Proof of Work: Improving upon Bitcoin’s mining pools can go a long way for decentralization
A quick note about an attack on Bitcoin that’s been observed in the wild recently. Block withholding attacks have been discussed for a long time—the term refers to two different things, confusingly, but what we’re discussing here is when someone (often from a competing pool) joins a mining pool that pays out based on the average hashrate of the pool but withholds valid blocks, so the pool misses out on earnings and potentially becomes unprofitable.
Recently, F2pool mentioned on wechat that it was observable from hashrate distribution that this was actually happening a lot. Interestingly, there’s been a proposed fix for this from Luke Dashjr for a long time, but it would require a hard fork so it hasn’t been implemented yet. While it might not be a massively urgent problem, I would love to see increasing adoption of things at the pool level which make Bitcoin more decentralized (like Matt Corrallos BetterHash) and I plan to write a bit more about that in the next issue.
More next week!
Bitcoin & Friends
Jimmy on Bitcoin
Optech on Bitcoin [ed: sign up for their newsletter too! it’s great!]
Bitcoin Core contributor meetings: many contributors met in person for a periodic CoreDev.techevent last week, with real-time transcripts provided by contributor Bryan Bishop:
Presentation: The Next Softfork: Bitcoin Optech contributor Steve Lee gave a presentation during last month’s Optech Executive briefings about possible future Bitcoin soft forks. The video is now available
Tony from Kadena
Kadena is building Pact, a formally verifiable smart-contracting language for financial applications, and Chainweb, a PoW blockchain that uses multiple chains in parallel to increase throughput.
The Kadena team is working on stability as we look forward to Chainweb Testnet v2 in a couple months.
Pact 3.0 was released, the smart contract language with Formal Verification now supports modular governance, SPV and hybrid blockchains.
Pact API overhaul for Chainweb PR 504 and PR 510.
Pact support for cross-chain multi-step transactions using SPV PR 246.
Chainweb node startup performance improvements PR 241 and PR 243.
Chainweb improvements to mempool sync logic PR 234.
Ability to send a single transaction to Chainweb for submitting and resolving via an internal listen call PR 231.
Kadena CEO Will Martino was a guest on a recent episode of the Crypto and Blockchain Talk podcast to chat about enterprise blockchain.
Monica Quaintance explained Chainweb on NEAR Protocol’s Whiteboard Series Episode 19.
Monica Quaintance had a TV interview with Bloomberg Technology’s Emily Chang to discuss the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Aviv from Spacemesh
Spacemesh is a programmable cryptocurrency powered by a novel proof-of-space-time consensus protocol.
Misc Spacemesh App UI improvements
Spacemesh App new wallet addresses feature logic and UI
Full node – Eligibility oracle but fixes and work on stabilizing and refining mining and p2p tests
Community – Spacemesh Epicenter.tv episode aired https://epicenter.tv/episode/291/
JZ from Decred
Decred is an autonomous digital currency with a hybrid consensus system. It is built to be a self-ruling currency where everyone can vote on the rules and project-level decision making proportionately to their stake.
The Decred bug bounty program is up for renewal, Degeri has submitted a new proposal and provided a recap of the last five months. Of the 58 submissions, 9 were eligible for a payout and a total of $3,729 of the $100,000 budgeted for the program was spent.
Raedah Group; one of Decred’s corporate contractors, has begun the process of implementing Decred support for Trezor Blockbook. This is the final piece of the puzzle needed to get Decred running on Trust Wallet as all the client side code has been completed by the Trust Wallet team.
Three big events coming up for Decred. We’ll be hosting our first get together in Beijing on June 20th, as well as being out in force and presenting at Campus Party in Brazil from June 19 to the 23rd. Community member Ana Dalia will also be speaking about Decred at the Blockchain Summit Latam in Mexico City on July 4-5.
Johnny from Stellar
Stellar is an open network for sending and exchanging value of any kind. Its global network enables digitization of assets – from carbon credits to currencies – and enables movement around the internet with ease.
Horizon 0.18.0 has been released along with our new Ticker API 1.0.0.
CAP-0021 has moved to FCP: Acceptance, along with CAP-0015 after this PR is merged in.
The Core Team merged 8 PRs in the last week, and the Platform Team merged 59 PRs in over various repositories (including the Go monorepo, JS SDKs, Java SDKs, and others).
The Platform Team found a major bug in the Go compiler.
We’re now hiring an integration engineer in addition to our existing roles on our jobs page.
Paige & Zooko from Zcash
Zcash is a digital currency utilizing zk-SNARKs to enable its privacy-protecting properties.
Product updates, including current priorities
Zcon1 takes place next week in Split, Croatia
Q2 livestream updates available on our YouTube channel
Full details: https://forum.zcashcommunity.com/t/june-14-2019-weekly-update-community-comms/33778
Mitchell from Monero
Monero is a open-source, privacy-focused cryptocurrency using the ASIC-resistant CryptoNote PoW algorithm. It enforces all privacy features at the protocol level to ensure that all transactions create a single fungible anonymity pool.
CLI v0.14.1.0 has been released, now with deterministic builds. GUI coming in the next week or so.
Monero Konferenco begins this Saturday in Denver, CO with speakers from around the globe. You can still register (and there are some free tickets for volunteers).
All open Community Crowdfunding System proposals (developers, researchers, and outreach) have been funded. Thank you to our anonymous benefactors!
Analysis of Lelantus shared, including prototyping code for Monero-to-Lelantus output migration. Reviewing Omniring next.
Compressed linkable spontaneously anonymous group (LSAG) signatures are integrated in a test branch.
Daniel from Grin
Grin is a community-driven implementation of the Mimblewimble protocol that aims to be privacy preserving, scalable, fair, and minimal.
Merged PRs: 5 in /grin | 3 in /grin-wallet | 3 unique contributors
An iteration of Grin’s governance process was proposed. To be discussed in this week’s governance meeting, it’s arguably one of the most significant proposals thus far.
With less than 30 days left for the scheduled hard fork, v2.0.0 milestones for node and walletare almost complete. Beta binaries are due to be released and we are on track to run a private testnet this week.
@yeastplume has been focusing on testing and prep work ahead of the hard fork.
New bulletproof rewind scheme by @jaspervdm merged.
Paper: Revelio, a new privacy-preserving proof of reserves protocol for Grin exchanges.
Merged PRs: 3 in /grin | 2 in /grin-wallet | 4 unique contributors
Grin v1.1.0 has been released, see detailed upgrade information here.
We have published tentative timelines and info on the v2.0.0 hard-fork that is happening in mid-July. Affected parties take note and plan accordingly.
The last governance meeting covered the hard fork schedule, Grin budget, a Governance working group, and a contact group for Pools & Exchanges.
Following the 1.1.0 release, @yeastplume is moving forward with 2.0.0 work.
@antiochp took a pass at improving the Dandelion++ implementation, and also expanded on ideas for a simplified timer design.
MMR Storage Optimization proposal by @antiochp.
Vite announced an update to their wallet.
More Grin info here.
Beni from Beam
Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.
We are happy to offer our European friends the capacity to purchase Beam using Euros, thanks to our integration on Elastum
We have launched a unique Web Series on Youtube, #FocusOnPrivacy where you will discover what Crypto players feel and think about privacy
Swaps: Fixed rollback/rescan, added addition test for TX without “change”, changed Beam Lock time for testing
Wrong error in our bridge when LTC user doesn’t have enough money to swap #717
Add a command to get full transaction details #613
Add the transaction type to transaction history #614
Arnaud from AZTEC Protocol
AZTEC Protocol is an efficient zero-knowledge protocol built on top of Ethereum, making plug-and-play value transmission and asset governance privacy tools for developers and companies.
This week, we are starting work on adding note management to our client side software, to abstract away our UTXO based model from dapp developers.
We are also starting work on upgradeable note registries to make it easier to add support for new public token types, and mixer contracts.
We’re welcoming Charlie Cowan to the team as a summer intern.
In addition to the two cryptographer roles, we are now hiring for a Senior Solidity Engineer and a Senior Engineer. You can apply here, or by emailing [email protected] with the name of the role as the subject.
Smart contracting platforms
Evan from Ethereum
Ethereum is a decentralized platform for applications that aims to resist fraud, censorship or third-party interference.
Eth2 spec v0.7 – phase 1 now executable
Vitalik: Universal fee market execution environment to rule them all
ethers.js v5 beta
Jing from Plasma
Plasma Group is building “Generalized Plasma”, a layer 2 scaling infrastructure for Ethereum that allows for general state transitions on layer 2.
Hosted Scaling Ethereum, a workshop with developers and teams from all over the world coming together to solve outstanding research problems. Focuses on oracles, DEX, layer 1 and layer 2:
Found a solution to history compression in Plasma Cash, utilizing SNARKs
Created a design for a more efficient rollup chain using optimistic execution, allows for any Ethereum smart contract on plasma!! Wowowow
Peter from NEAR
NEAR is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain.
29 PRs across 9 repos and 11 authors. Featured repos: nearcore, nearlib, near-shell, and near-wallet
Added authorized apps management in Wallet with additional UI fixes
Setup CI for Nightshade integration in nearlib
Updated AssemblyScript JSON and bindings
Wait properly for compiler loading in Studio
Basic end-to-end tests for Studio workflow (running on CI) in operations
Added self-call for contract-based account in blockchain layer
Major progress on separating large logical blocks into chunks for the new Nightshade sharding design (commits 1 and 2)
AJ from Tezos
Tezos is a self-amending blockchain that features formally verified smart contracts, on-chain governance, and a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm which enables all token holders to participate in the network.
Tezos Foundation announces its new cohort of grantees for advancing the Tezos Ecosystem. The new grants focus on better development tools and new block explorers.
The co-creator of PricewaterhouseCooper (PWC) Switzerland’s blockchain initative is joining the Tezos Foundation as the newly appointed CFO and Head of Operations
Nomadic Labs is preparing a proposal for Tezos protocol, called Emmy+, which will focus on improving the consensus algorithm.
Ligo Lang: the public beta of Ligo, a smart contract language for Tezos is now live.
Topper from Quorum Control
Quorum Control makes Tupelo, a permissionless proof of stake DLT platform purpose-built to model individual objects that enables flexible public or private data models.
Ongoing Optimization of Production Tupelo TestNets
Initial exploration of in-browser transactions (temporarily blocked by uncovered libp2p defect).
Moved signer configuration to file-based system making it easier to setup and maintain custom notary groups with their own validation rules.
Prototyped moving from BN to BLS12-381 curves for signatures but the performance was too severely compromised in the library’s current state.
NFT series complete please check out any you missed: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Michael from Loom
Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.
Released developer tutorial covering how to sign Layer 2 transactions on PlasmaChain directly from native Ethereum wallets
Announced Loom Wallet, which will allow users to display Loom PlasmaChain assets, send/receive transactions, deposit/withdraw to Ethereum + major chains (soon), and sign in with MetaMask
Over 213M tokens have been staked on Loom, which amounts to ~27% of circulating supply
Myles from EOS
EOS is a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications.
Decentium — a censorship-resistant Medium alternative (with a very slick UI) launched on EOS
EOS NY responds to reports of widespread “bot” activity on EOS
Blockchain gaming company Upland raises money from EOS VC
Zaki from Cosmos
The Cosmos Network is a decentralized network of independent, scalable, and interoperable blockchains.
The DGaming Foundation open sourced a modified Cosmos SDK with a secure random beacon.
HackAtom Berlin was insanely successful producing prototype code for WASM in the CosmosSDK, several IBC application prototypes, transferable staking rewards.
The Interchain Foundation released a Request for Proposals for the Q3 grants program.
Kate and Dean from Agoric
We had a blast working with Cosmos this week in Berlin at the Interchain Conversations conference and their hackathon. Two Agoric-related entries won at the hackathon:
We demoed our integration with Cosmos, running “Swingset” on a cosmos chain. In order to show our full stack, we built a simple pixel marketplace (think Million Dollar Homepage or Reddit’s /r/Place) that uses our Electronic Rights Protocol and provides the ability to color, buy, and sell pixels as well as create further abstractions.
Coulter from MakerDAO
Maker is comprised of a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance.
Learn Dai. Earn Dai. Coinbase has launched the Dai Earn campaign. Simply watch the lessons, answer a quick quiz, and the Dai is yours!
Dai continues to find its way into gaming. We partnered with Axie Infinity, one of the biggest blockchain games, on an integration for unique Dai-themed NFTs for those who have opened CDPs. We’re also contributing Dai to the top Axie players.
A VERY deep dive into why people are using Dai and how it affects UX — Great read of (and for!) organizations choosing to integrate Dai.
Lazar from MARKET Protocol
MARKET Protocol is a framework for creating tokens that track prices of traditional or digital assets.
Last week we announced the upcoming launch of our platform MPX. Early access is available now prior to market makers onboarding before launch
We published Part 1 of our MPExplained educational series: Pricing Position Tokens. Check it out to learn more about our first product, BTC/DAI
Robert from Compound
Compound is a money market protocol on the Ethereum blockchain — allowing individuals, institutions, and applications to frictionlessly earn interest on or borrow cryptographic assets without having to negotiate with a counterparty or peer.
Launched a Market Overview, with detailed transparency into the protocol
Hired two software engineers
Layer two and interoperability
Tony from Liquidity.Network
Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token
Liquidity Network has the honor to sponsor the 1st International Summer School on Security & Privacy for Blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technologies, hosted by TU Wien in Vienna – Austria from 2 to 6 September 2019.
Liquidity team is excited to announce the results of #CanvasCompetition 2.0! Thank you to all participants and congratulations to the winners
Dong Mo from Celer
Celer Network is a layer-2 scaling platform that enables fast, easy and secure off-chain transactions for not only payment transactions, but also generalized off-chain smart contracts.
We finished wired up sign-up flow, invite flow and reward flow.
We refined CelerX APIs for game developers.
We reinforced multi-token support.
We finished new functionality for upcoming mainnet release.
We finished code fixes, structural improvements, and improved error handling.
We are continuing to work on channel contract upgradability and begin the migration of system set up to Kubernetes.
Alexandra from Parity Technologies
Parity Technologies builds core blockchain infrastructure, from Parity Ethereum, an Ethereum client, to Polkadot, an interoperable blockchain network.
We released Zebra, the first alternative Zcash client, with the Zcash Foundation.
Shiny new Substrate developer hub.
We introduced Lightbeam, our Optimising Streamling WebAssembly Compiler, intended for our Substrate smart contract subsystem.
New Parity Ethereum release.ps://titter.com/ParityTech/status/1138829312059170816
Jutta Steiner joined as a guardian at Matrix Foundation.
New Polkadot Ambassador program.
Join us at Web3 Summit this August!
Web3 Foundation is providing grants to build the Web3 ecosystem.
We’re hiring! New opening: Content Marketer.
Doug from Livepeer
Livepeer is a decentralized video infrastructure network, dramatically reducing prices for developers and businesses building video streaming applications at scale.
Livepeer Inc, one of the companies that builds software and product on the Livepeer network, closed an $8,000,000 Series A round of financing.
Epic Labs published their latest research findings on video quality assessment within the Livepeer network.
Matt from Keep Network
The Keep Network is a privacy layer for public chains, enabling interactivity with private data and interoperability across chains. It does this with keeps, off-chain containers for private data that help smart contracts harness the full power of the public blockchain.
Major stakers have been invited to begin testing on our private testnet
Stake delegation is done!
We’ve made progress on state management (woohoo, groups survive client restarts!)
Merged RFC specifying contract upgrade schemes
Implemented a network node bootstrap mechanism
Implemented support for concurrently running relay requests
Keep’s Ecosystem Growth & Innovation Lead Jarrell James joined a privacy in a blockchain panel at CogX in London
For more updates join our Slack and check out the Keep blog
David from Sia
Sia is a decentralized cloud storage platform leveraging blockchain technology to create a data storage marketplace that is more robust and more affordable than traditional cloud storage providers.
Release candidate 1 of Sia version 1.4.1 was publicly released for testing. This release introduces seed-based file recovery, several new API endpoints, changes in many siac commands, significant scaling improvements, and many bug fixes
As mentioned last week, community member Danger and Sia Core Developer Nemo created a proof of concept mobile app for Sia that allows a user to upload and download files from the Sia network without syncing the blockchain. Read more.
Sia based product, Filebase, wrote an excellent tutorial on using Filebase with Arq. Read more about it here
Sia based product, Goobox, wrote an excellent tutorial on using Goobox as a mounted disk and file sharing. Read more about it here
Community member tbenz9 released a 2nd public beta for Siasync. Read more about the changes here
The Sia network continues to grow, passing 360 TB this week.
Bowen from Hydro/DDEX.io
Hydro Protocol is an open source framework for building Decentralized Exchanges. DDEX is the first decentralized exchange for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens built on the Hydro Protocol.
Hydro Wallet SDK update – Ledger https://github.com/HydroProtocol/hydro-sdk-wallets
Adding Compund Ctoken
Proof of Work: Improving upon Bitcoin’s mining pools can go a long way for decentralization written by Eric Meltzer @ https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2019/06/23/proof-of-work-improving-upon-bitcoins-mining-pools-can-go-a-long-way-for-decentralization/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=default June 23, 2019 Eric Meltzer