are being conducted on the faith of fictitious dollars that don't exist, regardless of when those buy orders occur.
This engagement does not contemplate tests of accounting records or the performance of other procedures performed in an audit or attest engagement. Our procedures performed are not for the purpose of providing assurance...In addition, our services do not include determination of compliance with laws and regulations in any jurisdiction.
They state right from the beginning that this is a consultancy job (not an audit), and that its not meant to be assurance to third parties. Doing a consultancy job is just doing a task asked by your customer. In a consultancy job you take information as true from the client, and you have no mandate to verify whether your customer's claims are true or not. The way they checked is simply asking Tether to provide them the information:
All inquiries made through the consulting process have been directed towards, and the data obtained from, the Client and personnel responsible for maintaining such information.
Tether provided a screenshots of twp bank balances. One of these is in the name of Tether Limited, and while the other is a personal account of an individual who Tether Limited claims has a trust agreement with them:
As of September 15, 2017, the bank held $60,919,810 in an account in the name of an in individual for the benefit of Tether Limited. FLPP obtained an engagement letter for an interim settlement plan between that individual and Tether Limited and that according to Tether Limited, is the relevant agreement with the trustee. FLLP did not evaluate the substance of the letter and makes no representation about its legality.
Even worse is that later on in Note 1, they clearly claim that there is no actual evidence that this engagement letter or trust has any legal merit:
Note 1: FLLP makes no representations about sufficiency or enforceability of any trust agreement between the trustee and the Client
Essentially what this is saying is that the trust agreement may not even be worth the paper it’s printed on. And most importantly… Note 2:
“FLLP did not evaluate the terms of the above bank accounts and makes no representations about the clients ability to access funds from the accounts or whether the funds are committed for purposes other than Tether token redemptions”
Basically Tether gave them a name of an individual with $60 million in their account according to a screenshot, Tether then gave them a letter saying that there is a trust agreement between this individual and Tether Limited. They also have account with $382 million but no guarantee that this account holds to any lien or other commitments, or that it can be accessed. Currently Tether has 2.2 billion USDT outstanding and we have absolutely no idea whether this is actually backed by anything, and the long promised audit is still outstanding.
What happens if its revealed that Tether doesn't have its US dollar reserves?
According to Thomas Glucksmann, head of business development at Gatecoin: "If a tether debacle unfolds, it will likely cause quite a devastating ripple effect across many of the exchanges that see most of their volumes traded against the supposedly USD-backed cryptocurrency." According to Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley: "You could see a spike in prices in tether-only bitcoin exchanges. So, on those exchanges only you will see a run up in price compared to the bitcoin exchanges that actually work with actually money. So you would see a huge price diverge as people see that only way they can turn tether into real money is to buy other cryptocurrency then move to another exchange. That is a bank run." I definitely see the crypto equivalent of a bank run, as people actually try to secure their gains an realize that this money doesn't actually exist within the system:
If traders lose confidence in it and its value starts to drop, “people will run for the door,” says Carlson, the former Wall Street trader. If Tether can’t meet all its customers’ demand for dollars (and its Terms of Service suggest that in many cases it won’t even try), tether holders will try to snap up other cryptocurrencies instead, temporarily causing prices for those currencies to soar. With tether’s role as an inter-exchange facilitator compromised, investors might lose faith in cryptocurrencies more generally. “At the end of the day, people would be losing substantial sums, and in the long term this would be very bad for cryptocurrencies,” says Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell professor and co-director of its Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts. Another concern is that Bitfinex might simply shut down, pocketing the bitcoins it has allegedly been stockpiling. Because people who trade on Bitfinex allow the exchange to hold their money while they speculate, these traders could face substantial losses. “The exchanges are like unregulated banks and could run off with everyone’s money,” says Tony Arcieri, a former Square employee turned entrepreneur trying to build a legally regulated exchange.
Tether-enabled exchanges will see a massive spike in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices as everyone leaves Tether. Noobs in these exchanges will think they are now millionaires until they realize they are rich in tethers but poor in dollars.
Exchanges that have not integrated Tether will experienced large drops in Bitcoin and alts as experienced investors flee crypto into USD.
There will be a flight of Bitcoin from Tether-integrated exchanges to non-Tether exchanges with fiat off-ramps. Exchanges running small fractional reserves will be exposed, further increasing calls for greater reserves requirements.
The exchanges might slam the doors shut on withdrawals.
Many exchanges that own large balances of Tether, especially Bitfinex, will likely become insolvent.
There will be lawsuits flying everywhere and with Tether Limited being incorporated on a Carribean Island whose solvency and bankruptcy laws will likely ensure they don't ever get much back. This could take years and potentially push away new investors from entering the space.
We can't be 100% completely sure that Tether is a scam, but its so laiden with red flags that at this point I would call it the biggest systematic risk in the crypto space. Its bigger than any nation's potential regulatory steps because it cuts right into the issue of trust across the entire ecosystem. Ultimately Tether is centralizing one of the very core mechanics of the cryptocurrency markets and asking you to trust one party to be the safekeeper, and I really see very little reason to trust Bitfinex given their history of lying and screwing over their own customers. I think that Tether initially started as a legit business to facilitate the ease of moving money and avoiding regulations, but somewhere along the lines greed and/or incompetence took over (something that seems common with Bitfinex's previous actions). Right now we're playing proverbial hot potato, and as long as people believe that Tether is worth a dollar everything is fine, but as some point the Emperor will have to step out from hiding and somebody will point out they have no clothes. In the long term I really hope once Tether collapses we can move on and get the following two implemented which would greatly improve the market for all investors:
Actual USD fiat pairings on the major exchanges for the major currencies
Regulatory rules on exchange reserve requirements
I had watched the Bitconnect people insist for the last 2 years that everything about Bitconnect made perfect sense because they were getting paid daily. The scam works until one day it suddenly doesn't. Tether could still come clean and avoid all of this "FUD" by simply getting a simple review of their banking, they don't even need a full audit. If everything was legit with Tether, it would be incredibly easy to have a segregated bank account with the funds used solely to back up Tether, then have an third party accounting firm simply review the account and a bank reconciliation statement then spend a few hours in contact with the bank to ensure no outstanding liabilities are held on that balance. This is extremely basic stuff, it would take a few hours to set up and wouldn't take a lot of man-hours for a qualified account to do, and yet they don’t do it. Why? Why hire a major PR firm and spend god knows how much money to pay professional PR representatives to attack "FUD" online instead? I think I know why.
Thought I would share this chat I had with James Lovejoy last night. Super generous of him to provide this much access and time answering questions. I was already a HODL'er, but this solidified it. beerfinger [1:28 AM] Just read through the entire rebranding thread in the Vertcoin subreddit. Earlier today I also watched some of Crypto Hedge's interview of James Lovejoy from last August on YouTube. I understand both sides of the rebranding argument and have tried to play devil's advocate. Right now I do believe that the argument against rebranding is stronger. Full disclosure: I've worked in marketing/advertising my whole career and just recently got into cryptos. With that said, there are two questions that keeps nagging on me: [1:28] 1. this coin has been around since 2014, so nearly 4 years. James seems like an incredibly smart and capable chap, but I'm just going to go ahead and assume the he hasn't always been the Lead Dev while he was in high school. Presumably there was someone before him and, after he graduates and moves on to whatever it is he's going to do with his life, there will be someone after him. Yes? So, with all due respect to James, as an investor in VTC, what assurances are there that this isn't merely an interesting side-project for a brilliant MIT student with little interest/incentive in its value as an investment portfolio? If the value of this coin to James is that of a college project, that is something I as an investor would like to know. jamesl22 [1:32 AM] Hey! [1:33] I've been the lead dev since Nov 2014 [1:33] (while I was in high school) [1:33] And I've kept at it through college, I certainly don't intend to go anywhere [1:33] Plus, there are more who work on this project that just me beerfinger [1:33 AM] 2. I've read complaints about Vertcoin from people who poopoo its usefulness. Decrying it as "just another coin trying to be Bitcoin with not much differentiating it." People don't seem to view the ASIC thing as a big enough differentiator to make VTC stand out. There seems to be a kernel of truth to that as part of the argument against rebranding seems to be a tacit acknowledgement that it should not occur until a major change in the development is launched. So my question again stems back to James' motivations and incentives here. Is this a convenient use case for some college thesis? Or is the team really working on coming up with a major change in development? [1:34] hey James! wow, thanks so much for your quick response [1:34] great to actually communicate with you. and I stand corrected. very impressive that you started on this so young. I can see why MIT accepted you :slightly_smiling_face: [1:36] my questions still stand though: I'm not trying to insult you so I hope you don't take it that way, but as someone who considers VTC part of my investment portfolio, I am very curious to hear about your incentives. You clearly have noble intentions. But what is your ultimate goal? What's the end game? Is it the same as Satoshi's was? (assuming he was really one person who existed) [1:37] Or is there something else? jamesl22 [1:37 AM] I think it's the same as Satoshi's [1:37] To recreate the financial system in a fairer, more distributed way [1:37] My research at MIT is totally separate to my work on VTC, though the two are complimentary (both are in cryptocurrency) [1:38] In my ideal world everyone runs a VTC miner and full node in their home, banks become narrow banks and clearing houses/stock exchanges are a thing of the past [1:39] The rewards of the financial system (in the form of transaction fees) will be distributed to the people, rather than siphoned off by banks or ASIC manufacturers as happens now (edited) goodminer [1:40 AM] :thumbsup: beerfinger [1:40 AM] I see. That is compelling. So, being that's the case, that sounds to me like something worthy of a brand, no? [1:41] Unless you think there are other coins on the market with the same goals. In which case, what will differentiate VTC? jamesl22 [1:42 AM] I don't think there are any on the market with as strong of an ideology as us [1:42] Or any that can demonstrate that it follows through on its commitments [1:42] The way I see it, VTC went from being worth $0.01 last year to 100x that now [1:43] I don't see how a rebrand can possible accelerate already parabolic growth [1:43] Bear in mind, that until a few months ago we had 0 marketing, that is where our focus should be now beerfinger [1:44 AM] Fair. I'm curious, what do you think it SHOULD be worth? [1:44] I mean right now, at this moment. jamesl22 [1:44 AM] I don't think I should say, the SEC might be watching us beerfinger [1:44 AM] Not in the future. [1:44] haha [1:44] ok [1:44] Can you say if you feel it is undervalued? [1:44] or overvalued jamesl22 [1:45 AM] I will say with confidence that 95% of the top 100 is severely overvalued beerfinger [1:45 AM] coins you mean jamesl22 [1:45 AM] Yes [1:45] On coinmarketcap [1:45] If you visit most of their websites, there is no code at all [1:45] Yet it's worth many times what VTC is worth [1:46] Where VTC has been established for nearly 4 years, bug free and features well demonstrated [1:46] VTC also had LN and SegWit on main net before LTC or BTC (edited) beerfinger [1:46 AM] Yes I mean your statement doesn't surprise me. It's a nacent market. Lots of snake oil, clearly. [1:47] I guess to steer this back towards the branding/marketing of your coin though, you clearly feel strongly about it and have a clear vision. Do you feel that as it stands the branding conveys that sentiment? jamesl22 [1:47 AM] When you say branding, I assume you mean "vertcoin" and the logo? beerfinger [1:48 AM] yes. logo, color scheme, etc... [1:48] name even [1:49] also to clarify one point, when I say that you clearly feel strongly about it, the "it" refers to your coin (not the marketing of it) jamesl22 [1:49 AM] I think it's largely arbitrary beerfinger [1:49 AM] why is that jamesl22 [1:49 AM] Most coin names have no meaning whatsoever [1:49] Google, the largest tech company in the world has a silly name [1:50] Litecoin (whose name ought to imply it has fewer features) is #4 beerfinger [1:51 AM] I wouldn't underestimate the amount of strategy that went into branding Google (and continues to this day) jamesl22 [1:51 AM] What's most important is the pitch, how can you convince someone who knows nothing about the technicals behind cryptocurrency, that ASIC resistance and decentralisation is important? [1:51] Yes, but the original branding was arbitrary and haphazard [1:52] Yet the technology spoke for itself [1:52] Now it's in the dictionary [1:53] Spending lots of time and money on a new name/logo, trying to get community consensus on that and then redesigning the website/subreddit/wallets/other services to reflect the changes is not where I think we should focus our small resources [1:54] My goal over the next year or two is to take VTC from speculative value to real-world value [1:54] So point of sale, ease of use, that's the focus now [1:55] I aim to over time provide complete solutions for merchants to implement VTC at point of sale, for laymen to set up nodes and miners in their homes [1:55] As well as potentially enterprise support if we get big enough beerfinger [1:55 AM] It sounds like this is your intended career path then, yes? jamesl22 [1:55 AM] In some shape or form, yes beerfinger [1:55 AM] Wonderful [1:55] When do you graduate, James? [1:55] If you don't mind me asking slackbot Custom Response [1:55 AM] I AM talking to you aren't I ! jamesl22 [1:56 AM] Charlie Lee worked at Coinbase for several years before returning to LTC a month or two ago [1:56] 2019 beerfinger [1:56 AM] So you're a Sophomore? Or are you in graduate school? jamesl22 [1:57 AM] Junior chuymgzz [1:58 AM] @beerfinger can you imagine when people first heard the word "dollar" like WTF is a dollar where did it actually came from. It actually comes from Czech joachimsthaler, which became shortened in common usage to thaler or taler. Don't pay much attention to the name Vertcoin, just take a look at the tech. If you buy into this coin's ideology, you will actually start to like the name. jin [1:58 AM] Hey guys :slightly_smiling_face: [1:59] @chuymgzz but not everyone looks purely at the tech, if we look at the top 100 coins, you would know whats going on :stuck_out_tongue: beerfinger [1:59 AM] Cool well thanks for indulging me, James. I really appreciate it. Hopefully this conversation continues in the future. While your probably right that right now is probably not the right time, that doesn't mean at some point in the future it won't be. In the meantime, I'll take comfort in the knowledge that I've invested in a worthy cause. chuymgzz [1:59 AM] Longer term only the functional ones and the ones that deliver will survive and a whole ecosystem will be built around it jin [1:59 AM] buzz and hype is unfortunately a large part of it beerfinger [2:00 AM] *you're jin [2:00 AM] that is true, but without marketing to draw in attention (which leads to usage and so on etc) it will be difficult for a functional one to survive even beerfinger [2:07 AM] @james122 One more thing: how do you feel about regulation? Pro or con? Do you feel that the idea of nation states like the US and China (ergo the ICO ban) taking it upon themselves to place restrictions on the market to try and make them safer is anathema to the idea of decentralization? Are you a full on libertarian in that respect? Or do you welcome regulation because it'll separate the wheat from the chaff? jamesl22 [2:07 AM] I think we need a sane amount of regulation [2:08] ICOs are clearly illegal imo [2:08] Unless they are performed under the same rules as an IPO [2:09] Plus I don't want to create a safe harbour for child pornographers, people traffickers and terrorists to store their money [2:09] However I do think the state has no right to spy on you without a warrant (edited) beerfinger [2:09 AM] You mean you don't want to be Monero? :slightly_smiling_face: jamesl22 [2:09 AM] No [2:10] I will pursue privacy features that make the pseudoanonymity provided by the blockchain easier for people to use effectively [2:11] That way, it is not obvious to anyone your holdings or transactions publicly (edited) [2:11] But things like sting operations would still be theoretically possible beerfinger [2:13 AM] Love it. I still feel the branding thing will need to be revisited at some point. I don't know what that means, exactly. Whether its as small as a font change to something bigger like a new color scheme, logo or even name, I'm not sure of. The ideology is strong, but as it stands Vertcoin doesn't have a clear differentiator in the market. I'm not sure that matters so much yet at this time, but it will. [2:15] You clearly have a strong vision, I'm just not sure it's being communicated effectively yet. Hence, haters who say Vertcoin is just trying to be another Bitcoin. workstation [2:15 AM] beerfinger might be a huge whale sniffing out Vertcoin before a huge loadup. Not that, that's a bad thing :stuck_out_tongue: beerfinger [2:15 AM] haha... I wish jamesl22 [2:16 AM] Vertcoin is trying to be another Bitcoin lol [2:16] It's picking up where Bitcoin left off [2:16] If people want a decentralised cryptocurrency, they should use Vertcoin [2:17] Bitcoin just isn't one anymore [2:17] Neither is Litecoin (edited) beerfinger [2:20 AM] Semantics really, but if that's the case then that means Vertcoin isn't trying to be another Bitcoin. Bitcoin is already Bitcoin, which is a coin that did not fulfill it's promises. Vertcoin, on the other hand, like you said picks up where Bitcoin left off. I'm not sure that's being communicated by the brand (yet). Doing so may have nothing to do with rebranding (unless rebranding generates a bigger social following who then helps you communicate that). workstation [2:20 AM] You've continued on a great coin James and no doubt Vertcoin has great features vs other coins, however without widespread use and adoption, Vertcoin might just become another coin without much use. The marketing side is sometimes even more important than the development side. Just need to look at history for that. E.g. Early version of Windows was buggy, bluescreen of death plagued it. But with heaps of $$ and marketing, Windows is pretty rock solid these days. atetnowski [2:21 AM] joined #marketing. jamesl22 [2:22 AM] Yes, agreed to both statements [2:22] We're working on it, but it takes time and money [2:23] But really, adoption is pointless until point of sale works properly [2:23] When you can get it into people's physical wallets, or phone and they can spend it in a store, that's when it takes off (edited) [2:23] Walmart, Target, all the big retailers hate Visa and Mastercard workstation [2:24 AM] Thats a long way off... Even Apple and Samsung are struggling in that area jamesl22 [2:24 AM] They would love a solution that opted them out of having to pay their fees beerfinger [2:25 AM] @workstation To play devil's advocate for one sec, most successful people in the world don't achieve success because they tried to achieve success. Success is merely a byproduct of their passion. I do believe that James' commitment to the ideology can be sufficient. But it is true that the branding should communicate his vision. That is a constant conversation, too. workstation [2:25 AM] yes, true jamesl22 [2:26 AM] What we really need is talented content creators to make compelling media that explains the vision in a layman friendly way [2:26] Thus far the message has been far too technical [2:26] But in the past, the space was mostly populated by technical people so that is understandable [2:26] It is only in the last 6 months that the general public has started to get involved [2:27] Sadly "ASIC resistance" doesn't speak to them beerfinger [2:27 AM] @james122 While it's true that universal adoption is key, you can say that about ANY coin. Even dogecoin would suddenly become a real coin if everyone up and decided to start using it one day. What's your strategy for making VTC that coin? jamesl22 [2:27 AM] Whereas I think taking power from banks, chinese miners and giving it back to the people can be far more compelling workstation [2:27 AM] We take Visa and Mastercard at our stores. We only do it because it boosts sales. People these days are all borrowing on credit because they don't have enough.... Paying on their CC# lets them buy things now (instant gratification) and slowly pay later. They managed to get banks on board because they make so much money on the interest. There is a clear reason why those cards satisfy a demand. We get charged about 1.5% by VISA/MC. To be honest, it's not a real deal breaker. beerfinger [2:27 AM] haha, well, james you're talking to the right guy :slightly_smiling_face: [2:28] My career is content creation [2:28] I have nearly 20 years producing commercials and (lately) social content for global brands mikevert [2:29 AM] joined #marketing. beerfinger [2:29 AM] I would be happy to consult and provide any assistance I can [2:29] "taking power from banks, chinese miners and giving it back to the people can be far more compelling" - that's your modus operandi [2:29] you can definitely tell that story in a compelling way [2:30] Question: have any crypto's ever created any sort of ad before? Even just for social content? (sorry, I'm new to this space) jamesl22 [2:30 AM] Well we'd obviously be grateful for your assistance [2:31] I'd imagine so, though I don't follow many other coins' social media very much goodminer [2:31 AM] @beerfinger lets chat :smile: We've been working on a lot of initiatives over the last few weeks jamesl22 [2:31 AM] @workstation 1.5% to a huge retailer is a large sum of money though workstation [2:35 AM] I don't see any coin being widely used to be honest. They fluctuate way too much. Say a typical consumer whose after tax salary is $1000/week.. He buys groceries at the store for $1/Liter. This is simple maths for him, he knows it's going to cost $1 each week, inflation may make it rise to $1.10 next year, but he understands that. With coins, the price of his milk is too hard to calculate. [2:37] Why would Bob switch to using coins, when Visa/MC give him so much more? He doesnt pay the processing fee (1.5%), he gets free credit (these days, banks will easily approve 10k credits). Why would he switch to Vertcoin? jamesl22 [2:37 AM] @workstation, volatility is high because market volume is low [2:38] I think it will take another financial crisis or two though before people start to abandon fractional reserve banking (edited) workstation [2:42 AM] As long as bob gets his paycheck, he's not going to care what happens at the fed jamesl22 [2:43 AM] Bob ain't gunna get his paycheck one day though [2:44] Because the credit ponzi scheme economy will have collapsed workstation [2:48 AM] yes, the fed can print whatever it wants out of thin air... But its backed by US tax payers to the tune of 2+ trillion/year with most banks adhering to loan capital requirements. E.g. they need a certain amount of money deposited before they can loan more money out. What is Bitcoin/alt coins backed by? Seems like its somewhat of a ponzi scheme now, with everyone piling in thinking it will go up forever. I get that BTC is backed by real energy usage/capital requirements to mine it (asic equipment, datacenters, etc), so its more "real" than $1 USD, but they both service a purpose. axelfoley75 [2:49 AM] joined #marketing. workstation [2:51 AM] but whats the end goal because it seems they all become ponzi schemes. The only true coin will be one that will not allow any fiats be converted to to coin. [2:51] the only way to earn a coin, would be to mine it, wouldn't you think that that would be the truest coin? [2:52] right now people are just moving wads of fiat money into coins/alt coins, thereby skewing everything. beerfinger [2:54 AM] just jumping in here with one last comment before I go to sleep: money, whether we're talking salt, precious metals, fiat currency, or cryptos, is just something that we all agree to prescribe a value to. That being the case, how are you going to stop someone from trading that value for something they want? If someone wants to trade their cryptos for chickens, a latte, USD or anything else, they're going to do it. No point in trying to regulate what people spend their money on or how they do it. Seems the antithesis of the whole decentralization thing anyway workstation [2:57 AM] true aegisker [3:02 AM] I belive when crypto matures, has fast and easy payments solutions, volume will rise and price will be more stable. Current price is speculation due to news and new development. I dont belive that after 10 years we will be seeing such swings. beerfinger [3:04 AM] sorry keep thinking of new stuff... @jamesl22 your point about POS is salient. What's your perspective on coins like TenX that try to address that with payment platforms and cards? [3:05] is that what you mean? nuts & bolts, how would Vertcoin become a POS option? aegisker [3:06 AM] How is usdt keeping its price around usd? beerfinger [3:07 AM] don't they just keep up with USD inflation by making sure there's an equal amount of tokens to USD in the market at any given point? jamesl22 [3:07 AM] Integration of LN and AS is key [3:07] Then providing some hardware or software solution to integrate with payment processors [3:07] I haven't looked at tenx beerfinger [3:07 AM] so Vertcoin IS actively pursuing this then [3:08] interesting [3:09] perhaps there's some way to leverage things like ApplePay jamesl22 [3:09 AM] I doubt it [3:09] ApplePay's design is fundamentally different beerfinger [3:09 AM] I mean it doesn't have to be ApplePay itself. Can be a separate app lucky [3:09 AM] Having bitcoin or altcoins tied to your debit card isn't unbelievable jamesl22 [3:10 AM] Of course not [3:10] But it is suboptimal beerfinger [3:10 AM] yeah sort of kills the whole decentralization thing lucky [3:10 AM] in fact if we are going the whole hog and saying fiat collapsed. You'd be silly to think the banks would standby and let crypto take over without them beerfinger [3:10 AM] now we're relying on banks again lucky [3:11 AM] At the first sign of crypto succeeding fiat. Banks will take over [3:11] Because they can trade their fiat to coin [3:11] Government too aegisker [3:12 AM] Well, banks issues debt, whole market is built around debt. Crypto would take that away [3:12] This will be hardest transition jamesl22 [3:12 AM] If the crypto market ever gets to say $1tril, the banks will use their lobbyist army to squash it as best they can lucky [3:13 AM] Is it not possible crypto gets immediately regulated into the banking system as soon as it passed fiat in some way jamesl22 [3:13 AM] They don't care right now because the space is tiny compared to their own equity lucky [3:13 AM] Yes exactly James beerfinger [3:13 AM] i like the idea of leveraging NFC tech as a way to introduce crypto to POS purchases... everyone already has a smart phone so no need to reinvent the wheel... it's basically just an app lucky [3:13 AM] If finance is going to change politics needs to too [3:14] Nfc seems like the way. Yeag [3:14] Lots of the android wallets leverage it aegisker [3:14 AM] No need for nfc, nfc was kinda overhyped. Qr codes can work equally good jamesl22 [3:14 AM] @beerfinger I think LN will allow us to achieve that lucky [3:14 AM] Lol qr [3:14] Who has ever scanned a qr.... jamesl22 [3:14 AM] We just need a hardware implementation for the reader beerfinger [3:14 AM] sorry james, what's LN? lucky [3:14 AM] Apple made sure qr never worked jamesl22 [3:14 AM] Lightning Network beerfinger [3:14 AM] ah aegisker [3:15 AM] If u use your phone, why complicate with nfc, is there a security benefit? beerfinger [3:15 AM] the infrastructure is there... most readers i come across these days are already NFC compliant jamesl22 [3:15 AM] QR can work, but requires a high res display in the POS device [3:15] Which would increase costs [3:15] NFC is cheap af lucky [3:16 AM] Yep. Qr is extremely requirement heavy aegisker [3:16 AM] For example, pub: you get check with qr. U pay with your phone. Waiter sees on his computer that its payed. lucky [3:16 AM] Look at Asia and south America [3:16] Nobody can read qr aegisker [3:17 AM] I europe all checks already have qrs for tax checking lucky [3:17 AM] I work in global marketing. Qr is completely unadopted in the real world [3:17] Yes in no public scenario qr is used aegisker [3:17 AM] Where you from? lucky [3:17 AM] Uk [3:19] A decade in marketing I can tell you for sure Joe public doesn't scan qr codes [3:19] James is right. We need an alternative hardware solution [3:19] And I think I unique piece of tech in public would drive massive interest aegisker [3:20 AM] In slovenia, croatia, austria(i tjink) there is law that all transactions in coffeeshops or shops(everything with fiat transaction) is sent to tax authority as soon as check is printed. U get qr code on your check, so you can check if tax s paid for your service. This is to prevent black markets and unauthorized sellers. Works pretty well. If you frequently scan qrs you can get some bonuses.. [3:21] Public got used to this pretty fast. lucky [3:21 AM] So there's an incentive aegisker [3:21 AM] So also you could print qr shop wallet addr. lucky [3:21 AM] Kind of skews the ease of adoption stat we are looking for aegisker [3:22 AM] Costz nothing lucky [3:22 AM] Costs a smartphone with a quick camera [3:22] How about in a dark club beerfinger [3:23 AM] I came tonight with many questions about Vertcoin. Namely the incentives of the Devs and how it differentiated itself in the marketplace. All of those questions have been answered as best as I could have hoped. The only thing left is figuring out a way to tell that story. @jamesl22, all of the things you've said tonight are reassuring and exciting. They provide great promise for the future of this coin and even more - your goals, if realized, are truly category shifting. This is such a compelling story. TELL IT! lucky [3:23 AM] Asking every transaction to require an in focus photo capability is insane, imo aegisker [3:23 AM] uploaded and commented on this image: IMG_20170908_092307.jpg 1 Comment Thats how it looks lucky [3:23 AM] We need something similar to a contactless debit card [3:24] Good luck scanning that in the dark with a £100 smartphone. Though. aegisker [3:24 AM] For starters this is easiest solution for early adoption (edited) workstation [3:25 AM] why not something short like vCoin. Then u could make it go off V=Vendetta, sort of has a nice mystery, anti establishment aegisker [3:25 AM] You just need plugin for your pos software that checks your crypto wallet for received funds [3:26] Imo this is easiest way to implement first public purchases of beer or coffee beerfinger [3:26 AM] by the way, less is more when it comes to branding [3:26] look at apple [3:26] i love this example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUXnJraKM3k YouTube Brant Walsh Microsoft Re-Designs the iPod Packaging [3:31] and there's always something to be said for ad wars... apple's david vs goliath attack ads vs microsoft is what put them back on the map [3:31] that could be a great angle for Vertcoin... go after Bitcoin [3:31] make fun of it the way Jobs poked at Gates [3:32] that's just my 2 Vertcoins
Please find below the slack log for discussion relating AIP19 as presented here https://github.com/ArkEcosystem/AIPs/issues/26 I will try to write a blog post explaining in further detail the AIP19 for non-technical individuals however due to current obligations it will be delayed and finish some time in September. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Matthew_DC [3:43 PM] I think AIP 18/19 has some merit and I had a chance to look at it before he published. He gave Francois and I a chance to review the idea as he was hesitant to post it publicly in fear that a competitor might steal it, which I can appreciate. There are a lot of things in there that I find interesting. The proposal in AIP18 makes a lot of sense and would solidify the price discovery and help create a streamlined system for the wallet for token swaps. We can make it intuitive and easy to use. The AIP19 proposal is where I think we all need to slow down and seriously consider both the impact it would have on ARK and what ARK is trying to accomplish, as well as the complications that might arise from the system. For starters, AIP19 turns ARK into a decentralized delegate services network. In other words, Consensus-As-A-Service (CAAS). This is something we actually discussed at Crypti and had a model for, which I believe Lisk is still planning on implementing. That model looks very similar to what Komodo has already tried to implement in regards to storing data on the main chain (hashes) relevant to the sidechain as an added security layer. I'm not sure that solution is the best model and I think there is a major problem that needs solved, which AIP19 is partially trying to address. That problem is the security of early stage bridge chains who have yet to build a strong following. Finding a way to use the "hash power", or in this case, vote based security, of the main chain, is something I've been very interested in and would love to find a proper solution for. What needs to be considered is the impact that the system has on up-time and reliability of the network (for starters). Let's say I'm an attacker and I want to just really hose up the works. If I create a script that moves large chunks of voting wait all over the place consistently for multiple blocks or rounds, how will that impact the delegates assignments, will they all switch to the appropriate network in time, will blocks be missed as the transition occurs, etc. Consider that every 1-2 cent change in price could drastically move delegates between networks and if you couple that with voter swings, you are looking at a lot of moving parts. For all of that complexity, what added security do you really gain? New bridge chains will still be very low on the list for delegates due to price which makes them easy targets. However, for an attacker, it would potentially randomize the order of delegates to a point where it would make it very hard to put yourself in position to take over a network which would add a lot of difficulty to an attack. To try and gauge exactly the amount of votes, the price of the token, and what 27 spots you would need to control would be almost impossible. The complicated part would be smoothing out the delegate transitions in a way that doesn't cause total constant chaos among delegates as votes, prices, and registrations are constantly changing. Imagine 5 years from now if there are 100 bridge chains, some with 101 delegates, some with 501, some with 51, etc. What if someone comes in and registers a network with 1,000,000,000 delegates, does it shut down the system? How does it react? There are a lot of things like that which have to be considered before you can move forward with something like this. I'm not saying it's a bad idea and I think it's a really intriguing use of the system, especially for DPoS, but there is a lot that has to be mapped out. You can't just start coding it and hope for the best. cj (azek) [3:55 PM] @Matthew_DC ++ Matthew_DC [4:12 PM] On a side note, I think that the CAAS model fits directly with the desire to have the ARK core technology power startups and enterprises blockchain solutions while providing a strong avenue for the public decentralized applications to take hold and grow. By keying their consensus and security into one main chain, it does provide added security and allow for a use case other than "currency" for the main net, but it does do it at the cost of some decentralization. Part of why ARK is being developed to allow bridged but separate chains is to avoid one central point of failure (the point of all of this). By making so many systems globally dependent on the ARK main chain for their consensus mechanism to function, you do sacrifice decentralization for security in this case. If the ARK network were to end up with a critical bug or suffer from some kind of attack, etc, it could cause all subsequent reliant network to stop forging as well. This is something we are always thinking about. vdeurzen (blockport) [4:20 PM] joined #trading_altcoins. bangomatic [4:23 PM] order books finally on Delta. :allthethings: Jarunik [4:38 PM] For AIP18 I have my doubts concerning price finding. Free market will likely beat a stable coin formula. I would rather see each token valued individually. Didn‘t analyse the formulas in detail but looks like a weak point. A market based pricing would be more interesting. Blazeron [4:39 PM] why wouldn't it just use the market value automatically? Jarunik [4:39 PM] Because there is none Check persona as example Whats the Ark-Prs market rate? tk0n (thefoundry) [4:43 PM] price is also susceptible to manipulation bangomatic [4:43 PM] polymath making some BIG announcements today. www.twitter.com/polymathnetwork Blazeron [4:48 PM] hmm true, it wouldn't work with very small tokens that aren't widely listed Matthew_DC [5:11 PM] That's the same problem you have right now with any exchange. There are hundreds of tokens you could spike by 200% in 5 mins for like $200 The point isn't whether or not all of his math is perfect or whether or not his formula is even the one that gets used, its about whether or not it is a good idea to create "liquidity gates" for atomic swaps and separately, should they be used for price discovery even if an AIP isn't taken and implemented wholesale, it may provide value through some of the ideas involved Obviously, the system he proposes in AIP19 doesn't work without proper price discovery and some kind of oracle Keep in mind, he specifically proposes a stable coin formula as an example as well as an exponential priced ICO token wherein the creator would be using it as a system to fund an ICO, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't have free market price discovery through some form of order book function. pieface [5:19 PM] Would AIP19 deem the ArkVM chain as not needed anymore? Matthew_DC [5:20 PM] To avoid major shuffling issues it almost makes sense to have a superblock either every round or x number of rounds with a longer block time to allow the delegate system to perform averages on price/position of bridge chains for delegate assignment and allow a longer period of adjustment pieface [5:20 PM] One of the benefits of the ArkVM chain is that you don't have to find delegates to run your chain, AIP19 sounds like it solves the same problem in a different way Matthew_DC [5:21 PM] It would be a completely separate consideration from VM and VM would still be something we want/need Jarunik [5:22 PM] If we need super blocks ... then it will slow down the mainnet the more sidechains we have. Wouldn't it be better to use decentralized ACES? Matthew_DC [5:25 PM] You could probably do it with 1 longer block at the end of each round to allow time for the shuffling. So one longer block every 7 mins or so. That's just a random thought and is something that would have to be tested. In some sense, this system IS ACES, just upgraded to take into account the added features of v2/AIP11 like webhooks, multi-sig, time locks, etc just re-organized into a dex with some form of order book and then used for price discovery Jarunik [5:26 PM] yes ... but it should run outside of the Ark mainnet and just connect to it Matthew_DC [5:26 PM] Well, like I said above, in his proposal, you exchange decentralization for security/valuation Which is one of the considerations (edited) It's the same argument we've been having all along brodinson [5:27 PM] I'd like some extra security and valuation :evil: Matthew_DC [5:27 PM] Do you potentially sacrifice principal for token valuation? Security would be for bridge chains Jarunik [5:28 PM] it will increase the risk for the main chain ... brodinson [5:28 PM] That's fine too right Matthew_DC [5:28 PM] At some point, you have to ask are you just recreating the current financial system with you as the central bank brodinson [5:28 PM] I mean ark being an ecosystem and all Want all that good security stuffs for the bridgechains Jarunik [5:29 PM] I am against Ark being the "master" chain. :slightly_smiling_face: brodinson [5:29 PM] Also extra reasons for a higher valuation can only attract more investors and thus more attention. Matthew_DC [5:29 PM] The more bridge chains that rely on the ARK main chain for security and in order for their applications to work, the more you risk incentivizing collusion and extortion by the delegates and increase their personal power over people's money (edited) Jarunik [5:30 PM] If you do something directly for "high valuation" ... then you will take that profit from someone else ... Who will lose ? brodinson [5:30 PM] Find countermeasures to possible collusion? Jarunik [5:30 PM] Unlikely to work. brodinson [5:30 PM] Maybe some random factors? Jarunik [5:30 PM] Power corrupts Matthew_DC [5:30 PM] I mean, at the end of the day, what he is suggesting, and what AIP19 boils down to, is turning the ARK Main Chain into a decentralized Delegate Marketplace for ARK Bridge Chains. It's a pivot for the purpose of the main chain for sure. Jarunik [5:31 PM] And my point is that a bridgechain not good enough to create a delegate incentive and market is not good enough anyway. Matthew_DC [5:32 PM] The delegate marketplace was always meant to be a completely open free market system where people could find delegates for their bridge chains and make offers/promote their chains, but never force tie-in to the ARK main chain and 100% exclusively rely on it for security and validation. Jarunik [5:32 PM] If the bridge chain does offer utility and functionality ... then it will be no problem to pay the delegates. Matthew_DC [5:33 PM] He doesn't shy away from it in the proposal and outright says that a large motivating factor for the proposal is to create valuation for the ARK token and a use case. Jarunik [5:33 PM] So this kind of ark mainchain market place sounds like a concept to push up "unhealthy" sidechains for higher valuation (similar like shittokens of eth) spghtzzz(ark.party is not a website) [5:33 PM] ARK already has those Matthew_DC [5:34 PM] If it were me personally and only me and I wasn't relying on the ARK token to make me rich and I could make decisions based on my fundamentals and what was right in staying true to the nature of ARK and decentralization, I would whole heartedly say no way. But the delegates decide what happens to the network in the end, not me. vela_nova [5:34 PM] No it sound like a way to incentivize adoption Matthew_DC [5:34 PM] There are lots of driving forces and for many, that driving force is token valuation, whether we like it or not. Having every delegate for every bridge chain be required to register and receive payment on the main chain isn't really adoption in the way we want it. (edited) spghtzzz(ark.party is not a website) [5:35 PM] Marketplaces seem like a good idea, but I think ARKVM will probably stop people from having to delegate every single function they want to create, using tokens and leveraging someone elses blockchain as a service. Jarunik [5:36 PM] we already have a delegate market place ... if you offer good enough incentives and a convincing project ... easy to find dpos delegates. pieface [5:38 PM] Couldn't there be a compromise somewhere? Continue with the Ark Mainchain like now. An ArkVM chain which the Arkcoin is pegged to An ArkDM (Ark delegate marketplace) chain which the Ark coin is also pegged to. (edited) Matthew_DC [5:38 PM] The truth is, a large part of the valuation and use of the token relies on our ability to create easy swapping mechanisms for ARK->Bridge Chains so that we can incorporate easy, simple to use, GUI driven interaction with bridge chains without anyone ever needing to own the other token. That involves ACES or something like AIP18, it involves creating multi-sig and time lock style transactions, that allow the network to use something similar to liquidity gates (for the sake of argument) to allow the ARK wallet or application store to carry out the bridge chain functions with the ARK balance, invisible to the user. @pieface There is nothing to stop someone from creating any possible use case, whether that be a delegate marketplace or 3 or 4 VM focused chains with different flavors and incentives, etc vela_nova [5:44 PM] You can’t expect potential clients to identify a use case, the actors involved, and where that use case starts and ends without some kind of built in framework and enough momentum/adoption to ensure dependability. (edited) Matthew_DC [5:45 PM] This is the tricky part of decentralized business and a decentralized world, you have to come to consensus. It's why there are so many forks out there. If we asked every delegate, odds are it would be split on AIP19 If a potential client hasn't identified a use case then how are they a client? We absolutely can expect a potential client to identify a use case or they have no business. That's step #1. As far as finding delegates, we had always planned a marketplace, just not tied to the ARK main chain in the way described in AIP19. As far as examples and frameworks, we are building out new documentation and have some partners who will be helping us do just that. vela_nova [5:55 PM] It sounds like you’re relying too much on an audience that has already accepted ark as a solution to their needs. That’s problematic when it comes strengthening the ecosystem and encouraging adoption. I look forward to this new documentation though (edited) zebedee [5:57 PM] lol Lisk up 30% , mainnet pump vela_nova [6:02 PM] :shrugs: vela_nova [6:15 PM] So the lisk community is convinced that their resources are dedicated to a productive cause. Maybe we could use some positive speculation too for a change. A little shade is one thing, but y’all are some walking palm trees :palm_tree: up in here. This culture of scrutinizing lisk or any other project but the one one we’re here for is ironically weakening the ark. SuperCool (The Golden Horde) [6:16 PM] The we already have a market place argument is an inside argument imo. From the ‘outside’ aip19 would sound really nice. While there is some truth in the ‘shitcoin argument’ I feel it almost the same as the ‘bitcoin is used by criminals’ argument Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [6:16 PM] What's the golden horde ? SuperCool (The Golden Horde) [6:17 PM] Our marketing failed :cripes: Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [6:17 PM] If it was on Reddit, I'm sorry. I don't follow the Reddit much because of the time Ark Tribe takes. tk0n (thefoundry) [6:17 PM] you have marketing? SuperCool (The Golden Horde) [6:18 PM] @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) Colby made a really nice introduction: https://medium.com/the-golden-horde-blog/the-golden-horde-announces-ark-delegation-merchandise-business-e3f1a4162a60?source=linkShare-b6b32376193e-1534436290 Medium The Golden Horde Announces Ark Delegation & Merchandise Business After being in the Ark community for more than a year, we have seen a lot of great people coming together and discussing all things… Reading time 6 min read Jul 26th https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*HOBm_aB5iJ4XUCV5y9Ls7g.png SuperCool (The Golden Horde) [6:19 PM] replied to a thread: This is really offensive, we should remove tk0n vela_nova [6:20 PM] Ya little too much behind closed doors for my taste. SuperCool (The Golden Horde) The we already have a market place argument is an inside argument imo. From the ‘outside’ aip19 would sound really nice. While there is some truth in the ‘shitcoin argument’ I feel it almost the same as the ‘bitcoin is used by criminals’ argument Posted in #trading_altcoinsToday at 6:16 PM Highjhacker (The Golden Horde) [6:20 PM] replied to a thread: DELETE :angry: arkenstone [6:39 PM] Slack outage This message was deleted. tk0n (thefoundry) [6:41 PM] You can take away my GIFs but you can never take away my freedom :allthethings: SuperCool (The Golden Horde) This is really offensive, we should remove tk0n From a thread in #trading_altcoinsToday at 6:19 PM arkenstone [6:43 PM] This was strange ..was on officia slack .. they said servers were down ..was getting error messages when sending text .. SuperCool (The Golden Horde) [6:44 PM] Yeah slack was down for me aswell I wanted to ad to my argument that aip19 or a similar solution would make ‘push click blockchain’ a real thing Msk [6:55 PM] joined #trading_altcoins. Matthew_DC [6:58 PM] I had a reply but couldn't post it and now I forgot :shrugs: SuperCool (The Golden Horde) [7:04 PM] Haha I also wrote that a lot smarter the first time mak [7:14 PM] Thanks for the feedback @Matthew_DC. Some of the points you mention up have been brought up in the last week by @skeuo as well. Such as someone changing votes frequently in order to mess with the system and someone creating a chain with 10,000 delegates. For the first problem I suggested that vote recount could happen every few hours instead of every block but it's possible there is a better way to handle this. In the second case I think a bridgechain with so many delegates wouldn't be able to sustain any significant token value since the blockreward would be diminished so much or would be unable to pay out because the liquidity gate ran out of ark. I agree these are technical hurdles related to implementation that we need to consider but I don't see them as critical issues. Regarding your last point i.e someone breaking ark main chain would break the entire ecosystem I acknowledge that it is a concern. Which is why the token economic incentive is useful to make it more difficult to execute a 51% attack on the main chain. On the other hand since the bridgechains depend on the main chain's security for theirs, it makes the bridge chains more secure. In the end I see this as a mechanism design problem where the best approaches can be proven mathematically using game theory and if there's a better way to achieve the same effects then I'd be glad to check them out. Matthew_DC [7:18 PM] You also have to consider the consensus mechanisms and individual components and modules used by bridge chains. A given bridge chain may require a specific set of modules for their applications purpose. In that sense, their node software may be vastly different for providing consensus when compared to the ARK core model. In this case, let's say delegates ABC are providing consensus for Bridge Chain X and after vote re-shuffle, ABC are now required to provide consensus for the use case of Bridge Chain Y. This may require a completely different software package for the node and you have to determine a model for those delegates to not just re-shuffle to new peers for consensus, but also potentially download and implement new modules or entire new packages in order to provide consensus for the given bridge chain to which they are assigned. (edited) Jarunik [7:19 PM] Did anyone check the sidechain forging from mainchain that blockpool is developing? Matthew_DC [7:20 PM] I haven't mike [7:20 PM] I like the proposals but prefer pie's approach of implementing them on bridged chains. The main chain needs to be simple and reliable like TCP/IP. We then build on top of in modular fashion, like adding email and http on top of TCP/IP instead of adding them to it. Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:23 PM] @mike the point was to make Ark the reward system, if they're on the bridged chain how would they receive Ark as the token reward for their forging chain? It was also meant as an incensitive for non-forging node, as for now, they're running a node for free. Matthew_DC [7:24 PM] Maybe instead you do a dual voting system that somehow ties into a core delegate market network or the ARK Main Chain that allows for voting on a given bridge chain using a bridge chain ID# and Delegate# and every ARK accounts gets 1 vote per bridge chain and then that holds 60% weight and the bridge chain votes hold 40% and the bridge chain has a mechanism built into their node through a module that pulls votes from main net So you provide additional security without the main net delegates providing consensus so packages aren't an issue and it's not as susceptible to being completely taken down by ark main net going down as a secondary voting system exists (bridge chain votes) (edited) mak [7:25 PM] That was also one of the suggestions that @skeuo came up with but from what I could work up it would have adverse effects on scaling since all main chain delegates now need to have a full node running for every bridgechain in order to know bridgechain only delegates (edited) However if we could provide hard SPV guarantees then maybe it's possible Matthew_DC [7:27 PM] OK, no need to map that out further I think you know what I'm saying on that one and it sounds like it was mentioned. Well, how do you trust any values from any network truly. If you want to vote on a bridge chain, then your wallet has to connect to a relay or node on that network through the same way we do now on ARK no need to download the entire chain necessarily goldenpepe [7:28 PM] How does one provide SPV guarantees in dpos? mak [7:30 PM] the block headers leading up to the required transaction are provided though I'm not sure if the chance of correctness in DPoS is the same as in PoW (edited) Matthew_DC [7:30 PM] Delegates on the bridge chain could still convert and payout forging rewards to main net voters with a little work to the scripts JayCrypto [7:32 PM] You guys need a new white paper Matthew_DC [7:33 PM] Way to break the flow mak [7:34 PM] the main issue IMO would be with main chain delegates accepting the threshold signatures if some of the delegates have been selected only on the bridgechain then the main chain can't know for certain about them without SPV or a fullnode and like I mentioned I don't have the expertise to figure out how reliable SPV is in a DPoS system JayCrypto [7:35 PM] Why does it matter Why can't the nodes run their own delegates (edited) mak [7:36 PM] the bridge chain could either go 100% delegates voted on their own chain or 100% delegates voted on main chain but not a mixture of both JayCrypto [7:37 PM] Why mak [7:37 PM] it would require main chain delegates to run full nodes for all bridgechains not scalable you run into the same situation that ethereum has currently JayCrypto [7:41 PM] I'm not a tech person but I always envisioned ark as bridge chains not connected to main chain but able to communicate with them through arkVM or some aces module. I never thought the bridge chains would need the security of ark. As for ICO, I was under the impression that through arkVM or aces, companies can raise money through ark/Eth/btc... And eventually some arkVM Dex would be available to trade between tokens Matthew_DC [7:41 PM] Maybe I'm being naive here, but why does the main chain care? It's up to the bridge chain to properly implement the dual voting for the added security and to require voting from main net to impact their voting mechanism. Main net should just store a vote value. If it's 60/40 main chain voting to bridge chain voting to determine delegates, then you still have a ton of added security. IF the bridge chain isn't properly implementing it, then people should consider whether or not they really want to put their money into the token/bridge chain. It would require the bridge chain delegates run an ARK node but that's better for us and creates a larger ARK main network by adding more relays. Sorry, maybe I'm missing something and I'm just thinking out loud while doing a bunch of other stuff mak [7:42 PM] main chain needs to approve/disapprove remote liquidity gate transactions based on it's knowledge of current bridgechain delegates Matthew_DC [7:42 PM] I'm not talking about the liquidity gate right now mak [7:42 PM] can't have AIP18 working without it Matthew_DC [7:42 PM] I'm talking about dual voting chains for added security and then we don't need price discovery for vote shuffles JayCrypto [7:43 PM] What's a liquidity gate mak [7:43 PM] @JayCrypto please read the AIP 18 :slightly_smiling_face: https://github.com/ArkEcosystem/AIPs/issues/25 GitHub AIP 18: On chain price discovery using liquidity gates · Issue #25 · ArkEcosystem/AIPs AIP: 18 Title: Token price discovery and creating high liquidity decentralized exchange in the Ark ecosystem using instant crosschain atomic swaps Authors: Moazzam Abdullah Khan Status: Draft Type:... Matthew_DC [7:44 PM] and it provides utility because the voting from main chain provides security to side chain and also potentially if main chain accounts get 1 vote on every bridge chain it provides for additional forging rewards exponentially as the network grows but without adding a bunch of complex activity on the main chain just more voting transactions really mak [7:44 PM] We could make it so that the bridgechain only delegates aren't part of the k-threshold signature for the liquidity gate that way it would work Matthew_DC [7:45 PM] ark tokens wouldn't dilute bridge chain circulation as they aren't actual tokens, but they provide for voting to expand capability and security of bridge chain through their use mak [7:45 PM] but then those delegates are 2nd class delegates that don't share the full responsibility Matthew_DC [7:45 PM] and voters on main chain could be paid out from converted forging rewards Aren't they though? ARK main net provides 100% of security of its main chain and 60% of all bridge chains that implement, bridge chains hold 40% of responsibility which is reasonable but allows for much more expensive 51% attacks if main net votes are being used on bridge chains providing added security for new chains just spinning up mak [7:47 PM] how do you propose we create the threshold signatures to control liquidity gates when the delegates are split like this? Maybe I'm missing something here Matthew_DC [7:47 PM] I'm not concerned at all with liquidity gates right now I'm talking about a system in which bridge chains get added security, main chain gets added utility, by adding very little to main chain bloat and using vendor field then you are back to the idea of just having a decentralized exchange for swaps, atomic swaps, and traditional methods of moving funds between for that matter, any DPoS chain could tie in to the main chain for added security using that method by registering a chain and allowing voting mak [7:49 PM] Let me ask you this then. Do you agree that the bridgechain's delegates should be responsible for handling it's liquidity gate? You have to keep in mind there are potentially billions of dollars worth of tokens stored in them. I think that delegates should be responsible for it because the community trusted them with their votes. Matthew_DC [7:50 PM] just create an atomic swap marketplace mak [7:51 PM] can't have price discovery without liquidity gates though. So there would be no rank ladder to figure out delegate-bridgechain match Matthew_DC [7:51 PM] no ladder necessary no convoluted hot swapping delegates main chain accounts choose who they want to vote for and can register 1 vote per bridge chain mak [7:52 PM] well then you have the same issue of delegates speculating on future token price and negotiating with team to become a delegate too much social friction Matthew_DC [7:53 PM] I disagree. People said our version of DPoS wouldn't work because of social this and that and bribes and blah blah Delegates can't negotiate with the team for votes if the main chain votes outweigh the bridge chain funds 60/40 mak [7:54 PM] Ohh I think it works. Just that there is a lot of unnecessary headache involved which can be taken out completely. (edited) JayCrypto [7:54 PM] @Matthew_DC are you saying that ark holders can vote on bridhechain delegates even though they have no bridhechain tokens? Matthew_DC [7:54 PM] you are creating checks and balances on manipulation by the team in a sense @JayCrypto yes, as an added security measure for the bridge chain to avoid 51% attacks in their infant stages you would essentially have to take over ARK main chain, plus a % of bridge chain tokens to gain control JayCrypto [7:55 PM] Or you could issue 1 trillion of your own tokens Is there a yes no option for this Matthew_DC [7:56 PM] It doesn't matter if % is 60/40 in delegate appointment 60% of weight from ARK main net and 40% from bridge chain net voting mak [7:56 PM] "you are creating checks and balances on manipulation by the team in a sense" I disagree with that assessment. I am creating a decentralized protocol that manages the financial layer across multiple chains. The team should only have to worry about their product and not about convincing delegates to join them by offering rewards outside of the blockrewards. Matthew_DC [7:56 PM] so no matter how many tokens you make, it still holds in the calculation They aren't offering outside rewards of any kind JayCrypto [7:57 PM] Is there a yes no option for this Cos I wouldn't want it Matthew_DC [7:57 PM] They build their product, delegates need to worry about convincing people to vote for them yes or no option for what? mike [7:57 PM] Implementing AIP18 and 19 on a bridge chain would make a lot of sense. It can operate with a 2 way peg to ark even, so delegate rewards would be the same, and convertible to Ark, or let the market decide the conversion rate, or use a liquidity gate. Many of the same delegates would operate on it, as has been the case with Persona. mak [7:57 PM] Eventually it's going to happen. Why would a delegate want to run the 100th chain in the ark ecosystem when it's expected market cap would never reach a million dollars. JayCrypto [7:58 PM] For this 60 034'3!5 thing Matthew_DC [7:58 PM] Why would anyone run as a delegate on any network JayCrypto [7:58 PM] Percent Matthew_DC [7:58 PM] at some point the team has to do some form of work Crypto needs to get away from this entitlement stage mak [7:58 PM] @mike it could be done that way for convenience but it's functionally equivalent to having the voting on main ark chain. Matthew_DC [7:58 PM] if your product is stupid and no one believes it will ever have value and you aren't making any progress or building anything then your network SHOULD die mike [7:59 PM] also, Rob has set up multiple chains to run on the same servers, so lower volume chains can be run very cost effectively. Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [8:00 PM] But then again, even with a great product, starting isn't always easy, so this marketplace of delegate could enable great project effectively. mike [8:00 PM] yes, mainchain voting could be mirrored over to the bridged aip19 chain. Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [8:00 PM] It would reduce risks for delegates too when they actually help a starting project, before they decide if they will run a full delegate on the chain or not. Matthew_DC [8:01 PM] AIP19 doesn't solve the "I don't want to be a delegate on a useless network" problem either why would someone sit in spots 1,000-2,000 and run a node at a loss? same problem mike [8:01 PM] i've never seen a new project having problems recruiting delegates, but they do sometimes have a problem retaining them if interest in the project fades due to failure to execute. Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [8:02 PM] @mike but so far there isn't many projects. mak [8:02 PM] I think you misunderstood my point @Matthew_DC. I think delegates are service providers that get paid to ensure decentralization to your bridgechain. They may or may not provide additional services to remain competitive but that's irrelevant for now. What I'm saying is that we can streamline the back and forth that is required currently to get delegates and keep them running (look at KAPU). Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [8:02 PM] When the number multiplies, there will be much more to chose from, and this might become another kind of trouble. mak [8:03 PM] However if you don't agree with that perspective then that's fine. Someone will eventually come in and implement AIP19 on their forked chain and we will let the market decide if it's useful or not. vela_nova [8:03 PM] Dunno ark the product can have everything but a driving purpose and still fail economically Matthew_DC [8:03 PM] You just need a central place for delegates to market themselves and their services and for projects to find them Master [8:03 PM] What’s the debate :eyes: vela_nova [8:03 PM] That is why I like what mak is getting at Matthew_DC [8:03 PM] You can do that without massive changes to the ARK Main net JayCrypto [8:03 PM] I'm just shocked that ark bridgechains have to use ark main chain delegates Jarunik [8:04 PM] A normal website is enough as delegate market place. I would have to run different servers for different chains anyway ... no need to integrate delegate operation into one mainchain. Matthew_DC [8:04 PM] And I agree the market should decide so you won't find any argument there. I would love to see multiple models challenge one another because in the end it makes the winner much stronger Jarunik [8:05 PM] More delegate tools that come out of the box and are easy to port over would help though.. :wink: Matthew_DC [8:05 PM] but anyone struggling to find delegates right now, it is most likely because their idea just sucks Jarunik [8:06 PM] Let's first have a good and stable payment solution for all bridge chains without the need for every delegate to code some script himself ... will already make delegate recruitement easier. Matthew_DC [8:06 PM] That's not going to happen. Delegate payouts won't be coded into the network itself by us at any point. Jarunik [8:06 PM] Things like that are much easier to implement and much less invasive. I didn't say that ... Brian already made a good plugin. Matthew_DC [8:07 PM] That I'm fine with Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [8:07 PM] @Jarunik something like that implemented in the Ark Commander? Matthew_DC [8:07 PM] but no baking it into the network core itself Jarunik [8:07 PM] If that becomes well tested and easy to use ... will help all bridge chains Matthew_DC [8:07 PM] for previously stated reasons Jarunik [8:07 PM] i don't want anything in the core :stuck_out_tongue: i love the bare bone approach of v2 Matthew_DC [8:07 PM] shit guys, I'm really enjoying this but I was supposed to leave 7 minutes ago to take my kids somewhere try to capture some of the convo if you can and post a pastebin link in the github maybe just for the sake of saving it Jarunik [8:08 PM] complex stuff tends to fail too easily mak [8:08 PM] have fun :slightly_smiling_face: I think I've laid out all of my points. It's upto the delegates to decide if the idea holds merit and should be implemented. JayCrypto [8:09 PM] Is this 60/40 thing a slider which new bridgechains can use @Matthew_DC spghtzzz(ark.party is not a website) [8:09 PM] I always thought the ArkVM was meant to address this, if a person who is starting a new bridge does not **need** to change any node code, or **want** to run any delegates they can just create a token. Perhaps I am wrong though. mike [8:09 PM] i think implementing aip19 on a forked chain is best approach, and let market decide. i think there are some very good ideas to try in aip18 and 19, which is the advantage of ark's modular approach. ideas like this can be tried without risking the main chain, or having to hardfork it to add them in. By allowing a token swap or doing an airdrop, ark holders can have a stake in its success if it really does take off. mak [1 hour ago] If there's a 1:1 peg with ark on the new chain then there's no economic incentive for people to hold the new chain. However it will split the votes so it would be easier to attack the new network that's hosting the bridgechain delegate voting system. mak [1 hour ago] So if we want to experiment with it then we can't have the peg there. mike [1 hour ago] so you can mirror the voting from the main chain, just ignore votes for delegates that aren't running on the bridged chain. mak [1 hour ago] At that point is it a different chain anymore?
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