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Here is how to play the altcoin game - for newbies & champs

I have been here for many previous altcoin seasons (2013,2017 etc) and wanted to share knowedle. It's a LOOONG article.
The evaluation of altcoins (i.e not Bitcoin) is one of the most difficult and profitable exercises. Here I will outline my methodology and thinking but we have to take some things as a given. The first is that the whole market is going up or down with forces that we can't predict or control. Bitcoin is correlated with economic environments, money supply increases, safe havens such as Gold, hype and country regulations. This is an impossible mix to analyze and almost everyone fails at it. That's why you see people valuing Bitcoin from $100 to $500k frequently. Although I am bullish on the prospects of Bitcoin and decentralization and smart contract platforms, this is not the game I will be describing. I am talking about a game where you try to maximize your BTC holdings by investing in altcoins. We win this game even if we are at a loss in fiat currency value. To put it another way:
If you are not bullish in general on cryptocurrencies you have no place in investing or trading cryptocurrencies since it's always a losing proposition to trade in bubbles, a scientifically proven fact. If on the other hand you are then your goal is to grow your portfolio more than you would if holding BTC/ETH for example.

Bitcoin is the big boy

How the market works is not easily identifiable if you haven't graduated from the 2017 crypto university. When there is a bull market everything seems amazingly profitable and things keep going up outgrowing Bitcoin by orders of magnitude and you are a genius. The problem with this is that it only works while Bitcoin is going up a little bit or trades sideways. When it decides to move big then altcoins lose value both on the way up and on the way down. The second part is obvious and proven since all altcoins from 2017 are at a fraction of their BTC value (usually in the range of 80% or more down). Also, when BTC is making a big move upwards everyone exits altcoins to ride the wave. It is possible that the altcoin market behaves as an inversed leveraged ETF with leakage where in a certain period while Bitcoin starts at 10k and ends at 10k for example, altcoins have lost a lot of value because of the above things happening.

We are doing it anyway champ!

OK so we understand the risks and just wanna gambol with our money right? I get it. Why do that? Because finding the ideal scenario and period can be extremely profitable. In 2017 several altcoins went up 40x more than BTC. But again, if you don't chose wisely many of them have gone back to zero (the author has first hand experience in this!), they have been delisted and nobody remembers them. The actual mentality to have is very important and resembles poker and other speculative games:
A certain altcoin can go up in value indefinitely but can only lose it's starting investment. Think about it. You either lose 1 metric or gain many many more. Now that sounds amazing but firstly as we said we have the goal to outperform our benchmark (BTC) and secondly that going up in value a lot means that the probability is quite low. There is this notion of Expected Value (EV) that poker players apply in these kind of situations and it goes like that. If you think that a certain coin has a probability let's say 10% to go up 10X and 90% probability it goes to zero it's an even bet. If you think that probability is 11% then it's a good bet, a profitable bet and you should take it. You get the point right? It's not that it can only go 10X or 0X, there is a whole range of probability outcomes that are too mathematical to explain here and it doesn't help so much because nobody can do such analysis with altcoins. See below on how we can approximate it.

How to evaluate altcoins

A range of different things to take into account outlined below will form our decision making. Not a single one of them should dictate 100% of our strategy.

Basics

It's all about market cap. Repeat after me. The price of a coin doesn't mean anything. Say it 10 times until you believe it. I can't remember how many times I had conversations with people that were comparing coins using their coin price instead of their market cap. To make this easy to get.
If I decide because the sky is blue to make my coin supply 100 Trillion FoolCoins with a price of $0.001 and there is another WiseCoin with a supply of 100 Million and price of $1 then FoolCoins are more expensive. - Alex Fin's Cap Law

Fundamental analysis

This is done usually in the stock world and it means that each company has some fundamental value that includes it's assets, customers, growth prospects, sector prospects and leadership competence but mostly centered in financial measures such as P/E ratios etc. Valuation is a proper economic discipline by itself taught in universities. OK, now throw everything out of the window!.
This kind of analysis is impossible in vague concepts and innovations that are currently cryptocurrencies. Ethereum was frequently priced at the fictional price of gas when all financial systems on earth run on the platform after decades (a bit of exaggeration here). No project is currently profitable enough to justify a valuation multiple that is usually equal to P/E in the thousands or more. As such we need to take other things into account. What I do is included in the list below:

Relative valuation

One of my favorite ways to value altcoins that is based on the same principle in the stock market is to look at peers and decide what is the maximum cap it can grow to. As an example you take a second layer Ethereum solution that has an ICO and you want to decide if you will enter or not. You can take a look at other coins that are in the same business and compare their market caps. Thinking that your coin will outperform by a lot the top coins currently is overly optimistic so I usually take a lower valuation as a target price. If the initial offering is directly implying a valuation that is more than that then there is no room to grow according to my analysis and I skip it. Many times this has proven me wrong because it's a game theory problem where if many people think irrationally in a market it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But since there is opportunity cost involved, in the long run, getting in initial offerings that have a lot of room to grow will pay off as a strategy.

Sector prospects

In 2017 the sexiest sector was platforms and then coins including privacy ones. Platforms are obviously still a highly rated sector because everything is being built on them, but privacy is not as hot as it used to be. In 2018 DEXes were all they hype but still people are massively using centralized exchanges. In 2020 Defi is the hottest sector and it includes platforms, oracles and Defi projects. What I am saying is that a project gets extra points if it's a Defi one in 2020 and minus points if it's a payment system that will conquer the world as it was in 2017 because that's old news. This is closely related to the next section.

Hype

Needless to say that the crypto market is a worse FOMO type of inexperienced trigger happy yolo investors , much worse than the Robinhood crowd that drove a bankrupt company's stock 1200% after they declared bankruptcy. The result is that there are numerous projects that are basically either vaporware or just so overhyped that their valuation has no connection to reality. Should we avoid those kind of projects? No and I will explain why. There are many very good technically projects that had zero hype potential due to incompetent marketing departments that made them tank. An example (without shilling because I sold out a while back) is Quantum Resistant Ledger. This project has amazing quantum resistant blockchain, the only one running now, has a platform that people can build tokens and messaging systems and other magnificent stuff. Just check how they fared up to now and you will get the point. A project *needs* to have a hype factor because you cannot judge it as normal stocks that you can do value investing like Warren Buffet does where a company will inevitable post sales and profitability numbers and investors will get dividends. Actually the last sentence is the most important: No dividends. Even projects that give you tokens or coins as dividends are not real dividends because if the coin tanks the value of the dividend tanks. This is NOT the case with company stocks where you get dollars even if the company stock tanks. All that being said, I would advice against betting on projects that have a lot of hype but little substance (but that should be obvious!).

How to construct your portfolio

My strategy and philosophy in investing is that risk should be proportional to investment capital. That means that if you are investing 100K in the crypto market your portfolio should be very different than someone investing 1K because 10% annual gains are nothing in the latter while they are very significant in the former. Starting from this principle each individual needs to construct a portfolio according to how much risk he wants to take. I will emphasize two important concepts that play well with what I said. In the first instance of a big portfolio you should concentrate on this mantra: "Diversification is the only free meal in finance". In the case of a small portfolio then this mantra is more important: "Concentrate to create wealth, diversify to maintain wealth". Usually in a big portfolio you would want to hold some big coins such as BTC and ETH to weather the ups and downs explained in previous paragraphs while generating profits and keep progressively smaller parts of your portfolio for riskier investments. Maybe 50% of this portfolio could be big caps and 10% very risky initial offerings. Adapting risk progressively to smaller portfolios makes sense but I think it would be irrational to keep more than 30% of a portfolio no matter what tied to one coin due to the very high risk of bankruptcy.

Conclusion

The altseason is supposedly coming every 3 months. Truth is that nobody can predict it but altcoins can be profitable no matter what. Forget about maximalists who are stuck in their dogmas. Altcoins deliver different value propositions and it makes sense because we are very far from a situation where some project offers everything like Amazon and we wouldn't even want that in the first place since we are talking about decentralization and not a winner takes all and becomes a monster kind of scenario! Some last minute advice:
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

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

Crypto 2018 Including Picks for Top Gains

Background: I am a crypto enthusiast who has spent at least 5 hours/day for the last 6 months reading crypto whitepapers, 'expert' analysis, twitter leader sentiment, technical trader analysis, and reddit forums ;)
I believe 2018 will be a good year for crypto, although nothing compared to the 33X the crypto market grew in 2017.
Overall market prediction: The overall market will grow another 4X, bringing the market cap to 2.2 trillion US dollars. Although bitcoin will remain the leader, the altcoins will gain a substantial percentage of the market. At the end of 2018, BTC will hold 31% market share.
Bitcoin Vs. Bitcoin Cash: Although this could go either way, I believe Bitcoin Cash will continue to gain on Bitcoin until an event in the middle of the year that will send either Bitcoin skyrocketing, or bitcoin cash plummeting. This event will either be Bitcoin dramatically decreasing its cost and time to send or bitcoin cash failing at attaining its vision.
Top Picks for 2018:
  1. Ethereum (+1200%) - An almost guaranteed to see huge returns, as more and more ICOs are taking place on the Ethereum platform. Ethereum will continue to be a safe pick to grow in 2018 and beyond.
  2. NEO (+900%) - China will play a huge part in 2018 crypto and NEO is looking to be the lead dog in China. Keep an eye on VeChain as well.
  3. Request Network (+850%) - Lesser know REQ is vastly undervalued as it brings tremendous potential as a currency exchange platform.
  4. Ripple (+750%) - Garnishing a lot of hype these days, Ripple will get listed on Coinbase in the first quarter of 2018 and will continue to crush it. The vision of bridging crypto and Fiat banks will make XRP a player for years to come.
  5. MaidSafeCoin (+700%) MAID will get on a couple new exchanges such as Binance in early 2018 and will have a large boost that will carry through the end of the year. This solid coin has been a second thought as of late but will surge back into the mainstream.
  6. LiteCoin (+600%) - Litecoin has a tremendous dev team, a powerful backing, and the makings of a long-term phenomenal coin. LTC will narrow the gap between it and Bitcoin while continuing to garnish a top 5 market cap.
Bonus. 0X (+400-1200%) - Decentralized exchanges will emerge as a theme in 2018 and ZRX will control the top spot. This coin has the potential to be a steady gainer, or shoot to the moon if adopted by the masses.
What are your thoughts?
submitted by ChodeMcGee to CryptoCurrencyTrading [link] [comments]

I created an Arbitrage Platform with built in alert system

My platform checks the most popular crypto exchanges every 60 seconds to see if prices start spreading between exchanges. Unlike your average arbitrage software... we use no bots and strictly deal in cross-exchange arbitrage. The on-exchange arbitrage market is over-saturated and controlled by bots. There are a few that do this but our system detects them much faster due to how we use monitor Bid/Ask prices.

📈 How our arbitrage software works?

We have a platform that displays arbitrage opportunities but we also have an alert system that notifies users of arbitrage opps and price pumps as they occur. The alert system is the key feature because it provides the best opportunity for you to make money arbitraging by detecting price spreads and breakouts as they occur. It's also designed for more aggressive traders looking to make anywhere from 5% to 150% in a single trade which we know is possible when breakouts occur. In a lot of cases it is not even necessary to transfer to the other exchange for you to make a nice profit because arbitrage opps in themselves detect breakouts. Therefore the key is catching them via alerts.

🤔 What can you do with our platform:

✔️ monitor 800+ coins for price spreads between the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges
✔️ get alerted to arbitrage opps and breakouts as they occur (we designed our system to detect much faster by using a unique formula)
✔️ we check to see if wallets are reported to be under maintenance (not perfect but can detect what's been reported)
✔️ users can customize alerts by exchanges as well as % of arbitrage opportunity.
✔️ view and analyze historical arbitrage charts for Bitcoin and altcoins
The software is very simple to use and requires no training, no downloads and so far I have gotten good feedback... every now and then someone needs support and I usually ask them how it's working for them.

🐋 Now I will address the misconception that one whale can eat up all the volume for himself using an arbitrage opportunity that happened a few months ago

I have personally successfully traded thousands with my own tool but I was also actively researching a few arbitrage opportunities just to understand arbitrage opportunities a bit better so I happen to be online as I received an alert at 6.888% for ADX BTC which was pumped up over 65%. It was trading for $1.19 on Bittrex and $1.47 on Binance which is around a 25% or more price spread between the exchanges. The 24 hour volume on ADX BTC on Binance alone was over $51 million dollars most of which was traded during the arbitrage opportunity. That is a ton of volume for literally thousands of people to make a profit from by swapping these coins between exchanges. I usually trade around 20k to 40k at a time which is plenty enough for me during these occurrences and I have no trouble getting my orders filled in minutes while transferring and selling on the other exchange. So do not buy into the idea that it one whale can eat up all the volume... They are usually the ones creating the volume to push it up if anything they help.
While it is still competition to get your orders filled faster and moved faster, there is still plenty of room for many to profit from this strategy. It is the on-exchange arbitrage market that is over-saturated. If anyone is willing to learn more about why arbitrage opportunities occur they can view this article on medium I wrote. https://medium.com/@chasarcaulon/why-arbitrage-spreads-occur-in-cryptocurrency-and-how-to-trade-them-like-a-pro-51869422c5d5

For few days I am offering a 2 week Free Trial - because this is a tool it is eligible for a tax write-off for most countries under certain circumstances

For anyone interested in trying ... http://arbiswap.com. 2 weeks is plenty of time to analyze and see how the alerts can work for you. Use it to detect price pumps early and also for arbitrage if you catch a really good spread between exchanges. Also make sure to customize alerts based on the exchanges you trade so you dont get alerted to opps on exchanges you dont trade on.
Closing: I know I'm just a guy on the internet but I would not offer anything I didn't believe in or use myself. Good spirit guy here. This is best used as casual trading tool meaning do not think you have to trade every alert. I suggest watching the first few. Usually if they are above 8% they have potential to breakout into double or triple digit gains. Pay attention to volume.
submitted by wealthjustin to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Subreddit Stats: Bitcoin top posts from 2018-04-16 to 2018-05-16 07:24 PDT

Period: 29.86 days
Submissions Comments
Total 1000 60667
Rate (per day) 33.49 2014.59
Unique Redditors 728 13668
Combined Score 403062 287813

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 23089 points, 2 submissions: jrs0080
    1. Whoever put this up deserves a medal (22960 points, 320 comments)
    2. It’s Official... 13th December is The Best Day to Own Bitcoin!!!! (129 points, 30 comments)
  2. 22608 points, 10 submissions: bitchari
    1. Value is always in the eyes of the beholder (10970 points, 554 comments)
    2. We did it!! BTC ✌️ (4328 points, 346 comments)
    3. Uncomfortable truths!! (3222 points, 471 comments)
    4. "rat poison" returns!! (1547 points, 239 comments)
    5. Really!! (806 points, 127 comments)
    6. A picture is worth a thousand words! Found this on Twitter (805 points, 88 comments)
    7. German Bank Allows Users To Transfer Loans Anywhere In The World Using Bitcoin "see no bank, hear no bank, speak no bank" is their motto (392 points, 30 comments)
    8. “We need to take a moment and respect this generation’s interest in this new instrument (bitcoin),” CFTC Chairman. https://www.ccn.com/we-need-to-respect-this-generations-interest-in-bitcoin-cftc-chairman/ (328 points, 28 comments)
    9. You may define what Bitcoin is to yourself. You may not define what Bitcoin is to others without their consent. https://t.co/6vVRhoVTZm (113 points, 18 comments)
    10. Bill Gates doesn't like bitcoin. Really?!! He did not believe in the internet either! (97 points, 47 comments)
  3. 14875 points, 2 submissions: ltc-
    1. What a time to be alive! (14748 points, 470 comments)
    2. I modified a thing. (127 points, 22 comments)
  4. 10913 points, 1 submission: InteractiveLedger
    1. This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility (10913 points, 1557 comments)
  5. 10876 points, 1 submission: PineappleFund
    1. Farewell from the Pineapple Fund (10876 points, 611 comments)
  6. 10387 points, 1 submission: EMC2_trooper
    1. I see it every day. (10387 points, 296 comments)
  7. 9081 points, 1 submission: normcrypto
    1. You knew this was coming... one of my faves last year (9081 points, 128 comments)
  8. 8749 points, 4 submissions: StoneHammers
    1. exceedingly efficient (7945 points, 207 comments)
    2. As I was saying (423 points, 20 comments)
    3. Too Damn High (194 points, 56 comments)
    4. Dear Bitcoin ATM makers please disclose your fees in clear understandable language prominently on the face of your machines. (187 points, 53 comments)
  9. 7663 points, 1 submission: joe4c
    1. Sir this seat is reserved for people with disabilities... (7663 points, 526 comments)
  10. 6865 points, 1 submission: Dark_Dantex
    1. It’s over 9000!!!!!! (6865 points, 429 comments)
  11. 6741 points, 1 submission: Weaselbrott
    1. Everyone on Bitcoin right now waiting to press "submit" on their well-crafted 10K memes (6741 points, 134 comments)
  12. 6553 points, 1 submission: chickenmalaitikka
    1. Rekt (6553 points, 85 comments)
  13. 5352 points, 1 submission: LouisOfTokyo
    1. I took a trip with some friends to a sleepy rural town in Japan, hours outside of Tokyo. We entered a cafe and were surprised to see that they accepted bitcoin. Here is my friend buying a chocolate cake. (5352 points, 303 comments)
  14. 5340 points, 3 submissions: Pascalboyart
    1. Thanks a lot for your bitcoin donations on my street art piece in Paris, already 130$ received 🙏🙏🙏 (3909 points, 178 comments)
    2. Street art piece in Paris with a QR code for bitcoin donations (728 points, 63 comments)
    3. We did it ! Thanks to all the redditors, it came most from you guys 👏🙏🙏🙏 (703 points, 71 comments)
  15. 5118 points, 2 submissions: TipToeTiger
    1. Crypto Rider - A free game I made about racing on Bitcoin and other crypto's historical price graphs! (more info in comments) (5052 points, 309 comments)
    2. Thank You message to bitcoin from Crypto Rider team! (Message in comments) (66 points, 12 comments)
  16. 5021 points, 1 submission: UniqueUsername642
    1. This is Cryptocurrency (5021 points, 372 comments)
  17. 4820 points, 2 submissions: tinaclark90
    1. I've made some free Bitcoin Icons (4731 points, 246 comments)
    2. Very Soon in Vegas (89 points, 15 comments)
  18. 4558 points, 2 submissions: boobooyoudo
    1. Amazon filed a patent to de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions and sell the data to law enforcement (4501 points, 711 comments)
    2. Near Field Technology could help bring lightning Bitcoin payments to retail. (57 points, 7 comments)
  19. 4222 points, 1 submission: sparty_postgrad
    1. The answer on Jeopardy today! (4222 points, 174 comments)
  20. 4209 points, 2 submissions: installeris
    1. 17000000 Bitcoins Have Been Mined! 4 millions to go! Happy anniversary day! (3735 points, 271 comments)
    2. The Irony (474 points, 37 comments)
  21. 3850 points, 1 submission: SingularityNerd
    1. Hilarious satire protest outside Consensus, the website says Genesis Mining put it on. #bankersagainstbitcoin (3850 points, 183 comments)
  22. 3673 points, 1 submission: sebastianstan21
    1. Current scenario (3673 points, 130 comments)
  23. 3632 points, 1 submission: awice
    1. WOW, this just happened on Jeopardy! last night. (3632 points, 363 comments)
  24. 3630 points, 1 submission: -All-Day-
    1. Ayy lmao (3630 points, 60 comments)
  25. 3617 points, 1 submission: JJKirsch
    1. Fake or Fork (3617 points, 354 comments)
  26. 3435 points, 2 submissions: tedand
    1. CoinMarketCap should remove Bitcoin dot com website from Bitcoin's page (3135 points, 200 comments)
    2. Bitcoin.com is first result in Google for "buy Bitcoin", selling "Bitcoin Cash" instead (300 points, 168 comments)
  27. 3429 points, 1 submission: universaleric
    1. Sh..should we get the "it's over 9000" memes ready? (3429 points, 204 comments)
  28. 3404 points, 1 submission: eragmus
    1. Erik Voorhees: “Roger - please stop referencing me to back up your opinion that Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin. It isn't. Bitcoin is the chain originating from the genesis block with the highest accumulated proof of work. The Bitcoin Cash fork failed to gain majority, thus it is not Bitcoin.” (3404 points, 402 comments)
  29. 3354 points, 7 submissions: ayanamirs
    1. Satoshi Nakamoto about bitcoin.com (2332 points, 327 comments)
    2. Roger Ver is a well-known scammer. (451 points, 129 comments)
    3. Coinbase has become an unreliable and even dangerous service, subject to arbitrary, non-transparent actions as it merged with the US banking sector and started to provide information on its customers to the US government. It has become everything that Bitcoin was designed to stop - @Wikileaks (313 points, 145 comments)
    4. Electrum 3.1.3 release! (96 points, 24 comments)
    5. I'm so glad bitcoin don't have a central man on the top. (71 points, 23 comments)
    6. Fees are low, use this opportunity to Consolidate your small inputs! (58 points, 7 comments)
    7. The segwit adoption doesn't increase anymore. We need to do something. (33 points, 33 comments)
  30. 2819 points, 4 submissions: Mikeross14
    1. Cracks me up everytime (2161 points, 70 comments)
    2. Baby Saver offers to buy this sub (270 points, 270 comments)
    3. Marvel referencing cryptocurrency in one of its latest comics! (261 points, 21 comments)
    4. You want to help Bitcoin but can't code? Do a simple thing then, call out all the scammers and call out everyone who supports these scammers. Make Crypto free from these scums. Simple. (127 points, 37 comments)
  31. 2795 points, 4 submissions: Fly115
    1. Bitcoin.com has fixed it's webpage after lawsuit (1642 points, 572 comments)
    2. Microsoft + Bitcoin Lightning Network. Decentralized Identity proof of concept to be shown off at Consensus 2018. Seems big (721 points, 104 comments)
    3. A major announcement at #consensus2018 that did not seem to get a lot of airtime @LedgerHQ announcing an institutional custody solution in partnership with @Nomura and @GABIjersey. Addresses a major issue for institutional investors (242 points, 16 comments)
    4. Segwit Adoption - Steady growth to 35% (190 points, 70 comments)
  32. 2590 points, 1 submission: dustincrypto
    1. Bitcoin going mainstream in Las Vegas (2590 points, 109 comments)
  33. 2567 points, 3 submissions: edlund10
    1. Nick Szabo retweeted: "⚠️ If you are new to #bitcoin then please be aware that bitcoin .com is a fraudulent website. ⚠️ This website is run by Roger Ver who is a known serial scammer. ⚠️ The current main scam is the promotion of #bcash which is a fake version of bitcoin." (1906 points, 302 comments)
    2. Exactly 5 years ago Wired wrote "The world’s most popular digital currency really is nothing more than an abstraction. So we’re destroying the private key used by our Bitcon wallet." The loss is currently worth $124,453.58 (568 points, 134 comments)
    3. Warren Buffet vs. Bitcoin, 5 years chart, logarithmic scale (93 points, 52 comments)
  34. 2556 points, 1 submission: SchnitzelBoss
    1. Coinmarket cap removed Bitcoin.com from Bitcoin's website list. (2556 points, 159 comments)
  35. 2549 points, 1 submission: bajanboost
    1. CEO of Binance actually gives a f***. This is the exact moment he was introduced to the Bermuda Shorts by the Bermuda Development Agency; A formal dress code in the country (2549 points, 125 comments)
  36. 2518 points, 2 submissions: Bitcoin_21
    1. WikiPedia's Bitcoin page removed the Bitcoin dot com explorer, because it misleads its users. (2083 points, 153 comments)
    2. Please report the bitcoin ,com wallet to the iOS app store for fraud. (435 points, 122 comments)
  37. 2403 points, 1 submission: TomasEddison
    1. Guy on CNBC says $100USD bill is used for far more illicit activity than bitcoin. (2403 points, 183 comments)
  38. 2316 points, 7 submissions: Suberg
    1. 600+ Bitcoin Users Seek Lawsuit Against Bitcoin.com & CEO Roger Ver for Fraud (1094 points, 298 comments)
    2. Bitcoin Lightning Network Matures With Record 2000 Nodes, $150K Capacity, 7000 active channels (500 points, 172 comments)
    3. Bitcoin.com Fraud Lawsuit Group Gaining Steam With Over 1000 Members (322 points, 184 comments)
    4. Tom Lee: Bitcoin Price Increase Coming After Consensus Conference (155 points, 46 comments)
    5. Russia's 'CIA' Memo Admits Telegram Was Blocked Because Crypto Is 'Uncontrollable' (151 points, 13 comments)
    6. Bitcoin Price Historically Surges With Consensus Conference, Data Shows (47 points, 26 comments)
    7. IMF's Lagarde: Bitcoin 'Could Have a Significant Impact on How We Save' (47 points, 11 comments)
  39. 2274 points, 9 submissions: TheGreatMuffin
    1. The CEO of Binance, a company with $200M yearly revenue, at a press conference (810 points, 103 comments)
    2. Goldman Sachs to Open a Bitcoin Trading Operation - NYTimes (498 points, 54 comments)
    3. Kraken's response to the NYAG enquiry (413 points, 117 comments)
    4. Jameson Lopp: "Today I've learned that a lot of data sources are incorrectly reporting the total bitcoin supply. We haven't actually hit 17M BTC yet; you can follow along in realtime at [link]" (141 points, 23 comments)
    5. Bitcoin was the 9th most viewed Wikipedia article in 2017, coming in just behind the entry for the United States. (h/t @lopp) (120 points, 18 comments)
    6. Samourai and goTenna Enable Bitcoin Transactions Without Internet Access (100 points, 16 comments)
    7. A German online bank uses Bitcoins to transfer loans (93 points, 35 comments)
    8. Huawei Is About to Give Chinese Users Easier Access to Bitcoin (62 points, 14 comments)
    9. Bitcoin Threat Model - extensive security review of possible threats to bitcoin as cryptocurrency (by JW Weatherman) (37 points, 11 comments)
  40. 2225 points, 1 submission: awesomedan77
    1. WARNING: HitBTC stole 5Btc deposit, even after I provided everything they asked for 2+ months! (2225 points, 486 comments)
  41. 2170 points, 1 submission: ronnnumber
    1. 45% of investors... (2170 points, 227 comments)
  42. 2041 points, 1 submission: YnotHaTony
    1. Truth about Bitcoin mining (2041 points, 136 comments)
  43. 2017 points, 9 submissions: Miladran
    1. Nasdaq is open to becoming cryptocurrency exchange, CEO says (966 points, 104 comments)
    2. BREAKING: Coinbase Just Bought One of Bitcoin's Biggest Startups (278 points, 103 comments)
    3. Bitcoin buy orders are >90% of the market for the first time since March 2017 (176 points, 28 comments)
    4. Telegram CEO Is Using Bitcoin to Help Bypass Russia's App Ban (173 points, 11 comments)
    5. Sell gold, buy bitcoin? The ultimate global safe haven debate has begun (128 points, 56 comments)
    6. Lambos are coming (117 points, 53 comments)
    7. Bitcoin gets boost from IMF head (71 points, 7 comments)
    8. Is PayPal driving people towards Bitcoin? (60 points, 83 comments)
    9. NASDAQ-Powered Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform to Launch in June (48 points, 9 comments)
  44. 1997 points, 1 submission: trainrekt23
    1. Found this today on the campus of my uni (1997 points, 225 comments)
  45. 1991 points, 1 submission: kynek99
    1. Here is the bitcoin.com owner who created Bitcoin Cash to scam people and show real Bitcoiners a middle finger. (1991 points, 408 comments)
  46. 1847 points, 1 submission: sha256art
    1. Fasten your seat belts (1847 points, 107 comments)
  47. 1822 points, 1 submission: 127fascination
    1. Australia Bans Cash For All Purchases Over $10,000 Starting July Of 2019 (1822 points, 531 comments)
  48. 1788 points, 5 submissions: coinmoon_com
    1. ‘Bitcoin’ was the 9th most read article on Wikipedia in 2017. Lets make it number 1 this year. Spread the word! (632 points, 35 comments)
    2. Bitcoin has worked non stop for 9 years. Without any days off, scheduled maintenance or severe issues. Let that sink in for a minute. (599 points, 226 comments)
    3. FORBES: Gold used to be money, and it was great money for its times. But Bitcoin's now the new flight capital. (286 points, 37 comments)
    4. 15 Claims Against Lightning, Answered (164 points, 12 comments)
    5. Bitcoin could replace cash in 10 years - Business Insider (107 points, 59 comments)
  49. 1694 points, 1 submission: BitMarKas
    1. New Ledger features! (1694 points, 42 comments)
  50. 1635 points, 6 submissions: _smudger_
    1. Today the 17th Million bitcoin will be mined (1070 points, 130 comments)
    2. Bitcoin to hit $50,000 by year-end, says BitMex CEO (158 points, 92 comments)
    3. Lightning + NFC? The New Plan to Bring Bitcoin to Retail (152 points, 45 comments)
    4. Vaultoro Becomes The First Exchange To Implement Bitcoin Lightning Network Payments (116 points, 6 comments)
    5. How to build your own portable plug-in Lightning node! (95 points, 5 comments)
    6. Bitcoin’s Recent Institutional Demand Is Unprecedented, Says Futures Market CEO (44 points, 6 comments)
  51. 1581 points, 1 submission: CoolStoryBroLol
    1. Bitcoin accepted at my dentist's office (1581 points, 210 comments)
  52. 1524 points, 1 submission: paintedfrog
    1. Found a helpful infographic. Could be handy to respond with this when people forget what Bitcoin is called... (1524 points, 294 comments)
  53. 1504 points, 1 submission: NikolaosKost
    1. Lawsuit from over 600 Bitcoin Users against Bitcoin.com and CEO Roger Ver (1504 points, 338 comments)
  54. 1497 points, 1 submission: 3hrdrive
    1. In Australia there is currently an investigation into banks and their practices, and the results are frightening (1497 points, 124 comments)
  55. 1423 points, 4 submissions: chek2fire
    1. Everyone must report this Bitcoin mobile wallet asap.Is a fraud (554 points, 174 comments)
    2. Roger Ver and Bitcoin.com do a social attacks to Bitcoin (506 points, 313 comments)
    3. Blockchain.info. 8 months and still no segwit support. They are more lazy than sub-saharan public sector (288 points, 58 comments)
    4. They said: "Segwit is not a scaling solution".... (75 points, 59 comments)
  56. 1420 points, 10 submissions: DesignerAccount
    1. Witness the future: Paying for coffee with LN in real life - Brisbane Airport (377 points, 144 comments)
    2. Bitcoin transaction fees in sat/b have not been so low since 2011!!! (173 points, 65 comments)
    3. PSA: Stop spelling the Bitcoin fraudulent site correctly - It only helps them as search engines pick it up. Use: bitcoin,com | bitcoin .com | bitcoin (.) com | bitcoindotcom | ... (153 points, 52 comments)
    4. "The bitlicense is a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth." --- Kraken CEO: Exchange Won't Answer New York AG's Inquiry (141 points, 11 comments)
    5. Ready for work. (140 points, 69 comments)
    6. World Debt Hits Record $164 Trillion <-- That's WHY bitcoin. (133 points, 121 comments)
    7. Goldman Hires Head Cryptocurrency Trader (99 points, 4 comments)
    8. Chilean Anti-Monopoly Court Orders Banks To Re-Open Crypto Exchange’s Accounts (71 points, 3 comments)
    9. Hilarious: Lighting TESTNET app renamed Bitcoin Cash TESTNET!! (68 points, 23 comments)
    10. UNICEF Is Mining Crypto to Raise Funds for Children (65 points, 6 comments)
  57. 1381 points, 1 submission: girlpearl
    1. At the Gramatik show last night in Boston (1381 points, 63 comments)
  58. 1358 points, 3 submissions: zappadoing
    1. someone put a BTC-symbol on to the swiss federal bank! (1212 points, 84 comments)
    2. Bitcoin boosted as IMF boss Christine Lagarde praises cryptocurrency and suggests it could transform the way people save and invest (101 points, 8 comments)
    3. The Zurich bakery where you can't pay with cash (but bitcoins are fine) (45 points, 9 comments)
  59. 1337 points, 8 submissions: frankreddit5
    1. My daughter just informed me that someone told her "#Bitcoin is a worthless scheme" & that the US dollar has, quote, "one 'brick' of gold in a vault for every dollar there is."..There's so many things wrong with both of these statements that all I can do is sit here and facepalm (582 points, 184 comments)
    2. Here's my Bitcoin Starry Night art on Canvas! (250 points, 26 comments)
    3. I think it turned out sick! (whitepaper on metal) (122 points, 22 comments)
    4. It's funny to me when people say that #Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme or a bubble. The real ponzi scheme is the money system created by the Federal Reserve. And that's the real bubble, too. It's time for monetary reform; it's time for people to take back what is theirs. #BuyBitcoin (118 points, 39 comments)
    5. Argentina raises interest rates to 40% (80 points, 52 comments)
    6. my Satoshi Whitepaper art on 3/4" thick birch wood, treated with a high-gloss coating. (73 points, 16 comments)
    7. my Bitcoin Phoenix artwork (on metal) (70 points, 12 comments)
    8. my Bitcoin Astronaut art presented on a metal panel. It looks almost like an LCD TV in person! Image in comments. (42 points, 9 comments)
  60. 1200 points, 4 submissions: hodlerenfin
    1. Starting tomorrow Monday April 23, 2018 I will ask everywhere I spend my fiat, if they take Bitcoin even if I know they don’t. (609 points, 234 comments)
    2. Sad day today will be the last day we’ll see bitcoin below 9k.🙃 (275 points, 170 comments)
    3. Charlie Shrem on Twitter (162 points, 56 comments)
    4. I think at least everyday, wherever we spend fiat we should ask if they take Bitcoin. Even if we know they don’t. (154 points, 60 comments)
  61. 1196 points, 5 submissions: LegendsRoom
    1. Bitcoin dethroning Gold as a store of value. (349 points, 116 comments)
    2. Remember! with Banks, "only deposit what you can afford to lose!" (287 points, 121 comments)
    3. Remember! with Banks, "only deposit what you can afford to lose!" (287 points, 130 comments)
    4. Banking panic and chaos in UK, as customers locked out of accounts for 5 days running.. (155 points, 44 comments)
    5. UK Bank crippled, as customers panic, accounts emptied. (118 points, 41 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. TheBoyChris (2416 points, 4 comments)
  2. HODLTID (1954 points, 6 comments)
  3. Marcion_Sinope (1679 points, 303 comments)
  4. CONTROLurKEYS (1626 points, 204 comments)
  5. SuperGoxxer (1542 points, 284 comments)
  6. gonzobon (1428 points, 41 comments)
  7. technicallycorrect2 (1322 points, 29 comments)
  8. gbitg (1314 points, 4 comments)
  9. Bipolar_Chihuahua (1279 points, 3 comments)
  10. conv3rsion (1275 points, 1 comment)
  11. GolferRama (1167 points, 164 comments)
  12. HeyZeusChrist (1098 points, 51 comments)
  13. BCashBCashBTrash (1094 points, 381 comments)
  14. WhyDontYouTryIt (1019 points, 401 comments)
  15. jagan1355 (1016 points, 7 comments)
  16. HelloImRich (973 points, 50 comments)
  17. TheGreatMuffin (955 points, 141 comments)
  18. LegendsRoom (906 points, 59 comments)
  19. Kalin101 (859 points, 59 comments)
  20. Hanspanzer (845 points, 317 comments)
  21. TipToeTiger (797 points, 57 comments)
  22. themonkier (782 points, 16 comments)
  23. ducksauce88 (779 points, 179 comments)
  24. EMC2_trooper (762 points, 23 comments)
  25. Cryptolution (756 points, 223 comments)
  26. Timeforadrinkorthree (751 points, 3 comments)
  27. tranceology3 (750 points, 132 comments)
  28. biologischeavocado (741 points, 52 comments)
  29. MuD_D (740 points, 1 comment)
  30. BitcoinAlways (732 points, 286 comments)
  31. Explodicle (716 points, 246 comments)
  32. fenstabeemie (715 points, 1 comment)
  33. harreh (709 points, 1 comment)
  34. BashCo (669 points, 81 comments)
  35. zomgitsduke (654 points, 92 comments)
  36. bluethunder1985 (643 points, 124 comments)
  37. dontshillmexrp (643 points, 3 comments)
  38. jakesonwu (641 points, 90 comments)
  39. bitsteiner (639 points, 148 comments)
  40. eintnohick (627 points, 4 comments)
  41. devonthed00d (624 points, 8 comments)
  42. bitmaincash (623 points, 114 comments)
  43. fomotheclown (623 points, 114 comments)
  44. Black_RL (620 points, 15 comments)
  45. castorfromtheva (619 points, 24 comments)
  46. hsjoberg (612 points, 18 comments)
  47. pepe_le_shoe (602 points, 196 comments)
  48. a33b (602 points, 1 comment)
  49. inchhigh314 (597 points, 28 comments)
  50. Bitcoin_21 (577 points, 100 comments)
  51. Cykablast3r (571 points, 10 comments)
  52. bitusher (567 points, 87 comments)
  53. mustbemoney (564 points, 63 comments)
  54. typtyphus (562 points, 105 comments)
  55. gta3uzi (556 points, 145 comments)
  56. StopAndDecrypt (544 points, 80 comments)
  57. bossman-CT (542 points, 1 comment)
  58. IceColdInferno (534 points, 1 comment)
  59. outofofficeagain (532 points, 85 comments)
  60. fruitlessbanana (531 points, 9 comments)
  61. harrapino (526 points, 1 comment)
  62. suninabox (522 points, 159 comments)
  63. NimbleBodhi (511 points, 27 comments)
  64. pilotavery (508 points, 172 comments)
  65. Let_It_Steep (508 points, 5 comments)
  66. DeucesCracked (504 points, 71 comments)
  67. SpoekplumpeN (502 points, 142 comments)
  68. MrRGnome (498 points, 68 comments)
  69. Kanye_B_redpillin (497 points, 9 comments)
  70. robinwindy (495 points, 259 comments)
  71. absurdparadox (485 points, 8 comments)
  72. Iruwen (469 points, 57 comments)
  73. Bitcoin_Acolyte (459 points, 32 comments)
  74. ToddVonToddson (458 points, 1 comment)
  75. crptdv (450 points, 10 comments)
  76. djLyfeAlert (447 points, 83 comments)
  77. BucketSnail (443 points, 1 comment)
  78. BenTG (435 points, 5 comments)
  79. Mikeross14 (431 points, 39 comments)
  80. Utoko (429 points, 112 comments)
  81. LouisOfTokyo (428 points, 13 comments)
  82. pwuille (418 points, 17 comments)
  83. DartmouthBG (416 points, 26 comments)
  84. Natanael_L (411 points, 23 comments)
  85. flipsfordayz (410 points, 11 comments)
  86. raumi75 (408 points, 25 comments)
  87. boxhit (402 points, 27 comments)
  88. bluepuma90 (400 points, 3 comments)
  89. StoneHammers (391 points, 35 comments)
  90. AussieBitcoiner (390 points, 28 comments)
  91. TheRedStoner (385 points, 36 comments)
  92. 127fascination (384 points, 5 comments)
  93. PineappleFund (383 points, 4 comments)
  94. The-Physicist (382 points, 153 comments)
  95. BcashLoL (382 points, 137 comments)
  96. ketefocko (379 points, 1 comment)
  97. ThisIsABeginning (376 points, 22 comments)
  98. randiwulf (375 points, 6 comments)
  99. SpaceDuckTech (374 points, 66 comments)
  100. cdecker (373 points, 39 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Whoever put this up deserves a medal by jrs0080 (22960 points, 320 comments)
  2. What a time to be alive! by ltc- (14748 points, 470 comments)
  3. Value is always in the eyes of the beholder by bitchari (10970 points, 554 comments)
  4. This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility by InteractiveLedger (10913 points, 1557 comments)
  5. Farewell from the Pineapple Fund by PineappleFund (10876 points, 611 comments)
  6. I see it every day. by EMC2_trooper (10387 points, 296 comments)
  7. You knew this was coming... one of my faves last year by normcrypto (9081 points, 128 comments)
  8. exceedingly efficient by StoneHammers (7945 points, 207 comments)
  9. Sir this seat is reserved for people with disabilities... by joe4c (7663 points, 526 comments)
  10. It’s over 9000!!!!!! by Dark_Dantex (6865 points, 429 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 2313 points: TheBoyChris's comment in This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility
  2. 1951 points: HODLTID's comment in Whoever put this up deserves a medal
  3. 1309 points: gbitg's comment in Value is always in the eyes of the beholder
  4. 1275 points: conv3rsion's comment in Farewell from the Pineapple Fund
  5. 1220 points: technicallycorrect2's comment in Amazon filed a patent to de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions and sell the data to law enforcement
  6. 1219 points: Bipolar_Chihuahua's comment in This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility
  7. 1014 points: gonzobon's comment in exceedingly efficient
  8. 987 points: jagan1355's comment in This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility
  9. 740 points: MuD_D's comment in The answer on Jeopardy today!
  10. 715 points: fenstabeemie's comment in Truth about Bitcoin mining
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