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Dive Into Tendermint Consensus Protocol (I)

Dive Into Tendermint Consensus Protocol (I)
This article is written by the CoinEx Chain lab. CoinEx Chain is the world’s first public chain exclusively designed for DEX, and will also include a Smart Chain supporting smart contracts and a Privacy Chain protecting users’ privacy.
longcpp @ 20200618
This is Part 1 of the serialized articles aimed to explain the Tendermint consensus protocol in detail.
Part 1. Preliminary of the consensus protocol: security model and PBFT protocol
Part 2. Tendermint consensus protocol illustrated: two-phase voting protocol and the locking and unlocking mechanism
Part 3. Weighted round-robin proposer selection algorithm used in Tendermint project
Any consensus agreement that is ultimately reached is the General Agreement, that is, the majority opinion. The consensus protocol on which the blockchain system operates is no exception. As a distributed system, the blockchain system aims to maintain the validity of the system. Intuitively, the validity of the blockchain system has two meanings: firstly, there is no ambiguity, and secondly, it can process requests to update its status. The former corresponds to the safety requirements of distributed systems, while the latter to the requirements of liveness. The validity of distributed systems is mainly maintained by consensus protocols, considering the multiple nodes and network communication involved in such systems may be unstable, which has brought huge challenges to the design of consensus protocols.

The semi-synchronous network model and Byzantine fault tolerance

Researchers of distributed systems characterize these problems that may occur in nodes and network communications using node failure models and network models. The fail-stop failure in node failure models refers to the situation where the node itself stops running due to configuration errors or other reasons, thus unable to go on with the consensus protocol. This type of failure will not cause side effects on other parts of the distributed system except that the node itself stops running. However, for such distributed systems as the public blockchain, when designing a consensus protocol, we still need to consider the evildoing intended by nodes besides their failure. These incidents are all included in the Byzantine Failure model, which covers all unexpected situations that may occur on the node, for example, passive downtime failures and any deviation intended by the nodes from the consensus protocol. For a better explanation, downtime failures refer to nodes’ passive running halt, and the Byzantine failure to any arbitrary deviation of nodes from the consensus protocol.
Compared with the node failure model which can be roughly divided into the passive and active models, the modeling of network communication is more difficult. The network itself suffers problems of instability and communication delay. Moreover, since all network communication is ultimately completed by the node which may have a downtime failure or a Byzantine failure in itself, it is usually difficult to define whether such failure arises from the node or the network itself when a node does not receive another node's network message. Although the network communication may be affected by many factors, the researchers found that the network model can be classified by the communication delay. For example, the node may fail to send data packages due to the fail-stop failure, and as a result, the corresponding communication delay is unknown and can be any value. According to the concept of communication delay, the network communication model can be divided into the following three categories:
  • The synchronous network model: There is a fixed, known upper bound of delay $\Delta$ in network communication. Under this model, the maximum delay of network communication between two nodes in the network is $\Delta$. Even if there is a malicious node, the communication delay arising therefrom does not exceed $\Delta$.
  • The asynchronous network model: There is an unknown delay in network communication, with the upper bound of the delay known, but the message can still be successfully delivered in the end. Under this model, the network communication delay between two nodes in the network can be any possible value, that is, a malicious node, if any, can arbitrarily extend the communication delay.
  • The semi-synchronous network model: Assume that there is a Global Stabilization Time (GST), before which it is an asynchronous network model and after which, a synchronous network model. In other words, there is a fixed, known upper bound of delay in network communication $\Delta$. A malicious node can delay the GST arbitrarily, and there will be no notification when no GST occurs. Under this model, the delay in the delivery of the message at the time $T$ is $\Delta + max(T, GST)$.
The synchronous network model is the most ideal network environment. Every message sent through the network can be received within a predictable time, but this model cannot reflect the real network communication situation. As in a real network, network failures are inevitable from time to time, causing the failure in the assumption of the synchronous network model. Yet the asynchronous network model goes to the other extreme and cannot reflect the real network situation either. Moreover, according to the FLP (Fischer-Lynch-Paterson) theorem, under this model if there is one node fails, no consensus protocol will reach consensus in a limited time. In contrast, the semi-synchronous network model can better describe the real-world network communication situation: network communication is usually synchronous or may return to normal after a short time. Such an experience must be no stranger to everyone: the web page, which usually gets loaded quite fast, opens slowly every now and then, and you need to try before you know the network is back to normal since there is usually no notification. The peer-to-peer (P2P) network communication, which is widely used in blockchain projects, also makes it possible for a node to send and receive information from multiple network channels. It is unrealistic to keep blocking the network information transmission of a node for a long time. Therefore, all the discussion below is under the semi-synchronous network model.
The design and selection of consensus protocols for public chain networks that allow nodes to dynamically join and leave need to consider possible Byzantine failures. Therefore, the consensus protocol of a public chain network is designed to guarantee the security and liveness of the network under the semi-synchronous network model on the premise of possible Byzantine failure. Researchers of distributed systems point out that to ensure the security and liveness of the system, the consensus protocol itself needs to meet three requirements:
  • Validity: The value reached by honest nodes must be the value proposed by one of them
  • Agreement: All honest nodes must reach consensus on the same value
  • Termination: The honest nodes must eventually reach consensus on a certain value
Validity and agreement can guarantee the security of the distributed system, that is, the honest nodes will never reach a consensus on a random value, and once the consensus is reached, all honest nodes agree on this value. Termination guarantees the liveness of distributed systems. A distributed system unable to reach consensus is useless.

The CAP theorem and Byzantine Generals Problem

In a semi-synchronous network, is it possible to design a Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus protocol that satisfies validity, agreement, and termination? How many Byzantine nodes can a system tolerance? The CAP theorem and Byzantine Generals Problem provide an answer for these two questions and have thus become the basic guidelines for the design of Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus protocols.
Lamport, Shostak, and Pease abstracted the design of the consensus mechanism in the distributed system in 1982 as the Byzantine Generals Problem, which refers to such a situation as described below: several generals each lead the army to fight in the war, and their troops are stationed in different places. The generals must formulate a unified action plan for the victory. However, since the camps are far away from each other, they can only communicate with each other through the communication soldiers, or, in other words, they cannot appear on the same occasion at the same time to reach a consensus. Unfortunately, among the generals, there is a traitor or two who intend to undermine the unified actions of the loyal generals by sending the wrong information, and the communication soldiers cannot send the message to the destination by themselves. It is assumed that each communication soldier can prove the information he has brought comes from a certain general, just as in the case of a real BFT consensus protocol, each node has its public and private keys to establish an encrypted communication channel for each other to ensure that its messages will not be tampered with in the network communication, and the message receiver can also verify the sender of the message based thereon. As already mentioned, any consensus agreement ultimately reached represents the consensus of the majority. In the process of generals communicating with each other for an offensive or retreat, a general also makes decisions based on the majority opinion from the information collected by himself.
According to the research of Lamport et al, if there are 1/3 or more traitors in the node, the generals cannot reach a unified decision. For example, in the following figure, assume there are 3 generals and only 1 traitor. In the figure on the left, suppose that General C is the traitor, and A and B are loyal. If A wants to launch an attack and informs B and C of such intention, yet the traitor C sends a message to B, suggesting what he has received from A is a retreat. In this case, B can't decide as he doesn't know who the traitor is, and the information received is insufficient for him to decide. If A is a traitor, he can send different messages to B and C. Then C faithfully reports to B the information he received. At this moment as B receives conflicting information, he cannot make any decisions. In both cases, even if B had received consistent information, it would be impossible for him to spot the traitor between A and C. Therefore, it is obvious that in both situations shown in the figure below, the honest General B cannot make a choice.
According to this conclusion, when there are $n$ generals with at most $f$ traitors (n≤3f), the generals cannot reach a consensus if $n \leq 3f$; and with $n > 3f$, a consensus can be reached. This conclusion also suggests that when the number of Byzantine failures $f$ exceeds 1/3 of the total number of nodes $n$ in the system $f \ge n/3$ , no consensus will be reached on any consensus protocol among all honest nodes. Only when $f < n/3$, such condition is likely to happen, without loss of generality, and for the subsequent discussion on the consensus protocol, $ n \ge 3f + 1$ by default.
The conclusion reached by Lamport et al. on the Byzantine Generals Problem draws a line between the possible and the impossible in the design of the Byzantine fault tolerance consensus protocol. Within the possible range, how will the consensus protocol be designed? Can both the security and liveness of distributed systems be fully guaranteed? Brewer provided the answer in his CAP theorem in 2000. It indicated that a distributed system requires the following three basic attributes, but any distributed system can only meet two of the three at the same time.
  1. Consistency: When any node responds to the request, it must either provide the latest status information or provide no status information
  2. Availability: Any node in the system must be able to continue reading and writing
  3. Partition Tolerance: The system can tolerate the loss of any number of messages between two nodes and still function normally

https://preview.redd.it/1ozfwk7u7m851.png?width=1400&format=png&auto=webp&s=fdee6318de2cf1c021e636654766a7a0fe7b38b4
A distributed system aims to provide consistent services. Therefore, the consistency attribute requires that the two nodes in the system cannot provide conflicting status information or expired information, which can ensure the security of the distributed system. The availability attribute is to ensure that the system can continuously update its status and guarantee the availability of distributed systems. The partition tolerance attribute is related to the network communication delay, and, under the semi-synchronous network model, it can be the status before GST when the network is in an asynchronous status with an unknown delay in the network communication. In this condition, communicating nodes may not receive information from each other, and the network is thus considered to be in a partitioned status. Partition tolerance requires the distributed system to function normally even in network partitions.
The proof of the CAP theorem can be demonstrated with the following diagram. The curve represents the network partition, and each network has four nodes, distinguished by the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. The distributed system stores color information, and all the status information stored by all nodes is blue at first.
  1. Partition tolerance and availability mean the loss of consistency: When node 1 receives a new request in the leftmost image, the status changes to red, the status transition information of node 1 is passed to node 3, and node 3 also updates the status information to red. However, since node 3 and node 4 did not receive the corresponding information due to the network partition, the status information is still blue. At this moment, if the status information is queried through node 2, the blue returned by node 2 is not the latest status of the system, thus losing consistency.
  2. Partition tolerance and consistency mean the loss of availability: In the middle figure, the initial status information of all nodes is blue. When node 1 and node 3 update the status information to red, node 2 and node 4 maintain the outdated information as blue due to network partition. Also when querying status information through node 2, you need to first ask other nodes to make sure you’re in the latest status before returning status information as node 2 needs to follow consistency, but because of the network partition, node 2 cannot receive any information from node 1 or node 3. Then node 2 cannot determine whether it is in the latest status, so it chooses not to return any information, thus depriving the system of availability.
  3. Consistency and availability mean the loss of the partition tolerance: In the right-most figure, the system does not have a network partition at first, and both status updates and queries can go smoothly. However, once a network partition occurs, it degenerates into one of the previous two conditions. It is thus proved that any distributed system cannot have consistency, availability, and partition tolerance all at the same time.

https://preview.redd.it/456x2blv7m851.png?width=1400&format=png&auto=webp&s=550797373145b8fc1471bdde68ed5f8d45adb52b
The discovery of the CAP theorem seems to declare that the aforementioned goals of the consensus protocol is impossible. However, if you’re careful enough, you may find from the above that those are all extreme cases, such as network partitions that cause the failure of information transmission, which could be rare, especially in P2P network. In the second case, the system rarely returns the same information with node 2, and the general practice is to query other nodes and return the latest status as believed after a while, regardless of whether it has received the request information of other nodes. Therefore, although the CAP theorem points out that any distributed system cannot satisfy the three attributes at the same time, it is not a binary choice, as the designer of the consensus protocol can weigh up all the three attributes according to the needs of the distributed system. However, as the communication delay is always involved in the distributed system, one always needs to choose between availability and consistency while ensuring a certain degree of partition tolerance. Specifically, in the second case, it is about the value that node 2 returns: a probably outdated value or no value. Returning the possibly outdated value may violate consistency but guarantees availability; yet returning no value deprives the system of availability but guarantees its consistency. Tendermint consensus protocol to be introduced is consistent in this trade-off. In other words, it will lose availability in some cases.
The genius of Satoshi Nakamoto is that with constraints of the CAP theorem, he managed to reach a reliable Byzantine consensus in a distributed network by combining PoW mechanism, Satoshi Nakamoto consensus, and economic incentives with appropriate parameter configuration. Whether Bitcoin's mechanism design solves the Byzantine Generals Problem has remained a dispute among academicians. Garay, Kiayias, and Leonardos analyzed the link between Bitcoin mechanism design and the Byzantine consensus in detail in their paper The Bitcoin Backbone Protocol: Analysis and Applications. In simple terms, the Satoshi Consensus is a probabilistic Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus protocol that depends on such conditions as the network communication environment and the proportion of malicious nodes' hashrate. When the proportion of malicious nodes’ hashrate does not exceed 1/2 in a good network communication environment, the Satoshi Consensus can reliably solve the Byzantine consensus problem in a distributed environment. However, when the environment turns bad, even with the proportion within 1/2, the Satoshi Consensus may still fail to reach a reliable conclusion on the Byzantine consensus problem. It is worth noting that the quality of the network environment is relative to Bitcoin's block interval. The 10-minute block generation interval of the Bitcoin can ensure that the system is in a good network communication environment in most cases, given the fact that the broadcast time of a block in the distributed network is usually just several seconds. In addition, economic incentives can motivate most nodes to actively comply with the agreement. It is thus considered that with the current Bitcoin network parameter configuration and mechanism design, the Bitcoin mechanism design has reliably solved the Byzantine Consensus problem in the current network environment.

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance, PBFT

It is not an easy task to design the Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus protocol in a semi-synchronous network. The first practically usable Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus protocol is the Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) designed by Castro and Liskov in 1999, the first of its kind with polynomial complexity. For a distributed system with $n$ nodes, the communication complexity is $O(n2$.) Castro and Liskov showed in the paper that by transforming centralized file system into a distributed one using the PBFT protocol, the overwall performance was only slowed down by 3%. In this section we will briefly introduce the PBFT protocol, paving the way for further detailed explanations of the Tendermint protocol and the improvements of the Tendermint protocol.
The PBFT protocol that includes $n=3f+1$ nodes can tolerate up to $f$ Byzantine nodes. In the original paper of PBFT, full connection is required among all the $n$ nodes, that is, any two of the n nodes must be connected. All the nodes of the network jointly maintain the system status through network communication. In the Bitcoin network, a node can participate in or exit the consensus process through hashrate mining at any time, which is managed by the administrator, and the PFBT protocol needs to determine all the participating nodes before the protocol starts. All nodes in the PBFT protocol are divided into two categories, master nodes, and slave nodes. There is only one master node at any time, and all nodes take turns to be the master node. All nodes run in a rotation process called View, in each of which the master node will be reelected. The master node selection algorithm in PBFT is very simple: all nodes become the master node in turn by the index number. In each view, all nodes try to reach a consensus on the system status. It is worth mentioning that in the PBFT protocol, each node has its own digital signature key pair. All sent messages (including request messages from the client) need to be signed to ensure the integrity of the message in the network and the traceability of the message itself. (You can determine who sent a message based on the digital signature).
The following figure shows the basic flow of the PBFT consensus protocol. Assume that the current view’s master node is node 0. Client C initiates a request to the master node 0. After the master node receives the request, it broadcasts the request to all slave nodes that process the request of client C and return the result to the client. After the client receives f+1 identical results from different nodes (based on the signature value), the result can be taken as the final result of the entire operation. Since the system can have at most f Byzantine nodes, at least one of the f+1 results received by the client comes from an honest node, and the security of the consensus protocol guarantees that all honest nodes will reach consensus on the same status. So, the feedback from 1 honest node is enough to confirm that the corresponding request has been processed by the system.

https://preview.redd.it/sz8so5ly7m851.png?width=1400&format=png&auto=webp&s=d472810e76bbc202e91a25ef29a51e109a576554
For the status synchronization of all honest nodes, the PBFT protocol has two constraints on each node: on one hand, all nodes must start from the same status, and on the other, the status transition of all nodes must be definite, that is, given the same status and request, the results after the operation must be the same. Under these two constraints, as long as the entire system agrees on the processing order of all transactions, the status of all honest nodes will be consistent. This is also the main purpose of the PBFT protocol: to reach a consensus on the order of transactions between all nodes, thereby ensuring the security of the entire distributed system. In terms of availability, the PBFT consensus protocol relies on a timeout mechanism to find anomalies in the consensus process and start the View Change protocol in time to try to reach a consensus again.
The figure above shows a simplified workflow of the PBFT protocol. Where C is the client, 0, 1, 2, and 3 represent 4 nodes respectively. Specifically, 0 is the master node of the current view, 1, 2, 3 are slave nodes, and node 3 is faulty. Under normal circumstances, the PBFT consensus protocol reaches consensus on the order of transactions between nodes through a three-phase protocol. These three phases are respectively: Pre-Prepare, Prepare, and Commit:
  • The master node of the pre-preparation node is responsible for assigning the sequence number to the received client request, and broadcasting the message to the slave node. The message contains the hash value of the client request d, the sequence number of the current viewv, the sequence number n assigned by the master node to the request, and the signature information of the master nodesig. The scheme design of the PBFT protocol separates the request transmission from the request sequencing process, and the request transmission is not to be discussed here. The slave node that receives the message accepts the message after confirming the message is legitimate and enter preparation phase. The message in this step checks the basic signature, hash value, current view, and, most importantly, whether the master node has given the same sequence number to other request from the client in the current view.
  • In preparation, the slave node broadcasts the message to all nodes (including itself), indicating that it assigns the sequence number n to the client request with the hash value d under the current view v, with its signaturesig as proof. The node receiving the message will check the correctness of the signature, the matching of the view sequence number, etc., and accept the legitimate message. When the PRE-PREPARE message about a client request (from the main node) received by a node matches with the PREPARE from 2f slave nodes, the system has agreed on the sequence number requested by the client in the current view. This means that 2f+1 nodes in the current view agree with the request sequence number. Since it contains information from at most fmalicious nodes, there are a total of f+1 honest nodes that have agreed with the allocation of the request sequence number. With f malicious nodes, there are a total of 2f+1 honest nodes, so f+1represents the majority of the honest nodes, which is the consensus of the majority mentioned before.
  • After the node (including the master node and the slave node) receives a PRE-PREPARE message requested by the client and 2f PREPARE messages, the message is broadcast across the network and enters the submission phase. This message is used to indicate that the node has observed that the whole network has reached a consensus on the sequence number allocation of the request message from the client. When the node receives 2f+1 COMMIT messages, there are at least f+1 honest nodes, that is, most of the honest nodes have observed that the entire network has reached consensus on the arrangement of sequence numbers of the request message from the client. The node can process the client request and return the execution result to the client at this moment.
Roughly speaking, in the pre-preparation phase, the master node assigns a sequence number to all new client requests. During preparation, all nodes reach consensus on the client request sequence number in this view, while in submission the consistency of the request sequence number of the client in different views is to be guaranteed. In addition, the design of the PBFT protocol itself does not require the request message to be submitted by the assigned sequence number, but out of order. That can improve the efficiency of the implementation of the consensus protocol. Yet, the messages are still processed by the sequence number assigned by the consensus protocol for the consistency of the distributed system.
In the three-phase protocol execution of the PBFT protocol, in addition to maintaining the status information of the distributed system, the node itself also needs to log all kinds of consensus information it receives. The gradual accumulation of logs will consume considerable system resources. Therefore, the PBFT protocol additionally defines checkpoints to help the node deal with garbage collection. You can set a checkpoint every 100 or 1000 sequence numbers according to the request sequence number. After the client request at the checkpoint is executed, the node broadcasts messages throughout the network, indicating that after the node executes the client request with sequence number n, the hash value of the system status is d, and it is vouched by its own signature sig. After 2f+1 matching CHECKPOINT messages (one of which can come from the node itself) are received, most of the honest nodes in the entire network have reached a consensus on the system status after the execution of the client request with the sequence numbern, and then you can clear all relevant log records of client requests with the sequence number less than n. The node needs to save these2f+1 CHECKPOINTmessages as proof of the legitimate status at this moment, and the corresponding checkpoint is called a stable checkpoint.
The three-phase protocol of the PBFT protocol can ensure the consistency of the processing order of the client request, and the checkpoint mechanism is set to help nodes perform garbage collection and further ensures the status consistency of the distributed system, both of which can guarantee the security of the distributed system aforementioned. How is the availability of the distributed system guaranteed? In the semi-synchronous network model, a timeout mechanism is usually introduced, which is related to delays in the network environment. It is assumed that the network delay has a known upper bound after GST. In such condition, an initial value is usually set according to the network condition of the system deployed. In case of a timeout event, besides the corresponding processing flow triggered, additional mechanisms will be activated to readjust the waiting time. For example, an algorithm like TCP's exponential back off can be adopted to adjust the waiting time after a timeout event.
To ensure the availability of the system in the PBFT protocol, a timeout mechanism is also introduced. In addition, due to the potential the Byzantine failure in the master node itself, the PBFT protocol also needs to ensure the security and availability of the system in this case. When the Byzantine failure occurs in the master node, for example, when the slave node does not receive the PRE-PREPARE message or the PRE-PREPARE message sent by the master node from the master node within the time window and is thus determined to be illegitimate, the slave node can broadcast to the entire network, indicating that the node requests to switch to the new view with sequence number v+1. n indicates the request sequence number corresponding to the latest stable checkpoint local to the node, and C is to prove the stable checkpoint 2f+1 legitimate CHECKPOINT messages as aforementioned. After the latest stable checkpoint and before initiating the VIEWCHANGE message, the system may have reached a consensus on the sequence numbers of some request messages in the previous view. To ensure the consistency of these request sequence numbers to be switched in the view, the VIEWCHANGE message needs to carry this kind of the information to the new view, which is also the meaning of the P field in the message. P contains all the client request messages collected at the node with a request sequence number greater than n and the proof that a consensus has been reached on the sequence number in the node: the legitimate PRE-PREPARE message of the request and 2f matching PREPARE messages. When the master node in view v+1 collects 2f+1 VIEWCHANGE messages, it can broadcast the NEW-VIEW message and take the entire system into a new view. For the security of the system in combination with the three-phase protocol of the PBFT protocol, the construction rules of the NEW-VIEW information are designed in a quite complicated way. You can refer to the original paper of PBFT for more details.

https://preview.redd.it/x5efdc908m851.png?width=1400&format=png&auto=webp&s=97b4fd879d0ec668ee0990ea4cadf476167a2948
VIEWCHANGE contains a lot of information. For example, C contains 2f+1 signature information, P contains several signature sets, and each set has 2f+1 signature. At least 2f+1 nodes need to send a VIEWCHANGE message before prompting the system to enter the next new view, and that means, in addition to the complex logic of constructing the information of VIEWCHANGE and NEW-VIEW, the communication complexity of the view conversion protocol is $O(n2$.) Such complexity also limits the PBFT protocol to support only a few nodes, and when there are 100 nodes, it is usually too complex to practically deploy PBFT. It is worth noting that in some materials the communication complexity of the PBFT protocol is inappropriately attributed to the full connection between n nodes. By changing the fully connected network topology to the P2P network topology based on distributed hash tables commonly used in blockchain projects, high communication complexity caused by full connection can be conveniently solved, yet still, it is difficult to improve the communication complexity during the view conversion process. In recent years, researchers have proposed to reduce the amount of communication in this step by adopting aggregate signature scheme. With this technology, 2f+1 signature information can be compressed into one, thereby reducing the communication volume during view change.
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Nebulas Technical White Paper Review January 20, 2018

Nebulas Technical White Paper Review January 20, 2018

Whitepaper version: 1.0 September, 2017.

Built on ground-breaking innovation, Nebulas brings blockchain technology into the 3rd generation.
Nebulas offers two different white papers; while the first is a basic overview, the second is technical.
The technical white paper describes the specifics of the project, and with each part broken down into details, it is not only quite long, it is also considered one of the most technical white paper of any blockchain technology to date. Although detailed information provides transparency and answers questions, many people are finding it difficult to comprehend.
No doubt, most investors are looking for the next hot coin that will provide a good pay day! While I believe that Nebulas can provide just that, I also feel that it is always important to understand what you are investing in. If you take the time to read everything carefully, Nebulas’ technical white paper shows the entire system in its final glory!
Therefore, the comments below compile my analysis of the technical white paper (in combination with other reliable sources). I will also do my best to include the page where you can find these facts in the technical white paper. Therefore, I suggest that rather than taking my word for it, read it for yourself.
Based on pros and cons, let’s break down the primary elements of Nebulas:

Nebulas Rank (NR)

Nebulas Rank (NR) will be the first to integrate search engine capability into blockchain. In other words, Nebulas Rank is the protocol responsible for making search engine a viable element in the blockchain. Right off the bat, let’s address an important question, "What good is a ranking system inside a blockchain?"
Currently, there is no way to search the blockchain for meaningful data (other than simple transactions), and, therefore, it’s impossible to find dApps or locate smart contracts. If this doesn’t sound like a big deal, imagine trying to search the internet without google or some other search engine – it would be impossible!
Just as the first internet search engine evolved the internet into what it is today, the first blockchain search engine will inevitably evolve blockchain. Not only a stepping stone for the future of blockchain, we’re talking about a new foundation for blockchain technology.
By providing a blockchain search engine, the Nebulas Ranking system will allow users to locate quality dApps (decentralized apps) and smart contracts. For example, let’s say that you are looking for a dApp like CryptoKitties. No doubt, there could be dozens of similar apps. So, based on multiple data resources, such as blockchain activity, github activity, and even google search history, the ranking algorithm (NR) orders similar apps, and then lists them in a manner that the user can evaluate and select.

Now, can you see why Nebulas is being compared to google?

But, this is only the beginning…. Nebulas Rank is also interwoven into the Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP) and the Proof of Devotion (PoD) Consensus Algorithm. Without Nebulas Rank, these other two elements could not operate as the white paper states.
Based on the current white paper, let’s spotlight some potential negatives about the Nebulas Rank(NR) protocol. However, also keep in mind that these potential issues could be completely eliminated as the project develops (thanks to Nebulas Force – more on this later).

Now the potential negative:

However, while the white paper describes the search engine being centralized, it also says "In current stage..." Thereby indicating that Nebulas developers have a better solution in the long run. Perhaps a sidechain just for searching? The white paper also states that "the complete code for searching backend is available to the community and third-party developers can create their own searching services on this basis." Hopefully, this will keep the ranking honest.
Since the Nebulas blockchain is based on the Nebulas Rank (NR) system, now that we have highlighted the most important aspects of Nebulas Rank (NR), we can dive deeper into specific functions.

Proof of Devotion (PoD) Consensus Algorithm

In the cryptocurrency world, Proof of work (PoW) means mining. While damaging to the environment, few can argue that this is a terrible waste of natural resources. As an alternative, the cryptocurrency world also has Proof of Stake (PoS). Proof of Stake allows token/coin holders to stake (aka hold un-spendable tokens), and to be rewarded with more tokens when they create a new block. For example, if there are 100 people staking and there are 100 new blocks per hour, every stake will, on average, receive one block reward per hour.
While better for the environment, Proof of Stake creates an imbalance where major coin holders (aka whales) are rewarded with even more coins, and this allows "whales" to stake even more coins (this means that there could be a potential to monopolize the system).
Now, Nebulas brings us Proof of Devotion (PoD)[iii]. As far as I know, there is currently nothing like this in blockchain technology (nor ready to be released). Proof of Devotion essentially awards developers who make awesome things (such as dApps) on the Nebulas blockchain.
If you develop an dApp that’s performing well on the Nebulas network, you will have the option to be a validator (aka validate submitted transactions), and, in return, receive token rewards from the blockchain. To be a validator, you will need to stake (deposit) X amount of tokens. Then, multiple validators (per transaction) will have to agree on the result[iv], and, each will be rewarded 1.5x the amount staked.
The generation of new blocks[v] will be carried out by "highly important" accounts that Nebulas Rank (NR) calculates. As stated in the whitepaper, "PoD empowers the selected accounts to have the bookkeeping right with equal probability to participate in new block generation in order to prevent tilted probability that may bring about monopoly".
The bottom line... when it comes to Proof of Devotion, why use Ethereum to create a dApp when you can create the same dApp on Nebulas and make a profit? Needless to say, this is a huge incentive for developers to make dApps on the Nebulas network, and, consequently, it will increase the value of the network. Furthermore, since Nebulas will provide developer tools, it will be easier to create dApps.

Now the potential negative:

Because it inspires developers to create awesome dApps, and, at the same time, profit directly from blockchain, I personally love this idea! No longer will dApp creators require insane ICO’s nor will they need some other stream of revenue. However, participating in PoD does not stop developers from benefiting from other income streams. Truly groundbreaking!

Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP)

Not only can Proof of Devotion give incentive to developers, quality developers will also receive extra coins/tokens for their hard work. Based on Nebulas Rank(NR), Nebulas will use an algorithm for reward distribution[vii]. The rewards will be automatically distributed to the smart contract cash-out address every 7 days.
There is really nothing negative to add to this. It’s truly a powerful incentive!

Nebulas Force (NF)

Who needs hard forks? Nebulas Force will allow developers to introduce new features/protocols into the Nebulas blockchain without a fork. The Nebulas white paper calls it "Self-evolving blockchain technology" but I don’t believe this is quite correct. Rather than being self-evolving, it is actually community driven! Because this will build the blockchain community, in my opinion, this is even better!
With other blockchains for example, if a developer has an awesome idea for a dApp but it needs a new protocol that does not exist on any blockchain, the developer would have to centralize the dApp or chuck it altogether.
With Nebulas, new ideas can be developed, and if they provide positive contribution, the Nebulas community (Nebulas token holders) can vote on and approve changes to the network protocol. Once approved, Nebulas developers can add the new protocol into the Nebulas blockchain. Perhaps, further in the development, sub-chains will also support new protocols for full implementation.

Upgradable Smart Contracts

Revolutionary for blockchain, Nebulas Force will include upgradable smart contracts[viii]. Why is this important? Well, due to bugs in smart contracts, investors can lose funds in any blockchain network that uses smart contracts. Once submitted to the blockchain, nothing can be done to fix the bugs, and, as a result, tens of millions of dollars have already been lost.
Nebulas plans to overcome this problem through the implementation of upgradable smart contracts. In a nutshell, token holders will vote on proposed changes (to fix specific bugs), and when the overall vote is affirmative, bugs can be eliminated at any time. By saving investors millions, it will restore lost confidence!

Now the potential negative:

  • The Nebulas protocol is only modifiable by the Nebulas core developers. Although this is not really a negative, I would not call it "self-evolving". If you look at Bitcoin, there is a handful of developers responsible for source code, and, subsequently, the source code for all alt coins that use Bitcoin core in some capacity (such as LTC, BCC, BTG, DOGE, etc…)
  • The protocol updates will be applied via a hard coded signature into the genesis block[ix] and this means that there is a potential for network compromise.
  • Although there are some ethical issues with modifying smart contracts, overall, it is a great idea! Since token holders will have to vote on any changes, there could be an issue with whales (monopoly owners) controlling contracts.
Even with the negatives, this is a powerful feature.

The above includes Nebulas’ most innovative features, and although these features stand out, there is even more to Nebulas:

Anti-cheating algorithms[x]

To ensure fairness, the above protocols contain anti-cheating algorithms that are manipulation resistant, and, if someone is found trying to cheat, there are penalties.

Smart contracts almost anyone can write![xi]

Nebulas will support smart contracts written in Javascript, Python, Java and more! And this means that any coder can create a logical contract!

Full voting protocol[xii]

Since Nebulas includes a full voting protocol in the blockchain, you and I, as token holders, can help decide the direction of Nebulas. As an example, the coin "Decred[xiii]" also has a voting system; giving end-users a voice keeps them engaged.

Domain Name Service[xiv]

Although blockchain users are accustomed to "please send funds to: 0x488B2630CEdB5Bfd5e02c33A3653227170743357", it’s simply not logical. If you miss a letter, change a number, or simply enter an address incompletely, funds are sent into the abyss - forever. To correct this inherent problem, Nebulas will implement the use of "meaningful names." For instance, using a meaningful name, your Nebulas address could be "Rick_Sanchez.me." Users will have the opportunity to bid for requested names, and renew yearly - just like a web based domain name.

Lightning Network[xv]

As many of you probably already know, bitcoin can now use a Lightning Network. This will allow multiple small transactions to be signed without clogging up the blockchain and memory pool. It keeps an open ledger between two entities and can be closed at any time by either party, resulting in one transaction on the network instead of potentially dozens or hundreds.If the Bitcoin network started with the Lightning Network, it would currently be able to handle all transactions per second without any problems. Without the Lightening Network, Bitcoin can only handle 7~ transactions per second (and usually less). With the Lightening Network initially in place, the Nebulas network will be able to handle the required transactions and close the lightning ledgers when requested by users. It would also not cost $20.00++ to send $5.00 nor would it take an hour. I won’t get into the ludicrous prices of Bitcoin transactions fees and how we got here, but if you don’t know much about it, you should learn more. As an important feature of Nebulas, the Lightning Network will provide quick and cheap transactions.

High Strength Encryption

Nebulas uses SHA3-256 encryption. Although you won’t find this in the white paper, SHA3-256 is Highly Quantum Resistant[xvi] - research it yourself. Why is this so important? Well, as an inevitable evolution of quantum computing, previous generations of encryption will be rendered inadequate, and, consequently, susceptible to decryption of private keys. Basically, this means that once quantum computers are developed, you can lose your money in a non-quantum resistant blockchain. Since Quantum Resistance is a very important feature, many new coins (such as the QRL coin[xvii]) are being intentionally created for this purpose.

So, what role does the NAS token play in the network?

Directly from the white paper[xviii]; "The Nebulas network has its own built-in token, NAS. NAS plays two roles in the network. First, as the original money in the network, NAS provides asset liquidity among users, and functions as the incentive token for PoD bookkeepers and DIP. Second, NAS will be charged as the calculation fee for running smart contracts. The minimum unit of NAS is 10−18 NAS." If interested, the white paper goes into detail. If you question the purpose of NAS, simply ask yourself, "What role does ETHER play in the Ethereum network?" As of this writing, ETHER’s current price is $1098.00USD – and that’s not even it’s high. I believe that common sense indicates the potential value of the NAS coin!

Nebulas will have a maximum of 100,000,000 tokens

Many of the top 10 cryptocurrencies will distribute coins/tokens in the tens of billions, and, in fact, Ethereum will have an indefinite amount (albeit, they will taper off in time). However, when there are significantly less coins/tokens, the value of each increases. Treasure each NAS token!

A web-based playground for developer tools[xix]

To help developers create smart contracts easier and faster, Nebulas will offer developer tools. Nebulas will also support multiple IDE’s.
Although the list of features and functions goes on, this should give you an overview of what the Nebulas network can do, how it can evolve blockchain technology, and why it will be a very attractive option for future dApps. Having said all this, please be clear, it is not financial advice.
Also, keep in mind that the above statements are based on my analysis of the white paper (version: 1.0 September, 2017), but this is not to say that the developers don’t have a different perspective. With that being said, Nebulas staff and co-founder, Robin Zhong, actively responds to questions in their Slack channel. This leads us to a review of the Nebulas team.

The Nebulas Team

When looking at a new, and yet to be released, project, it’s not only important to understand the innovation, it’s also important to understand the team behind the innovation. Although not the largest team, the developers are highly educated with real blockchain experience. In fact, many have worked at Google, IBM, Alibaba, Alibaba financial, Airbnb, etc… Additionally, two Nebulas founders previously co-founded the NEO coin (formerly Antshares) which on January 20, 2018 trades at $140.00 (not even its high) per coin/token.
No doubt, the team is influential in past, current and future blockchain innovation. In fact, playing a huge part in bringing blockchain to China, Hitters Xu created Bitsclub, and many other team members started blockchain communities. If you have not yet learned about the team, I strongly suggest you do. Check out their LinkedIn pages and also look at the developers Githubs.

Full disclosure:

As a fellow investor and fan of blockchain technology, I got into the crypto world in 2012. Since then, I have mined, traded, and even created an arbitrary trading system. My portfolio includes dozens of different types of tokens/coins. My focus is on innovation rather than "rinse and repeat."
I first learned about Nebulas in the beginning of January 2018. After reading the technical white paper multiple times and fully understanding Nebulas (what it is and what it’s not), I confidentially purchased NAS (ERC-20) tokens.
As with any great blockchain, Nebulas will not be the last, but it is a crucial step to the next generation of blockchain innovation! Without doubt, I see the true potential of blockchain technology, and, if you ask me, Nebulas is an amazing short, medium and long term project, and I’m excited about the future!
To quote a Nebulas founder, "Ask not what blockchain can do for you, ask what you can do for blockchain..." - Hitters Xu

Quick Update (January 31, 2018)

For full transparency, I wanted to add that I have been asked by the Nebulas Team Reddit manager if I would be willing to be a moderator of the Nebulas subreddit. I told them that I would happy to continue helping the community and accepted. There is no extra benefit to me and does not change my opinion about Nebulas. I look forward to continuing helping the community!

References

i: Pg 41 – 6.2
ii: Pg 24 – Last bullet point
iii: Pg 34 - 5.3.1
iv: Pg 35 – 3.3.3
v: Pg 34 – 5.3.1
vi: Visit https://gifto.io/ for more info – Watch the video for an example of what Nebulas will do.
vii: Pg30 – 4.2
viii: Pg 27 – 3.3.2
ix: Pg 26 – Paragraph2
x: Many locations – There are many parts of the white paper that talk about anti-cheating in different capacities.
xi: Pg 26 – 3.3.1
xii: Many locations – There are many parts of the white paper that talk about voting in different capacities.
xiii: Visit https://decred.org/ for more information. For full disclosure, I do own DCR and stake them.
xiv: Pg 45 – 7.1
xv: Pg 45 – 7.2
xvi: Visit https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/18/sha3256_good_for_beelions_of_years_say_boffins/ for more information.
xvii: Visit https://www.theqrl.org for more information. And yes, for full disclosure, I like this project as well, and have invested post ICO.
xviii: Pg 47 - 8
xix: Pg 46 – 7.3
submitted by satoshibytes to nebulas [link] [comments]

Coinbase just revealed their new listing checklist, let's check how Nimiq does

https://listing.coinbase.com/policy#coinbase-mission-values
Open Financial System
Open financial system is defined as being available to everyone and not controlled by a single entity.
✔︎ Pretty easy
Innovation or Efficiency Gains
New or improved technology which helps solve a problem, creates a new market, addresses an unmet market need, or creates value for network participants.
✔︎ Again, pretty easy, Nimiq is bringing a huge leap forward in terms of accessibility and integration of cryptocurrencies.
Economic Freedom
A measure of how easy it is for members of a society to participate in the economy. The technology enables individuals to have more control over their own wealth and property, or the freedom to consume, produce, invest, or work as they choose.
✔︎ Basic requirement of any real cryptocurrency, easily fulfilled by Nimiq.
Equality of Opportunity
This technology is accessible to use by anyone with a smartphone or access to the internet. It contributes to the broader mission of building the on-ramps to Finance 2.0.
✔︎ Nimiq is the most accessible crypto on the market right now, you don't even have to install something to begin using it or mining it.
Decentralization
The network is public, decentralized, and enables trustless consensus.
〜 The architecture of Nimiq is decentralized however the hashrate is clearly not right now.
Security & Code
Assessment of engineering and product quality.
✔︎ Nimiq team has done everything it could to ensure the quality control of the code.
Source Code
Open-source code, well-documented peer-review, and testing by contributors separate from the initial development team on GitHub, etc.
〜 Of course Nimiq is open-source but the documentation is still weak, the good thing is that it's being redone.
Prototype
There is a working alpha or beta product on a testnet or mainnet.
✔︎ Well, the Nimiq Network is live.
Security & Code
Demonstrable record of responding to and improving the code after a disclosure of vulnerability, and a robust bug bounty program or third party security audit.
✔︎ Nimiq team has set a bug bounty program and has been very transparent on the issue of the 25th.
Team
Assessment of short-term operating expectations and decision making.
✔︎ You can even see them on video hehe.
Founders and Leadership
Able to articulate vision, strategy, use cases or drive developmental progress. Has a track record of demonstrable success or experience. If information is available, Coinbase will apply "know your client" standards to publicly visible founders or leaders.
✔︎ The profiles of the team are all known and easily checked.
Engineering
Assessment of the engineering team and their track record of setting and achieving deadlines.
✔︎ They released the product which is a damn good track record in a sector full of vaporwares.
Business & Operations
History of interacting with the community, setting a reasonable budget and managing funds, and achieving project milestones. Thoughtful cash management is a key driver of the project's long term viability.
✔︎ There has been some "lean" periods in terms of communication but overall the team has never stopped interacting with us. When it comes to cash management the dev team should be a model for everyone else with its last transparency report.
Specialized Knowledge and Key People
The project leadership is not highly centralized or dependent on a small number of key persons. Specialized knowledge in this field is not limited to a small group of people.
〜 Let's be honest: it is right now, that said the project protocol isn't even 6 months old.
Governance
Assessment of long-term operating expectations and decision making.
✔︎ Nimiq has a foundation.
Consensus Process
There is a structured process to propose and implement major updates to the code, or there is a system or voting process for conflict resolution.
✔︎ Well it's like Bitcoin, node operators decide whether they want or not to follow an update.
Future Development Funding
There is a plan or built-in mechanism for raising, rewarding, or allocating funds to future development, beyond the funds raised from the ICO or traditional investors.
✔︎ Yes, see the intended use of fund.
White Paper
Justifies the use case for a decentralized network and outlines project goals from a business and technology perspective. While a white paper is important for understanding the project, it is not a requirement.
〜 There is the "high level" whitepaper of the ICO however it doesn't really explain in detail how Nimiq works.
Scalability
Assessment of a network's potential barriers to scaling and ability to grow and handle user adoption.
✔︎ Like pretty much every project, that's what Robin is currently working on by the way.
Roadmap
Clear timeline with stages of development, reasonable project milestones, or built-in development incentives.
✔︎ We should have the roadmap soon™️.
Network Operating Costs
The barriers to scaling the network have been identified, or solutions have been proposed or discussed. The resource consumption costs for validators and miners are not the main deterrents to participation.
✔︎ Yes, the team has been considering second layer solutions like Lightning Network or Liquidity Network.
Practical Applications
There are examples of real-world implementation or future practical applications.
✔︎ The new Nimiq shop is a great example of it.
Type of Blockchain
The asset is a separate blockchain with a new architecture system and network, or it leverages an existing blockchain for synergies and network effects
✔︎ Both in fact, Nimiq is a whole new blockchain built from scratch in Javascript and Rust + it's using HTLC/atomic swap to interact with Ethereum.
Regulation
Can Coinbase legally offer this asset?
✔︎ I'm not a lawyer but I guess it can
US Securities Law
The asset is not classified as a security using Coinbase's Securities Law Framework.
〜 Hard to say, they have this checklist and the fact that some NIM were given against NET which were distributed through an ICO makes it kind of blurry
Compliance Obligations
The asset would not affect Coinbase or Coinbase's ability to meet compliance obligations, which include Compliance Obligations, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program and obligations under government licenses in any jurisdiction (e.g. Money Transmitter Licenses).
✔︎ Conversion from NET to NIM went through a KYC specifically for that.
Integrity & Reputational Risk
Would listing the asset be inconsistent with Coinbase policy?
✔︎ I don't see why.
User Agreement
The asset, network, application or fundamental nature of the project does not constitute a Prohibited Business under Appendix 1 of the user Agreement.
✔︎ I read it and it's doesn't.
Liquidity Standards
How liquid is this asset?
〜 Weak liquidity right now.
Global Market Capitalization
How does the market capitalization compare to the total market capitalizations of other assets?
〜 Weak capitalization.
Asset Velocity
Trade velocity, or turnover, is a significant part of market capitalization. This is a measure of how easily the asset can be converted to another asset.
〜 Again, weak velocity.
Circulation
For service or work tokens, new supply is created through consensus protocols. If the supply is capped, then a material amount of the total tokens should be available to the public.
✔︎ It's available.
Global Distribution
Where is this asset available to trade?
✔︎ HitBTC/Tradesatoshi/LAtoken/BTC-alpha/Nimex.
Total # of Exchanges
The number of exchanges that support the asset.
✔︎ 5.
Geographic Distribution
The asset is not limited to a single geographic region and is available to trade on decentralized exchanges.
✔︎ It's tradable everywhere and I guess you can count Agoras as a DEX.
Fiat and Crypto Pairs
Fiat and crypto trading pairs exist.
〜 Fiat pairs don't.
Exchange Volume Distribution
If secondary markets exist, then volume should be relatively distributed across exchanges.
✔︎ It is.
Demand
What is driving demand for this asset and does it lead to stronger network effects?
✔︎ The Nimiq community I guess and of course it does.
Consumer Demand
Customer demand is carefully considered, however, any asset which is created from a fork, airdrop, or automated token distribution is subject to a separate set of criteria.
〜 It would be presumptuous to say there is a customer demand for Nimiq right now.
Developers and Contributors
Growing developer base and measured progress as defined by the number of repositories, commits, and contributors.
✔︎ Nimiq has already a flourishing developper base.
Community Activity
Dedicated forums are available where developers, supporters, users, and founders can interact and build a community and offer transparency into the project. The team provides regular updates or is responsive to feedback.
✔︎ Yes it has.
External Stakeholders
There are investments from venture firms or hedge funds which have experience working with crypto companies or projects. The project has corporate partnerships, joint ventures, or dedicated consortiums.
〜 It doesn't as far as I know.
Change in Market Capitalization
The market capitalization has grown after the network has activated, demonstrating increased demand for the asset after the project's launch.
〜 Sadly not.
Nodes
Growing # of nodes on the underlying blockchain. The project has a globally distributed node network, meaning operating nodes are not contained in a single country or geographic region.
✔︎ You can even check them on a map on https://miner.nimiq.com/
Transactions, Fees & Addresses
Growing # of transactions and fees paid over time. Growing # of asset or token holders, which is an indicator of asset distribution.
✔︎ Check the stats
Economic Incentives
Are the economic structures designed to incentivize all parties to act in the best interest of the network?
✔︎ It's a PoW coin so yes.
Type of Token
It is a service, work, or hybrid token. Tokens backed by fiat or other physical assets are categorized as US securities and will not be considered at this time.
✔︎ It's not backed by anything but the work done to generate them.
Token Utility
There is utility from obtaining, holding, participating, or spending the token. The team identifies a clear and compelling reason for the native digital asset to exist (i.e. the main purpose is not fundraising).
✔︎ Nimiq is a general payment protocol.
Inflation (Money Supply)
There is an algorithmically programmed inflation rate which incentivizes security and network effects. Or, if the total supply is capped, then a majority of the tokens should be available for trade when the network launches.
✔︎ You can check the inflation curve here.
Rewards and Penalties
There are mechanisms (such as transaction fees) which incentivize miners, validators, and other participants to exhibit 'good' behavior. Conversely, there are mechanisms which deter 'bad' behavior.
✔︎ Yes
Security
There is a focus on stringent security protocols and best practices to limit scams, hacks, and theft of funds.
✔︎ The smart-contract of the ICO was audited and they didn't lose the fund yet so I guess it's secure haha.
Participation Equality
Best efforts by the team to allow a fair distribution of tokens (i.e. setting initial individual purchase caps to limit the risk of small number of investors from taking a majority of the supply).
✔︎ The number of NIM distributed through NET is only 7% in any case.
Team Ownership
The ownership stake retained by the team is a minority stake. There should be a lock-up period and reasonable vesting schedule to ensure the team is economically incentivized to improve the network into the future.
✔︎ See the vesting schedule
Transparency
The team should be available and responsive to questions or feedback about the product, token sale, or use of funds across multiple forums.
✔︎ See the transparency report.
Total Supply The team should sell a fixed percentage of the total supply, and participants should know the percentage of total supply that their purchase represents, or have a clear understanding of the inflation rate.
✔︎ All informations are available freely online.
Ethics or Code of Conduct
White paper or project website should have an ethical or professional code of conduct.
✔︎ Check it here
Conclusion: 44 ✔︎ and 12 〜.
submitted by --Talleyrand-- to Nimiq [link] [comments]

Nebulas (NAS) Technical White Paper Review

Nebulas Technical White Paper Review - January 20, 2018 by u/satoshibytes

Whitepaper version: 1.0 September, 2017.

Built on ground-breaking innovation, Nebulas brings blockchain technology into the 3rd generation.
Nebulas offers two different white papers; while the first is a basic overview, the second is technical.
The technical white paper describes the specifics of the project, and with each part broken down into details, it is not only quite long, it is also considered one of the most technical white paper of any blockchain technology to date. Although detailed information provides transparency and answers questions, many people are finding it difficult to comprehend.
No doubt, most investors are looking for the next hot coin that will provide a good pay day! While I believe that Nebulas can provide just that, I also feel that it is always important to understand what you are investing in. If you take the time to read everything carefully, Nebulas’ technical white paper shows the entire system in its final glory!
Therefore, the comments below compile my analysis of the technical white paper (in combination with other reliable sources). I will also do my best to include the page where you can find these facts in the technical white paper. Therefore, I suggest that rather than taking my word for it, read it for yourself.
Based on pros and cons, let’s break down the primary elements of Nebulas:

Nebulas Rank (NR)

Nebulas Rank (NR) will be the first to integrate search engine capability into blockchain. In other words, Nebulas Rank is the protocol responsible for making search engine a viable element in the blockchain. Right off the bat, let’s address an important question, "What good is a ranking system inside a blockchain?"
Currently, there is no way to search the blockchain for meaningful data (other than simple transactions), and, therefore, it’s impossible to find dApps or locate smart contracts. If this doesn’t sound like a big deal, imagine trying to search the internet without google or some other search engine – it would be impossible!
Just as the first internet search engine evolved the internet into what it is today, the first blockchain search engine will inevitably evolve blockchain. Not only a stepping stone for the future of blockchain, we’re talking about a new foundation for blockchain technology.
By providing a blockchain search engine, the Nebulas Ranking system will allow users to locate quality dApps (decentralized apps) and smart contracts. For example, let’s say that you are looking for a dApp like CryptoKitties. No doubt, there could be dozens of similar apps. So, based on multiple data resources, such as blockchain activity, github activity, and even google search history, the ranking algorithm (NR) orders similar apps, and then lists them in a manner that the user can evaluate and select.

Now, can you see why Nebulas is being compared to google?

But, this is only the beginning…. Nebulas Rank is also interwoven into the Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP) and the Proof of Devotion (PoD) Consensus Algorithm. Without Nebulas Rank, these other two elements could not operate as the white paper states.
Based on the current white paper, let’s spotlight some potential negatives about the Nebulas Rank(NR) protocol. However, also keep in mind that these potential issues could be completely eliminated as the project develops (thanks to Nebulas Force – more on this later).

Now the potential negative:

However, while the white paper describes the search engine being centralized, it also says "In current stage..." Thereby indicating that Nebulas developers have a better solution in the long run. Perhaps a sidechain just for searching? The white paper also states that "the complete code for searching backend is available to the community and third-party developers can create their own searching services on this basis." Hopefully, this will keep the ranking honest.
Since the Nebulas blockchain is based on the Nebulas Rank (NR) system, now that we have highlighted the most important aspects of Nebulas Rank (NR), we can dive deeper into specific functions.

Proof of Devotion (PoD) Consensus Algorithm

In the cryptocurrency world, Proof of work (PoW) means mining. While damaging to the environment, few can argue that this is a terrible waste of natural resources. As an alternative, the cryptocurrency world also has Proof of Stake (PoS). Proof of Stake allows token/coin holders to stake (aka hold un-spendable tokens), and to be rewarded with more tokens when they create a new block. For example, if there are 100 people staking and there are 100 new blocks per hour, every stake will, on average, receive one block reward per hour.
While better for the environment, Proof of Stake creates an imbalance where major coin holders (aka whales) are rewarded with even more coins, and this allows "whales" to stake even more coins (this means that there could be a potential to monopolize the system).
Now, Nebulas brings us Proof of Devotion (PoD)[iii]. As far as I know, there is currently nothing like this in blockchain technology (nor ready to be released). Proof of Devotion essentially awards developers who make awesome things (such as dApps) on the Nebulas blockchain.
If you develop an dApp that’s performing well on the Nebulas network, you will have the option to be a validator (aka validate submitted transactions), and, in return, receive token rewards from the blockchain. To be a validator, you will need to stake (deposit) X amount of tokens. Then, multiple validators (per transaction) will have to agree on the result[iv], and, each will be rewarded 1.5x the amount staked.
The generation of new blocks[v] will be carried out by "highly important" accounts that Nebulas Rank (NR) calculates. As stated in the whitepaper, "PoD empowers the selected accounts to have the bookkeeping right with equal probability to participate in new block generation in order to prevent tilted probability that may bring about monopoly".
The bottom line... when it comes to Proof of Devotion, why use Ethereum to create a dApp when you can create the same dApp on Nebulas and make a profit? Needless to say, this is a huge incentive for developers to make dApps on the Nebulas network, and, consequently, it will increase the value of the network. Furthermore, since Nebulas will provide developer tools, it will be easier to create dApps.

Now the potential negative:

Because it inspires developers to create awesome dApps, and, at the same time, profit directly from blockchain, I personally love this idea! No longer will dApp creators require insane ICO’s nor will they need some other stream of revenue. However, participating in PoD does not stop developers from benefiting from other income streams. Truly groundbreaking!

Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP)

Not only can Proof of Devotion give incentive to developers, quality developers will also receive extra coins/tokens for their hard work. Based on Nebulas Rank(NR), Nebulas will use an algorithm for reward distribution[vii]. The rewards will be automatically distributed to the smart contract cash-out address every 7 days.
There is really nothing negative to add to this. It’s truly a powerful incentive!

Nebulas Force (NF)

Who needs hard forks? Nebulas Force will allow developers to introduce new features/protocols into the Nebulas blockchain without a fork. The Nebulas white paper calls it "Self-evolving blockchain technology" but I don’t believe this is quite correct. Rather than being self-evolving, it is actually community driven! Because this will build the blockchain community, in my opinion, this is even better!
With other blockchains for example, if a developer has an awesome idea for a dApp but it needs a new protocol that does not exist on any blockchain, the developer would have to centralize the dApp or chuck it altogether.
With Nebulas, new ideas can be developed, and if they provide positive contribution, the Nebulas community (Nebulas token holders) can vote on and approve changes to the network protocol. Once approved, Nebulas developers can add the new protocol into the Nebulas blockchain. Perhaps, further in the development, sub-chains will also support new protocols for full implementation.

Upgradable Smart Contracts

Revolutionary for blockchain, Nebulas Force will include upgradable smart contracts[viii]. Why is this important? Well, due to bugs in smart contracts, investors can lose funds in any blockchain network that uses smart contracts. Once submitted to the blockchain, nothing can be done to fix the bugs, and, as a result, tens of millions of dollars have already been lost.
Nebulas plans to overcome this problem through the implementation of upgradable smart contracts. In a nutshell, token holders will vote on proposed changes (to fix specific bugs), and when the overall vote is affirmative, bugs can be eliminated at any time. By saving investors millions, it will restore lost confidence!

Now the potential negative:

  • The Nebulas protocol is only modifiable by the Nebulas core developers. Although this is not really a negative, I would not call it "self-evolving". If you look at Bitcoin, there is a handful of developers responsible for source code, and, subsequently, the source code for all alt coins that use Bitcoin core in some capacity (such as LTC, BCC, BTG, DOGE, etc…)
  • The protocol updates will be applied via a hard coded signature into the genesis block[ix] and this means that there is a potential for network compromise.
  • Although there are some ethical issues with modifying smart contracts, overall, it is a great idea! Since token holders will have to vote on any changes, there could be an issue with whales (monopoly owners) controlling contracts.
Even with the negatives, this is a powerful feature.

The above includes Nebulas’ most innovative features, and although these features stand out, there is even more to Nebulas:

Anti-cheating algorithms[x]

To ensure fairness, the above protocols contain anti-cheating algorithms that are manipulation resistant, and, if someone is found trying to cheat, there are penalties.

Smart contracts almost anyone can write![xi]

Nebulas will support smart contracts written in Javascript, Python, Java and more! And this means that any coder can create a logical contract!

Full voting protocol[xii]

Since Nebulas includes a full voting protocol in the blockchain, you and I, as token holders, can help decide the direction of Nebulas. As an example, the coin "Decred[xiii]" also has a voting system; giving end-users a voice keeps them engaged.

Domain Name Service[xiv]

Although blockchain users are accustomed to "please send funds to: 0x488B2630CEdB5Bfd5e02c33A3653227170743357", it’s simply not logical. If you miss a letter, change a number, or simply enter an address incompletely, funds are sent into the abyss - forever. To correct this inherent problem, Nebulas will implement the use of "meaningful names." For instance, using a meaningful name, your Nebulas address could be "Rick_Sanchez.me." Users will have the opportunity to bid for requested names, and renew yearly - just like a web based domain name.

Lightning Network[xv]

As many of you probably already know, bitcoin can now use a Lightning Network. This will allow multiple small transactions to be signed without clogging up the blockchain and memory pool. It keeps an open ledger between two entities and can be closed at any time by either party, resulting in one transaction on the network instead of potentially dozens or hundreds.If the Bitcoin network started with the Lightning Network, it would currently be able to handle all transactions per second without any problems. Without the Lightening Network, Bitcoin can only handle 7~ transactions per second (and usually less). With the Lightening Network initially in place, the Nebulas network will be able to handle the required transactions and close the lightning ledgers when requested by users. It would also not cost $20.00++ to send $5.00 nor would it take an hour. I won’t get into the ludicrous prices of Bitcoin transactions fees and how we got here, but if you don’t know much about it, you should learn more. As an important feature of Nebulas, the Lightning Network will provide quick and cheap transactions.

High Strength Encryption

Nebulas uses SHA3-256 encryption. Although you won’t find this in the white paper, SHA3-256 is Highly Quantum Resistant[xvi] - research it yourself. Why is this so important? Well, as an inevitable evolution of quantum computing, previous generations of encryption will be rendered inadequate, and, consequently, susceptible to decryption of private keys. Basically, this means that once quantum computers are developed, you can lose your money in a non-quantum resistant blockchain. Since Quantum Resistance is a very important feature, many new coins (such as the QRL coin[xvii]) are being intentionally created for this purpose.

So, what role does the NAS token play in the network?

Directly from the white paper[xviii]; "The Nebulas network has its own built-in token, NAS. NAS plays two roles in the network. First, as the original money in the network, NAS provides asset liquidity among users, and functions as the incentive token for PoD bookkeepers and DIP. Second, NAS will be charged as the calculation fee for running smart contracts. The minimum unit of NAS is 10−18 NAS." If interested, the white paper goes into detail. If you question the purpose of NAS, simply ask yourself, "What role does ETHER play in the Ethereum network?" As of this writing, ETHER’s current price is $1098.00USD – and that’s not even it’s high. I believe that common sense indicates the potential value of the NAS coin!

Nebulas will have a maximum of 100,000,000 tokens

Many of the top 10 cryptocurrencies will distribute coins/tokens in the tens of billions, and, in fact, Ethereum will have an indefinite amount (albeit, they will taper off in time). However, when there are significantly less coins/tokens, the value of each increases. Treasure each NAS token!

A web-based playground for developer tools[xix]

To help developers create smart contracts easier and faster, Nebulas will offer developer tools. Nebulas will also support multiple IDE’s.
Although the list of features and functions goes on, this should give you an overview of what the Nebulas network can do, how it can evolve blockchain technology, and why it will be a very attractive option for future dApps. Having said all this, please be clear, it is not financial advice.
Also, keep in mind that the above statements are based on my analysis of the white paper (version: 1.0 September, 2017), but this is not to say that the developers don’t have a different perspective. With that being said, Nebulas staff and co-founder, Robin Zhong, actively responds to questions in their Slack channel. This leads us to a review of the Nebulas team.

The Nebulas Team

When looking at a new, and yet to be released, project, it’s not only important to understand the innovation, it’s also important to understand the team behind the innovation. Although not the largest team, the developers are highly educated with real blockchain experience. In fact, many have worked at Google, IBM, Alibaba, Alibaba financial, Airbnb, etc… Additionally, two Nebulas founders previously co-founded the NEO coin (formerly Antshares) which on January 20, 2018 trades at $140.00 (not even its high) per coin/token.
No doubt, the team is influential in past, current and future blockchain innovation. In fact, playing a huge part in bringing blockchain to China, Hitters Xu created Bitsclub, and many other team members started blockchain communities. If you have not yet learned about the team, I strongly suggest you do. Check out their LinkedIn pages and also look at the developers Githubs.

Full disclosure:

As a fellow investor and fan of blockchain technology, I got into the crypto world in 2012. Since then, I have mined, traded, and even created an arbitrary trading system. My portfolio includes dozens of different types of tokens/coins. My focus is on innovation rather than "rinse and repeat."
I first learned about Nebulas in the beginning of January 2018. After reading the technical white paper multiple times and fully understanding Nebulas (what it is and what it’s not), I confidentially purchased NAS (ERC-20) tokens.
As with any great blockchain, Nebulas will not be the last, but it is a crucial step to the next generation of blockchain innovation! Without doubt, I see the true potential of blockchain technology, and, if you ask me, Nebulas is an amazing short, medium and long term project, and I’m excited about the future!
To quote a Nebulas founder, "Ask not what blockchain can do for you, ask what you can do for blockchain..." - Hitters Xu

References

i: Pg 41 – 6.2
ii: Pg 24 – Last bullet point
iii: Pg 34 - 5.3.1
iv: Pg 35 – 3.3.3
v: Pg 34 – 5.3.1
vi: Visit https://gifto.io/ for more info – Watch the video for an example of what Nebulas will do.
vii: Pg30 – 4.2
viii: Pg 27 – 3.3.2
ix: Pg 26 – Paragraph2
x: Many locations – There are many parts of the white paper that talk about anti-cheating in different capacities.
xi: Pg 26 – 3.3.1
xii: Many locations – There are many parts of the white paper that talk about voting in different capacities.
xiii: Visit https://decred.org/ for more information. For full disclosure, I do own DCR and stake them.
xiv: Pg 45 – 7.1
xv: Pg 45 – 7.2
xvi: Visit https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/18/sha3256_good_for_beelions_of_years_say_boffins/ for more information.
xvii: Visit https://www.theqrl.org for more information. And yes, for full disclosure, I like this project as well, and have invested post ICO.
xviii: Pg 47 - 8
xix: Pg 46 – 7.3
submitted by zigzagzig to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

[HyperX D2L] Spring D2L Announcements: Western Challenge + New Weekly Talk Show: REPORTED!

Spring time is Dota time, and we've got a whole lot of content on the way!
Heya guys! It's been a while in the making, with long hours for myself, (#Fire)Conrad, (#TheDeciderKnownAs)Gianni, (#SettinTheRecordStraight)Colin, and the rest of the D2L crew working with teams, players, managers, organizers, and many more to make sure we were able to deliver the content we wanted in the quantities and quality we wanted, and NOT add to the growing quagmire of packed schedules, qualifier conflicts, and LAN lamentations... and this is what we've got for you!
And no, none of this is for April Fools =P
You can read below to find more details about each!
We're looking forward to a great Spring, full of not just our content, but the ocean of content being produced by all of our colleagues as well. And we'll hope you join us for every minute of it!
HYPERX D2L WESTERN CHALLENGE
Following the conclusion of D2L Season 4, we had originally intended to launch Season 5 in the middle of March, featuring the same format we had the season before, and with another LAN event at the end. Then... the Dota 2 scene went BANANAS this Spring and Summer with huge tournaments, qualifier based LANs, and of course the shadow of TI4 looming on the horizon. So our options were:
The D2L Western Challenge concept is the result of our having made the right decision.
The idea is simple - an ultra condensed format with a sizable prize pool, bolstered of course by in-game ticket support, and NOT featuring a live LAN final that would further complicate the travel plans and scheduling woes of teams and organizers.
Format:
Teams:
Prize Pool:
Ticket Bundle:
Ticket Cost:
Split of Our Take-Home Ticket Profits:
Stream Locations:
English Stream: Twitch.tv/D2L
Russian Stream: Twitch.tv/D2L_RU
Week 1 Schedule:
Tuesday, April 1st
Wednesday, April 2nd
Thursday, April 3rd
Friday, April 4th
Saturday, April 5th
Sunday, April 6th
Week 2 Schedule:
Monday, April 7th
Tuesday, April 8th
Wednesday, April 9th
Thursday, April 10th
Friday, April 11th
Saturday, April 12th
Sunday, April 13th
Week 3 Schedule:
Monday, April 14th
Tuesday, April 15th
Remaining matches as of yet unscheduled will be confirmed and released in coming days
NEW WEEKLY TALK SHOW: REPORTED!
A concept we've been wanting to implement for some time, REPORTED! will be a radio-style Dota 2 show run each week, featuring weekly run-downs, guest interviews and hosts, and open-lines for viewers to call in towards the end of the show. Each week this show will serve as either a lead-in to D2L broadcasts, or other play taking place in other tournaments. The idea for the early weeks of the show is to find a groove and format that people enjoy, and to build on that and expand to three shows a week, or perhaps as many as five once we find our rhythm.
Details:
D2L SEASON 5
We certainly wish we could have included a big blowout LAN in our plans for this Spring, but in the end we knew that even though we had the capability to do so, it would have ended up doing more damage than good to not just ourselves, but to viewers and teams sick of dealing with confounding schedules in these packed months.
The good news, though, is that the budget we'd planned to invest into that element of things can now be shifted towards making our event following TI4 even bigger and better than we had planned.
We hope you guys enjoy this Spring's D2L content as much as we enjoy making it... and we hope you'll all take it as a sign not just of our current progress, but of bigger and better things to come later in 2014.
We can't wait for Tuesday! See you all in the stream <3
submitted by ayesee to DotA2 [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrencies turn largely red as cryptocurrency mining chip manufacturer TSMC forecasts weaker demand in 4Q2018

Crypto News

Sources:
https://bitcoinist.com/cryptocurrency-exchanges-lost-882-million-to-hackers-in-two-years-report-finds/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/report-blockchain-and-crypto-industries-see-growing-demand-for-talent https://cointelegraph.com/news/bermuda-government-approves-first-ico-under-new-regulatory-regime https://www.coindesk.com/chip-maker-tsmc-forecasts-weaker-crypto-mining-demand-in-q4/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-hedge-fund-and-ceo-slapped-with-25-million-penalty-for-ponzi-scheme https://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/7831-18 https://www.coindesk.com/judge-orders-trading-firm-ceo-to-pay-2-5-million-in-bitcoin-ponzi-case/ https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-exchange-huobi-now-lets-users-swap-between-4-different-stablecoins/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/gates-foundation-to-partner-with-ripple-and-coil-to-support-pro-poor-payment-systems https://www.ccn.com/gates-foundation-partners-ripple-and-coil-in-financial-inclusion-initiative/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/tether-didnt-do-a-great-job-on-transparency-claims-investor-mike-novogratz
submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

AMA with Tezos on ARK slack

boldninja
All welcome @breitwoman (Kathleen) and @rawzeee (Ross) from Tezos.com - today they will answer any of your questions regarding their upcoming project
breitwoman By way of introduction, I am Kathleen Breitman, the CEO of the company which created Tezos. I am tag teaming this with @rawzeee, who works for the Swiss Foundation which will be responsible for running the crowdsale later this month. Ross will handle crowdsale-specific questions.
rawzeee Hello! Greetings from Zug!
jamiec79 :wave:
breitwoman Very jealous of Ross right now, Zug is gorgeous
techbytes Welcome.
rawzeee I saw a man playing an alphorn in front of UBS today. Most Swiss thing I could've imagined possible.
arkvader Greetings from far far away....
tranzer Hi Tezos! I have 1st question, by the looks of it Tezos will be in OCaml right? Why did you decide on OCaml? Are there any advantages over other languages?
mike Hi Kathleen and Ross, good to see you.
moobox hello Tezos people
breitwoman @tranzer great question. we wrote the protocol in OCaml. It was a confluence of a few things... Pragmatically, we found a great team with an emphasis on OCaml based in France and Arthur (CTO) is a French national so it was possible to work with them pretty seamlessly. On the technical side, OCaml is a great PL for writing code that can later be formally verified. Security and consistency of execution are two principles we tried to optimize for and OCaml lends itself well to those goals. See also section 1.4: https://tezos.com/static/papers/position_paper.pdf (edited)
dr10 hello tezos
breitwoman howdy all!
dr10 How would you shortly & easy-to-understand sum-up the advantages of TEZOS to magazines and non-crypto people?
tranzer What consensus system will you use? Like PoS or some hybrid? Will there be any rewards for signing blocks?
breitwoman My TL;DR runs on two talking points -- Tezos is a new blockchain that aims to create a robust governance model by allowing token-holders to come to consensus on protocol upgrades but also preserve rules over time by using mathematical proofs. Unlike previous blockchains, it can deploy upgrades to the network in an elegant and seamless way.
@tranzer we have our own POS algo. We have nominal inflation in the protocol to incentivize participation.
dr10 So in easy words, Tezos is built to easily adapt to any technic innovations?
breitwoman @dr10 yes, it was borne out of the first alt coin craze when everyone deployed a new token to instantiate even the most marginal improvement
dr10 okay
breitwoman Tezos wants to preserve network effects while keeping pace with innovation
dr10 Your whitepaper has very tech-heavy language. So I'd like to ask questions that are stupid and simple. :smile: What are the three crypto-currencies that are most similar to yours and yet why is Tezos different?
breitwoman Yeah, the position paper is more accessible
dr10 yeah i've read them all
breitwoman 1. Decred. Though they don't push automatic upgrades and they can't introspect on the protocol. 2. Dash. Though they also don't push automatic upgrades, can't introspect, and I think their funding model is a little backwards. 3. Ethereum has a lot of similar technical goals but no formal, on-chain governance model. We made our protocol with a bigger emphasis on formal verification and security.
someonesomeone Hi guys!
dr10 thank you! and hi someone :smile:
In your position paper you state "Tezos truly aims to be the last cryptocurrency." No matter what innovations other protocols produce, it will be possible for Tezos stakeholders to adopt these innovations" - Can Tezos implement any future innovations within its code? Wether its a new programming code, artificial intelligence or implementing big data of anything?
i wondered about that
i am a no-coder so I dont grasp everything
tranzer How much do you aim to raise in your ICO will there be any minimum or maximum? Will it be normal proportional auction or fixed price per token?
breitwoman @dr10 obviously limitations to anything that a blockchain can do... it can't solve poverty or hunger, but we made the code with a very modular design that allows for a lot of flexibility
someonesomeone @breitwoman do you plan on doing a smartbridge with Ark? Or any other partnerships with them? :wink:
dr10 yeah but I am wondering about future innovations like artificial intelligence, if that can somehow be implemented.
breitwoman @smartbridge good question. I like Ark but I'm not familiar enough with what they're up to... open to all sorts of things though!
dr10 My theory is that these future innovations will be interconnected by cryptocurrency
breitwoman @dr10 So, our CTO is a bona fide expert in AI and he doesn't think there are a lot of synergies with AI and blockchains
dr10 What is block target time? What is transaction speed? How many confirmations are needed? Couldnt see that / find that... maybe I oversaw :smile:
breitwoman but we'll keep our eyes peeled
dr10 okay
someonesomeone @breitwoman cool. Ark is doing a great job from what I can gather and I am pretty sure that I will also invest into your ICO, since your project also looks very interesting
breitwoman @dr10 I think that's all referenced in the white paper, which was recently updated!
soporificprose Can you answer Tanzer... I have same questions.
breitwoman That's a good question for @rawzeee
dr10 okay, maybe I oversaw. I have read them all. no problem
In your Whitepaper you state "Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cryptonote, etc. can all be represented within Tezos by implementing the proper interface to the network layer." Does this mean you try to interconnect all those cryptocurrencies? (edited)
breitwoman @dr10 we're targeting 1 minute between blocks. We haven't set a blocksize yet, but we'll her on the side of caution at first. It's better to raise the blocksize through the amendment mechanism once we are confident in the network's throughput.
jakethepanda Will users be able to issue asset tokens and build on top of Tezos?
breitwoman @dr10 no, that's more like Cosmos... a different but cool project
dr10 ark is doing that too
:smile:
rawzeee There is no minimum or maximum, though if only a few million were raised stakeholders would be asked whether or not they wanted to offer another TGE (Token Generation Event) to newcomers. Fixed price of 1 BTC to 5000 XTZ (tezzies), plus a descending bonus from 20% to 0% in 5% intervals every 400 BTC blocks. The entire TGE lasts 2000 BTC blocks. tranzer How much do you aim to raise in your ICO will there be any minimum or maximum? Will it be normal proportional auction or fixed price per token? Posted in #trading_altcoinsToday at 7:12 PM
dr10 I didnt find on that one, or didnt look too deep. What are the references of you and your team members? On what projects did you work before?
breitwoman @jakethepanda yes, they will but we think it's a better idea to propose those features that you'd find in an appcoin as a first class citizen
rawzeee Yes, was typing the answer up! It's posted now. soporificprose Can you answer Tanzer... I have same questions. Posted in #trading_altcoinsToday at 7:15 PM
breitwoman @dr10 I'm a pretty open book... I've worked in finance at a hedge fund and a VC, then in consulting... Arthur worked in high frequency trading for many years at places like Goldman and Morgan. Our developers are very academic
dachshund what type of role/influence do your initial investors (polychain, etc) have in the overall governance of the network, if any
dr10 What is the Payment for ICO? Paying in ETH or BTC or any other and how much will one Token cost?
breitwoman Technically, none. We sold a nominal amount of tokens to a large group of people. They have the same status as any other participant but got a slight discount over the crowdsale price for tying up their capital for several months.
techbytes that include Tim Draper?
breitwoman I solicit their advice a lot though... it's a really savvy bunch and I was a one-woman band on the operational side.
raolin Hey Kathleen - has your team given anymore thought to the post ICO mission? Roadmap? Additional team expansion?
soporificprose Are they restricted from selling for a certain length of time?
breitwoman no
@raolin check out our outline at the end of our presentation https://www.tezos.com/static/papers/Tezos_Overview.pdf
tranzer How much was sold to those pre-ico funders?
breitwoman All in here guys: https://www.tezos.com/static/papers/Tezos_Overview.pdf 612k at an avg 31% discount
rawzeee I listed the BTC ratio above. It's 1 BTC for 5000 XTZ (tezzies) plus a bonus or lack thereof based upon time periods. If you choose to use fiat Bitcoin Suisse AG who is administering the TGE (check their rates and your jurisdiction) they will peg it to BTC. Ether is pegged to BTC and will be accepted at the median (from Poloniex, Kraken, and GDAX) of the last three trade prices utilizing the ETH/BTC pair before the timestamp of the Ethereum block at the time of contribution. It’ll be offered on a best-effort basis and for convenience. If you want certainty contribute with Bitcoin. Otherwise you accept the risk that the exchange rate you'll get may not be precisely what you see on the screen at the moment of your contribution. You may also use other coins via ShapeShift. (edited)
dr10 you will hit poloniex, kraken and gdax?
when?
rawzeee That is referring to the peg of ETH to BTC.
all XTZ are pegged to the BTC price for the TGE.
dr10 ah ok
rawzeee I'm an acronym storm over here!
dr10 Is there already some plan or future business relationship with merchants, exchanges or anything that Tezos could be used as a payment method? Anything you want to share already?
dachshund What were your considerations when deciding to make the ICO un-capped? Any concerns regarding the impact there could be on the price once this starts trading (i.e. no price discovery)
breitwoman @dr10 we've been talking to two exchanges for several months. I'm pretty confident Tezos won't have trouble on that front. I have two partnerships in the works that I'm excited about but shouldn't discuss yet.
soporificprose Curious whether pre-ICO investors paid with BTC or fiat?
breitwoman @dachshund it's primarily about fairness and distribution.
ryano Are you familiar with BOScoin? They once were also using ocaml not sure if they stuck with that. Any comments on the benefits relative to each other
breitwoman @soporificprose fiat
dr10 Can everyone that holds a Tezos token vote on a proposal? Do they have to pay or temporaily lock in the Tokens? How does it work? It sounds like everyone can vote directly, right?
ryano Also i thought Tezos was using delegate proof of stake is this no longer or never was the case ?
breitwoman @ryano that's news to me. I have not gotten a straight answer from them on any technical questions
rawzeee The reasoning for the uncapped TGE here is that the platform is almost entirely done (not an ICO for a white paper) and it is desired that a robust network is built rather than a few fast fingers buying up the entire TGE in minutes or hours. This is particularly important given how governance will work on Tezos.
breitwoman @ryano we are using delegated proof of stake, @dr10 that means you can delegate your responsibilities to someone else if you don't want to be an active participant
dr10 I see
What is the Prediction Market about that you want to implement regarding "Futarchy"? I didnt get that right away
mike Tezos form of DPoS looks very similar to proxy voting, like Liquid Democracy.
breitwoman @mike yes, it is
good catch
soporificprose So their 30% discount was based on the price of BTC at that point? That would make it a much bigger actual discount yo current BTC to 5,000 TZE
breitwoman @soporificprose pardon? no, it was all denominated in dollars
the sale is denominated in BTC
mike I want to add that to Ark at some point as well.
dr10 What is the practical advantage to decentralized, atomated upgrades - compared to lets say Litecoin's Segwit Process?
breitwoman @dr10 yeah I'd read this piece from Robin Hanson first http://mason.gmu.edu/~rhanson/futarchy.html ... but basically you'd run a predicition market with a prompt like "What do you think would be the best feature for Tezos" with many choices and whatever gets the popular vote would be implemented.
dr10 And this predicting/voting will happen inside the wallet?
mike ryano has some very interesting ideas on ranked voting. Have you looked into ways to combine ranked with proxy voting?
breitwoman @dr10 we think defaults matter. upgrading protocols is cumbersome in existing blockchain implementations and it causes stasis
tranzer Is wallet and whole network already developed (since you said platform is ready) ?
sibars @rawzeee Sorry newbie question: Can you please explain in details how the TGE will work on day one?... I download the wallet fist, send you my BTC and then you send me the Tezzies?
breitwoman @mike not closely. we think our first implementation, a straight vanilla two phased vote, is too simplistic. I'd like to discuss more sophisticated mechanisms if you've thought them through!
I know Arthur loves him some futarchy but I'm not as big of a fan
mike that would be a great discussion, look forward to exploring voting systems with you. we plan to try them on bridged chains which can be run as experiments.
breitwoman @mike that's awesome
dr10 xD
Tezos focusses also on faster smart contracts as I understood, right?
breitwoman @dr10 more secure, not necessarily faster
dr10 okay
breitwoman our smart contract language, Michelson, was created with formal verification in mind
mike That named after the Michelson of Michelson-Morley Interferometer? (edited)
dr10 And it uses ZeroCash as privacy mechanism? Or the whitepaper only compared to it and you use something different? I couldnt identify that
breitwoman @mike you got it! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_A._Michelson Wikipedia Albert A. Michelson Albert Abraham Michelson (surname pronunciation anglicized as "Michael-son", December 19, 1852 – May 9, 1931) was an American physicist known for his work on the measurement of the speed of light and especially for the Michelson–Morley experiment. In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics. He became the first American to receive the Nobel Prize in sciences. (177kB)
dachshund is there something similar to "gas" in tezos that controls for computation of each program, or how do you get around that?
rawzeee @sibars No worries at all. There is a dedicated TGE site (register for updates at www.tezos.com). It'll guide you through the process. You'll generate a paper wallet (easy click through) with seed words. You can save it to a drive and/or print it (probably most secure). You'll verify your wallet number and password you created to generate it, then make your purchase to your wallet #. You can then verify it and make sure it's reflected in the wallet. It'll be simple and easy with a nice interface.
breitwoman @dr10 not yet but Zooko is an advisor and we have spoken about integration. we are more interested in STARKs, the next gen of zero-knowledge
dr10 I see
breitwoman @dachshund yes, we have the concept of gas as well
dr10 I guess you already answered that:
In your Whitepaper you say: Crypto-currencies suffer from the same fate as smartphones which are incompatible with one another; they derive their value from a network effect, or the number of users who have given it value. - ARK will connect all Crypto-currencies by SMARTBRIDGING. Can you imagine working with ARK Smartbridge in your protocol aswell?
yeah you did :smile:
sibars @rawzeee Thanks :)
dr10 More secure Smart Contracts, automatic upgrades in a DPoS model. Any other main focusses or any other attributes you want to innovate or improve compared to other cryptos?
tranzer So will Tezos offer assets on their blockchain like ethereum?
breitwoman @dr10 well, I think that covers the main talking
@tranzer we can, but we think it's more powerful to integrate at the protocol level
dachshund how has traction been within the developer community? I imagine there isn't a limitless pool of developers with the required technical expertise, so you must be expecting to take away from other networks?
mike This is a good overview as well, for those who haven't seen it, https://tezos.com/static/papers/Tezos_Overview.pdf (edited)
geops This all sounds great. The only thing that bothers me is the 1min block time. That seems like a step back compared to modern blockchains. Any goals to improve that?
breitwoman @dachshund we have a very powerful core team. we think our choice of programming language was a good magnet and filter effects. we haven't sourced from other blockchain communities
@geops yeah, that's all pretty flexible
tranzer What is your budgeting plan if you get like 20m how long will that be for? 5 years? More?
geops If you look at integrating with ARK smartbridge tech, you'll sure get lots of investors from here :slightly_smiling_face:
breitwoman @tranzer we go over this a bit in our recent presentation: https://tezos.com/static/papers/Tezos_Overview.pdf
check out the second to last page
tranzer Yeah I'd like to see that as well geops, @fixcrypt is amazing developer from what I have seen so far
breitwoman @geops yeah, totally something we should explore. we're a small team so any partnerships or serious integration have been tabled for later
But I like the idea of ARK and I like what I've seen... so very open to this!
tranzer Must say I like what I'm hearing here will definately invest a few btc
dr10 yes me too
geops definitely good ideas
breitwoman Cool, glad to hear it!
dr10 I think the future of blockchains will be in partnerships too
tranzer dr10 I think so as well that is why I invested in ARK in first place too much competiting and too little cooperation (in other projects) (edited)
rawzeee Hooray! Happy y'all may participate in the TGE.
geops maybe you guys should sit down with @mike and @fixcrypt and discuss possible future collaborations. (edited)
mike Yes, I like the vision laid out by Andreas Antonopolis of many thousands or more of specialized tokens and chains for different applications.
tranzer OK so last question from me that 20% bonus will be for entire 400 first BTC blocks when you start?
jacob breitwoman: Quadratic voting might work for Tezos (http://ericposner.com/quadratic-voting/) ERIC POSNER Quadratic voting Glen Weyl has uploaded a new version of his paper, Quadratic Voting (written with Steven Lalley), to SSRN, which now includes the completed proofs. Quadratic voting is the most important idea for l… Dec 30th, 2014 at 3:57 PM
breitwoman good question for @rawzeee
rawzeee @tranzer yes, indeed!
breitwoman @jacob yes, that's something we've considered
mike Glad to see you have Johann Gevers on board, is he active with the foundation?
breitwoman we didn't want to be prescriptive with v1, so we made it very easy to understand
rawzeee So there is about two days to get that bonus. Then 15% for the same period and so on.
breitwoman @mike yes, he's the director. and he's awesome. total mensch and very philosophically committed to our project
rawzeee I actually had a meeting with Johann today in Zug.
mike Really like Monetas, glad to see there doing well, and the creation of the Zug crypto environment is fantastic.
breitwoman @mike we went through a lot of ups and downs while developing Tezos. basically nobody cared about us for a while, until the DAO basically. Johann always encouraged us to keep going.
yeah, the crypto valley is a brilliant concept
rawzeee It's pretty magical.
tranzer You living there?
breitwoman @tranzer I'm US-based
rawzeee I'm just here for awhile. Also US-based.
nikandro Hi all, sorry if this has already been discussed, but have you spoken with any exchanges about adding Tezos?
breitwoman @nikandro yes, but it's a pretty convoluted process
one nice thing about tezos is that exchanges can act as delegates, which creates great incentives
nikandro Do you expect to have any clarity on that prior to the ICO?
tranzer How can exchanges act as delegates?
breitwoman not sufficient to make an announcement but it's really not something I worry about
techbytes really. Than perhaps Poloniex will add tezos. :slightly_smiling_face:
breitwoman @tranzer you can assign your validation to an exchange's address
nikandro While im interested in developing more than anything, I also understand that trading is a good tool for price discovery, which is critical.
ryano You shouldn't have any trouble getting on an exchange and would be a low priority area to spend your energy while in development
breitwoman they have to volunteer of course @nikandro of course, completely agree. Arthur was a market maker on Wall Street for 10 years
he thinks about this... a lot
@ryano that's what I've heard but people like to be assured that the token will have a marketplace, which is reasonable
It does take a lot of energy and I've been lagging on that front
Security and legal concerns were priority #1, we can iterate and grow the team pretty rapidly after the sale
Having the Foundation build out and assume responsibilities for promoting the protocol will be much better than my one woman band :slightly_smiling_face:
mike I'd expect Bittrex no problem.
jakethepanda First alt-coin you bought?
mike mastercoin
nikandro Sorry to push the matter, but does this mean there will be no marketplace for Tezos after the ICO?
breitwoman @nikandro apparently there will be a futures market running
mike they can't announce if they did - exchanges have NDAs disallowing coins from announcing, leaving it up to the exchanges.
djselery lol, even if they had an exchange lined up right now they probly couldnt talk about it
nikandro @djselery , right, and I'm not asking for specifics, just wondering if implementation is in the pipeline.
breitwoman @nikandro it is
insofar as we have had many conversations/back and forth and its been very positive
I can't say much else other than it's a cumbersome process
nikandro Okay, thanks @breitwoman
jakethepanda I'm sure Tezos will be on an exchange. I don't think that's even an issue.
nikandro @jakethepanda I agree, I was just inquiring about the timeline and I think @breitwoman cleared that up. Many thanks.
jakethepanda @breitwoman Pizza or Sushi?
breitwoman @jakethepanda that's relative to location. In NY, I prefer pizza. Everywhere else, sushi :slightly_smiling_face:
rawzeee ^ good answer.
jakethepanda Tesla or Mercedes?
mward So @breitwoman 5000 TEZOS = 1 btc?
and 20% discount for firat 400 btc raised
dachshund will you be growing the team in NY, is mostly based in europe?
nikandro For sure! In brooklyn, I do the dollar slice ride. Bike around to each vendor that sells dollar slices. yay, pizza!
breitwoman To drive? Mercedes. Tesla's still don't have the handle I like :slightly_smiling_face:
@dachshund they're based in Europe, primarily but I don't have any plans to leave the US
sibars by the way, who designed the Tezos logo?
rawzeee @mward no. 400 is the BTC blocks mined for the first bonus period; it's a time thing. But the ratio you've cited is correct. And then the bonus rate decreases by 5% every 400 blocks until 2000 BTC blocks are mined. (edited)
breitwoman It's a character we found by looking through some libraries. I think it's a TZ symbol from a language that uses that combination often
mward @rawzeee when will it start?
rawzeee Though not a discount. It's a bonus.
May 22nd at 6am UTC.
mward thank you
breitwoman Hey guys, I have to hop on a call in a little. 2 more questions and I'll have to wrap this up!
moobox I don't have a question but i wish your group bon chance or however the French say .
tranzer So little women in here stay a little longer :sob:
ryano Thanks for hanging out and answering questions!
jakethepanda Thanks @breitwoman
http://slack.tezos.com/
breitwoman @moobox vielen dank
@tranzer haha, I'll be back!
moobox salutes like Benny Hill
rawzeee The subreddit is where a lot of discussion happens too: https://reddit.com/tezos reddit tezos.com • tezos reddit: the front page of the internet
techbytes Great AMA session. Thanks for stopping by and answering all the questions. Good luck on the project and I look forward to investing.
breitwoman @ryano thanks for having me! and the very cordial convo
boldninja @breitwoman thank you for taking the time for this AMA - I was just lurking, but all what I would ask was answered. I wish you all the best with ICO and I hope ARK and Tezos cooperate in the future.
breitwoman Thanks guys! Yeah, feel free to bolster our Reddit
mward Aurrevoir!
dr10 thank you very much :smile:
rawzeee Yes, thanks much everyone! So long!
breitwoman @boldninja great to hear it!
@dr10 thanks for the solid qs, really appreciate it
dr10 np :smile:
mike Thanks for stopping by, both of you, and taking the time to chat with us.
look forward to participating in Tezos.
submitted by Jarunik to ArkEcosystem [link] [comments]

Bi-Weekly Rational Feed

===Highly Recommended Articles:
Superintelligence Risk Project Update II by Jeff Kaufman - Jeff's thoughts and the sources he found most useful. Project is wrapping up in a few day. Topics: Technical Distance to AI. Most plausible scenarios of Superintelligence risk. OpenPhil's notes on how progress was potentially stalled in Cryonics and Nanotech.
Superintelligence Risk Project Update by Jeff Kaufman - Links to the three most informative readings on AI risk. Details on the large number of people Jeff has talked to. Three fundamental points of view on AI-Safety. Three Fundamental points of disagreement. An update on the original questions Jeff was trying to answer.
Podcast The World Needs Ai Researchers Heres How To Become One by 80,000 Hours - "OpenAI’s latest plans and research progress. Concrete Papers in AI Safety, which outlines five specific ways machine learning algorithms can act in dangerous ways their designers don’t intend - something OpenAI has to work to avoid. How listeners can best go about pursuing a career in machine learning and AI development themselves."
Radical Book Club The Decentralized Left by davidzhines (Status 451) - The nature of leftwing organizing and what righties can learn from it. An exposition of multiple books on radical left organization building. Major themes are "doing the work" and "decentralized leadership".
Study Of The Week To Remediate Or Not To Remediate by Freddie deBoer - Should low math proficiency students take remedial algebra or credit bearing statistics. The City University of New York ran an actual randomized study to test this. The study had pretty good controls. For example students were randomly assigned to three groups, participating professors taught one section of each group.
Kenneth Arrow On The Welfare Economics Of Medical Care A Critical Assessment by Artir (Nintil) - "Kenneth Arrow wrote a paper in 1963, Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care. This paper tends to appear in debates regarding whether healthcare can be left to the market (like bread), or if it should feature heavy state involvement. Here I explain what the paper says, and to what extent it is true."
Becoming Stronger Together by b4yes (lesswrong) - "About a year ago, a secret rationalist group was founded. This is a report of what the group did during that year."
The Destruction Of American Cuisine by Small Truths - America used to have a tremendous number of regional cuisines, most are dead. They were killed by supermarkets and frozen food. This has been costly both in terms of culture and health (antibiotic resistance, crop monoculture risk)
===Scott:
Targeting Meritocracy by Scott Alexander - Education and merit are different. Programming is one of the last meritocracies, this lets disadvantaged people get into the field. If a job is high impact we want to hire on merit. The original, literal meaning of meritocracy is important.
Classified Thread 2 Best In Classified by Scott Alexander - Scott is promoting a project to accelerate the trend of rationalists living near each other. There are four houses available for rent near Ward Street in Berkeley. Ward street is currently the rationalist hub in the Bay. Commenters can advertise other projects and services.
Url Of Sandwich by Scott Alexander - Standard links post, somewhat longer than usual.
Opec Thread by Scott Alexander - Bi-weekly open thread. Update on Scott and Katja's travels. Salt Lake City Meetup highlight. Topher Brennan is running for Senate.
Can We Link Perception And Cognition by Scott Alexander - SSC survey optical illusions. "So there seems to be a picture where high rates of perceptual ambiguity are linked to being weirder and (sometimes, in a very weak statistical way) lower-functioning." Speculation about fundamental connections between perception and cognitive style. Ideas for further research.
Change Minds Or Drive Turnout by Scott Alexander - Extreme candidates lower turnout among their own party. Is base turnout really the only thing that matters? Lots of quotes from studies.
===Rationalist:
Learning From Past Experiences by mindlevelup - "This is about finding ways to quickly learn from past experiences to inform future actions. We briefly touch upon different learning models." Model-based and Model-Free reinforcement learning. Practical advice and examples.
How Long Has Civilization Been Going by Elo (BearLamp) - Human agricultural society is only 342-1000 generations old. "Or when you are 24 years old you have lived one day for every year humans have had written records." Human civilization is only a few hundred lifetimes old.
Choices Are Bad by Zvi Moshowitz - Choices reduce perceived value. Choices require time and energy. Making someone choose is imposing a real cost.
Erisology Of Self And Will: The Gulf by Everything Studies - "Part 4 will discuss some scientific disciplines with bearing on the self, and how their results are interpreted differently by the traditional paradigm vs. the scientific."
Philosophy Vs Duck Tests by Robin Hanson - Focusing on deep structure vs adding up weak cues. If it looks like an x... More discussion of whether most people will consider ems people and/or conscious.
Knowing How To Define by AellaGirl - "These are three ways in which a word can be ‘defined’ – the role it plays in the world around it (the up-definition), synonyms (lateral-definition), and the parts which construct the thing (down-definition)." Applications to morality and free-will.
Change Is Bad by Zvi Moshowitz - "Change space, like mind space, is deep and wide. Friendly change space isn’t quite to change space what friendly mind space is to mind space, but before you apply any filters of common sense, it’s remarkably close." A long list of conditions that mean change has lower expected value. Why we still need to make changes. Keep your eyes open.
Meditation Insights Suffering And Pleasure Are Intrinsically Bound Together by Kaj Sotala - The concrete goal of meditation is to train your peripheral awareness. Much suffering comes from false promises of pleasure. Procrastinating to play a videogame won't actually make you feel better. Temptation losses its power once you truly see the temptations for what they truly are.
Be My Neighbor by Katja Grace - Katja lives in a rationalist house on ward street in Berkeley and its great. The next step up is a rationalist neighborhood. Katja is promoting the same four houses as Scott. Be her neighbor?
What Value Subagents by G Gordan (Map and Territory) - Splitting the mind into subagents is a common rationalist model (links to Alicorn, Briene Yudkowsky, etc). However the author preferred model is a single process with inconsistent preferences. Freud. System 1 and System 2. The rider and the Elephant become one. Subagents as masks. Subagents as epicycles.
The Order Of The Soul by Ben Hoffman (Compass Rose) - The philosophy of accepting things vs the impulse to reshape them. Many philosophical and psychological models split the soul into three. Internalized authority vs seeing the deep structure of moral reality. In some sense math is the easiest thing in the world to learn. School poisons the enjoyment of rational thought. Lockhart's lament. Feynman. Eichmann and thinking structurally.
Aliens Merely Sleeping by Tyler Cowen - The universe is currently too hot for artificial life to be productive. Advanced civilizations might be freezing themselves until the universe cools. "They could achieve up to 1030 times more than if done today" [short]
Book Reviews by Torello (lesswrong) - Rationalist Adjacent. Each book has an interesting 'ideas per page' rating. Homo Deus, Sapiens, Super-intelligence, Surfaces and Essences, What Technology Wants, Inside Jokes, A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind.
Geometers Scribes Structure Intelligence by Ben Hoffman (Compass Rose) - "How does spatial reasoning lead to formal, logical reasoning?" Fluid and crystalized intelligence. Some history of Philosophy. How social dynamics lead to the evolution of reasoning. Talmudic and Western law, and their oddities. Universal Grammar and connecting with the divine. FizzBuzz.
High Dimensional Societies by Robin Hanson - In high dimensional space the distance between points varies less. What implications does this have for 'spatial' social science models (ex analogues of 1D spectrums and 2D graphs).
Feelings In The Map by Elo (BearLamp) - Confusion is not a property of the external world. The same holds for many emotions. Non-violent communication and speaking from your own perspective.
Lesswrong Is Not About Forum Software by enye-word (lesswrong) - The best way to increase activity on lesswrong is to get back the top posters, especially Scott and Eliezer.
Explication by mindlevelup - "This essay is about explication, the notion of making things specific. I give some examples involving Next Actions and systematization. This might also just be obvious to many people. Part of it is also a rehash of Act Into Uncertainty. Ultimately, explication is about changing yourself."
Concrete Instructions by Elo (BearLamp) - "The objective test of whether the description is concrete is whether the description can be followed by an anonymous person to produce the same experience." Some examples including the 'paper folding game'.
Human Seems Low Dimensional by Robin Hanson - 'Humanness' seems to be a one dimensional variable. Hence people are likely to consider ems conscious and worthy of decent treatment since ems are human-like on many important factors. Some discussion of a study where people rated how human-like various entities were.
Erisology Of Self And Will: A Natural Offering by Everything Studies - A description of naturalism and it relation to science. Daniel Dennet. Many philosophers are still dualists about the self. The self as a composite. Freedom as emergent.
The Hungry Brain by Bayesian Investor - A short review that focuses on the basics of Guynet's ideas and meta-discussion of why Guynet included so much neuroscience. "Guyenet provides fairly convincing evidence that it’s simple to achieve a healthy weight while feeling full. (E.g. the 20 potatoes a day diet)."
Boost From The Best by Robin Hanson - [Age of Em] How many standard deviations above the mean will be the best em be? How much better will they be than the second best em? How much of a wage/leisure premium will the best em receive.
Becoming Stronger Together by b4yes (lesswrong) - "About a year ago, a secret rationalist group was founded. This is a report of what the group did during that year."
In Praise Of Fake Frameworks by Valentine (lesswrong) - "I use a lot of fake frameworks — that is, ways of seeing the world that are probably or obviously wrong in some important way. I think this is an important skill. There are obvious pitfalls, but I think the advantages are more than worth it. In fact, I think the "pitfalls" can even sometimes be epistemically useful."
Letter To Future Layperson by Sailor Vulcan (BYS) - A letter from someone in our age to someone post singularity. Description of the hardships and terrors of pre-singularity life. Emotional and poetic. ~5K words.
===AI:
Conversation With An Ai Researcher by Jeff Kaufman - The anonymous researcher thinks AI progress is almost entirely driven by hardware and data. Back propagation has existed for a long time. Go would have taken at least 10 more years if go-aI work had remained constrained by academic budgets.
Openai Baselines PPO by Open Ai - "We’re releasing a new class of reinforcement learning algorithms, Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO), which perform comparably or better than state-of-the-art approaches while being much simpler to implement and tune. PPO has become the default reinforcement learning algorithm at OpenAI because of its ease of use and good performance."
Superintelligence Risk Project Update II by Jeff Kaufman - Jeff's thoughts and the sources he found most useful. Project is wrapping up in a few day. Topics: Technical Distance to AI. Most plausible scenarios of Superintelligence risk. OpenPhil's notes on how progress was potentially stalled in Cryonics and Nanotech.
Real Debate Robots Education by Tyler Cowen - Robots are already becoming part of the classroom. K-12 is an artificially creation anyway. Robots can help autistic or disabled children. Children sometimes trust robots too much.
Robust Adversarial Inputs by Open Ai - "We’ve created images that reliably fool neural network classifiers when viewed from varied scales and perspectives. This challenges a claim from last week that self-driving cars would be hard to trick maliciously since they capture images from multiple scales, angles, perspectives, and the like."
What Is Overfitting Exactly by Andrew Gelman - "If your model is correct, “overfitting” is impossible. In its usual form, “overfitting” comes from using too weak of a prior distribution."
Conversation With Bryce Wiedenbeck by Jeff Kaufman - "AGI is possible, it could be a serious problem, but we can't productively work on it now." AGI will look very different from current technologies. Utility functions are a poor model of human behavior.
Examples Of Superintelligence Risk by Jeff Kaufman - A series of extended quotes describing ways AI with innocent seeming goals can destroy the world. Authors: Nick Bostrom, Eliezer (and collaborators), Luke M, 80K hours, Tim Urban. Jeff finds them unpersuasive and asks for better ones. Lots of interesting comments. Eleizer himself comments describing how 'paperclip maximizers' might realistically occur.
Superintelligence Risk Project Update by Jeff Kaufman - Links to the three most informative readings on AI risk. Details on the large number of people Jeff has talked to. Three fundamental points of view on AI-Safety. Three Fundamental points of disagreement. An update on the original questions Jeff was trying to answer.
Conversation With Michael Littman by Jeff Kaufman - CS Professor at Brown's opinions: Deep Learning is surprisingly brittle in his experience. General Intelligence will require large fundamental advances. The AI risk community isn't testing their ideas so they probably aren't making real progress.
===EA:
EAGX Relaunch by Roxanne_Heston (EA forum) - The EA global satellite EAGA-X conferences have been low activity. Changes: More funding and flexibility. Standardized formats. Fewer groups approved. Stipends to primary organizers.
Uncertainty Smoothes Out Differences In Impact by The Foundational Research Institute - Many inside view evaluations conclude that one intervention is orders of magnitude more effective than another. Uncertainty significantly reduces these ratios.
Autonomy: A Search For A Measure Will Pearson (EA forum) - "I shall introduce a relatively formal measure of autonomy, based on the intuition that it is the ability to do things by yourself with what you have. The measure introduced allows you to move from less to more autonomy, without being black and white about it. Then I shall talk about how increasing autonomy fits in with the values of movements such as poverty reduction, ai risk reduction and the reduction of suffering."
Eight media articles on GiveDirectly, Cash Transers and Basic Income.- A world where 8 men own as much wealth as 3.6 billion people by GiveDirectly -
More Giving Vs Doing by Jeff Kaufman - EA is moving far more money than it used to and the ramp up will continue. This means direct work has become relatively more valuable. Nonetheless giving money is still useful, capacity isn't being filled. Jeff plans on earning to give based on his personal constraints.
Why I Think The Foundational Research Institute by Mike Johnson (EA forum) - A description of the FRI. Good things about FRI. FRI's research framework and why the author is worried. Eight long objections. TLDR: "functionalism ("consciousness is the sum-total of the functional properties of our brains") sounds a lot better than it actually turns out to be in practice. In particular, functionalism makes it impossible to define ethics & suffering in a way that can mediate disagreements."
Tranquilism by The Foundational Research Institute - A paper arguing that reducing suffering is more important than promoting happiness. Axiology. Non-consciousness. Common Objections. Conclusion.
An Argument For Why The Future May Be Good by Ben West (EA forum) - Factory farming shows that humans are deeply cruel. Technology enabled this cruelty, perhaps the future will be even darker. Counterargument: Humans are lazy, not evil. Humans as a group will spend at least small amounts altruistically. In the future the cost of reducing suffering will go down low enough that suffering will be rare or non-existent.
Arguments Moral Advocacy by The Foundational Research Institute - "What does moral advocacy look like in practice? Which values should we spread, and how? How effective is moral advocacy compared to other interventions such as directly influencing new technologies? What are the most important arguments for and against focusing on moral advocacy?"
An Argument For Broad And Inclusive by Kaj Sotala (EA forum) - "I argue for a very broad, inclusive EA, based on the premise that the culture of a region is more important than any specific group within that region... As a concrete strategy, I propose a division into low-level and high-level EA"
Not Everybody wants a Goat by GiveDirectly - Eight links on GiveDirectly, Cash Transfers, Effective Altruism and Basic Income.
Mid Year Update by The GiveWell Blog - Encouraging more charities to apply. More research of potential interventions. Short operations recap. GiveWell is focusing more on outreach.
===Politics and Economics:
College Tuition by Tom Bartleby - Sticker prices for college have gone up 15K in twenty years, but the average actual cost has only gone up 2.5K. High prices are almost compensated by high aid. Advantage: more equitable access to education. Disadvantages: Not everyone knows about the aid, financial aid is large enough it can seriously distort family financial decisions.
War Of Wages Part 1 Apples And Walmarts by Jacob Falkovich (Put A Number On It!) - The Author thinks minimum wage hurts the poor. Walmart can't afford higher wages. Copenhagan Interpretation of Ethics: Walmart helps the poor and gets blamed, Apple does nothing for the poor but avoids blame.
Links 10 by Artir (Nintil) - Tons of links. Economics, Psychology, AI, Philosophy, Misc.
Pretend Ask Answer by Ben Hoffman (Compass Rose) - A short dialogue about Patriarchy and the meaning of oppression. Defensive actions are often a response to bad faith from the other side. Its not ok to explicitly say you think your partner is arguing in bad faith.
Cultural Studies Ironically Is Something Of A Colonizer by Freddie deBoer - An origin story for Writing Studies. The fields initial methodological diversity. Cultural studies took over the field, empirical work has been pushed out. Evidence that some cultural studies professors really do believe its fundamentally bigoted to do science and empirical research endangers marginalized students. The field has become insular.
The Dark Arts Examples From The Harris Adams Debate by Stabilizer (lesswrong) - The author accuses Scott Adams of using various dark Arts: Changing the subject, Motte-and-bailey, Euphemisation, Diagnosis, Excusing, Cherry-picking evidence.
Study Of The Week Modest But Real Benefits From Lead Exposure Interventions by Freddie deBoer - Freddie reviews a survey he found via SSC. The study had very good controls. Methodology is explained and key graphs are posted and discussed. Scott and Freddie seem to agree on the facts but have a different opinion on how large to consider the effects.
Descriptive And Prescriptive Standards by Simon Penner (Status 451) - Leadership means winning the Keynesian Beauty Contest. Public opinion doesn't exist as a stable reality. Prescribing public opinion. Dangers of social reform and leaders twisting the facts to promote noble outcomes.
A Taylorism For All Seasons by Lou (sam[]zdat) - "Christopher Lasch – The Culture of Narcissism, part 1/X, current essay being more of an overview." A Masquerade where you must act out the mask you choose.
Mechanism Agnostic Low Plasticity Educational Realism by Freddie deBoer - Freddie's educational philosophy. People sort into persistent academic strata. Educational attainment is heavily determined by factors outside of school's control. The mechanism differences in academic ability is unknown. Social and political implications.
Kin Aesthetics Excommunicate Me From The Church Of Social Justice by Frances Lee - A SJ-insider's critical opinion of SJ. Fear of being impure. Original Sin. Reproducing colonial structures of power and domination within social justice. Everyday Feminism's belittling articles. More humility. Bringing humanity to everyone, even those who have been inhumane.
Study Of The Week To Remediate Or Not To Remediate by Freddie deBoer - Should low math proficiency students take remedial algebra or credit bearing statistics. The City University of New York ran an actual randomized study to test this. The study had pretty good controls. For example students were randomly assigned to three groups, participating professors taught one section of each group.
Should We Build Lots More Housing In San Francisco: Three Reasons People Disagree by Julia Galef - For each of the three reasons Julia describes multiple sub-reasons. More housing might not lower prices much. More housing won't help the poor. NIMBY objections might be legitimate.
Kenneth Arrow On The Welfare Economics Of Medical Care A Critical Assessment by Artir (Nintil) - "Kenneth Arrow wrote a paper in 1963, Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care. This paper tends to appear in debates regarding whether healthcare can be left to the market (like bread), or if it should feature heavy state involvement. Here I explain what the paper says, and to what extent it is true."
Thoughts On Doxxing by Ozy (Thing of Things) - CNN found the identity of the guy who made the video of Trump beating up CNN. They implied they would dox him if he continued being racist. Is doxxing him ok? What about doxxing someone who runs jailbait? Ozy discusses the practical effect of doxxing and unleashing hate mobs.
On The Seattle Minimum Wage Study Part 2 by Zvi Moshowitz - Several relevant links are included. Seattle's economic boom and worker composition changes are important factors. Zvi dives deep into the numbers and tries to resolve an apparent contradiction.
Radical Book Club The Decentralized Left by davidzhines (Status 451) - The nature of leftwing organizing and what righties can learn from it. An exposition of multiple books on radical left organization building. Major themes are "doing the work" and "decentralized leadership".
On The Seattle Minimum Wage Study Part 1 by Zvi Moshowitz - The claimed effect sizes are huge. Zvi's priors about the minimum wage. Detailed description of some of the paper's methods and how it handle potential issues. Discussion of the raw data. More to come in part 2.
===Misc:
Childcare II by Jeff Kaufman - A timeline of childcare for Jeff's two children. Methods: Staying at home, Daycare, Au pair, Nanny.
Easier Chess Problem by protokol2020 - How many pieces do you need to capture a black queen?
Book Review Mathematics For Computer Science by richard_reitz (lesswrong) - Why the text should be in the MIRI research guide. Intro. Prereqs. Detailed comparisons to similar texts. Complaints.
Information is Physical by Scott Aaronson - Is information is physical a contentful expression? Why 'physics is information' is tautological. A proposed definition. Double slit experiment. Observation in Quantum Mechanics. Information takes up a minimum amount of space. Entropy. Information has nowhere to go.
Book Review Working Effectively With Legacy Code By Michael C Feathers by Eli Bendersky - To improve code we must refactor, to refactor we have to test, making code testable may take heroic efforts. "The techniques described by the author are as terrible as the code they're up against."
The Ominouslier Roar Of The Bitcoin Wave by Artem and Venkat (ribbonfarm) - A video visualizing and audiolizing the bitcoin blockchain. A related dialogue.
From Monkey Neurons To The Meta Brain by Hal Morris (ribbonfarm) - Neurons that only fire in response to Jennifer Anniston. Mirror Neurons. Theory of Mind. The path from copying movement to human-level empathy. Infant development. Dreams as social simulator. Communicating with our models of other people. He rapidly accelerating and dangerous future. We need to keep our mind open to possibilities.
Newtonism Question by protokol2020 - Balancing Forces. Gravity problem.
Short Interview Writing by Tyler Cowen - Tyler Cowen's writing habits. Many concrete details such as when he writes and what program he uses. Some more general thoughts on writing such as Tyler's surprising answer to which are his favorite books on writing.
Unexpected by protokol2020 - Discussion of gaps between primes. "Say, that you have just sailed across some recordly wide composite lake and you are on a prime island again. What can you expect, how much wider will the next record lake be?"
Interacting With A Long Running Child Process In Python by Eli Bendersky - Using the subprocess module to run an http server. Solutions and analysis of common use cases. Lots of code.
4d Mate Problem by protokol2020 - How many queens do you need to get a checkmate in 4D chess.
The Destruction Of American Cuisine by Small Truths - America used to have a tremendous number of regional cuisines, most are dead. They were killed by supermarkets and frozen food. This has been costly both in terms of culture and health (antibiotic resistance, crop monoculture risk)
===Podcast:
Sally Satel On Organ Donation by EconTalk - "The challenges of increasing the supply of donated organs for transplantation and ways that public policy might increase the supply." Tax Credits. The ethics of donor compensation.
Podcast The World Needs Ai Researchers Heres How To Become One by 80,000 Hours - "OpenAI’s latest plans and research progress. Concrete Papers in AI Safety, which outlines five specific ways machine learning algorithms can act in dangerous ways their designers don’t intend – something OpenAI has to work to avoid. How listeners can best go about pursuing a career in machine learning and AI development themselves."
88 Must We Accept A Nuclear North Korea by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "Mark Bowden and the problem of a nuclear-armed North Korea."
Triggered by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "Sam Harris and Scott Adams debate the character and competence of President Trump."
Conversation Atul Gawande by Tyler Cowen - The marginal value of health care, AI progress in medicine, fear of genetic engineering, whether the checklist method applies to marriage, FDA regulation, surgical regulation, Michael Crichton and Stevie Wonder, wearables, what makes him weep, Knausgaard and Ferrante, why surgeons leave sponges in patients.
Nneka Jones Tapia by The Ezra Klein Show - The first psychologist to run a prison. 30% of inmates have diagnosed mental health problems. Mental heath view of the penal system, balancing punishment and treatment, responsibility versus mental instability, the tension between what we use jail for and what we should use jail for.
Tamar Haspel by EconTalk - "Why technology helps make some foods inexpensive, how animals are treated, the health of the honey bee, and whether eggs from your backyard taste any better than eggs at the grocery."
From Cells To Cities by Waking Up with Sam Harris - "Biological and social systems scale, the significance of fractals, the prospects of radically extending human life, the concept of “emergence” in complex systems, the importance of cities, the necessity for continuous innovation"
Inside The World Of Supertraining: Mark Bell by Tim Feriss - "Mark’s most important lessons for building strength. How to avoid injury and breakdown. Lesser-known training techniques that nearly everyone overlooks. How Mark became a millionaire by offering his gym memberships for free."
Eddie Izzard by The Ezra Klein Show - 27 marathons in 27 days, process for writing jokes, why he wants to run for parliament, inspiration from Al Franken's, borrowing confidence from his future self. What he learned as a street performer, routines are based on history and anthropology, World War I, 'cake or death?'. His gender identity, and how he integrated it into his act early on, etc.
Martha Nussbaum by EconTalk - "The tension between acquiring power and living a life of virtue. Topics discussed include Hamilton's relationship with Aaron Burr, Burr's complicated historical legacy, and the role of the humanities in our lives."
Rs 188 Robert Kurzban On Being Strategically Wrong by Rationally Speaking - Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite." The "modular mind" hypothesis, and how it explains hypocrisy, self-deception, and other seemingly irrational features of human nature.
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Batch 02 -Milestone 3 - Implementation and testing details Presented How technology will transform compliance processes and streamline workflows Constructing a Bitcoin transaction using python - 2/5 Webinar Invest More in TDF or Do a CRM Heatlhcheck Constructing a Bitcoin transaction using python - 3/5

The first mention of a product called bitcoin was in August 2008 when two programmers using the names Satoshi Nakamoto and Martti Malmi registered a new domain, bitcoin.org. In October of the same Bitcoin News is the world's premier 24/7 news feed covering everything bitcoin-related, including world economy, exchange rates and money politics. Within the Bitcoin blockchain, information representing electronic cash is attached to a digital address. Bitcoin users can digitally sign and transfer rights to that information to another user and the Bitcoin blockchain records this transfer publicly, allowing all participants of the network simulation on a 2015 snapshot of the real Bitcoin P2P network topology. 1 Introduction The Bitcoin cryptocurrency has seen widespread adoption, due in part to its reputation as a privacy-preserving financial system [17, 22]. In practice, though, Bitcoin exhibits serious privacy vulner-abilities [3, 19, 27, 28, 24]. Hashes for robin_stocks-1.2.2-py3-none-any.whl; Algorithm Hash digest; SHA256: f4d1bd926a4a17dc522f8720de6cefb7c39db1dd11e5ca2a2a36662c1b4538e8: Copy MD5

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Batch 02 -Milestone 3 - Implementation and testing details Presented

Robin Hood Foundation’s Wes Moore on Covid-19 Relief and Advice for New Grads - Duration: 8:51. Katie Couric Recommended for you. New Robin Robins Technology Marketing Toolkit 75,083 views. ... Live Bitcoin Trading With DeriBot on Deribit DeriBot Backup 195 ... Successful ERP Implementation - Complexity vs. Simplicity ... Pramod Dhakal from Hitechies spoke to Patrick F. Campos (Securrency CSO) about the future of the banking sector. In this session : Evolution of Retail banking Services : When can I buy house from ... This video is for people who want to use (almost) raw python code to Constructing a Bitcoin transaction. In the previous videos, I've explained how to connect to the bitcoin network, as well as ... Our project is crime pattern prediction using Data Science is done under the guidance of prof Divya mam of CSE dept MIT Mysore.

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