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Congratulations! You’ve just educated yourself on the most common advanced topics in blockchain that you’ll hear about. By understanding these concepts, you have a firmer grasp on the fundamental tradeoffs and latest research on the blockchain than most industry “experts”! Better yet, next time you hear your colleagues around the water cooler talking about state channels, the Lightning Network and Byzantine fault tolerance, not only will you know what they’re talking about but you might be able to teach them a thing or two!
“Further, contribution is weighted by computational power rather than one threshold signature contribution per party, which allows anonymous membership without risk of a Sybil attack (when one party joins many times and has disproportionate input into the signature). For this reason, the DMMS has also been described as a solution to the Byzantine Generals Problem[AJK05].”
But, rather than go back to the drawing board, many people are figuring out alternative way to eke better performance outbid the system, and one approach is to use a sidechain.. sonrsther than process many transactions on the bitcoin network, two parties that transact a lot together might deposit down bitcoin into a side chain and conduct a bunch of transactions there (avoiding the absurd cost and delay of bitcoin) and then when they want to “settle up” they then invoke a balancing transaction on the bitcoin network.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies currently secure their blockchain by requiring new entries to include a proof of work. To prolong the blockchain, bitcoin uses Hashcash puzzles. While Hashcash was designed in 1997 by Adam Back, the original idea was first proposed by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor and Eli Ponyatovski in their 1992 paper "Pricing via Processing or Combatting Junk Mail".

It’s the IBM “blockchain”. Basically Apache Kafka queue service, where they have modified the partitions. Each partition is an ordered, immutable sequence of messages which are continuously appended. They added some “nodes” to clean the inputs and voila; blockchain! We should add that there are no blocks, but batches of transactions are renamed to fit the hype better. Since everything gets written in one queue at the end of the day, IBM offers the bluemix cloud server (priced at 120.000$ per year) to host the service. Smaller test packages with a couple of input cleaning nodes go reportedly for 30.000$.
If you want a deeper look at Proof of Stake check out our detailed POS post. In short, while Proof of Work is an effective mechanism to secure the blockchain and provides a trustless consensus paradigm, it’s extremely energy intensive because of all the computing power required to solve hash problems. Also, while it was meant to be decentralized, it’s actually becoming more centralized as miners consolidate and massive mining setups eat up larger shares of winning blocks.

• ‘Difficulty’: In the Bitcoin network, miners solve an asymmetric cryptographic puzzle to mine new blocks. Over time the puzzle becomes easier, resulting in it eventually taking less than 10 minutes for each new block generation. Hence, the community updates the puzzle every 14 days and makes it more difficult, thus requiring even more computing power to handle the POW algorithm. The ‘difficulty’ parameter controls the complexity of the cryptographic puzzle. This parameter is also used in the Ethereum blockchain as well. Developers should assign a low value (between 0-10,000) to this parameter for this project thus enabling quicker mining.
In order to trade assets from the mainchain for assets from the sidechain, one would first need to send their assets on the mainchain to a certain address, effectively locking the assets up. After the transaction has been completed, a confirmation will be communicated to the sidechain. The sidechain will then release a certain amount of the assets on the sidechain to the user, equivalent to the amount of assets ‘locked up’ on the mainchain times the exchange rate. To trade the assets from the sidechain for assets of the mainchain, one would need to do the same, just the other way around.
Let us call the current Bitcoin System Bitcoin 1.0 and the sidechain Bitcoin 2.0 So one would take one unit of Bitcoin 1.0 and send it to an unspendable address (e.g. 1111111111111111111114bRaS3) they’d also submit cryptographic proof of the transaction signed by the same private key that sent the transaction as a transaction into Bitcoin 2.0. The protocol of Bitcoin 2.0 would entitle the user to receive one unit of Bitcoin 2.0  This is called “One-way Pegging” as the value of one Bitcoin 2.0 is equal to one Bitcoin 1.0.  This system is only one way and creates a wormhole by which Bitcoin 1.0 disappears as there is no way of getting it back.

NPD said the next step for retailers is to develop their own cryptocurrency to prevent customers from having to use credit cards when shopping online. NPD said the practice makes sense for the retailer, because if the customer could send the payment transfer via blockchain, it would avoid third-party clearing house fees retailers pay for processing card payments.


@tradles – thanks for taking the time to explain this. OK – so I get the debate around blockchain bloat and the (grudging) inclusion of OP_RETURN, etc., but what I’m missing is that I can only really see one scenario where embedding any identity data into the blockchain makes sense…. and that’s when I want to *associate* an identity with a transaction I’m performing.


Cohen recently noted that before blockchain is practical in retail, brands have to understand its relevance. NPD said it’s not just about payment methods or sourcing transparency. It also has the potential to touch all areas of a company. Cohen highlights a few areas where blockchain has the ability to impact retail including revolutionizing supply chain management, preventing against counterfeiting, simplifying payments and creating safer data security.
Permissioned blockchains use an access control layer to govern who has access to the network.[46] In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on private blockchain networks are vetted by the network owner. They do not rely on anonymous nodes to validate transactions nor do they benefit from the network effect.[47][better source needed] Permissioned blockchains can also go by the name of 'consortium' or 'hybrid' blockchains.[48]
What is the difference between a public blockchain and a private blockchain? Does it matter? Which is better? Gallactic believes that currently there are pros and cons between both Private and Public Blockchains, but time and “convergence”, a term that is gaining prominence in the Blockchain Industry, is clearly showing that the lines between these categories, once clear, are starting to fade.
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