Ultimate glossary of crypto currency terms, acronyms and abbreviations
Canadian exchanges have seen massive progress - in at least a couple of exchanges.
We’ve seen the collapse of Einstein which took millions of dollars more from Canadians. And we saw the OSC crackdown on the inflated trading volume on CoinSquare.
Blockchain provides the full ability for exchanges to prove asset backing, yet we continue to have to guess which platforms are backed. In an effort to help Canadians find the exchanges which are most transparent, we divide platforms into 5 categories:
Dead Platform/Incidents - For fun, and to help illustrate the risks, reviews of past platforms that collapsed or lost funds in Canada. No disrespect to the real losses of Canadians who worked hard for their money.
No Verification Found - A platform that doesn’t appear to give any indication of any auditing or internal controls. You may want to avoid these platforms, but sometimes these are just because this information is not available easily.
Apparent Verification - I was able to dig and locate some sort of claim or indication that they were being audited. Of course, most of these don’t mention who specifically is performing the audit, what is actually being checked, and/or anything about the verification process. In one case, this verification is severely out of date.
Full Backing Report - In order to meet these criteria, the platform has to have undergone a process where full backing of customer assets was verified by a third party within the past year. A report needs to be published including the verification process and that the third party has verified full backing (or what level of backing). While these are pretty compelling, it doesn’t stop a dishonest platform from excluding customers, tricking the audit process, or colluding with the third party in various ways.
Proof of Reserve - This is a cryptographic process that includes public wallet addresses, signing of transactions, and a public hash list or Merkle tree to allow customers to validate inclusion. Together, these three criteria demonstrate that funds exist on the blockchain, are spendable by the exchange, and fully back crypto assets of all customers who check. Combined with a financial audit, it’s the best we can get. While many misuse the term, no Canadian exchange has ever fully proven reserves.
If Proof of Reserve or another form of verification was standard on all exchanges, people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie wouldn’t have been able to pull off massive fraud, and cases such as Einstein would have been known long before it resulted in insolvency. Supporting exchanges that don’t provide public validation or transparency is supporting fraud. Even if the platform is 100% honest, they are setting a dangerous standard that enables other fraudsters to hide in plain sight.
FlexCoin - As “the world's first bitcoin bank” that’s “not a true bank”, FlexCoin provides “a central location for all of your bitcoins”. “Bitcoins deposited with flexcoin will be stored on [thei]r secure servers” so you can “send bitcoins to non-technical individual[s] via e-mail”. Unlike blockchain, “flexcoin to flexcoin transfers are free”. MapleChange - “[S]wift, reliable and to-the-point!” “One of [their] primary concerns is security for [their] customers'' which is why “keys are cryptographically encrypted”. More Canadian than anyone! Excuse me while we hold the door open to our crypto! "[W]ithdraws(sic) are next to instantaneous", "rel[ying] solely on the aspect of swiftness"! Canadian Bitcoins - Funds stored for convenience in a professional Rogers data center, which has the highest level of courtesy and customer service - always going above and beyond to provide expedient service whenever a request comes in! CoinTradeNewNote - A “meticulously engineered Bitcoin Exchange” “focused on security and tak[ing] these risks seriously”. “[Y]ou don’t have to worry”, they have “90+% cold storage” and their “cold storage is fully insured by Xapo”. Plus, as “a registered Canadian corporation” they “leverage the good guys to fight the bad guys”. Einstein - You can get “your money deposited and withdrawn faster than any other exchange”. As one customer said "With so many hacks and exit scams, it gives me confidence knowing Einstein is backed by hard-working people just like me." Just check the user experience on their subreddit from their "220,000+ satisfied customers". EZ-BTC - As the world’s “most user-friendly and bespoke crypto currency management platform”, they have “strong security”. “All your coins are kept in cold storage. They’re safe.”. The presence of physical ATMs was one of the strategies to build customer confidence for their promised 9% annual return on stored funds. QuadrigaCX - Operating since 2013, with “vast cryptocurrency reserves” right up to the end. "Bitcoins that are funded in QuadrigaCX are stored in cold storage, using some of the most secure cryptographic procedures possible." Even today some of the funds remain 100% secure in their cold storage! If there are any others I missed, let me know!
No Verification Found
BitVo - Whether “Canada's premier cryptocurrency exchange” or merely “on a mission to become Canada’s premier cryptocurrency exchange”, we have to praise BitVo’s security for including “multiple signatures of a select group of trusted individuals” which are “not connected to the exchange platform or a network”. It is unfortunate that such common sense concepts are “proprietary” instead of the standard on all Canadian platforms. While assuring that they operate “on a full-reserve basis” and talking about “transparency”, the proof is lacking and nothing indicates it to have been verified externally or even internally. The withdrawal-based fee structure incentivizes users to keep funds “safe and secure” on the platform - which is “owned and operated by banking and security experts”. The “banking” side shows for sure in these hidden fine-print fees, which go well with transparency. CoinField - Apparently no longer the "most secure trading platform in Canada" but now instead the “Best Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchange In Canada” - based in Estonia and no longer having a Canadian office. They’re “fully regulated” in 193+ countries, except for the period between October 2019 and June 2020, when they weren’t even registered as an MSB. They offer a huge range of trading pairs except for the ones you need, with high liquidity except for the pairs that don’t have any, and you can withdraw and trade all of your funds as long as you leave a small amount behind at every stage. CoinSmart - Not sure what "[i]ndustry leading cold storage" is, but luckily it’s “bank level”. No mention of multi-sig. They’re so "accountable to [their] clients, community and to each other" and "committed to being open and honest" that they don’t include any audit. Deposits are easy and withdrawals are fun - like a video game. Advance through each stage to prove your willpower, complete with warnings, SMS verification that doesn’t display errors (but luckily you can change the number to anything at all without further verification), and even an elaborate high-resolution selfie requirement you have to email in. If you can’t complete or don’t feel comfortable sending info via email, your money is held hostage - no big deal at all really. Coinut - As "the most secure cryptocurrency exchange", they provide “a comprehensive cryptocurrency exchange platform for trading cryptocurrencies”. (Not to be confused with a cryptocurrency exchange platform for trading coconuts.) They’ve been “running securely for about three years” “by storing cryptocurrencies offline” in a single “offline computer”. In addition to not using multi-sig and "not us[ing] USB drives, as the online computer may be infected with virus", they also don’t appear to use audits or any form of public verification. NDAX - “Canada’s most secure trading platform” to "set the standard for the Canadian cryptocurrency industry". While NDax promotes “segregated accounts” and “95-98% of user funds in an offline, multi-signature wallet”, there’s nothing to indicate backing of assets on the platform. While apparently partnered with a Canadian bank, the bank is not revealed. No audit found but at least there’s a full-page risk disclosure and disclaimer. You can sleep peacefully knowing that they’re legally protected, even “for losses suffer(sic) to you as a result of any defaults of by(sic) insolvency of other Users.” What does that even mean? Apparently, even with their industry-record withdrawal fees, they couldn’t afford a legal team with proper grammar. Newton - Newton was one of the first to announce third party custody. You should give your funds to Newton, because they’ll give them to Balance, and they’ll do this for free! And “[m]ultinational companies trust” Balance. According to the Balance terms, “the digital assets you purchase via the Platform are not protected by any government or other insurance”. "Prospective clients...will hold the entire liability associated with purchasing a Digital Asset Cache™️ and using [Balance] services, potentially including partial or total loss of capital." "Balance does not represent or guarantee that the Balance Platform will be free from loss, corruption, attack, viruses, interference, hacking, or other security intrusion, and Balance disclaims any liability relating thereto." "No data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure, and as a result [they] cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to [them]." "You are solely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of your Account." If someone else should “[w]ithdraw the digital assets in your DAC to [thei]r external digital wallets as soon as within the same business day.” "Balance shall not be responsible for any losses arising out of the unauthorized or other improper use of your Account." The security of Balance custodianship comes down to (a) proprietary “HSMs” tested by their team of experts are more secure than hardware wallets tested by thousands of teams of experts around the globe, (b) a standardized and documented system of physical security in facilities accessible to a select number of people is superior to a combination of unique physical security, exclusive signing procedure, and complete locational secrecy that could be employed separately by multiple reasonably competent individuals, and (c) placing your trust in the team of Newton, the team of Balance, and the security of a website is more secure than simply trusting a single team to manage the private keys in an offline multi-sig fashion. While Balance has an extensive page on security and internal controls, I was unable to locate any audit nor verification that the assets on Newton or custodian Balance are actually fully backed against deposits. From the demo page, we can see that Newton has visibility to see their balances on Balance, so at least Dustin and the team can check diligently and make sure they aren’t taken. Why not give some of that visibility to your customers? Why has Newton, which has been a leader in so many other areas (“commission-free”, working to get the best rates, etc…) not been a leader in putting together any level of public visibility to the backing of customer funds on their platform?
CoinBerry - CoinBerry uses the best practice of offline multi-sig for the storage of all customer funds, a set-up that, to date, has a breach-less record historically. Assuming the private keys are properly managed by separate trained people, CoinBerry client funds are thus stored in what’s essentially a giant cold storage wallet, with all withdrawals handled and verified by multiple people before being approved. However, this model is still subject to the platform being tricked into releasing funds as may have happened in August 2020. What they haven't done is transparently admitted and explained how the breach occurred, which can be an opportunity to highlight security improvements and help other platforms avoid similar issues. Instead, they've recently purchased insurance to cover future incidents. It's hard to judge from a few excerpts of what’s likely a multi-page (or even a multi-chapter) policy, but it would be the first time that insurance has ever paid out in the history of cryptocurrency. A multi-platform insurance strategy could be cheaper, more comprehensive, and more likely to pay out than third party insurance. CoinBerry is “trusted by Canadian Municipalities”, a deal that enabled “the first payment of property taxes with Bitcoin in Canadian History”. They reportedly also “undergo annual 3rd party financial statement audits”. From records, these appear to be conducted by the firm MNP which is an accounting firm. CoinBerry has not, however, publicly declared themselves to be “fully-backed”, nor have they published any verification on the backing level of funds on the platform. Rather the audits are “secret”. This is concerning given the large referral bonuses paid out by the platform to new customers (including a popular $25 referral bonus for purchasing $50 of bitcoin), multiple issues with withdrawal delays, including one affecting hundreds of customers earlier this year, and the slow increase to their “fair pricing and industry-leading low fees.” Fees have gone from 0.5% to 1%, to a tiny sentence about “adding a margin, or spread, of between 0% and 2% to the rate offered by [thei]r liquidity sources”. Luckily, they “don’t hide fees across your trading experience.” In case you should sign up and find that (up to 2%) rate to be too high, “[a]ccounts requesting a withdrawal of Fiat or Crypto currency in original form, without conducting a trade will be...charged an account maintenance fee calculated as the larger of $25 or 5% of the total amount requested.” You will also need to pay additional “mining fees for crypto withdrawals”, which significantly exceed typical transaction costs and are only mentioned in the fine print of their fees page. CoinBerry has publicly expressed agreement that you should not store funds on cryptocurrency exchanges including their own. Neither their insurance nor world-class security will do anything whatsoever if their platform goes insolvent. CoinSquare - CoinSquare has had a rough year, most notably with being publicly declared as having inflated trading volume and having to pay multi-million dollar fines. As usual, the Reddit community was already on top of this and apparently, some staff at the company were even open about it. Ironically, one could argue that their dishonest practice did more to stand up to Quadriga than regulators ever did, may have saved thousands of Canadians from losing their funds, and may even have been a key factor in bringing Quadriga down. It remains to be seen what will become of the shell of one of Canada's oldest exchanges. It would be the ultimate in poetic irony if the actions of the OSC to protect CoinSquare investors ultimately destroyed the full value of their investment. If that plays out, I'm sure they will heap praise on the OSC for so publicly and fragrantly shaming CoinSquare for a practice which was similarly employed on other exchanges globally and which they'd already voluntarily ceased months prior to the conclusion of the 6-figure investigation and 7-figure fines. That said, CoinSquare already had a lack of visibility into their security practices, which they describe as “100% proprietary”. This would imply the team at CoinSquare is smarter than established security standards by experts all around the world at protecting your funds, contradicting previously reported incidents. They describe “SSL and 2FA”, which are more or less standard features of all exchanges. A “95% cold storage” policy is low compared to many other platforms, and it doesn’t appear to be mentioned whether multi-sig is being employed or not. And of course, their apparent regular audits are not public (allegedly by “a national accounting firm whose identity is protected under an NDA"). They’ve routinely described themselves as solvent rather than fully backed. Kraken - A kraken is “an enormous mythical sea monster”, and likewise Kraken, the exchange, is enormous, the largest and oldest exchange platform in North America. Kraken recently achieved the momentous accomplishment of becoming the first cryptocurrency exchange to be a regulated bank by completing a charter in the state of Wyoming. Kraken calls itself the “most trusted cryptocurrency exchange” and apparently “provides world class financial stability by maintaining full reserves, healthy banking relationships and the highest standards of legal compliance”. While many individual Kraken customers have been hacked, the platform overall never has, which is an impressive record. Similarities abound further. According to legend, kraken exist off the coast of Norway. According to alleged court papers, Kraken operated illegally in the state of New York. Should you encounter a kraken, you may be best to leave silently. If you should work at the counter for Kraken, you may be legally silenced. One of the former employees for Kraken alleges wrongful dismissal and that the bank accounts of Kraken are actually running millions of dollars short of where they should have been. But don't worry - Kraken’s website features a Proof of Reserve page, stating that “[o]ver the past several weeks, Kraken has successfully developed and completed an industry-leading, independent, cryptographically-verified audit.” But the page was written in 2014 and among the long list of limitations, the process does not enable any validation on the blockchain. Kraken hasn't done any validation or publishing of reserves in 6 years and counting. NetCoins - Once upon a time, the cofounder of CoinTrader (sound familiar?) decided to found a new exchange - “Canada’s easiest, most trusted way to buy and sell crypto”. As they say on the FAQ, “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe”. Having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” “Get verified in minutes!” While comforting to know that parent corporation BIGG Digital Assets is audited by Manning Elliott LLP and they have “[r]eal human beings you can get in touch with easily”, this doesn't make up for no visibility whatsoever into how funds are stored or what portions are backed.
Full Backing Report
There are only two exchanges in Canada meeting these criteria. BitBuy - BitBuy has operated since 2016, and was the very first to get a “Proof of Reserve and Security Audit Report” from third party CipherBlade. Since that time, they’ve also established themselves as the first company to get two separate third party validations, with the second one from Blockchain Intelligence Group. The platform’s initial operation as a non-custodial “Express Trade” model lends additional credibility. Therefore, with now two independent third party reports, BitBuy maintains the title as the most transparent exchange in Canada. However, “Bitbuy has moved its existing bitcoin holdings over to Knox”. You now have to trust both teams and platforms for the security of your funds. This is described by them as an “industry leading push for best practices”. Insurance is of course “subject to the full policy terms, conditions and exclusions”. And “Bitbuy will be Knox’s first platform partner”. Knox has never done this before for any other platform. Their security model is “a mouthful for most”, but let’s break down their pitch. They have “air-gapped specialized hardware”. So is a standard typical hardware wallet. It’s running “custom policy logic”, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on the logic. Their logic has probably been vetted by a single team of experts, which is a standard shy of most hardware wallet protocols vetted by thousands of experts globally. They use a “dual-control operational model”, which if you look up dual-control, it actually refers to the fact that the functionality of the module is simultaneously performing actions and being monitored”. It allows one to “experiment with the system so as to learn about its behavior and control it better in the future” which you can decide for yourself if that’s a good thing to have or not in the hardware that controls withdrawals of an active exchange platform. There is “offline transaction processing”, which again is a standard feature of a hardware wallet. “Geographically distinct facilities” is a good idea, though easily achieved by not storing all the private keys in the same place. Saying that the facilities “communicate in a closed network” is an interesting concept. How can you know that a network is closed? If the facilities are close together, they can be breached together. If far apart, someone can get in the middle. The network is no longer closed the moment any part of it is breached. I can go on and on and break down every one of their systems if I have to, but instead, I’ll quote their own security advice about “minimizing the attack surface of the entire key lifecycle”. The minimum attack surface for a private key is having an individual generate it secretly and securely using a process which is vetted by hundreds of security experts around the world, and not relying on a third party to have to control anything to do with that key. This is already available from most standard hardware wallets, with experts debating whether other advanced experts can find a way to extract the key with access to extremely sophisticated equipment and physical access to the hardware. The best and most efficient way to mitigate a weak or corruptible party is through multi-sig where all parties have to sign the transaction. Adding intermediary custodians instead means funds are lost when any one of them is breached, and when using the same in-house hardware as Knox does, any vulnerability on that hardware or supply chain can compromise multiple wallets at once. Now, insurance. The policy isn’t public on its website. It gives high-level features only. What’s astounding is that “collusion” is considered a break-through, which says a lot about the state of third party insurance in the space. I requested an example policy from their team. Their response was that it was “proprietary” and that they only “go over it with serious buyers”. In other words, no one has visibility to the actual policy details of what’s really covered outside of BitBuy or Knox, and neither party has any incentive to present that information objectively. For now, until someone cares to prove me wrong, I’ll quote their own website, “[m]ost policies covering Bitcoin theft and loss fall short and provide a false sense of security”. One of the issues with the BitBuy validation is that it offers no visibility whatsoever for customers to know if their balances were included in any of their third-party validations. As such, BitBuy could have excluded any number of customers and passed both verifications with flying colours. That's why it isn’t a full Proof of Reserve. Also, they stopped talking to me again. But I still believe that BitBuy is one of the least worst platforms, now with reserves verified by two separate third parties. ShakePay - Firstly, congratulations. The formerly trustless raccoon has now got a third party validation - a key step forward. The ShakePay platform is incredibly good at marketing, with the most powerful “Shaking Sats” program to literally get thousands of Canadians to think about buying more cryptocurrency every single day, or at least to pay homage to their great raccoon mascot. More recently, ShakePay completed a security assessment provided by CipherTrace, and added further insurance. CipherTrace found that reserves appeared to be fully backed including extensive analysis of the transactions and provided data. ShakePay could be upfront that they charge a market spread or list the buy and sell prices. Instead, they promote the service as “no fees” and list only one price for bitcoin or ethereum, the only coins they sell. To find the model you have to click through to a separate page. The spread and pricing information is only ever available from within a registered account. ShakePay does not offer any additional trading functionality or coins. ShakePay states that the “majority of all digital currencies are stored securely offline”. The CipherBlade report found this ratio was at “93% of Bitcoin and 91% of Ethereum” in cold storage at the time of the report, though it “var[ies] periodically to some degree throughout the day”. The report refers to a “multi-signature wallet interface”, which they later call a “service to access its sending and receiving multi-signature wallets”, which apparently also “does not have control over cryptocurrency in the hot wallets”. This part doesn’t exactly make sense, as one would most likely consider “access” to a “sending” function as “control”. Apparently, this “not mentioned” service is “without any known security risks” and there are also “redundancy measures” in place as well. Whatever that means in the context of irreversible transactions is a mystery. However, the majority of funds are no longer stored with ShakePay but have now been given to an undisclosed “trust company registered under the NYDFS”. The “variety of security protocols” in place here include “address whitelisting”, the only policy they are willing to disclose publicly “for security reasons”. While ShakePay won’t identify the third party, “CipherBlade can confidently conclude that Shakepay controls these cold wallets” even though “they are controlled by [the] cold storage provider” and “the cold storage provider ultimately holds the private keys”. ShakePay does receive “an account statement” “which includes applicable wallet addresses and balances held” and “[d]ata found on the blockchain was also in line with information found on these statements.” It will be interesting to see in one of many “quite unlikely” events what “the cold storage provider’s policy and Shakepay’s own policy” would cover, given that the details of both policies are completely secret. Luckily, “[t]he vast majority of Shakepay customers who purchase cryptocurrency on the Shakepay platform withdraw it promptly thereafter.” It’s important to note that this report is not a Proof nor an Audit (as originally named). “The reviewer is not a professional accountant, and CipherBlade has not performed a professional financial audit or an audit of internal controls and expresses no assurance on the accounting records of Shakepay.” ShakePay was happy to remove “audit” but they still continue to insist on calling this a “proof”, when it’s not. They claim “Proof of Reserves can have a variety of setups” and they cited Nic Carter’s blog post, which also listed all the criteria for the proof, which they did not meet. In discussion with Nic (who is amazingly open to chat), he’s agreed “what they are doing is not a full PoR” and he “didn’t believe it would be a widely consulted thing - [he] was mostly doing it to encourage custodians to take PoR seriously”. The point of a “proof” and why it’s called a “proof” is because it leaves no doubt. A Proof of Reserve needs to prove the reserves - that funds exist on the blockchain, are spendable by the platform, and fully back the assets of any customer who bothers to check. ShakePay’s does not.
Proof of Reserves
Presently all platforms in Canada have refused to provide visibility to the public blockchain entries backing funds on their platform. They have refused to sign a proof of spendability for any funds they control. All claims and verifications have been against customer lists provided by the platform with no ability for any customers to validate they were included. This is a recipe for more Gerald Cottens and Dave Smillies. I understand Proof of Reserve is not practical for all platforms. I was able to come up with an alternative that doesn’t require public blockchain visibility, could be implemented today using reputable third parties, and effectively validates all customers are included.
How We Could Have Safe Exchange Platforms In Canada
The first and largest issue has always been a lack of transparency. Far more funds have been lost to fraudulent platforms and wallet services than hacks. Honest platforms need to be giving greater visibility and certainty to their customers to make fraud obvious. Secondly, no platform employing offline storage and multi-sig has ever been breached. We need to agree on the basic standards of what it takes to keep assets secure and create an environment where best practices are shared instead of hidden between platforms. And thirdly, third party insurance incentivizes high fees, it limits coverage, and it does everything possible to avoid a payout. We need an organized insurance strategy that is run by platform operators and overseen with the full protection of Canadians in mind. What’s possible is exciting, but not guaranteed. There are a lot of irreversibly horrible futures which are even more likely if we merely sit back and watch.
I rewrote this for anybody who has the time and the heart to help GIVE ADVICE TO my daughter with this unnecessary situation when it comes to fighting their DVfather abusive Court matter
Dragonchain Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off Public Proposal
Dragonchain Public Proposal TL;DR:
Dragonchain has demonstrated twice Reddit’s entire total daily volume (votes, comments, and postsper Reddit 2019 Year in Review) in a 24-hour demo on an operational network. Every single transaction on Dragonchain is decentralized immediately through 5 levels of Dragon Net, and then secured with combined proof on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Binance Chain, via Interchain. At the time, in January 2020, the entire cost of the demo was approximately $25K on a single system (transaction fees locked at $0.0001/txn). With current fees (lowest fee $0.0000025/txn), this would cost as little as $625. Watch Joe walk through the entire proposal and answer questions onYouTube. This proposal is also available on the Dragonchain blog.
Hello Reddit and Ethereum community!
I’m Joe Roets, Founder & CEO of Dragonchain. When the team and I first heard about The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off we were intrigued. We believe we have the solutions Reddit seeks for its community points system and we have them at scale. For your consideration, we have submitted our proposal below. The team at Dragonchain and I welcome and look forward to your technical questions, philosophical feedback, and fair criticism, to build a scaling solution for Reddit that will empower its users. Because our architecture is unlike other blockchain platforms out there today, we expect to receive many questions while people try to grasp our project. I will answer all questions here in this thread on Reddit, and I've answered some questions in the stream on YouTube. We have seen good discussions so far in the competition. We hope that Reddit’s scaling solution will emerge from The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off and that Reddit will have great success with the implementation.
Dragonchain is a robust open source hybrid blockchain platform that has proven to withstand the passing of time since our inception in 2014. We have continued to evolve to harness the scalability of private nodes, yet take full advantage of the security of public decentralized networks, like Ethereum. We have a live, operational, and fully functional Interchain network integrating Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and ~700 independent Dragonchain nodes. Every transaction is secured to Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Ethereum Classic. Transactions are immediately usable on chain, and the first decentralization is seen within 20 seconds on Dragon Net. Security increases further to public networks ETH, BTC, and ETC within 10 minutes to 2 hours. Smart contracts can be written in any executable language, offering full freedom to existing developers. We invite any developer to watch the demo, play with our SDK’s, review open source code, and to help us move forward. Dragonchain specializes in scalable loyalty & rewards solutions and has built a decentralized social network on chain, with very affordable transaction costs. This experience can be combined with the insights Reddit and the Ethereum community have gained in the past couple of months to roll out the solution at a rapid pace.
Response and PoC
In The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off post, Reddit has asked for a series of demonstrations, requirements, and other considerations. In this section, we will attempt to answer all of these requests.
A live proof of concept showing hundreds of thousands of transactions
On Jan 7, 2020, Dragonchain hosted a 24-hour live demonstration during which a quarter of a billion (250 million+) transactions executed fully on an operational network. Every single transaction on Dragonchain is decentralized immediately through 5 levels of Dragon Net, and then secured with combined proof on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Binance Chain, via Interchain. This means that every single transaction is secured by, and traceable to these networks. An attack on this system would require a simultaneous attack on all of the Interchained networks. 24 hours in 4 minutes (YouTube): 24 hours in 4 minutes The demonstration was of a single business system, and any user is able to scale this further, by running multiple systems simultaneously. Our goals for the event were to demonstrate a consistent capacity greater than that of Visa over an extended time period. Tooling to reproduce our demo is available here: https://github.com/dragonchain/spirit-bomb
Source code (for on & off-chain components as well tooling used for the PoC). The source code does not have to be shared publicly, but if Reddit decides to use a particular solution it will need to be shared with Reddit at some point.
Dragonchain’s architecture attacks the scalability issue from multiple angles. Dragonchain is a hybrid blockchain platform, wherein every transaction is protected on a business node to the requirements of that business or purpose. A business node may be held completely private or may be exposed or replicated to any level of exposure desired. Every node has its own blockchain and is independently scalable. Dragonchain established Context Based Verification as its consensus model. Every transaction is immediately usable on a trust basis, and in time is provable to an increasing level of decentralized consensus. A transaction will have a level of decentralization to independently owned and deployed Dragonchain nodes (~700 nodes) within seconds, and full decentralization to BTC and ETH within minutes or hours. Level 5 nodes (Interchain nodes) function to secure all transactions to public or otherwise external chains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. These nodes scale the system by aggregating multiple blocks into a single Interchain transaction on a cadence. This timing is configurable based upon average fees for each respective chain. For detailed information about Dragonchain’s architecture, and Context Based Verification, please refer to the Dragonchain Architecture Document.
An interesting feature of Dragonchain’s network consensus is its economics and scarcity model. Since Dragon Net nodes (L2-L4) are independent staking nodes, deployment to cloud platforms would allow any of these nodes to scale to take on a large percentage of the verification work. This is great for scalability, but not good for the economy, because there is no scarcity, and pricing would develop a downward spiral and result in fewer verification nodes. For this reason, Dragonchain uses TIME as scarcity. TIME is calculated as the number of Dragons held, multiplied by the number of days held. TIME influences the user’s access to features within the Dragonchain ecosystem. It takes into account both the Dragon balance and length of time each Dragon is held. TIME is staked by users against every verification node and dictates how much of the transaction fees are awarded to each participating node for every block. TIME also dictates the transaction fee itself for the business node. TIME is staked against a business node to set a deterministic transaction fee level (see transaction fee table below in Cost section). This is very interesting in a discussion about scaling because it guarantees independence for business implementation. No matter how much traffic appears on the entire network, a business is guaranteed to not see an increased transaction fee rate.
Dragonchain uses Docker and Kubernetes to allow the use of best practices traditional system scaling. Dragonchain offers managed nodes with an easy to use web based console interface. The user may also deploy a Dragonchain node within their own datacenter or favorite cloud platform. Users have deployed Dragonchain nodes on-prem on Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, MS Azure, and other hosting platforms around the world. Any executable code, anything you can write, can be written into a smart contract. This flexibility is what allows us to say that developers with no blockchain experience can use any code language to access the benefits of blockchain. Customers have used NodeJS, Python, Java, and even BASH shell script to write smart contracts on Dragonchain. With Docker containers, we achieve better separation of concerns, faster deployment, higher reliability, and lower response times. We chose Kubernetes for its self-healing features, ability to run multiple services on one server, and its large and thriving development community. It is resilient, scalable, and automated. OpenFaaS allows us to package smart contracts as Docker images for easy deployment. Contract deployment time is now bounded only by the size of the Docker image being deployed but remains fast even for reasonably large images. We also take advantage of Docker’s flexibility and its ability to support any language that can run on x86 architecture. Any image, public or private, can be run as a smart contract using Dragonchain.
Flexibility in Scaling
Dragonchain’s architecture considers interoperability and integration as key features. From inception, we had a goal to increase adoption via integration with real business use cases and traditional systems. We envision the ability for Reddit, in the future, to be able to integrate alternate content storage platforms or other financial services along with the token.
LBRY - To allow users to deploy content natively to LBRY
MakerDAO to allow users to lend small amounts backed by their Reddit community points.
STORJ/SIA to allow decentralized on chain storage of portions of content. These integrations or any other are relatively easy to integrate on Dragonchain with an Interchain implementation.
Cost estimates (on-chain and off-chain) For the purpose of this proposal, we assume that all transactions are on chain (posts, replies, and votes).
On the Dragonchain network, transaction costs are deterministic/predictable. By staking TIME on the business node (as described above) Reddit can reduce transaction costs to as low as $0.0000025 per transaction. Dragonchain Fees Table
How to run it
Building on Dragonchain is simple and requires no blockchain experience. Spin up a business node (L1) in our managed environment (AWS), run it in your own cloud environment, or on-prem in your own datacenter. Clear documentation will walk you through the steps of spinning up your first Dragonchain Level 1 Business node. Getting started is easy...
Download Dragonchain’s dctl
Input three commands into a terminal
Build an image
More information can be found in our Get started documents.
Dragonchain is an open source hybrid platform. Through Dragon Net, each chain combines the power of a public blockchain (like Ethereum) with the privacy of a private blockchain. Dragonchain organizes its network into five separate levels. A Level 1, or business node, is a totally private blockchain only accessible through the use of public/private keypairs. All business logic, including smart contracts, can be executed on this node directly and added to the chain. After creating a block, the Level 1 business node broadcasts a version stripped of sensitive private data to Dragon Net. Three Level 2 Validating nodes validate the transaction based on guidelines determined from the business. A Level 3 Diversity node checks that the level 2 nodes are from a diverse array of locations. A Level 4 Notary node, hosted by a KYC partner, then signs the validation record received from the Level 3 node. The transaction hash is ledgered to the Level 5 public chain to take advantage of the hash power of massive public networks. Dragon Net can be thought of as a “blockchain of blockchains”, where every level is a complete private blockchain. Because an L1 can send to multiple nodes on a single level, proof of existence is distributed among many places in the network. Eventually, proof of existence reaches level 5 and is published on a public network.
Dragonchain is open source and even though the platform is easy enough for developers to code in any language they are comfortable with, we do not have so large a developer community as Ethereum. We would like to see the Ethereum developer community (and any other communities) become familiar with our SDK’s, our solutions, and our platform, to unlock the full potential of our Ethereum Interchain. Long ago we decided to prioritize both Bitcoin and Ethereum Interchains. We envision an ecosystem that encompasses different projects to give developers the ability to take full advantage of all the opportunities blockchain offers to create decentralized solutions not only for Reddit but for all of our current platforms and systems. We believe that together we will take the adoption of blockchain further. We currently have additional Interchain with Ethereum Classic. We look forward to Interchain with other blockchains in the future. We invite all blockchains projects who believe in decentralization and security to Interchain with Dragonchain.
While we only have 700 nodes compared to 8,000 Ethereum and 10,000 Bitcoin nodes. We harness those 18,000 nodes to scale to extremely high levels of security. See Dragonchain metrics.
Some may consider the centralization of Dragonchain’s business nodes as an issue at first glance, however, the model is by design to protect business data. We do not consider this a drawback as these nodes can make any, none, or all data public. Depending upon the implementation, every subreddit could have control of its own business node, for potential business and enterprise offerings, bringing new alternative revenue streams to Reddit.
Costs and resources
Summary of cost & resource information for both on-chain & off-chain components used in the PoC, as well as cost & resource estimates for further scaling. If your PoC is not on mainnet, make note of any mainnet caveats (such as congestion issues).
Every transaction on the PoC system had a transaction fee of $0.0001 (one-hundredth of a cent USD). At 256MM transactions, the demo cost $25,600. With current operational fees, the same demonstration would cost $640 USD. For the demonstration, to achieve throughput to mimic a worldwide payments network, we modeled several clients in AWS and 4-5 business nodes to handle the traffic. The business nodes were tuned to handle higher throughput by adjusting memory and machine footprint on AWS. This flexibility is valuable to implementing a system such as envisioned by Reddit. Given that Reddit’s daily traffic (posts, replies, and votes) is less than half that of our demo, we would expect that the entire Reddit system could be handled on 2-5 business nodes using right-sized containers on AWS or similar environments. Verification was accomplished on the operational Dragon Net network with over 700 independently owned verification nodes running around the world at no cost to the business other than paid transaction fees.
This PoC should scale to the numbers below with minimal costs (both on & off-chain). There should also be a clear path to supporting hundreds of millions of users. Over a 5 day period, your scaling PoC should be able to handle: *100,000 point claims (minting & distributing points) *25,000 subscriptions *75,000 one-off points burning *100,000 transfers
During Dragonchain’s 24 hour demo, the above required numbers were reached within the first few minutes. Reddit’s total activity is 9000% more than Ethereum’s total transaction level. Even if you do not include votes, it is still 700% more than Ethereum’s current volume. Dragonchain has demonstrated that it can handle 250 million transactions a day, and it’s architecture allows for multiple systems to work at that level simultaneously. In our PoC, we demonstrate double the full capacity of Reddit, and every transaction was proven all the way to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Reddit Scaling on Ethereum
Solutions should not depend on any single third-party provider. We prefer solutions that do not depend on specific entities such as Reddit or another provider, and solutions with no single point of control or failure in off-chain components but recognize there are numerous trade-offs to consider
Dragonchain’s architecture calls for a hybrid approach. Private business nodes hold the sensitive data while the validation and verification of transactions for the business are decentralized within seconds and secured to public blockchains within 10 minutes to 2 hours. Nodes could potentially be controlled by owners of individual subreddits for more organic decentralization.
Billing is currently centralized - there is a path to federation and decentralization of a scaled billing solution.
Operational on-premises capabilities
Operational deployment to any datacenter
Over 700 independent Community Verification Nodes with proof of ownership
Operational Interchain (Interoperable to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic, open to more)
Usability Scaling solutions should have a simple end user experience.
Users shouldn't have to maintain any extra state/proofs, regularly monitor activity, keep track of extra keys, or sign anything other than their normal transactions
Dragonchain and its customers have demonstrated extraordinary usability as a feature in many applications, where users do not need to know that the system is backed by a live blockchain. Lyceum is one of these examples, where the progress of academy courses is being tracked, and successful completion of courses is rewarded with certificates on chain. Our @Save_The_Tweet bot is popular on Twitter. When used with one of the following hashtags - #please, #blockchain, #ThankYou, or #eternalize the tweet is saved through Eternal to multiple blockchains. A proof report is available for future reference. Other examples in use are DEN, our decentralized social media platform, and our console, where users can track their node rewards, view their TIME, and operate a business node. Examples:
Transactions complete in a reasonable amount of time (seconds or minutes, not hours or days)
All transactions are immediately usable on chain by the system. A transaction begins the path to decentralization at the conclusion of a 5-second block when it gets distributed across 5 separate community run nodes. Full decentralization occurs within 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on which interchain (Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ethereum Classic) the transaction hits first. Within approximately 2 hours, the combined hash power of all interchained blockchains secures the transaction.
Free to use for end users (no gas fees, or fixed/minimal fees that Reddit can pay on their behalf)
With transaction pricing as low as $0.0000025 per transaction, it may be considered reasonable for Reddit to cover transaction fees for users. All of Reddit's Transactions on Blockchain (month) Community points can be earned by users and distributed directly to their Reddit account in batch (as per Reddit minting plan), and allow users to withdraw rewards to their Ethereum wallet whenever they wish. Withdrawal fees can be paid by either user or Reddit. This model has been operating inside the Dragonchain system since 2018, and many security and financial compliance features can be optionally added. We feel that this capability greatly enhances user experience because it is seamless to a regular user without cryptocurrency experience, yet flexible to a tech savvy user. With regard to currency or token transactions, these would occur on the Reddit network, verified to BTC and ETH. These transactions would incur the $0.0000025 transaction fee. To estimate this fee we use the monthly active Reddit users statista with a 60% adoption rate and an estimated 10 transactions per month average resulting in an approximate $720 cost across the system. Reddit could feasibly incur all associated internal network charges (mining/minting, transfer, burn) as these are very low and controllable fees. Reddit Internal Token Transaction Fees Reddit Ethereum Token Transaction Fees When we consider further the Ethereum fees that might be incurred, we have a few choices for a solution.
Offload all Ethereum transaction fees (user withdrawals) to interested users as they wish to withdraw tokens for external use or sale.
Cover Ethereum transaction fees by aggregating them on a timed schedule. Users would request withdrawal (from Reddit or individual subreddits), and they would be transacted on the Ethereum network every hour (or some other schedule).
In a combination of the above, customers could cover aggregated fees.
Integrate with alternate Ethereum roll up solutions or other proposals to aggregate minting and distribution transactions onto Ethereum.
Users should be able to view their balances & transactions via a blockchain explorer-style interface
From interfaces for users who have no knowledge of blockchain technology to users who are well versed in blockchain terms such as those present in a typical block explorer, a system powered by Dragonchain has flexibility on how to provide balances and transaction data to users. Transactions can be made viewable in an Eternal Proof Report, which displays raw data along with TIME staking information and traceability all the way to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and every other Interchained network. The report shows fields such as transaction ID, timestamp, block ID, multiple verifications, and Interchain proof. See example here. Node payouts within the Dragonchain console are listed in chronological order and can be further seen in either Dragons or USD. See example here. In our social media platform, Dragon Den, users can see, in real-time, their NRG and MTR balances. See example here. A new influencer app powered by Dragonchain, Raiinmaker, breaks down data into a user friendly interface that shows coin portfolio, redeemed rewards, and social scores per campaign. See example here.
Exiting is fast & simple
Withdrawing funds on Dragonchain’s console requires three clicks, however, withdrawal scenarios with more enhanced security features per Reddit’s discretion are obtainable.
Interoperability Compatibility with third party apps (wallets/contracts/etc) is necessary.
Proven interoperability at scale that surpasses the required specifications. Our entire platform consists of interoperable blockchains connected to each other and traditional systems. APIs are well documented. Third party permissions are possible with a simple smart contract without the end user being aware. No need to learn any specialized proprietary language. Any code base (not subsets) is usable within a Docker container. Interoperable with any blockchain or traditional APIs. We’ve witnessed relatively complex systems built by engineers with no blockchain or cryptocurrency experience. We’ve also demonstrated the creation of smart contracts within minutes built with BASH shell and Node.js. Please see our source code and API documentation.
Scaling solutions should be extensible and allow third parties to build on top of it Open source and extensible APIs should be well documented and stable
Third-party permissionless integrations should be possible & straightforward Smart contracts are Docker based, can be written in any language, use full language (not subsets), and can therefore be integrated with any system including traditional system APIs. Simple is better. Learning an uncommon or proprietary language should not be necessary.
Advanced knowledge of mathematics, cryptography, or L2 scaling should not be required. Compatibility with common utilities & toolchains is expected. Dragonchain business nodes and smart contracts leverage Docker to allow the use of literally any language or executable code. No proprietary language is necessary. We’ve witnessed relatively complex systems built by engineers with no blockchain or cryptocurrency experience. We’ve also demonstrated the creation of smart contracts within minutes built with BASH shell and Node.js.
Bonus Points: Show us how it works. Do you have an idea for a cool new use case for Community Points? Build it!
Community points could be awarded to Reddit users based upon TIME too, whereas the longer someone is part of a subreddit, the more community points someone naturally gained, even if not actively commenting or sharing new posts. A daily login could be required for these community points to be credited. This grants awards to readers too and incentivizes readers to create an account on Reddit if they browse the website often. This concept could also be leveraged to provide some level of reputation based upon duration and consistency of contribution to a community subreddit.
Dragonchain has already built a social media platform that harnesses community involvement. Dragon Den is a decentralized community built on the Dragonchain blockchain platform. Dragon Den is Dragonchain’s answer to fake news, trolling, and censorship. It incentivizes the creation and evaluation of quality content within communities. It could be described as being a shareholder of a subreddit or Reddit in its entirety. The more your subreddit is thriving, the more rewarding it will be. Den is currently in a public beta and in active development, though the real token economy is not live yet. There are different tokens for various purposes. Two tokens are Lair Ownership Rights (LOR) and Lair Ownership Tokens (LOT). LOT is a non-fungible token for ownership of a specific Lair. LOT will only be created and converted from LOR. Energy (NRG) and Matter (MTR) work jointly. Your MTR determines how much NRG you receive in a 24-hour period. Providing quality content, or evaluating content will earn MTR.
Security. Users have full ownership & control of their points.
All community points awarded based upon any type of activity or gift, are secured and provable to all Interchain networks (currently BTC, ETH, ETC). Users are free to spend and withdraw their points as they please, depending on the features Reddit wants to bring into production.
Balances and transactions cannot be forged, manipulated, or blocked by Reddit or anyone else
Users can withdraw their balance to their ERC20 wallet, directly through Reddit. Reddit can cover the fees on their behalf, or the user covers this with a portion of their balance.
Users should own their points and be able to get on-chain ERC20 tokens without permission from anyone else
Through our console users can withdraw their ERC20 rewards. This can be achieved on Reddit too. Here is a walkthrough of our console, though this does not show the quick withdrawal functionality, a user can withdraw at any time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNlTMxnfVHw
Points should be recoverable to on-chain ERC20 tokens even if all third-parties involved go offline
If necessary, signed transactions from the Reddit system (e.g. Reddit + Subreddit) can be sent to the Ethereum smart contract for minting.
A public, third-party review attesting to the soundness of the design should be available
To our knowledge, at least two large corporations, including a top 3 accounting firm, have conducted positive reviews. These reviews have never been made public, as Dragonchain did not pay or contract for these studies to be released.
Bonus points Public, third-party implementation review available or in progress
Compatibility with HSMs & hardware wallets
For the purpose of this proposal, all tokenization would be on the Ethereum network using standard token contracts and as such, would be able to leverage all hardware wallet and Ethereum ecosystem services.
Minting/distributing tokens is not performed by Reddit directly
This operation can be automated by smart contract on Ethereum. Subreddits can if desired have a role to play.
One off point burning, as well as recurring, non-interactive point burning (for subreddit memberships) should be possible and scalable
This is possible and scalable with interaction between Dragonchain Reddit system and Ethereum token contract(s).
Fully open-source solutions are strongly preferred
Dragonchain is fully open source (see section on Disney release after conclusion).
Whether it is today, or in the future, we would like to work together to bring secure flexibility to the highest standards. It is our hope to be considered by Ethereum, Reddit, and other integrative solutions so we may further discuss the possibilities of implementation. In our public demonstration, 256 million transactions were handled in our operational network on chain in 24 hours, for the low cost of $25K, which if run today would cost $625. Dragonchain’s interoperable foundation provides the atmosphere necessary to implement a frictionless community points system. Thank you for your consideration of our proposal. We look forward to working with the community to make something great!
Disney Releases Blockchain Platform as Open Source
The team at Disney created the Disney Private Blockchain Platform. The system was a hybrid interoperable blockchain platform for ledgering and smart contract development geared toward solving problems with blockchain adoption and usability. All objective evaluation would consider the team’s output a success. We released a list of use cases that we explored in some capacity at Disney, and our input on blockchain standardization as part of our participation in the W3C Blockchain Community Group. https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-blockchain/2016May/0052.html
In 2016, Roets proposed to release the platform as open source to spread the technology outside of Disney, as others within the W3C group were interested in the solutions that had been created inside of Disney. Following a long process, step by step, the team met requirements for release. Among the requirements, the team had to:
Obtain VP support and approval for the release
Verify ownership of the software to be released
Verify that no proprietary content would be released
Convince the organization that there was a value to the open source community
Convince the organization that there was a value to Disney
Offer the plan for ongoing maintenance of the project outside of Disney
Itemize competing projects
Verify no conflict of interest
Change the project name to not use the name Disney, any Disney character, or any other associated IP - proposed Dragonchain - approved
Obtain legal approval
Approval from corporate, parks, and other business units
Approval from multiple Disney patent groups Copyright holder defined by Disney (Disney Connected and Advanced Technologies)
Trademark searches conducted for the selected name Dragonchain
Obtain IT security approval
Manual review of OSS components conducted
OWASP Dependency and Vulnerability Check Conducted
Obtain technical (software) approval
Offer management, process, and financial plans for the maintenance of the project.
Meet list of items to be addressed before release
Remove all Disney project references and scripts
Create a public distribution list for email communications
Remove Roets’ direct and internal contact information
Create public Slack channel and move from Disney slack channels
Create proper labels for issue tracking
Rename internal private Github repository
Add informative description to Github page
Expand README.md with more specific information
Add information beyond current “Blockchains are Magic”
Add getting started sections and info on cloning/forking the project
Add installation details
Add uninstall process
Add unit, functional, and integration test information
Detail how to contribute and get involved
Describe the git workflow that the project will use
Move to public, non-Disney git repository (Github or Bitbucket)
Obtain Disney Open Source Committee approval for release
On top of meeting the above criteria, as part of the process, the maintainer of the project had to receive the codebase on their own personal email and create accounts for maintenance (e.g. Github) with non-Disney accounts. Given the fact that the project spanned multiple business units, Roets was individually responsible for its ongoing maintenance. Because of this, he proposed in the open source application to create a non-profit organization to hold the IP and maintain the project. This was approved by Disney. The Disney Open Source Committee approved the application known as OSSRELEASE-10, and the code was released on October 2, 2016. Disney decided to not issue a press release. Original OSSRELASE-10 document
This is a follow-up on https://old.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hqzp14/technical_the_path_to_taproot_activation/ Taproot! Everybody wants it!! But... you might ask yourself: sure, everybody else wants it, but why would I, sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, want it? Surely I can be better than everybody else because I swapped XXX fiat for Bitcoin unlike all those nocoiners? And it is important for you to know the reasons why you, o sovereign Bitcoiner, would want Taproot activated. After all, your nodes (or the nodes your wallets use, which if you are SPV, you hopefully can pester to your wallet vendoimplementor about) need to be upgraded in order for Taproot activation to actually succeed instead of becoming a hot sticky mess. First, let's consider some principles of Bitcoin.
You the HODLer should be the one who controls where your money goes. Your keys, your coins.
You the HODLer should be able to coordinate and make contracts with other people regarding your funds.
You the HODLer should be able to do the above without anyone watching over your shoulder and judging you.
I'm sure most of us here would agree that the above are very important principles of Bitcoin and that these are principles we would not be willing to remove. If anything, we would want those principles strengthened (especially the last one, financial privacy, which current Bitcoin is only sporadically strong with: you can get privacy, it just requires effort to do so). So, how does Taproot affect those principles?
Taproot and Your /Coins
Most HODLers probably HODL their coins in singlesig addresses. Sadly, switching to Taproot would do very little for you (it gives a mild discount at spend time, at the cost of a mild increase in fee at receive time (paid by whoever sends to you, so if it's a self-send from a P2PKH or bech32 address, you pay for this); mostly a wash). (technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash, so the Taproot output spends 12 bytes more; spending from a P2WPKH requires revealing a 32-byte public key later, which is not needed with Taproot, and Taproot signatures are about 9 bytes smaller than P2WPKH signatures, but the 32 bytes plus 9 bytes is divided by 4 because of the witness discount, so it saves about 11 bytes; mostly a wash, it increases blockweight by about 1 virtual byte, 4 weight for each Taproot-output-input, compared to P2WPKH-output-input). However, as your HODLings grow in value, you might start wondering if multisignature k-of-n setups might be better for the security of your savings. And it is in multisignature that Taproot starts to give benefits! Taproot switches to using Schnorr signing scheme. Schnorr makes key aggregation -- constructing a single public key from multiple public keys -- almost as trivial as adding numbers together. "Almost" because it involves some fairly advanced math instead of simple boring number adding, but hey when was the last time you added up your grocery list prices by hand huh? With current P2SH and P2WSH multisignature schemes, if you have a 2-of-3 setup, then to spend, you need to provide two different signatures from two different public keys. With Taproot, you can create, using special moon math, a single public key that represents your 2-of-3 setup. Then you just put two of your devices together, have them communicate to each other (this can be done airgapped, in theory, by sending QR codes: the software to do this is not even being built yet, but that's because Taproot hasn't activated yet!), and they will make a single signature to authorize any spend from your 2-of-3 address. That's 73 witness bytes -- 18.25 virtual bytes -- of signatures you save! And if you decide that your current setup with 1-of-1 P2PKH / P2WPKH addresses is just fine as-is: well, that's the whole point of a softfork: backwards-compatibility; you can receive from Taproot users just fine, and once your wallet is updated for Taproot-sending support, you can send to Taproot users just fine as well! (P2WPKH and P2WSH -- SegWit v0 -- addresses start with bc1q; Taproot -- SegWit v1 --- addresses start with bc1p, in case you wanted to know the difference; in bech32 q is 0, p is 1) Now how about HODLers who keep all, or some, of their coins on custodial services? Well, any custodial service worth its salt would be doing at least 2-of-3, or probably something even bigger, like 11-of-15. So your custodial service, if it switched to using Taproot internally, could save a lot more (imagine an 11-of-15 getting reduced from 11 signatures to just 1!), which --- we can only hope! --- should translate to lower fees and better customer service from your custodial service! So I think we can say, very accurately, that the Bitcoin principle --- that YOU are in control of your money --- can only be helped by Taproot (if you are doing multisignature), and, because P2PKH and P2WPKH remain validly-usable addresses in a Taproot future, will not be harmed by Taproot. Its benefit to this principle might be small (it mostly only benefits multisignature users) but since it has no drawbacks with this (i.e. singlesig users can continue to use P2WPKH and P2PKH still) this is still a nice, tidy win! (even singlesig users get a minor benefit, in that multisig users will now reduce their blockchain space footprint, so that fees can be kept low for everybody; so for example even if you have your single set of private keys engraved on titanium plates sealed in an airtight box stored in a safe buried in a desert protected by angry nomads riding giant sandworms because you're the frickin' Kwisatz Haderach, you still gain some benefit from Taproot) And here's the important part: if P2PKH/P2WPKH is working perfectly fine with you and you decide to never use Taproot yourself, Taproot will not affect you detrimentally. First do no harm!
Taproot and Your Contracts
No one is an island, no one lives alone. Give and you shall receive. You know: by trading with other people, you can gain expertise in some obscure little necessity of the world (and greatly increase your productivity in that little field), and then trade the products of your expertise for necessities other people have created, all of you thereby gaining gains from trade. So, contracts, which are basically enforceable agreements that facilitate trading with people who you do not personally know and therefore might not trust. Let's start with a simple example. You want to buy some gewgaws from somebody. But you don't know them personally. The seller wants the money, you want their gewgaws, but because of the lack of trust (you don't know them!! what if they're scammers??) neither of you can benefit from gains from trade. However, suppose both of you know of some entity that both of you trust. That entity can act as a trusted escrow. The entity provides you security: this enables the trade, allowing both of you to get gains from trade. In Bitcoin-land, this can be implemented as a 2-of-3 multisignature. The three signatories in the multisgnature would be you, the gewgaw seller, and the escrow. You put the payment for the gewgaws into this 2-of-3 multisignature address. Now, suppose it turns out neither of you are scammers (whaaaat!). You receive the gewgaws just fine and you're willing to pay up for them. Then you and the gewgaw seller just sign a transaction --- you and the gewgaw seller are 2, sufficient to trigger the 2-of-3 --- that spends from the 2-of-3 address to a singlesig the gewgaw seller wants (or whatever address the gewgaw seller wants). But suppose some problem arises. The seller gave you gawgews instead of gewgaws. Or you decided to keep the gewgaws but not sign the transaction to release the funds to the seller. In either case, the escrow is notified, and if it can sign with you to refund the funds back to you (if the seller was a scammer) or it can sign with the seller to forward the funds to the seller (if you were a scammer). Taproot helps with this: like mentioned above, it allows multisignature setups to produce only one signature, reducing blockchain space usage, and thus making contracts --- which require multiple people, by definition, you don't make contracts with yourself --- is made cheaper (which we hope enables more of these setups to happen for more gains from trade for everyone, also, moon and lambos). (technology-wise, it's easier to make an n-of-n than a k-of-n, making a k-of-n would require a complex setup involving a long ritual with many communication rounds between the n participants, but an n-of-n can be done trivially with some moon math. You can, however, make what is effectively a 2-of-3 by using a three-branch SCRIPT: either 2-of-2 of you and seller, OR 2-of-2 of you and escrow, OR 2-of-2 of escrow and seller. Fortunately, Taproot adds a facility to embed a SCRIPT inside a public key, so you can have a 2-of-2 Taprooted address (between you and seller) with a SCRIPT branch that can instead be spent with 2-of-2 (you + escrow) OR 2-of-2 (seller + escrow), which implements the three-branched SCRIPT above. If neither of you are scammers (hopefully the common case) then you both sign using your keys and never have to contact the escrow, since you are just using the escrow public key without coordinating with them (because n-of-n is trivial but k-of-n requires setup with communication rounds), so in the "best case" where both of you are honest traders, you also get a privacy boost, in that the escrow never learns you have been trading on gewgaws, I mean ewww, gawgews are much better than gewgaws and therefore I now judge you for being a gewgaw enthusiast, you filthy gewgawer).
Taproot and Your Contracts, Part 2: Cryptographic Boogaloo
Now suppose you want to buy some data instead of things. For example, maybe you have some closed-source software in trial mode installed, and want to pay the developer for the full version. You want to pay for an activation code. This can be done, today, by using an HTLC. The developer tells you the hash of the activation code. You pay to an HTLC, paying out to the developer if it reveals the preimage (the activation code), or refunding the money back to you after a pre-agreed timeout. If the developer claims the funds, it has to reveal the preimage, which is the activation code, and you can now activate your software. If the developer does not claim the funds by the timeout, you get refunded. And you can do that, with HTLCs, today. Of course, HTLCs do have problems:
Privacy. Everyone scraping the Bitcoin blockchain can see any HTLCs, and preimages used to claim them.
This can be mitigated by using offchain techniques so HTLCs are never published onchain in the happy case. Lightning would probably in practice be the easiest way to do this offchain. Of course, there are practical limits to what you can pay on Lightning. If you are buying something expensive, then Lightning might not be practical. For example, the "software" you are activating is really the firmware of a car, and what you are buying is not the software really but the car itself (with the activation of the car firmware being equivalent to getting the car keys).
Even offchain techniques need an onchain escape hatch in case of unresponsiveness! This means that, if something bad happens during payment, the HTLC might end up being published onchain anyway, revealing the fact that some special contract occurred.
And an HTLC that is claimed with a preimage onchain will also publicly reveal the preimage onchain. If that preimage is really the activation key of a software than it can now be pirated. If that preimage is really the activation key for your newly-bought cryptographic car --- well, not your keys, not your car!
Trust requirement. You are trusting the developer that it gives you the hash of an actual valid activation key, without any way to validate that the activation key hidden by the hash is actually valid.
Fortunately, with Schnorr (which is enabled by Taproot), we can now use the Scriptless Script constuction by Andrew Poelstra. This Scriptless Script allows a new construction, the PTLC or Pointlocked Timelocked Contract. Instead of hashes and preimages, just replace "hash" with "point" and "preimage" with "scalar". Or as you might know them: "point" is really "public key" and "scalar" is really a "private key". What a PTLC does is that, given a particular public key, the pointlocked branch can be spent only if the spender reveals the private key of the given public key to you. Another nice thing with PTLCs is that they are deniable. What appears onchain is just a single 2-of-2 signature between you and the developemanufacturer. It's like a magic trick. This signature has no special watermarks, it's a perfectly normal signature (the pledge). However, from this signature, plus some datta given to you by the developemanufacturer (known as the adaptor signature) you can derive the private key of a particular public key you both agree on (the turn). Anyone scraping the blockchain will just see signatures that look just like every other signature, and as long as nobody manages to hack you and get a copy of the adaptor signature or the private key, they cannot get the private key behind the public key (point) that the pointlocked branch needs (the prestige). (Just to be clear, the public key you are getting the private key from, is distinct from the public key that the developemanufacturer will use for its funds. The activation key is different from the developer's onchain Bitcoin key, and it is the activation key whose private key you will be learning, not the developer's/manufacturer's onchain Bitcoin key). So:
Privacy: PTLCs are private even if done onchain. Nobody else can learn what the private key behind the public key is, except you who knows the adaptor signature that when combined with the complete onchain signature lets you know what the private key of the activation key is. Somebody scraping the blockchain will not learn the same information even if all PTLCs are done onchain!
Lightning is still useful for reducing onchain use, and will also get PTLCs soon after Taproot is activated, but even if something bad happens and a PTLC has to go onchain, it doesn't reveal anything!
Trust issues can be proven more easily with a public-private keypair than with a hash-preimage pair.
For example, the developer of the software you are buying could provide a signature signing a message saying "unlock access to the full version for 1 day". You can check if feeding this message and signature to the program will indeed unlock full-version access for 1 day. Then you can check if the signature is valid for the purported pubkey whose private key you will pay for. If so, you can now believe that getting the private key (by paying for it in a PTLC) would let you generate any number of "unlock access to the full version for 1 day" message+signatures, which is equivalent to getting full access to the software indefinitely.
For the car, the manufacturer can show that signing a message "start the engine" and feeding the signature to the car's fimrware will indeed start the engine, and maybe even let you have a small test drive. You can then check if the signature is valid for the purported pubkey whose privkey you will pay for. If so, you can now believe that gaining knowledge of the privkey will let you start the car engine at any time you want.
(pedantry: the signatures need to be unique else they could be replayed, this can be done with a challenge-response sequence for the car, where the car gathers entropy somehow (it's a car, it probably has a bunch of sensors nowadays so it can get entropy for free) and uses the gathered entropy to challenge you to sign a random number and only start if you are able to sign the random number; for the software, it could record previous signatures somewhere in the developer's cloud server and refuse to run if you try to replay a previously-seen signature.)
Taproot lets PTLCs exist onchain because they enable Schnorr, which is a requirement of PTLCs / Scriptless Script. (technology-wise, take note that Scriptless Script works only for the "pointlocked" branch of the contract; you need normal Script, or a pre-signed nLockTimed transaction, for the "timelocked" branch. Since Taproot can embed a script, you can have the Taproot pubkey be a 2-of-2 to implement the Scriptless Script "pointlocked" branch, then have a hidden script that lets you recover the funds with an OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY after the timeout if the seller does not claim the funds.)
Now if you were really paying attention, you might have noticed this parenthetical:
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash...)
So wait, Taproot uses raw 32-byte public keys, and not public key hashes? Isn't that more quantum-vulnerable?? Well, in theory yes. In practice, they probably are not. It's not that hashes can be broken by quantum computes --- they're still not. Instead, you have to look at how you spend from a P2WPKH/P2PKH pay-to-public-key-hash. When you spend from a P2PKH / P2WPKH, you have to reveal the public key. Then Bitcoin hashes it and checks if this matches with the public-key-hash, and only then actually validates the signature for that public key. So an unconfirmed transaction, floating in the mempools of nodes globally, will show, in plain sight for everyone to see, your public key. (public keys should be public, that's why they're called public keys, LOL) And if quantum computers are fast enough to be of concern, then they are probably fast enough that, in the several minutes to several hours from broadcast to confirmation, they have already cracked the public key that is openly broadcast with your transaction. The owner of the quantum computer can now replace your unconfirmed transaction with one that pays the funds to itself. Even if you did not opt-in RBF, miners are still incentivized to support RBF on RBF-disabled transactions. So the extra hash is not as significant a protection against quantum computers as you might think. Instead, the extra hash-and-compare needed is just extra validation effort. Further, if you have ever, in the past, spent from the address, then there exists already a transaction indelibly stored on the blockchain, openly displaying the public key from which quantum computers can derive the private key. So those are still vulnerable to quantum computers. For the most part, the cryptographers behind Taproot (and Bitcoin Core) are of the opinion that quantum computers capable of cracking Bitcoin pubkeys are unlikely to appear within a decade or two.
Current quantum computers can barely crack prime factorization problem for primes of 5 bits.
The 256-bit elliptic curve use by Bitcoin is, by my (possibly wrong) understanding, equivalent to 4096-bit primes, so you can see a pretty big gap between now (5 bit primes) and what is needed (4096 bit primes).
A lot of financial non-Bitcoin systems use the equivalent of 3072-bit primes or less, and are probably easier targets to crack than the equivalent-to-4096-bit-primes Bitcoin.
Quantum computers capable of cracking Bitcoin are still far off.
Pay-to-public-key-hash is not as protective as you might think.
We will probably see banks get cracked before Bitcoin, so the banking system is a useful canary-in-a-coal-mine to see whether we should panic about being quantum vulnerable.
For now, the homomorphic and linear properties of elliptic curve cryptography provide a lot of benefits --- particularly the linearity property is what enables Scriptless Script and simple multisignature (i.e. multisignatures that are just 1 signature onchain). So it might be a good idea to take advantage of them now while we are still fairly safe against quantum computers. It seems likely that quantum-safe signature schemes are nonlinear (thus losing these advantages).
If you are a singlesig HODL-only Bitcoin user, Taproot will not affect you positively or negatively. Importantly: Taproot does no harm!
If you use or intend to use multisig, Taproot will be a positive for you.
If you transact onchain regularly using typical P2PKH/P2WPKH addresses, you get a minor reduction in feerates since multisig users will likely switch to Taproot to get smaller tx sizes, freeing up blockspace for yours.
If you are using multiparticipant setups for special systems of trade, Taproot will be a positive for you.
Remember: Lightning channels are multipartiicpiant setups for special systems of lightning-fast offchain trades!
I Wanna Be The Taprooter!
So, do you want to help activate Taproot? Here's what you, mister sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, can do!
If you have developer experience especially in C, C++, or related languages
Review the Taproot code! There is one pull request in Bitcoin Core, and one in libsecp256k1. I deliberately am not putting links here, to avoid brigades of nontechnical but enthusiastic people leaving pointless reviews, but if you are qualified you know how to find them!
But I am not a cryptographeBitcoin Core contributomathematician/someone as awesome as Pieter Wuille
That's perfectly fine! The cryptographers have been over the code already and agree the math is right and the implementation is right. What is wanted is the dreary dreary dreary software engineering: are the comments comprehensive and understandable? no misspellings in the comments? variable names understandable? reasonable function naming convention? misleading coding style? off-by-one errors in loops? conditions not covered by tests? accidental mixups of variables with the same types? missing frees? read-before-init? better test coverage of suspicious-looking code? missing or mismatching header guards? portability issues? consistent coding style? you know, stuff any coder with a few years of experience in coding anything might be able to catch. With enough eyes all bugs are shallow!
If you are running a mining pool/mining operation/exchange/custodial service/SPV server
Be prepared to upgrade!
One of the typical issues with upgrading software is that subtle incompatibilities with your current custom programs tend to arise, disrupting operations and potentially losing income due to downtime. If so, consider moving to the two-node setup suggested by gmax, which is in the last section of my previous post. With this, you have an up-to-date "public" node and a fixed-version "private" node, with the public node protecting the private node from any invalid chainsplits or invalid transactions. Moving to this setup from a typical one-node setup should be smooth and should not disrupt operations (too much).
If you are running your own fullnode for fun or for your own wallet
Be prepared to upgrade! The more nodes validating the new rules (even if you are a non-mining node!), the safer every softfork will be!
If you are using an SPV wallet or custodial wallet/service (including hardware wallets using the software of the wallet provider)
Contact your wallet provider / SPV server and ask for a statement on whether they support Taproot, and whether they are prepared to upgrade for Taproot! Make it known to them that Taproot is something you want!
But I Hate Taproot!!
Raise your objections to Taproot now, or forever hold your peace! Maybe you can raise them here and some of the devs (probably nullc, he goes everywhere, even in rbtc!) might be able to see your objections! Or if your objections are very technical, head over to the appropriate pull request and object away!
Maybe you simply misunderstand something, and we can clarify it here!
Or maybe you do have a good objection, and we can make Taproot better by finding a solution for it!
Don’t Sleep on China’s New Blockchain Interneton’t Sleep on China’s New Blockchain Internet
Link to Lawfare:https://www.lawfareblog.com/dont-sleep-chinas-new-blockchain-internet U.S. national security policymakers are working aggressively to push back China’s global market advance in 5G and artificial intelligence technology. Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is progressing unfettered in a parallel technological campaign: expanding global blockchain infrastructure. Earlier this year, Beijing launched the Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN), a system of low-cost backend architecture on which software developers around the world can build blockchain applications—including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. The launch happened a few months after Chinese President Xi Jinping pressed for the nation to leverage blockchain technology to complement the rising economic importance of big data and the “internet of things.” This BSN has received little attention in the U.S.—but if the network gains significant international adoption, it could give the CCP greater influence in digital commerce and complicate U.S. economic statecraft. For decades, U.S. financial authorities have benefited from the ubiquity of U.S. computer infrastructure in global business. The BSN is trying to challenge that norm. According to the BSN website, the network’s purpose is to become the “blockchain Internet.” CCP leadership believes that blockchain technology offers a foundational infrastructure for future technological innovation and that China should set the global standards in that arena. To begin doing so, China is inviting blockchain developers to build decentralized software applications on the BSN’s Chinese-run servers, even though some of the servers are located outside China. The BSN describes itself as a “cross-cloud, cross-portal, cross-framework, global infrastructure network.” Essentially, it is the plumbing for people to run decentralized computer systems via the network. China’s State Information Center, an entity under China’s macroeconomic planning agency, oversees the BSN. The center designs information security policies and processes economic data for the CCP. Several state-owned tech companies, such as financial services firm China UnionPay and telecom firm China Mobile, run the technical architecture, such as the network’s nodes and servers. The Chinese government argues that software developers around the world would save money by using the BSN’s computer infrastructure. The BSN charges several hundred dollars per year for server space that would cost developers tens of thousands of dollars if it were provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) or even the private Chinese internet firm Alibaba. At the same time, the BSN uses cloud space provided by U.S. firms AWS and Google Cloud, in addition to Chinese tech firms, for building its infrastructure. But according to the BSN user manual, its services are cheaper because the network facilitates more efficient server usage by sharing computer resource space across users through a permissioned distributed ledger system. The CCP’s pitch is that the BSN uses a distributed system to take advantage of traditional server architecture and innovate beyond it. Several popular and highly capitalized blockchain projects have taken up the BSN on its offer, integrating their “chains” with the BSN and enabling developers to create applications on the network. Some of the blockchains, such as Ethereum and Tezos, include many developers from Western nations. These blockchain protocols are more robust than Bitcoin, enabling developers to code “smart” contracts that facilitate more complex transactions and programs. In recent years, projects associated with these newer blockchains have raised hundreds of millions of dollars with the aim of creating decentralized applications and business ventures. So why hasn’t the BSN received more attention within U.S. national security policy circles? As blockchain experts will admit, decentralized applications have yet to find much market adoption outside cryptocurrency speculation. Despite great hype around blockchain and distributed ledger technology, even die-hard cryptocurrency enthusiasts are still waiting for a decentralized “killer app” that proves the tech might “reinvent the global financial system,” as one blockchain developer who raised millions for a project, but saw his company flounder, put it. The elusiveness of global blockchain adoption is exactly why China’s strategy deserves attention. For one, the BSN is trying to significantly reduce the input costs of blockchain development, which would increase cost-savings and help keep blockchain projects alive as they seek users and profitability. A similar dynamic enabled China’s outsized role in Bitcoin mining. Chinese computer processing companies dominate the Bitcoin mining industry largely because they operate in Chinese provinces where hydroelectricity is cheap, allowing them to sustain wider profit margins even when Bitcoin’s volatile price drops. The BSN is also important because it accentuates China’s broader push toward an information-based economy and supports its strategy to dominate in financial technology and become a “cyber superpower.” In recent years, Chinese leaders have stressed that the Chinese economy must pursue “informatization,” developing programmable and “smart” business systems built on internet and device data, machine learning and analytics. Blockchain experimentation, whether it has scaled up to wide use or not, is where researchers are working on many difficult computer science challenges associated with the internet ecosystems—such as digital identity management. Research and trials with distributed ledger technology will likely unlock technological insights and breakthroughs. An analogous situation occurred in the United States during the space race. NASA harnessed tremendous intellectual and technical capital to enable the moon landing and further space exploration. This led to a variety of spinoff inventions, from global positioning systems (GPS) to freeze-dried food and camera phones. In the same way, blockchain technology is a means to the end of greater technological sophistication. The BSN is about not just bringing blockchain-based activity to servers in China but also expanding Chinese reach into servers outside the country. The network will have infrastructure in Hong Kong, but also in San Francisco and at locations in Australia, Brazil, France, Japan and South Africa. The CCP is not subtle about its aim to bring this international plumbing under its influence. As the BSN white paper says, “Once the BSN is deployed globally, it will become the only global infrastructure network autonomously innovated by Chinese entities and for which network access is Chinese-controlled.” For this reason, the BSN could undermine movements for human rights and political freedom. Much of the blockchain developer community has strong libertarian leanings, promoting decentralized applications as means for “censorship resistance” and to fund protests against authoritarianism and state brutality. But ironically, the BSN’s decentralization effort is authoritarian owned. The CCP accepts the irony and has bifurcated the BSN just as it has separated Chinese use of the internet, where the government blocks many sites from users in China. The system will run with a domestic BSN portal—where developers can build only closed, “permissioned” applications and where decentralized cryptocurrencies are not allowed to function—and a global portal, which will allow “open” applications but will not be accessible to users in China. It seems unlikely, however, that the global portal will be allowed to operate freely if the CCP finds it hosting applications that greatly counter the party’s interests, like programs that would support anti-CCP protesters in Hong Kong or Uighur human rights advocates. And just as the National Basketball Association in the U.S. dares not to criticize Beijing’s repressive tactics because of the money it earns in China, it is feasible that the leaders of various blockchain projects would not voice objections to China’s human rights violations if their chains rely on Chinese infrastructure. Looking further ahead, national security policymakers should watch out for the BSN’s potential to hinder future investigations and enforcement actions relating to digital currencies. The U.S. Department of Justice recently released a cryptocurrency enforcement framework that lays out significant national security wins against cryptocurrency-related crime—including interdicting Islamic State and al-Qaeda Bitcoin funding campaigns, disrupting North Korean hackers laundering stolen cryptocurrency, indicting ransomware operatives in Iran, charging Russian operatives using cryptocurrency in election interference activities, and breaking up fentanyl smugglers operating out of China. The Justice Department has ordered hundreds of cryptocurrency wallet assets to be seized and the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control has added dozens of cryptocurrency addresses to its sanctions list. All of these actions against illicit cryptocurrency activity are helped by the fact that digital transactions, even blockchain-based ones, currently run on the backbone of mostly U.S. infrastructure. In today’s financial crime investigations, digital evidence is key and securing it often requires accessing physical or remote servers. Most of the world’s internet activity touches the U.S. somehow. In fact, up to 70 percent of global internet traffic flows daily through data centers operating in Loudoun County, Virginia. The national security risks of the CCP gaining dominance in any digital realm are pretty clear. In February, U.S. Attorney General William Barr warned, “If China establishes sole dominance over 5G, it will be able to dominate the opportunities arising from a stunning range of emerging technologies that will be dependent on, and interwoven with, the 5G platform.” The same reasoning should be applied to blockchain technology. And if illicit actors begin using decentralized applications built on the BSN to harm American interests, the U.S. would find itself needing Chinese cooperation to acquire digital data evidence and intelligence on the network. Given Washington’s and Beijing’s recent tug-of-war over TikTok and data security, the U.S. may find China less than cooperative with such data requests. The BSN is not going to upend U.S. domination of the internet anytime soon. But it indicates a new, and sensible, Chinese strategy. In areas like 5G technology and artificial intelligence, where the U.S. is highly engaged, China’s strategy has been to outdo the U.S. head-on. The BSN approach, by contrast, is to build a Chinese advantage in a space where the U.S. gives little attention. The good news is that while China’s blockchain internet is in its infancy, the U.S. has time to follow its development and respond accordingly. The U.S. government should assess the network’s growth, identify the sorts of applications it supports, and carefully track its successes and failures. Analysts at the departments of Treasury and Commerce must become familiar with the market for decentralized apps. U.S. Cyber Command needs to map the network and understand where BSN infrastructure overlaps with U.S. servers. And software developers should think twice about investing their intellectual and financial capital into infrastructure controlled directly by the CCP. If the BSN does scale up, so will China’s digital authoritarianism.
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