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Blockstream recently released a whitepaper on “strong federations,” which is essentially their vision of a federated two-way peg system. Liquid is a sidechain created by Blockstream that uses the strong federations model. The sidechain is used to transfer bitcoins between centralized bitcoin institutions, such as exchanges, at a faster pace than the public Bitcoin blockchain.
It may sound nitpicky, but I think that description leaves something to be desired in terms of presenting the “correct” mental model. First, there is no such thing as “a” bitcoin, as I am sure the author would agree. Speaking of spending or moving bitcoins perpetuates the notion of bitcoins as “things”. It might be preferable to say that you are spending or moving “units of the bitcoin protocol”. There is something similar going on here with dollars. The dollars in your bank account aren’t things either, they are units of demand or claim on a currency. The fact that printed dollars have serial numbers tends to confuse this notion. Treating something as a “thing’ which is not a thing is sometimes referred to as the reification fallacy.
Our Proof of Work tutorial talks about it in depth, but the best explanation might come from Satoshi Nakamoto himself. If the camps above start receiving messages that don’t agree, they rely on executing a Proof of Work. The Proof of Work is sufficiently complicated and requires significant computing power. Once one camp solves the Proof of Work, it broadcasts the results to the other camps. This message is now accepted in a chain of messages and the competing messages are dropped by the other camps.
Frankly, secure implementation of Bitcoin is already a pain in the ass .. adding more complexity just seems like the wrong move at this point. It’s already trying to be a currency, a networking protocol and a client in the same codebase. Adding turing complete (or not) scripts with arbitrary outcomes, multiple versions of the official client cooperating, multiple clients, and now multiple blockchains is basically the nail in the coffin in terms of widespread implementation.
Jump up ^ Kopfstein, Janus (12 December 2013). "The Mission to Decentralize the Internet". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014. The network's 'nodes'—users running the bitcoin software on their computers—collectively check the integrity of other nodes to ensure that no one spends the same coins twice. All transactions are published on a shared public ledger, called the 'block chain.'
The creation of sidechains have been a direct result of scalability issues associated with the main blockchain for projects such as Ethereum. Making sidechains increasingly popular way to speed up transactions. Lisk was the first decentralized application (dapp) to implement sidechains. With Lisk, each dapp created exists on its own sidechain without interfering with the mainchain.
As an engineer and an entrepreneur, I truly believe blockchain technology is going to revolutionize the world. One of the biggest hurdles we need to tackle in the blockchain industry is scalability. Ethereum can only handle 15 transactions per second. I previously wrote about why that will prevent blockchain from going mainstream and how DAG could potentially be a winner.
The ethereum-based app builder has a dedicated team of experts looking at all varieties of fiat cash on distributed ledgers, and it's working with UnionBank of the Philippines to create a low-cost tokenized fiat solution for rural banking. In time, this could be extended to cover a larger network of banks and perhaps even the central bank, ConsenSys says.
It doesn’t matter if you’re moving $1bn or 0.01c across the Bitcoin network, you get the same security guarantees. And you pay for this in fees and time. What if you were prepared to trade safety for speed? Today, your only real option is to send the coins to a centralized wallet provider, whom you must trust not to lose or steal your coins. You can then do all the transactions you like on their books, with their other customers and you never need touch the Bitcoin blockchain. But now you lose all the benefits of a decentralized value-transfer network.
There are many critics of payment channels. Finding the quickest path between unconnected nodes is no trivial exercise. This is a classic “traveling salesman” problem that has been worked on by top computer scientists for decades. Critics argue that it is highly unlikely payment channels like Bitcoin’s Lightning and Ethereum’s Raiden will work as expected in practice due to complexities like the traveling salesman problem. The key for you is just to know that these projects and potential solutions to blockchain scalability issues exist. Many of the smartest minds in the industry are working actively to bring them to life.
Hey there! I am Sudhir Khatwani, an IT bank professional turned into a cryptocurrency and blockchain proponent from Pune, India. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain will change human life in inconceivable ways and I am here to empower people to understand this new ecosystem so that they can use it for their benefit. You will find me reading about cryptonomics and eating if I am not doing anything else.