NRS 1.11.5

Nxt Client (NRS) 1.11.5

THIS IS THE LATEST NRS RELEASE

Digital signature: "Stichting NXT"

.sh Sha256:863fadaedf11ca9f0317b724c0e68e549703482c30fdb07e90f16d0f1f7195bd  nxt-client-1.11.5.sh

Release 1.11.5:
https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/downloads/nxt-client-1.11.5.zip

1.11.5 .zip sha256:
facb359f2a4fae62b5e2cbb2f5a41bd8cface8090ba72d3ddcba22a904fb23d3  nxt-client-1.11.5.zip

NRS 1.11.5 release notes

Added firstIndex, lastIndex parameters to the getUnconfirmedTransactions and
getUnconfirmedTransactionIds APIs to support pagination.

Minor performance optimizations and UI improvements.

Updated H2 to version 1.4.194 and jetty to 9.3.17.

Source: https://nxtforum.org/nrs-releases/nrs-v1-11-5/

Also, read:

Nxt Tutorials
ARDR on the /assethub
Nxt 2.0: Ardor child chain blockchain platform

BUY NXT /ARDR :

 

NXT Mobile app

 

The NRS Android app is available at:

Hash 94f71ed4d3762dd2e28f28bf0f8760a5a2c3cb78ee22a257639cc39dbe0c2621

The new version has been updated to:

Node v7.8.0
NPM 4.4.4
Cordova 6.5.0
Android Platform 6.1.2
All Cordova plugins were updated to their latest version

Source: https://nxtforum.org/index.php?topic=13427.msg231036#msg231036

Read more about installing the Nxt core devs' mobile app @ Nxtwiki.org

The NRS (Nxt Reference Software) Client is the Nxt core developers’ official wallet release.

NRS is a locally hosted client-server application. By default, it downloads the Nxt blockchain, but from version 1.10.0e you can run it as a light client as well as a full node. To forge and earn forging fees from processing transactions on the network you must run the Nxt Client in full mode, which is possible even on small devices like laptops, or on a Raspberry Pi. There are also bounties for running public nodes.

The Nxt Client is easy to install. Use the 1-click installers for Linux, Mac, and Windows or read this INSTALLATION GUIDE to launch the NRS .zip from terminal.

Intel & The Floor Hackathon – Day 2

Riker (Lior Yaffe, Nxt, Ardor, Jelurida) was at the Intel & The Floor Blockchain Hackathon in Tel Aviv, to meet the challenge of creating a digital “Share registration” solution.

As we learned yesterday, it turned out that coding or hacking wasn't very needed, as all the necessary functionality (and GUI) is already built into the Nxt core distribution and has been working for years. Anyone can download the Nxt Client and make use of it already.

Read on and see how Nxt solves the hackathon challenge right out of the box.

DAY 2

Judgment criteria

riker [9:36]

Update from the organizers:

The Jelurida/NXT team was automatically qualified to the finals (no need to present in front of the judges in the semi-finals). This means a whole 5 minutes presentation in front of the full panel + 2 minutes time for questions for judges.

The presentation

Powerpoint:

Mobile video recording of the presentation: https://goo.gl/photos/9P37BykVUfyo42ys9

riker [4:12 PM]

Done now. Took 4:20 minutes to deliver. There were no questions so not sure if everything was understood or if they lost interest. 

There is a low-quality video from my phone. I'll upload it after I get a chance to watch it.

The aftermath

riker [5:39 PM]

No prize but was a very nice experience.

martis [9:53 PM]

Curious why there were no questions. The audience were shocked or couldn't believe it can be done just on blockchain?

riker [9:55 PM]

Only the 10 judges were allowed to ask questions.

In other presentations, they asked 1 or 2.

apenzl [9:54 PM]

How much time did you spend on coding compared to the winners of the hackathon, u think?

riker [9:56]

Frankly, I didn't spend too much time coding. I think maybe 40% of the time. Dozens of people kept approaching my desk to chat about my plans and make suggestions and I pitched about our technology to anyone who was willing to listen.

I have business cards from businessmen from (in no particular order) KPMG, Accentue X 2, HSBC, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Intesa San Paolo and others. Spoke to several executives from Intel, the organizer.

One of the main problems of our team was that it was only me, I think we scored really bad in this category.

Nevertheless, it was a great experience, we got tons of exposure and I made some interesting connections. I think when getting on stage in front of 200+ people my heart rate jumped to 200. Overall it was a great learning experience. 

Thanks, Riker!

What Riker presented to the panel and the audience in Tel Aviv today was just a small part of what the Nxt platform has to offer. Get a good overview of the Nxt core features and how to use them here.

Interested developers can get a good start here and by reading the nxtwiki. Don't forget to join our Slack, talk to us, and if you think Nxt is amazing - take a look at ARDOR.

Intel & The Floor Hackathon – Day 1

This morning, the Intel & The Floor Blockchain Hackathon kicked off. The blockchain hackathon, which is organized by Intel, The Floor & the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is running for 2 days, from 29-30 March 2017 at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange together with the participation of leading banks. Nxt and Ardor core developer, and managing director of Jelurida, Riker (Lior Yaffe), is attending and has been updating the Nxt community throughout the day.

Here’s a short summary of the event so far for Nxt’s representative.

Hackathon Subject:
Blockchain solutions for banks

Participant Objectives:
Banks will be presenting challenges in advance and participants will develop solution using one of the common blockchain platforms: ethereum, R3 Corda, Hyperledger Sawtooth lake, Hyperledger Fabric, Bitcoin or others.

Riker had, beforehand, cleared with the organizer, that a Nxt/Ardor/Jelurida blockchain solution was welcome. His idea, which he pitched and discussed with the Nxters on Nxtchat yesterday evening, was to code a use case around the Nxt Asset Exchange and its built-in dividend distribution system, as it’s one of the Nxt features very relevant for banks, and also unique to Nxt.

DAY 1

Pitch

I have a vague idea what to say.

riker [8:44 AM]

“We have a solution to the blockchain bloat problem. Real solution in production, not a Whitepaper. A team of developers with over 10 man years experience combined, and an operational public blockchain running for over 3 years.

Focus today is on issuing shares on the blockchain and dividend payment. We will develop various decentralized dividend payment methods using the NXT and Ardor blockchain.

I’m Lior Yaffe, managing director of Jelurida and developer of NXT and Ardor. Come talk to me.”

Lior was one of 15 pitchers.

The Challenge

riker [5:13 PM]

I’m working on a use case for the Tel Aviv Stock exchange:

“Share registration”.

The “problem” is, that the functionality we provide out of the box with data cloud, phasing, messages, account ledger, encrypted file attachment, shared key is enough to implement this.

I don’t have anything real to develop.

The mentor told me “you better work on a presentation.”

The ETH guys have teams of 5-6 people working on similar tasks.

Use case overview

Once the issue and allocation process is determined, the issuing company files a request to list the new shares in the exchange. This request is examined by various gatekeeping entities (transfer agent; Exchange regulation) and if accepted, allows the company to list its shares, update its shareholder records, and complete the allocation to public investors. This process takes place nowadays with the issuing company producing a physical stock certificate, stating the amount of newly issued shares, in the name of the transfer agent. The agent safe keeps the certificate while instructing the clearinghouse to allocate the shares to the public owners. This process is relevant for every change in the company’s capital structure.

Challenge

Establish a digital, one stop shop solution to register shares, handle corporate actions, and allow for updates of company capital structure.

Key Features:

  • Issuing company will transmit listing request through the platform;
  • Request will be examined by various gatekeepers (exchange; due legal procedures; reception of allocation details; money transfer). Each gatekeeper will be able to access the request and approve it.
  • Once all necessary approvals have been given, the company receives listing approval, an indication to update its records, and a digital certificate indicating the issue is produced.
  • Platform will inform clearing house of issue allocation.

wolffang [5:39 PM]

Are you enjoying yourself? 🙂

riker [5:40 PM]

Eating all the time

They only provide 2 minutes to demo the solution for the semi-finals and if you qualify for the finals you get 5 more minutes. This means that live demo is out of the question.

Hence why a presentation is necessary.

riker [9:06 PM]

Done for today. Had a good intermediate lecture to the judges about the solution which again turned into a marketing pitch.
Enough for today

Tomorrow I will ask my teammate to video [my presentation] in case he is around.

Read about DAY 2 >>>

NRS 1.11.4

Nxt Client (NRS) 1.11.4

THIS IS AN OLD RELEASE.

FOR THE LATEST NRS VERSION CHECK HERE

Digital signature: "Stichting NXT"

.sh Sha256:
5f8caea32c659c63580e68f61b2d666685f2e162e8d341aa1980abae0126028b  nxt-client-1.11.4.sh

Release 1.11.4: https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/downloads/nxt-client-1.11.4.zip

1.9.2 .zip sha256:
8e7d5115e1664ae70cc46ff2a9d914ed50052b4352bf8ce5bd76118d63c84817  nxt-client-1.11.4.zip

NRS 1.11.4 release notes

Added Node JS module, see html/www/js/README.

Minor UI and desktop application bugfixes, ported from Ardor.

Added About dialog.

Source: https://nxtforum.org/nrs-releases/nrs-v1-11-4/

Also, read:

Nxt Tutorials
ARDR on the /assethub
Nxt 2.0: Ardor child chain blockchain platform

Mobile app

The Nxt NRS Android app has been upgraded to Apache Cordova 6.5.0 and Cordova Android tools 6.1.2, API peer list has been refreshed.

Download link: https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/downloads/nxt-mobile-client-android-1.11.4.0.apk

sha256 hash: 465e57f932165d8cee9b49acb12af821572c50a0d8a302e22b66b940efad8abf

Source: https://nxtforum.org/index.php?topic=13331.msg230300#msg230300

Also, read about the core dev's mobile app @ Nxtwiki.org

The NRS (Nxt Reference Software) Client is the Nxt core developers’ official wallet release.

NRS is a locally hosted client server application. By default it downloads the Nxt blockchain, but from version 1.10.0e you can run it as a light client as well as a full node. To forge and earn forging fees from processing transactions on the network you must run the Nxt Client in full mode, which is possible even on small devices like laptops, or on a Raspberry Pi. There are also bounties for running public nodes.

The Nxt Client is easy to install. Use the 1-click installers for Linux, Mac and Windows or read this INSTALLATION GUIDE to launch the NRS .zip from terminal.

Ardor Testnet is Launched

Early this morning, Jean-Luc, lead core developer of Nxt and Ardor, made an announcement on Nxtforum.org about the launch of the Ardor testnet. While some testing was already done by some members of the Nxt community who were very knowledgeable about the platform, as we mentioned in our previous newsletter, much more testing is needed to be done before the launch of mainnet in the third quarter of this year, thus the release of testnet. Also, this is a great way to experience the Ardor blockchain without risking any funds as the tokens are given away freely to people who want to try it.

At the moment, only .zip and .exe files have been released, so Mac users will have to wait a bit. Riker, core developer of Nxt and Ardor, mentioned that a client for Mac will likely be released in version 2.0.1e. However, users of Linux operating systems as well as Windows (32 and 64 bit) can get started now. Installation is very similar to that of the Nxt client, with the notable exception of some Ardor graphics.

Ardor’s Decentralized Polling

Some activity has already been going on in just a few hours after launch. On the testnet Ignis child chain, a poll was started asking users about their favorite animal among the animals mentioned. You can take a look at this by choosing the Ignis child chain on the testnet client, clicking on “Voting System” and then “Active Polls”. Remember, while all transactions are processed by the main chain which takes ARDR, when you’re on a child chain all processing is paid for in the child chain token. So, Ignis tokens are required in order to cast your vote.

Sending Bitcoin Using the Alias Feature On Ardor

This is just one of the few things currently being tested at the moment. Get the testnet client and to find out how to request test tokens on ardorplatform.org today and experience this new blockchain platform. If you find any bugs, please report them over at Nxtforum on the announcement thread or through one of the channels listed on the website.

The ARDR token is trading!

Today, on October 13th, at block height 1000000, or 42 days before the Nxt blockchain’s 3rd birthday, the Nxt 1.0 -> Nxt 2.0 snapshot period came to an end, and 998.999.495 ARDR assets were automatically distributed to all accounts which had held any amount of NXT since the first snapshot was taken 3 months ago.

For every 1 NXT which has stayed in your account since the first snapshot, you’ve received 1 ARDR asset. If you’ve been a NXT hodler for half the period, you’ve received 0,5 ARDR per NXT. (For information about the distribution model read this)

This is the ONLY official Ardor asset:


Live feed from the Nxt AE

NXT and ARDR on exchanges

UPDATE

ARDR < > BTC markets:
https://hitbtc.com/exchange/ARDR-to-BTC
https://bittrex.com/Market/Index?MarketName=BTC-ARDR

Poloniex has distributed ARDR. We’re waiting for them to open a market.

ARDR Marketcap: http://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/ardor/

ARDR assets have been distributed to all NXT-holding accounts on participating centralised exchanges and now need to be distributed among the exchanges’ customers.

The Nxt team writes:

The distribution method used will depend on each respective exchange’s internal architecture, so the Nxt team and community can’t provide a universal solution for Ardor distribution within exchanges.

Poloniex, Bittrex, HitBTC, BTC38, etc., must be contacted directly by their customers for more information about their distribution method, if you haven’t yet received your ARDR.

HitBTC was the first centralised exchange to open a BTC < > ARDR market, but more exchanges are expected to follow soon. As most NXT-exchanges have active Nxt asset markets going too, it will be very easy for them to add ARDR.

Next snapshot – IGNIS

One snapshot remains – if you want to get full value for your NXT.

Ignis will be the first child chain, which is guaranteed to get launched on the Ardor platform. In Nxt 2.0, Ardor is the token used for creating consensus and Ignis will be the first transactional token. It will be created at the Ardor Genesis block. Free Ignis tokens will be distributed with a ratio of at least 1:0.5 to all NXT-holders at Genesis. A last snapshot of the Nxt blockchain will be taken just before that, so Ignis can launch together with Ardor.

Ignis will inherit all the current Nxt core features, but will be have others added and be further developed by the Nxt development team. The snapshot will be taken in Q3 2017.

And the unparalleled Nxt platform?

Nxt will continue, and be supported, by the Nxt core devs.

As the Nxt core developers wrote, in a Q&A session a few days ago:

riker
NXT promoted Jelurida and Jelurida will promote NXT.

jean-luc
There will be small businesses and end users who don’t need, or can’t afford, a private blockchain. Those will continue using Nxt, or start a child chain on Ardor.

riker
We can use the funds we receive from private chains to promote the development of the public chain which will in turn provide marketing and public relation for NXT/Ardor and bring us more private chain business.

ipsec [9:08 PM]
Now its very risky to invest NXT and ADROR…..because after 13 price of NXT will down

jean-luc [9:09 PM]
Everybody expecting a dump after 13th… then everybody would sell before 13th
my guess is, the dump has already happened, but then I am not a trader.
If you dump, what else would you buy that has better “incentive structure”?

And that’s the case. If Nxt is not the platform to start coding your new Ardor Nxt 2.0 projects on, then which?

With the Nxt Foundation marketing it, with an educational book about Nxt 1.0 coming out soon, with businesses rushing in to get into the best blockchain tech before the technology itself disrupts them…. will it be wise to sell NXT?

Jean-Luc:

We have projects using the public Nxt blockchain which will need to be supported for at least the next 2 years and probably longer. We’re also in the process of bringing in more core devs for Nxt as well as for Ardor, with the aim of establishing 2 semi-independent core dev teams.

There has been lot of public FUD and confusion about all of this, so I hope this clears up any questions or doubts that you may have about the future plans for Nxt and Ardor.

In doubt? Get involved.

Join nxtforum.org or the Nxtchat Slack channel:

DeBuNe is currently looking for extra developers to join their distributed team. m19: “We are creating our own custom version of NXT/Ardor and some of the changes you make might even end up in the core, we are in no way competing with them but instead actively supporting it.

https://nxtchat.slack.com/messages/job-offers/mentions/

LQD asset CEO libertynow [2:37 AM]: “If NXT goes below the Oct 4 bottom at 1667 I’ll start getting worried. well, not really. i don’t care that much. I can just use the NXT for divs if I really need to”.

You might also want to read: The Nxt Asset Exchange Tutorial

Congrats with your ARDR assets. Exchanges are open. The future will not be centralised. It will be you.

Jelurida Q&A – Nxt core devs mean business

On October 07, 2016, Damelon announced the incorporation of Jelurida BV, a new startup software development company consisting of Nxt core developers Jean-Luc, Riker and Nxt Foundation member, Damelon.

Jelurida BV, as holder of the intellectual property rights for the Nxt software and the Ardor platform, aims to create a sustainable and thriving business around the Nxt ecosystem by providing software licenses, maintenance, and services to a new breed of blockchain-based applications.

The ninja announcement of a “Nxt company”, and the fact that the lead developers of Nxt and Ardor were going to monetise their services and IP naturally sparked discussions in the Nxtchat Slack channel. Damelon posted a few answers, but asked the Nxt community to save their further questions for a Q&A session with the core developers, which was to be kicked off Sunday.

martis [2:09 PM]

so Nxt became a company?

Damelon answered (before the Q&A):

damelon [2:10 PM]
No, the devs are in a company now (including me, who is also on it). I am managing director. It’s a Holding with two separate BVs contained in it. There is a BV that holds the IP and a BV that is “active” and signs.

The main purpose is to ensure that the code is protected, and secondly licensing to generate a cash flow. The direct benefit is continuity and more possibilities to actually partner with companies. That benefits the community and holders. Even if licenses are sold for private chains, this means the devs are funded which means they can continue to work on the code without having to hold down other jobs. It also allows us to grow the developer pool with quality people which also benefits the code and users.

The way we want to create value for holders is by ensuring we deliver value in the form of the software and in attracting customers and users to the platform. It’s another step in professionalizing and it’s also a big step towards making sure Nxt and Ardor will be sustained into the future. The Nxt code is and still will be under GPL, so public chain use is not affected.

Also, this is about the IP mostly. The devs do not want to let the copyright out of their hands. Handing it over to the Foundation would leave them at the mercy of other people. Having it consolidated in their own company allows them to keep control in situations where it’s needed, like when licensing is involved.

The Q&A

The Q&A session took place in nxtchat.slack on October 09, 2016, 20:00-21:46.

This is a summary of the event. All questions about expected ups and downs in price and “how to use Ardor” have been removed from the summary. For a general FAQ about Ardor, the Ardor token ARDR, and Ignis distribution you can visit the FAQ thread on Reddit.

Now let’s get to it.

riker [8:05 PM]
Ready for Q&A guys ?

legs11 [8:06 PM]
yes

damelon [8:06 PM]
@channel The devs are here, so please shoot your questions.

Ardor

jean-luc
development is on track, but it takes time. schedule is unchanged for now. nothing has changed really in the project direction, or our plan for ardor.

riker
We feel good about the project direction and we do enjoy our work.

jean-luc
it is a challenge to keep the code simple. the code is based on Nxt, intentionally so that to minimize bugs, but I have started some refactoring which makes further merges from the 1.0 codebase harder.

Jelurida

jean-luc
Jelurida plans to make money from licensing, support, and consulting

legs11
Any chance of us buy into this company at this early stage ?

jean-luc
it is a private company, the general public can’t buy into it

durerus
Who owns how much percent of the company?

jean-luc
This information is confidential.

durerus
Can you describe what a paying customer would get?

riker
License to change the NXT core code for their purpose. License to use a private blockchain. Maintenance, support and consulting.

Many organizations will never use a public blockchain because of regulatory issue or confidentiality. We would like to get into the private blockchain niche

josenxt
Doesn’t ComeFromBeyond, for example, have anything to say about this?

jean-luc
CfB has written code under the MIT license only. The developers who have contributed code under the GPL have transferred their copyright to Jelurida.

as we speak, banks and financial companies are cloning Nxt and using it privately.
By getting them to pay for it, we plan to make future Nxt development self sustainable

apenzl
Which IP rights are Jelurida going to “protect”?

riker
People are currently copying NXT left and right, even if they want to pay for NXT they didn’t have whom to pay. If they don’t pay, we can now go after them. That what it means to protect our rights.

jean-luc
In the absence of a single legal entity which owns the copyright, it is hard to enforce the GPL, we have seen examples of it being violated by companies who know there is no one to sue them

conversely, if a company does want a commercial license, and is willing to pay for it, it is hard to do legally without a single legal entity that has the copyright, as the case was until now.

Jelurida for investors

durerus
So you wanna get into private blockchain niche. Can you tell us why this is good for investors in the tokens ARDR, NXT and IGNIS?

riker
We can use the funds we receive from private chains to promote the development of the public chain which will in turn provide marketing and public relation for NXT/Ardor and bring us more private chain business. We hope to obtain such eco-system which provide win-win situation both for the public token investors and private blockchain customers

kasp
it doesnt seem fair for the token holders honestly, lets say you are now investing 60% of DEV in private chains and earn decent revenue, how are devs still motivated to work on NXT/ardor + it will only slow down progress

riker
I think we have to realize that the current model of using community funds/donations to promote NXT does not work. This new model has much better chance.

Again we hope to generate positive feedback in which private blockchain profits are used to promote the public blockchain which in turn supports the private blockchain

bidji
Current system is not sustainable, dev need to earn money.

But i’m afraid the incentive to work on the public chain will be too low. Imagine you are successful and you have a lot of contracts to build private blockchains. Since you get paid for it you have to focus all your ressources on those contracts. What happen to the public blockchain in that time? it will be put aside. Basically there is a conflict of interest between successful public blockchain and successful private business. What do you think?

riker
We won’t be able to sell private blockchains unless we have a successful public chain. We all realize this. NXT promoted Jelurida and Jelurida will promote NXT. The challenge is to create a win/win situation and we need your support for this.

willtate
I think better public relations would go a long way to bringing in customers as well as new devs. Is any more activity in this department planned for the near-term?

riker
Yes, not sure we can share concrete plans at the moment. We’ll start with a website and all the marketing materials expected from a startup company

logan
Will you inform the community about new deals etc?

riker
As a private company we probably won’t share everything publicly. We may issue press releases on signed deals etc

vprf
If I am a company in need of a private chain. Why use NXT/Ardor/etc… over a different crypto?

riker
(1) POS is much better suited for private chain then POW
(2) You can develop in Java and not in some weird scripting lang (i.e. ETH)

vprf
Why not Lisk then if Java and POS?

riker
We have 2 years advantage and we have a more experienced dev team

vprf
I would rather deal with real people with real names. Just sayin’

riker
Jelurida has public directors listed in the Dutch trade registry. The identity of the actual developers has no significance the same way you don’t know who are Java developers but you trust Oracle to support Java.

Don’t you know Bas? Didn’t you watch my latest presentation?

wolffang
Will the private blockchains be made with nxt now and later with ardor blockchain or always nxt?

riker
For now private chains will be based on NXT of course. We will probably transition to Ardor when it’s stable enough

jean-luc
depends on demand, but Nxt 1.0 is tried and tested technology, and Ardor is an overkill to use as a private chain for a single company. Most of the Jelurida private blockchain customers would not need the complexity of Ardor, with its multiple child chains.

Hiring devs

almonte
Now that you have settled down a company, are you thinking about recruiting more developers in the near future?

jean-luc
yes, but it is a chicken and egg problem… hard to recruit developers until we have at least few paying customers

if we get serious demand for private chains, we would also get licensing fees and income that allows us to hire more developers

josenxt
How is Jelurida going to encourage new devs to join the development team when they know for sure that their work won’t be credited? Just for the money Jelurida will pay them? Will all the new devs be writing code for Jelurida and not for the Nxt community from now on?

riker
Jelurida intends to either pay salaries or give shares to compensate developers (perhaps both). Some of the code may be developed as closed source code and some will be shared with the community.

In the future there will millions of blockchains some public some private we want as many as possible to be based on NXT.

jean-luc
new developers after short training would be dedicated to support and feature development for private chains first, so that the more experienced core devs can focus on Ardor

Jelurida and the Nxt community

rubenbc
how is Jelurida going to support the community if it is a private company?

logan
I can see the Promotion effect of public chains for private chains.. but i dont see it for the other direction. Why should Ardor get more value if a Company will use the tech behind it? That makes no sense to me.

riker
I hope that Jelurida and the NXT foundation will share the profits

farl4bit
How do you encourage the community to continue to work as a volunteer knowing that their developers and the leader of the foundation may be working for private solutions?

riker
Would you like the devs to work for free or almost for free forever? Jelurida will work together with the community to advance NXT/Ardor and make it into a sustainable business

wolffang
What is the role of the community in this new situation? Can happen that People now leave that were good contributors. How to prevent it.

riker
Jelurida will open up doors for NXT activists to get real paying jobs in dev, consulting, support, training

josenxt
Would you like the rest of the Nxt community to work for free or almost for free forever AND FROM NOW ON to make bigger a private company like Jelurida? :point_left: It could be seen this way

riker
If Jelurida is successful there will plenty of funds to pay everyone.

Final words

josenxt
Will we see in 6 months from today another big surprise (like Jelurida’s) which is currently being cooked behind the scenes?

jean-luc
hopefully sooner

Wolffang
@riker when is the nxt mobile app release planned?

riker
It’s ready for initial testing but we want to get Jelurida and the Ardor token distribution first

riker [9:43 PM]
Enough for today ?

farl4bit [9:46 PM]
@riker @jean-luc Thanks very much! I am looking forward to more of these sessions.

And that’s it, folks.

You can sign up for the weekly newsletter here.

NXT-crypto-developer

For more Nxt & Ardor news, see: http://test.nxter.org/newsletters 

Programming the Nxt Blockchain for fun and profit

Blockchains can be useful in various applications, facing global audience and supporting company internal infrastructure. A blockchain is a distributed database, a copy of the blockchain is stored on each node in a peer-to-peer network. This extreme redundancy can be duely considered inefficient, but please stay with me for a couple of minutes of blockchain theory.

As each node validates all transactions recorded into the blockchain and as past transactions cannot be rolled back or tampered with like in traditional RDBMS, this redundancy makes the blockchain *immutable*, and that is a very important value proposition of blockchains. Immutability of data is something traditional databases cannot provide. You may or may not need immutability of data and trust-free confirmation that data hasn’t been altered.

In this tutorial I assume you do need this.

One of the most versatile and flexible blockchains is the Nxt Blockchain (https://nxt.org). It has over a hundred API calls https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/The_Nxt_API.

Today you will learn basics of programming the Nxt blockchain. I will use only two API calls in this tutorial. With over a hundred API calls opportunities for programmers are limitless.

Application logic

A customer of a company or an employee in an organization uploads a file through a web form.
The file is renamed to a unique name and is saved in some location on the server.

A year later the customer / employee needs to verify, using the Nxt Blockchain, that the file hadn’t been altered. For instance, this may be required for legal purposes. It doesn’t have to be files. Internal company memos can be hashed and stored in the database, to be verified in a future audit.

Nxt allows us to send and record arbitrary messages (AM) into its blockchain.

Every transaction on the blockchain comes at a fee. If the transaction size is large, it can be expensive; fortunately Nxt has a subtype of AM called prunable messages. These are pruned after 90 days which make them cheap, they are available for retrieval from archival nodes after 90 days.

The maximum size of an arbitrary message in the Nxt blockchain is approx. 42 KB, the size of one block. A prunable message of 1 KB costs 1 NXT ($0.03). 1 KB is enough to store a hash of a file and this is our final cost to permanently record one hash in the immutable distributed Nxt blockchain.

As the customer uploads a file I create a SHA256 hash of the file and store the hash in the database in the organization’s server. For simplicity I’ve chosen SQlite, but you can use Mysql, Postgresql, Oracle. I will use PDO to access SQlite database in PHP.

When we do not use the immutable database (blockchain), the file can be modified, the new hash of the modified file saved in the database, making it hard to prove the file was like this from the beginning.

Blockchain comes to the rescue

Every prunable message can be retrieved from archival nodes. Every record in the blockchain is immutable. You can be sure the hash of the file you uploaded a year ago, when it is retrieved from the blockchain, is the same hash. All you need now is compare it with the hash in the organization’s internal RDBMS.

Pre-requisites:
PHP with curl, json and some db extension (I use sqlite3). A web server is optional, you can use php-cli. Java 8 (Oracle or OpenJDK to run Nxt). Nxt reference software: https://nxtforum.org/nrs-releases/nrs-v1-10-1/.

Install the NRS (Nxt Reference Software (depending on the context interchangeably called Nxt Client or Nxt Server)) and create an account. Fund it with a few coins. You can exchange Bitcoin to NXT at an exchange service like https://shapeshift.io or exchange with someone at https://nxtforum.org. It is also possible to “mine” some free NXT as reward for running a node; http://test.nxter.org/the-forging-bounty-lottery-campaign-will-pay-5-million-in-rewards-to-forgers-and-nxt-nodes/.

First we create a simple database table for our application, nothing fancy, you can add more column types if you must store more information. I like to use DB Browser for SQLite of http://sqlitebrowser.org.

Let’s make an empty database ‘files.db’ and save it in /home/lurker10/phptutorial/files.db

Using DB Browser for SQLite create the following table.

CREATE TABLE "files" (
`id` INTEGER PRIMARY KEY AUTOINCREMENT,
`txid` TEXT,
`hash` TEXT,
`uploadtime` TEXT,
`filename` TEXT
)

‘txid’ is the field for storing the id of a transaction we receive from Nxt when the transaction is accepted. It is unique. ‘hash’ is the sha256 hash of the file.

In this tutorial I skip the file upload part of code to keep it concise.

Let’s assume the file is already uploaded and stored on the web server. We define the file location variable in the code.

$uploadDir = "/home/lurker10/phptutorial/tmp/";
$fileName = "copy12345.tar";

By default the Nxt Server listens for API requests on port 7876. If you run it on the same machine as your php code, your code must send queries to http://127.0.0.1:7876/nxt

The other important variables are the passphrase of the Nxt account you’ve created and funded and the recipient’s account.

You can send the message to yourself, recipient can be your own account.

$host = "http://127.0.0.1:7876/nxt";
$secretPhrase = "your passphrase";
$recipientID = "NXT-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXX";

The next part of code is the function that submits query using curl in a POST request.

To make a query we must define $payload and $payload_string variables and feed them to sendRequest(). It is possible to run the Nxt Server over HTTPS and use curl to verify the SSL certificate, but for this simple app we have disabled SSL verification in the curl connection.

Another point of interest is the $errorDescription, json-decoded from server response.

If there is a problem with the query (“Not enough funds” in your account when your balance is zero),
you must add error handling routine. I omit this too. For this app I assume the server responded properly, and return the response into the app for further processing.

function sendRequest($host, $payload, $payload_string) {
$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $host);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST, "POST");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, FALSE);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYHOST, FALSE);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT_MS, 10000);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT_MS, 10000);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, count($payload));
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $payload_string);
$output = curl_exec($ch);
$curl_error = curl_error($ch);
curl_close($ch);
$errorDescription = trim(@json_decode($output)->errorDescription);
if ($errorDescription != "") { // perform error handling; return false; }
return $output;
}

As the file is uploaded already, I create a sha256 hash of the file and timestamp.

$fileHash = hash_file("sha256", $uploadDir.$fileName);
$txTime = time();

I will use PDO to work with the database.

Open the db and insert a new record.

We don’t know the txid until we talk to the Nxt Server that can give it to us when transaction is accepted on the NXT network, so for now I’ll insert null for txid.

$pdo = new PDO('sqlite:/home/lurker10/phptutorial/files.db');
$sql = "INSERT INTO files (txid, hash, uploadtime, filename)
VALUES (null, '$fileHash', '$txTime', '$fileName')";
$result = $pdo->exec($sql);

Next we create a query to send to the NXT server.

This particular query is “sendMessage”, you can find a whole lot more queries to interact with the blockchain and their mandatory and optional parameters at https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/The_Nxt_API.

As I said earlier the fee to transact is 1 NXT. 1 NXT = 100,000,000 NQT (nanoquants).
1 NQT is the smallest unit of denomination in NXT same as 1 satoshi in Bitcoin.
The Nxt Server accepts the fee in NQT, so we pay exactly 100 million NQT ($0.03)

The “broadcast” parameter can be changed to false, in this case you will receive ‘transactionBytes’ in the response, which can be broadcast to the network later using the ‘broadcastTransaction’ request. But today I have set it to ‘true’ to broadcast the transaction instantly.

Remember to urlencode() the message. I insert the filename separated from the hash with a colon into the message.

$payload = array(
"requestType" => "sendMessage",
"recipient" => $recipientID,
"secretPhrase" => urlencode($secretPhrase),
"feeNQT" => 100000000,
"deadline" => 1440,
"broadcast" => "true",
"message" => urlencode($fileName . ":" . $fileHash),
"messageIsPrunable" => "true"
);
$payload_string = "";
foreach ($payload as $key => $value) {
$payload_string .= $key . "=" . $value . "&";
}
rtrim($payload_string, "&");

Send the query to NXT server using sendRequest() function:

$output = sendRequest($host, $payload, $payload_string);

and decode the JSON response from the server to get the transaction id:

if ($output != false) {
$txId = json_decode($output)->transaction;
}

Now that there is a positive response on the accepted transaction and its ID is known, let’s update the record in the in-house db.

$lastId = $pdo->lastInsertId();
$sql = "UPDATE files SET txid = '$txId' where id = '$lastId'";
$result = $pdo->exec($sql);

We can optionally provide these links to the customer for future reference and to prove that the hash was uploaded:

echo "NXT Transaction ID: " . $txId . ",
JSON response";
echo "

Use these links to verify Sha256 hash of your file saved in our internal database against the permanent record in the NXT blockchain:

" . $fileHash;

Optionally email the customer the $txId that they can later use to verify hash or somehow else give them basic information on retrieval of the hash from in-house db and comparing it to blockchain stored hash in the future, by timestamp or other criteria.

This app doesn’t include user authentication. Normally the customer or user of an intranet service would be able to see their files after having authenticated to the site.

This app also assumes that the verification app is out of reach of the in-house database maintainer to prevent faking verification outcome.

Now the record is saved in the company’s database. Show the db record to confirm it’s there.

$sth = $pdo->prepare("SELECT id, txid, hash, uploadtime, filename FROM files ORDER BY id DESC");
$sth->execute();
$result = $sth->fetch(PDO::FETCH_OBJ);
if ($result != false) {
var_dump($result);
}

The verification app

To use the hash verification app the customer must have the transaction ID in the NXT blockchain
passed to them when the transaction was submitted to the Nxt Blockchain.

Suppose the customer does have it, saved in the mail archive or retrieved by other means.
Here it is.

$txId = "111111111111111111";

Let us see what our in-house database has for the hash of the file. Fetch and save it in $hashInDb.

$pdo = new PDO('sqlite:/home/lurker10/phptutorial/files.db');
$sth = $pdo->prepare("SELECT hash FROM files where txid = '$txId'");
$sth->execute();
$result = $sth->fetch(PDO::FETCH_OBJ);
if ($result != false) {
$hashInDb = $result->hash;
}

Send a request to the NXT server and fetch all information stored in the NXT blockchain for transaction with the given ID.

$payload = array (
"requestType" => "getTransaction",
"transaction" => $txId
);
$payload_string = "";
foreach ($payload as $key => $value) {
$payload_string .= $key . "=" . $value . "&";
}
rtrim($payload_string, "&");

$output = sendRequest($host, $payload, $payload_string);

Decode the JSON response and extract the attachment field where the hash is stored.

In the first part of the app we recorded the filename separated from the hash with a colon.
Now we extract just the hash portion of the arbitrary message.

$attachmentPlainData = json_decode($output)->attachment->message;
$hashInBlockchain = explode(":", $attachmentPlainData)[1];

And compare what we have in the company’s database with what was recorded 1 year ago into the Nxt Blockchain.

if ($hashInDb == $hashInBlockchain)
echo "Hashes are identical";
else
echo "Hashes are not identical";

Next part of this series: Lottery on the Nxt Blockchain in Golang (and PHP)

NXT-crypto-developer

“The Forging Bounty Lottery campaign” will pay 5 million in rewards to forgers and Nxt nodes

Megalodon has come forward with The Forging Bootstrapper initiative;
an account holding 5M NXT, which will be distributed randomly among Nxters forging to help run and secure the Nxt network. The Forging Bootstrapper wants to make it more profitable to forge and run nodes, and thereby build a stronger decentralised Nxt / Ardor network.

‘Forging’ is Nxt’s equivalent to PoW mining. Nxt mining uses a deterministic lottery that grants the right to mine (forge) the next block. With a minimum balance of 1000NXT you are eligible to win the lottery, and thereby earn all the fees inside the blocks you produce. The winning ticket is picked at random, but if you buy several tickets you multiply your chances of winning. Your probability of winning is the number of tickets you bought divided by the total number of tickets sold to everyone participating in the lottery. The probability of winning the forging contest is your NXT balance divided by the total balance of NXT forging throughout the network.

Megalodon writes:

Forging Bounty Lottery campaign managed by Forging Bootstrapper account NXT-HH9F-JMRB-6HRD-HD5ZW is designed to reward active forgers. Transactions with exceptionally high fees will be sent randomly (but not frequently) from the start of Ardor snapshot until the account balance is zero. The lottery is skewed in favour of accounts with smaller forging power. Mining pools are also eligible for this campaign. To increase your chances in the lottery, please identify yourselves here. Thank you.

This campaign is managed such that it is expected to run for some time after Ardor chain is live. Ardor tokens distributed to this account will be rewarded to Ardor forgers while the remaining NXT will continue to be rewarded to Nxt 1.0 forgers even after Ardor is launched.

Some large accounts have opted out of this campaign. Please note that “Lottery Transactions” may accidentally be forged by opt-out accounts due to the non-100% certainty of forging order.

No matter the size of your stake you should forge, either by yourself or by leasing your account balance to a Nxt forging pool. Leasing your balance is of no risk to you. When leasing, you maintain full control of your NXT – the pool simply receives your “effectiveBalance” which is your current forging power. The pool cannot do anything with your NXT account or balance. When you sell/buy NXT during an active lease, what happens is your contribution to the pool is automatically adjusted in the NXT protocol.

You can forge if you’ve had more than 1000NXT in your account for more than 1440 blocks.

All you have to do to forge is start your NXT client, log in with your private key and it will begin forging. There will be a green forging indicator. You forge when you are online.

With the leasing feature it also takes 1440 blocks (24 hours) from you hitting the “lease”-button until your NXT-stake is actively forging in the account/pool that you lease it to. If you’re often offline, leasing your forging rights to a pool may be a good idea, as forging pools are often forging 24/7 365.

How do I lease my forging balance?

Start your Nxt Client, log in with your passphrase.

  • Click your account balance.
  • Click the “Account Leasing” tab.
  • Click “lease your balance to another account”.
  • Insert the account you wish to lease your balance to.
  • Set for how long you want to lease your balance under “period” (it’s expressed in blocks: 1440 blocks = 24h). Default is set to max; 65535, a lease of 65535 blocks is about 46 days.
  • Put in your secret phrase.
  • Click “Lease Balance” button (it costs you 1 NXT to lease your balance).

If you want to leave the pool before the expiration time you’ve set, you can transfer your NXT to another account under your control, forging rights are then transferred to this account. If you transfer the full balance, a balance of 0 NXT will stay with the pool until the leasing period ends.

Who can I lease to – what are my options?

You can lease your balance to a forging pool that:
– pays out all of your forged fees to you or
– donates your forged fees to projects that they select or
– keeps the NXT forged (you personally want to support with your forging fees).

You have to trust the pool to distribute your share to you, as the forging fee stays with the pool.

Pools

Nxtcrypto.org

http://pool.nxtcrypto.org/howto.html

Nxt forging pool which has been running since May, 2014.

Forum thread: https://nxtforum.org/general-discussion/nxtcrypto-org-leased-forging-pool-only-fees-are-1nxt-to-withdraw/
Pool address: NXT-K5KL-23DJ-3XLK-22222
Pool status: http://pool.nxtcrypto.org/status.php
Pool earnings: http://pool.nxtcrypto.org/earnings.php
Lease fee: 1 NXT. Payout request: done via arbitrary messages, send a message (the content is not important) to request a payout, 1 NXT. Payout transfer: 1 NXT. Distribution: proportional to the forging power.

Nxt Forging Pool

Brand new pool, started by French Nxt forum member, Seccour.
You can read more about it here: https://nxtforum.org/leasing-pools/nxt-pool/

“Lucky Node” lottery

Lurker1 writes:

Now with this lottery you can ‘mine’ coins running a public node on your computer. I think it’s important to reward 0 weight nodes of newbies who set up their first node and want to earn some coins. You get bonus coins for:
* hallmarking your node and having weight>0;
* open API
* open API_SSL
* running an archival node

A random number of NXT coins will be sent every 2 hours to a random node.

To participate in the lottery you must put your NXT address in the nxt.myPlatform property, into the nxt/conf/nxt.properties file.

nxt.myPlatform=NXT-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXX

For OpenAPI configuration you must have these set:
nxt.allowedBotHosts=*
nxt.apiServerHost=0.0.0.0

optionally increase the value of nxt.maxNumberOfInboundConnections to make your node more available to peers and increase your odds:
nxt.maxNumberOfInboundConnections=500

and finally restart your node for configuration changes to take effect.

Optionally hallmark your node to get extra bonus for weight>0 on top of lottery prize.

Restart your node for configuration changes to take effect.

Look up your node in https://nxtportal.org/peers and http://peerexplorer.com lists, it must be in both for best results.

NXT-8F28-EDVE-LPPX-HY4E7 is my address from where coins will be sent, don’t put it in myPlatform property. I’ve funded it with a small amount. When it runs out, I hope a whale can contribute little amounts from time to time to keep this lottery going.

Megalodon added:

As this lottery falls within the overall objectives of the Forging Bounty Lottery campaign, it will be supported via donations from Forging Bootstrapper account NXT-HH9F-JMRB-6HRD-HD5ZW. (To receive rewards from both, you need to run a public node AND forge).

How to run a Nxt node

You can run a Nxt node from your home.

Instructions for setting up your node on a Raspberry Pi can be found in this tutorial: http://test.nxter.org/how-to-set-up-a-nxt-node-on-a-raspberry-pi-2/

If you want to set up a node on a VPS (free or paid) or a dedicated server but don’t know how to, emoneyRu will set it up and maintain it for you for free. You can contact him here: https://nxtforum.org/public-nodes-vpss/emoneyru-will-for-free-manage-you-vpss-for-you/ 

But if you want to DIY, here’s a tutorial:
https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/How-To:CreatePublicNode

Other useful links:
Set up Archival node
https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/How-To:CreateHallmark
https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/How-To:CreatePublicNode
https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/How-To:UseSslCerts

Hallmark and earn NSC (Nxt Security Coins)

There are additional rewards to get if you hallmark your node.

A hallmark is a stamp of approval for a Nxt node. By creating a digital signature based on your IP address and secret passphrase, you are verifying that your account ‘owns’ a node and is accountable for it. This helps protect the network from attack, and increases the network’s trust in your node.

As well as receiving extra rewards from the “Lucky Node” lottery by hallmarking your node you will also earn NSC (Nxt Security Coins), a reward coin based on the Nxt Monetary System and created to promote growth and security of the Nxt network. NSC coins can be sold for NXT in the MS Exchange booth.

abctc writes:

MS NSC distribution for hallmarked nodes
– Minimum NRS version : latest and second to latest main release + latest experimental release if presented
– Our node must have seen your hallmarked node, please make sure you have these node in your config “nxt.wellKnownPeers=nsc.nxt.org”
– You can check where your node is active or not: http://nsc.nxt.org:7876/nxt?requestType=getPeers&active=true
– Hallmark check is performed many times per day to ensure we capture as many hallmarks as possible. Captured Hallmarked nodes are saved into a database for use during the fortnight distribution. You can see them here: http://nsc.nxt.org/
– The distribution takes place fortnightly.
– How much MS NSC you earn* depends on the stake you have in the NXT community!
– less than 1000 NXT: 0.02 NSC per day per node (for the small stake holders/ node owners)
– 1000 – 9999 NXT: 0.5 NSC per day per node (normal)
– greater than 9999 NXT: 3.5 NSC per day per node (more trusted nodes)
* Please note, that NSC will be sent every 2 weeks with the bottom line of 20 NSC (to reduce fees). If you’ve earned lower than 20 NSC, they will be transferred to the next 2 weeks’ round.

EmoneyRu can manage your VPSs, for free: https://nxtforum.org/public-nodes-vpss/emoneyru-will-for-free-manage-you-vpss-for-you/

The value of an NSC coin is decided by the community (hint: please help by submitting buy offers on Nxt Monetary System Exchange Booth and/or not selling all of the NSC that you are distributed)! The issuers will never sell issued coins!

Megalodon writes:

This long-running campaign managed by abtc and EmoneyRu using the Monetary System coin NSC exclusively reward hallmarked nodes. Forging Bootstrapper account NXT-HH9F-JMRB-6HRD-HD5ZW will also be supporting this campaign by putting up occasional buy offers that are significantly higher than existing offers.

To benefit from all 3 campaigns, you’ll need to run a public node AND hallmark it AND forge with your NXT balance.

Nxt-ardor-forging-rewards

Source: https://nxtforum.org/general-discussion/5-million-nxt-bounty-for-nxt-ardor-forgers/

Nxt announces: ‘ARDOR’

Nxt-announces-ardor

ARDOR is brought to you by the core development team from Nxt. After years of building and testing the Nxt platform, the team is going to involve the public even more. As the first Blockchain 2.0 platform, the community has continually improved Nxt and now looks forward to release Ardor for companies, organizations, and of course, users.

ar•dor(ˈɑr dər) 
n.

1. great warmth of feeling; fervor.
2. intense devotion; zeal.
3. burning heat.

Also,esp. Brit., ar′dour.

The Nxt core dev team is letting anyone get into the blockchain space with a new child chain platform, ARDOR, which will incorporate the technologies proven for years by the Nxt 1.0 cryptocurrency and blockchain. Soon, anyone will be able to create their own solutions using the blockchain technology with the Ardor child chains.

Nxt is undergoing a dramatic evolution. Research by the Nxt team has led to Ardor, a platform that uses child chains and incorporates all of Nxt’s latest blockchain innovations while being backed by the core developers of Nxt. Ardor is more than just about money: It’s about making a blockchain platform that is open to everyone, from single users all the way up to FinTech startups and governments, and one where anyone can create their own child chain and interact with the whole blockchain ecosystem. That means anyone, anywhere, will be able to utilize blockchain services with relative ease.

We can’t give away too much until the final features of Ardor are tested repeatedly.

A few of the features coming with the new Ardor release:

Blockchain as a Service

Ardor will open blockchain development to organizations and individuals across the world. The high barriers to getting started with blockchain are about to vanish.

Manageable Blockchain Size

Ardor will solve the problem of scalability by separating transactions and data that do not affect security from those that do, and moving all of those that don’t affect security onto child chains. The Ardor team will create the first child chain to house many Nxt 1.0 tools as well as future features. This small size also comes with short transaction times so processes need only a fraction of time compared to Bitcoin to execute functions.

A Decentralized Asset Exchange

Building off of the Asset Exchange on Nxt, Ardor will enable the ability to trade assets on any child chain for any of the child chain tokens. This allows child chains to interact with each other and opens up numerous opportunities for collaboration as well as allow cross chain asset trading, a long-requested feature within the Nxt ecosystem.

Decentralized Voting and Governance Systems

Ardor will be at the core of decentralized consensus in the future. Secure and anonymous voting will be an available feature on all child chains as it is on the Nxt platform.

Phased Transactions

Users can set multiple conditions before a transaction is executed, such as a minimum number of votes and a set amount of time. Like Nxt, Ardor will use Smart Transactions. With this, users will only need to submit the parameters necessary for the transaction and the ID of the functionality they want to use. The transaction process is also completely decentralized. No centralized server, service, or application, like Ethereum’s Oracle, is needed.

“Rather than providing smart contracts, NXT is focused on implementing the important use cases and functions directly into the core of both Nxt and Ardor. This approach has proven to be scalable and secure and will become more so when Ardor is released” – Riker

These are a few of the things Ardor will give you and the cryptocurrency community. As development continues and testing is finalized, you’ll get a detailed analysis of each of the new tools, as well as the core features built into Ardor. We’ll also reveal, step-by-step, a list of our partners and what they’re doing with our technology.

This is all possible because of new developments within the Nxt community. Decision-making and planning is becoming more professionalized. The community and team structure are adjusting to the new demands while the Nxt and Ardor technology remains entirely open source. Ardor is more than a cryptocurrency – it’s a blockchain platform specifically designed to let anyone build decentralized tools with the latest innovations in blockchain technology.

How to get Ardor

You’ll be able to participate in Ardor right away. As Ardor continues testing and development, Nxt 1.9 will be released. With Nxt 1.9, you’ll get your first chance to own a piece of Ardor. All those who hold an amount of NXT will also get a piece of Ardor. Snapshots will start be taken on an hourly basis, starting on July 14th to October 12th. Then, your total NXT will be averaged, and you’ll receive that amount in Ardor tokens on October 12th, which will be freely tradeable up until the Ardor system launches.

At block 1,000,000 on October 12th, 2016, snapshotting will stop, and you’ll be allowed to trade your Ardor tokens in NXT 1.9 in preparation for the launch of the Ardor blockchain.

After Ardor has launched, Nxt 1.0 will remain active and supported. Nxt 1.0 is the giant on which Ardor is built and it will remain running as a core component of the Nxt eco-system, functioning as a complete blockchain solution in its own right, as well as assisting in the development and refinement of the Ardor blockchain platform.

There’ll be a lot more news in the weeks and months to come. Ardor aims to be a powerful platform for users and businesses alike by building on the technology pioneered by Bitcoin and Nxt. If you would like to be a part of it, acquire NXT now and get your stake in ARDOR!

Source: https://nxtforum.org/core-development-announcements/(ann)-ardor-or-nxt-2-0-a-scalable-child-chain-platform/

The Nxt 2.0 token distribution

Details about the Nxt 2.0 token distribution have been announced.

Those who have been following  Nxt 1.0 know that the launch of Nxt 2.0 (Ardor) will be a big and important step forwards, not just for Nxt but for blockchain technology in general. With the amazing and broad set of truly disruptive, stable features already running on the Nxt 1.0 blockchain, the next leap forward will be the solving of the blockchain bloat problem inherent to all existing blockchains.

This can make Ardor the first globally scalable crypto platform, and in addition to this, Ardor will enable any individual, business and community to launch their own fully secured customised private ledgers. In short, a Nxt 2.0 Main Chain token (ARDR) will ‘forge’ (~ stake/~mine) all the childchain transactions and thereby secure them. The first and default Nxt 2.0 childchain (Ignis) to be launched with the genesis block will be a ledger which integrates all the functionality of Nxt 1.0.

Ardor’s prime innovation is to split the blockchain into a main chain that is used for consensus creation only, and multiple child chains that keep separate ledgers of transactions, each child chain using its own coin/token.

In the announcement Jean-Luc writes that:

The Nxt 1.0 branch will continue to run

Nxt 1.9 is going to be the last major release on the Nxt 1.0 branch.

Nxt 2.0 is not a fork of Nxt 1.0. NXT tokens will continue to exist.
Existing 1.0 users will be able to log in to Nxt 2.0 with their existing passphrases.

The Nxt core development team is committed to providing support for Nxt 1.x for at least one year after the Nxt 2.0 launch. Additional GUI functionality may or may not be added to the NRS Client.

The distribution of Nxt 2.0 tokens

The Core Developers recognise the tremendous contributions of the investors and holders of the original Nxt 1.0, without whom Nxt 2.0 would not be possible, and have decided to grant them exclusive rights to the new 2.0 tokens.

Ardor tokens

ALL Nxt 2.0 Main Chain tokens (ARDR) will be distributed among the holders of Nxt 1.0 tokens.

Nxt 1.9 will be announced shortly with a hard fork for the ARDR distribution without API changes.

The only way to get ARDR is by holding NXT in your account during the snapshot phase (which starts when Nxt 1.9 is released and will run for about 3 months).

Jean-Luc writes:

The Nxt Software will start taking periodic snapshots of all users’ NXT balances, at regular intervals (most likely once an hour), for a period of three months.

The NXT balances in each account will be averaged over this full three month period, and at the end all accounts will be automatically credited with a token representing their ARDR holdings, issued as an Asset on the Nxt asset exchange.

This ARDR Asset will be freely tradeable.

The distribution of the real ARDR coins will be based on the ownership of ARDR Assets taken at the point of time when the 2.0 Genesis block is created.

There will be no burning of Nxt 1.0 needed in order to receive either ARDR or [Ignis]  Tokens.

ARDR tokens will be used for forging (i.e. staking / mining) to maintain and secure the full Ardor network and incentivize people to set up nodes. Users of any Ardor childchain will have to pay bundled transaction-fees to ARDR forgers.

Riker explains:

Holding the ARDR token provides the ability to bundle many child chain transactions into a ChildChainBlock transaction on the main chain (i.e. become a bundler) and forge transactions on the main chain.

Ardor Mainnet is scheduled to launch in Q3 2017.

IGNIS; the Nxt childchain tokens

Introducing: Ignis.

As stated above, Nxt 1.x will continue to run; you will get to keep all your current NXT tokens.

The Nxt 1.x equivalent chain which will launch with the Ardor genesis, is a new Nxt ledger. Its transactional token has been dubbed Ignis. The Ignis token will be the only transactional token on the Ardor network when it launches, and until new child chains can be spawned.

Ignis tokens will be distributed ~ 50/50 to NXT holders/Nxt core development team.

The ~ 50% Ignis which are to be distributed to the core development team will be theirs to use for funding the continued development of the Nxt 2.0 platform.

Jean-Luc writes:

[Ignis] will be created in the Genesis block of Nxt 2.0. At the moment NXT holders will get 50% [Ignis] of their NXT balance. The other 50% will be reserved for the devs, for instance to do an ICO with, or something else. As this is still one year in the future, the exact method of this is still being debated.

This means, that in addition to the Main Chain tokens (ARDR), NXT 1.0 holders will be accredited a number of Ignis (Nxt 2.0 transactional tokens) equal to ~ 50% of the NXT they hold in their account when Ardor launched in Q3 2017.

As a warning to traders, Riker states that: “If you keep your NXT on a centralised exchange you’ll need to check with the exchange how they handle the ARDR/Ignis distribution since it will be distributed to the exchange account. The exchange will get the ARDR / Ignis tokens and will decide what to do with it”.

Our best advice would be for you to keep your NXT in your own Nxt account with your own passphrase.

Nxt Developers – feel safe to code with Nxt

Nxt has had issues with breaking backwards compatibility when preparing for the switch to Nxt 2.0 / Ardor.

Nxt 1.10.x API will NOT be changed, so developers working with the Nxt 1.10.x API can feel safe that their code will keep working on the 1.0 branch and that they can easily port their new or existing Nxt projects to the new Nxt 2.0 ledger, if they want to do so after it has been launched. The Nxt core development team is very willing to offer their help in that regard, in case it should be necessary.

One exception to the backwards compatibility-rule is, as announced on release, the Nxt add-ons feature (available for developers from Nxt 1.8.0e), as this will “undergo significant refactoring in 2.0”.

Use it to test, play with it, but like Jean Luc writes: “Keep any custom add-on code simple, and be prepared to have to change it for 2.0 or discard it”.

You can follow the Nxt development in nxtforum.org/, and if you’re in doubt about anything, ask the core developers.

DeBuNe – a Decentralised Business Network on the move

NXTER.ORG’s RubenBc interviews Roberto Capodieci, who is the CEO of DeBuNe (Decentralised Business Network) and OTDocs.com (Open Trade Docs) and also the Founder of TheSoundKey.com + Go.Notifile.me.

Roberto has extensive experience in the IT and business sectors. At age 10 he developed and sold his first video game, began his IT entrepreneurial career when still in his teens and at 20 years’ old was running an office of almost 40 developers and software engineers.

On January 16, 2015, he announced DeBuNe in Nxtforum and 10 days later began a successful fundraising campaign.

Roberto sees himself as a farmer with a seed in his hand (DeBuNe), a good fertile field to plant it in (Nxt) and needing only some more water (investors) to be sure of a bumper harvest.

RubenBc: Roberto, I’m delighted to be speaking with you and look forward to learning about the technology that you’re presenting to us. First of all: What is DeBuNe?

Roberto: Thanks Ruben –  it’s great to be chatting with you. Basically, DeBuNe was born with the aim of decentralising business processes. More specifically, putting business processes on the blockchain, delegating the execution of pre-agreed decisions to smart contracts and phasing transactions. DeBuNe therefore enables entrepreneurs to put the administrative aspects of their business relationships on auto-pilot. This of course means they can then focus much more on the aspects of their work that require their key skills.

RubenBc: What types of project are currently running on the DeBuNe platform?

Roberto: Before having the chance to become a service open to everyone, DeBuNe has become a technological foundation for other projects of our own. We’ve been using it as a platform to implement some of our other technological solutions:

For example, OTDocs. This was the first project to use DeBuNe decentralised business process solutions to help manage documentation in international trade finance. We’re currently working on proof of concept pilot projects with several banks in Singapore and Australia.

Another of our projects is TheSoundKey; this is a small hardware device you can use to digitally sign blockchain transactions while making sure your digital identity is absolutely secure at all times.

Last, but not least, our latest project – my favorite and for sure the best – but it’s still top secret! One of the four versions of this project, http://go.notifile.me, will run on the Nxt blockchain, and will hopefully help to keep Nxt alive!

RubenBc: Do you require a new financing round? If so, will you be making use of the Nxt platform to raise the finance?

Roberto: The short answers are: not yet and yes I expect we will be doing so but only when the time is right. Nxt of course is not only a platform, it’s also a community and it was the amazing enthusiasm and support of the Nxt community that gave me, and the rest of the team, the courage to drop everything else and focus 100% on DeBuNe and collateral projects. The funds which we raised initially represent less than 10% of what we ourselves have invested so far.

The income generated by the DeBuNe projects is distributed according to asset ownership which in practice means that approximately 25% is distributed, as revenue share, via the Nxt platform, to the individual asset holders and the rest is retained by DeBuNe to cover the running costs. This is why DeBuNe will never put up for sale in the market more than 50% of the total amount of assets.

To support our efforts we have started offering consulting on blockchain projects, and implemented a couple of solutions. We are now hoping with our most recent (and still top secret) project to generate some fast income, and at the same time we are closing some paid pilot projects with some banks in Singapore.

We haven’t yet accepted any seed fundings with our startups because, before we sell any equity to investors, we want the companies to be worth as much as possible. In this way we’ll be able to raise the necessary finance without having to give away too much share capital.

RubenBc: I’ve read some of your articles, blockchain technology clearly fascinates you and specifically the Nxt blockchain…. How do you think DeBuNe can change the way a business is run?

Roberto: Through data decentralisation, combined with the use of digital signatures and thus identities, secure “timestamping” of transactions, non-repudiation, and pre-programmable actions. These are all key aspects of how DeBuNe can prevent business processes from being manipulated by any third party.

Two other things are needed. First, a reputation management system that lets everyone know how much trust they can place on a user via his digital identity (i.e. their public key on the blockchain with which they sign all their digital transactions). Second, coupled with that, a good decentralised KYC system which ties a person’s or company’s real identity to their digital identity. Together these two things will empower people and companies all around the world to do business with each other, regardless of where they are located, or what prejudices other people may have of them or indeed they may have about other people.

RubenBc: What Nxt features are you using?

Roberto: We pretty much only use the messaging system and sometimes the Alias System. We may consider the use of Phased Transactions.

RubenBc: We have started 2016 with a remarkable increase of confidence in the crypto ecosystem thanks in part to the prospect of another large crisis in the financial markets. What will happen with DeBuNe during 2016?

Roberto: DeBuNe will take time to release a finished product, due to several legal and practical (funding) reasons, but it has opened the doors to the means to get there. DeBuNe sub products will see the light of day this year, and I am very confident that they will succeed!

RubenBc: Do you think that the growth of Nxt’s adoption and other cryptocurrencies will be constant, progressive or will there be an event which will make it grow exponentially?

Roberto: As with any new technology there is a huge need for education in order to gain adoption. At the moment though, the “blockchain” is just a buzz word and every financial institution thinks it needs to have a project involving one, even if in most cases they have not much idea of what it means. And, at the other end of the supply chain – the end users – don’t even know what they are using.

I recently overheard someone expressing his surprise that to use Facebook he needed an Internet connection: to him Facebook was an application on his phone, and had nothing to do with the Internet. It will therefore very likely take a few years before this person understands crypto platforms!

Roberto Capodieci: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/debune
The DeBuNe whitepaper: http://debune.org/DeBuNe.pdf

Read more about Roberto Capodieci and his background + blockchain visions in the The First Nxt Book (to be published in late February/early March 2016). 

Will Bitcoin be Worth Over $500 by 2016

Recent Poll: Almost 50% of People Believe Bitcoin Will be Worth Over $500 by 2016

Expert analysis suggests that Bitcoin’s price potential for next year will surpass its highest points during 2014 and 2015. It has been forecasted that the digital currency’s value will end at around $500 this year.

Based on a recent poll by CoinDesk, it revealed that almost half of the respondents (48%) believe that Bitcoins will be valued at more than $400 by next year. But, some 33% were also hopeful to see it rise to around $501-$1,000 before the end of this year.

From January’s depreciation to below $200, the price of Bitcoin trading jumped by more than $410 this month. It is notable, but still far from its historical high of around $1,150.

More reasons for Bitcoin’s increased value

The same report also noted some of the main reasons for the possible increase in value of the virtual currency. Here are the top reasons for Bitcoin’s increased value in 2016:
• Surge in capital control in China
• A slew of positive news stories from the mainstream media
• Switching interest from Blockchain to Bitcoin
• Continued investments and adoption from industry companies
• Exemption from value-added tax (VAT) especially in Europe
• Launch of Bitcoin exchange Gemini in New York

However, some 27.4 % also said they are not certain what had caused the price movement or the recent increase in the price of Bitcoin. Economist Brendan O’Connor mentioned in an interview with CNBC that he felt the rumors about “international rings of traders teaming up to drive up the exchange rate,” could have substance although he was unable to confirm the rumor was 100% true.

Going mainstream?

Bitcoin is now gaining strong traction from consumers and businesses alike. Big brands such as Dell Computers and The United Way have integrated the digital currency in to their business payment processes.

Slowly but surely, Bitcoin is going mainstream, yet it still remains in a decentralized currency status. No single entity, corporation, or government holds or affects the virtual currency’s price.

Contrary to most assumptions and rumors, it seems unlikely that Bitcoin will replace physical currencies or lead to its extinction.

“History shows that it’s unlikely that more traditional physical forms of currency will disappear as humans have shown a fundamental desire for a physical means of trade,” as written on FXCM’s The History of Currency. “But at the same time, developments have shown that individuals and societies will seek ever-widening definitions for the concept of “currency” to increase the economic efficiency and advantages obtained from trading.”

Though, Bitcoin is still seeing growth worldwide. Although there are other digital currencies being used for trade and exchange, they are not all accepted by merchants and nowhere near as popular as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin ATM worldwide
There are a growing number of Bitcoin ATMs in operation worldwide (more than 400 operating terminals), helping drive its popularity and use of the digital currency. But a financial software strategist believes that the trend is ‘unlikely to last in its current form.’

Devon Watson, vice president of global software company, said that these ATM terminals have relied so far on a ‘flawed distribution model.’ The current Bitcoin ATMs are said to offer advantages to small markets, but are unlikely to succeed in a competitive one.

“[Bitcoin ATMs] provide only one benefit to the customer, whereas the majority of ATMs have a number of different possible transactions and meet a number of needs,” said Watson in an interview this year.

Watson’s company is still investigating the full capability of Bitcoin ATMs in the consumer market. Should the need arise in the future, he believes providers will be able to cope up with the demand. However, currently they are still assessing “when it might make sense and how.”

IMAGES:
Photo Credit: btckeychain via Compfight cc

How To: Set up a Nxt node on a Raspberry Pi 2

nxt-raspberry-pi2

Nxt is one of the most impressive and under-appreciated peer-to-peer networks on the internet. It is an open-source decentralized blockchain platform that introduced a novel proof-of-stake consensus algorithm and it has survived in the wild for over 2 years. Today, the technology pioneered by Nxt is being used in well-funded projects like Ethereum, while Nxt itself remains under-the-radar.

But the Nxt developers have been very busy, and the latest release brings another set of bleeding-edge features. The API continues to expand, while the software requires minimal system resources to operate. A block-generating “full node” can run on a Raspberry Pi 2 and only costs about $50 in parts, and if you are reading this post you probably want to set up your own, so lets get started.

You’ll need the following:

  • Raspberry Pi 2
  • 8GB+ microSDHC card (Class 6 or higher recommended)
  • Micro USB cable for power
  • Cat 5 network cable or USB wifi adapter
  • USB keyboard, monitor + HDMI cable (initial setup only)

Installing the OS

We will be using Linux because it is reliable, secure and free. Raspbian is the most widely used flavor of Linux for Raspberry Pi devices and it is well supported and maintained. As of this writing, the latest version of Raspbian is “Jessie” (2015-11-21), which is available for download on RaspberryPi.org. This will be a dedicated node and the client will only be accessed remotely, so I recommend using Jessie Lite since we won’t need a window manager.

There are a variety of ways to write the image to your microSDHC card and the installation guide covers LinuxOS X and Windows.

“It’s easy once you’ve done it…”

OS Configuration

Once your microSDHC card is ready, you can boot your Raspberry Pi 2 for the first time. Insert the memory card, plug in your USB keyboard, ethernet cable and HDMI connection first, then power on the Raspberry Pi 2 by plugging in the micro USB cable. Many consumer routers sold today provide a USB port that should be able to power the Raspberry Pi 2, but if you are planning to use any peripherals (e.g. USB wifi) I recommend using a 1.0A+ USB A/C adapter.

After the system boots you should see the login prompt. The default username is pi and the default password is raspberry. Once you are logged in, run the following to install the latest OS updates:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Next, start the OS configuration utility by typing the following:

sudo raspi-config

The first thing to do is change the default password to something secure. Choose “2 Change User Password” and follow the prompts to set a new password.

Select “9 Advanced Options”

Since we aren’t using a window manager we can reallocate some of the GPU memory to the OS. Select “A3 Memory Split” and set the value to 16.

If you want to be able to access your node from another computer via SSH you can enable the service under “A4 SSH”. I highly recommend hardening your SSH installation once you have everything working.

Finally, select option “1 Expand Filesystem” to rewrite the partition table of your microSDHC card and use the full storage capacity.

Once complete, press ESC to exit raspi-config and reboot your system:

sudo reboot

After logging in again, check and confirm that the root filesystem mounted on / has been expanded:

df -h

The size of the root filesystem should be close to the size of your microSDHC card.

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/root        15G  2.2G   13G  14% /

Next we are going to increase the swap space by editing the swap configuration file and restarting the service:

sudo nano /etc/dphys-swapfile

Modify the line for CONF_SWAPSIZE and set it to 512 or 1024 and save the file (CTRL-O, ENTER, CTRL-X).

# set size to absolute value, leaving empty (default) then uses computed value
#   you most likely don't want this, unless you have an special disk situation
CONF_SWAPSIZE=1024

Restart the swapfile service:

sudo service dphys-swapfile restart

Network Configuration

Since this will be a full node, you will need to allow peer-to-peer network traffic through your router firewall. Every network configuration is different so this section is going to be more of a general guideline. Assuming you are connected to a router with DHCP enabled, your Raspberry Pi 2 should already have a local IP address, otherwise you will need to configure a static IP address. To show your current network configuration:

ifconfig eth0

eth0   Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr b1:ff:4a:a4:ff:1b
       inet addr:192.168.1.10  Bcast:192.168.1.255  Mask:255.255.255.0

inet addr is your local IP, HWaddr is your MAC address. In your router configuration, find the port forwarding settings and forward TCP/UDP traffic for port 7874 to the local IP address of your Raspberry Pi 2. If you aren’t using a static IP address, you should set up a DHCP static lease (aka DHCP reservation) for the MAC address and the local IP address. This way the Raspberry Pi 2 will always get the same local IP address that you configured with the port fowarding rule.

Installing Java

Nxt requires Java 8. You can download and manually install the Oracle JRE, or you can easily install the OpenJDK JRE:

sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jreYou love Java.

Confirm that Java is installed correctly by checking the version:

java -version

You should see an output similar to this:

openjdk version "1.8.0_40-internal"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_40-internal-b04)
OpenJDK Zero VM (build 25.40-b08, interpreted mode)

Installing Nxt

Download the latest version of Nxt from the public repository. You can use the wget command in the console to directly download the file over HTTPS. As of this writing the current Nxt release is version is 1.7.4, but you will want to make sure you are using the latest version available.

wget https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/downloads/nxt-client-1.7.4.zip

Check the hash of the package and verify that it matches the hash in the signed release notes. You can also verify the hash in the blockchain. The Nxt account used by lead core developer Jean Luc is NXT-X4LF-9A4G-WN9Z-2R322.

sha256sum nxt-client-1.7.4.zip

baf0286983fee3f718ea755dd76f5e9bb3d6a2962560368d513ffc9517d10c9b  nxt-client-1.7.4.zip

Extract the archive to create the “nxt” directory:

unzip nxt-client-1.7.4.zip

Before configuring Nxt, you will need to find out your public IP address. You can do so with the following command:

curl ipinfo.io

Take note of your public IP address and then run the following command to create a new configuration file:

nano ~/nxt/conf/nxt.properties

The following is an example configuration file:

nxt.myAddress=12.34.56.78
nxt.apiServerHost=0.0.0.0
nxt.allowedBotHosts=*

If you were able to configure port forwarding on your router, set nxt.myAddress to your public IP address as shown in the output of the curl command, otherwise remove this line from the configuration file. For the other parameters, we’ve set the API to allow connections from everywhere. Once you have things working, you should consider restricting access to your local network or specific IP addresses. See nxt/conf/nxt-default.properties for descriptions of configuration parameters. Save the configuration file and exit the editor.

Edit the startup file and optimize the memory configuration:

nano ~/nxt/run.sh

Add the parameter -Xmx640m to increase the default the Java heap memory allocation to 640mb:

java -Xmx640m -cp classes:lib/*:conf nxt.Nxt

You are now ready to start the server. Since this is a fresh installation, your node will need to download the entire blockchain to synchronize with the Nxt network. In some cases, this can take a very long time depending on the speed of your network connection and the type of memory card you are using.

Startup & Connect

Nxt runs as a server process that provides an API and a web client interface. First, start the server:

cd ~/nxt
./run.sh

You should see the Nxt server start up and synchronize with the network. When startup is complete you will see the following:

2016-01-03 13:43:28 INFO: Nxt server 1.7.4 started successfully.
2016-01-03 13:43:28 INFO: Copyright © 2013-2016 The Nxt Core Developers.
2016-01-03 13:43:28 INFO: Distributed under GPLv2, with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
2016-01-03 13:43:28 INFO: Client UI is at http://localhost:7876/index.html

Open a web browser on a PC connected to the same network navigate to the local IP of the Raspberry Pi 2 on port 7876.

Example: http://192.168.1.10:7876

For the interactive API interface, append /test to the url.

Example: http://192.168.1.10:7876/test

Congratulations, if you are able to access the login / test page your Nxt installation is successful. To stop the Nxt server, press CTRL-C at the console.

Final Steps

 

Enable SSL

Before you can safely use Nxt, you should setup SSL on your node. If you use HTTP, a attacker on your network may be able to steal your passphrase.  I highly recommend configuring a self-signed cert for your node and using HTTPS only.  I posted some “cheat sheet” instructions that are based on the instructions in the wiki. Core developer Riker has also posted a thread on setting up SSL.

Install screen

To make management of your node easier, I recommend installing screen. It will let you run programs in detachable sessions, and once you start using it you’ll wonder how you missed it for so long.

sudo apt-get install screen

To use screen on your Nxt server, edit run.sh and modify the command:

nano ~/nxt/run.sh

screen -mS nxt java -Xmx640m -cp classes:lib/*:conf nxt.Nxt

The next time you start the server using run.sh, you will be able to detach from the process by pressing CTRL-A, CTRL-D. To re-attach the session, enter the command:

screen -r nxt

Auto startup

An easy way automatically start the Nxt server at boot is with the cron task scheduler. You need to add an entry specifying @reboot and run your startup commands there:

crontab -e

@reboot sleep 30 && cd /home/pi/nxt && ./run.sh

In this example the Nxt server will startup on boot after a 30 second delay. You can use cron to schedule other tasksas well.

For questions or comments, please visit the forum thread for this blog post.

Source: https://nxtportal.org/blog/nxt-in-a-box-rpi2.html

Three unappreciated Nxt services

Nxt is a hugely versatile and powerful platform, with a massive range of functionality. Nxt’s current and upcoming releases have already incorporated capabilities that are each a sole or major focus for other coins – shuffling, decentralised asset exchange, voting, messaging and more. Few other platforms have anything like Nxt’s sheer number of tools.

However, this extensive toolbox is both a strength and a weakness for Nxt. There are the killer services, like the AE, which has seen massive use since its launch 18 months ago. Then there are other functions such as Voting, which have seen some use. Others, like Aliasing, have attracted some interest but have yet to find a widespread use-case.

Then there are other features, each impressive in their own right, which have become all but lost under the other tools that are taken out and used on a daily basis. Three of these are the MS (Monetary System), Digital Marketplace, and Tokens.

Monetary System

The MS is a fantastic innovation that aims to simplify the creation and administration of new coins. It allows anyone to design and issue a new, off-the-peg cryptocurrency on top of Nxt – choosing from a list of features and using the Nxt blockchain to secure it, rather than bootstrapping a whole new network.

In theory, this should have been far more popular. After all, new coins are created every day, mostly by cloning bitcoin and tweaking one or other parameter. But it hasn’t happened with Nxt MS.

There are at least two reasons for this. One is that the MS has a clunky and somewhat user-unfriendly interface, which makes it hard to engage with the process, whether as an issuer or user. Secondly, these coins are not independent. They are based on Nxt and require NXT transaction fees, rather than fees being paid in their own currencies. NautilusCoin (NAUT), which was ported to Nxt, deals with this issue through a dedicated wallet that deducts fees in NAUT automatically, taking care of the conversion to NXT behind the scenes.

It may be wrong to think of these as truly independent new cryptocurrencies, but that doesn’t mean MS lacks use cases. One of the most obvious and powerful lies in crowdfunding – as recently proved by the Tennessee marketing campaign. TNSSE (the coin code) collected 10 million NXT for marketing activities. Two built-in properties made this a safe process. Firstly, if the 10m target was not met, all pledged funds would be returned to the senders automatically. Secondly, TNSSE tokens cannot be transferred or sold, except back to the issuing account. This ensures that no fraudulent secondary market develops.

Digital Marketplace

The Marketplace – originally titled the Digital Goods Store – is the true Cinderella of Nxt. It’s a great service, but it’s all but unused. It enables users to buy and sell digital files – music, ebooks, images, software and apps – quickly and easily, and returns their money if the link isn’t provided in a given window of time.

The Marketplace has seen almost no adoption. At first, a few people used it to sell physical goods, despite the fact that it wasn’t designed for this – there is no way of ensuring that a physical object has been delivered, whereas delivering a file is a different matter (though of course, there’s always the problem of ensuring it’s the right file). A few people also sold music on it. There was a significant project, Melodius, which aimed to use DGS to power a platform for independent artists. Coupled with a seamless fiat gateway provided by an exchange, the idea was to keep Nxt very firmly in the background, using the platform to make it easy to upload and sell music without the assistance of a major label. The project was unfortunately mired in complications and delays, and has not (yet) made it to completion.

The marketplace remains under-used and almost unused. Once again, the reason may be the friction of converting funds into NXT, as well as a lack of visibility outside of Nxt circles, let alone crypto circles. With a proper interface and fiat gateway, and the right marketing, it remains a powerful proposition.

Tokens

One last function that deserves a mention is tokenisation. This is a rather obscure process, but it has far-reaching applications.

A token is a string of characters that encapsulates a given piece of text (a name, phrase, URL – it doesn’t matter) and the public key of the user providing the token. Tokens can be created easily within the NRS, simply by providing your passphrase and the required text. This can be decoded by any other user, again using the NRS. There is no charge for this.

What this means is that users can provide cryptographically verifiable proof of ownership. Anyone can, for free, create a token which proves they own a particular address – without needing to show anyone their passphrase.

This may sound mundane but the implications are profound. Tokenisation could be used for signing into websites, for example; submitting a token consisting of the website’s URL and encapsulating the user’s Nxt address could allow them to log into their account without worrying about passwords or usernames. The username would effectively be the Nxt address, and there would be no concerns about passwords being hacked from the site, because a password would never be submitted – ownership of the Nxt account would be confirmed from the token.

Tokenisation isn’t unique to Nxt, though it makes it very easy. However, this action could be combined with further Nxt services. For example, in connection with the Marketplace, it could be used to subscribe to an online journal or media service. Files could be made available to the recipient’s Nxt account on submission of a token that proved their ownership of the account in question. If a Nxt account is also used for payment of a subscription, a token could be used to establish that the user had paid their fees – and access cancelled once the period covered by the fees expired.

Nxt’s toolbox enables a vast, thriving system of trustless e-commerce. Going into its third year, we hope to see more of these being realised.

Forkpay.net – the imminent future of altcoin payments?

Forkpay.net has just released its first browser extension, making it extremely easy for anyone to make payments with altcoins anywhere Bitcoin is accepted.

But take a deeper look at the new startup and what’s going on around it, and you will see that Forkpay has a lot more to offer. Indeed, Forkpay could very well become one of the stepping stones needed for cryptocurrencies and blockchain based tokens to achieve global adoption.

Why alts?

Altcoins improve on Bitcoin and add features to what is still the King of Crypto. For example, BitcoinDark and Dash offer anonymity features. Litecoin is the best-known fork, with faster block times than Bitcoin and a different mining algorithm (scrypt), just like DOGE. By contrast, Nxt uses PoS and offers, besides a payment system using its monetary unit NXT, a whole financial ecosystem of features.

Still, no coin has yet reached anywhere near the degree of adoption that Bitcoin has. Even though Bitcoin is based on old and (arguably) no longer bold code and the growth of both the Bitcoin blockchain and difficulty of mining has meant more centralisation in the Bitcoin network, Bitcoin’s dominant network effect means that it continues to reign supreme (at least for the time being).

There are already lots of places in which to spend Bitcoin. From small private retailers, like ititch.com (anonymous domain registration and hosting), to larger ventures like Gyft, Overstock, Amazon and Virgin Galactic. They all see the potential of blockchain-based currencies and regard themselves as first movers in the developing cryptocurrency-fuelled economy.

So, if you want your own particular altcoin accepted in stores, you have to get out there and start knocking on doors.

At least, that is, up till now.

Pay bills with altcoins

With the Forkpay plugin, which is available as a Chrome extension, and soon to be released for Firefox, you can now visit any online merchant that accepts Bitcoin and pay for goods with your favorite altcoin, starting with LiteCoin, PeerCoin, DOGE, NXT, BitcoinDark, and Dash.

UPDATE: The Forkpay Firefox plugin is now awaiting approval from the Firefox webstore. As soon as it is available, the Forkpay ICO at NXT asset exchange will be complete, and the project will be officially launched.

ForkPay.net is very easy to use: When the extension is installed, every time a Bitcoin address is shown on a site, you will see a Fork logo next to it. To pay with alts, you simply click the fork, choose your coin from the dropdown menu, and make the payment. Forkpay.net converts your altcoins on the fly, and you don’t have to go through any registration process.

Forkpay.net wants to become “the most versatile payment solution for cryptocurrency merchants”, so this is just the beginning. The Lithuanian-based startup has further plans in the pipeline, which are in the process of being coded even as I write this.

Download the free Forkpay Chrome extension from the Google Chrome Webshop.

Crypto currency volatility

There are several players already in the crypto merchant solution field, but where Forkpay.net stands out from the rest is by bringing a BTC > altcoin exchange to the merchant sites (using Coinomat Instant Crypto Exchange’s API), so altcoin users can buy goods, even if the merchant doesn’t accept their altcoin. It’s certainly a problem solver. But will it be enough on its own to enable Forkpay.net to take a significant market share and succeed as a business?

The current volatile monetary value of Bit- and alt-coins is one of the most significant factors preventing wider adoption; many people, understandably, are hesitant to use a unit of monetary value as a means of payment which they cannot depend upon to be as least as good at storing value as their fiat money.

The price of BTC goes up, goes down, and it goes up again – or further down, and because its market cap changes rapidly, investors move in and out of the market, and yes, speculators also try to make huge profits on exchanges, by running pump and dump schemes.

The race is therefore on to solve the riddle: How to create pegged or ‘stable’ cryptocurrencies?

Front-runners include the Nxt platform which, via its Monetary System, now supports the creation of peggable currencies, albeit none have yet been created so it’s not yet known how successful this solution will be in practice.

Another solution provided by the Nxt platform is the Nxt Asset Exchange where you’ll find fiat-pegged assets like CoinoUSD, CoinoEUR, as well as YAN-pegged assets.

Other cryptocurrencies are also in the race to reach the same goal. One of the truly exciting projects still in the pipeline is PAX, a fully decentralized way to peg crypto to anything, which is currently being developed, along with other supporting features, by SuperNET + BitcoinDark lead developer: jl777.

But how hard would it be in practice to integrate such solutions with ForkPay?

Coming up: Fiat pegged crypto

I asked the people behind Coinomat, the crypto exchange responsible for the API that Forkpay uses, and who also happen to be the issuer of CoinoUSD and CoinoEUR on the Nxt AE. Their answer was clear and to the point.

Coinomat:

We’ll do it very soon, also MS [Nxt Monetary System coins] will be integrated.

Now, as already mentioned, Forkpay makes it extremely easy for anyone who owns and wants to spend altcoins anywhere Bitcoin is accepted. A fine business idea, and it sure works like a breeze. But… Will this ever become a truly useful service for the everyday consumer who doesn’t mine altcoins, or who doesn’t just happen to hold a bag of DOGE, BitcoinDark or NXT crypto 2.0 tokens?

It seems so.

Couple the upcoming fiat pegged crypto integration with a nice looking and easy to use browser extension, then look at the roadmap from Forkpay. The browser extension is live, operational and its marketing has only just started. Forkpay’s further development plan includes:

  • release of Firefox plug-ins;
  • a cash-back program for plug-in user;
  • server-side plug-ins for merchants;
  • ‘reverse’ plugin solution, where merchants can get paid in fiat and receive crypto; and also being worked on,
  • paying credit card bills with Forkpay in crypto.

To give you an idea of what the future may hold, let’s see what’s already possible with the solutions we have now. In the not too distant future, these services will most likely be integrated as a self-contained solution by some smart developer or visionary business. We’re still in the early days of the blockchain revolution, so everything will eventually end up being much easier to use. But here’s an approach you can use now:

A 3 step plan to saving money

1: Coinomat

Exchange USD to CoinoUSD, or EUR to CoinoEUR. It’s easy. Your fiat money will not lose value as the Coino assets are pegged to the fiat value.

You earn interest (0.06% daily at the moment, which is 24% per year) just by holding your Coino assets in your safe and personal Nxt wallet. Now that’s a quite a bit more than my bank offers me and no doubt what yours offers you. No registration required and you can withdraw to any VISA/Mastercard whenever you want.

2: Nxt

This is the blockchain 2.0 which secures all your fiat pegged assets as well as, of course, your NXT (the Nxt platform’s monetary unit). This is your money. You own it. Absolutely. Moreover, being secured by Nxt’s decentralized network, it’s 100% safe. By contrast, when you deposit ‘your money’ in a bank account you are by law deemed to be lending that money to the bank. You are in effect, an unsecured creditor of the bank and ‘your money’ is therefore not safe.

You can send or receive any amount of assets, NXT or Nxt MS coins for a fee of 1 NXT. This currently equals €0.01, the amount and destination don’t matter. In comparison, according to the World Bank, sending remittances around the world using the banking system costs an average of 7.37 percent of the amount sent. All in all, cross-border transactions are expected to reach $608 billion in 2015. Now that’s a lot of fees to save.

With your funds in the Nxt blockchain, you can also use all the core and 3rd party features in the Nxt network. The decentralized global p2p marketplace. Issue tokens. Invest in promising real world ventures on AE. Play games. Upload data. Torrents. Build a business, crowdfund it. Keep assets, Bitcoin, altcoins and your investments right there in the same wallet, using Nxt Multigateway features.

3: Forkpay 

Go shopping. Pay with NXT (or any of the other integrated altcoins).
Buy goods anywhere Bitcoin is accepted, using the browser extension.

If you’re a merchant, use Forkpay to set up your merchant crypto payment solution.

Cashback? It’s coming.

Direct payments with your fiat-pegged crypto assets (USD/EUR/etc). Very soon.

Why? Forkpay’s exchange rate does not exceed 3%. With Paypal the standard rate for receiving payments for goods and services is 3.9% + fixed fee, and for payments across borders, it’s up to 5.99% + a fixed fee.

Forkpay.net ICO on Nxt AE

You can share profits with Forkpay by participating in their ICO currently taking place on the Nxt AE.

Nxtforum ANN thread: https://nxtforum.org/assets-board/(pre-ann)-forkpay-net/

Forkpay.net is going to follow the standard start-up cycle. This first asset issue is the seed stage investment. Forkpay.net is going to approach venture funds for a second round investment or buy-out in future at which stage asset holders will be able to make an exit or exchange the assets for the ‘real’ equity. This is going to be an experiment with classical seed stage investment made on the Nxt platform.

Forkpay’s revenue model is based on transaction fees. 50% of the profits will be paid out to shareholders.

Asset ID: 4244599378927106120
Total assets sold at ICO: 3 million. ICO asset price: 1 NXT

To learn more about how to use the Nxt Asset Exchange, read this AE tutorial.

forkpay-altcoin-payments

——————–

This article is for general information and news purposes only. It does not take into account readers’ personal circumstances or investment objectives. As with any investment, readers should carry out their own due diligence research before making (or refraining from making) any investment decision.

[crowdfunding] The First Book About Nxt

The first book about Nxt

Crowdfunding campaign: 5th December 2015 to 5th January 2016

We need your support
NXT-DE5P-4A5T-6SHU-7FHCV

What is this book ?

Initially published as a pdf, it will be the first multi-lingual, tangible symbol of the real-life, global, transformative potential of Nxt.

More specifically, co-published by Nxter Magazine and Plaisir d’histoire (Ludom), it will be the printed (paper) version of the free pdf-book that was published to celebrate Nxt’s second birthday. It contains articles written in English, Russian, French, Spanish and Chinese.

***

http://test.nxter.org/nxt-2nd-birthday/

nxt-2nd-bday

Introduction
by apenzl …………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Что делает Nxt криптоплатформой второго поколения?
(English: What makes Nxt crypto platform 2nd generation?)
by abctc …………………………………………………………………………………. 11

The original spirit
by Bas ‘Damelon’ Wisselink ………………………………………………………….. 17

Nxt son histoire et son potentiel
(English: Nxt – its history and potential)
by Lionel ‘Ludom’ Jeannerat …………………………………………………………. 28

Three unappreciated Nxt services
by Cassius ………………………………………………………………………………. 52

Nxt financiación colectiva
(English: Nxt Crowdfunding)
by Rubén BC ……………………………………………………………………………. 58

Nxt Foundation:
How to market a decentralised, open source organisation
by Dave ‘EvilDave’ Pearce ……………………………………………………………. 73

The Value of 10 NXTs
by ChuckOne …………………………………………………………………………… 80

SuperNET
by Cassius and apenzl ………………………………………………………………… 87

中国正在觉醒
(English: China is awake)
by NxtChina ……………………………………………………………………………. 97

The regulatory process:
if you‘re not at the table, you‘re on the menu
by Robert Bold, Kushti, Jean-Luc and Riker …………………………………….. 105

***

In summary, our goals are:

  • Produce a high quality, limited edition of the English language version of the book in printed (paper) form.
  • Translate the book into each of the other 4 languages depending on demand and to make them available initially as pdfs.
  • Produce paper versions of the book in each of the other 4 languages either as ‘Print-on-Demand’ or in high quality, again depending on demand.

See below for further details.

Why we need your support

This project needs support from the community: morally and financially.

Morally: we need your support to help sustain our motivation. If our project doesn’t have the community’s support, we have no reason to continue working on it.

Financially: we need your support so that we can create high quality publications of the book in paper form, starting with the English Language version.

Each copy sold during the campaign will be numbered and signed by Ludom on behalf of Nxter Magazine and Plaisir d’histoire.

Over time, as Nxt becomes established as a financial ecosystem, it is anticipated that the book will become an increasingly valuable collector’s item.

Our projected costs are:

  • Printing cost: 200 books
    (150mm x 220 mm, 136 + 4 pages,
    Interior B/W 90gr Premium,
    Couverture Quadri 235gr Integra Antalis,
    Spine Sewn and glued).
  • Shipping cost, taxes and custom fees (30% of the book’s price).
  • Miscellaneous costs: ISBN and Swiss National Library registration of the books, shipping of the books for the contributors (writers, editors and translators).

Plaisir d’histoire will pay the FIAT bills but wants to be reimbursed in crypto-currencies, assets and MScoins.

Nxter Magazine and Plaisir d’histoire need 200’000 NXT or its equivalent in value in other crytocurrencies, assets or MScoins to produce and deliver a high quality paper version of the book in English.

How you can support us

nxt-crowdfunding

Buying e-book and paper books

Once a week during the campaign, the prices, which are determined in USD, will be converted into crypto value and published on the Nxtforum.

Worldwide delivery will be available.

Tokens to buy e-books are:

ebookeng: E-book in English

Asset ID 18310681715601320988
https://trade.secureae.com/#18310681715601320988

ebookfre:  E-book in French

Asset ID 762274092038885351
https://trade.secureae.com/#762274092038885351

ebookrus: E-book in Russian

Asset ID 18284118483914201034
https://trade.secureae.com/#18284118483914201034

ebookspa: E-book in Spanish

Asset ID 2728308106613828176
https://trade.secureae.com/#2728308106613828176

ebookchi: E-book in Chinese

Asset ID 10707307993124388284
https://trade.secureae.com/#10707307993124388284

The price of the e-book is 2$ (Price in NXT and other tokens on Nxtforum).

Tokens to buy paper-books are:

Pbookeng: 1 paper book in English

Asset ID 7676447843512066742
https://trade.secureae.com/#7676447843512066742

Price: 20$ (Price in NXT and other tokens on Nxtforum).

TENGB (MScoin tradable, controllable): 3 paper books in English (16% discount)

Price: 50$ (Price in NXT and other tokens on Nxtforum).

XENGB (MScoin tradable, controllable): 10 paper books in English (25% discount)

Price: 150$(Price in NXT and other tokens on Nxtforum).

LENGB (MScoin tradable, controllable): 50 paper books in English (50% discount)

Price: 500$ (Price in NXT and other tokens on Nxtforum).

How to buy with NXT

Buy the tokens that you want on the asset exchange or on the MScoin exchange. Verify the ID of the assets.

How to buy with a listed asset

Send the required amount of the asset (look at the price list on Nxtforum)) to NXT-DE5P-4A5T-6SHU-7FHCV with a message that explains what you buy.

How to buy with other assets or MScoins

We can accept other crypto-value. For more details, send a message to ludom@test.nxter.org or an arbitrary message to NXT-DE5P-4A5T-6SHU-7FHCV.

How do you send the books

When the e-books are ready, we will send an encrypted message to the asset holders with instructions how to download the e-books.

When the books have been printed, a confirmatory message to that effect will be sent to the assets/MScoin holders. As soon as each holder sends us back the token with their physical address, Plaisir d’histoire will send the book(s) to their address.

Where any part of the campaign fails to meets its objectives, we will buy back the tokens concerned.

Free donations and account leasing

Feel free to make donation to the account NXT-DE5P-4A5T-6SHU-7FHCV. We accept everything:

NXT, assets, MScoins, alias, nice messages and anything-else you like.

During the crowdfunding campaign, the account will be forging all the time, the forging revenues will be part of the funding. You can lease your account to support the project.

Special rewards

Alias system

On Nxtforum, we’ll organise an auction to sell a special alias: SurpriseAlias. The winner of the auction will buy the alias on the Nxt platform.

This alias will be printed in large font on the first pages under the words: “Discover the link of SupriseAlias”.

Early bird discount grunge rubber stamp on white background, vector illustration

Marketplace

15 x Early English Bird (17$):

The English language version of the book will be sold with a 15% discount. Each Nxt account will be limited to one book at this discount.

You will also receive 1 asset Pbookeng.

If you want more than one book at a discount, please buy the TENGB, XENGB or LENGB MScoins.

4 x Little advertiser (200$):

You receive a XENGB (10 books) + a half page of the book for your advertisement.

2 x Big advertiser (600$):

You receive a LENGB (50 books) + a full page of the book for your advertisement.

10 x E-book life subscription (40$)

You receive the asset NxterSub (1637207859198711678). This asset gives the right to receive for free every e-book published by Nxter Magazine for EVER.

FreeMarket

Additionally, to show our support for this promising Nxt project, we will be selling 15 Early birds and 10 E-book life subscriptions on FreeMarket.

I want to help in some other way

Contact Ludom of Plaisir d’histoire: ludom@test.nxter.org or NXT-DE5P-4A5T-6SHU-7FHCV

What are the goals

The main goal: English paper book

We want to publish a really good quality book in English. We don’t want to use the print-on-demand solution because the print quality is bad and the profits are tiny.

To print 200 books, we need 200’000 NXT of crypto-value. All the NXT, assets and the MScoins are in the “First Nxt book” account NXT-DE5P-4A5T-6SHU-7FHCV.

The campaign will end on the 5th January 2015.

Updates of the estimated value of the ‘First Nxt book’ portfolio will be published regularly on Nxtforum.

Secondary goals: other language versions of the book

Since there would certainly be less demand for editions of the book in other languages, we are putting forward the following proposals:

20 e-books: translation into any of the other 4 languages: Russian, French, Spanish and Chinese.

If 20 assets of an e-book in one of the above languages are sold, we will begin translating it into that language. You can buy as many assets as you want to support your own language version of the book.

50 e-books: paper book published as Print-on-demand

If 50 assets of an e-book in a particular language are sold, we will launch the corresponding asset PbookXXX and the MScoins (x3, x10 and x50). You will then be able to buy the paper book in this language.

Subject as provided below, the quality of the book will be ‘Print-on-Demand’.

30 paper books + 150k NXT: paper book ‘best quality’

After the main goal of 200k NXT has been reached, for every additional 150k NXT, we will publish the book in a new language in the same quality as the English language version.

To qualify for high quality publication, a minimum of 30 copies of the particular language version of the book must have been purchased. Where two or more language versions of the book qualify, the best seller will be the one chosen.

FAQ

Who am I?

My name is Lionel Jeannerat (‘Ludom’ on Nxtforum). I’m a Swiss. I work freelance in History and game design and carry on a publishing business under the name Plaisir d’histoire. I am responsible for managing this campaign and the logistical aspects of publishing the book.  My website is: http://www.plaisirdhistoire.ch/

I’m working with the core team of Nxter.org, the Nxter Magazine. They are responsible for editing and translating the book. Their website is: http://test.nxter.org/

We are all well-known and, we like to think, trusted in the Nxt community.

What will we do if the goals are not reached?

First, we’ll all be very disappointed!

Second, I’ll rebuy every asset that can’t be exchanged with the promised product.

The articles are already available to read, so why should you support us?

Yes, it’s true. You can already read the articles for free, at least in their original languages: http://test.nxter.org/nxt-2nd-birthday/

But our ambition extends beyond this campaign.

Our future projects

Nxter Magazine and Plaisir d’histoire want to build new projects on the Nxt platform. This campaign is the first of the projects we are planning based on the Nxt platform.

The Nxt marketing

An excellent, beautifully produced book about Nxt is a great tool for Nxt marketing. A PDF or a cheap Print-on-demand Book is a poor substitute for that. And, if we have books in other languages, we can of course reach more people.

We want to print more books than are sold during the campaign. Having a good stock available in each language will enable us to market it, and therefore Nxt, more effectively.

To that end we want to increase the book’s distribution via online and physicals books shops.

A new example of the use of Nxt platform

As you can see, we will be using every feature of Nxt in our crowdfunding campaign. Nxt needs its crowdfunding platform to be used in as many different ways as possible in order for its flexibility and effectiveness to be fully demonstrated. The success of our campaign will provide a further demonstration of the power of Nxt.

If the campaign is as big a success as you envisage, what will you do with the extra funding?

We won’t make any profit until the book is published in each language: English, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. And we need 200k + 150k + 150k + 150k + 150k NXT = 800k NXT for that.

If we funded more than that, it would mean that we would have sold more and the shipping cost would therefore be bigger too. Firstly, I would pay the extra cost with the extra funds.

After that, the surplus (i.e. the profit) would be shared between the contributors (1/3), Nxter.org (1/3) and Plaisir d’histoire (1/3). This revenue would be used to reward the writers, editors and translators, and to prefund our future projects on the Nxt platform.

What will we do with the funding?

Plaisir d’histoire will pay every FIAT bill of the project. If the costs don’t exceed what is planned, there is no reason to sell any of the fund.

Plaisir d’histoire pays in FIAT and receive the equivalence NXT and/or assets, that’s it.

If there is good liquidity to sell them, I’ll do it during and after the campaign. But we don’t want to crash the price of any token. If people want to buy some of our assets, they can propose their price.  This would be another good way to help us meet our objectives and therefore help Nxt. Contact me at ludom@test.nxter.org

The regulatory process: if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu

On 22 April 2015 The European Securities and Markets Authority (‘ESMA’)1, the equivalent of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, issued a call for evidence regarding ‘Investment using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology’.

Nxt is the example of the digital currency platform ESMA used in its ‘call for evidence’ to illustrate how distributed ledger technology works.

ESMA has now published the 18 responses it received, only two of which were made on behalf of cryptocurrencies: Nxt and FIMK (which is based on the Nxt blockchain). No response was made on behalf of Bitcoin, although one was made in support of it by an exchange called Paymium.

No response to the ESMA call for evidence was made on behalf of (or even in support of) Ethereum, Counterparty, MaidSafe etc.

One can of course understand the lack of engagement on the part of the majority of cryptocurrencies (being, as they mostly are, opportunistic Bitcoin clones), but for Bitcoin itself and other serious players such as those mentioned above not to have responded is surprising.

The cryptocurrency industry needs to fully engage in the regulatory process to make sure that the potential for independent, genuinely decentralised, blockchain technology to democratize financial power is not compromised by a failure to challenge incompleteness or other inaccuracy in the information relied on by regulators.

Some examples of incompleteness and other inaccuracies can be found in the following extract of the ESMA response from Intesa Sanpaolo (a banking group based in Italy):

“We would like to point out that, unlike Bitcoin’s Proof of Work method (which, as stated in O1, we regard as the only effective one, at least at the moment, because of the computational power dedicated to it), other decentralized double-spending prevention algorithms, like NXT’s Proof of Stake (PoS) presented in paragraph n.17, are still not validated from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view:

○ There is an ongoing debate over the “Nothing at Stake” problem affecting every system which doesn’t use any consumption of resources external to the system for the validation;

○ Every single existing PoS scheme, NXT included, is actually relying on some kind of centralization in validation checkpoints, in “currency” ownership or in nodes distribution.”

It would not of course be reasonable to expect a mainstream commercial banking group to argue in favour of a genuinely independent decentralised financial ecosystem.

Rather, it is for the proponents of that technology to correct any inaccuracies and supply any omissions in how others (doubtless unintentionally) represent it, but to do that they need to get involved in the consultation process.

Thus, by way of correcting certain inaccuracies and otherwise filling in the gaps, we shall deal with each of Intesa’s three claims in turn.

Intesa Sanpaolo claims that Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) method has been empirically and theoretically validated and that Nxt’s Proof of Stake (PoS) method has not.

Theoretically, the PoW and PoS consensus mechanisms are neither better nor worse than each other, merely different. For a description of Nxt’s Proof of Stake model, see pages 5/6 of Nxt’s Response to ESMA.

As regards, the respective theoretical formalizations of PoW and PoS, the following points should be noted:

PoW formalization

The initial Satoshi Nakamoto paper (Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System) only investigated the consensus algorithm security against private branch attack.

Since then other potential attack vectors, for example selfish mining, have been discovered.

The selfish mining strategy provides unfair profit for the 33+% adversary and that’s dangerous in the long-term, but not critical for consensus itself.

Most recently, in November 2014, the formal model (of a more or less appropriate quality) was published: The Bitcoin Backbone Protocol: Analysis and Applications.

PoS formalization

Whilst Proof-of-Stake formalization is currently still behind that of PoW it’s now developing faster than PoW’s formalization and therefore catching up quickly.

The first implementations of pure PoS appeared in the second half of 2013, with the first investigations started in the first half of 2014 (Math of Nxt Forging by mthcl) following which Consensus Research made simulations2 and wrote articles3 about the few types of known attacks.

Consensus Research are currently in the process of discussing deeper formalization with colleagues from mathematics and theoretical computer science.

Turning next to Intesa Sanpaolo’s claim that Bitcoin’s PoW method has been “empirically validated” and that Nxt’s PoS method has not.

We assume “empirically validated”, as applied to Bitcoin’s PoW and Nxt’s PoS technologies, is intended to mean: proven to work in practice in accordance with their objectives.

Since both technologies demonstrably do work in practice in accordance with their objectives, at least up until now, they can therefore both be said to have been empirically validated: Bitcoin as a payment system and Nxt as a financial ecosystem which includes a payment system (see: Nxt Core Features, as described on pages 15/16 of Nxt’s response to ESMA).

But blockchain technology in general is still in its infancy and faces a number of significant practical challenges, including that of blockchain bloat and scalability – a problem which, at some stage, will have to be addressed and resolved (if they are to remain viable) by all blockchain technologies, including of course Nxt itself.

However, due to the large and (as currently anticipated) increasing number of transactions being processed through its network, Bitcoin now needs to address that problem as a matter of urgency and it is running out of time in which to do so.

According to Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen speaking in an interview in June 2015, Bitcoin will be reaching its 1 MB block size limit “some time in the next 6 to 12 to 18 months….”. In the interview Mr Andresen goes on to warn of what could happen if the problem isn’t resolved.4

In an apparent attempt to force the pace as regards tackling the block size issue, a patch to the Bitcoin Core was released on August 4 and is now available to download here: https://bitcoinxt.software/

It remains to be seen whether the Bitcoin network as a whole will accept or reject what in effect is a hard fork or indeed whether the network will split, resulting in the creation of two versions of Bitcoin, thereby crashing the value of one, if not both.

What is certainly clear is that the Bitcoin XT debate (whether or not to replace the current hard-coded block size limit of 1mb with a patch that, amongst other things, supports larger blocks) has polarized opinion.5

And it is doing so for the reason explained in this article in The Wall Street Technologist:

“What we have here is an ideological schism in Bitcoin. Most people fail to realize that this is what the block debate is really about. On one hand you have folks who believe Bitcoin should be the new VISA system. They believe that Bitcoin should be able to handle all the transactions on planet earth, from everyone’s daily coffee purchase, to everyone’s house purchase, to how Google cars should be paid for their services.  On the other hand, you have those who believe Bitcoin’s core value is the fact that it is a hedge against fiat currencies, and by extension, governments (in the case they decide to infringe upon your liberties). Bitcoin CANNOT be both. It’s just not possible.”

Whilst, as already mentioned, the scalability problem is common to all blockchain technologies, the following empirically observed problems are exclusive to Bitcoin and should also be borne in mind when reassessing the accuracy of any claim that Bitcoin is empirically valid:

  • the inherent tendency of the underlying economics of the Bitcoin network to create a vicious circle whereby increasingly sophisticated mining rigs generate increased hash output resulting in increased difficulty which in turn drives the need for evermore powerful rigs thereby making it uneconomic for any but the biggest miners and pools to operate. The end result: increasing centralisation of mining power; i.e. a shrinking network of nodes, making it less secure.6
  • over-dependency on a few manufacturers of the prohibitively expensive ASIC mining equipment.
  • high energy consumption involved in miners competing for blocks to validate, making the process environmentally very unfriendly.

Intesa Sanpaolo claims that “there is an ongoing debate over the “Nothing at Stake” problem affecting every system which doesn’t use any consumption of resources external to the system for the validation.”

The unqualified use of the word “problem” might suggest to the uninformed reader that Nxt, as a PoS system, has actually been subjected to a Nothing-at-Stake attack. In fact, it has not.

Like Bitcoin’s PoW, the Nxt PoS consensus algorithm is a work in progress; the current state of thinking and research regarding any theoretical vulnerability to a N@S attack can be summarised as follows:

A. The first more or less formal definition (at least in the form of computer code) has been produced by Consensus Research:

PoS forging algorithms: multi-strategy forging and related security issues.

B. The number of possible forks grows exponentially over time. A Nothing-at-Stake attack could therefore only be made by a multi-branch forger contributing to N best forks and since it’s impossible to predict whether 2 forks will be within N best forks from the exponentially growing set for k confirmations (a significant imponderable), this attack vector is inherently unpredictable making it very difficult to enforce in theory, let alone in practice.

C. The correlation with stake size is still the open question but, contrary to what has been stated by Vitalik Buterin,7  it’s nearly impossible to attack a proof-of-stake currency with “1% stake even”.

D. A solution to make the PoS consensus algorithmically enforced (as in PoW) is theoretically possible.

E. The N@S simulation tool is published here: https://github.com/ConsensusResearch/MultiBranch  for people to carry out their own experiments. Unfortunately, there is not currently any easy-to-understand (i.e. non-technical) visualization of the non-feasibility of a Nothing-at-Stake attack.

In practice, the Nxt forging algorithm provides a defence against a Nothing-at-Stake attack in the form of what has been termed Transparent Forging (TF), the main feature of which is the ability to predict which account will generate the next block.

Other TF aspects of the Nxt forging algorithm are:

  • account balance having to be older than 1440 blocks;
  • the ability to lease account balance for forging;
  • requiring the forging account to have had its public key announced for 1440 blocks before being able to forge; and,
  • not accepting a forged block if its timestamp is more than 1 second after the predicted time to forge.

Improvements to take effect in release 1.7 are a minimum effective balance requirement of 1000 NXT for an account to be eligible to forge, and preventing very long blocks by an improved base target adjustment algorithm.

Elements of the TF concept which have not yet been implemented include: achieving higher transaction processing speeds by sending transactions directly to the node expected to generate the next block, and reducing the time interval between blocks based on the knowledge of the next few predicted block generator accounts.

Further protection against any ‘Nothing at Stake’ attack can be achieved by temporarily reducing to zero the forging power of accounts which should have generated a block but skipped their turn.

At present though, the currently implemented components of TF are considered sufficient to protect against such an attack.

Those TF elements mentioned above which are designed to increase the possible transaction throughput will only be implemented once the need for it appears, and certainly not until blockchain pruning has first been implemented.

Intesa Sanpaolo claims that “Every single existing PoS scheme, NXT included, is actually relying on some kind of centralization in validation checkpoints, in “currency” ownership or in nodes distribution.”

At their current level of technological development, no blockchain (arguably Bitcoin least of all) is 100% decentralised.

Nxt validation checkpoints

The Nxt protocol includes a rolling checkpoint whereby any block submitted at a height more than 720 blocks behind the current block height is automatically rejected. This in effect limits chain reorganization to the most recent 720 blocks.

The Nxt protocol also includes some hard-coded checkpoints (e.g. at Block 333,000). Their purpose is to prevent any possibility of a so-called “history rewriting attack” in which somebody buys redundant early stakeholder accounts in order to try to build a complete alternative blockchain.

Another reason for the hard-coded checkpoints is performance optimization, specifically: improved blockchain download speeds for peers downloading the blockchain from scratch, the improved speed being due to the fact that they don’t need to check with multiple peers in respect of the blockchain before the latest hard-coded checkpoint whether or not the current fork they are on is the best one.

Most importantly, such hard-coded checkpoints are only added at blocks more than 720 blocks before the current (at the time of adding the checkpoint) last block. At this point, the consensus has already been reached and set in stone by the rolling 720 block checkpoint limit, therefore the hardcoded checkpoint does not influence the decentralized consensus.

Whether or not these validation features can be regarded as  “centralised” is debatable and in any case neither are critically needed for blockchain survival.

Bitcoin, of course, has its own hard-coded checkpoints (see further: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/blob/master/src/chainparams.cpp )

Nxt currency ownership and node distribution

Nxt does not rely, as a matter of technical design, on centralisation of currency ownership or node distribution and the authors of this article are unaware of any PoS model (or indeed any other blockchain consensus mechanism) that does.

Proof-of-stake must have a way of defining the next valid block in any blockchain. Selection by account balance would result in (undesirable) centralization, as the single richest member would have a permanent advantage. Instead, several different methods of selection have been devised.

Randomized Block Selection

Nxt uses a pseudo-random algorithm to predict the next block generator i.e. forger, by calculating a hash value which should be lower than a target value using the combination of the account stake, time since last block, signature of the previous block and the forger account public key. Since all these parameters are publicly available, each node can predict, with reasonable accuracy which account will forge the next block.

It might be that what Intesa Sanpaolo meant to say in its ESMA response was that in certain PoS models a relatively small number of accounts are in practice currently responsible for the majority of the work of validating blocks and earning the transaction fees for doing so.

In the case of Nxt the original distribution of the currency was made to the 73 subscribers who participated at the start and as a continuing, albeit slowly improving, legacy effect of that relatively small distribution, it is true to say that a large percentage of the Nxt currency has been owned by a relatively small number of account-holders.

Nxt critics have long sought to portray this as an inherent irremediable weakness of the system. It is not and over time, as more people get involved in Nxt, the number of accounts will continue to increase and ownership become more diffuse.

In the meantime, having a large percentage of the currency concentrated in a relatively few hands has had some advantages for the system, not least of which is the relative absence of speculative manipulation (i.e. pump and dump) and the funding of development and marketing that would not have happened but for the generous bounties made available by large Nxt account holders.

Meanwhile, Proof of Stake blockchain technology, of which Nxt is the leading example, continues to innovate and improve.

The features planned for the next hard fork (Release 1.7) are coin shuffling, account control for phased transactions (whereby an account is only allowed to submit phased transactions that require the approval of one or more other accounts), more stable block times and various usability enhancements. A security enhancement, 2FA using hash chains, will be added in Release 1.8.

Nxt core developers will also be adding features that make it easier to use the platform in regulated financial environments, for example “account properties” which can be used to endorse accounts as having been verified or authorized by third parties (to be implemented in Release 1.7) and “controllable assets”, designed to satisfy legal requirements that only authorized accounts can purchase certain types of asset (planned for Release 1.8).

Update: Since this article was published, a new version of The Nxt NRS client software has been released: NRS v.1.7.0e

This is an experimental release for testing only. Source code is not provided.

—————————

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to kushti, Jean-Luc, Riker, mthcl and ChuckOne who all reviewed and variously commented on and contributed wording to the article.

re-esma-nxt-cryptocurrency

Footnotes

1. ESMA states on its website that it:

‘…is interested in how different virtual currencies and the associated blockchain, or distributed ledger, can be used in investments. There are now facilities available to use the blockchain infrastructure as a means of issuing, transacting in and transferring ownership of securities in a way that bypasses the traditional infrastructure for public offer and issuance of securities, trading venues like exchanges and central securities depositaries or other typical means of recording ownership. ESMA would like to find out more about these market developments and in particular to know to what extent the use of the blockchain could enter the financial mainstream, and how it could be used.’

2. https://github.com/ConsensusResearch/ForgingSimulation.

3. https://github.com/ConsensusResearch/articles-papers.

Kushti is currently discussing joint papers possibilities with colleagues and preparing a paper to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

4. In the interview (at 6:43 mins), Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist Mr Andresen, who has a less apocalyptic vision than his colleague Mike Hearn as to what might happen to Bitcoin in a worst case scenario, nevertheless warns that:

“…people will just stop sending transactions if they notice that their transactions are not getting confirmed in a day or two or three or a week. The nature of transaction confirmation and the nature of how blocks are found softens that a little bit so every once in a while we’ll get a period of time when transactions really pile up because blocks are found more slowly than normal and every once in a while we’ll have a period of time where lots of transactions get confirmed because we’re finding lots of blocks.

It’s just the nature of the randomness of mining that we get this natural variation in how many transactions are confirmed in any given period of time and so I think that that natural variation plus people react so if you’re sending transactions with very low fees that aren’t getting confirmed well then you’ll bump up your fees if you can and if you can’t bump up your fees because transactions get more expensive then you find some alternative and that alternative may be: well I won’t use Bitcoin, I’ll find some other way of doing what I want to do.

So I don’t think we’ll have a crash. It won’t be a disaster. I think what we will see is people turning away from Bitcoin and using other things and I think we’ll see transaction fees rising. Both of these things I think are bad.”

5. Bitcoin XT vs Core, Blocksize limit, the schism that divides us all.

“The news recently is all abuzz about the Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn’s fork of Bitcoin called Bitcoin XT.  For the first time in the history of Bitcoin, its very existence has been put into peril by way of what is termed a ‘Hard Fork’ of the protocol.  I have watched the situation develop, and I feel that I must comment on this topic as the amount of FUD coming from both sides of the camps is reaching alarming levels, and frankly I think this is hurting Bitcoin.”

As at 24 November 2015, there were 410 Bitcoin XT nodes (supporting bigger blocks) out of a total of 5018 nodes in the Bitcoin network. Source: http://www.xtnodes.com/ Accessed 24.11.2015.

6. “As a Proof of Work network becomes stronger, there is less incentive for an individual peer to support the network, because their potential reward is split among a greater number of peers. In search of profitability, miners keep adding resources in the form of specialized, proprietary hardware that requires significant capital investment and high ongoing energy demands. As time progresses, the network becomes more and more centralized as smaller peers (those who can do less work) drop out or combine their resources into pools.”

http://wiki.nxtcrypto.org/wiki/Whitepaper:Nxt#Proof_of_Stake_Attacks.

See also:

“The risk is that the trend will claim too much obsolete hardware and put many miners out of business, resulting in even more centralisation and fewer incentives to invest in the mining space.” http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-mining-can-longer-ignore-moores-law/

And:

“The problem is that there is little incentive to run a node anymore. That’s because powerful machines built specifically for bitcoin’s SHA-256 proof-of-work algorithm have changed its decentralized and more open nature.” http://www.coindesk.com/five-biggest-threats-facing-bitcoin/

7. Vitalik Buterin is one of the original authors of a cryptocurrency platform called Ethereum. A version of Ethereum, called Serenity, currently in development “…is meant to move from consensus through Proof-of-work to Proof-of-Stake.”

The “Nothing at Stake” attack is described by Vitalik Buterin here:

“However, this algorithm has one important flaw: there is ”nothing at stake”. In the event of a fork, whether the fork is accidental or a malicious attempt to rewrite history and reverse a transaction, the optimal strategy for any miner is to mine on every chain, so that the miner gets their reward no matter which fork wins. Thus, assuming a large number of economically interested miners, an attacker may be able to send a transaction in exchange for some digital good (usually another cryptocurrency), receive the good, then start a fork of the blockchain from one block behind the transaction and send the money to themselves instead, and even with 1% of the total stake the attacker’s fork would win because everyone else is mining on both.” Extract from Proof of Stake: How I Learned to Love Weak Subjectivity

In the following two papers, the authors also seek to prove the feasibility of a “Nothing at Stake” attack

It Will Cost You Nothing to ‘Kill’ a Proof-of-Stake Crypto-Currency     Nicolas Houy, University of Lyon, January 2014.

On Stake and Consensus, Andrew Polesta, March 2015

By contrast, here’s a detailed description, written in layman’s terms, on the practical impossibility of N@S attack by JordanLee

http://www.peercointalk.org/index.php?topic=2976.msg27303#msg27303

Discussion threads regarding the theoretical possibility of a Nothing-at-Stake attack include:

BitCoin Talk: Nothing-at-Stake & Long Range Attack on Proof-of-Stake (Consensus Research).

Nxt Forum: The Paper on Long-Range attack & Nothing-at-Stake.

NXT Sub-Forum: Consensus Research.

Phase 4: A look at what’s coming

nxt-cryptocurrency-phase4

Group psychologists sometimes describe the dynamics of team formation and evolution in four stages, often dubbed Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Looking at the history of Nxt and its community, it’s certainly possible to divide it into three distinct parts, each of which is characterised by its own Zeitgeist – as well as the market’s reflection of that mood. It’s also valid to consider where we are now as being the end of one era and the beginning of the next, with its own challenges and opportunities: Phase 4.

Here’s what we’ve seen so far:

Phase 1: Forming

December 2013 – April 2014. Nxt launches. The market has no way of valuing the new 2.0 platform that promises much but has had no time to prove itself, or even implement many of the promised features. Like most alts, the price spikes – in this case about to around $100 million market cap. The hype inevitably fades, short-term traders exit and the new community forms from the wreckage.

Phase 2: Storming

April – August 2014. It’s a formative stage for Nxt. The community has become established, the Asset Exchange launches, and there is a huge amount of excitement and momentum. There are also an unprecedented number of scams. It’s a tumultuous time, but a case of too much, too soon; optimism evaporates, the bubble bursts and the community is left licking its wounds.

Phase 3: Norming

August 2014 – present. The SuperNET ICO brings a wave of optimism and activity, but over the next 14 months the protracted bear market saps confidence in Nxt (and all the alts) and sees its market cap shrink to less than a tenth of its high. However, behind the scenes there is a huge amount of positive activity, with dozens of new businesses and initiatives getting under way. The downtrend has the effect of funnelling money into the Asset Exchange, as holders seek either to sell or invest their NXT for a better return. Key relationships and reputations become well established. The community consolidates and collectively negotiates a set of tacit rules about how it will operate.

Phase 4: Performing

November 2015 onwards. Those who are going to leave have done so as the price collapses; those who are left have accumulated a larger share of NXT and built strong foundations for the future. A number of key business projects are well underway. The Nxt Foundation is well-established and the Tennessee project fully funded. There are good reasons for optimism.

However, here’s where it necessarily becomes more speculative, it’s always easier to describe the past than predict the future. There are many unknown factors in play. New 2.0 projects such as Ethereum are attracting attention, while the bear market across the alts continues. Bitcoin, meanwhile, is looking healthier than it has for a while, with more and more positive news – though still unresolved issues of its own. These factors will undoubtedly affect Nxt.

In addition, there are some interesting economic effects in play that are unique to Nxt. The bear market went hand-in-hand with an asset boom, arguably a bubble. At historically low prices but with optimism growing, minds are turning to accumulating as much NXT as possible. This naturally means selling assets as well as BTC and other cryptos. Thus there’s a chance that Phase 4 will kick off with an asset crash as traders and holders position themselves to go long on NXT, and that new assets will struggle for liquidity as a result. On the other hand, increasing interest from outside the core community might compensate for that, albeit with a time lag.

These are all issues that will no doubt work themselves out, one way or another and with a few more bumps along the way. What should be obvious at this point is that Year 3 and Phase 4 will be well worth sticking around for.