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Proof-of-Stake Isn’t Broken. Why Are So Many People Trying to Fix It? 

Proof-of-Stake Isn’t Broken. Why Are So Many People Trying to Fix It? 

Practically every platform that emerges these days claims to have come up with a new and unique consensus model that solves all the problems of its predecessors. Undeniably, proof-of-work (PoW) has issues, including speed and scalability, which were known since the beginning of Bitcoin. The extreme energy consumption is a problem that emerged later, as mining became a more lucrative proposition.

Proof-of-stake (PoS) emerged as an elegant solution that could address some of these challenges. When combined with other innovations such as a multi-chain architecture and transaction pruning, pretty much all of the challenges of a linear PoW blockchain can be overcome. 

PoS Attacks – Theoretical, But Not Practical 

The major arguments that people use against PoS are based on theoretical scenarios that have never come to fruition on any PoS blockchain. Nxt was among the first PoS blockchain, and in the 6.5 years it has been in operation, nobody has ever executed a successful nothing-at-stake attack

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, any would-be attacker would need to successfully override the underlying software, which force-selects the best fork based on the stake invested. 

Secondly, even if this could be overridden, the attacker would need to control over 50% of the network tokens. Only then would they stand a good enough chance of being picked to forge the next block for long enough to execute a double-spend successfully. 

Similar software-based controls can be put in place against long-range attacks. For example, creating a checkpoint every x blocks can reconcile any fork against the current state of the blockchain and reject it if it contains discrepancies. 

In the case of either a nothing-at-stake attack or a long-range attack, the risk is roughly the same as Bitcoin facing a 51% attack. While it’s not an impossibility, it’s so difficult, or expensive, or both, that it’s all but impossible. 

This practical reality means that the penalties for double-voting or wrong voting introduced by models like Ethereum’s Casper are unnecessary. In fact, they may only serve to alienate stakers who are being penalized for making a simple mistake by voting on the wrong fork. 

So, if we’ve proved that proof of stake works, why is everyone still trying to “fix” consensus? Furthermore, many of the attempts to construct elaborate governance models around the simplicity of a working PoS are actually introducing more problems. 

Too Much Complexity

Among the later iterations of PoS are delegated proof-of-stake (dPoS,) used by EOS, Cardano’s slot elections, or the “liquid” proof-of-stake deployed by Tezos. In general, these involve token holders casting votes or delegating their voting rights to others. 

Most of these iterations do little more than introduce additional complexity for network stakeholders. Even worse, they open up a whole raft of issues that wouldn’t occur in a traditional centralized model. 

For example, EOS has come under fire for being too centralized, with allegations of vote-buying and vote-trading among the larger token holders. This was happening within months of the EOS mainnet launch. A governance model that became so easily corrupted can hardly claim to be superior to one used by blockchains that have been running for years without incident. 

Furthermore, these complicated governance constructs create a risk of bugs. The more programming needed for the implementation, the bigger the risk that the code will have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors. 

The Dangers of Staking Pools

The complexities involved in these newer models have led to a proliferation of staking pools. These pools supposedly exist to make it easier for users to navigate the staking process and encourage participation. 

However, the other side of the argument is that staking pools are an issue waiting to happen. In the blockchain space, we’ve already seen every conceivable type of scam covering everything from fake ICOs to exchange hacks to Ponzi schemes. How long is it going to be before some users find they aren’t going to get their fair share of profits from a staking pool? Even the most honest actors operating a staking pool will want to keep a portion of profits for themselves. 

Staking pools also further compound the issue of centralization already introduced by the leader election model. If all token holders are participating via staking pools because it’s easier and more passive, then many are unlikely to take advantage of their voting rights. Active stakers care about the future of the network, beyond just taking a share of profits. 

Finally, the very existence of staking pools is a tacit admission that voter-based staking models are too complicated. After all, if the average user can easily navigate the staking process, why would they want or need to participate in a staking pool that’s likely to erode their profits and voting rights? 

If It Ain’t Broke

The human “complexity bias” is a real psychological phenomenon. When presented with two choices, we naturally veer towards the most complicated one. This is evident when we consider the tendency within the blockchain community to reject a straightforward PoS solution in favor of a more convoluted construct. 

But in the context of blockchain, giving in to this tendency could end up actively damaging adoption. If the technology is to survive in the long term, we should be removing barriers. That means keeping it simple and not fixing what isn’t broken. 

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Ampleforth Launches on TRON and Two Other New Blockchains

Ampleforth Launches on TRON and Two Other New Blockchains

Ampleforth (AMPL), the algorithmically stabilized smart money protocol, is now launching on three new blockchains: TRON, Acala (Polkadot), and NEAR.

According to the announcement, the move is part of Ampleforth’s plans to provide a core monetary asset to users on multiple blockchains, helping to support the rapidly developing decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem on these chains. 

What is AMPL?

Simply put, Ampleforth is an alternative to stablecoins as a blockchain-based store of value and stabilized unit of purchasing power. Unlike these assets which are usually backed by fiat currencies such as the US dollar (USD) or euro (EUR) to maintain a stable value, the value of AMPL is instead entirely set by supply and demand.

This is achieved with a novel solution: changing the amount of AMPL in circulation to meet demand. When demand for AMPL increases, so too does the supply, when demand decreases, so too does the supply — this process is known as a rebase. This essentially means the amount of AMPL a user holds in their wallet expands or contracts based on changes in the total supply. 

To put this into perspective, if you were holding 1,000 AMPL one day, the next day you might be holding 1,100 AMPL if there is a 10% positive rebase. Likewise, you could be holding 900 AMPL if there is a 10% negative rebase. This process is non-dilutive, which essentially means you will always maintain the same proportion of the entire supply. If you owned 1% of all AMPL before a rebase, you will still own 1% of all AMPL after. 

The system is designed to provide a new type of “base money” that is uncorrelated with traditional markets, including fiat and cryptocurrency markets — instead, having its value and circulating supply set based on the demands of its users. This represents a new building block for DeFi, since AMPL can be used as an uncorrelated asset, debt instrument, collateral, and much more without any ties that go back to fiat money. 

Why TRON?

Although the Ampleforth protocol was launched on three new blockchains: Acala, NEAR, and TRON, the latter of these is arguably the most prominent. 

 

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In the second half of 2020, TRON has massively expanded its DeFi ecosystem and is now the second most popular blockchain for DeFi applications after Ethereum. Unlike Acala and NEAR, which are still somewhat in their nascent stages of ecosystem development, TRON already has many of the most important DeFi building blocks in place. 

It already has a TRC20 decentralized automatic market maker protocol (AMM) in JustSwap, liquidity mining platforms like SUN and DMDT, and its own DeFi lending and borrowing protocol with Zethyr Finance. As a result, it is most poised to benefit from the uncorrelated adaptive money. 

“Tron’s ecosystem is obsessed with cutting-edge DeFi assets and capabilities, which is why everyone is so excited about AMPL,” said Justin Sun, founder of TRON, CEO of BitTorrent in the announcement. “We expect deep liquidity pools to form early on in order to support widespread use for trading and collateral as soon as possible.”

 

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Brad Garlinghouse notes now much of an impact Fiat inflation has had on the world of crypto in 2020

Brad Garlinghouse notes now much of an impact Fiat inflation has had on the world of crypto in 2020

Quick take

1 minute read

  • Many people have predicted that in 2021, the world of cryptocurrency will spike to highs not seen before.
  • Brad Garlinghouse has recently said that next year will see a plethora of adoption when it comes to the growth of digital assets and the overall industry as people look to diversify their portfolios.

Many people have predicted that in 2021, the world of cryptocurrency will spike to highs not seen before.

To that end, the chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based blockchain company Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse has recently said that next year will see a plethora of new adoption when it comes to the growth of digital assets and the overall industry as people look to diversify their portfolios.

He said:

“Looking forward to 2021 as more companies hold crypto on their balance sheets (diversification is key here).”

Brad made his comments during an interview with Julia Chatterley of CNN earlier this week as he went on to say that this year has been particularly exciting for the industry. Numerous gains have been experienced over the course of 2020 and it doesn’t seem that it is slowing down.

As many of us are well aware, coronavirus has been a big part as to why digital payments have become more popular. Many people are using digital currencies as a form of payment, investment and as a store of value. Big institutional investors such as PayPal is one company that has been getting further involvement within the industry.

On this topic, the CEO noted that numerous governments from all over the world have played a big part in boosting the performance and adoption of several cryptos over the course of this year.

“Many governments around the world are printing more fiat currencies. Here in the United States, you see trillions of dollars in stimulus and that means we’re inflating the US dollar.”

Over the course of 2020, the world of cryptocurrency has grown massively with many people predicting that this growth is only going to increase in the coming year. The CEO went on to discuss the long-term value of my crypto assets. He specifically mentioned the store of value and the utility as he highlighted:

“The long-term value of any digital asset is going to be derived from its utility.  One utility is a store of value and you’re seeing that across Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that don’t have an inflationary dynamic.”

For more news on this and other crypto updates, keep it with CryptoDaily!

© 2020 CryptoDaily All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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FinHub arm of The SEC set to become an independent office

FinHub arm of The SEC set to become an independent office

Quick take

1 minute read

  • In an announcement, the securities and exchange commission and their financial technology team will soon become an independent office. 
  • Launched two years ago, the strategic hub for innovation and financial technology from the SEC has been the forefront of securities regulation.

In an announcement that was revealed earlier this week on the 3rd of December, the United States securities and exchange commission and their financial technology team will soon become an independent office. Launched two years ago in 2018, the strategic hub for innovation and financial technology (otherwise known as FinHub) from the SEC has been the forefront of securities regulation.

This sidearm for the SEC has been clearly quite busy the past few years as it goes after numerous initial coin offerings and other related things to the crypto industry.

Valerie Szczepanik, the leader of the hub for innovation will now be reporting directly to the chairman of the commission. For now, that is Jay Clayton who is set to stand down from his position next year but speaking on the matter, he said:

"The SEC is committed to innovation in our markets, consistent with our time-tested regulatory framework. Our action to establish FinHub as standalone office furthers our commitment to facilitate the introduction of new technologies for the benefit of investors and the efficiency and resiliency of our markets. The agency is fortunate to benefit from Val's expertise and deep knowledge in the areas of innovation, financial technology and investor protection, and I’m pleased she will continue to lead FinHub as its first director."

Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, Bill Hinman said:

"Not surprisingly, FinHub has thrived under Valerie's leadership. This move to enhance FinHub's role in leading and coordinating policy across all SEC Divisions and Offices will benefit market innovators and strengthen investor protection."

For more news on this and other crypto updates, keep it with CryptoDaily!

© 2020 CryptoDaily All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Willy Woo: $200,000 for BTC next year is “Conservative“

Willy Woo: $200,000 for BTC next year is “Conservative“

Quick take

1 minute read

  • Well-known analyst and crypto commentator, Willy Woo has recently given some bullish predictions on the leading crypto coin.
  • Many people are very excited as bitcoin hitting $300,000 by the end of next year is “not out of the question“.

Well-known analyst and crypto commentator, Willy Woo has recently given some bullish predictions on the leading crypto coin.

Many people are very excited for the leading cryptocurrency to reach $20,000 before the end of this year but that could be seen as just a dent in the grand scheme of things as bitcoin hitting $300,000 by the end of next year is “not out of the question“ according to the expert.

Over the course of 2020, bitcoin has been appreciating in value by more than 175%. In March, the coin was priced somewhere in the $3000 range but now, we are looking at $18,000/$19,000 at the least.

But the analyst believes that it still has more room for further gains for the coin. 

The price point of $200,000 is seen as “Conservative“ to the analyst.

The analyst has been well known to be bullish over the past few weeks. He has even predicted that XRP, the token from the San Francisco company ripple, will have an exciting year despite having a lacklustre one in 2020.

For more news on this and other crypto updates, keep it with CryptoDaily!

© 2020 CryptoDaily All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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