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.
A federation is a group that serves as an intermediate point between a main chain and one of its sidechains. This group determines when the coins a user has used are locked up and released. The creators of the sidechain can choose the members of the federation. A problem with the federation structure is that it adds another layer between the main chain and the sidechain.
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First of all, one should not confuse private and public blockchains. They have one obvious similarity – they are blockchains, decentralized networks. Every participant of the network keeps a copy of this shared ledger, and all these copies are kept sync with the help of a certain consensus protocol. It means that all the participants of the network have access to identical information. Also, all the networks are immutable, and the information they contain can’t be altered.
Public blockchains are open, and therefore are likely to be used by very many entities and gain some network effects. To give a particular example, consider the case of domain name escrow. Currently, if A wants to sell a domain to B, there is the standard counterparty risk problem that needs to be resolved: if A sends first, B may not send the money, and if B sends first then A might not send the domain. To solve this problem, we have centralized escrow intermediaries, but these charge fees of three to six percent. However, if we have a domain name system on a blockchain, and a currency on the same blockchain, then we can cut costs to near-zero with a smart contract: A can send the domain to a program which immediately sends it to the first person to send the program money, and the program is trusted because it runs on a public blockchain. Note that in order for this to work efficiently, two completely heterogeneous asset classes from completely different industries must be on the same database - not a situation which can easily happen with private ledgers. Another similar example in this category is land registries and title insurance, although it is important to note that another route to interoperability is to have a private chain that the public chain can verify, btcrelay-style, and perform transactions cross-chain.
Segregated Witnesses — The current Bitcoin transaction signature algorithm is complicated and flawed, leading to a problem known as transaction malleability. Segregated witnesses would eliminate that, improving the efficiency of much Bitcoin software considerably … and making much more significant innovations such as the Lightning Network (see below) possible.
In September 2015, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research, Ledger, was announced. The inaugural issue was published in December 2016.[91] The journal covers aspects of mathematics, computer science, engineering, law, economics and philosophy that relate to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[92][93]
Note: Some would argue that such a system cannot be defined as a blockchain. Also, Blockchain is still in it’s early stages. It is unclear how the technology will pan out and will be adopted. Many argue that private or federated Blockchains might suffer the fate of Intranets in the 1990’s, when private companies built their own private LANs or WANs instead of using the public Internet and all the services, but has more or less become obsolete especially with the advent of SAAS in the Web2.
Many blockchain enthusiasts believe in the value of networks that are not only decentralized — which most closely resembles the current model of the Internet — but distributed. This includes Tim Berners-Lee, who founded the World Wide Web in 1989. Berners-Lee has proposed that blockchains can be used to reinvent the web in a more distributed and peer-to-peer fashion.

In September 2015, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research, Ledger, was announced. The inaugural issue was published in December 2016.[91] The journal covers aspects of mathematics, computer science, engineering, law, economics and philosophy that relate to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[92][93]
A side-chain is a secondary blockchain layer designed to facilitate lower-cost and/or higher-speed transactions between two or more parties. One case in which they're often deployed is between parties who make many transactions amongst each other. Committing all of those transactions to the public blockchain would may undesirable for cost or other reasons, so the side-chain's job in this example would be to aggregate the activity into the least transactional activity necessary to reflect the final state of the side-chain's ledger.
Instead, what if the game was played in its own “channel”? Each time a player made a move, the state of the game is signed by each player. After an epic battle where the Protoss player takes out the remaining Zerg forces and forces a gg, the final state of the game (Protoss wins) is sent to a smart contract on the main chain. This neutral smart contract, known as a Judge, waits a while to see if the Zerg player disputes the outcome. If the Zerg player doesn’t, the Protoss player is paid the 1 ETH. </injects>
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