BCNext’s Nxt

Genesis account / BCNext / George Orwell, 1984:

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

BCNext posted his intentions for Nxt in 3 parts.

Part 1:

Transparent mining, or What makes Nxt a 2nd generation currency

Come-from-Beyond:

Below u’ll find a short description of Nxt mining system. The description is based on text written by BCNext, I paraphrase it in my own words to protect BCNext’s real identity against text style analysis (as was agreed).

I want u to pay attention to a paper titled Decentralised Currencies Are Probably Impossible But Let’s At Least Make Them Efficient.

The author writes:

Quote
To match this to the notion of “decentralised” (i.e. lacking central authority), the consensus group must be, at least, all participants in the currency. This does not present any real problem when that group is known. For example, it would be possible to define the group as “all people currently in the United States”– where the currency would be something akin to the US Dollar. Assuming the majority decide to behave honestly (as seems likely, after all, that is what happens now), then they should have no difficulty in forming consensus on who has how much money at what time. However, the most general notion of decentralisation does not admit such re-strictions. After all, in some sense, placing any such restriction simply pushes the central authority back a layer: instead of controlling the currency, the authority controls membership of the consensus group. A system like this must allow any entity to participate, and to join and leave the scheme at will. And here lies the problem. If you can never know who is in the scheme (bear in mind that knowing who is in is also a consensus problem!), then you can never get agreement.

In Nxt this problem doesn’t arise coz all participants (miners) r known. This is a side-effect of 100% proof-of-stake currency. So, let’s move to the most interesting part…

As u may know, Bitcoin et al. can be attacked by an entity that possesses 51% of hashing power. 2 main scenarios r possible:
1. Part of the miners leave the “legit” branch of the blockchain and start mining their own branch.
2. Someone buys/produces mining equipment and starts mining secret branch.

The 2nd scenario can’t be applied to Nxt, coz no NXTs exist outside the network. Let’s look closer at the 1st scenario.

Yesterday the average base target was ~700%. This means that only 1/7 of all stakeholders were generating blocks, we can’t say if the rest 6/7 were hit by bus or trying to fork Nxt blockchain. This is in the current Nxt implementation. BCNext is satisfied with the results shown during last 2 weeks and now is going to adjust the mining algo a little bit to make it transparent.

What does this transparency mean? It means that anyone can predict (with very high probability) who and when will generate next block(s). And this gives us superior advantages:
1. Transactions can be sent directly to the miner who will mine the next block (if he decides to reveal his location on the Internet), thus saving traffic and coming much closer to VISA/MasterCard processing volumes.
2. Blocks can be generated in advance and sent to most of the miners before they become valid (timestamp validation), thus greatly reducing rate of orphaned blocks.
3. Due to ability to predict timestamps of future blocks (rate of blocks) it becomes possible to set appropriate fees to assure quick confirmations for important transactions (without paying too much for inclusion into a block).

And the most important feature:
The network can detect which miners don’t take part in block generation and act accordingly.

The last point deserves to be described with more details.

Imagine someone is going to do a “51%” attack against Nxt and he owns 90% of all coins. The adversary must stop generating blocks for legit branch coz he won’t be able to compete against 100% mining power with his 90%. So he decides to “skip” his turn to generate a block. The rest 10% of the network detects this and penalizes the adversary by setting his mining power to 0 and distributing it among other miners. Now the network is back to 100% power coz everyone got 10-fold increase. The adversary can mine other branch in a secret place but it won’t be able to replace the legit branch. Of course, the 2nd branch will have 100% “hashing” power tied to it as well, coz the attacker will get his 90% bumped to 100% but this can be counteracted by some mechanisms of advanced consensus (still not revealed).

As a 100% PoS currency Nxt is protected against a government wealthy entity that could buy/produce a lot of ASICs, with the transparent mining it’s protected even against someone buying most of the coins.

So, what does make Nxt a really next-gen currency? Not those nice features like decentralized exchange, or decentralized DNS, or decentralized app store. The transparent mining algo does, and this is only the 1st part of BCNext’s plan…
This is a short description. Ask questions that will help to make the description more clear.

PS: Cunicula, BCNext is waiting for ur approval on this.

Edit: BCNext pointed out that I forgot to mention Selfish Mining. Sorry. Transparent mining solves the selfish mining issue completely. Dixi. The original post and discussion can be found here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=364218.0

Part 2

Transparent mining 2, or What part of Legacy should be left behind

Come-from-Beyond:

Below u’ll find the 2nd part of Transparent Mining essay, the 1st part is available here – https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=364218.0. The essay is based on text written by BCNext, I paraphrase it in my own words to protect BCNext’s real identity against text style analysis (as was agreed).

Nxt mining simulates Bitcoin mining by pretending that each coin is a small mining rig. BCNext decided to go this way instead of introducing his own approach coz Bitcoin community is conservative and wouldn’t adopt a system with radical differences. Now, when Nxt got its own community, it’s time to get rid of the facade and reveal true properties of Transparent Mining. These properties r obvious to everyone who spent some time analyzing Transparent Mining, but still…

Nxt mining uses a deterministic lottery that grants right to mine next blocks. Time of a next block is determined by the time of the previous block and by the base target. The base target is a part of Bitcoin legacy that should be left behind, it doesn’t make sense to wait when next block is mined coz we already know who will do it. And we can mine blocks at a fixed rate, for example, every 60000 ms (exactly 1 min). When Internet becomes faster we will switch to a smaller gap between blocks (10 seconds, for example).

Mining reward is another obsolete part. True reward for supporting Nxt network comes from services that use Nxt. Someone owns a currency exchange and mine blocks to keep his business running. Another one owns a shop and mine blocks to keep his business running. The 3rd person owns a software company that develops programs for Nxt-based services and mine blocks to keep his business running. Selfish miners (those who mine only to earn fees) should be “removed” from the system, they r not interested in success of Nxt and only want to cash-out. If a clone appears such the people will likely jump to another ship, they add very little value to Nxt. All this doesn’t mean that we should get rid of fees completely, we still need them as a countermeasure against spamming.

NXTs as coins… NXTs r not coins, at least the creator of Nxt didn’t want them to be coins. They r tokens that grant privileges to support Nxt. Deflation is not much better than inflation, “real” coins should be created on top of Nxt and be issued in quantities that keep their value constant. BCNext understands that this is very arguable, the community should decide if it wants to follow the path showed by him or stick to Bitcoin legacy with unchangeable supply of coins in hope to become rich by doing nothing.

Trust noone – this is a very important principle. Nxt doesn’t rely on trust but solves the problem of trust in another way. It evolves to a system that doesn’t care about trust coz everything will be very clear. Transparency extended to absolute leads to inability to cheat thus removing necessity to think if someone should trust another one.

The list of these properties can be extended and BCNext wants the community to do it by itself… The original post and discussion of this 2nd. part can be found here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=458036

Part 3

Transparent mining 3, or What way to choose

Come-from-Beyond:

Below u’ll find the 3rd part of Transparent Mining essay, the 1st and 2nd parts r available here – https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=364218.0 andhttps://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=458036.0. The essay is based on text written by BCNext, I paraphrase it in my own words to protect BCNext’s real identity against text style analysis (as was agreed).

Bitcoin was a genious invention but implementation became corrupted by people whose aim was to make money, not bitcoins but dollars. BCNext was working on a project that required special conditions for its existence, he hoped that Bitcoin would change the society and prepare ground for the project. Half a year ago it became crystal clear for him that Bitcoin, as an idea of trustless money, had failed. A fix was required and it came in the form of Transparent Mining. “Transparent” is the key word here, it changes focus from “trust no one” to “don’t let to cheat”, because any cheating becomes obvious very soon (as soon as allowed by network latency). Nxt is just a work-around, it was launched to win more time and to conduct an experiment that was supposed to show if the society is ready for the main project of BCNext. He thinks that society can’t be completely decentralized, and Nxt will let to measure level of decentralization after which a society can’t function as a whole. Bitcoin relies only on math, but math can’t solve problems arising because of illogical nature of the man. Mining in Nxt relies on cooperation of people and even forces it. Without cooperation Nxt becomes weak and can be easily attacked. It’s like a system in unstable equilibrium, if people stop to care about cooperation then Nxt will fail very fast.

Now, when you know why Nxt was created your should choose what way to follow. The easiest one is to repeat the history of Bitcoin in hope that something will change. The alternative is to implement Transparent Mining and try to handle people imperfection. The latter can’t be done with pure math and even if you manage to find some laws you can’t be sure that these laws won’t change in the future. BCNext went for good, he doesn’t feel himself responsible for the future of Nxt, he implemented an idea that was obvious but noone tried to do it (maybe because creation of a Bitcoin clone was much easier). One day he will come back with his main project under his real name. Don’t try to find real identity of BCNext, he intentionally copied style and ideas of different people, if you think you found him then you are likely wrong. BCNext has never existed, this sockpuppet was created only for Nxt and will never appear again.

The plan always was very simple – to show the way that very obvious but avoided for some reason. BCNext doesn’t pretend that he possesses sacral knowledge and knows what is awaiting in the end. You are left on your own. Good luck. The original post and discussion of this 3rd part can be found here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=553205.0

Additional information

List by RickyJames:

[ANN] Nxt :: descendant of Bitcoin STARTED BY BCNext
SEP  28 2013  07:29:09 AM   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=303898.0

[Nxt] API of Nxt STARTED BY BCNext
OCT  17 2013  08:22:35 PM   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=313082.0

[Nxt] What advanced feature to add in the first place? STARTED BY BCNext
OCT  19 2013  12:45:02 PM   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=314008.0

[Nxt] Instant transactions with guaranteed confirmation STARTED BY BCNext
OCT  22 2013  11:27:41 AM   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=316104.0

[Nxt] Decentralized App Store STARTED BY BCNext
OCT  24 2013  10:32:15 PM   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=317607.0

[Nxt] Open Beta Test STARTED BY BCNext
OCT  29 2013  11:37:29 AM   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=320718.0

[Nxt] Gauging interest on Nxt banknotes STARTED BY BCNext
NOV  01 2013  05:34:08 PM   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=322935.0

Discuss: https://nxtforum.org

BCNext answers Nxt Community:

Q:  Why was the initial funding cancelled suddenly with few people?
A:  I wanted Nxt to be launched by the community, not by a single person.  Success of Nxt is supposed to be achieved by work of a LOT of PEOPLE.

Q:  How would you solve problem with scam accusations according to “unfair” distribution Nxt to 73 big stakeholders?
A:  This problem can not be solved.  Even if we had a million stakeholders the rest seven billion people would call this unfair.  A world with the money can not be perfect.

Q:  What are the most inportant 5 things the community should do, in order to properly support Nxt in the next 6 months?
A:  Review all my ideas, they might be flawed.  Avoid centralization.  Do not pay much attention to the price of 1 NXT measured in fiat money.  Remember that half-measures is a way to nowhere.  Do not trust strangers on the Internet, especially if their nickname is “BCNext”.

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=345619.msg4383169#msg4383169