Community-Produced FAQ document What Is Blocknet?
The Blocknet is a general-purpose infrastructure for inter-blockchain services. It is designed to enable the emerging “token ecosystem.” The first product build on this infrastructure is a decentralized exchange. What Does It Do?
The Blocknet enables inter-blockchain services, like decentralized exchange, monetised API consumption, and p2p digital service delivery. These are core enabling features of inter-chain dapps. How Does It Work?
To support inter-blockchain services, the Blocknet has three core components, which work together to provide three core services.
The core components are:
- A blockchain router, xbridgep2ptm
- A coin exchange protocol
- An inter-chain data transport
The core services are:
What Is a Decentralized Exchange?
- Decentralized exchange of coins
- Inter-blockchain service delivery
- Service monetisation
A decentralized exchange is a service enabling counterparties (which may be people or machines) to exchange one currency or token for another, without the involvement of any third party as an intermediary.
The term “decentralized” denotes matters of control rather than the distribution of processing; the ideal of a decentralized solution is for the parties to a given interaction to be self-sovereign actors, in the sense that no third party is required to act on their behalf in order for the interaction to take place. How Does a Decentralized Exchange Work?
Exchanges have four core functions:
- Capital deposits
- Order broadcast
- Order matching
- The exchange of tokens
Hence, in order to be a decentralized exchange, each of these core functions must be decentralized.
The Blocknet decentralizes them in the following ways:
Why Is a Decentralized Exchange a Key Enabler Of the Token Ecosystem?
- Traders’ capital remains in their wallets, and is not entrusted to a third party at any stage.
- Orders are broadcast directly from trader to trader over an inter-blockchain DHT network overlay. Traders’ apps compile an order book themselves instead of relying on a central order book service.
- Orders are matched directly between traders. When one accepts another’s order, their apps communicate to set up the coin exchange process, and this is broadcast over the inter-chain network.
- The exchange of tokens is achieved without the involvement of an intermediary, in a manner that does not require counterparties to trust one another beforehand. An atomic protocol is utilised (meaning that either the exchange of both currencies takes place, or nothing takes place), which employs OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY to nullify transaction malleability-based attacks. More details on the protocol are available here: http://kaykurokawa.blogspot.co.za/2015/10/atomic-cross-chain-transfer-overview.html
Decentralized exchange makes blockchain services intrinsically monetizable, removing the friction and high costs of traditional payment networks that have prevented the monetisation of the bulk of the API ecosystem.
Due to the decentralized exchange, consumers of a service may pay in their native token even if the service consumes a different token. In a world in which (a) there are already thousands of blockchains, and (b) blockchains bloat inexorably, and so it is advisable not to support many services per blockchain, monetising inter-chain services is both an operational necessity and an ecosystem-enabling service. What Coins Does the Decentralized Exchange Support?
The Blocknet was designed to maximise interoperability, and so most blockchain tokens may be integrated with no coding required.
The current integration requirements are:
- Support for OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY
- A stock JSON RPC interface from Bitcoin Core
As a result, the Blocknet supports the majority of cryptocurrencies in existence, and no permission from anyone is required for these to be traded on the exchange.
The current list is:
BAY BTC BLK BLOCK DASH DGB DOGE DYN PIVX LTC MUE NMC SYS VTC VIA BRK BRX ETH NLG QTUM DCR POT PPC XVG MONA FAIR NAV How Fast Is the Decentralized Exchange?
However, note that once you have completed a trade and received coins, you will be dependent on their blockchain’s accepted confirmation time before your coins will be spendable again.
Note: A future enhancement to the decentralized exchange may include a filter on the order book to enable traders to trade coins with less than the number of confirmations conventionally agreed upon as “safe.” This incurs a degree of risk for the benefit of supporting trading styles that require rapidly entering and exiting a position, such as scalping. How Private Is the Decentralized Exchanged?
Because decentralized exchanges do not require traders to submit KYC information or divulge anything else about themselves to a third party, traders enjoy a naturally high degree of privacy.
However, for most wallets, aspects of transactions are linkable to IP addresses, so in order to obfuscate that, one might use TOR or I2P. The Blocknet’s DHT network overlay does not use IP addresses, however.
Combined with any privacy-centric coin, a decentralized exchange run over IP-obfuscating tech is a near-perfect mixing solution. For example, one may trade some coins for Zcash, sends them to a different address, and then trade back again. What Are the Possible Applications Of the xBridge Protocol Other Than a Decentralized Exchange?
The Blocknet is designed as infrastructure for the emerging token ecosystem. Any service or orchestrated sequence of microservices provided by dapps may be delivered over the Blocknet's infrastructure.
Using decentralized exchange, these services are intrinsically monetizable, removing the friction and high costs of traditional payment networks - friction which has prevented the monetisation of the bulk of the API ecosystem.
Due to the decentralized exchange, consumers of a service may pay in their native token even if the service consumes a different token. What Are the Benefits Of Running a Node? How Many Blocks Do I Need To Run One?
There are two types of node: a "service node" and a “trader node”. Service nodes do not handle or control any trader's coins. Their function is to collect and distribute trade fees. Typically a service node operator will run multiple full node wallets of whichever coins (s)he wants to support, in order to garner as many trade fees as possible. Trader nodes enable one to trade on the decentralized exchange.The amount of BLOCK currently needed to run a service node is 5,000 BLOCK. To use the exchange you will not need any BLOCK. Will There Be Fees For Buying/Trading On the Blocknet Exchange?
Yes, there are fees, though they are significantly lower that centralised exchanges.
The fee structure is as follows:
Will A User Need BLOCK To Participate On An Exchange?
- Transactions over the networks of each of your currency pairs will remain subject to their normal network fees for P2SH transactions
- A tiny trade fee is charged in BLOCK and the software takes care of securing some BLOCK to pay the fee.
No, to use the exchange you will NOT need any BLOCK. Only the service node operators will need BLOCK in order to collect and distribute trade fees. Additionally, the service nodes do not handle or control and trader’s coins. The sole purpose of the service node is to only collect and distribute trade fees. Staking
Staking and fees on the Blocknet are bundled together in a 70/30 split between nodes and stakers. This is a combination of POS staking and network trading fees. Staking is estimated to be between 9% - 14% in the first year. Nodes will receive 70% and stakers will receive 30%. This means that if you do not have enough Block to run a node, you will STILL get part of the node fees, and if you run a node, you will also get part of the stakes as well. Your wallet must be unlocked to actively stake and receive rewards. There will be 525,600 new blocks created annually (at 1 block per minute) with decreasing inflation each subsequent year. Block Specs Core Team
Set up guides Links
- Dan Metcalf (@atcsecure) - Main Developer and Co-Founder of Blocknet
- Arlyn Culwick (@synechist) - Coordinator, Architecture Contributor and Co-Founder of Blocknet
previous days Question:
the 3 days of devcon are over. Are people interested in reports on the next 3 days of international Blockchain week (demo day + 2 days of global Blockchain summit) http://www.blockchainweek2016.org
The buzz during the day was around the "stick puzzle" that Bok Khoo was giving out to people. It is just a stick, with a loop of string. He gets you to turn away, he uses "the trick" to put it onto your bag and then you try to get it off.
The WeChat channel was just filled with everyone asking where they can get it, and the screaming that they can't figure it out. Only about 5 people reported they were able to solve it (I haven't yet) http://imgur.com/mYfJQP4 http://imgur.com/4Euka1a
I'm biased, but I thought the announcement from Microsoft with the update of cryptlets was a big deal. The morning sessions covered a few different oracle systems, the afternoon had lots of IPFS sessions. Microsoft - A Lap around Cryptlets https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/cryptletsdd/ https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/templates/ethereum-consortium-blockchain-network/ https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/authomarleyg
Microsoft was a sponsor of Devcon1 & 2 Ethereum is a 1st class citizen Support for community & partners - Bizspark, Meetups, Workshops
Announcing: Bletchley v1 Distributed Ledger stack V1 is a private Ethrerum consortium, that you can spin up for your own enterprise / group http://imgur.com/olwwd36
Cryptlets are being developed to help with security, identity, etc. How do you get trusted external data feeds injected into the Blockchain? Doing things on a specific interval (every 15 mins) When price of something hits a threshold (oil goes above $40/barrel) Secure IP protected algorithms, but still share with blockchain network. Use libraries for common platforms (.Net, Java, etc)
Cryptlets vs Oracle Cryptlets will have a marketplace on Azure that will allow you to purchase and utilise
Use case: Trigger on an event Wake up on 4pm, if market was open that day, then give me the price of gold for that day.Get signature of attested server, attested sender.
Use case: Control Using smart contract like a traditional DB. Declare data you are keeping track of, and the functions/"stored proc" to update that data. Cryptlet runs off chain, and can be scaled up. http://imgur.com/ysgL8S2
Utility cryptlet. Use an attribute in solidity contract with cryptlet details Developer references at design time the cryptlet they want the contract to call Contract cryptlet, deploy the cryptlet at same time as contract.
Why would you want Azure to do this? SGX allows you to create "secure enclaves", can have complete isolation on the hardware chip where it is not modifable. Provides a secure enclave at the CPU level. Can give full attestation right down to the silicon. Will be provided as a enclave container on Azure. Will be released for .NET core CLR first, then other languages. Can create cryptlet libraries that you can scale and put into the Azure marketplace. An ecosystem for developers & ISVs to consume and publish.
Bletchley v1 released today will let you spin up a private consortium. Before today, it took a long time to try and deploy a private consortium (can take weeks to read doco, Now takes 5 minutes to deploy! Creates a private consortium, puts each member in its own separate subnet http://imgur.com/w4yUsqE
Mist Vision and Demo I was too busy sharing the release posts of Microsoft project bletchey v1, missed this talk. It did look interesting, I will watch this one later. Idea: Reward for bandwidth. Providing connection could replace mining as entrance point for desktop computers. Allow you to have a trickle so you can trigger smart contracts. Standardised backends, so that you can swap out the underlying node between geth, blockapps, etc. Web3.js https://github.com/ethereum/web3.js
Etehereum JS API Smart conracts are EVM opcodes, Helps translates calls to JSON RPC calls. Helps do the ABI encoding when sending data from JS to EVM It kept on growing, many different utility functions being thrown in. Is time to clean it up and be refactored.
They are now building a NEW web3.js The communication will be socket based, will enable subscriptions. Everything will be based on promises to subscribe to events, like log events. Bunch of other newer cleaner methods and ways to do things like deploying contracts. Smart contract security
Was a very good postmorteum of The DAO and things that could be done to mitigate it in the future.
An issue with The DAO was trying to do a massive jump from centralisation all the way to full decentralisation. Meant no one could step up and make a decision on how to save it. We need to make smaller steps towards full decentralisation as we learn as a community how to do this. Same security patterns as yesterday's talks: check invarients, beware 1024 call stack depth, reentry exploit (update state BEFORE executing calls), timestamps are manipulatable. Updateable contracts. Who can update it? Community multisig? We need better rools: formal verification, compiler warnings, improved IDEs, trusted libraries, excape hatches
Conclusion: It is still very early days in this space, be careful. A Provably Honest Oracle Model: Auditable Offchain Data Gathering & Computations
Oracalize is the most widely used oracle (until everyone starts using Microsoft Azure cryptlets ;-) ) Contract calls Oracalize contract with the data they want, off chain they see this get the data, Oracalise then trigger their contract externally, which does a callback to your contract with the data. Can use external notary servers. Can get proof from multiple external services to get a higher level of confidence about data (e.g. stock price from a few feeds). Off-chain (auditable_ computation) AWS sandbox 2.0. Put the execution package onto IPFS, AWS gets it and executes it, signs it. iEx.ec: Fully Distributed Cloud Thanks to the Ethereum Blockchain http://iex.ec/
Provides blockchain based execution environments Global market for computing resources. Idea is to do what we did before with "grid computing" use the idle capacity of computers. But this time do a trickle of micropayments. Allows people to harness this global power to execute their tasks in a global "distributed cloud". The Final frontier: The company smart conract http://otonomos.com/
Helping companies to incorporate on the blockchain. Smart oracles https://github.com/smartoracles
Connecting to external resources is difficult. Hard to try and use external currencies (like a bank account / fiat money) to make transactions. Could hook in paypal, HSBC, wells fargo, etc. Can provide your own payment services as an API to a smart oracle for smart contracts to consume. Do off chain data storage by calling smart oracle API Roadmap: more data sources & more payment methods IPFS & Ethereum: Updates https://Ipfs.io
IPFS is AMAZING, seriously go watch the full 1 hour talks Juan has given in previous years.
Current web has current issues. Centralisation, etc. IPFS is a new hypermedia transfer protocol Content can be retrieved not from specific servers, but instead via it's hash so that it can come from anywhere in the network (maybe from the person next to you who has cached it). It is highly modular, all of the transfer protocals, routing, naming, etc. are all swapable Is available as GO-IPFS & now JS-IPFS Means now you can run IPFS in the browser IPFS was great for static content, but not so great for dynamic content. Low latency pub/sub protocol will help with dynamic data. Created a distributed peer to peer chat app using this new dynamic content protocol. IPLD a common link-tree hash format Will be able to use IPFS to retrieve ethereum blockchain blocks DIRECTLY Can use IPFS as a package manager to retrieve them in a distributed manner.
Many projects are using Ethereum & IPFS Uport, Digix, Infura, Ujo, Eris, Blockfreight. Filecoin was created as a way to try and incentivize nodes to keep files longer time. People rent out hdd space to earn filecoin. Exchange bitcoin/filecoin. Use filecoin to store files in network. Filecoin is going to be built on top of the public Ethereum blockchain, as a virtual blockchain / token. IPFS Libp2p & Ethereum networking
Network connectivity between any 2 nodes can be difficult. Censorship, bandwidth, network issues, etc. Having to deal with different networking topologies and access. Libp2p & Devp2p is different. Devp2p is for Ethereum. LIbp2p is modular, can swap out components to change network access, encryption methods, etc. Can build up a MEGA mesh network, by utilising traditional wired internet, radio, bluetooth between some nodes. Web browser using web socket, to a node, which routes across network, to zigbee to a IoT device. Libp2p & Devp2p could merge and augment each other. Could create the libp2p components to replace the devp2p bits Any 2 nodes that speak the same protocol can communicate and be a part of the network chain. Experiment. They took the browser based version of EVM. Then used Libp2p to talk to the Ethereum network. Had a complete ethereum node running in a browser. Uport https://uport.me/
Universal identity platform Current challenges: key management. Ux for average person. Dapps via mobile. Identity and data ownership. How do you keep a consistent identity, even if you lose a key. Have some multisig contracts that you can use to keep track. Social recovery, use your friends to attest it is really you. Keep private key on mobile, do transactions on the desktop, scan a QR code to sign the transaction on your phone and send it off. A Deep Dive into the Colony Foundation Protocol
It is an open source governance protocol built on Ethereum Problem with voting is how to prevent Sybil attacks. Votes are weighted by a reputation score. Reputation is non-transferable that can only be earned. Total weighted voting helps mitigate this. Chain orchestration tooling & smart contract package management
Eris is tooling for developers. Package manager to build your own blockchain. Can compose a chain, e.g. geth + tendermint consensus. Init, install, do. Can easily install on Mac/bew, linux/apt-get, Windows/choco The Golem Project: Ethereum-based market for computing power http://www.golemproject.net/
Anyone can make an offer to sell computing power. e.g. Distributed rendering Want to create a standard framework that anyone can use to submit and process jobs. Status: Integrating Ethereum Into Our Daily Lives https://status.im
Want to get ethereum everywhere. "Mist for Mobile" Everyone is using their mobile phones for everything, but mostly using instant messaging. What would Ethereum in a IM window look? Created a IM mobile app that has a local geth node. tart up, it asks you to create a password, it generates a pub/private pair. Then can send messages via whisper, and the messages are signed with your public key. Can load Dapps up in the local webview and interact with them. Allows you to create "chat Dapps", that you interact with via text. Like chatbots Maker Ecosystem Overview www.Makerdao.com
Dai: seeking stability on blockchain. Stablecoin engine: smart contract that holds collateral reserves and controls the Dai lifecycle. MKR: open source community managing risk of the system In the last year, investing in a solid technical core. More slow and audit things. Moving into the next phase of stablecoin development. Their latest project is the "Simplecoin project" Meeting Thereum community's need for stability. An independent platform for creating centrally administered simple stablecoins. Issues create their own rule sets: Collateral types, participant whitelists, security parameters. Example: Shrutebucks. The only people who own it are Dwight, Jim & Pam. They backed it with 1/3 ETH 1/3 DGX 1/3 DUSD. Orbit. A distributed peer to peer app on IPFS https://github.com/haadcode
Created a full distributed chat room, itself distributed through IPFS. It is integrated with uPort for identification Using uPort allows you to verify that you are talking to the correct person in the chat channel. All their messages are signed with their public keys He also created a full distribited twitter clone, using uport for the identity as well. Orbit-db key value store DB that stores its data on IPFS. Eventually consistent Appends data to the DB, an event is sent to those subscribed on pub/sub so they can see the latest root hash. Based on CRDT Ethereum + Pubsub + CRDTs + IPFS = super power primatives to build dynamic distributed apps
Development considerations with distributed apps. Need to ensure that apps work offline. No centralised servers. No data silos. Provide integration path.
Future work: could you use uPort for ACL like permissions? Mobile use cases, how to make it work nicely on mobiles Building scalable React Dapp architecture https://github.com/SilentCicero/react-dapp-boilerplate
React + Ethereum He has a configured boilerplate template. Has contract scaffolding. Enforced contract Linting/testing. Wallet generation/identity. Preconfigured web3 instance. UI: Mature react arhitecture "react boilerplate". Prices listed in USD with ETH/btc via kraken api. A basic multi-contract example Dapp. Offline first, dapp runs without internet. Uses Redux. State models in UI & blockchains work well. PostCSS, CSS Modules, sanitize.cs. Redux, immutableJS, reslect, redux-saga, i18n, redux-router. Web3, ethdeploy, dapple, solium, eth-lightwallet, chaithereum, ethereumjs0-testrpc Enforced contract testing in 2 languages. Ethereum for Enterprise (BlockApps Strato)
Trying to make sure that Ethereum stays relevent to enterprise development. Why do you need a blockchain WITHIN an org, shouldn't they trust each other? Well different departments may not, they may reconcile differently, and can help automate/orchestrate between them. Blockchain is the "killer app" for cloud financial services. Legacy infrastructure, batch prossing, etc are all restricting fintech from progressing. Blockchain can happen in real time, can replace legacy. Ethereum is very flexible and programmable, works well. There are others based on Bitcoin (like Hyperledger). Ethereum + Blockapps = Extreme productivity + Proven Technology. Blockapps is extending Ethereum for Enterprise. Runs very well on Azure Enterprises don't want all their data exposed on public chain. Blockapps helps solve data privacy and scaling with multichain fabrics.
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