Alphonso Morris Q & A

Source: nxtchat.slack #qu_answers

Thursday May 18th starting 1pm – 2:30 pm eastern standard time


ascendus
On behalf of Janus Team, thank you for showing up.
Moderation will be performed by @marenkar !

marenkar
Welcome everyone to the QA with the newest member of the Janus team, Mr. Alphonso Morris Jr @almo3ree23! I have personally verified his information to be accurate based on several techniques to prove identity. Without further ado let’s get to the questions. Please remember, we need to screen questions first so please post your questions to #janusproject. If they are approved, I’ll ask them here with a tag to you.

I have some questions to get started but will be checking #janusproject regularly. To start things off, here’s the first question:

Who are you and what is your career experience?

almo3ree23
My full name is Alphonso Morris Jr.
I’m 51 yrs old. I was born in Philadelphia PA and currently live here.

http://linkedin.com/in/alphonso-morris-jr-b8a21170

marenkar
Philly sounds like a great place!

almo3ree23
It’s a great city.

I have several years of experience in various fields not as much in the Crypto / Blockchain world more so in the fields of Photography, Event Planning & Promotions. Public Relations Director, Artist Management, Personal Assistant, Music & Television for over 20 yrs.

marenkar
A lot of people on #janusproject are asking, how did you meet the Janus team?

almo3ree23
It’s a funny story….. I met Bjorn’s wife at an event, I was working in Bethlehem PA, there’s a Casino built on the site of the famous Bethlehem Steel Co. I met her a few years earlier. She wanted me to meet her husband for years.

She happens to drag him out of his cave for a little R&R. After the show, we met for drinks and hit it off. It didn’t take long for us to connect and discuss life, family, work etc. Louis & Robert [also from the Janus team] I met later.

marenkar
That’s awesome! Nice to know that there’s a good personal relationship as well.

almo3ree23
They’re a great team to work with.

marenkar
@crowne asks: Is Nate Morris from Boyz II Men your brother by blood relation?

almo3ree23
Yes he is
Yes he is my little brother, we’re five years apart, and I can still beat him lol

marenkar
Haha good to know! 🙂

Alright, another common question on #janusproject is – “What ways will you help the Janus team expand grow as both a team and future company”?

almo3ree23
Explaining how good something can be to others is easy when you have a team & product as good as this. We’re all driven to succeed focused on producing quality, I believe creative minds tend to work well together. My interactions with members of the team has been very good. I believe my 30 plus years of public relations, world travel, and personal contacts will benefit the team as we grow.

I’m anxious to get into the creative process.

marenkar
Sounds great! Looking forward to seeing what you can do with Janus.

We have another question as well from @merk: given your association with Boyz II Men – “Who is the most influential person you have ever had the privilege of meeting”?

almo3ree23
Niece, 1998, The World Music Awards, Royal Yacht Club. Its me Ant, Stevie Wonder, his assistant and Prince Albert Of Monaco. Having a conversation about being royal. Needless to say, we were all bent…. out of our faces…

marenkar
That’s pretty awesome!

almo3ree23
Oh and Salt&Peppa were there as well!

marenkar
Question from @qiwoman – “What advice do you have for potential investors looking at JANUS”?

almo3ree23
I joined the team two months ago and my observation of Janus is that it’s a solid company. They have good direction, good products, dedicated to their investors and their brand. Janus is also growing exponentially.

marenkar
Another question that is being asked regularly on #janusproject is “To what degree can you utilize your ‘special’ industry contacts to help your team gain an advantage with online business sites and other Janus activities?”

almo3ree23
From my personal experience, we are only as good as our word on any level. Information is power in the right hands coming from the right people.

I’ve earned mutual respect from some influential people in the entertainment industry who I’ve worked for or with over the years. People like ( Ken Ehrlich ) Tv Producer Grammys, AMA’s Etc.
( Usher Raymond ) Music Producer / Entertainer I consider close contacts. There’s always the possibility of an outright endorsement of a product, company, idea or the like based on how Bjorn wants to proceed.

marenkar
Whoa, that’s quite a list of contacts to bring. Nice!

@wolffang asks – “Since you are the Brother of a boys2men member, do you know Beyonce through him? ”

almo3ree23
She was on The Evolution tour with Destiny’s Child and Boyz II Men in 1997.
I was their personal photographer during the tour.

marenkar
Whoa, that’s awesome. There’s a group trying to parody her name as blockchain. 🙂

Speaking of blockchain, another question that’s asked on #janusproject is “Had you heard of Bitcoin or Blockchain before joining the Janus team”?

almo3ree23
Yes in my travels abroad I noticed it being used but that was the extent of my Bitcoin or Blockchain knowledge. It didn’t take long for me to start asking questions.
I’m not a religious person per say but I can say I’ve seen the LIGHT!

marenkar
Welcome into the blockchain community 🙂

A good question that @qiwoman brought up is “With marketing JANUS mainstream sites, do you feel you will be able to attract outside mainstream investors into JANUS blockchain token shares?”

almo3ree23
Yes with my contacts in music and television it wouldn’t be a problem for me to explain Janus to as many influential people and companies as possible.

marenkar
@cryptoracer asks: What areas of marketing and promo (and to what demographic) do you think will benefit Janus the most, re. exposure?

bjorn_bb [marketing director of Janus]
The primary marketing angle will vary based on the business type, for example, our Forex/Crypto mainstream site from this year will be tackled literally by the main stars of that site, chiefly the wave callers (professional traders). Money and personal fame is the driver.

In terms of year 2 adoption, we will be using creative methods to introduce general mainstream users to our token(s). This is something our team excels at and keeping the tech out of the equation will be always primary to reduce barrier of adoption.

ropes
What will be the main marketing angle for Janus project, what is the plan of delivery and what are the ballpark estimates for year 2 adoption in mainstream?

almo3ree23
I’m very visible in the entertainment world, I travel regularly so I can tap into the international markets, I’m experienced in promoting products, and have a respected following.

marenkar
Awesome. More exposure would be great. More in Janus would mean more for Nxt and Ardor too, so we certainly welcome that 🙂

A great question by @martis (and earlier by @wolffang), speaking of Nxt – did you try to play with Nxt features? And if yes, what is your first impression?

almo3ree23
Yes, I have it installed and have looked at it. It’s a very powerful platform!

I’m still wrapping my head around some of the features, but I’m still learning.

marenkar
A casual question from @wolffang – What is your favorite place to spend the holidays?

almo3ree23
Sidney Australia or Tokyo Japan are my two favorite cities

qiwoman
What is your projection of JANUS 12 months from now?

almo3ree23
I can project that it will be the number one token in the market! Just my personal opinion based on my observations and markets.

bjorn_bb
This is obviously highly speculative, but we believe that our tokens can appreciate in value almost by sheer force of work and business success. A store of value backed by our team can only stay at one value so long if we keep our roadmap and vision strong without becoming complacent. I’ll be the first to tell you that my goal is empire level, and you don’t get to that point without drive and ruthless ambition.

marenkar
A great question from @merk -“With the upcoming formation of FL3X (the Janus parent company), what role will you play in the formation and what position will you hold (if that has been discussed)”?

almo3ree23
Company brand ambassador to start, we’re still forming positions but eventually partner.

merk
Cool. Thanks.

marenkar
Awesome! @martis is also asking how you will be promoting crypto tokens to people who aren’t familiar with the technology and the community?

almo3ree23
I’ll be promoting thru my contacts in mainstream the business sites we develop. Those business sites will be using our tokens in both direct and indirect ways. I’ll be facilitating the communication with these people in order to partake in the use of the site or promote the site itself.

marenkar
Awesome. Having a person these contacts can trust is a great way for them to get connected to it. Let them know they’re welcome here as well! 🙂

Ok, we’re at an hour now, so I’ll close it off with this question – How long will you be staying with the company and team? Do you plan to become partner and see it develop into what the Janus team has described?

almo3ree23
I’m here for the long haul. I never run away from a challenge. We have great things planned for the greater community. We want to make Janus a household name. And yes I will be a full partner in this endeavor.

marenkar
Awesome. Thanks to everyone who participated in this Q&A and thanks especially to @almo3ree23 for coming on here and answering all these questions. Thanks again to Janus for choosing Nxt!

almo3ree23
Thank You all for your time and attention.

bjorn_bb
Thank you all for coming out to meet Alphonso today, as always thank you to the community for the strength you help give our project and team. Press releases will follow shortly and a giant thank you to the NXT foundation for helping with everything today, including the ID verification of Mr. Morris.


Follow Janus: Twitter | Bitcointalk.org | Slack #janusproject

Latest Janus news and market data: https://nxter.org/ae-janus | Nxt Newsletters

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

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.

SuperNET Newsletter #15

Welcome to the SuperNET!

As ever, life moves fast in crypto, and never more so than in the SuperVerse. The main news is that InstantDEX is approaching launch, another dividend is about to be distributed, we have a SuperNET v1 beta LiteWallet, but that’s not all, there’s plenty more still to tell you about – including a new addition to the CORE coins list: FIBRE.

Topics

  • v1.1.3beta
  • v1.1.3beta LITE
  • MGW
    • Coin IDs
    • MGW fees
  • FIBRE: New SuperNET CORE coin
  • Jay dividend
  • InstantDEX
    • API level test of InstantDEX
    • Testing help required
    • InstantDEX Lotto
  • Half-anon Cryptocards available
  • VPN Bounty
  • BTCD and NXT
  • SuperNET CORE coins

SuperNET v1.1.3beta

SuperNET wallet v.1.1.3 beta is available for testing:
https://bitbucket.org/longzai1988/supernetv1/downloads/supernetv1-1.3b.zip

Hash: 4B186C0DDE96C5F1432213BD1F4C96A34CDD98F177CCCBE63BF2F39025BDDEA6

SuperNET v1.1.3 beta litewallet

The litewallet version – a pure html client – is now available for testing: https://bitbucket.org/longzai1988/supernetv1-lite/downloads/supernet-JAY-1.0b.zip

Hash: 57E04EFCE3D25608E59270E03B0EF9477CDCC4953AF95F6C0284BED3E46CB8C9

The ‘advanced’ view is currently disabled for Jay wallet.

Supernet-litewallet-nxtinside

 

SuperBTCD-Bitcoindark_nxt

MGW

SuperCoins ID

As part of the ongoing evolution of the Multigateway to become a key part of SuperNET, coin token names have been updated, as have asset IDs.

‘Note that all the assets delivered by SuperNET v1b (and found in the new SN wallet dashboard) follow different naming.’, writes VanBreuk. ‘The SuperNET MGW uses new assets. mgwBTCD has become superBTCD. And although James said iDEX could handle old and new assets as equivalent, we’ll be offering an asset swap for anyone who wants to update assets soon.’

And Longzai advises us that: ‘When we decide to drop the legacy mgw there will be 1:1 asset swap’.

The SuperCoin IDs are:

superBTCD – 6918149200730574743
superVRC – 9037144112883608562
superOPAL – 6775076774325697454
superBITS – 13120372057981370228
superVPN – 7734432159113182240 (withdraws still not operational)

SuperFIBRE (multisig details in development) and the SN versions of BTC, DOGE and others will soon be added. See https://multigateway.org for more information.

When you fund your SuperNET Wallet, the corresponding tokens will automatically show in the AE of your Nxt account where you can trade them manually for NXT or other assets, for example US$-pegged CoinUSD asset (ID 12982485703607823902) or the EUR-pegged equivalent (ID 18331302471589054607), which are also Coinomat gateways to fiat, via SEPA transfers to VISA / Mastercard.

Asset < – > Asset trades will be enabled in SuperNET with InstantDEX integration.
Interesting Nxt AE assets include: http://test.nxter.org/sorted-nxt-asset-exchange-listing/

MGW fees

‘Current MGW withdrawal fees are based on coin transaction fees and Nxt transaction fees, which need to be covered by the service. Since fees are subtracted from, for instance, BTCD withdrawal, there is a value in the servers’ configuration that defines the approximate equivalent of the NXT transaction fee in BTCD. Then the system applies twice that amount (covering the asset transfer and messages costs) plus a safe amount based on the regular BTCD tx fee, keeping in mind that multisig transactions may involve higher fees than regular ones. When InstantDEX brings price feeds, these “approximate equivalents” should refer to current market rate.’

At this point, the total MGW fees are these fixed amounts:

BTCD – 0.022
VRC – 2.002
OPAL – 2.02
BITS – 20.02
VPN – 200.002 (VPN withdraws are not working until coin developers patch the VPN daemon for full multisig support)

Minimum withdrawals are

BTCD – 0.5
VRC – 50
OPAL – 50
BITS – 500
VPN – 5000

New CORE coin: FIBRE

SuperNET has a new CORE coin: Fibre.

supernet-fibrecoin

Last week, the announcement was made:
‘Fibre will be leaving the Blocknet Project.’

‘We wish the Blocknet all the best, decisions like this aren`t easy but we are changing direction for Fibre in 2015. Fibre community and investors will always stand in the first place. In our opinion we are choosing a better future for Fibre’.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=737771.msg10698947#msg10698947

‘The Fibre dev team has been represented in SuperNET Slack for more than a month but has always made it perfectly clear that Fibre was part of the Blocknet initiative. Recently, a real attempt to fulfill the requirements to integrate Fibrecoin in SuperNET as a CORE coin was started; opening Fibre’s source core tech to SuperNET analysts (the review was done by chanc3r), and after that, a swap of SuperNET assets with Fibre assets was required’, writes Eth.

Learn more about Fibre @ http://test.nxter.org/new-supernet-core-coin-fibrecoin/
and enjoy the rest of this newsletter while listening to an Interview with Fibrecoin leader Killakem!

This is SuperNET Radio:

https://soundcloud.com/supernetradio/fibre-coins-founder-developer

Fibre is available on the SuperNET Multipool http://altnuts.com, and also Xpool.ca multipool.

We welcome the FIBRE Team and look forward to finding out more about their forthcoming projects.

Jay dividend

The Jay dividend is ready for distribution. 7.5% to SuperNET, 7.5% to NXTventure and 5% to JLH (jl777hodl) will be distributed. This will occur when fewer than 8,161 SuperNET assets are left in BTER. At the time of writing, BTER’s cold wallet has just over 20,000 SuperNET assets in it.

Jay (ID 8688289798928624137) will allow people without any software on their system to run the SuperNET GUI and access all coins. Jay will get an InstantDEX revshare when it makes a lite-InstantDEX. ‘I added a ‘GUI’ field so we can track which GUIs the orders are coming from’, writes James.

InstantDEX

iDEX1

A preview video of the InstantDEX client alpha is available here.

You can see InstantDEX in realtime (thanks to MyNxt.info) here.

‘InstantDEX core API is feature complete other than automatching hybrid orderbooks’, James writes. ‘Got the asset<->asset trading working and looks good. So now what is left is the most advanced case (hybrid orders), which isn’t even necessary at first and making it automatch and chart signals.

Then I will switch over to network security enhancements while the testers are pounding on it.

So, the ramchains, realtime MGW and InstantDEX should go into maintenance mode for me very soon. Then the security revamp will be squeezed in and that leaves Tradebots and Privatebet. Once I get the raw data parsed properly, I was just going to create a transaction list, along with summary stats for each asset that was traded and a global summary too.’

InstantDEX is getting inputs from the central exchanges, NXT AE and its own orderbook, so from a single display you can see prices from all the places at once.

API level testing of InstantDEX

InstantDEX is progressing nicely – and, more to the point, is working effectively. ‘Trade completes faster than I can switch tabs! The only difference performance-wise from a central exchange is if you don’t have any inventory of something, then you can’t retrade it until you have enough confirms. I will let each node decide what “enough confirms” means. But if you are trading with plenty of inventory and have enough aged assets, then you won’t even notice this.

‘Another nuance is that even though the trade is locked and done (like after hitting Send Money), until there is at least one confirmation, there is always some very small chance that it won’t get confirmed. I am talking about a big blockchain event or some sort of attack scenario. However, even in such unlikely events, all the components of a trade are atomic swaps of NXT <-> asset, so at worst you have a dangling half of the trade, but you didn’t lose any funds. As with any trading, if the market moves against you, well, not much can be done about this

‘So, not quite 100%, but 99.99%+ with the downside being partial fills. Since the performance is fast, the security of not having to worry about any central exchange is well worth this and I hope that people will be able to understand the slight difference. For the cost of one out of many thousands of trades not completely filling, needing to wait a block to be sure it confirmed, and some users requiring N confirms, we get to trade without worrying about the exchange dying. This being said, if you are trading assetized crypto, I still recommend to withdraw after you are done trading, if only so you can be staking. And nothing is as safe as your local wallet.’

Testing help required

James writes, ‘I made an instantdexbeta private group, only for people who will actually test, no spies. The best testers are usually becoming very good coders. This is because a lot of coding is about finding and fixing your own bugs.’

DM James in Slack for access – but only if you have the time to really test it.

InstantDEX Lotto

James writes, ‘My idea is to fund a monthly lotto with this 5% [the unallocated InstantDEX revenues], winner take all (shared between all that tie).

 If total InstantDEX revenues are 20 million NXT, this is a 1 million NXT monthly jackpot, and each 2.5NXT fee you pay to InstantDEX gets you a lotto ticket.’

For those who still don’t understand how the pieces fit together (which is understandable, when there are so many pieces), InstantDEX can be considered ‘the grand central station of SuperNET. It connects everything to everything else and the more popular it becomes, the larger the monthly lotto. The high end of projections have it up to $100,000 per monthly lotto. At NXT blockchain saturation levels, NXT itself will be at least 2x if not 4x. It all combines to help everything else – and not to forget about BTCD, which is getting an InstantDEX revshare.’

Half-anon Cryptocards available

The half-anon VISA cards are now available to order – but not yet officially launched. Coinomat writes: ‘We are waiting for a dozen successful orders and activations to announce it officially.’

Getting your own card is simple, just register on coinomat.com, click the ‘First Swiss Card’ menu link and follow instructions.

Cryptocard is a semi-anonymous way to cash out cryptocurrency to an ATM card. Photo id but no bank details are required, meaning that a resale market can provide a convenient and private way to move funds from crypto to fiat. Cryptocard was originally funded by the BTCD community, and Coinomat will integrate BTCD within 2 weeks, and then start integrating the other SuperNET coins.

VPN BOUNTY

James has organised a 10 million VPN bounty for a new dev to join the team.

‘I would like to offer a bounty to make VPN for non-Windows environment to link up to the VPNcoin Windows VPN. There are several methods possible. One is to have a separate VPN and bridge to the Windows. The other is just to connect directly to the Windows VPN from unix.’

There is a 10 million VPN bounty for a working solution.

BTCD and Nxt

A reminder about BitcoinDark and Nxt’s status as lynchpins of SuperNET, and the financial benefits holders will enjoy:

BTCD

  • 5% revenue share from InstantDEX
  • 5% revenue share from SuperNET
  • 5% staking interest

This week’s BitcoinDark Bulletin: ‘Privacy and Anonymity’.

Nxt

NXT_accepted-5_blue

5% revenue share from SuperNET goes to NXT core development. And InstantDEX fees are paid in NXT, because SuperNET has NxtInside. James writes: ‘At 50 trades per minute it saturates current NXT blockchain (makes NXT earn 10% per year), but NXT devs say they can boost this capacity pretty easily. With average fees of 6 NXT per trade that is 300K NXT per day or 15 million per month. So even at current ATH prices InstantDEX is trading at PS ratio of 5 and PE of 10.’

Nxt is clearly one of the few platforms that’s going to survive long term, making it not only a safe place in which to trade and park your funds but also a hugely prosperous one as well, once (as anticipated) it’s earning 10% per year.

If you are interested in using Nxt, visit the official website: http://nxt.org.
Get the latest Nxt news from http://test.nxter.org or join the movement @ https://nxtforum.org.

payexpo2015

Nxt is going to present the key speech for crypto at this year’s PayExpo 2015. Damelon writes: ‘I want to invite ALL Nxt related businesses to provide us with their promo materials and relevant information! We are not there just as the platform, you also can get your products and services out there! This Payexpo will have a separate part especially dedicated to cryptocurrencies!

http://www.goshowoff.com/ClarionConf/PayExpoFull2015/page.cfm/Link=28/t=m/goSection=4_28

‘We are co-organising this, so if you feel you want to help out with this and have workshop experience or knowledge: let us know! Also, help us raise the last 500,000 Nxt to go here. We already have gathered a significant amount thanks to all of you. Let’s get this last part together. Donation address: NXT-ZGDQ-W9Q3-YFK6-4L8F4.

Read more on the Nxt Forum here or join SuperNET Slack channel #payexpo to learn more.

SuperNET CORE coins

As the name UNITY suggests, SuperNET is not a coin but a cooperation between selected coins. If you’ve been following the SuperNET Newsletters, you will know that all SuperNET CORE coins have been chosen with great care. No copycats, no simple clones, no scamcoins pumped by a huge marketing budget: only truly innovative, useful coins with active developers.

Here they are in a flash: http://test.nxter.org/supernet-core-coins/

BITCOINDARKBITSTARBOOLBERRYCHANCECOIN
FIBRECOINNXT CRYPTOOPALCOINVERICOINVPNCOIN

All SuperNET CORE coins and services are more than welcome to claim a paragraph in the SuperNET Newsletters > DM apenzl to join SuperSlack #unity-news and make sure to get featured.

Any 1.0 crypto coin can enhance their wallet with SuperNET. Write to: info@supernet.org.