Anonymous Bitcoin (BTCA Coin): Bitcoin & ZClassic Co-Fork?

How does one use a privacy coin to get privacy? thanks

OK, I understand Bitcoin is only pseudo anonymous. Privacy coins like Monero and Dash i understand only as an investment. But how do they really work? People on this sub say to use a coinmixer, others say only XRP has the anonymity set to really help. If I have 100 Euro and I want private bitcoin, what's my best bet? If I just buy Monero and use that money to buy Bitcoin is that good, is that all we need to be private? or is a peer to peer exchange really better, but then might we get tainted bitcoins there, better to use private coins and buy from Binance ? I am lost, please help. Just pointing me to a readthis is ok
submitted by Nonredneck to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Why is it so difficult to buy Bitcoin?

This is a rant more than anything. As a newcomer to Bitcoin, it is absolutely impossible to purchase it in a pseudo-anonymous or private way. After seeing a ton of recommendations for Bisq, I tried to use it only to find out that you need Bitcoin to put down as a security deposit. No problem... I figured I could just go to one of the countless ATMs around my city to purchase a bit. After visiting five separate ATMs and being confronted with various out of service errors (and having to provide them with pictures of my ID anyway), I gave up and resigned myself to use an Exchange. So I created an account on Coinbase only to find out that it wanted my bank login credentials... Hell no. So I then tried to put in a debit card to make a small purchase, and after waiting over 36 hours found out that they are having problems verifying debit cards currently. Absolutely frustrated, I made posts on Craigslist to purchase Bitcoin directly from someone locally using cash... No response. At this point I've pretty much just given up and don't care anymore. All I wanted was $15 of Bitcoin to be able to use Bisq to make further purchases. But apparently that is some monumental feat now due to all the ridiculous regulations. I don't see a future for crypto if these ridiculous barriers to entry remain in place.
submitted by happybikes to BitcoinBeginners [link] [comments]

Coinjoin before transferring to cold storage

Hi guys I am learning about bitcoin and its pseudo anonymous nature. Do you think transferring funds from the exchange to one wallet, then transferring the amount to wasabi and then Coinjoin before transferring to one cold storage is worth it in terms of privacy? Is it safe enough to be completely anonymous?
submitted by philbeds to BitcoinBeginners [link] [comments]

I'm Launching the First Truly Decentralized Private Marketplace [x-post from r/cryptocurrency]

Hey everyone,
Posting this here since there was a lively discussion related to the cs/engineering principles of the system on the cryptocurrency thread. This sub will probably be particularly interested in the paper on the system, which describes how the system works from a technical standpoint.

I've been working for almost a year now on a platform I call the Ultranet that I'm planning on launching in three weeks on February 25th at 12pm Pacific Time (signup here to be notified). It's a marketplace platform that is fully-decentralized, private, and censorship-resistant.

It works by having each user who runs the software download and store a cryptographically-secured copy of all of the listings, orders, ratings, and all other marketplace data through a concept I introduce in the paper called a "block pool." This means that as long as a single node somewhere in the world is running the Ultranet software, all data, including all listings and all reputation data, will be preserved. This is in stark contrast to virtually all platforms that exist today, which are subject to censorship of listings and/or outright take-down, the latter of which results in all reputation data being lost. Moreover, the Ultranet achieves censorship-resistance and privacy (it's pseudo-anonymous like Bitcoin) while maintaining feature parity and user experience parity with existing centralized marketplaces. It also introduces Ultra, a hyper-deflationary cryptocurrency that is burned every time an order is placed on the system and by merchants in order to promote their listings, resulting in increasing scarcity over time (i.e. hyper-deflation). Importantly, the use of a native cryptocurrency allows the value of the network to accrue to its users rather than a privileged few, while also giving people an incentive to use the system early on (thus helping to solve the "platform chicken and egg problem"). Finally, the software has a built-in fully-decentralized exchange mechanism I introduce in the paper called "interchange" that allows users to purchase Ultra using Bitcoin or Monero without any third parties involved, along with a fully-decentralized end-to-end encrypted messaging platform.

I know it's only natural for people to be skeptical when reading a post like this, but I worked really hard on this because I really believe that the direction society is headed under the dominance of "surveillance capitalism" needs to be challenged somehow, and because I thought all of the existing attempts at disrupting things weren't sufficient. As such, having invested a lot of time and energy into trying to engineer a better way, I think the Ultranet and the concepts I introduce in the paper and in the software itself can at least serve as a guide to get us started down a serious path toward a more open and more democratic platform ecosystem.

I'm launching the Ultranet in three weeks on February 25th at 12pm Pacific Time, at which point I'm going to make the software available for download on the ultranet.one website. I was going to wait until then to make my first post, but I thought publicizing it a bit before I release the final version of the software could give me a chance to address any last-minute concerns people might have about the first iteration (which is why I'm also releasing the code today; see below).

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the platform, below are some resources:

Thanks, and for anyone who reads this far just know that it means a lot to me that you are considering my work.
submitted by tyfudgey to compsci [link] [comments]

Do you remain anonymous when buying bitcoin with credit cards?

I know very little about crypto currencies
My understanding is that since it is decentralized, anyone can trace a transaction from Wallet A to Wallet B. What keeps it anonymous is that no one knows to whom wallets A and B belong (or at least they shouldn't). Right?
But if I buy Bitcoin with credit card from some exchange, they would need to deposit that bitcoin into Wallet C. At the same time, there will be credit card transaction receipt for the same amount. So, at the very least, the exchange would know that Wallet C was funded from my credit card, and therefore belongs to me. And from that point, anyone could trace bitcoin purchases back to this wallet, right?
I could be 100% wrong here, please tell me
submitted by hydraSlav to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin mining

A new report reveals that bitcoin is quickly accelerating to become the safe-haven asset of digital currency markets.
Since the advent of bitcoin, following the massive economic crumble in 2008- cryptocurrencies have offered a viable solution to many of the issues the global financial world’s fiat falls prey to.
Or at least that’s what inventor Satoshi Nakamoto proposed. Many believe that Nakamoto endeavored to create a currency that wouldn’t be subject to wildly nilly inflation and quantitative easing that will quickly lead to deflationary devastation on Main Street. A pseudo-anonymous public ledger, that’s fully secure, decentralized, and global. Removing many of the stopgaps that served to create the 2008 financial crisis, to begin with.
Barely a month after COVID-19 took hold of communities across the globe- bitcoin finally had the economic vitality test that it had been missing since its invention. Markets crashed, with prices dropping to closing values the world hadn’t seen in decades. While other markets continue to struggle to get a grip on the bear shadow that still looms, bitcoin markets have resolutely stabilized, if not matured. With many new-user focused exchanges like Bitvavo seeing higher numbers of investors and market values returning to the pre-crisis status. Does this mean that Bitcoin is finally reaching the safe-haven status that has long been suggested?
submitted by ElizabethCASAUS42 to u/ElizabethCASAUS42 [link] [comments]

I'm Launching the First Truly Decentralized Private Marketplace to Challenge the Platform Oligarchy

Hey everyone,

I've been working for almost a year now on a platform I call the Ultranet that I'm planning on launching in three weeks on February 25th at 9am Pacific Time. It's a marketplace platform that is fully-decentralized, private, and censorship-resistant and my hope is that it can be the first major marketplace platform that is fully open-source and mutually owned/controlled by the people who run the software and who hold its native hyper-deflationary currency (called Ultra). In other words, a free and open-source/democratic alternative to the existing platform monopolies that are currently owned and controlled by a privileged few (a "platform oligarchy" of sorts).

It works by having each user who runs the software download and store a cryptographically-secured copy of all of the listings, orders, ratings, and all other marketplace data through a concept I introduce in the paper called a "block pool." This means that as long as a single node somewhere in the world is running the Ultranet software, all data, including all listings and all reputation data, will be preserved. This is in stark contrast to virtually all platforms that exist today, which are subject to censorship of listings and/or outright take-down, the latter of which results in all reputation data being lost. Moreover, the Ultranet achieves censorship-resistance and privacy (it's pseudo-anonymous like Bitcoin) while maintaining feature parity and user experience parity with existing centralized marketplaces. It also introduces Ultra, a hyper-deflationary cryptocurrency that is burned every time an order is placed on the system and by merchants in order to promote their listings, resulting in increasing scarcity over time (i.e. hyper-deflation). Importantly, the use of a native cryptocurrency allows the value of the network to accrue to its users rather than a privileged few, while also giving people an incentive to use the system early on (thus helping to solve the "platform chicken and egg problem"). Finally, the software has a built-in fully-decentralized exchange mechanism I introduce in the paper called "interchange" that allows users to purchase Ultra using Bitcoin or Monero without any third parties involved, along with a fully-decentralized end-to-end encrypted messaging platform.

I know it's only natural for people to be skeptical when reading a post like this, but I worked really hard on this because I really believe that the direction society is headed under the dominance of "surveillance capitalism" needs to be challenged somehow, and because I thought all of the existing attempts at disrupting things weren't sufficient. As such, having invested a lot of time and energy into trying to engineer a better way, I think the Ultranet and the concepts I introduce in the paper and in the software itself can at least serve as a guide to get us started down a serious path toward a more open and more democratic platform ecosystem.

I'm launching the Ultranet in three weeks on February 25th at 9am Pacific Time, at which point I'm going to make the software available for download on the ultranet.one website. I was going to wait until then to make my first post, but I thought publicizing it a bit before I release the final version of the software could give me a chance to address any last-minute concerns people might have about the first iteration (which is why I'm also releasing the code today; see below).

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the platform, below are some resources:

Thanks, and for anyone who reads this far just know that it means a lot to me that you are considering my work.
submitted by tosbigtree to cryptodevs [link] [comments]

JIL TOKENS - A complete overview of the company

JIL TOKENS - A complete overview of the company

https://preview.redd.it/fi88pvlx1lq41.png?width=476&format=png&auto=webp&s=2eee77990a93987ec37fa513a0b2779a09b4ece4
The J1 is a cryptocurrency that can act as fiat currency, replace costly credit card fees as well as eliminate the need for gift cards. With these enticing features, the J1 will attract mainstream adoption as a competitive payment solution. A key factor of any cryptocurrency is its utility. If you cannot use it for something, such as investments or payments, then it will have no perceived value. In the case of the J1, it is useful as a payment solution thus its utility is high.
In addition to the obvious utility of the J1, it adds the highly sought after liquidity to the world of cryptocurrency. According to Investopedia, “liquidity describes the degree to which an asset or security can be quickly bought or sold in the market without affecting the price of the asset.” Following that definition, most people would conclude there are no liquid cryptocurrencies in the market. Until now! That’s the very definition of the J1! Therefore, our token is an important game changer for users, merchants, and for the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole. We are the cryptocurrency of the future!
Prior to appreciating the full benefits the J1 can bring, understanding the advantages of cryptocurrency is paramount. These advantages consist of low transaction costs, international boundless portability, convertibility, trust-free ownership, exchange, pseudo-anonymity, real-time transparency and almost complete immunity against problems with the banking system. Despite these advantages, there remain barriers preventing the mainstream adoption and daily use of cryptocurrency. These include volatile price fluctuations, inadequate mass market insight of the technology, inaccessibility, scalability issues, and the lack of user-friendliness for non-technical users.
Recognizing these issues, the J1, sets out to rectify them. These tokens are to be utilized in the same manner as traditional paper or fiat money. They are tied directly to the United States Dollar (USD). Simply stated, the J1 is the tokenization of USD on the blockchain. In turn, the value of the J1 serves to solve many of the liquidity issues suffered by other tokens. Additionally, these tokens maintain the lowest fees for any user as well as making it an optimal currency for merchants. These are just a few features that truly set the J1 apart not only from traditional fiat currency, but other cryptocurrencies as well.

ECOSYSTEMSCORE

+ONE MISSION
We aim to be an international form of payment which enables users to make purchases and that merchants will recognize and accept. This will allow consumers and merchants to unite online and offline around the world seamlessl
+TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST
Utilizing the Ethereum blockchain as our audit method provides transparency, trust and accountability between buyers, merchants and during p2p transactions.
Another way we establish trust is through our registrations in the U.S. and Nigeria. U.S: JONES Industries LLC RC4026434, JILTOKENS Multiconcept Enterprises BN4440995. Nigeria: JILTOKENS Industries Limited RC1666125, JILTOKENS Multiconcept Enterprises BN3072186.
+BLOCKCHAIN BASED PROFILES
We rely on tokenization which is defined as replacing sensitive data with a set of identification symbols that retain information without compromising security. This allows users to remain virtually anonymous.
+PAYMENT FLEXIBILITY
Users benefit from our J1 token because it can be utilized in any situation that involves compensation due to its extreme adaptability in all transactions. This is due to its understandable monetary value and the absence of volatility. Merchants can benefit by increasing their sale revenue when accepting the J1 for payment due to our low fixed redemption rates

MISSION

“It’s definitely possible for cryptocurrency to be great at payments in the future, but the necessary pieces are not in place.” – Kevin Pan The mission of the J1 is to prove this statement wrong. This will be accomplished by​ ​the expansion of knowledge regarding cryptocurrencies, encouraging everyday use while providing a simplified way to make purchases throughout the world.
Blockchain Technology Our limited edition token, the JILT is an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain which employs the smart contract protocol. Ethereum allows developers to program their own smart contracts, or ‘autonomous agents’. The language is ‘Turing-complete’. Turing completeness is a term used to identify a computer or software that is capable of solving any problem that a Turing machine can. In other words, it supports a broader set of computational instructions or code, much broader than Bitcoin. The JILT maintains accountability and transparency by using the Ethereum blockchain as its audit method.
Secure Management
Thanks again to the blockchain and p2p transfers, the J1 is practically safe from fraudulent tactics. By using it, no one can steal your card, pin number, passwords or any other personal information. Moreover, as cryptocurrency becoming stolen or lost is increasing in frequency everyday, the J1 serves as an extra layer of security. It is a smart solution against keeping your hard-earned money away from hackers.

J1 TOKEN

The J1 token will be available for purchase after we raise sufficient awareness and popularity through our free JILT giveaway phases and token sale. Prices for the J1 will be $1 per token. Simply stated, the J1 is the tokenization of USD on the blockchain. The J1 will be implemented on a private blockchain (to be determined at a later date). This will reduce user fees and maintain our goal of simplicity as well as create mass adoption
Allocation of funds: Will be allocated for the continued development: 20% Will be allocated toward marketing and business development:20% Will be allocated into the reserve: 20% Allocated to the JIL TOKENS team and board members: 20% allocated to customer service development: 10% allocated to legal compliance operations: 10%
https://preview.redd.it/9nnuw1114lq41.png?width=510&format=png&auto=webp&s=30104c86d6105f6a432785695c9137a6930e19be

TEAM


https://preview.redd.it/6fmnu0kc4lq41.png?width=711&format=png&auto=webp&s=5d2e85bc24f4fab5fa6800fadc0cd74796a02425
Learn more: Our site: https://www.jiltokens.io (https://www.jiltokens.io/)/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TokensJil
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/JIL-Tokens-2055773947853026 (https://m.facebook.com/JIL-Tokens-2055773947853026/)/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jil_tokens (https://www.instagram.com/jil_tokens)
YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC6OhZ0NqnLcvzXUm_WkhW3Q (https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC6OhZ0NqnLcvzXUm_WkhW3Q) Whitepaper: https://www.jiltokens.io/general-whitepape Telegram: https://t.me/JILINT
bounty0x USERNAME: bandit
submitted by Bandugan to u/Bandugan [link] [comments]

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!.
Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself.
I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World
As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity.
A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain.
The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes.
Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
For those that wish to seek more information about why Monero is a superior form of money, read The Merits of Monero: Why Monero Vs Bitcoin over on the Monero.how website.
Monero's Humble Origins
Something that still rings true today despite the great influx of money into cryptocurrencies was outlined in Nick Tomaino's early 2016 opinion piece. The author claimed that "one of the most interesting aspects of Monero is that the project has gained traction without a crowd sale pre-launch, without VC funding and any company or well-known investors and without a pre-mine. Like Bitcoin in the early days, Monero has been a purely grassroots movement that was bootstrapped by the creator and adopted organically without any institutional buy-in. The creator and most of the core developers serve the community pseudonymously and the project was launched on a message board (similar to the way Bitcoin was launched on an email newsletter)."
The Organic Growth of the Monero Community
The Monero community over at monero is exponentially growing. You can view the Monero reddit metrics here and see that the Monero subreddit currently gains more than 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) new subscribers every 10 days! Compare this to most of the other coins out there, and it proves to be one of the only projects with real organic growth. In addition to this, the community subreddits are specifically divided to ensure the main subreddit remains unbiased, tech focused, with no shilling or hype. All trading talk is designated to xmrtrader, and all memes at moonero.
Forum Funding System
While most contributors have gratefully volunteered their time to the project, Monero also has a Forum Funding System in which money is donated by community members to ensure it attracts and retains the brightest minds and most skilled developers. Unlike ICOs and other cryptocurrencies, Monero never had a premine, and does not have a developer tax. If ANYONE requires funding for a Monero related project, then they can simply request funding from the community, and if the community sees it as beneficial, they will donate. Types of projects range from Monero funding for local meet ups, to paying developers for their work.
Monero For Goods, Services, and Market Places
There is a growing number of online goods and services that you can now pay for with Monero. Globee is a service that allows online merchants to accept payments through credit cards and a host of cryptocurrencies, while being settled in Bitcoin, Monero or fiat currency. Merchants can reach a wider variety of customers, while not needing to invest in additional hardware to run cryptocurrency wallets or accept the current instability of the cryptocurrency market. Globee uses all of the open source API's that BitPay does making integrations much easier!
Project Coral Reef is a service which allows you to shop and pay for popular music band products and services using Monero.
Linux, Veracrypt, and a whole array of VPNs now accept Monero.
There is a new Monero only marketplace called Annularis currently being developed which has been created for those who value financial privacy and economic freedom, and there are rumours Open Bazaar is likely to support Monero once Multisig is implemented.
In addition, Monero is also supported by The Living Room of Satoshi so you can pay bills or credit cards directly using Monero.
Monero can be found on a growing number of cryptocurrency exchange services such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Cryptopia, Shapeshift, Changelly, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bisq, Tux, and many others.
For those wishing to purchase Monero anonymously, there are services such as LocalMonero.co and Moneroforcash.com.
With XMR.TO you can pay Bitcoin addresses directly with Monero. There are no other fees than the miner ones. All user records are purged after 48 hours. XMR.TO has also been added as an embedded feature into the Monerujo android wallet.
Coinhive Browser-Based Mining
Unlike Bitcoin, Monero can be mined using CPUs and GPUs. Not only does this encourage decentralisation, it also opens the door to browser based mining. Enter side of stage, Coinhive browser-based mining. As described by Hon Lau on the Symnatec Blog Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using Javascript. Coinhive is marketed as an alternative to browser ad revenue. The motivation behind this is simple: users pay for the content indirectly by coin mining when they visit the site and website owners don't have to bother users with sites laden with ads, trackers, and all the associated paraphern. This is great, provided that the websites are transparent with site visitors and notify users of the mining that will be taking place, or better still, offer users a way to opt in, although this hasn't always been the case thus far.
Skepticism Sunday
The main Monero subreddit has weekly Skepticism Sundays which was created with the purpose of installing "a culture of being scientific, skeptical, and rational". This is used to have open, critical discussions about monero as a technology, it's economics, and so on.

///Speculation///

Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested
Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments.
There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin.
Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero.
Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in.
The Bitcoin Flaw
A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins.
CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero.
CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range.
Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap
Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin.
For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin.
Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money.
Technical Analysis
There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today.
Coinbase Rumours
Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading.
Monero Is Not an ICO Scam
It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases.
Monero is a Working Currency, Today
Monero is a working currency, here today.
The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc.
Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin.
Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money.
Monero is private internet money.
Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy.
Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us.
Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.

///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///

Scalability
While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit.
In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
When the Spagni CNBC video was recently linked to the Monero subreddit, it was met with lengthy debate and discussion from both users and developers. u/ferretinjapan summarised the issue explaining:
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming
It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node.
For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too!
Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.

///Conclusion///

I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so.
Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price.
I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors.
I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ?
Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
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BTC MIXERS: GOOD OR BAD?

BTC MIXERS: GOOD OR BAD?
Several major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Paxful and Binance, have recently demonstrated their negative attitude to mixing services.
🤹‍♀️ A cryptocurrency mixing service (cryptocurrency tumbler, Bitcoin mixer) is a special tool intended to mix ‘tainted’ or pseudo-anonymous coins with others. It makes tracing their origin very hard. It should be noted that a BTC mixer is not always used for money-laundering and other criminal purposes. Some law-abiding people apply it just for the love of privacy.
🕵️‍♀️ Obviously, crypto exchanges seek to decrease the level of privacy in order to increase transparency and security. In such a way, they want to ensure better compliance with KYC/AML regulations and avoid getting involved with ‘dirty money’. As for exchange users, many of them don’t agree with this strategy and see it as an attempt to pry into their business.
The latest event of this kind involved Paxful exchange - they blocked the account of the user Ronald McHodled when he tried to withdraw his funds. The exchange support service was worried that Ronald had tried to withdraw the money to a well-known mixing service and demanded explanations.
🤷‍♂️ McHodled himself declares he did not use this mixing service for any bad purpose. According to him, it was like using an ATM for withdrawing cash.
And what do you think?

https://preview.redd.it/x0ecrbka19g41.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=44b4e2f70e6df26cfcbf92b833e5ac53757a052a
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Understanding Blockchain and Privacy Part I: Pseudo-anonymous Assets and What They Reveal

Understanding Blockchain and Privacy Part I: Pseudo-anonymous Assets and What They Reveal
Much like it is with fiat funds, there are those who are honest with their income and expenses and there are those who attempt to conceal some of their incoming and outgoing transactions for one reason or another. Although we’ve reached a point in the industry where the majority of crypto users understand that digital assets don’t provide the full privacy that those in the latter category above wish for.
We could stop here, but the “why” behind how governments are able to track our transactions and tie them to us is intriguing and serves as a very important lesson as to why it’s never a smart idea to try to hide your money in cryptocurrency.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the first part of this two-part series, starting with pseudo-anonymous cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
https://preview.redd.it/e4ivv49ajpe41.jpg?width=4000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e427e316296320dfa3223d166c6060c89a8d03c2

A Brief Overview of Blockchain

If you’re mostly involved in the investing and trading sides of the industry, you may not necessarily know as much about why assets like Bitcoin function the way they do, which necessitates a quick overview to help you better understand the information below.
Put simply, blockchain technology is a way of managing information in a decentralized manner in order to ensure trust and transparency. For example, when a Bitcoin transaction takes place, the blockchain takes note of all of the information involved in the transaction (wallet addresses from the sender and the recipient, amount sent, time and date sent), verifies this information, stores the information in a “block”, and uploads it to the public online ledger where it is recorded and available for all users of the network.
The reason why this is so important for enthusiasts is that it gives them full control over their money while allowing them to conceal personal information that would normally be revealed in traditional financial transactions. However, it is this sense of safety that has led many to believe that they can hide away Bitcoin without ever being discovered.

Why Crypto Isn’t Anonymous (and How It Is Tracked)

While crypto transactions aren’t tied to your name, physical address, or personal contact information, the fact that they are tied to your wallet address is enough information for organizations to track down most people.
For example, let’s imagine that you have been receiving crypto as a form of side-income and have attempted to hide this extra income from the IRS. While you do have your assets stowed away in a separate wallet (theoretically), you are inevitably going to have to sell off your assets on some platform. Once you do sell, someone can then see where these assets have been transferred from, which will inevitably allow them to take note of exactly how much income has been coming in as each transaction has a traceable source.
Additionally, because of KYC/AML laws, you are going to be hard-pressed to find an exchange where you can transfer your crypto without having to register using some form of personal information that can be tied to you or tied to the original sender and traced down to you. Even Bitcoin mixers are not reliable ways to hide your crypto as they have been advertised to be in the past.
True, while there are always ways to work around these systems, those who are attempting to do so will experience severe difficulty trying to make sure that payments are untraceable, something that is considerably hard in this day and age.
Overall, no matter how simple it may seem to stow away crypto and avoid being detected, it is not the private currency that it is sometimes made out to be. In section two of this series, we will be analyzing some of the privacy coins on the market and showing how these too can be subject to tracking by larger entities.
***
Trakx is building a one-stop shop for Crypto Traded Indices. Discover more about our project on our website and social media channels, such as Telegram http://t.me/trakx_io.
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Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

In relation to this post:
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/eupegk/technical_review_of_the_past_10_years_and_how_the/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended to help increase public understanding of BTC and thus increase it's adoption. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on? - we are really excited about this project and hope to make it to the best of our abilities.
----

1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value*, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many* bubbles*, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What* utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none*. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.*
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations*. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the* blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to btc [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

Based on this post I made a bit earlier:
https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinBeginners/comments/euozq4/blockchain_and_btc_technical_review_of_the_past/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended for beginners I think this subreddit would be a good place to get some feedback. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on?
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1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many bubbles, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to u/Theus5 [link] [comments]

How and why on earth did cryptocurrency become what is is today and should we seriously do something aboout it?

My first thought is - rather fittingly - the genesis block of BTC. Specifically the message:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

Today, over 10 years later, this kind of message might as well read:
Coindesk(dot)com xx/xx/2019 Crypto whales and miners on the brink of a second bailout for cryptocurrency exchanges

Bitfinex being perhaps the most iconic example. Losing 850 million USD just like that thanks to transnational government agencies, they faced a similar fate as banks in the housing crisis. Total wipe-out. Just like banks, these monolithic exchanges are too big to fail. Failure would mean a global financial crisis in crypto, much like mt.gox. Not that different from the banks that got bailed out by institutions, Bitfinex received the same treatment, except from whales, investment funds, rich corporate entities and such. They covered for the whole loss basically, allowing things to keep operational at least. There wasn't really any demand for another tether, so without it, it could have been an economic meltdown in crypto. Hearing about similar offers made by other rich entities operating in the crypto scene to Binance after their hack, I'm starting to think this has become an even bigger, more common thing with crypto exchanges than it has been with banks.
It's rich people in positions of power protecting their own interests, except that in the proper spirit of crypto, it's quite secretive, likely (pseudo)anonymous and way less transparent than what the central banks did. Due to the nature of this technology, it can be hard to grasp what the actions taken by Bitfinex mean. To my understanding, they minted a new coin, LEO (witty name for a token under these circumstances..) and basically just decided it's market cap is 1 billion, then in a private sale, managed to somehow pull off the biggest ever ICO in the history of crypto, 1 billion of funding in just 10 days for what appears to me as basically printing money in order to cover for accounting, as this exclusive club taking part in the sale of LEO committed into buying said tokens using the money Bitfinex previously printed in order to manipulate the markets and profit, USDT that is. Can't remember any ICO in the past where the minimum barrier for an individual to participate was 1 million dollars and for companies, groups, or funds 100+ million.

We traded the tyranny of the banking system for a system that eventually reached centralization of power to a much greater degree, accompanied with lack of regulation and oversight which we all welcomed. I have observed and participated in the scene for at least 9 years, so almost from the very beginning, seeing the rise of first altcoins for example and all the crazy phenomena which emerged and how the community dealt with them, evolving in the process. There has been a distinct pattern that can be traced back to these early days, where some group of people would figure out how to use this new technology in all kinds of creative ways which under normal circumstances would have been considered fraud, collusion... all kind of things we did NOT want. So when the majority aka victims became aware, we always protested accordingly. Pre-mined cloned coins that were hyped over social media only so the creators would profit? We decided they were worthless.
So these people, having a very lucrative way of essentially scamming people dreaming of moons came up with a solution: there will be no pre-mine, but coins were launched under the radar and only people with power (many BTC) were informed. In case you aren't familiar, when a new minable coin is released and there's only a handful of miners, a significant portion of the tokens in circulation are mined in an insanely fast manner, first 10% of total supply generated in a matter of hours perhaps, giving everyone who managed to mine on the day of launch a major advantage. We decided the secrecy was equally bad and they openly announced these coins, directing masses to use mining pools, only for them to be be under DDOS during the launch.

That pattern eventually evolved to ICO's and everything else we see today. Ripping people off in sophisticated enough ways that we put up with it. After all, we could always get lucky from the 'generous' pump & dump groups they were organizing and offering to us. The system may have changed, but the philosophy is the same: people with the most money either as individuals or a group exploiting 'lesser' people and groups, concentrating power (BTC) in the process much akin to 'rich get richer while poor get poorer'. 10 years onwards, thanks to the financial side (trading), the whole crypto economy is still not only using but dependent on market manipulation and all kinds of deceiving schemes.

This has been a major obstacle to wide-scale adoption, despite powerful people trying to convince us that manipulating prices to the level of a bubble will lead to people thinking this technology is great and start using it. In reality, many among the general population either had or started having doubts about these bitcoins. Imagine if they tried to sell internet and all of it's possibilities solely through nigerian prince scam spam.

Then there's the miners, one of if not the most powerful entity in cryptoscene as a whole. Naturally their power and influence only grew, significant investments were made. I remember conversations with some chinese guy mining LTC back in 2014, he was always like "Yay, the newest shipment of 300 AMD GPU's came straight out the factory". Must have had thousands. Asics had begun dominating BTC mining and they weren't cheap either. Not to mention all that electricity too. Where I'm leading you with this, is the current situation where we have established mining companies with ASICs dedicated solely to BTC mining for efficiency, probably pretty much useless for anything else. Valuations of 100's of millions if not billions at their peak. Then we realized how stupid it is to waste electricity like that when we could do it in a better way, Proof-of-Stake. Instant conflict of interest hindering further innovation due to competition instead of the opposite. The mining giants refuse to go out quietly and many have been mining BTC at a loss (electricity) for a long time now, effectively needing a pump to dump those mined BTC just to cover their operating costs in the past as they naturally didn't want to sell them at a loss.
Side-note: I think the current pump is due to a lot of BTC miners quitting and cashing out of BTC in a way that doesn't bankrupt them. To make matters force, they can effectively coerce both whales and crypto exchanges to co-operate in order to pump the prices because if the miners go out of business, everyone utilizing BTC for profit is in big trouble. So if they say they need a pump to dump, they get one. Bail-outs for miners too for christ sake.

Luckily, we have alternatives being heavily developed, but I fear for a financial meltdown for crypto before they reach a mature stage. Not a very popular subject to my knowledge, because in the near future, somebody has to pay the bill and this time it ain't covered by taxes collected. This awesome technology has been primarily abused and exploited, with people innovating in the are of 'get-rich-quick' schemes more than the technology itself. Ethereum was supposed to be a paradigm shift, but it became another instrument of the same scheme, even though it helped push tech forward some.

Remember that this is a time of decentralization. It's up to us, the collective, to do something about this if we want (or even can for that matter). Ironically, we stuck with the old mindset of 'just wait it out and The Man will fix it for us eventually' which was supposedly a thing of the past.

So I ask you: What are your opinions about the current state of affairs in crypto, especially the financial side? Do you feel it's all good and if so, why? Any and all input is welcome. Let's make the scene a better place and show good example to the pagans who doubt us due to our dubious practices in the past and even today, furthering acceptance and adoption instead of laser-point focus on profit to the point the system collapses.
submitted by RanCestor to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Five Hurdles Blockchain Faces to Revolutionise Banking

Five Hurdles Blockchain Faces to Revolutionise Banking
Blockchain is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to waste. When it comes to money, it goes well beyond bitcoin. Academics have claimed it will “do to the financial system what the internet did to media”.
https://preview.redd.it/cein0foa83x31.jpg?width=259&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8c44ea1e6f943e597804542483e17abf67b89b7d
There are many versions of public blockchains in existence, but the majority of them share a basic premise: they offer a secure, decentralised infrastructure to maintain a “single version of the truth”, recording all changes made on the blockchain database since its formation.
Enthusiasts predict the technology will do away with the need for banks to act as intermediaries. Whether we buy our groceries online, pay for a service through our mobile phone, or transfer funds abroad, transactions will almost immediately be recorded on the distributed ledger of the blockchain, rather than waiting a couple of days for it to register in our account as banks contact each other on a system invented in the 1970s.
A lot of banks and fintechs started experimenting with blockchain in 2015 – trying to capitalise on the speed and transparency it offers. But four years later, the idea that blockchain will remove banks as intermediaries in our payments system still seems a long way off. That’s because there are five basic challenges that the technology has to overcome if it is to be accepted as part of the financial system.

1. Governance

Blockchain’s strength is it has no central authority, but this is also a weakness. Who makes the decisions about how the technology works or when it needs updating?
If Microsoft Windows needs an update, Microsoft will decide on that and send out an update. But with no central decision-maker, decisions about updates in the world of blockchain become slow and dysfunctional.
Public blockchains operate more like communities. There is no systematic way to decide on updates or improvements. Instead they happen through huge debates among ecosystem participants, with groups arguing over issues like the length of a block, the number of transactions it should hold and how quickly they should be chained. Often there is no solution to these debates, with no way to organise these communities and make decisions.
Sometimes this can result in a split. That’s what happened in 2016 when ETH 3.6 million (amounting to roughly USD 60 million at the time) was stolen on the Ethereum network. Founder Vitalik Buterin agreed to “unwind the theft” by creating a new version of the blockchain and the respective token. This “hard fork” allowed people to reclaim their funds, but some of the community felt it went against the principles of blockchain and so carried on using the “old ethereum”, now known as ethereum classic.
Blockchains haven’t figured out how to effectively govern yet. Often, simple majority voting mechanisms are used to make decisions, which means issues are vulnerable to lobbyists or particularly active contributors seizing control.

2 Scalability

Despite blockchain’s popularity, it is still at a very small scale compared to everyday electronic payments. At the moment, bitcoin’s blockchain does 2,000 transactions every ten minutes, whereas Visa handles more than 65,000 transaction messages every second, and SWIFT – the global messaging system used by banks and financial institutions to transfer payments – deals with approximately 24m messages a day.
The “block size debate” over how many transactions each block of a blockchain should handle has raged since the early days of bitcoin in 2009. This must be resolved for blockchain platforms to grow big enough to become part of the world’s financial plumbing.

3. Standards

Different blockchains organise information in a plethora of ways. This means feeding information from one to another is not always easy.
There is no agreed universal layout of the transaction data structure. In a financial payment, a block will hold the person or company’s name, account information, payment, location address and any other relevant factors. But cryptocurrencies all do this differently, so it would be difficult to move from one currency to another. They need to create standards for the information they contain and how it is systematically laid out.
Who should create these standards, though? There needs to be a body taking the lead on this and a general consensus must come to the fore, like the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has done for the internet.

4. Liability

There is no liability for the platforms when things go wrong at the moment. For instance, in 2017, Canadian digital currency exchange QuadrigaCX announced that a computer error had led to losses of ether worth USD 14 million.
The ether was trapped in the Ethereum system, but the Ethereum community decided not to take any action in recovering it and so QuadrigaCX had to swallow the loss so no client balances were affected.
Surely, liability will need to be cleared up before the public can trust blockchains with their money. For this, we need more regulation in the space of crypto and blockchain in general.

5. Transparency and identity

Blockchain payments mean all users can see all the transactions, making them easy to audit and trace. Users are pseudo-anonymous, in that they are not obliged to identify themselves in any way, but they can still be traced through their alphanumeric address and use of tokens on the network. This transparency is part of the blockchain’s strength. It means other users can see the amount of bitcoins going from one address to another, but no name is linked to that address.
The current system, SWIFT, is a private network infrastructure. It is considered secure and resilient, allowing access only to users who are fully identified and verified as legal entities in the finance sector. Eventually, blockchain’s lack of an identification framework will be problematic for many users and investors as it is a fundamental premise on which the financial system is built.
Until these issues are addressed, it is hard to see public (and to some extent private) blockchains becoming the new foundation of our financial system.
submitted by dwoinik to u/dwoinik [link] [comments]

Build Your Own Cryptocurrency Exchange in Simple Steps  No Coding Required  Beginner's Guide VeriCoin - YouTube Why I have no stocks or bonds and The Grin Hole. Buy and sell Bitcoins anonymously: Short tutorial on ... Bitcoin Q&A: Exchanges, identity, and CoinJoins

Bitcoin is not anonymous, but, rather, pseudo-anonymous. By now, most Bitcoin veterans know this. It’s less obvious to many, however, why Bitcoin is not really anonymous by default, and what can be done to de-anonymize Bitcoin users – and what Bitcoin users can do to reclaim their privacy. Identity and Blockchain: Pseudo-Anonymous Bitcoin Versus Trusted Participant. October 6, 2016 By Charles Carrington. co-authored by Luke Sully 4 min read. iStock. Since its creation ... Did you know that Bitcoin transactions are not anonymous (Pseudo anonymous) and can be traced ? Bitcoin transactions, by design, are not linked to a person or identity. Public addresses are used for transactions- alphanumeric strings publically recorded on the blockchain. A person’s name, physical address, or email is found nowhere in the transaction. But a person’s identity can still be ... Find Exchange; Mining; Get Wallet › Bitcoin Anonymity - Is Bitcoin Anonymous? Bitcoin Anonymity - Is Bitcoin Anonymous? Jordan Tuwiner Last updated June 26,2020 . Bitcoin is often described as anonymous because it’s possible to send and receive bitcoins without giving any personally identifying information. However: Achieving reasonable anonymity with Bitcoin can be quite complicated and ... Well, the team believes bitcoin is only pseudo-anonymous. They also feel Bitcoin lacks transparent governance. ZClassic, on the other hand, ... Exchange Support: Anonymous Bitcoin’s team claims to be engaged in active discussions with some of the highest-volume crypto exchanges in the world today, although they decline to mention the names of any of these exchanges. Transparency: Anonymous ...

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Build Your Own Cryptocurrency Exchange in Simple Steps No Coding Required Beginner's Guide

Is Bitcoin anonymous if exchanges and some wallets require identities? Should we assume that our identity information will be leaked if we use KYC-ed wallets? Besides buying, what is a reliable ... Bitcoin is a decentralized, peer to peer, digital currency. It has been referred to as anonymous, pseudo-anonymous, pseudonymous (whatever that means), and not anonymous at all. #Bitcoin is pseudo-anonymous. This means that while your Bitcoin address doesn’t reveal identifiable details, all transactions and the wallet addresses involved are recorded publicly. Detailed and simple tutorial on creating your own cryptocurrency exchange. Learn how to build your own Bitcoin exchange in a few simple steps! Supports more than 300 coins. It also supports buying ... I have no stocks because they are mostly regulated fraud or overpriced. I have no bonds because they will safely make me go broke. Grin is now pseudo-anonymous like bitcoin https://github.com ...

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