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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

How Decentralized Finance Came to Be

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) can be rightfully considered a third revolution in the crypto space. If you wonder what the first two are, these are the invention of blockchain itself along with the technology’s firstborn, Bitcoin, and the inception of the smart contract technology. Just like blockchain provides the basis for smart contracts, the latter give rise to DeFi. It is often said that smart contracts are poised to revolutionize the ways both humans and organizations interact in their contractual relationships. In this sense, DeFi is the stage where these relationships are set to emerge and develop. With a bigger picture in mind, it is the world that the blockchain technology lays the foundation for, while smart contracts help to build it. Why we need DeFi, how it is possible, what makes it tick and click are the main themes of this article.
by StealthEX

But seriously, why do we need it?

As most financial services in existence today are provided by or involve third parties, for example, banks, exchanges, investment companies, insurance agencies etc, DeFi is an attempt to build an alternative environment, an ecosystem of applications offering the same set of services but now powered by public blockchain networks in a decentralized, transparent and permissionless way. By and large, the basic idea that guides DeFi is essentially the same ethos that drives innovation with crypto as such, but at an entirely different level.
Just like cryptocurrencies try to wrest the state supremacy over money from the hands of rogue governments and central banks, DeFi takes it further and aims higher. With DeFi, it is no longer a matter of creating a coin in an effort to replace fiat money, which mostly doesn’t work anyway. However, building a whole new domain of financial services available fairly and squarely to anyone, with full control over the assets but without corrupt governments and greedy intermediaries sticking around, may pan out better after all.
So, answering the question posed at the beginning of this section, we need DeFi for basically the same reasons we need cryptocurrencies. Or, put differently, if we need cryptocurrencies, an assumption that has been proved indisputable, it is inevitable as well that we will sooner or later become interested in decentralized financial services powered by these cryptocurrencies through smart contract blockchains. We can’t just create Bitcoin and say that’ll do. It is a natural development, a Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in a sense.

How is it ever possible?

As mentioned in the introduction, DeFi emerges thanks to smart contract tech and decentralized applications (or simply dApps) running them. So how does it work in practice? To better understand the idea, let’s take a closer look at a relatively simple example of a decentralized crypto-backed stablecoin which can be created through a smart contract. Stablecoins are coins whose value is pegged to a stable asset such as a commodity like gold or a fiat currency like the US dollar.
There are a few different types of stablecoins that exist in the wild. For the purpose of this exposition, we are interested in crypto-backed stablecoins. Like stablecoins collateralized by fiat, these stablecoins use cryptocurrencies as collateral. However, the key difference is that a fiat-based stablecoin is pegged to the fiat currency which is backing it up. Kinda obvious. A crypto-backed stablecoin, on the other hand, is pegged to one asset, say, the American dollar, but backed up by a completely different one, for example, Ether. Things get tricky.
A crypto-collateralized stablecoin is possible through the magic and the beauty of the smart contract governing it. If the price of such a stablecoin rises above its peg, or parity, you can create more stablecoins and sell them at a premium. If the price of the stablecoin falls below parity, you can buy stablecoins and liquidate them at a discount. If the collateral itself crashes, undercollateralized stablecoins will be liquidated with their collateral now backing up fewer stablecoins. As a result, the price always gets pushed back to parity.
And all this rather complicated stuff is done on the blockchain in a decentralized and automatic fashion with no banks or other third parties involved. Consequently, more services are easily possible too. And quite a few at that.

Okay, what decentralized financial services are available?

Well, one such service we have just described above. Cryptocurrencies are infamous for being extremely volatile, and stablecoins are designed to deal with this issue. There are many stablecoins out there like Tether, TrueUSD, or Gemini Coin, but they are all based on trusting third parties. Easily one of the best known crypto-backed stablecoins is MakerDAO’s DAI, which is pegged against the US dollar with a basket of crypto-assets as collateral in a truly decentralized and trustless way, that is, a blockchain way.
Crypto-based stablecoins can be used on their own by offering a hedge against the price volatility of such popular cryptocurrencies as Ether or Bitcoin. Aside from that, they are also instrumental in other DeFi services, for example, in decentralized exchanges like IDEX or BiKi.com. With stablecoins, it becomes possible to create fiat trading pairs in addition to crypto ones in entirely decentralized, non-custodial trading environments as opposed to centralized exchanges like Bitfinex or Binance, which are vulnerable to high-profile hacks and personal data leaks.
Unlike MakerDAO, Ampleforth doesn’t strive to create a rock-solid stablecoin. Instead, it comes up with the notion of “adaptive money built on sound economics”, with its mission stretching out as far as to marry “the scarcity of Bitcoin with the elasticity of fiat”. It tries to go beyond the relatively simple concept of a stablecoin and brings forth the idea of elastic money supply that can expand and contract depending on market demands, as well as allow the creation of a valid form of collateral for DeFi based on that idea.
Obviously, DeFi is not just about stablecoins or the financial services using them. Blockchain-based borrowing and lending is another important DeFi arena. With platforms like Compound, dYdX, Dharma, you can deposit your crypto assets to either earn interest on them or use these assets as collateral for borrowing. Smart contracts automatically match borrowers and lenders, offering dynamic interest rates based on supply and demand. And with tools like LoanScan, you can also easily shop around for the best interest rates on the block.
These examples are far from exhaustive, of course, as the space is rapidly expanding and evolving. However, there are some fundamental issues that put grit into the wheels of the DeFi war machine.

So where’s the catch?

There are many advantages of DeFi, but to be of any practical use, it needs up-to-date information that would be reliable and authentic. Smart contracts that DeFi is based on are hopelessly on-chain, but the data they need for processing is mostly off-chain. Without a bridge to close this gap between a smart contract and its source of external information, smart contracts are entrapped in closed-off dungeons of their blockchains. To be sure, no crypto-based stablecoin is going to work correctly without a real-time price feed for the assets taken as its collateral and used for maintaining the peg.
To get around this roadblock, a concept of blockchain oracles has been suggested. But as the chain cannot be stronger than its weakest link, blockchain oracles seem to be that weak link in the field of DeFi and beyond as obtaining information in a verifiable way can be an intimidating task. What approaches dApps are taking to procure and verify sources of truth in the external world is the topic of our upcoming article about blockchain oracles. Stay with us and stay tuned!
And remember if you need to exchange your coins StealthEX is here for you. We provide a selection of more than 250 coins and constantly updating the list so that our customers will find a suitable option. Our service does not require registration and allows you to remain anonymous. Why don’t you check it out? Just go to StealthEX and follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your coins.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected].
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/08/04/decentralized-finance-defi/
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Recap of Binance English Kava AMA (May 2020)

This AMA was conducted within the Binance English Telegram channel prior to Kava's June 10th launch of its DeFi Lending Platform.

Q1:

Can you give us a little history of KAVA?

Q2:

Could you please tell me what KAVA cryptocurrency is? What problem does it solve?

  • Answer - KAVA is the staking, governance, and reserve asset of the Kava DeFi platform. KAVA is required by node operators to secure transactions on the blockchain. Additionally, when lending fees are paid, they are converted to Kava and burned reducing the overall supply of KAVA tokens. As more users use the Kava lending platform, KAVA should become more scarce overtime.

Q3:

What is the advantage of keeping the KAVA token for a long and short term?

  • Answer - In the short term, if you stake KAVA you can earn additional block rewards every day, block by block. This provides a nice steady return on the Kava usually in the range of 3-20% depending on the number of people staking.
  • We will be opening the gates of DeFi to many top tier assets such as BNB, XRP, ATOM, and BTC which have never been able to use lending, stablecoins, or other DeFi Services. If you are a KAVA hodler you can benefit from owning and having a stake in the network as we grow because as the network grows, Kava is burned and it becomes more scarce as a resource.

Q4:

Chainlink is KAVA’s partner, can you explain more about this partnership?

  • Answer - Yes, this is not the usual chainlink partnership where a blockchain consumes data from Chainlink’s oracle solution.
  • No oracle solution adequate for DeFi applications on Cosmos was available. For this reason, Kava has teamed up with Chainlink to bring its data and reliable oracle solution to the Cosmos ecosystem. Chainlink nodes now will be able to securely publish data directly on the Kava blockchain where it can be used or easily transported to other Cosmos-based blockchains and applications. Chainlink oracles on Kava utilize all the industry-leading technologies of Chainlink, while enabling more frequent price updates and improving the reach and distribution of where that data can be used.
  • Since Kava’s blockchain is built using Tendermint, Tendermint-based blockchains within the Cosmos ecosystem (Binance, Terra, OKChain, Cosmos Hub, Agoric, Aragon, and others) will now be able to retrieve market data such as cryptocurrency, FX, and commodity prices. For DEX’s like Binance this will enable them to create futures, options, and other derivative products they were not able to do so before.
  • TLDR: Kava + Chainlink Data creates the ideal hub for all blockchains and applications to get their DeFi services and Data, and as result makes Kava a natural hub for the growing Cosmos ecosystem.

Q5:

What is the KAVA CDP product? Do you have any exciting things down the pipeline that you can share?

  • Answer - First, let me clarify that CDP simply means “collateralized-debt-position” similar to CDOs that exist in the traditional finance world. What it means is a loan using collateral to back the loan.
  • Kava’s lending platform offers collateralized loans to users who have crypto. Getting a loan with Kava’s platform is great if you don’t want to sell your crypto position, but need short term cash for payments or if you want to use the loan to get a levered / margin position without going through KYC.
  • As for news! Kava’s lending platform is scheduled to officially launch on the mainnet June 10th.
  • At this time, DeFi will be made available to BNB for the first time ever. Also at this time, the Kava DeFi platform will be awarding the first users that have BNB extremely high rewards for being early adopters.
  • Each week, 74,000 KAVA will be given out to all the users who have taken out loans on Kava. Yes, you get free KAVA, for taking out a loan using BNB!
  • If you want to participate, you can learn more about how to do it here!
  • Medium

Q6:

Why should BNB users use KAVA’s lending platform and take out USDX? And how to mint USDX with BNB on KAVA CDP?

  • Answer - Free- maybe let's call it rewards for being good users 😉
  • The rewards are platform growth incentives so that we can grow the platform quickly.
  • Well at launch, definitely the KAVA rewards are a huge reason for BNB users to use it.
  • As for the product long-term, the major use case for our lending platform is to get a levered position without needing an exchange or to go through KYC.
  • How it works is that a BNB holder can deposit their BNB and take out USDX loans - this capital they will take and buy more BNB with it. Most people will use the loan this way to get 2-3x the original BNB amount. If the price goes up on BNB, they win 2-3x the gains!
  • Of course if the price goes down and they cannot repay their loan, the BNB collateral might get liquidated, so be careful, it works just like a margin trading account.

Q7:

Brian do you have any more information or links for our community about this?

Q8:

KAVA was initially planned to launch on Ripple network but later switched to Cosmos Tendermint Core. [email protected] is that something you see in Tendermint Core that is not available anywhere?

  • Answer - For clarification, Kava was never planned to be on Ripple. However, Ripple is a Kava investor, shareholder, and partner.
  • We selected the Cosmos-SDK featuring the Tendermint BFT consensus because during our past work with Ripple, MakerDao, ETH, and other layer 2 work we learned the value of “finality” of blockchains. For example, on ETH, the finality of blocks do not happen right away. You need to reach 15+ blocks to be confirmed on Ethereum to really know a transaction has passed. This results in really slow user experiences that aren’t acceptable in finance or any application really.
  • Tendermint solves this because it makes every transaction final and occur in seconds.
  • Additionally, we chose the Cosmos-SDK as the framework to build our stand alone blockchain, Kava because it allowed us to create our own security model and design which enables Kava as a DeFi platform responsible for millions of dollars of collateral to be very secure in a way we could net get if we built it on any other network.

Q9:

KAVA does cross-chain support. Compared to other DeFi platforms, KAVA offer collateralized loans and stable coins to users too. How will volatility be managed there with so many different collateral systems in CDP?

  • Answer - Volatility is an important consideration and accurate and timely price reference data is needed to make sure the system works.
  • All the collateral positions rely on price feeds from oracles to determine if they are safe or need to be liquidated. Kava has created a novel partnership with Chainlink, where Chainlink oracles that normally run on Ethereum, operate nodes directly on Kava where they can post prices. This Kava to avoid network congestion, high gas fees, and other less desirable issues found on Ethereum, while enabling the oracles with Kava’s fast blocktimes and finality so they can actually deliver price updates 10-20x more frequently than is possible elsewhere. This makes Kava’s price feed data very reliable.
  • In times of volatility, if liquidations occur, the Kava platform automatically auctions collateral off for USDX on the market and burns the USDX. This mechanism keeps the system balanced and USDX algorithmically stable and always fully collateralized by real assets.
  • And it does this transparently, unlike the real world CDOs which caused the world issues in 2008 due to the lack of transparency in their assets and risk.

Q10:

Recently, Binance has released a white paper on BSC, a Binance smart chain. So, what can I get by staking through Binance Coin BNB?

  • Answer - Yay for smart contracts!
  • What can we get by staking bnb?
  • Staking BNB on Kava, or depositing it in a CDP and creating USDX from it earns users KAVA in rewards everyweek. A lot of rewards. In addition, you get USDX to hold which also pays out a savings rate each block that is much better than say what USD in a checking account could do.

Q11:

Various platforms are in Ethereum. So why is Kava not at Ethereum?

  • Answer - I could speak about this for ages, but there is a reason for Ethereum being the home to many hacks and bugs.
  • Kava is not on ethereum because we couldn’t build our system there. The main reasons. as I have mentioned are:
  • (1) Ethereum has congestion, oracle issues, high fees, and slow block times.
  • (2) Ethereum’s open smart contracting system can do anything. This is great for building crypto kitties, but horrible for financial software as it makes all code have infinite attack vectors that hackers can use which are impossible to test for. We built our own chain so we could scope the code and limit what attack vectors are possible.
  • (3) Building in solidity, the language of Ethereum, is horrible. The development environment is bad, testnets don’t work, and many other things are painful. Kava is primarily built in GO which is far superior for financial applications in most respects.
  • (4) The future is Cosmos. Binance, Okchain, terra, Cosmos Hub(ATOM), and Kava all are created using the Cosmos-SDK framework. I believe this is the future and the blockchain developers are moving to this in mass. Over 110 projects now are building with the Cosmos-SDK.

Q12:

What are ways by which Kava project generates profit/revenue to maintain project. What is your revenue model?

  • Answer - Kava is a for-profit financial DAO with over 80 different businesses staking Kava and voting on its evolution. They want to see Kava succeed so they vote to fund operations and developments that drive user growth in Kava. Due to fees paid in Kava and the burning mechanism, as the system grows in users, the Kava supply decreases making those that hold Kava win due to scarcity.

Q13:

Lending/Borrowing has been introduced by Binance. How can this affect the Kava since people can directly borrow BUSD from Binance with BNB used as collateral than going to Kava?

  • Answer - Kava will be featured on Binance as well. The main benefit of Kava is that there is no counterparty. The capital is minted on demand not sourced from somewhere. Binance and other centralized parties on the otherhand need to find capital to provide loans, creating a cost of capital. Kava is much more efficient at providing capital and avoids a lot of regulator issues.
  • I'll add I think BUSD in the future might be usable for collateral to Kava's loans as well. It would be cool 🙂

Q14:

What's your opinions on Future of DeFi & DApps? Do you think that DeFi is the future of current Financial world? Also, How do you see the future of KAVA?

  • Answer - I believe Centralized Finance and the existing infrastructure has a place. It has a lot of issues that cause things like the 2008 crisis and the current insolvency issues that are happening across the world due to trust-based debt with no actual backers other than the people which end up bailing out banks and other financial institutions that have made poor decisions.
  • DeFi's future is bright because it solves this fundamental issue. It removes trust and adds transparency. Kava is right at the foundation for all of DeFi as things grow and mature.

Q15:

Recently, we have seen some big hacks in DeFi platforms. How will KAVA deal with these bad actors of crypto and what security measures have been taken by KAVA for the safety of users' funds?"

  • Answer - Unlike a lot of DeFi startups, we take things seriously. We don't ""move fast and break things"" as Mark Zuckerberg would say.
  • We do a thorough analysis before suggesting to deploy code. Our internal team works very hard to run tests and simulations, once it passes internally, we give it to 3rd party auditors who try and game it and break the code. If it passes there, we give the code to the community to review and vote into the mainnet. In this way, I’d estimate about 100+ people review our code and test it before it goes live and consumers can touch it. I don't know many other project teams that due things with such diligence.

Q16:

Binance for KAVA is a very valuable partner in terms of increasing the number of users, but what is KAVA ready to give equivalent to Binance users? What applications will be integrated into Binance to expand the ecosystem?

  • Answer - Kava gives the BNB users loans. It gives the DEX a stablecoin and the ability to offer margin products. Kava’s connection to binance chain and chainlink data also enables Binance DEX to offer trustless derivatives like options and futures products going forward.

Q17:

Cosmos has limitations on working with PoW coins. How do you technically solve the problem of implementing DeFi products for bitcoin?

  • Answer - Cosmos is great for hard-to-work-with blockchains like BTC. It's flexible in how you can construct bridges. For example, the validator set can have a multisig private key split up into pieces in order to create a trustless escrow and control of assets on other blockchains. In this way, we can create peg zones with Cosmos for the best assets in the world. Once a zone is established, it can be used on Kava and other Cosmos chains.

Q18:

USDX is currently a little-known stable coin. Do you plan to add it to the top exchanges with good liquidity, including Binance?

  • Answer - USDX will be growing quickly. We have a plan to have it listed and get liquidity across several known exchanges shortly after launch.

Q19:

There are several options for using USDX on the KAVA platform, one of which is Margin Trading / Leverage. Is this a selection function or a compulsory function? Wondering since there are some investors who don`t like margin. What is the level of leverage and how does a CDP auction work?

  • Answer - Using Kava for Margin trading is 100% optional. You can choose how you want to use the margin loan. You don’t have to spend the USDX unless you want to. It could be used for everyday payments as well in the case you simply don’t want to sell your underlying collateral. If you don’t want the risk, do small loans with lots of collateral.

Q20:

Will your team have a plan to implement the DAO module on your platform, as it provides autonomy, decentralization and transparency?

  • Answer - DAO - Kava is a for-profit DAO and it’s fully functional already. We have on-chain governance and have underwent several votes and evolutions you can look at. You actually can see some current voting processes taking place here: https://kava.mintscan.io/proposals
  • We recently implemented a cool feature called committees, which enables the DAO to elect a small group of experts to make decisions without needing a vote of the whole user base. This enables the experts to have control over a small portion of the protocol - such as monitoring the debt limit, fees, etc and enables Kava to operate faster and be more adaptable in volatile market conditions.

Q21:

How can we address the possible overloads and security threats caused by increased users in the DeFi scene?

  • Answer - Yes, this is a huge issue for Ethereum, MakerDAO and everyone in the space. I don’t see a bright future for DeFi on Etheruem unfortunately. You can’t have a blockchain do everything well. Tether alone congests most of Ethereum and makes oracle price feeds lag the market. This can cause liquidations that should not happen and real people will lose real funds. It’s a huge issue.
  • The hope is for a dedicated system like Kava to provide a better backbone for DeFi applications going forward.
  • I should point out that Kava is not just a MakerDao for Cosmos or a CDP for Bitcoin. Kava is designed to be a foundational layer for DeFi services that every new blockchain and application will need.
  • Every blockchain will need DeFi services like lending, stablecoins, and data and they need it to be very secure. Kava does all this with its cross-chain lending plarform, USDX stablecoin, and Chainlink data in an incredibly secure, but accessible manner.
  • In this way, Kava aims to connect and serve all the major cryptocurrency communities and build it’s place at the center, where every developer can get what they need to build financial applications of the future."

Q22:

What distinguishes Kava from your existing competitors like Syntetix?

  • Answer - Synthetix isn't really a competitor, but it is an interesting project in terms of mechanism design. We share a lot of common investors and have similar token economic ideas with them. The only blockchain project that could be is MakerDAO, but they can only work with ETH assets due to their design. We are focused on the major cap assets - BTC, BNB, XRP, ATOM and others have a much larger market than ETH to address. BTC is 10x the size alone. Currently no one serves them with DeFi. We’re going after this opportunity and believe it to be a huge one.

Q23:

Why is the KAVA coin not used for Mint, why am I asking that because I see it can also make the value of KAVA coins grow naturally?

  • Answer - Why is Kava not used as a collateral? Well, it could be I suppose. The community might vote for this in the near future if they want us to be like synthetix. It makes the Kava token more valuable and it will incentivize much more locked-up Kava reducing overall circulating supply which is fairly favorable. The main reason we have not done this yet is that we(Kava and its community) are still weighing the risks of doing this given that Kava also functions as a reserve asset. I think it's likely Kava gets added as collateral at some point, but it will likely have a high debt-collateral ratio to address the issues similar to Synthetix which is 750%.

Q24:

How do you prevent in a manipulated KAVA Mint just to take advantage of a token prize when minting?

  • Answer - Minting rewards and manipulation. We’ve thought of this. Each week, the blockchain counts all the blocks, counts how many people had a loan in that period, then takes the average loan amount over time to calculate the rewards. If you open and close a loan - you will get very little rewards. You only get a large reward if you keep the loan open the full period.

Q25:

Who are your oracle providers? Are you also an oracle provider?

  • Answer - Kava may run 1 oracle in the future, but we will always have many and be the minority. Most chainlink oracle node operators are large players in the space that run staking infrastructure companies like cosmostation, chainlayer, chorus one, figment networks, etc. Binance will also be one of our oracles.

Q26:

If we look at all the different types of DeFi products _(decentralized exchanges, stablecoins, atomic swaps, insurance products, loan platforms, trade financing platforms, custody platforms, and crowdfunding platforms) currently covering important areas of traditional finance...where does Kava fit in?

  • Answer - To make any interesting financial product work you need capital, a stable store of value, and price data. These are really hard to get on current blockchain environments. Kava provides all of these.

Q27:

Many people describe Kava as similar to Maker (MKR). How is Kava different? Why do you think Kava has more potential?

  • Answer - MakerDAO is a smart contract with a singular purpose, to serve ETH. It sadly inherited the problems of ethereum. Kava is designed from the ground up for security and interoperability. We are targeting bigger and better assets and have more capabilities to serve them with what their developers and ecosystem need.

Q28:

What is the uniqueness of KAVA project that cannot be found in other project that´s been released so far ?

  • Answer - Well in June 10th, we will be the first ever blockchain project to bring DeFi to another blockchain in a real way. BNB users will have loans, stablecoins, and much more.

Q29:

The gas fee is an issue for blockchain besides scalability. Does your Kava provide a solution for gas?

  • Answer - gas fees are very low on Kava, only high enough to prevent spam. We dont need high fees for TX because validators are paid in block rewards. Additionally, we dont have competing transactions from crypto-kitties or other non-financial applications. This leaves all of Kava's throughput 100% dedicated to scaling financial transactions.

Q30:

Kava project works on DeFi (Decentralized Finance) But what’s the benefits of Decentralized Financial system? What are the possibilities of DeFi over Centralized Finance system?

  • Answer - Open access, no need for trust, and no censorship by singular governments or parties. Kava is accessible anywhere in the world, by anyone.

Q31:

Data supplied by oracles are false at times, how do you prevent this? How reliable are data received by KAVA?

  • Answer - This is why using premium / credentialed APIs is important for oracles. These data sources tend to be more accurate and better managed. Wrong prices can happen - for liquidation systems like Kava, we factor this into our design by using an average of data overtime form all oracles as part of the calculation.

Q32:

Can anyone become a KAVA validator, or is it just an invitation from the project itself? What are the requirements for becoming a KAVA verifier?

  • Answer - Anyone can become a validator, but you will need to stake or have enough stake delegated to you from others to be in the top 100 validators to earn block rewards.

Q33:

DEFI PULSE said that a total of 902M is currently locked. According to you, how will this number change in the next few years, and how will KAVA position itself as the top player in this market segment?

  • Answer - DeFi will only grow through 2020. And likely grow massively.
  • All projects on DeFi pulse are ""ethereum"" based. Kava is going to shake the blockchain world in the next few weeks by being the first ""multi-chain"" project on DeFi pulse and by my estimations we should quickly surpass a lot of the projects on that list.

Q34:

I am an testnet minter and the process seem Simplified, now I want to know if minting of USDX will continue when you launch Mainnet and do you have plans to build your own KAVA WALLET for easy minting on your mainnet

  • Answer - Simple blockchain experience?! high praise! Yes the process will be the same. Kava will not provide interfaces or wallets. Kava Labs builds software for the blockchain, our community members like Cosmostation, Frontier, Trust Wallet build support for people to interact with it.

Q35:

What business plans does Kava have with Seoul (South Korea) after partnering with Cosmostation? Do you plan to expand your products beyond Asia? Have you thought about harnessing the potential of South America?

  • Answer - South Korea is a perfect market for Kava's DeFi. Regulations prohibit fiat-backed stablecoins and margin trading. Kava's platform uses crypto-backed stabvlecoins and can enable users to get loans to margin trade. I am looking forward to further developing the Korean market for Kava, working with close partners like Cosmostation and showing the world real use cases of DeFi.

Q36:

Thank you for taking the time to conduct this AMA. Do you have any parting words, and where can the people go to keep up with all of the new happenings regarding Kava Labs?

  • Answer - Thanks for all the awesome questions! Amazingly thoughtful!
  • I've been promising the world cross-chain DeFi since June of last year. The IEO and mainnet went live Nov 2019. It's been a year of hard work - but an industry first is coming on June 10th. I'm excited. I hope you guys are.
  • Thanks for having me, I hope you become a USDX minter and get KAVA rewards. And last but not least, I love Binance - it's Kava's first home and I'm really happy to open up DeFi to BNB first.
  • To keep up to date w/ all things Kava: Website - Telegram - Telegram for Kava Trading Chat - Twitter - Medium
submitted by Kava_Mod to KavaUSDX [link] [comments]

Market Analysis on April 7, 2020: The Current Market Is Like A Sudden Serious Illness, And Will Not Recover so Quickly

Market Analysis on April 7, 2020: The Current Market Is Like A Sudden Serious Illness, And Will Not Recover so Quickly
[Today's Hot Tips]
1. [Senior Japanese Officials: The current lack of Japanese digital asset tax policy may lead to capital outflows]
Shun Otokita, a representative of the Reformed Party, a senior official of the Japanese government, said that the current national tax system cannot yet accept digital asset declarations, which may lead to capital outflows, and pointed out the importance of market research on taxation of cryptocurrencies separately. Otokita acknowledged that it is difficult to quickly modify the tax law to apply to digital assets, but pointed out that it is necessary to conduct market research to determine which changes are necessary.
2. [BB: The global macro environment is jointly highlighting the value of encryption]
On April 7, Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.One, tweeted that the global macro environment has never been as prominent in the value of encryption as it is now, and it will be the same for the next 24 months.
3. [The Central Bank continues to promote the development of legal digital currency]
According to the People ’s Daily news on April 6, the People ’s Bank of China ’s video and telephone conference on 2020 national currency, gold, silver and security work was recently held in Beijing. The conference made plans for the key work in 2020, and proposed to unswervingly advance the research and development of legal digital currency, systematically promote the reform of cash issuance and return systems, and accelerate the promotion of banknote processing business, issuance of warehouse guards, and issuance of fund escort transformation.
4. [Binance is subject to a class action in the United States]
Binance was subject to a class action in the United States, and lawyers said the case was unlikely to be rejected.
The Southern District Court of New York received a series of class action and the lawsuits targeting the top companies and projects in the crypto industry such as Binance. The news was first disclosed by Offshore Alert. It is reported that at least 10 similar class-action lawsuits were filed in the Southern District Court of New York, accusing Binance and other crypto companies of selling unregistered securities products to US investors. It is reported that the lawsuit was initiated by the US law firm Roche Cyrulnik Freedman, and the prosecution also included many executives such as Zhao Changpeng, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. It is worth mentioning that the law firm had also represented Craig Wright in the multi-billion-dollar Bitcoin lawsuit.
[Today's market analysis]
Bitcoin (BTC)
https://preview.redd.it/nkur97xeqcr41.png?width=554&format=png&auto=webp&s=d636b554e0f939600291dda992dbe2c4a3268b93
BTC continued to rise from around $ 7070 early this morning, and rose to around $ 7300 at around 3:45. Now, BTC has returned to $ 7250 sideways. The mainstream currencies followed the consolidation and generally rose sideways. BTC is currently reported at $ 7288.06 at LOEx Global, an increase of 2.09% in the day.
The recent market has basically maintained a volatile trend around 7200 points, and there has been no surge or decline. Looking at the short line, the bulls have been relatively strong recently. On Saturday and Sunday, they did not choose to go down but oscillate to repair. Seeing that the rebound has recovered half of the decline, it is necessary to be cautious here, because after all, the previous currency disaster did not recover so quickly, just like a sudden illness, how can it recover so quickly. So now is a good time to sell high and sell low. Do not blindly bullish.
The real bottom is found afterwards and it was caused by funds. Every time I see it, the trend from the left to the right reverses the process. As an ordinary investor, if there is no more than 100 million in funds, you can see the right and enter the market, getting rid of the downward channel and turning to the right, there is a process of stabilization. At the same time, the trend of the pattern also has characteristic signals, such as the appearance of a single-day surge, red soldier and other signals. Then it will soon get rid of the downward channel, and the turnaround will slowly take shape. On the contrary, it is the same when you reach the top, for example, three crows, bearish engulfing, and other combinations. Thoroughly fundamental research on industries and varieties, quantified to actual operation, the test is more strategy, psychology, experience. In fact, it is necessary to analyze various different types of products. Mainstream coins and value coins, blue chip, white horse and technology stocks have different ways of playing. Different volatility will naturally have different operating methods. In principle, looking at industry trend opportunities from top to bottom, and then looking at specific varieties and trading points from bottom to top, they interact to understand the art of investment more deeply, and the unity of knowing and doing, in fact, everyone can do better.
Operation suggestions:
Support level: the first support level is 7200 points, the second support level is 7000 integers;
Resistance level: the first resistance level is 7400 points, the second resistance level is 7700 points.
LOEx is registered in Seychelles. It is a global one-stop digital asset service platform with business distribution nodes in 20 regions around the world. It has been exempted from Seychelles and Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS) digital currency trading services. Provide services and secure encrypted digital currency trading environment for 1 million community members in 24 hours.
submitted by LOEXCHANGE to u/LOEXCHANGE [link] [comments]

The truth about trading: altcoins

I have not been able to focus on writing the past couple of weeks now. I have learned a lot about using multiple different exchanges over the past couple weeks. I went from GDAX, to Binance to Kucoin. I have learned a lot and what I am about to tell you is my honest opinion.
The Hay Way Investing in crypto is better done when you research a coin. DYOR is a legit term, even sounds like what it means. Do Your Own Research. Start here David Hay
Read Read some books about economics and especially Bitcoin. My favorite books on Bitcoin Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction and Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money. Knowing the history and how Bitcoin works is fundamental I believe in this journey. Another great read I believe will make you look at money forever different How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes
Telegram & Alt Coins I think you should get Telegram. I am not kidding. It is amazing to connect with people from the different Exchanges, coins and dev channels. I warn you right now, you will be targeted for spam channels. You will be targeted in some cases by elaborate stories and ruses. You need to DYOR before following these blindly. Remember jumping into any investment without DYOR is a mistake, there is no free cake in this world. Someone I know was contacted by someone saying they should invest in a coin, it was about to explode, they were hyping about x3 x4 returns. My friend jumped all over it and did DYOLR, do your own little research. Which was is ok, but not wise. All ICO/Crypto Channels
Remember, when you go into telegram you are gonna be on the front lines of Alt coins and you are deeper in the inception of Cryptocurrencies. You are no longer in the kiddy pool. What I mean is that out in the Alt ocean there are more predators. There are more people running scams and tricks to get you to be baited in and lured in. You are not gonna get people saying Ethereum is about to make you rich, how Bitcoin is about to explode, how Litecoin is gonna x3 x4. When you are on Telegram you will run into groups and people, personally over messages and in channels pressuring you in the sweetest way to invest. How to spot a scam on telegram (which I get most info from Here):
Take Profits When you are in an altcoin maybe from the bottom, maybe you are making it big. Never just keep hodling. Remember this and say it with me What goes up must come down. I am a huge hodler and swing trader but I am telling you something. Take profits. Do not let greed ruin your feed. What I mean is that rocket pumps and jumps and quick increases (within a couple days) in price on an alt specifically are the result of a pump. Some are subtle you would never know it. Let me share a story with you.
“…I am upset I have lost so much money… this is what happened… someones messages me on Telegram telling me it alright, I had just lost money. But they say … If I wanna make a profit invest in this coin. So I do. It is great! because you know what ?! it begins to go up up up. I am excited, someone was nice enough to help me out. Such cool. I put more and more money into this altcoin. I mean I believe in the tech, the ideas and the situation is just amazing.… I mean I am making tons of money on my initial investment. It wont stop groing up this is fantastic. I make everything I have into it. With these gains I am going to come out on top. Lambos and all that. Then poof… I have feeling. Maybe I am get scammed this seems all too good to be true. I look at my messages from "the tipper friend" at times I feel like I am talking to a different person, it doesnt seem like the same person. They said oneday they bought some coin it for $.50 and just now they said they actually got it for $1.00. That I should hold and not sell… I have this weird feeling, but I am making increase. By the time it $8.00 I could not believe it. I asked "the tipper" you know he is like my best friend right now, I ask if I should sell, he reminded me to not sell no matter what, do not do it. If you do it you have weak hands, you must hold... but then everything began to drop right after their big annoucement. I wasnt worried I knew they were gonna go back up. He said so… But then Asia banned thing happened and the market just crashed I lost half of everything I owned in that… it hit me… maybe I can help them out maybe do work for them on the side… I mean I want the coin to go back up… I can help build website… my friend laughed at me… he say I work for them now, they give me the money they took from me… ha whatever… well… I ended up helping out and…. To me it felt me I felt trapped. I felt like I owed them something... only to come to find out that whatever just happened was planned maybe and I have this hope if I help out maybe it will go back up.. but it never did…”<
I think its a true story… maybe exaggerated some. You will find these if you ask around. The reality is real, scammers do exist. What is happening in these situations is that often a large group of people are gathered together to hear about a new “coin taking off” one by one they are pulled into a telegram channel. In fact it “the boom” may have already started and the tech seems legitimate enough, you will quickly be blinded by the quick jump in price. If you were in their shoes, you should be asking one question…. ”How did their ICO go? Was it profitable or not?”. Because if it was not, more than likely they are gonna do something whatever it takes to take profit to get their tech started… What you see happening also is that tech that may be great oneday… Remember that “oneday” could be 1-3 years from now. Story of NEO… Rags to Riches.
So you have to presume a coins team will do whatever and be as dirty as they can to make ends meet, often it means taking money from innocent people. In this specific situation, the coin was being pumped surgically, not obviously, so it legitimacy seemed legit. Another question that should of been asked is “Where is the working product? If you do not see one what makes you think other investors will actually like the idea?” There were no obvious big signs of a pump, so you can easily think this is all ”Organic”. There is nothing organic in one week in this industry. ”Ask yourself did that 400% literally just happen in a couple days?” because if its too good to be true, let me explain this to you in simple terms. IT IS. Even though slowly and surely the price rose and people held out, no weak hands here… But what is happening is that people holding lost a lot when the devs. and whales sold their coins… you have to be aware many of the smaller coins will have either premined their coins or bought up a ton when it was only cents. They essentially will cash out huge returns.
A “premine” distribution system, while not necessarily an indication of a scam suggests that the creators of the cryptocurrency already own a portion of the cryptocurrency before it hits the exchange.<
It happens, it is normal, but in ways it is wrong, especially if you are new to Altcoins. Read More Here. Buy the dip and sell the news is true. If this user would of done that, they would have made out probably ok, so next time take profits… say it with me what goes up must come down.
The Fud Truth This term is thrown a lot. It does not mean F'd up data. But essentially that is what it is, Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt. In my experience people who specifically had showen good data on their Reddit comments or posts or on Telegram that proved some FUD. They were banned, kicked out or shutdown. If you notice a truly negative or hostile atmosphere to people because they are FUD, you need to step back for second and look around. Who do you actually know here, is it just your "tipper" friend. Really think about the FUD when it comes out. Because if the person above would of listened to the FUD they would not be where they are now. Fud Reddit.
Rest. Take some time and rest from this. I cannot explain to you the amount of hours I have spent looking at my phone. My computer. Talking on Telegram, acting as if I am being paid for it. Doing little graphic design work here and there. Take a break and have a life. Because at the end of the day your time is what you are using to pay for this. When you buy an alt coin you or anything for that matter you are spending the time you took to make that money. Remember your losing on both ends if you spend your time making money to spend more time losing or making that money. Watch this. Time is your currency.
Tl;dr Get telegram, scams happen more in altcoins, build relationships, research, listen to the FUD, rest.
Edit:spelling errors and link error. Wow I cannot thank you guys enough, your responses have been encouraging. cryptocurrency can be a place of quality and we can decide to do that everyday. I encourage each of you to share what is happening to you, what you have learned.
submitted by promyth3us to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Slack log for Ark token's value proposition discussion 16-07-18

Please find below a log of the discussion we had in slack regarding the ark token's value proposition. Some of the community members who happen to be long term holders of ark feel that the ark token's value proposition isn't clearly communicated by the team so they asked about it. I'm posting the entire discussion it here to make a permanent record since slack wipes messages after a while.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
arigard [7:21 PM]
Hey team, so I'm curious. Is there any update on a new white paper at all that was being mentioned? I've been holding Ark since it hit Bittrex and I personally don't really have a clear idea about how the token is going to work in the overall picture, or what really the direction is for the project once v2 is out. It feels like things have gone a bit flat recently, are there any updates on direction and what the plan is once V2 is live? Is there any idea about when it might go live? Or how the Ark token will fit into the economy (will it be a gas?). I see a lot of other projects i'm invested in coming up with very clear roadmaps/dates and direction about what they want to be and I still personally feel Ark's message is a little confused and hard to read especially for people who are not coders/developers.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:22 PM]
the roadmap is on the site, arkdirectory.com/kits has nice presentations and other goodies
roks0n (deadlock) [7:23 PM]
@Matthew_DC mentioned a couple of days ago that he’s preparing several blog posts which should explain most of these @arigard
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:23 PM]
the Blog also goes into lots of v2 details
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hi everyone.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:24 PM]
Ark is Ark, not like Eth with gas, hence no gas.
Hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) welcome back
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hey rob, hi Rok :slightly_smiling_face:
roks0n (deadlock) [7:25 PM]
Rob, I think he means how everything will be connected with ArkVM etc.
similar conversation as the one few days ago (edited)
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:25 PM]
It's been a while, but I was head on in the project, sorry for not showing more often.
arigard [7:25 PM]
Yeah my main question is really I still don't know what will give the actual Ark token value .
goldenpepe [7:25 PM]
we dont know how the arkvm will work
All we can do is wait
Doubled1c3 (ArkStickers.com) [7:26 PM]
uploaded and commented on this image: bucket.jpg
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)
goldenpepe [7:26 PM]
We can make assumptions but that's all they'll be
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
@arigard this was the discussion: https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531422791000216
roks0n (deadlock)
definitely, I’m not blaming anyone :slightly_smiling_face: Was just curious if there were any developments in terms of the updated whitepaper because I was reading one of the threads on reddit from 6 months ago where it was mentioned you’re looking to hire someone write it up.
Posted in #generalJul 12th
arigard [7:26 PM]
And I kind of feel this is such a big elephant in the room for people in the long run.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
click on the link and read from that post on (edited)
arigard [7:26 PM]
ok
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:27 PM]
I saw that there has been some drawbacks with the V2 ?
(Not sure if it's exact, I only came a few times and seemed to understand it was so)
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There are just some incompatibilities between v1 and v2 in devnet
which is why devnet is currently down
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
ArkVM may be unnecessary as more modern approaches to handling contracts are available, one of the main issue is having them be distributed just like the tokens.
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There's a community run v2-only devnet though #devnet_unofficial
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
it's more like drawback with v1
arigard [7:30 PM]
I mean I've seen a lot of stuff in that discussion discussed over the past year and there still seems to be no concrete answers coming out and that is a bit of worry to me personally. It makes it look like the team doesn't even know. I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air. In other projects I know what gives those tokens value, but in Ark I don't, so it's hard for me as an investor to really sell to someone else the benefits of the token when there is a big question mark still on it.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:33 PM]
do you know that Ark Deployer has been available for quite some time?
arigard [7:34 PM]
Yes, that doesn't really answer any questions though.
mak [7:34 PM]
Ark deployer helps the main chain's business case somehow?
arigard [7:35 PM]
What gives Ark token actual value? Like what is the reason people need to buy and hold the Ark token? That is my question.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
@mak what you're saying is kinda like answering you can use a hammer when asked what a nail do.
arigard [7:36 PM]
You don't need to buy the Ark token to deploy a chain. You can just do it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
I mean, the Ark Deployer doesn't answer what's the Ark.
mak [7:36 PM]
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) my point was directed towards rob's comment. I think you misunderstood it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:37 PM]
@mak My bad then. I apologize.
Blockhunter [7:38 PM]
:boogieark9:
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:38 PM]
" I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air."
This is why I wrote that.. there is no mystery of how that works. You are mistaken or uninformed.
arkenstone [7:38 PM]
That's the problem here because team is programming orientated but there hasn't been alot done on business aspect of the token and marketing investor point big view
mak [7:38 PM]
That only explains the value of the ark codebase not the blockchain though
arigard [7:38 PM]
I think you seem to be trying to turn the argument in a seperate direction.
It's a simple question.
What gives the Ark token value.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:39 PM]
The market does. It's on 19 different exchanges.
arigard [7:39 PM]
Seems like you are being unhelpfully obtuse. I'll rephrase.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:39 PM]
so one thing that is clear to me is interoperability using ACES, where ARK is used as a “middleman” between two different chains, so if there’s high volume between those chains, it means the volume of ark increases as well .. what I’d like to know is how things will work with arkvm and how it will all work with sidechains (on eth, all the side chains will basically link back to the main chain which will be the one responsible for security afaik?)
arigard [7:39 PM]
What gives the Ark token value in the Ark ecosystem.
Blockhunter [7:40 PM]
Vote for Pedro he will make all your dreams come true
arigard [7:40 PM]
Eth is a gas, Waves is a gas. Ark is... what?
mak [7:40 PM]
ACES can work with any chains though. Doesn't have to be ark main chain. So I guess tomorrow persona can become the settlement layer for the Ark ecosystem and there's no incentive to stop it from happening.
arigard [7:40 PM]
^
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
Mak, correct but if there are already lots of chains connected between ARK, it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:41 PM]
As I understand it, ACES could be using any given blockchain as the middle man...
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
it doesn’t mean that it can’t be copied tho
arigard [7:41 PM]
But there are no chains connected through Ark atm
That have any real value anyway
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
eth and btc are
arigard [7:41 PM]
And they can be connected through any Ark clone.
bangomatic [7:41 PM]
I'd love to hear the Ark team chime in on this discussion
arigard [7:42 PM]
So anyone can come along and make another chain that can instantly overtake Ark at this present time if there isn't a failsafe reason for Ark to be the defacto currency.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:42 PM]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
arigard
That have any real value anyway
Posted in #generalToday at 7:41 PM
Blockhunter [7:42 PM]
Interoperability to the moon
mak [7:42 PM]
"it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly"
Currently Ark is the only mature chain because it's been around longer but the moment persona or some other bridge chain gets listed on an exchange that dynamic is no longer there. So why would you prefer Ark over persona when that happens. That's the question as far as I understand it. (edited)
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:43 PM]
Persona has other goals, not duplicating Ark goals
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:43 PM]
@bangomatic Hi!
arigard [7:43 PM]
What current sidechain of Ark has real value/position in the crypto market? Persona?
bangomatic [7:43 PM]
hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)!
mak [7:43 PM]
The blockchain as a transaction medium doesn't care about secondary goals.
It still has all the capabilities that Ark has.
Colby [7:43 PM]
What has value right now? :thinking_face:
rob [ Ark Labs ]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422
Posted in #generalToday at 7:42 PM
arigard [7:43 PM]
Ark's ecosystem at present is not big enough to be a reason not to just take the tech and start your own.
To think otherwise is ludicrous.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:44 PM]
that's a fine opinion
Jarunik [7:44 PM]
it is harder than you think :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:44 PM]
We aren't Eth with multi $100mn + start ups and even if we were, what's currently to stop one of those just overtaking Ark and leaving it behind?
Jarunik [7:45 PM]
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Colby [7:45 PM]
Same here!
Jarunik
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Posted in #generalToday at 7:45 PM
Blockhunter [7:45 PM]
HODL ROCKET TECHNOLOGY
mak [7:45 PM]
Same here but then there's no reason to hold Ark over something else
arigard [7:45 PM]
i hope so too if there is some reason for Ark to always be there at the top considering it's the Ark platform.
Colby [7:45 PM]
But the thing is that I am wondering, if ark clones get successful, what benefits does it give back to ark
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:45 PM]
@Jarunik to create an ecosystem?
mak [7:45 PM]
Right now we have to consider Ark's value not the other bridge chains
arigard [7:45 PM]
But if there isn't a reason for Ark to exist at the top, why are we all holding it?
Colby [7:45 PM]
Haha I think we are all thinking the same :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:45 PM]
It's a terrible business plan
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:46 PM]
the point of BridgeChains is to allow new projects with no access the market a path to them through Ark, and hence gain value.
Other blockchains connections are through ACES, such as BTC, LTC, ETH, and more coming..
Persona has a way to trade Ark <> Prs
arigard [7:47 PM]
What is to stop them from getting their own exchanges in the future and just using Ark as a stepping stone to becoming their own platform operator?
mak [7:47 PM]
Sure rob, but there's now 10 different projects doing the same and they are faster in development than the ark team is
arigard [7:47 PM]
^
Blockhunter [7:47 PM]
Ark is the Yoda of blockchain and they need a better catchphrase. Better than ark gives no dates or point click blockchain
arigard [7:48 PM]
This attitude seems horribly naive if this is the value proposition.
mak [7:48 PM]
All of us believe in the vision that Ark brought us but I personally am not sure if Ark is the best option to execute that vision in time
arigard [7:48 PM]
The issue is, we don't know what the value proposition is.
mak [7:48 PM]
Other projects seem much faster
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:48 PM]
if you are into speculation, which it seems you are, then on paper all of your projects with no code are better and have more value than Ark
arigard [7:48 PM]
That's not true at all. lol.
Matthew_DC [7:49 PM]
At the most base level, ARK is a common currency token that is essentially automatically compatible with every bridge chain that is built based on ARK and is optimized for transaction volume and throughput to avoid bloat of other mechanisms introduced by the other chains. That is at the most basic level. By holding the ARK token itself, you will be able to enact the functions of multiple bridged chains both issued by our team and others. You will also be able to utilize the ARK chain as a pegged token to many bridged chains but that process will be transparent to users as it will be done behind the scenes without the user needing to do any functions. To think that someone will fork the code and generate a more effective ARK main chain means you have no confidence in the ARK team as the primary developer of the technology itself. In this case, if we are not and someone pushes a better version of the network, then I would argue maybe they SHOULD be chosen. That is the point of a free and open market. Not to mention the potential for registering and providing snapshot hashes to the main ARK blockchain to provide added security measures to a bridge chain with lower security due to lower market share etc, those are just baseline reasons.
As I mentioned the other day, at face value, consider this. What brings value to Litecoin or Bitcoin or Doge? In essence, ARK is a more effective currency and base network than all of these aforementioned networks with all of the added benefits being added for additional use cases.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:50 PM]
will ark based chains be bridged via arkvm?
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
They cant be
You'd need the VM on both sides
Matthew_DC [7:50 PM]
I am currently on a conference call and have a lot going on so I can't respond too much.
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
You can use AIP11's new tx types to do a sort of escrow between chains though i think
mak [7:50 PM]
@Matthew_DC Are you saying that the bridgechains deployed by ark-deployer don't have the same features?
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:50 PM]
ArkVM is not for bridging chains
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
It can be
Coinme [7:51 PM]
And ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
But both chains will need to be running the VM
Matthew_DC [7:51 PM]
The ARK main chain will have specific methods of allowing token transfer and utilization between chains to include quasi-centralized methods through aces, decentralized aces based intermediary networks, Time locked transfers, among custom built smart contract like logic built into the core technology itself that doesn't make the network susceptible to the bloat and mis-utilization an vulnerabilities of full VM use.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
(which the main ark chain wont be)
mak [7:51 PM]
"ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token"
Or any other bridgechain that's listed on exchanges
@Matthew_DC So will all of the bridgechains, no? I could start an ACES node today for persona and it will have no difference from what you describe.
Matthew_DC [7:52 PM]
@mak no, we promised ARK would be open source and everything we build for the core ARK blockchain will be open source.
arigard [7:53 PM]
You can be open source and still protect your value..
Matthew_DC [7:54 PM]
The point of ARK from day 1 has been to create a better base layer blockchain technology and protocol for everyone everywhere to be able to use to create anything they can dream up.
The ARK token is a core payment layer for the ecosystem including any applications we build ourselves, sponsor, partner with, or support.
mak [7:54 PM]
It seems like the team's vision for Ark is as a software product only and there's no business plan for the main chain. Which is fine but it's not explained as such. (edited)
Blockhunter [7:55 PM]
Great to see such active discussions
goldenpepe [7:55 PM]
I think what Matt is trying to portray is this:
A single universal Ark Ecosystem wallet holding ARK that has a nice UI with a list of dapps in the ecosystem
You select a dapp
You send a tx from the wallet using Ark
----------------Everything below this line is transparent to the user-----------------
The Ark transaction has instructions in the smartbridge field
The Ark gets converted to dappCoin via an intermediary like ACES (trustful) or a trustless escrow smart contract
The intermediary received Ark and uses the dappCoin on the dapp chain to do whatever it is the user wanted to do using the instructions in the smartbridge field
The dappchain responds to the request to the intermediary
Intermediary sends an Ark tx with the results of the dapp computation/action in the smartbridge field
---------------Everything above this line is transparent to the user-------------------
After 8+ seconds, user's wallet shows them the result of their interaction with the dapp bridgechain
That's where the value of Ark will come from
The Ark coin will be a universal "omni-coin"
Matthew_DC [7:56 PM]
:this: This
goldenpepe [7:56 PM]
That will instantly shapeshift into bridgechain coins to interact with the bridgechain dapp
mak [7:58 PM]
I understand what your point is and I agree it will work but only as long as none of the bridge chains are on an exchange
when for example persona gets listed on binance the scenario changes
and now either chain can become the backbone of the ark ecosystem
arigard [7:58 PM]
Yes. We see that. But hypothetically what is to stop a bridged Ark chain from becoming bigger than Ark and then going on to become that gateway? At this point it just seems to be hopium that the Ark network will always be the one people look to. But in one year, or two, or five, it might not be the case. What is to stop Ark being just sidelined if another team come along with develop on what Ark has built and propel it forward and take the mantle?
goldenpepe [7:58 PM]
What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin
Would you rather hold a coin that can do one thing and is forever tied to a single chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
But in other crypto's an app becoming sucessfull is a benefit. In Ark's network it could be a negative.
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Or would you rather hold a coin that can interact with that single chain and 3232523432 others
arigard [7:59 PM]
But why can't another coin become an omnicoin?
If there are no limitations against it
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Why can't another coin become ethereum?
mak [7:59 PM]
"What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin"
Or if it gives out better staking returns etc like persona because of higher inflation rate
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
if there are no limitations against it
You can literally go on AWS right now and deploy an ethereum clone chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
It can, but an ETH token can't oust ETH
That's the difference. We are giving people an easy route here.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:59 PM]
do you often think your children should not surpass you? Or is that the hope?
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
Well it's about security, trust, potential vulnerabilities due to added functionality, the ability of the bridgechain team to create interactions and focus on use cases for their token outside of their core use, etc.
But that's the point of open and free markets
goldenpepe [8:00 PM]
There is a solution to your concern @arigard
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
What is to stop someone from being better than Bitcoin?
arigard [8:01 PM]
I think all these strawman arguments are fun, but they still aren't adressing the issuel
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
Instead of having Ark Deployer literally cloning the ark codebase, have it be a turnkey solution to run a layer 2 chain
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
bridgechain dapps can be "colored coins"
that are forever tied to the main chain
arigard [8:01 PM]
Yeah but you wouldn't have those businesses on the chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
but that would introduce bloat
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
So you are saying the utility of Ethereum is adoption.
arigard [8:01 PM]
And those businesses won't have the potential to become the main ETH.
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
Which is the case for the value of any token.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
@arigard It sounds like you want ark to become Ethereum Plasma
arigard [8:02 PM]
I just want an answer.
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
How many companies are pulling their ERC20 tokens off of Ethereum because of the issues?
Colby [8:02 PM]
Yeah but correct me if im wrong
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
There is no answer that will satisfy what you are asking
arigard [8:02 PM]
And i keep getting strawmanned.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ethereum projects NEED eth for gas
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
We talk to people almost every day that are looking to leave Ethereum.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ark is needed for?
arigard [8:02 PM]
^
Colby [8:02 PM]
This is all I am wondering, where does the ark coin fit into it
I love the idea
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
@arigard You want ark-based coins to rely on Ark
The team wants the Ark chain to not be bloated
The solution to this is unironically ethereum plasma and sharding
Colby [8:02 PM]
but have been waiting for a while to know how the Ark coin will actually be used
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
Shards in ethereum are basically "bridgechains"
arigard [8:03 PM]
Ok, and those teams might be big enough and clued up enough to eventually knock Ark from being the de facto omni coin. That's the worry.
If this is in fact the possibility.
Then it should be clear.
mak [8:03 PM]
"You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain."
@Matthew_DC Ethereum has value because all the dapps live on it which is not true for ark
arigard [8:03 PM]
Because as an investor it worries me, a lot.
I don't know where the value of Ark as an investment is 100% right now.
Jarunik [8:03 PM]
Ark is basically the inverse approach to Ethereum. Eth goes for big one-fits all first and tries to shard ... Ark is creating shards and then combines them
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
There is no solution to what @arigard and @mak are saying right now
Literally no existing solution
Only proposals like sharding
arigard [8:04 PM]
And all this noise about defensiveness doesn't help. These are legit concerns.
Matthew_DC [8:04 PM]
When was it not clear that if a company comes along and builds a better more used product it could potentially take over market share?
That's how all free markets work.
You can't believe in open source and build and open source product without that risk.
arigard [8:04 PM]
But that isn't the same thing. Ark is literally building THE tools for people to then do that.
mak [8:04 PM]
@Matthew_DC Just to clarify I appreciate the work you guys are doing but I want to make an informed investment decision about holding the ark token
arigard [8:04 PM]
As a platform.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
yes ... that is the idea how to grow
arigard [8:04 PM]
if you cloned Bitcoin back in the day you were a seperate currency.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
provide good tools for others to create chains
arigard [8:04 PM]
This is a platform, its totally different.
And what we are discuswsing here is who runs that platform.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
If someone launched an Ethereum chain right now and gained adoption there is a huge potential that all tokens decide to move their ERC20 tokens to the new chain and it becomes the new Ethereum and you have in essence lost all value because Ethereum is not capable of being used on the bridge chain as a currency.
ARK maintains it's value if for no other reason than the pegged value to any chain we personally create to include VM chain, token issuance chain, etc.
arigard [8:05 PM]
If it's built by Ark, does Ark always retain control? if not, why? What happens if Ark ends up building tools for a subsidary project that propels itself above them. Investors will just move to that coin.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
Because it's an open decentralized system.
The problem is people don't actually believe in decentralization if it possibly harms their potential for monetary gain.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [8:06 PM]
we hope bridgechains get popular because that also means more for Ark in many ways.
arigard [8:06 PM]
You can be decentralized without being 100% altruistic. It's not mutually exclusive.
mak [8:06 PM]
@goldenpepe Since you guys claim that there's no solution for this how about I present one which @Matthew_DC can decide if it's useful or not. Make delegate voting for the ArkVM happen on the main chain. So anyone who wants to become a delegate for the VM needs to hold money on the main chain.
arigard [8:07 PM]
It just seems people are being dogmatic about this.
And if this isn't about investment. Why have an ICO?
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Ethereum being the core chain for all ERC20 token based businesses centralizes the industry in a massive way. Not only is Ethereum itself centralized in the way it's mining structure was developed, but it also is centralized in that if the Ethereum network is compromised, thousands of companies assets and business are now compromised.
We don't believe that is the future.
mak [8:07 PM]
I'm not saying that this should be done for all sidechains. Just for the VM and it will be a special case.
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
We believe in a different business model.
That has been at the core of every description and explanation I have given from day 1.
arigard [8:07 PM]
Ok and that's fine, but my point is this should be made very clear if it's the case.
From the team officially.
goldenpepe [8:07 PM]
@mak now you're strawmanning me
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Where is it not clear?
goldenpepe [8:08 PM]
I was addressing the fact that the idea that bridgechains shouldnt be independent and should be tied to Ark being in conflict with the Ark team's idea that the main chain should not be bloated with dapps
The only plausible solution to that right now
is Ethereum Plasma
Sharding
yokoama (thefoundry Delegate) [8:09 PM]
Sharting
mak [8:09 PM]
"We believe in a different business model."
I respect that. But it changes the ark's value proposition to just being a source of funding to the ark team and a means of speculation.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
Shards in ethereum are like bridgechains but the coins are all erc20s that rely on ethereum
Matthew_DC [8:09 PM]
People said ARK's DPoS mechanism would be a failure when we changed the voting structure because they said it wouldn't be secure enough. It has turned out to be massively secure compared to the centralized cartel run solutions of other DPoS chains. This is another fundamental issue where we believe we have a model that will work and will create value and thousands of use cases for the ARK token in a seamless way for the average user.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
and the shard blocks dont interfere or bloat up the "main" eth chain
mak [8:09 PM]
@goldenpepe I'm not suggesting deploying dapps on main chain. Just that the voting should take place there so there is always incentive to keep money on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:10 PM]
At no point did we say ARK was gas and have constantly made sure to outline the differences between ARK and Ethereum.
I believe the Eth model is flawed.
goldenpepe [8:11 PM]
The current ethereum model is flawed
If sharding works then it's going to solve a lot of its issues
(i dont hold any ethereum btw)
arigard [8:12 PM]
At no point have we actually had an updated white paper discussing this question in detail, clearly. It's not on the website and if it is it's buried somewhere in a blog post. The fact these discussions keep cropping up is proof of this.
nukacolaplease [8:12 PM]
I think we don't understand clearly what makes Ark important after the launch of the sidechains, Ark will be only an "exchange token"? The sidechain doesn't need Ark for operating
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
+1 on needing a new whitepaper
Matthew_DC [8:12 PM]
replied to a thread:
This is a means of centralization of the network. Instead, by utilizing a form of pegged bridge chains, we can maintain a similar effect without creating centralization and reliance on 1 chain for others to properly function.
arkenstone [8:12 PM]
I think these things should be clearly written in a new WB and officially made public and promoted
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
A new whitepaper would clear up so much FUD
pieface [8:13 PM]
Yeah I think a new WP is needed for sure
arigard [8:13 PM]
So don't start going "Oh everybody knows this, it's clear" Show me where on the front page of the website it tells you how the token mechanics will work in the ecosystem? It's not good it being on some powerpoint on a google drive, or hidden in comments in the slack.
mak [8:13 PM]
I though there wasn't going to be a new whitepaper.
arigard [8:13 PM]
It needs to be clear to investors how it works, exactly.
goldenpepe [8:13 PM]
I agree with arigard here
I only know what I know because I live on slack
Matthew_DC [8:13 PM]
The solutions are still in development and there are always opportunities to continue to adapt the model, that's why I have these conversations and ask for feedback regularly, but the core fundamental belief of how open and free decentralized markets should work most likely won't change.
arkenstone [8:13 PM]
Same here
goldenpepe [8:14 PM]
The vast majority of ark holders have no idea
they just bought bc of the cool red triangle
arigard [8:14 PM]
Stop playing cute, this is people's money you are asking for. So at least give them the benefit of being honest that there is no inherent business model reason why Ark will be necessary in the future.
And let them make their decisions.
roks0n (deadlock) [8:14 PM]
I agree, it took me months of following discussion on slack and digging around reddit to get information
arigard [8:14 PM]
With proper information.
mak [8:14 PM]
replied to a thread:
It's centralizing value onto one chain but doesn't bottleneck the ecosystem so I don't see anything being wrong with that.
Matthew_DC [8:15 PM]
replied to a thread:
I'm not arguing with you and I made a clear post here within the last 2 days that our website messaging is shit and needs completely redone.
If the ARK network is compromised or the consensus mechanism of the ARK main net is compromised then all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well.
mad4thrash [8:15 PM]
In my opinion Ark's value come from (in the future) the fact that by holding one coin I can interact with every bridgechain plus any ACES services
Matthew_DC [8:16 PM]
So what I am saying is that we have to be cautious of these kinds of decisions and ensure that we aren't inadvertently creating attack vectors to take down partners, businesses, and other industries using the technology.
I'm sorry guys, I have to go, but I would love to continue this conversation on Reddit or here at a later time.
mak [8:16 PM]
"all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well"
^ Correction: only the VM chain will be compromised since I'm not advocating that all bridgechains should vote on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:19 PM]
In an isolated case, if we can map it out and vet the concept, I'm more than happy to hear it out and have the conversation.
Solowatch [8:19 PM]
So I think we can all agree an updated Whitepaper is due
Matthew_DC [8:20 PM]
This is a community project and we are shaping pieces of it together as we continue to build. We have already made changes based on community feedback on many occasions.
So I would love to see someone post a proposal to reddit or even as an AIP at some point that we could discuss.
Jarunik [8:20 PM]
If you write a white paper it will be outdated soon :smile:
Solowatch [8:21 PM]
Well a V2 whitepaper shouldn’t be outdated soon
I don’t care about a V1 or V1.5 whitepaper lol
I want a whitepaper for V2 that’s clearly explaining all these concerns that the community has
arkenstone [8:22 PM]
:this:
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
I wrote a few questions down that I’ll post in here later today that @rob [ Ark Labs ] asked for. Please add to it if I missed anything once I do.
arkenstone [8:23 PM]
And I think now it's the time do it. Present it with full package on mainet launch.. (edited)
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
Or PM and I’ll add them before posting
mak [8:25 PM]
Anyways thanks for listening and responding @Matthew_DC. Some of us have been trying to discuss this with the ark team but didn't get much feedback until today.
arigard [8:25 PM]
Yeah +1
arkenstone [8:28 PM]
Alot of early investors are getting worried
submitted by moazzam2k to ArkEcosystem [link] [comments]

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