Global Bitcoin Nodes Distribution - Bitnodes

Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ - Please read!

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net, the Princeton crypto series and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series.
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here.
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here and here.
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here (LOL!)

Key properties of Bitcoin

Where can I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy OTP Auth
Android Android N/A
iOS iOS iOS

Watch out for scams

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".

Where can I spend bitcoins?

Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more Bill payment
Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL Takeout delivered to your door
Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun Domain name registration
Stampnik Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project Freelancing
Lolli Earn bitcoin when you shop online!
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Adult services
A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.

Bitcoin-Related Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network Second layer scaling
Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain Sidechains
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
JoinMarket and Wasabi Wallet CoinJoin implementation
Coinffeine and Bisq Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase Identity & Reputation management
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
bitcoin BTC 1 bitcoin one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BitcoinFan7 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

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Fidelity Digital Investments: Bitcoin As an Aspirational Store of Value System

Interesting thesis from Fidelity's Digital Assets research head where they examine the factors that make bitcoin appealing as a potential store of value. I've highlighted some of the key points but I suggest people read the entire report.
In this piece, we will focus on the view that Bitcoin is an aspirational store of value. We explore the inherent characteristics that position Bitcoin to fulfill this role in the future, consider whether it is being used in this way today, and discuss factors that may drive greater demand for such utility.
Bitcoin’s digital scarcity
A robust store of value asset retains purchasing power over long periods of time. An emerging store of value grows purchasing power until it stabilizes. The key characteristics that are cited in reference to good stores of value are scarcity, portability, durability and divisibility. The most important of these attributes is arguably scarcity, which is essential for protecting against the depreciation of real value in the long run. Scarcity means there is a limited quantity of the asset in question, more cannot be easily created, and it is impossible to counterfeit.
One of bitcoin’s most novel innovations is its unforgeable digital scarcity. Investors believe this property is foundational in understanding and appreciating bitcoin.
The bitcoin supply is perfectly inelastic and is not susceptible to supply shocks. Supply does not respond to changes in production capacity (i.e. greater hash power) in response to heightened demand driving prices higher. Even gold, which has been used as a store of value for millennia, is not immune to supply shocks. While the ability for increased production in response to an increase in demand is limited, gold is not perfectly inelastic.
Decentralized checks and balances
Bitcoin’s monetary policy was established when it was created. Its credibility is enforced in part by decentralization and proof-of-work mining. Bitcoin has a leaderless network of decentralized full nodes (computers running bitcoin software), in which every node stores the ledger of transactions and performs transaction verification independently, checking that rules are being followed. Because of this redundancy, there is no central point of failure. Full nodes that verify transactions are distinct from miners who expend energy to process transactions and mint bitcoin. Unlike mining, transaction verification does not require significant resources in the form of hardware or electricity. Thus, any computer can join the distributed network to store and verify bitcoin transactions. Today tens of thousands of nodes perform this function.
In addition to preventing transactions that don’t follow consensus rules, the level of decentralization that exists in the bitcoin network protects core properties such as the 21 million fixed supply by making it virtually impossible to change. No central party has sole discretion over bitcoin’s monetary policy. Rather, such a change would require significant social coordination among stakeholders (e.g. users, miners and those running full nodes). Most stakeholders believe bitcoin has value because of its digital scarcity, resulting in negligible support for such a change
DEMAND DRIVERS
Investors believe that the next wave of awareness and adoption could be driven by external factors such as unprecedented levels of intervention by central banks and governments, record low interest rates, increasing fiat money supply, deglobalization and the potential for ensuing inflation, all of which have been accelerated by the pandemic and economic shutdown. Longer-term tailwinds that could fuel adoption include the use of bitcoin to preserve wealth amidst “slow and steady” inflation and the looming generational wealth transfer to millennials, who view bitcoin more favorably than other demographics.
Current interest in bitcoin’s store of value properties
Tudor Investment Corporation’s decision to allocate to bitcoin in the Tudor BVI fund is evidence that unprecedented levels of monetary growth is driving institutional interest in bitcoin’s store of value properties. Paul Tudor Jones, founder and Chief Investment Officer, and Lorenzo Giorgianni, Head of Global Research articulated the rationale for investing in bitcoin in their May 2020 investor letter, “The Great Monetary Inflation.” The Tudor Investments team scored financial assets, fiat cash, gold and bitcoin based on four characteristics that define store of value assets – purchasing power, trustworthiness, liquidity, portability. Bitcoin’s score was 60% of the score of financial assets, but 1/1200th of the market cap of financial assets and it was 66% of the score of gold, but 1/60th of the market cap, concluding, “Something appears to be wrong here and my guess is that it’s the price of Bitcoin.” While many have expressed the same reasoning, this was seen as a watershed moment, given the thesis and investment was from a traditional hedge fund manage legendary macro investor (Paul Tudor Jones) and former Deputy Director of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department at the IMF (Lorenzo Giorgianni)ix.
Conclusion
Bitcoin’s inherent properties have given rise to the perspective that bitcoin has the potential to be a store of value, with complementary and interdependent components – the decentralized settlement network (Bitcoin) and its digitally scarce native asset (bitcoin). Equally important is the consideration of demand for bitcoin’s unique features – there is no long-term value to create or store if there is no sustained demand for these properties.
External forces that are accelerating interest and investment in bitcoin include unprecedented levels and exotic forms of monetary and fiscal stimulus globally with unknown consequences. This is exacerbating the concerns that Bitcoin was designed to address and is leading more investors and users towards bitcoin as an “insurance policy” that may provide protection against the unknown consequences. Simultaneously, the massive transfer of wealth from the older generation to a younger demographic is a more gradual but important long-term tailwind, as younger people view bitcoin more favorably. This is an important catalyst for bitcoin adoption as they inherit and grow their wealth. While bitcoin is not guaranteed to succeed as a store of value, should sustainable long-term demand for the use case not materialize, the tailwinds mentioned above should drive incremental demand for a novel asset with unique properties. Additionally, as we will examine in future parts in our bitcoin investment thesis series, Bitcoin’s strength is that it has properties that allow it to serve multiple functions, further hardening the likelihood of its success as measured by growth in value.
submitted by Tiaan to investing [link] [comments]

Staking in Compendia and how its approach differs from other (D)PoS networks

In this article, we'll be discussing staking and how it works in Compendia.
There are several misconceptions out there that arise due to the way staking is utilized across different networks. Compendia use a novel way of staking, by combining the way it locks funds to earn more coins in recent proof-of-stake (PoS) networks - with the aspect of vote power traditionally seen in delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) networks.
Staking in (D)PoS networks vs. Compendia
Staking (commonly misspelt as 'stacking' or 'steaking') is the process of leveraging an acquired amount of coins/tokens from a certain blockchain to contribute to the network, by holding them in an address and using an (either online or offline) wallet client to earn revenue based on the amount of coins/tokens held.
PoS (proof-of-stake) networks
In traditional proof-of-stake networks such as Stratis or Cardano requires users to purchase a certain amount of coins, place those in an online wallet and letting the wallet client emulate a certain amount of computing power - which is in turn used to mine/forge new blocks to the blockchain. In more recent proof-of-stake networks such as Cosmos, users are required to lock their funds in an address - with a cooldown period added when wanting to unlock those funds. This way, coins are taken out of circulation rather than just being held (but still immediately spendable) as with Stratis/Cardano. In both situations, anyone can contribute to the network by staking and the more coins staked, the higher likelihood of mining/forging a new block and earning the block reward. You can earn individually from staking, or join a pool.
DPoS (delegated proof-of-stake) networks
In delegated proof-of-stake networks, such as ARK or EOS, there are only a set number of nodes (known as validators, block producers or delegates) that are allowed to forge new blocks. In ARK, there are 51 forging delegates and we will use this amount as an example. Contributors have to gain votes from other network participants, who pledge their account balance as votes, and once they have a total amount of votes that put them into the top 51, they will be able to forge blocks and earn rewards. The account balance of participants who vote for a forging validator remain unlocked and therefore it is possible to immediately spend funds held in an address. The amount of votes per address varies across different DPoS networks, but the principle is the same: one coin means one vote power. You can only earn individually if you are one of the top validators; otherwise, you have to vote and receive a portion of rewards from a forging validator.
Compendia
In Compendia, the above two methods are combined into a new dynamic: staking your BIND locks up your funds for a set period (3 - 6 - 12 months) as in proof-of-stake networks, but it does NOT grant the ability to earn. You will still need to vote for a sharing validator, like in delegated proof-of-stake networks. What does staking do then, if it does not let you earn on its own?
Staking your BIND for a set period applies a multiple (5x - 7.5x - 10x) to the voting power of your staked balance. This means that one staked BIND is no longer counted as one vote, but as 5 votes (or 7.5 votes, or 10 votes - depending on the lock period). This way it increases your potential earnings when you vote for a sharing validator. So, by pledging to lock your funds for a certain amount of time and thereby decreasing the circulating amount of BIND, you will be able to earn more with the same amount of coins than if you would not stake, and only vote.
When staking, your BIND will go through 5 different phases:
Securing the Network
DPoS delegates/validators secure the blockchain through forging blocks, and in the case of Compendia, there are 47 validators (rather than the 51 in ARK) and each active validator forges one block every 6 seconds. Therefore 47 new blocks are forged every 4.7 minutes (6 * 47 = 282 seconds = 4.7 minutes). In a similar way to proof-of-work networks such as Bitcoin, a block contains transactions and the validator that forges them receives a proportion of the transaction fee (described in the Fee Removal Model further below).
Supply Inflation
DPoS chains typically have fixed inflation based over several years, this is to help control the coin supply in circulation. Inflation comes from Delegate/Validators forging new blocks as described above. The effect of validators forging new blocks increases the supply by either ß3.9 per block (if ranked 6th to 47th), or ß4.84 per block (if ranked 1st to 5th).
The Compendia blockchain produces around ß1,753,200 - Per month
Block rewards are controlled through an annual milestone which is fixed in the current networks config. This can only be updated if the 47 validators reach consensus and accept the potential change.
The milestones for BIND are as follows:
Years Rewards (6-47) Rewards (Top 5) Average
1-3 3.9 4.84 4
4-6 1.95 2.42 2
7-9 0.975 1.21 1
Deflationary Effects
In general DPoS blockchains allow voters to vote, allocating their wallet weight to a specific delegate/validator and receiving rewards commensurate to weight. This helps control inflation as the coins are out of supply when being used to vote, but the coins are not locked for a fixed time, a voter can move some or all funds at any time.
What differentiates Compendia?
The key difference is that staked coins are locked for a fixed period, either 3, 6, or 12 months (as described above). The coins are effectively locked out of supply, by incentivising voters to lock their coins for the maximum period of 12 months. This helps offset the increase in supply through forging rewards.
At the time of writing, ß11,816,021 is currently locked into staking, given the current BIND supply (i.e nOS to BIND) ß112,894,676, around 10% of all BIND in circulation is locked out of supply for the staking periods highlighted earlier. With the current staked coins, it would take just over 6 months for inflation to offset the monthly forging reward increase.
Fee removal model.
Compendia also offer another deflationary measure through a sophisticated fee removal model.
The Fee Collection and Removal Model works as follows:
- 100% of collected fees up to the amount equal to the block reward in a block are permanently removed from circulation.
- 50% of any remaining collected fees are also removed from circulation.
- The other 50% is awarded to the forging validator.
This fee system helps with combating possible shifts in Vote Power going from voters towards validators during times of increased transaction activity on the network.
Summary
The Compendia Team has a clear understanding of the tokenomics of a blockchain, lessons have been learned from earlier DPoS implementations and new strategies have been deployed to ensure a fairer, more balanced approach to DPoS tokenomics.
If you have enjoyed reading this blog please consider voting for validators BFX & Cryptomanic. Thank you
submitted by c_ryptomaniac to Compendia [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
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India: Blockchain And Data Privacy: An India Perspective

Link to Mondaq: https://www.mondaq.com/india/fin-tech/978488/blockchain-and-data-privacy-an-india-perspective

A. Introduction

As a sequel to the first paper of Blockchain & Law article series titled 'A New Digital Order - Unveiling the Interplay of Law & Blockchain Technology', this paper explores the inter-operability of India's data privacy regime and blockchain technology. In this regard, recording of a webinar conducted on 'Blockchain & Data Privacy: An India Perspective' by the AKS Partners can be viewed on YouTube here.

B. Data privacy in India

Constitution of India

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution is a comprehensive, all-encompassing provision that inheres within itself basic, fundamental rights that are absolutely essential to the existence of a human being with dignity and personal liberty. In the judgment of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India,1 a nine-judge bench of the Honourable Supreme Court of India held that the right to privacy falls within the contours of Article 21 and is incidental to life and personal liberty. This right to privacy includes the right to data protection and privacy.

Information Technology Act, 2000

In India, data privacy is governed by the Information Technology Act, 2000 ("IT Act") and the Information Technology (Reasonable security practices and procedures and sensitive personal data or information) Rules, 2011 ("SPDI Rules"). Sections 43A (Compensation for failure to protect data) of the IT Act provides a statutory right to a data provider to claim compensation for unapproved disclosure of information (including in breach of a contract). Under Section 72A (Punishment for disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract) of the IT Act, wherever any person including an intermediary discloses information obtained under a lawful contract without consent shall be punished with imprisonment or with fine or both.

SPDI Rules

The SPDI Rules constitute a set of basic obligations to be adhered to in circumstances where sensitive data is being collected. It may be noted that the SPDI Rules apply only to 'Sensitive Personal Data or Information'.2 The SPDI Rules lay down guidelines for collection (Rule 5) and transfer of information (Rule 7) and also mandatorily require body corporates to adopt and implement a policy for privacy and disclosure of information (Rule 4).
On 24 August 2011, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a clarification to the SPDI Rules ("Regulatory Clarification"). The Regulatory Clarification states that the SPDI Rules are applicable only to body corporates or persons located within India. Also, where a body corporate deals in data of any legal entity located within or outside India under a contractual arrangement, the SPDI Rules pertaining to collection (Rule 5) and disclosure of information (Rule 6) would not apply. It was also clarified that requirement to obtain written consent under Rule 5(1) of the SPDI Rules includes electronic consent as well.

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 ("Bill")

The Bill is inspired from and is in many ways a replica of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulations ("GDPR"). The Bill lays down several provisions including in relation to crossborder transfer of data, sandboxing, privacy by design and introduces a more robust set of obligations for entities handling sensitive personal data. The Bill is currently pending before a Joint Parliamentary Committee. The Bill applies to and categorises data into 'Personal Data', 'Sensitive Personal Data' and 'Critical Personal Data'.

Sectoral regulations

Regulated sectors such as telecom and financial services have separate obligations of confidentiality which restricts disclosure and transfer of customer personal information and mandates use of such information only in the manner agreed with the customer. Certain sectoral regulators (like Reserve Bank of India) also mandate data localisation.

C. Blockchain technology and data privacy

For details on the working of a blockchain network, please refer to our previous paper here.
Coverage
The Bill defines 'Personal Data') as 'data about or relating to a natural person who is directly or indirectly identifiable'. This means where the origins of the data cannot be traced down to a natural person, the data would cease to be 'Personal Data'. Resultantly, storing the data in a manner where it cannot be traced to a natural person (including by introducing and implementing robust methods to address re-identification risks) may prove beneficial in reducing a blockchain network's interaction with data privacy regulations (such as by encryption or anonymisation of Personal Data).
Public v. Private Blockchain
Private blockchain which restricts and regulates network participation appears to be a more preferable fit when it comes to ensuring compliance with data privacy laws. Public blockchains with permissionless borders pose greater difficulty in procuring every participant to agree on and comply with relevant rules on protection of personal data.
Stakeholders
The Bill identifies three categories of stakeholders (similar to GDPR) viz. Data Principals, Data Fiduciary and Data Processor. The SPDI Rules only provides for data provider and body corporate or person collecting data. The term 'Processing' has been defined to include collection, storage, retrieval, adaptation, disclosure etc. (Section 3(31)). Accordingly, any data stored or transmitted on blockchain will amount to processing.
Blockchain network is a decentralised system with each node / miner (i.e. network participant) spread all over the world. There is no clear demarcation between a Data Principal and a Data Fiduciary or a Data Processor over a blockchain network. The way the network functions, no single person can be said to be in-charge of the network thereby making it all the more problematic for regulators to fix the compliance burden on a party. Accordingly, the question of determining the identity status and fixing liability of various participants attains significance and complexity over a distributed ledger network like blockchain.
Each node over the network functions as a Data Processor on account of participation in the verification of the data. At the same time one or more of such nodes may also be acting as a Data Principal. With respect to mining over the network while it is a single miner who is able to formulate a valid hash, all the other miners also participate in the mining activity when they attempt to arrive at the winning lottery number. Thus making such miner also a Data Processor. While fixing liability on a private blockchain network that restricts the number of network participants is comparatively less complex, the same would be quite challenging on a public blockchain network, such as Bitcoin. With regard to identifying the status and roles, the guidance issued by French data protection authority ("CNIL Guidance")3 in the context of GDPR is useful. The CNIL Guidance categorises blockchain actors into the following groups: (a) participants with full read and write access to the data; (b) participants with read only access; and (c) miners that validate the transactions.
Participants falling in category (a) above are Data Controllers (equivalent to a Data Fiduciary under the Bill) while categories (b) and (c) are not.
Collection and processing of data over a blockchain network
The Bill sets out a number of obligations that have to be performed by the Data Fiduciaries, some key compliances being, obtaining consent of the data principals, retaining the data only till absolutely necessary (Storage Limitation), providing notice to the Data Principals, ensuring data is used only for the purpose (which has to be specific, clear and lawful) for which it has been taken (Purpose Limitation). Rule 5 of the SPDI Rules also lays down similar obligations for collection of data. Key concerns that the inherent and intrinsic nature of the blockchain technology raises are as under:
Firstly, with respect to the Storage Limitation principle, the immutable nature of the technology prevents the data from being deleted once the purpose has been fulfilled.
Secondly, given the decentralised nature of blockchain, it becomes challenging to determine the exact purpose for which data is collected over such a widespread network and who is to keep a check that the data so collected is used only for such predefined purposes.
Thirdly, it is commonly argued that the network participants over a blockchain impliedly consent while sharing their data. This may not however fulfil the requirements under the Bill which requires consent to be clear, through an affirmative action. This gives birth to concomitant regulatory issues over a decentralised system as to who shall oblige with these compliances under the law and who should be made responsible / liable for any lapses in compliance.
Lastly, the Bill also proposes certain additional requirements such as transparent and fair processing and the Purpose Limitation. The blurred distinction in the status of identities in blockchain makes determining purpose and manner of processing challenging.
A detailed governance framework setting out roles and responsibilities, off-chain and on-chain personal data, may provide useful guidance towards addressing the aforementioned concerns.
Key rights of Data Principals

Right to Confirmation and Access

The Bill entitles the Data Principals to seek information regarding the types and nature of personal data stored with the Data Fiduciaries, or to ascertain the nature of processing activities that has been undertaken on his/her data, or seek a brief summary of processing activities undertaken. While enforcement of this right may not be technically difficult, however, blockchain networks may establish a proper governance framework that delineates a specific authority to pass over the requisite data to the data principal as and when asked for. The network may also consider laying out methods of searching and accessing the necessary information which may be de-encrypted with the use of the private key.

Right to Correction

Section 18 of the Bill and Rule 5 of the SPDI Rules provides the right to rectify or correct the data. Given the immutable nature of the decentralised ledger maintained on a blockchain, exercising this right may not be compatible. To accomplish alteration/correction of data would be a burdensome task since it will require a majority of nodes to come together to identify the data, alter and re-hash not just the concerned block but also all previous blocks as well. Alternatively, a new block with corrected information may be added once verified through the consensus mechanism.

Right to be Forgotten

The Bill introduces 'Right to be Forgotten' ("RTF"). RTF entitles data principals to request the removal of his/her personal data, without undue delay, from any business's storage. RTF has been in loggerheads with the inherent immutability of blockchain technology. Across jurisdictions the term 'forgotten' has been pegged with erasure and is construed in various senses in different jurisdictions, ranging from data anonymisation,4 destruction of hardware,5 putting data beyond use.6
Given the distinction within the types of blockchain, the modes for exercising RTF are uniform by and large. A widely discussed solution is the destruction of the private key, thereby rendering the data encrypted by a public key inaccessible.7 Owing to the setup of blockchain, a Data Principal may reach out to any entity in the chain that qualifies as a Data Fiduciary to enforce their rights. Similar
to the Google-Spain case,8 wherein data subject's action against Google remained unaffected by the fact that the data could have been removed by the newspaper's website itself.9 However, the nature of a public blockchain network that does not identify a central authority might prove somewhat problematic where the data principal seeks to enforce his/her right.
As countries are yet to formulate policies with respect to regulation of blockchains, some other alternatives for exercising RTF can be programming chameleon hashes, zero knowledge proofs or a censorable blockchain, as the same would be 'forgetful'.10
Cross-Border Transfer of Data
Chapter VII of the Bill, which deals with restrictions on cross-border transfer of data, requires a copy of the Sensitive Personal Data to be stored domestically while Critical Personal Data must exclusively be processed and stored in India. However, these clear demarcations blur when applied to a blockchain ecosystem where storage and processing of data can be universal. Transfer of Sensitive Personal Data, requires explicit consent and the transfer must be under a contract or an intra-group scheme approved by the data protection authority (envisaged to be established under the Bill). While both of these requirements may get fulfilled over a private blockchain easily, a public blockchain due to undefined groups and lack of a central entity / authority may find it more challenging to implement adequate safeguards on restricting such transfer. Over a private blockchain the central body may enter into e-contracts with any number of participants and also obtain their explicit consent.
Under the present regime, Rule 7 of the SPDI Rules provides that a transfer outside India may only be allowed where the country offers the same level of protection to the data. Again, enforcing this may be challenging over a public blockchain network comprising of thousands of nodes across borders. An in-built cross-border transfer consent clause in the governance framework or otherwise may also provide the needed legitimacy from the perspective of data privacy.

D. Jurisdictional Issues

The present uncertainty in law (including lack of adequate legal provisions) has resulted in jurisdictional issues concerning the domestic and transnational presence of the blockchain network. While Section 1(2) read with Section 75 of the IT Act accords limited extra-territorial applicability to the Act, the SPDI Rules, as mentioned in the Regulatory Clarification are applicable only to body corporates or persons located in India. Consequently, blockchain technology may need to comply with the IT Act to a certain extent, while, the mandate under the SPDI Rules will bind only the nodes/miners operating from India. As a result, the network participants operating outside India on the same blockchain will not be required to comply with the SPDI Rules or IT Act.
Section 2 of the Bill affords extra-territorial application but only in certain limited circumstances viz. where the processing which takes place outside India is in connection with any business in India, or which involves the profiling of individuals within India. This will result in a subjective assessment of blockchains and its purposes in order to ascertain the applicability of the provisions of the Bill.
The Civil-Commercial Courts in India, have applied the test as to whether a website is an 'interactive website'11 for determination of jurisdiction, in relation to websites that do not have a physical place of business in a jurisdiction.12 In other words, wherever a website facilitates or even intends to facilitate active trade / commercial transactions in jurisdictions where it does not have a physical place of business, in such cases cause of action, if any, arises in all such jurisdictions where the website operates interactively. However, applying such a test on a blockchain network may not be so straightforward. The intrinsic nature of the blockchain technology allows for processing and storage of data at multiple domestic and international jurisdictions simultaneously. Resultantly, in both domestic as well as international, identification of the place of cause of action becomes complex. The complexity increases as identification of the individuals processing and storing data (nodes) would require de-anonymisation.
The determination of applicable laws will also depend on the nature of a blockchain network. It is practically more difficult to regulate a public blockchain network than a private blockchain network. In a private blockchain the architect/controlling entity may determine the governing laws or the governance framework may provide for a governing law.
In light of the foregoing, it may come as a mammoth task for governments to enforce their respective data protection and cyber-security legislations against such transnational networks without consensus on a multi-national treaty suggesting a model law to regulate the use of blockchain networks. In the alternative, laws may promote self-regulation by merely identifying basic tenets of regulations like governing law, data privacy, certification etc. Non-compliance may include compulsory suspension/termination of participation rights of nodes or blocking access to blockchains which do not provide for adequate self-regulation.
The developers of blockchain networks may consider incorporating dispute resolution and regulatory mechanisms as integral parts of the networks. The developers may also consider coding networks with peer-to-peer decentralized courts such as 'kleros' or 'codelegit' as part of a network's dispute resolution process.

E. Way forward

Blockchain technology carries the potential of disrupting business operations right from supply, manufacturing, logistics and final consumption especially in a post Covid-19 era. Please refer to our previous article on use cases of blockchain here. Accordingly, it is crucial that data privacy laws (with adequate concessions, where necessary) be treated as an enabler and not inhibitor to continued adoption of blockchain technology. Certain additional rights like data portability and right to withdraw consent adds to the complexity of having a compliant blockchain network. Certain obligations like mandatory registration may also be problematic if the government notifies certain blockchain network as a significant data fiduciaries.
Set out below are few indicative measures towards harmonious application of data privacy laws and blockchain technology:
1) Every blockchain network must provide a detailed governance framework that is in alignment with the basic requirements under data privacy regulations. Such a framework would have to be binding on all participants over a blockchain network, stating all rights, obligations and duties of parties, including a detailed mechanism for communication, security measures, cross-border data transfer, and grievance redressal and may even set out applicable laws etc.
2) Such a self-governance framework could also include a privacy by design policy and provisions for Data Protection Impact Assessment (as set out in Chapter VI of the Bill).
3) 'Pruning' is used for situations where historical blocks of data beyond a certain timeline are deleted. Similarly, where data has to be altered or rectified, the same may be done by 'forking' where data is altered or deleted, the hash changed and a new fork is created. However, over a public blockchain Pruning and Forking can be challenging and may require a huge amount of computing consensus.
4) To ensure the safeguarding of right to privacy a Memory Optimized and Flexible Blockchain (MOF-BC) can be considered as an effective measure. It enables the IoT (Internet of Things) users and service providers to edit their transactions, thereby altering the details of data entry.13
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Filecoin | Development Status and Mining Progress

Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
https://preview.redd.it/5bqakdqgl3g51.jpg?width=865&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b709794863977eb6554e3919b9e00ca750e3e704
A decentralized storage network that transforms cloud storage into an account market. Miners obtain the integrity of the original protocol by providing data storage and / or retrieval. On the contrary, customers pay miners to store or distribute data and retrieve it.
Filecoin announced, that there will be more delays before its main network is officially launched.
Filecoin developers postponed the release date of their main network to late July to late August 2020.
As mentioned in a recent announcement, the Filecoin team said that the initiative completed the first round of the internal protocol security audit. Platform developers claim that the results of the review showed that they need to make several changes to the protocol’s code base before performing the second stage of the software testing process.
Created by Protocol Labs, Filecoin was developed using File System (IPFS), which is a peer-to-peer data storage network. Filecoin will allow users to trade storage space in an open and decentralized market.
Filecoin developers implemented one of the largest cryptocurrency sales in 2017. They have privately obtained over $ 200 million from professional or accredited investors, including many institutional investors.
The main network was slated to launch last month, but in February 2020, the Philly Queen development team delayed the release of the main network between July 15 and July 17, 2020.
They claimed that the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China was the main cause of the delay. The developers now say that they need more time to solve the problems found during a recent codecase audit.
The Filecoin team noted the following:
“We have drafted a number of protocol changes to ensure that building our major network launch is safe and economically sound.” The project developers will add them to two different implementations of Filecoin (Lotus and go-filecoin) in the coming weeks.
Filecoin developers conducted a survey to allow platform community members to cast their votes on three different launch dates for Testnet Phase 2 and mainnet.
The team reported that the community gave their votes. Based on the vote results, the Filecoin team announced a “conservative” estimate that the second phase of the network test should begin by May 11, 2020. The main Filecoin network may be launched sometime between July 20 and August 21, 2020.
The updates to the project can be found on the Filecoin Road Map.
Filecoin developers stated:
“This option will make us get the most important protocol changes first, and then implement the rest as protocol updates during testnet.” Filecoin is back down from the final test stage.
Another filecoin decentralized storage network provider launched its catalytic test network, the final stage of the storage network test that supports the blockchain.
In a blog post on her website, Filecoin said she will postpone the last test round until August. The company also announced a calibration period from July 20 to August 3 to allow miners to test their mining settings and get an idea of how competition conditions affected their rewards.
Filecoin had announced earlier last month that the catalytic testnet test would precede its flagship launch. The delay in the final test also means that the company has returned the main launch window between August 31 and September 21.
Despite the lack of clear incentives for miners and multiple delays, Filecoin has succeeded in attracting huge interest, especially in China. Investors remained highly speculating on the network’s mining hardware and its premium price.
Mining in Filecoin
In most blockchain protocols, “miners” are network participants who do the work necessary to promote and maintain the blockchain. To provide these services, miners are compensated in the original cryptocurrency.
Mining in Filecoin works completely differently — instead of contributing to computational power, miners contribute storage capacity to use for dealing with customers looking to store data.
Filecoin will contain several types of miners:
Storage miners responsible for storing files and data on the network. Miners retrieval, responsible for providing quick tubes for file recovery. Miners repair to be carried out.
Storage miners are the heart of the network. They earn Filecoin by storing data for clients, and computerizing cipher directories to check storage over time. The probability of earning the reward reward and transaction fees is proportional to the amount of storage that the Miner contributes to the Filecoin network, not the hash power.
Retriever miners are the veins of the network. They earn Filecoin by winning bids and mining fees for a specific file, which is determined by the market value of the said file size. Miners bandwidth and recovery / initial transaction response time will determine its ability to close recovery deals on the network.
The maximum bandwidth of the recovery miners will determine the total amount of deals that it can enter into.
In the current implementation, the focus is mostly on storage miners, who sell storage capacity for FIL.

Hardware recommendations

The current system specifications recommended for running the miner are:
Compared to the hardware requirements for running a validity checker, these standards are much higher — although they definitely deserve it. Since these will not increase in the presumed future, the money spent on Filecoin mining hardware will provide users with many years of reliable service, and they pay themselves many times. Think of investing as a small business for cloud storage. To launch a model on the current data hosting model, it will cost millions of dollars in infrastructure and logistics to get started. With Filecoin, you can do the same for a few thousand dollars.
Proceed to mining
Deals are the primary function of the Filecoin network, and it represents an agreement between a client and miners for a “storage” contract.
Once the customer decides to have a miner to store based on the available capacity, duration and price required, he secures sufficient funds in a linked portfolio to cover the total cost of the deal. The deal is then published once the mine accepts the storage agreement. By default, all Filecoin miners are set to automatically accept any deal that meets their criteria, although this can be disabled for miners who prefer to organize their deals manually.
After the deal is published, the customer prepares the data for storage and then transfers it to the miner. Upon receiving all the data, the miner fills in the data in a sector, closes it, and begins to provide proofs to the chain. Once the first confirmation is obtained, the customer can make sure the data is stored correctly, and the deal has officially started.
Throughout the deal, the miner provides continuous proofs to the chain. Clients gradually pay with money they previously closed. If there is missing or late evidence, the miner is punished. More information about this can be found in the Runtime, Cut and Penalties section of this page.
At Filecoin, miners earn two different types of rewards for their efforts: storage fees and reward prevention.
Storage fees are the fees that customers pay regularly after reaching a deal, in exchange for storing data. This fee is automatically deposited into the withdrawal portfolio associated with miners while they continue to perform their duties over time, and is locked for a short period upon receipt.
Block rewards are large sums given to miners calculated on a new block. Unlike storage fees, these rewards do not come from a linked customer; Instead, the new FIL “prints” the network as an inflationary and incentive measure for miners to develop the chain. All active miners on the network have a chance to get a block bonus, their chance to be directly proportional to the amount of storage space that is currently being contributed to the network.
Duration of operation, cutting and penalties
“Slashing” is a feature found in most blockchain protocols, and is used to punish miners who fail to provide reliable uptime or act maliciously against the network.
In Filecoin, miners are susceptible to two different types of cut: storage error cut, unanimously reduce error.
Storage Error Reduction is a term used to include a wider range of penalties, including error fees, sector penalties, and termination fees. Miners must pay these penalties if they fail to provide reliability of the sector or decide to leave the network voluntarily.
An error fee is a penalty that a miner incurs for each non-working day. Sector punishment: A penalty incurred by a miner of a disrupted sector for which no error was reported before the WindowPoSt inspection.
The sector will pay an error fee after the penalty of the sector once the error is discovered.
Termination Fee: A penalty that a miner incurs when a sector is voluntary or involuntarily terminated and removed from the network.
Cutting consensus error is the penalty that a miner incurs for committing consensus errors. This punishment applies to miners who have acted maliciously against the network consensus function.
Filecoin miners
Eight of the top 10 Felticoin miners are Chinese investors or companies, according to the blockchain explorer, while more companies are selling cloud mining contracts and distributed file sharing system hardware. CoinDesk’s Wolfe Chao wrote: “China’s craze for Filecoin may have been largely related to the long-standing popularity of crypto mining in the country overall, which is home to about 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin at discretion.”
With Filecoin approaching the launch of the mainnet blocknet — after several delays since the $ 200 million increase in 2017 — Chinese investors are once again speculating strongly about network mining devices and their premium prices.
Since Protocol Labs, the company behind Filecoin, released its “Test Incentives” program on June 9 that was scheduled to start in a week’s time, more than a dozen Chinese companies have started selling cloud mining contracts and hardware — despite important details such as economics Mining incentives on the main network are still endless.
Sales volumes to date for each of these companies can range from half a million to tens of millions of dollars, according to self-reported data on these platforms that CoinDesk has watched and interviews with several mining hardware manufacturers.
Filecoin’s goal is to build a distributed storage network with token rewards to spur storage hosting as a way to drive wider adoption. Protocol Labs launched a test network in December 2019. But the tokens mined in the testing environment so far are not representative of the true silicon coin that can be traded when the main network is turned on. Moreover, the mining incentive economics on testnet do not represent how final block rewards will be available on the main network.
However, data from Blockecoin’s blocknetin testnet explorers show that eight out of 10 miners with the most effective mining force on testnet are currently Chinese miners.
These eight miners have about 15 petabytes (PB) of effective storage mining power, accounting for more than 85% of the total test of 17.9 petable. For the context, 1 petabyte of hard disk storage = 1000 terabytes (terabytes) = 1 million gigabytes (GB).
Filecoin craze in China may be closely related to the long-standing popularity of crypt mining in the country overall, which is home to about 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin by estimation. In addition, there has been a lot of hype in China about foreign exchange mining since 2018, as companies promote all types of devices when the network is still in development.
“Encryption mining has always been popular in China,” said Andy Tien, co-founder of 1475, one of several mining hardware manufacturers in Philquin supported by prominent Chinese video indicators such as Fenbushi and Hashkey Capital.
“Even though the Velikoyen mining process is more technologically sophisticated, the idea of mining using hard drives instead of specialized machines like Bitcoin ASIC may be a lot easier for retailers to understand,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to Feixiaohao, a Chinese service comparable to CoinMarketCap, nearly 50 Chinese crypto exchanges are often somewhat unknown with some of the more well-known exchanges including Gate.io and Biki — have listed trading pairs for Filecoin currency contracts for USDT.
In bitcoin mining, at the current difficulty level, one segment per second (TH / s) fragmentation rate is expected to generate around 0.000008 BTC within 24 hours. The higher the number of TH / s, the greater the number of bitcoins it should be able to produce proportionately. But in Filecoin, the efficient mining force of miners depends on the amount of data stamped on the hard drive, not the total size of the hard drive.
To close data in the hard drive, the Filecoin miner still needs processing power, i.e. CPU or GPU as well as RAM. More powerful processors with improved software can confine data to the hard drive more quickly, so miners can combine more efficient mining energy faster on a given day.
As of this stage, there appears to be no transparent way at the network level for retail investors to see how much of the purchased hard disk drive was purchased which actually represents an effective mining force.
The U.S.-based Labs Protocol was behind Filecoin’s initial coin offer for 2017, which raised an astonishing $ 200 million.
This was in addition to a $ 50 million increase in private investment supported by notable venture capital projects including Sequoia, Anderson Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. CoinDk’s parent company, CoinDk, has also invested in Protocol Labs.
After rounds of delay, Protocol Protocols said in September 2019 that a testnet launch would be available around December 2019 and the main network would be rolled out in the first quarter of 2020.
The test started as promised, but the main network has been delayed again and is now expected to launch in August 2020. What is Filecoin mining process?
Filecoin mainly consists of three parts: the storage market (the chain), the blockecin Filecoin, and the search market (under the chain). Storage and research market in series and series respectively for security and efficiency. For users, the storage frequency is relatively low, and the security requirements are relatively high, so the storage process is placed on the chain. The retrieval frequency is much higher than the storage frequency when there is a certain amount of data. Given the performance problem in processing data on the chain, the retrieval process under the chain is performed. In order to solve the security issue of payment in the retrieval process, Filecoin adopts the micro-payment strategy. In simple terms, the process is to split the document into several copies, and every time the user gets a portion of the data, the corresponding fee is paid. Types of mines corresponding to Filecoin’s two major markets are miners and warehousers, among whom miners are primarily responsible for storing data and block packages, while miners are primarily responsible for data query. After the stable operation of the major Filecoin network in the future, the mining operator will be introduced, who is the main responsible for data maintenance.
In the initial release of Filecoin, the request matching mechanism was not implemented in the storage market and retrieval market, but the takeover mechanism was adopted. The three main parts of Filecoin correspond to three processes, namely the stored procedure, retrieval process, packaging and reward process. The following figure shows the simplified process and the income of the miners:
The Filecoin mining process is much more complicated, and the important factor in determining the previous mining profit is efficient storage. Effective storage is a key feature that distinguishes Filecoin from other decentralized storage projects. In Filecoin’s EC consensus, effective storage is similar to interest in PoS, which determines the likelihood that a miner will get the right to fill, that is, the proportion of miners effectively stored in the entire network is proportional to final mining revenue.
It is also possible to obtain higher effective storage under the same hardware conditions by improving the mining algorithm. However, the current increase in the number of benefits that can be achieved by improving the algorithm is still unknown.
It seeks to promote mining using Filecoin Discover
Filecoin announced Filecoin Discover — a step to encourage miners to join the Filecoin network. According to the company, Filecoin Discover is “an ever-growing catalog of numerous petabytes of public data covering literature, science, art, and history.” Miners interested in sharing can choose which data sets they want to store, and receive that data on a drive at a cost. In exchange for storing this verified data, miners will earn additional Filecoin above the regular block rewards for storing data. Includes the current catalog of open source data sets; ENCODE, 1000 Genomes, Project Gutenberg, Berkley Self-driving data, more projects, and datasets are added every day.
Ian Darrow, Head of Operations at Filecoin, commented on the announcement:
“Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. This data includes 294 billion emails, 500 million tweets and 64 billion messages on social media. But it is also climatology reports, disease tracking maps, connected vehicle coordinates and much more. It is extremely important that we maintain data that will serve as the backbone for future research and discovery”.
Miners who choose to participate in Filecoin Discover may receive hard drives pre-loaded with verified data, as well as setup and maintenance instructions, depending on the company. The Filecoin team will also host the Slack (fil-Discover-support) channel where miners can learn more.
Filecoin got its fair share of obstacles along the way. Last month Filecoin announced a further delay before its main network was officially launched — after years of raising funds.
In late July QEBR (OTC: QEBR) announced that it had ceded ownership of two subsidiaries in order to focus all of the company’s resources on building blockchain-based mining operations.
The QEBR technology team previously announced that it has proven its system as a Filecoin node valid with CPU, GPU, bandwidth and storage compatibility that meets all IPFS guidelines. The QEBR test system is connected to the main Filecoin blockchain and the already mined filecoin coin has already been tested.
“The disclosure of Sheen Boom and Jihye will allow our team to focus only on the upcoming global launch of Filecoin. QEBR branch, Shenzhen DZD Digital Technology Ltd. (“ DZD “), has a strong background in blockchain development, extraction Data, data acquisition, data processing, data technology research. We strongly believe Filecoin has the potential to be a leading blockchain-based cryptocurrency and will make every effort to make QEBR an important player when Mainecoin mainnet will be launched soon”.
IPFS and Filecoin
Filecoin and IPFS are complementary protocols for storing and sharing data in a decentralized network. While users are not required to use Filecoin and IPFS together, the two combined are working to resolve major failures in the current web infrastructure.
IPFS
It is an open source protocol that allows users to store and transmit verifiable data with each other. IPFS users insist on data on the network by installing it on their own device, to a third-party cloud service (known as Pinning Services), or through community-oriented systems where a group of individual IPFS users share resources to ensure the content stays live.
The lack of an integrated catalytic mechanism is the challenge Filecoin hopes to solve by allowing users to catalyze long-term distributed storage at competitive prices through the storage contract market, while maintaining the efficiency and flexibility that the IPFS network provides.
Using IPFS
In IPFS, the data is hosted by the required data installation nodes. For data to persist while the user node is offline, users must either rely on their other peers to install their data voluntarily or use a central install service to store data.
Peer-to-peer reliance caching data may be a good thing as one or multiple organizations share common files on an internal network, or where strong social contracts can be used to ensure continued hosting and preservation of content in the long run. Most users in an IPFS network use an installation service.
Using Filecoin
The last option is to install your data in a decentralized storage market, such as Filecoin. In Filecoin’s structure, customers make regular small payments to store data when a certain availability, while miners earn those payments by constantly checking the integrity of this data, storing it, and ensuring its quick recovery. This allows users to motivate Filecoin miners to ensure that their content will be live when it is needed, a distinct advantage of relying only on other network users as required using IPFS alone.
Filecoin, powered by IPFS
It is important to know that Filecoin is built on top of IPFS. Filecoin aims to be a very integrated and seamless storage market that takes advantage of the basic functions provided by IPFS, they are connected to each other, but can be implemented completely independently of each other. Users do not need to interact with Filecoin in order to use IPFS.
Some advantages of sharing Filecoin with IPFS:
Of all the decentralized storage projects, Filecoin is undoubtedly the most interested, and IPFS has been running stably for two years, fully demonstrating the strength of its core protocol.
Filecoin’s ability to obtain market share from traditional central storage depends on end-user experience and storage price. Currently, most Filecoin nodes are posted in the IDC room. Actual deployment and operation costs are not reduced compared to traditional central cloud storage, and the storage process is more complicated.
PoRep and PoSt, which has a large number of proofs of unknown operation, are required to cause the actual storage cost to be so, in the early days of the release of Filecoin. The actual cost of storing data may be higher than the cost of central cloud storage, but the initial storage node may reduce the storage price in order to obtain block rewards, which may result in the actual storage price lower than traditional central cloud storage.
In the long term, Filecoin still needs to take full advantage of its P2P storage, convert storage devices from specialization to civil use, and improve its algorithms to reduce storage costs without affecting user experience. The storage problem is an important problem to be solved in the blockchain field, so a large number of storage projects were presented at the 19th Web3 Summit. IPFS is an important part of Web3 visibility. Its development will affect the development of Web3 to some extent. Likewise, Web3 development somewhat determines the future of IPFS. Filecoin is an IPFS-based storage class project initiated by IPFS. There is no doubt that he is highly expected.
Resources :
  1. https://www.coindesk.com/filecoin-pushes-back-final-testing-phase-announces-calibration-period-for-miners
  2. https://docs.filecoin.io/mine/#types-of-miners https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/inside-the-craze-for-filecoin-crypto-mining-in-china-2020-07-12؟amp
  3. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/qebr-streamlines-holdings-to-concentrate-on-filecoin-development-and-mining-301098731.html
  4. https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/05/161200-filecoin-seeks-to-boost-mining-with-filecoin-discove
  5. https://zephyrnet.com/filecoin-seeks-to-boost-mining-with-filecoin-discove
  6. https://docs.filecoin.io/introduction/ipfs-and-filecoin/#filecoin-powered-by-ipfs
submitted by CoinEx_Institution to filecoin [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to privacycoins [link] [comments]

FAQ for Beginners

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is scarce, decentralized, and global digital money that cannot be censored.

Quick Advice

  • Do not respond to strangers messaging you with investment advice or offers and read how to avoid being scammed from the posts below.
  • Do not invest in Bitcoin until you do basic research, paid off all high interest debt, and have a emergency savings account of a stable fiat currency.
  • If investing do not expect to get rich quickly. You should expect to wait at least 1-2 years before taking profits. Bitcoin is currently very volatile. In the interim spend and replace Bitcoin because its a useful currency.
  • Beginners should avoid all mining and day trading until at least very familiar with Bitcoin. Mining is very professional(You cannot efficiently mine with your computer and need to buy special ASIC machines) and most people lose money day trading.
  • Never store your Bitcoins on an exchange or web wallet. Buy your bitcoins and withdraw it to your personal wallet where you actually own them instead of IOUs. Services like Robinhood and Revoult should be avoided because you cannot withdraw or use Bitcoin.
  • Make sure you make a backup of your wallet(software holding keys to your BTC) and preferably keep it offline and physical and private. Typically 12 to 24 words you write down on paper or metal. This onetime backup will restore all your keys, addresses , and Bitcoins on a new wallet if you lose your old wallet.
  • Beginners should avoid altcoins, tokens, and ICOs at least initially until they learn about Bitcoin. Most of these are scams and you should be familiar with the basics first. Bitcoin is referred to as BTC or XBT.

Exchanges Requiring ID Verification

Bitcoin = BTC or XBT on exchanges
Exchange Buy fee* Withdraw BTC Notes
Cash App Sliding ~2.2% to 1% 0 BTC Instant Withdraw, USA only
Coinbase Debit3.99% ACH1.49% 1-4USD ~7Day hold BTC withdraw
CoinbasePro 0.5% 1-4USD ~7Day hold free ACH Deposit or €0.15 EUR SEPA fee
Gemini 1.49% to 0.25%ATrader 0 BTC 10 free BTC withdraws w/ActiveTrader
Kraken 0.16% 0.0005 BTC Deposit Fiat=USwire+5USD or SEPA free
Bitstamp 0.50% 0.0005 BTC Deposit Fiat=0 SEPA or 5% card fee
Note: Exchanges all have unique market prices and spreads so fees alone will not tell you the best rates. Best way is to directly compare the rates between exchanges. Buy fees above are for normal trading volumes. Verification and hold times can vary based upon lack of history, verification level or credit.
More exchanges per location
For a secure Decentralized Exchange (DEX) use https://bisq.network

Recommended Wallets

Best wallets for securing small amounts of BTC
electrum For Desktop and Android
Pros= Great Desktop and Android wallet with advanced functionality like coin control
Cons= UX is not as polished as some other wallets, make sure you only upgrade from official sources like play store or https://electrum.org as malicious servers or adverts can tell you to upgrade malware from other sites
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4EhZg5QslI
Phoenix LN wallets for Android
Pros- Lightning network integration(as well as onchain) allowing you to spend with LN merchants for instant confirmations and much lower fees. Easiest lightning wallet to use
Cons- Lightning is still somewhat experimental and less merchants accept it.
https://phoenix.acinq.co/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx5PK1H5OR0
Breez LN wallet for Android and IOS
https://breez.technology
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_4b-y4T8bY
Pros- Lightning network integration(as well as onchain) allowing you to spend with LN merchants for instant confirmations and much lower fees
Cons- Lightning is still somewhat experimental and less merchants accept it.
Other Lightning wallets - http://lightningnetworkstores.com/wallets
Blockstream Green Wallet IOS and android wallet
Pros- Great UX, easy hardware wallet and full node integration, RBF, HW wallet support and advanced 2fa options Cons- Until single signature is released 2 of 2 multisig means that one must depend upon blockstream’s server for tx signing. Other light wallets are dependent upon other servers as well but light wallets like electrum allow you to swap servers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO3Zi9D5b0Y
https://blockstream.com/green/
Securing Larger amounts of Bitcoin
ledger nano S wallet = ~68 USD https://shop.ledger.com/products/ledger-nano-s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI1OntWB7wc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGe2GgfkO64
trezor one wallet = ~54 USD https://shop.trezor.io
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT1j_kbZBEo
Trezor Model T = ~164 USD https://shop.trezor.io
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3BIo5Ac_n4
Cold Card Hardware wallet = 119.97 USD https://store.coinkite.com/store/coldcard
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kocEpndQcsg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8dBNrlwJ0k
Digital Bitbox 02 = 109 USD https://shiftcrypto.ch/bitbox02/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdP_7LgZw7s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7nRq2OEhiw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D4FgJo3j64
Best Advanced Bitcoin Wallet= Bitcoin Core
Pros= Great privacy and security
Cons= UX is for more experienced users, takes ~week to sync and requires ~5GB minimum disk space if prunned
https://bitcoincore.org/en/download/
Best High Privacy Bitcoin Wallet = Wasabi
Pros= Best Privacy with Chaumian CoinJoin built in
Cons= mixing coins costs more fees and for more advanced users
https://www.wasabiwallet.io/#download
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECQHAzSckK0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPKpC9cRcZo&list=PLmoQ11MXEmahCG1nkbKK6DiAwVx9giJCi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8wQK-Ndl3Q&list=PLPj3KCksGbSaEmjU0sywoTYDVYYSu8LsS

Further Resources

https://www.lopp.net/bitcoin-information.html
https://www.lopp.net/lightning-information.html
https://10hoursofbitcoin.com/
http://bitcoinrabbithole.org/
https://bitcoin-resources.com
https://www.bitcoin101.club
https://21lessons.com
submitted by bitusher to BitcoinBeginners [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Q&A: What is the Role of Nodes? - YouTube Installing A Bitcoin Core Full Node - Cryptocurrencies and ... How To Build A Full Bitcoin Node + Lightning Network Blockchain Nodes - How to Make a Node on Raspberry Pi! Self Sovereign Full Node ~ Bitcoin to the Max

A few days ago a $400 charge hit my credit card and Amazon notified me that my 21.co bitcoin computer was on its way. Essentially a Raspberry Pi connected with a custom bitcoin-mining ASIC and a ... FutureBit Apollo LTC Pod ASIC Miner and Full Litecoin Node for Scrypt Algorithm Cryptocurrencies Litecoin - Batch 3 - Full Node Package - SD Card, 64 GB USB Node Drive, and 200W PSU Ready to Run! 3.5 out of 5 stars 17. 1 offer from $600.00. Antminer S9 Bitcoin Miner. 3.6 out of 5 stars 4. $295.00 Antminer S9E 14T 1165W ASIC Miner Save Much Less Energy Than Antminer S9J 14.5TH. 4.4 out of 5 ... During the last two years, the Bitcoin Cash environment has grown robust and there are quite a few different full node clients. A full node can be any computer that connects to the BCH network by ... 21 (21 Bitcoin computer) is a software that is able to turn any computer into a Bitcoin Computer.What is interesting, it’s possible to get Bitcoin on any device in almost any country without a bank account or credit card. It is possible to earn money on HTTP requests. Using this software, customers get open documentation for development and the newest information about Bitcoin fees. What’s a Bitcoin full node? The Bitcoin network is a collection of computers all over the world running the Bitcoin Core software that verifies transactions and blocks. It’s the distribution of these “nodes” (the term for a computer attached to the network) and the fact that anyone can set one up that makes Bitcoin “decentralized.”

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Bitcoin Q&A: What is the Role of Nodes? - YouTube

Produced by https://CryptoCousins.com: On this episode we install a Bitcoin Core Full Node. Watch as we figure out the process. Join Tony Cecala and Gary Lel... Hey All, I hope you are well. Here is my latest and long over due video on how to build a DIY Full BTC Node + Lightning Network, I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.....All links below as usual. What is some general advice on securing your personal computer and home network? Are there full node starter kits? Could bitcoin nodes be cut off if ISPs blocked port 8333? How do nodes connect to ... What is A Bitcoin Node. Step by Step Explanation https://blockgeeks.com/ The bitcoin network consists of a network of nodes, which are just computers or serv... The role that full nodes play in security of the network. People focus a lot on mining, which has a fundamental role in the network but is not necessarily th...

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