Bitcoin wars, miner problems, scaling issues and… ARDOR

It’s been some really quite interesting weeks lately in crypto land.

Scaling hasn’t been much of topic for the last years – and boom – now it’s front and center. Bitcoiners used to clobber anyone who thinks miners having different incentives than currency holders is a problem.

Now it’s suddenly consensus on r/bitcoin. Not only are there repeated threads saying a change of the Proof of Work algorithm might be necessary, I’m actually seeing more and more suggestions to switch to Proof of Stake! I can’t believe my eyes! Just the mere mention of it even half a year ago would have brought you into downvote hell and 500 angry “nothing at stake” chants, before your post got shadow banned. I’m not saying that it’s a majority position by any means, but what a difference!

Crypto alts’ cap goes ^

The changing tides are sweeping a lot of money into the alts. The combined crypto cap is exploding:

While Bitcoin’s share of it is decreasing. The pace is accelerating towards parity. That could be a huge deal with unclear implications (…but don’t dare mention this on r/Bitcoin).

How Ardor fits into the mix

There is a major sea change going on, and props to the Jelurida dev team to see this long ahead: Designing Ardor specifically around scaling capabilities, puts it in a position to take advantage of the situation. Now there is just the question if this can somehow get attention. So far it is always Ethereum that gets used as example for Proof of Stake. Once again, it took the spotlight. It also gobbled up the biggest gains. Ardor seemed to have merely been swept up with the tidal wave that took all alts along.

I don’t know if all that will change to the best of Ardor and NXT. But I’m sure: This ain’t over. And people are still either in denial or stuck in old ways of thinking.

  • The Bitcoin wars will get worse.
    First off, there is AsicBoost, which is worth millions in advantage for parasitic miners. Why would they give that up for anything? Higher market cap doesn’t help their bottom line, they live of higher margins. A fork of some sort either will happen or must at least come close enough that these miners must fear trashing their hardware.
  • Disruption will be huge either way. The user experience will be a disaster. Alts will pick up refugees… but if Bitcoin suffers too much, all crypto will take a hit.
  • The miner problem is, of course, deeper anyways. It’s an incentive problem that will return. Miners, they only care about users and hodlers if it somehow helps their short-term earnings.
  • What also clearly came to light is that the monopoly is even worse than anyone thought: It’s the hardware! That’s all done by basically one manufacturer in one location – with the ability to legally block supply for anyone who doesn’t agree with their plans. Bitmain is abusing this already. That skews not just which miners can join, but also how much existing ones dare to contribute to debates.
  • People still don’t understand the scaling issue. It seems bizarre to me that Ethereum/Monero/Dash are seen as solutions. All these have exponentially worse situations should they ever catch on remotely as much as Bitcoin.
    It’s just that neither Ether or Litecoin are used enough to make clear to everyone that they have the exact problem Bitcoin has – or worse.

So there is Ardor, with an actual solution. My fear is that people might once again overlook it, just like NXT was laughed at when it pioneered what is now the altcoin standard. Maybe it’s premature optimization. But it might be the right unique selling point at just the right time.

One joker card could be the Lightning network or the “sharding” that Buterin promises. Basically, they could change the landscape of the scaling discussion – and make it a non-issue. But it’s just promises so far. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can shed some light one that angle.
Anyways, the potential in the upcoming year is huge – and that’s what speculators are trading on.

This article was first posted in https://nxtforum.org/general-discussion/price-speculation

Nxt news – August 2016 (V): Trustworthy information

NXT NxtCoin 2. generation cryptocurrency news

August 2016 (V)

 

We are in the final rush during this last week of August and these are the main new topics of the week:

Here below are more details about each of these:

 

  • Open ballot to choose the name of Ardor’s first Child Chain

The Nxt community has opened up the process to choose the name of Ardor’s first Child Chain, though there is still over a year before its launch. We are currently in the middle of the voting process in which all Nxters can participate.

The first part of the process allowed users to choose and vote for their 3 favorite names, using the poll tool on nxtforum.org. For a few weeks, the ones with fewer votes were cleared off of the list until only a small group of these names were remaining with a revote after each clearing. After a final bunch on names were chosen by the users registered in the forum, the Nxt Foundation carried out due diligence and they were forced to exclude some of the finalists to avoid future problems.

The second part of the voting process is being carried out at the moment through the Voting System on Nxt platform. The two finalist are IGNIS and ACE. The poll is going to last until around the 4th of September 2016, when block 944,204 is reached. All the Nxt users with a stake of at least 5,000NXT can cast their vote and only one vote per account is allowed. The Nxt Foundation has stated that the result of the election will be binding.

pool

Source: https://nxtforum.org/general-discussion/blockchain-vote-pick-your-choice-for-the-1st-child-chain-for-ardor/

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In our previous weekly news compilation, we mentioned some magazines that had echoed about Megalodon’s campaign to promote the strengthening of the Nxt’s network by offering a series of bounties to those Nxters who run a node. It’s no surprise that other media have put their eyes onto this promotion. Roger Aitken at Forbes magazine remarks that Megalodon (AKA the whale-eating shark) seems to be more interested in the long term success of Nxt rather than short-term financial gain when running this campaign.

VMNH_megalodon

Besides this, Bas Wisselink of the Nxt Foundation, states in this article that Ardor (Nxt 2.0) will provide users, business and governments a truly scalable blockchain that they will able to take advantage of it with no need of an extensive technical background.

Dave Pearce, also of the Nxt Foundation, remarks in the article that some basic concepts about how a Proof-Of-Stake platform works and the differences with other Proof-Of-Work coins (forging vs mining). He also expects Ardor to become the Linux equivalent within the world of cryptocurrency. For example, Android, Mac and various users of the internet users don’t know that the software they are running uses Linux. Maybe one day a lot of people will heavily use Child Chains supported by Ardor without even knowing it.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogeraitken/2016/08/23/crypto-investor-offers-150000-nxt-winner-takes-all-bounty-to-launch-ardor-blockchain/#2988c296a694

Almost simultaneously to Forbes’ article, some other media have noticed Megalodon’s campaign:

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  • Improprieties in an article published at Coindesk

Recently, Coindesk magazine has published an article about the implementation of the Coin-shuffle feature, where Daniel Krawisz stated that Bitcoin is going to become the first cryptocoin to adopt this feature created by Tim Ruffing. The Nxt community has quickly raised their voice and claimed that the information was incorrect as that protocol has been implemented in Nxt since November, 2015.

Damelon: Interesting blind spot you have there, or just bad research. Coinshuffle has been incorporated into Nxt since version 1.7 and was implemented on November 28th 2015. Tim Ruffing himself did the audit of the implementation. Next time, do your homework.

Schermafbeelding-2016-02-04-om-16.16.31-1024x515

You can verify that this feature was implemented a long time ago on Nxt by visiting the following links:

  1. https://nxt.org/what-is-nxt/coin-shuffling/
  2. https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/issues/325/coin-shuffling
  3. http://www.nxtinfo.org/2015/11/30/nxts-upcoming-1-7-release-featuring-coin-shuffling-singleton-assets-account-control-and-an-improved-forging-algorithm/
  4. http://bitcoinist.net/nxt/
  5. https://nxtforum.org/privacy/coin-shuffling/
  6. http://bitcoinprbuzz.com/bitcoin-competitor-nxt-version-1-7-4-goes-live-decentralized-data-storage-coin-mixing-and-more/
  7. https://cointelegraph.com/es/news/what-debate-nxt-votes-unanimously-to-add-coin-mixing-anonymity
  8. https://www.zapchain.com/a/l/nxtorg-nrs-v174-data-cloud-account-control-coinshuffle-assets-dividends-amp-more-meet-real/V91WpbVKKk

It was even mentioned on http://crypsys.mmci.uni-saarland.de/projects/CoinShuffle/, that the shuffling feature was implemented  on  the Nxt blockchain.

Update: Coindesk, after listening all of the voices that pointed out their mistake,  has edited the original article. The coin shuffle implementation may be the first in Bitcoin, but not in the cryptoworld, since Nxt has had that functionally implemented for a long time.

Update 1 – Coindesk edited the Coinshuffle article some days later:

But on 15th August, developer Daniel Krawisz sent what he believes is the first transaction utilizing this tool on Bitcoin. (The transaction type was previously tested on the alternative blockchain platform NXT).
……..
Update 2 –

Coindesk: This article has been updated to specify this the first implementation of CoinShuffle on the Bitcoin network.

……..

Update 3 –

Damelon: I received a mail from Coindesk apologizing and explaining why it happened. Nice gesture.

Not long after the complains of the Nxt community, Daniel Krawisz, the author of the article, was reluctant to eat humble pie and kept asking open-ended questions in his Facebook page regarding obvious things about the shuffling implementation in Nxt. These questions were properly answered by the Nxt community:

Unbenannt3These are the urls linked in the answers above to Daniel:

  1. https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/src/85a30d797ace530ad1a4884a5360810ce57b514c/src/java/nxt/?at=master
  2. https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/issues/325/coin-shuffling
  3. https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/Coin_Shuffling
  4. https://nxtforum.org/core-development-discussion/coin-shuffling-code-review-by-tim-ruffing/msg200411/#msg200411
  5. http://crypsys.mmci.uni-saarland.de/projects/CoinShuffle/

Everything seems to be clarified now. Nxt and its community is, one more time, one step ahead.

Source to the article: http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-privacy-advances-first-coinshuffle-transaction/

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  • Riker writes an easy-peasy tutorial about how to install Java Server JRE in Linux

For a newcomer to Linux, is not always straightforward as to what version of java we have or what repository download  from, which can be a tedious task. Because of this, Riker, one of Nxt Core Devolopers, has written the following short instructions and, as a result, prevented new users form some serious headache.

This procedure was tested with Oracle Java Server JRE 8u102. However, you can easily adapt it for any other version or flavor of Oracle Java by updating the download URL and version numbers based on the Oracle Java SE.

Download site http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/server-jre8-downloads-2133154.html

You don’t need root access and the JRE is installed directly under the user folder.

1. Download:

wget --no-cookies --no-check-certificate --header

"Cookie:gpw_e24=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oracle.com%2F; oraclelicense=accept-securebackup-cookie" http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk/8u102-b14/server-jre-8u102-linux-x64.tar.gz

2. Unzip:

gunzip server-jre-8u102-linux-x64.tar.gz

3. Untar:

tar -xvf server-jre-8u102-linux-x64.tar

4. Run:

./jdk1.8.0_102/jre/bin/java

 

nxt-java-blockchainSource: https://nxtforum.org/general-discussion/install-java-server-jre-on-a-linux-worstation/msg223817/#msg223817

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  • Newbium

Newbium is a marketplace tool developed by the creators of Nxtty that provides real time information about the main cryptomarkets. It’s integrated with Shapeshift and thus allows buying and selling in and easy and efficient way.

Recently, their webpage has published a short analysis about Ardor, where boosted Nxt’s market capitalalization from the previous year, together with the raise in the transaction volume. Two good signs for Nxt and Ardor.

e82707da16258152639

Source:  https://coins.newbium.com/post/396-crypto-market-update-nxt-ardor

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  • New video by Marc de Mesel

In this video, Marc expresses his thoughts about Nxt’s latest news. This time, he doubts that it’s a good time to sell NXT. This goes against the mindset of those expecting to buy NXT later at a lower price after a market correction.  He thinks that this decision is very risky and that the alleged correction may never happen and thus one runs the risk of been left out of a project that has great potential.

Moreover, after 1 and a half months since the beginning of the snapshot process in order to the determine the future give away of ARDR with the current amount of our NXT stake, we should add up the value of the ARDR that we are entitled to receive in our account. All these things, together with the sharp increase in the price of NXT, is making of it a really good investment.

[vsw id=”wMMkws4fzWg” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

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  • Solar forging

Zuqka, a member of the Nxt community, presented his 100% solar powered Nxt node a few weeks ago. Together with some images of the setup of the equipment, Zuqka attached a really interesting  analysis by Matthew Czarnek, where he demonstrated the advantage of Nxt versus all PoW cryptocoins.

This project shows that you don’t need a powerfull workstation to generate (forge) blocks in Nxt (actually you can do it with simple and unexpensive hardware like a Raspberry Pi, Cubietruck, Odroid…), nor do you need to consume a large amount of electricity. Having a large amount of storage space also won’t be necessary because Child Chains transaction records will be prunable. Really interesting project!

20160723_113022

Source and more information:

https://nxtforum.org/nxt-promotion/solar-nxt-forging-rig-and-odroid-c2/msg222443/?topicseen#msg222443

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J8uhdshu9epGRrQHBaloGc4itdvuAHZDAUtNDjOhz-8/edit?usp=drive_web

Some more pictures:

https://goo.gl/photos/6zcWSNNozgRb4s7B7

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  • The local Nxter Twitter accounts in Spanish and French acquire over 100 followers

Our colleague Yassin is doing a great job in making Nxt tweets spread all around the internet. His hard work is one of  the main reasons why the Nxter accounts in French and Spanish language have reached 103 and 101 followers, respectively. Combined with the followers of the English version of  Nxter with 1,099 users, we can say that these are very considerable figures.

Thank you to all our followers!. We really appreciate you being here. We’ll keep working hard to share first-hand and trustworthy information about this exciting platform to the community.

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Lior Yaffe: Advanced Concepts in Blockchain Design

Lior Yaffe explains some design concepts that have made it into NXT and the upcoming Ardor platform, such as: Proof of Stake, Brain Wallets, Forging, Prunable data, The Ardor platform, Smart transactions and hard fork management.

The lecture took place on 27.7.2016, at Campus Tel Aviv.

Slides:
https://bitcoil.co.il/files/Advanced….
http://prezi.com/x8jyard5-h51/

Event page: http://www.meetup.com/bitcoin-il/even…

Nxt [CORE]: The PoS coin

NXT_accepted_gold

Nxt is a versatile, open source cryptocurrency platform. In this Nxt CORE article series we will dive into the main 2.0 features of Nxt. This first article is about NXT, the token itself.

NXT, which launched on Nov 24 2013 as a 2.0 crypto coin, was the first 100% pure proof-of-stake currency.

It is built in Java, distinguishing it from most other coins, which simply tweak one or other parameters of the Bitcoin protocol. Rather than being a simple coin, usable only for basic send/receive transactions, Nxt can be thought of as a complete platform for economic activity.

Creation and distribution

As a proof-of-stake currency, NXT was never mineable. Instead, all 1 billion NXT were created at once, in the first block. No new coins can ever be added (though coins can be destroyed by sending them back to the Genesis block, and if users forget their passphrases their coins will remain permanently locked in their accounts and therefore, in effect, removed from active circulation  – as is the case with Bitcoin).

Nxt was created by BCNext, a long-term member of the Bitcointalk forums under a different name who started the BCNext user account for this project so that he could remain anonymous; he has since handed the project over to the community (in the best tradition of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto). Towards the end of 2013 he advertised for investors for the new platform, receiving a total of 21 bitcoins from 73 backers. Of these, 8 invested the maximum of 1 BTC; the others gave smaller amounts. The 1 billion NXT were distributed proportionally between these investors, with the largest risk-takers receiving in the region of 50 million NXT each. The market cap of NXT rapidly increased from 21 BTC to over $70 million immediately after launch, later fluctuating between $20 and $100 million. The long-term bear market in BTC has returned it to the $20 million range, though NXT has still appreciated in BTC terms and remains largely linked to Bitcoin’s fortunes at the present time.

The initial distribution has attracted much criticism in the year since Nxt’s launch (Nxt celebrated its first birthday on November 24). Many people claim it is unfair – though, as with other such ventures, those who took the risk and invested in the first place get the biggest reward.

It turns out, however, that the supposedly unfair distribution was, in fact, a deliberate move to create a sustainable system. One key advantage is that there are large amounts of NXT available from generous initial stakeholders for further development – something that explains the dizzying pace of innovation and quality of the devs in the Nxt community. Over the last year the number of accounts has grown from 73 to over 85,000. The Monetary System, which will allow new coins to be created on top of the Nxt blockchain by ‘locking’ existing NXT, will also provide a solution to this ‘problem’ of distribution.

Differences from Bitcoin

Nxt has many differences from Bitcoin. For one, as a PoS currency, it does not require wasteful mining to maintain its security. This solves a huge problem with Bitcoin, since the PoW model is extremely wasteful of energy and if the Bitcoin network ever scales enough to be truly useful then it will have serious environmental implications. A client ‘forges’ (rather than mines) to secure the network. Powerful computers are not needed; even a Rasberry Pi can forge NXT. Forgers are rewarded with transaction fees alone.

nxt_solar_powered_node
Legendary Nxt node setup, by davethetrousers. Cubie + solar cell. Greenpeace should be happy.

Nxt’s blockchain is lightweight compared to Bitcoin’s, and transactions are fast. The ideal is for 1-minute block times, which will be achievable in the future as the network grows and with new releases. Current block times average around 110 seconds, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes.

Another significant difference is that Nxt uses a ‘brainwallet’ system. Users need only their passphrase – a long (30+) string of random characters or around a dozen random words to access their accounts. This maps to the Nxt address. Any transaction requires the passphrase. This is unlike most other currencies, which generally use a wallet.dat system (though there are some Nxt wallets, such as the MOFO wallet, that have been adapted to use a wallet.dat). This approach has advantages and disadvantages, but is built into Nxt. One obvious advantage is that you can sign in from anywhere; all necessary information is stored in the blockchain.

Other features include:

  • A cap of 255 transactions per block.
  • New accounts are automatically secured with a 256-bit public key, which makes it perfect for cold storage.
  • Account Leasing allows a user to lease ‘forging’ power to another account for a fixed period of time, without having to send coins anywhere. This allows for the creation of secure forging pools.
  • No new NXT coins will be created.

Nxt has come a long way in its first year, with many new features already included (not least the Asset Exchange and Digital Marketplace). However, new features are still being added to the core, and there is some way to go before all the planned features have been coded and implemented. According to the core developers, there are two reasons for this:

  1. They want to ensure that the platform grows naturally, by releasing the right features at the right time.
  2. Every big new feature requires a hard fork. Releasing only one major feature at a time allows bugs to be easily located and fixed.

https://wiki.nxtcrypto.org/wiki/Whitepaper:Nxt
Sourcecode: https://bitbucket.org/JeanLucPicard/nxt/src

CoinTelegraph interviews: “NXT is to Bitcoin …as Tesla Model S is to a Volkswagen Beetle”

Allen Scott, Cointelegraph, writes:

CoinTelegraph had the chance to catch up with the NXT team. Known for its less resource-intensive mining and 100% proof-of-stake, it is no wonder why NXT recently surpassed the popular Dogecoin by market cap. But exchange rate and speculation aside, the NXT team explains why it is the “next” step in the evolution of cryptocurrencies and why Bitcoin is just the beginning.

CoinTelegraph: Nxt includes an innovative “proof-of-stake” feature which essentially means that coins are not created by “mining.” How then are Nxt coins created and put into circulation?

NXT: All the 1,000,000,000 NXT were available within the Genesis Block (= first block) and got distributed to the initial stakeholders. It was hardcoded into the source code.

Transaction fees are how NXT are re-circulated back into the network. Currently transaction fees are generated by sending NXT, assigning aliases, using the arbitrary messaging feature, issuing, buying or selling the assets. Transaction fees are currently set at a minimum of 1 NXT per payment. As NXT price increases, the minimum fee is planned to be reduced to continue to allow micro-transactions to be practical. The total fee reached 1,112,084 NXT after 6 months. 4,697,286,927 NXT were already transferred (= 4.7 x total supply of NXT).

CT: Being considered a second-gen cryptocurrency, do you see Nxt making Bitcoin obsolete or can both have their specific uses and co-exist? 

NXT: Andreas M. Antonopoulos often says: there will be millions of cryptos and they will happily co-exist. David Johnson [Mastercoin] also shares this opinion; there will always be a space for more players, since each crypto aims for specific users. Nxt is to Bitcoin …

Read the rest of this interview on:
http://cointelegraph.com/news/nxt_is_to_bitcoin_as_tesla_model_s_is_to_a_volkswagen_beetle_nxt_interview