Liquid Democracy: Liker Land and The Future of Voting

For some time, we have been following the work of friends at Liker Land. Based in Hong Kong, the project aims at supporting a large community of content creators with direct payments using LikeCoin tokens (LIKE).

The Republic of Liker Land or Liker Land for short, is a decentralized community in cyberspace among content creators and consumers, who collectively own and govern the community.

-- From the The Constitution of Republic of Liker Land.

The process is straightforward: you just need to install a mobile app to start reading and sending LIKE tokens directly to the authors. You can also become a Civic Liker under a monthly subscription package ("essentially a tax payer in Liker Land" as the docs puts it), or even send tokens directly via platforms like Medium or Wordpress.

Liquid Democracy and the Validators

As a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), Liker Land is owned and managed by the people who create and consume the contents. Important decisions about the community are subject to votes.

Liker Land's constitution is based on a model of liquid democracy, where voters can either vote directly or delegate their vote to others, with different delegates for different issues.

All the transactions between creators and likers are recorded by a distributed network of validators - i.e. dedicated programs that make sure everything computes properly.

Likers can delegate (part of) their voting power to these validators for specific decisions.

How it works: setting up a validator

We have recently decided to set up our own Qiware validator to support Liker Land. The process was similar to setting up a web server (using mostly Docker on a VPS) and went very well.

Technically, Liker Land was originally based on the ETH Chain, but the LIKE team decided to rewrote entirely the app with Cosmos, which allows for more sophisticated governance model.

Voting for a proposal

The votes in Liker Land are based on proposals, which can be raised at any moments by validators. Currently, the latest proposal (#5) relates to the rate of inflation.

We thus propose to increase the inflation rate of LikeCoin from 1% to 2% to increase the incentive to delegate LikeCoin.

-- read the complete proposal stored on IPFS.

Instead of putting an envelop in the ballot, validators has 2 weeks to cast their vote by sending a transaction with their choice (Yes, No, Abstain and Veto) directly to the proposal. Anyone can delegate their voting power to a particular validator - and take it back in case of disagreement.

Effectively, sending a transaction will require you to open a terminal and type something like this

docker exec -it likechain_liked likecli --home /likechain/.likecli tx gov deposit PROPOSAL_ID AMOUNT --from validator --chain-id likecoin-chain-sheungwan

The important part here being the tx gov deposit, which means to create a transaction for governance and deposit a certain AMOUNT on the PROPOSAL_ID. As mentioned on the proposal page, the voting period will end 10 Nov 2020, 3:58:37am UTC.

Take part in the vote

At that time, the presidential election in the USA will have end but may still not know who the new president is - but we may have a better idea about what the future of voting looks like.

We encourage you to check Liker Land constitution to explore more in details how things work there.

Meanwhile, you can delegate some LikeCoins to our Qiware validator directly from the Liker Land wallet .

  1. Get in the Like mobile app
  2. Got to the profile tab
  3. Go on your wallet info
  4. Scroll down to find the "qiware" validator
  5. Click on "delegate" and input the amount of coins you will like to stake
  6. You're done!


《SCALE》「武汉,湖北」特辑现于此征集稿件 - 'WUHAN, HUBEI' Call for Participation

《SCALE》「武汉,湖北」特辑现于此征集稿件。

亲爱的朋友,

本特辑旨在深入因疫病爆发而正处于军事隔离期的武汉,亚洲最不羁而又最无名的城市之一,挖掘其文化与日常生活。长久以来,武汉渴望为世人所知,却总是徒劳无功,距离沿海地区的现代化光辉事迹仍遥不可及。然而,此次疫病的蔓延使武汉在毫无准备下成为了国际焦点。站在这座城市的远大理想与突如其来的全球瞩目之浪潮上,本特辑力求呈现风雨飘摇之时武汉(或湖北)的生活方式,于疫病尘嚣之外,谨以此献给这片中国罕有的地理,历史,艺术与文化的多重腹地。

武汉 ,湖北

远在抗击狡诈的 COVID-19 病毒前,武汉与湖北就一直盛产最动人心弦的故事,当然也有最琐碎无味的。动人如长江之缥缈莫测,琐碎则如每日「过早」之惯常。

愉悦,厌恶,乐趣,焦虑,气愤,兴奋,爱.......在武汉和湖北,生活是用强烈的感受与浓烈的情绪兑成的。除了无感,什么都好。本地人与移民聚居于此,游客行色匆匆,时间堆积,每个人的生活都被折叠进了这片土地快速(再)城市化的步伐之中。武汉的殖民史,三镇合一,还有它独特的现代民俗文化,浇筑出了一种由计划与事故相混合的环境。我们希望这些或集体或私人的记忆能够长存,并能在这座城市遭受疫病带来的煎熬之时为人们找到走出当下困境的路。

私人领域

2019/2020 COVID-19 的爆发恰逢农历新年。和家人朝夕相对一周已属不易,命运的离奇使得一周延至两周,接着三周,然后一个月。突然得闲,人们开始深思,并互相分享自己生命中最珍视的人,物,与地点的记忆 —— 包括那些幸存者,和那些无法忘怀的逝者。

隔离使得人们无法再进入平日常去的场所,并重塑了我们对于空间的习以为常的描述。然而思想此时并不受禁锢,网络上的信息亦然,就这样,昔日往事点滴聚积,逐渐在脑海里演变为这座城市某种不一样的景象与对域外(Outside)的想象。一些早已遗忘的地点突然浮现于你脑海里的地图上,像这小巷里的一家苍蝇馆子 —— 你的私人领域 —— 突然变得让人难以抗拒。

征集稿件(笔参造化)

现在,我们征集文章,拼贴,摄影,诗歌,访谈和随笔以叙忆武汉与湖北的各种私人领域。喧闹的街市,暴躁的文化,刻骨的爱恨,难忘的邂逅,远近闻名的疯狂公交线,惊为天人的奇怪建筑理念,癫狂的方言或是华美的词藻,密切监视下的思想或是光怪陆离的想象,我们希望带来一辑对比鲜明而多样的武汉与湖北生活的汇编。

被锁在公寓里的你,最想念武汉的地方是哪里?为什么?生活中的哪件事能体现出你与武汉或湖北的关系?你的故事是怎样的?

投稿须知

  • 须为原创
  • 须以中文(普通话或武汉话皆可)或英文书写 (这期杂志为中英文对照,翻译由我们来完成)
  • 短至短文(寥寥几行),诗歌,聊天记录节选,对某件事的看法,零碎的想法,长至几页随笔皆可
  • 附图形式不限 —— 相片,地图,截图皆可
  • 稿件请以 Word 文档(.docx),Markdown 文稿,或纯文本形式呈现
  • 来稿请于三月十七日(中国标准时间)前以电子邮件形式寄至 up@scale.re

关于 SCALE

倡导新知,写作与实验性的表达。此刊于多个网络平台有售,亦可按需印刷出售。本刊所有内容将会于发售一年后投放入公有领域。您可访问 https://qiwa.re/scale 以获取更多信息。

特约主编:张颠孬

我们邀请到张颠孬作为本期特约主编。作为一名人类学家,颠孬主要研究网络文化,电子游戏,并尤其关注中国的视频直播界。他同时还是播客 Cursed With Good Ideas 的主持人之一。

在过去的一个月,颠孬都留在武汉隔离区的家中,他现正在那里与我们合作完成本期特辑。

(感谢地沟沟与鱈鱈的中文翻译)

--

SCALE 主编
Clément Renaud and Jon Phillips.
https://qiwa.re/scale
up@qiwa.re


[SCALE] 'WUHAN, HUBEI' Call for Participation

Dear friends,

Here is the call for participation to SCALE special issue about WUHAN, HUBEI.

This issue in-development dives into the cultural and daily life of one of the most outrageous and unknown cities in Asia, currently under military quarantine because of a viral pandemic outbreak. The city of Wuhan aspires to be recognized nationally and internationally, often in vain, and remains locked afar from the costal success stories of modernizing China. However, the pandemic unexpectedly elevates the city to an international status. To ride on this wave of high aspirations and unexpected global attention, this issue is a tribute to the Wuhan/Hubei ways of life in uncertain times, and to one of the most central region in China's geography, history, art and culture - long before and after the latest headlines.

WUHAN, HUBEI

Long before fighting against the nasty COVID-19 virus, WUHAN and HUBEI have been home of the most incredible stories - and also the most banal ones. Incredible like the mystic beauty of the Yangzi River; banal like the breakfast rituals.

Joy, disgust, fun, anxiety, anger, excitement, love... life in WUHAN and HUBEI is made of strong feelings and violent emotions, anything but indifference. Years after years, locals, migrants, and travelers weave their personal journeys into the rapid process of (re)urbanisation. Wuhan's colonial history, trio-megacity, and its unique modern folk cultures crafted a compounded environment built by both plans and accidents. We hope these collective and intimate memories thrive and find a path somewhere as the city is and will be traumatized by the pandemic.

INTIMATE TERRITORIES

The 2019/2020 COVID-19 outbreak coincided with the Chinese New Year. While it is already hard enough to survive a week of family gathering, a twist of fate turned this one into two, then three, then a month, then two. Plenty of idle time to reflect and share memories of the things, people and places one cherishes the most - those who are thankfully there, and those who are afar and missed.

Confinement makes banal places inaccessible and reshapes our usual representations of space. Thoughts wander around, online messages flow, convoking some remembrances and memories, sometimes evolving into some mental image of what the city could be and the Outside. Some previously forgotten locations pop up on the mental map, like this dirty hawker down the alley that has now became so desirable---your intimate territories.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Today, we call for articles, collages, photos, poetry, interviews, essays that recollect the intimate territories of WUHAN and HUBEI. Vibrant streets, cultural outrage, deep love and hate, beautiful and ugly encounters, (in)famous bus lines, mad or ingenious architectural ideas, crazy dialect and fine wording, policed thoughts and twisted imaginaries, we hope to bring a contrasted and diverse compilation of life in WUHAN and HUBEI.

While locked in your apartment, what was the place in Wuhan you missed the most? Why? Which personal event embodies your relationships with Wuhan or Hubei? What is your story?

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

We are awaiting all contributions by March 16, 2020.

Papers should be:

  • original work
  • written in Chinese (Mandarin/Wuhanhua) or English. (The issue will be in both Chinese and English and we will handle the translations)
  • from a short text (a few lines), poems, excerpts of chatlogs, reflections, fragmented thoughts, to longer essays (several pages) are all welcomed.
  • attached images are welcomed---photos, maps, screenshots, and so forth.
  • in the form of Word documents (.docx), Markdown or raw text
  • submitted by March 16, 2020, 11:59 PM China Standard Time (CST)
  • submit to: up@scale.re

ABOUT SCALE

SCALE is a quarterly publication about culture and technology in a world of limited resources. SCALE support new knowledge, writing and experimental content forms. The publication is available for sale online on various websites and via print-on-demand. All content will be released into the public domain after a year. Check the website and the announcement for some more context.

GUEST EDITOR: Dino Ge Zhang

For this special issue, our guest editor is Dino Ge Zhang. Dino is an anthropologist and writes about internet culture, videogames and especially the livestreaming scene in China. He is also the co-host of the podcast Cursed With Good Ideas.

Dino is working with us live from his apartment in the Wuhan quarantine zone where he has spent the last month.

(Special thanks to digougou and Rachel for their translation)

--

The SCALE Editors
Clément Renaud and Jon Phillips.
https://qiwa.re/scale
up@qiwa.re


Qi Hardware Now Qiware

Originally when we started Qi Hardware, there was a massive distance between software and hardware. Open Source meant software and Open Hardware did not exist at all. The ideas ccame from Steven Mosher, now the head of sales at Canaan Creative, recently listed on the NASDAQ, and famous for founding ASIC Bitcoin Mining. At the time, "Steve," the inventor of the MP3-player product (yes!), was head of sales at a startup called, Openmoko. After that project wrapped up, a kernel of the original team created a company and concept called Qi Hardware. That project resulted in the Ben Nanonote and the Milkymist, the core technology and software toolchain for the first Bitcoin miner, the Canaan AvalonMiner.

Since the first meeting at Eyebeam of notable software and hardware interested people from Raspberry Pi, Creative Commons and Bunnie, 10 years has passed. And, now how many Raspberry Pi do you own? Shenzhen is real. Android won the smartphone marketshare.

The distinction between hardware and software is blurred. There are many more stories to tell as well from Openmoko to Qi Hardware to Canaan to Cryptology in Shenzhen to build Matt Hope's "Miner Arch" from 40 Canaan AvalonMiners, theres a big empty space of stories untold and unwritten.

Now with Clement Renaud on-board as the Executive Director, his own book REALTIME launched, and future events and "products" on the horizon, now feels like a good time to make a change.

Effective immediately, Qi Hardware is now Qiware.

Qi is the energy that flows between all things. Even a ROCK has Qi. Qi is not just a wireless standard named after Qi Hardware. It is a concept. Ware is homage to that which is both hard and soft, or a house full of wares.

You get the point. Evolve with knowledge or return to the caves. We choose to go forward into the light, to build knowledge not just rehash some other companies plans or be on the part of a map you do not hold. Make your own map.

Welcome to the New Qiware based in Shenzhen. As part of this, Scale is now folded into Qi Hardware as a product. And, Cryptology is our annual event, already announced for next year, 2021. What is next? Feel the Knowledge.

Happy Chinese New Year to All! Keeeeeep Going, as Willpower the Great states and go see his show if you are in Berlin and pickup some of his art!

  • Jon Phillips

Qi Announces Scale Quarterly

Scale is a scholarly publication of research and original writings published with a USA Library of Congress ISSN number into a managed format.

Why Submit Paper to Scale?

  • Receive Feedback.
  • Fulfill Academic Requirements for Publishing.
  • Join Community.
  • Make Public Record of Your Work.
  • Get Your Ideas Out.
  • Publish or Perish.

Scale Features

  • Scale is quarterly.
  • Scale is a for-pay journal with 100 RMB cost.
  • Profits support Qiware's activities.
  • Knowledge is released into the public domain a year after release.

Questions


Cryptology 2020 Output

You heard about Cryptology2020. You participated in Cryptology2020, right? If not, no worries, we have an announcement at the end of this post

This is the official document that we generated in a realtime chat instance, all written in markdown and serves as a template for future events. Cryptology in the end, was about recharge.

Read on!

Cryptology: Private Workshop & Public Art Exhibition

Sat Jan 4 & Sun Jan 5 (schedule below)

A private workshop to make the public art exhibition, Cryptology.

A 10 Year Renewal of Qi Hardware constructed through a 2 day private workshop on zerowaste nature technology and the new energy culture.

https://qihardware.org

Topics

  • Health
  • Energy Practices
  • Nature
  • Zerowaste
  • natural capital accounting
  • Growing plants and products and people :)

Ground Rules

Beginning of a Code of Conduct

  • This is a BYOE event, meaning Bring Your Own ENERGY :)
  • This is not a conference, unconference, or a summit.
  • The number one rule is to be happy.
  • Be generous. Share.
  • You get what you give.
  • This is an active event, focused on doing. The final results are shown on the final day, as a public exhibition.
  • Participation in the private 2 days of building is capped at 88 people.
  • The public event is open to the public.
  • This is a prototype for a future event, to be done annually :)
  • ALL AGES, towards a FAMILY EVENT, in the future.
  • Non-scammer only. Dark energists are BLOCKED from attending.
  • Just keep growing!
  • From old accounting towards natural capital accounting
  • Growing plants and products, and people :)
  • BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

Venue

QiSpace

Baoan District, Gushu Train Stop will Get you Close. It is one stop past the Shenzhen Airport stop on the green line.

宝安区 •悟桐岛 •4B栋3F 地址:深圳市宝山区航空路与顺昌路交叉口 地铁:1号线固戍站 - Subway Line 1 to Gushu 网站:www.wutongdao.cn Open Street Map

Baoan Village is arguably the most ancient denomination of Shenzhen. Baoan is also home to hundreds of companies that design and manufacture. As of today, 80-90% of BTC miners on Earth are made in Baoan district.

Hotel

Taihua Wutong Hotel: Asian-themed hotel on-site and we have a deal for 288 rmb per night for it.

Schedule

Friday

  • 1000 Get the Keys for the QiSpace
  • 1100 Pick-up 40 miners (imakerbase) and transport to QiSpace
  • 1230 Lunch
  • 1300 Installation Preparation
  • 1800 Day Ends

Saturday

  • 0930 Arrival / DIY Coffee / Tea-Making
  • 1000 Foreword, Clément Renaud
  • 1015 Cryptology101, Jon Phillips
  • 1030 Present Yourself (Mixed language) (Jon Leads)
  • 1100 GET ORGANIZED
  • 1200 Lunch IN LUNCH HALL
  • 1300 SPEED or CHILL: Coffee (or) Yoga + Qi Session (Led by Yoga Instructor)
  • 1400 Projects Begin (Led by each project lead)
  • 1800 Day End Social Drink (Led by Christopher Adams :)
  • 1800 Cooking (Led by Clement)

Sunday

  • 0930 SPEED or CHILL: Coffee (or) Yoga + Qi Session (Led by Yoga Instructor)
  • 1000 Continue Projects (Led by respective leaders)
  • 1100 Cooking workshop (QUESTION: ALL people or 4 people in kitchen needed?) (Led by Clement)
  • 1200 Lunch
  • 1300 Final Installation & Preparation
  • 1400 Cryptology Opening, Clément / Jon
  • 1430 Sponsors & Partners Talk (Also an Installation) (Led by Clement)
  • 1500 Exhibition Tour + Presentation by Artists (Led by Clement)
  • 1600 Casual Drink and Discussion (ALL + Cheers) (Group discussion, Remember to RECORD)
  • 1800 Day End
  • 1800 Cleanup / Wrap / Return Space to Original State (ALL)

TODO

  • Inserted here, but redacted for privacy.

Projects

Miner Arch, Matt Hope

  • 40 Bitcoin Miners, collectively arranged into an arch

Plants and Computers, JP Renaud

  • Plants and Electronics in Bao'an arranged into installations.
  • iPhone 5 + Plants + Story

Textile Lab, Qu Hongyan

History of Crypto-mining, Jon Phillips & Qin Fengling

Canaan Fantasy 01 with Boxes

Canaan Fantasy 02 with Plastic

Milkymist Installation, loaned by Christopher Adams

Participants

  • Clement Renaud (Executive Director)
  • Yuan Renaud (Operations)
  • Jon Phillips (Creative Direction)
  • Qin Fengling (Developer/Sponsor)
  • Matt Hope (Artist)
  • Christopher Adams (Artist/Developer)
  • JP Renaud (Artist)

Initial Questions

  • What do you want to know about energy, nature and technology?
  • What do you know about crypto? mining? Shenzhen? Manufacturing?
  • What do you want to get out of the event?
  • What would you like from Qi Hardware?
  • How will you make the event stronger?

Conclusion

We all decided after two days of working, that it was not working if it recharges you. So we decided this event is not a retreat or conference, but a RECHARGE, both creatively and spirtually and mentally.

We announce today that Cryptology2021 is in Shenzhen January 8, 9, 10 in 2021.

A larger writing on cryptology and history of mining is coming.

Feedback? Then email us: <{{site.email}}>


Welcome our New Executive Director

Today Qi is announcing one thing.

Clement Renaud is now based in Shenzhen China and is the Executive Director of Qi Hardware.

From Clement's website:

He develops projects and initiatives between Europe and Asia with private clients and scientific institutions (EPFL, Nanjing University, ENS de Lyon, etc.). His works have been featured in museums, galleries, magazines, books and peer-review journals in several countries and languages. His latest book REALTIME: Making Digital China is available at EPFL Press.

And for our Chinese friends:

他与私人客户和科研机构(EPFL,南京大学,ENS de Lyon等)一起在欧洲和亚洲之间开发项目和计划。 他的作品曾在多个国家和语言的博物馆,美术馆,杂志,书籍和同行评审期刊中展出。 他的最新著作《实时:使中国数字化》可在EPFL出版社获得。

Clement launched his book REALTIME MAKING DIGITAL CHINA and successfully created the template event, CRYPTOLOGY that will be repeated annually.

Qi continues to accelerate. Are you involved? <{{site.email}}>


Cryptology 2020 in Shenzhen

Cryptology2020 is a 2 day event exploring energy, nature and technology in Shenzhen. Be there to participate.


Designing in a World of limited resources

What is Qi? Qi (气) is the energy that flows through everything. It is the energy that flows from nature into electricity, from hardware to software, from cryptocurrency to people, and back to nature. It is the vital life force to be balanced through daily practice.

Some Global Context

Our world is facing three major changes :

  1. the threatening impact of man-made products on natural ecosystems
  2. the new level of interdependence between global economic, industrial, monetary, and regulatory systems
  3. the extension of digital technologies into more domains of life.

From climate monitoring to instant messaging, the design and appropriation of electronic hardware stands at the core of these transformations. Qi Hardware's goal is to support action and reflection about energy in hardware design and manufacturing.

Duga radar system in Chernobyl (Ukraine) -- Jorge Franganillo (cc)

Open processes for energy & machines

Energy consumption and recycling in fabrication, supply chains and applications of electronic hardware need to be addressed not only as a marginal cost factor but as a central issue about the becoming of our world. We still lack of reliable processes to imagine, create, evaluate and produce hardware outside the secrecy of the existing industry.

Open source has given access to plans and code, but has bring little to the integration and control of their outputs. Manufacturing still require large amounts of capital and energy, leading to bad design, secretive practices -- and proliferation of shady backdoors and sales strategies.

With the rise of crypto(graphy/currencies), the trust in chips and electronics has become a common endeavour not only for stability of technological systems, but also for global peace and prosperity.


Scale Week 20 六 liù Released

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Scale Week 20 六 liù answers 40 questions. Zerowaste Energist Information Management (ZEIM) is cracked in the writing, Energy Streams. Scale 20 places secret information in plane view. Can you handle the realidad?


Scale Week 19 五 wǔ Released

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Scale Week 19 五 wǔ is tang. One word of the week & one editors column, Questions on All Sides. With the many questions coming at one of the editors, they will be addressed in Scale 20 Release. Ask your questions now, and add more to another side.


Scale Week 18 四 sì Released

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Scale Week 18 四 sì is. 4 Original Writings. Its a family affair. Post-self-unblock, Jon takes the pass in his writing Alley-oop and uses the energy to unblock his Mom and Dad from their writing blocks. First time contributions from Sally Phillips explaining depression era zerowaste policies. Doug Phillips writes "Chainsaw Manicure!" providing some reflection and hope through describing what it is like to be a minister using a chainsaw to chop church pews, "his past." Scale 18 connects to history and upgrades the past (check the website to see :).


Scale Week 17 三 sān Released

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Scale Week 17 三 sān is slashing. 3 solid writings. Editor column covers the Self-Unblock. ONG Records Only Next Generation 2 (ONG2) event is recapped including the announcement of art grants. Finally, Clement Renaud lets us know the difference between Shenzhen and other cities. This is a always on time Scale. It is your time to write something for Scale :)


Scale Week 16 二 èr Released

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Scale Week 16 二 èr is ART (bad joke, but is sound of èr). Clement Renaud answered the call, and shared a writing, The Writer's Debt and subsequently made a listing of his approach to take control back in his life. Jon Phillips reminded us that ONG2 happened, 7 statements wered made from ONG Records and Fabricatorz Foundation. He also made a writing about his approach to tackling NOT TO DO LISTS, called JINTIAN. Paying Down All Forms of Debt, Scale 16. Feedback Welcome.


Scale Week 15 一 yī Released

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Scale Week 15 一 yī is freed. 2nd edition, all fresh writings. The problem now, its one author! :) So to make extra juicy: The Editor's Column by Jon Phillips is Call for Participation + Insider Gossip. Also, The Secret Origin of Bassel Khartabil: The Open Source Open Hardware Developer, a timeline of Bassel's major contributions and how they fit into this universe is out. And, the O.N.G. BREAK-IN Model Specification is published. Scale has an ISSN, goes into the public record and is linkable on Wikipedia AND is in the Library of Congress, history seekers. Soon we will add crypto payments to the upvoting system. Feedback welcome. We keeeeep scaling up while zero-wasting down.


Scale Week 14 零 líng Released

Scale Week 14 零 líng Released Apr 15, 2019

Scale Week 14 is ZEROED. This week Scale is reset to the zero. Read inside to find out the decisions made to improve Scale and how editing of Scale Journal will be handled to keep the quality increasing. We also detail out how you may submit your writing to be published in Scale and be recorded forever in the Library of Congress and on the Internet. Scale 14 is a pivot. Feedback welcome as commits, meaning, please submit your "trusted original writing".


Scale Week 13 源 yuán Released

Scale Week 13 源 yuán released Apr 07, 2019

Scale Week 13 is LIVE. Straight from the \u6E90 yu\xE1n or source. Did you notice that the co-founder of Canaan, Xiangfu Liu, released the Bitcoin Miner Canaan A851 and FPGA Miner Icarus design files? We re-share. Articles on operating systems were upvoted about upgrading firmware for devices. An essay is posted by Jon Phillips about the Breakerspaces HK project by Matt Hope that re-invented the term zerowaste. The first in a potential series. The current state of Canaan, Linzhi and their pre-cursors, Qi Hardware, is shared. The final piece is a conclusion posted by \u201Ckidproto\u201D about the virtual culture of energists vs real life energist activities. Have a great Sunday, right from the \u6E90."


Scale Week 12 艺 Released

Scale Week 12 艺 Released Mar 29, 2019

Scale Week 12 is out! This week we continue to explore chip design and production with #progpow and #5G standard. Also global warming, #decentralized tech in Syria, Github strike in #China and a peak into the prehistory of Ethereum. Have a nice weekend and… enjoy the read!


Scale Week 11 芯 Released

Scale Week 11 芯 Released Mar 23, 2019

芯 (xin) is core and is used in the word microchip 芯片

Scale Week 11 芯 introduces some key concepts of chip design and fabrication, audit the Solidity compiler, peaks into the roadmap of Ethereum 2.0 and discuss the concept of decentralization.


Scale Journal Launched 2019 Week 10

Scale Week 9 模 mó Released Mon Mar 18, 2019

Scale Week 10 first dives into how to write a Telegram bot like we have in our chat channel for adding articles to Scale. Then, we take a look at climate change, e-waste and Matt Hope's upcoming project in Hong Kong. We also look at Trust. Download Scale 10 mó as a PDF for reading offline. Feedback Welcome!


VDF FAQ or Making an Open Source Chip

The purpose of this project is to create a robust source of knowledge on Verifiable Delay Functions in order to bootstrap a freely accessible research community for the potential development of open source hardware for VDFs.

by Maxwell Foley

Our stance is that VDF research provides the crypto community with an excellent opportunity to advocate for openness, fairness, and education in hardware design, given that this is the first time a major blockchain platform has spearheaded an effort to create and provide ASIC hardware for the general public and not for private for-profit mining.

Here we will start by discussing the bare basics (the "Explain it like I'm five") of how VDFs work and what their purpose is, and hopefully in later installments move into more and more intricate technical territory that gets us closer to implementation.

The goal is for this document to be understandable and fairly easy to read by anyone who has basic knowledge of what a blockchain is and how it works. We want this knowledge to be accessible to anyone in the community who might find it of interest.

If you spot an error in this document or want to contribute to its further creation, please tell us in Qi Hardware's Telegram Group

What is a VDF?

VDF stands for Verifiable Delay Function.

A VDF is any function that takes a long time to calculate on available hardware (say, an hour - this is the delay we are speaking of), but has an output that can be verified near-instantly.

So, just to paint a charming little picture with humans instead of computers, imagine we give a man named Alex sitting at a desk a number, say, 55, and tell him to run the VDF function and let us know what the output is. He furiously crunches numbers for an hour, and then, wiping sweat off of his forehead, he stands up and tells us proudly "ok, the answer is 809".

Bob is standing next to Alex and glances over his shoulder at the number. He makes a few scribbles in a notepad and says "Yep, that looks like that checks out!". He does not need to spend an hour making the same calculations that Alex did to know that Alex did the work correctly. Once the answer is in front of Bob, it is easy for him to verify that it is correct.

We will get into how this is possible at a later date, but for now just know that this is what it does.

What is the purpose of the VDF?

VDFs can be used for a few different purposes, but we are interested in using them to generate random numbers on the blockchain.

Why do we want to generate random numbers?

The major reason is that we (and by we, we mean the Ethereum community), want to replace the proof-of-work system Ethereum runs on with a proof-of-stake system. Proof-of-work ("mining") is when block producers compete by expending massive amounts of energy to solve the puzzle that will let them publish the next block. In proof-of-stake, a user simply needs to have 32 Ether in their account to be allowed to publish blocks; they do not need to waste electricity. However since there is no competition involved, we need to have a way to collectively choose who actually gets to publish the block, and to keep it fair we need to do this at least somewhat randomly.

Why do we need this special way to generate random numbers on the blockchain? Why can't it be done the way normal software does it?

So, first of all, computers cannot truly generate random numbers from scratch because a computer program is simply a set of directions followed precisely with no room to do something new or improvise. We need to provide the computer with a "seed" for the randomness function, or a source of randomness from the real world which it can perform math on to give us a random number in the range we want. A typical source of randomness is the number of milliseconds on the system clock at the specific moment, which is going to be different every time the program is run and pretty much unpredictable. The most sophisticated random number generators like random.org will use fluctuations of air molecules in the atmosphere for this purpose since it is even less possible to predict.

On the blockchain, all operations are run by every participating computer in the same order (though not necessarily at the same time) and expected to produce the same output. So we need a source of randomness that all participants can agree on. The only possible sources for this are values published on the blockchain itself.

So for example, instead of each computer looking at the number of milliseconds on their system clock and using it as a source of randomness, maybe it could use the number of milliseconds on the timestamp of the previous block, since all participants can agree on this.

However there is a huge problem with this idea! Namely - the block producer is totally in control of the amount of milliseconds on the time they choose to submit the block! Let's say a participant figures out that if the RNG (random number generator) takes 444 as an input, then they will earn the right to submit the next block. Therefore, as they are assembling the current block, they will simply record a time ending with 444 milliseconds, and thus easily earn the right to publish one block after another, totally monopolizing block production.

Obviously there are things we can use as a RNG seed that aren't quite as easily gamed as the timestamp, but the general idea will always hold - the block producers will always have influence over what data they include in the current block and can game it to increase their chances of earning the right to the submit the next block.

Now, imagine that instead of using the timestamp of the last block as the seed of randomness, we use the timestamp of the block published an hour ago, but ran through a VDF.

Now, it is much harder for the block publisher to rig the input. They can't figure out when publishing a block if using a certain timestamp will help their odds of publishing another block an hour later, because it takes a whole hour to calculate what will happen! In reality, using the timestamp is still not a good idea, but we are getting much closer to a viable solution.

Essentially, the situation is like block producers are all grabbing lottery cards and waiting for a speaker to call out the number on the winning ticket. The VDF ensures no one can "cheat and look ahead".

How is VDF different than a proof-of-work?

In a proof-of-work system (mining), miners also expend a lot of effort to find a value (called a "nonce") given a certain input (the block they are proposing) that can be verified instantly as correct.

The main difference is that mining is parallelizable, meaning that the more computers one has working at the same time that one dedicates to this problem, the faster one can find a solution. A VDF is an algorithm that can only be run sequentially. Adding more computers to the problem will not help you. No matter how many computers each participant has, they must be able to reach the same solution at roughly the same time. Otherwise the "delay" can easily be beaten by someone with many computers.

VDF is not meant to be a competition or a race either. The goal, again, is for everyone to reach the same solution at approximately the same time.

Also unlike proof-of-work, we are not expecting block producers to run the VDF themselves (explained in more detail later). It is not some sort of "tax" that must be paid in order to submit a valid block. All that matters is that someone (any one person in the world) is running the VDF and facilitating the whole process that allows our random number generation to be fair.

What are other applications for VDFs outside of generating random numbers in blockchains?

In the original paper that outlined VDFs, two additional use cases are proposed outside of what we described here.

Proof of replication

One is "proof of replication". Imagine that there is some data you want to be absolutely sure is backed up even if some catastrophic situation occurs. You therefore go out and pay somebody to have your data backed up across 100 devices.

Now you want to make sure that this person is not cheating you and that they actually have your data backed up 100 times. You ask one of their servers, say server #78 out of 100, to show you a chunk of your data to prove that they have it. The server gives it to you as requested, and you are happy… until you realize that you have no way of knowing for sure that server #78 didn't just go and ask server #1 for it, since given a good internet connection this would be basically instantaneous to retrieve! Maybe they just have your data backed up on one server, and not one hundred like they are supposed to, since cheating you in this way would save them money and resources.

You can fix this problem by demanding that instead of simply storing your data, they store your data on each server ran through a different VDF. It will take, say, a few hours to get the VDF output from the original data, but you will be able to get the original data from the output of the VDF near-instantly. If they can give you your data ran through a VDF, you know that they must be storing your data as they should, since there is no way they could possibly be calculating it on the fly.

Preventing fake history attacks

Another application of VDF also applies to securing proof-of-stake blockchain systems. One issue with proof-of-stake is that the possibility opens up for malicious users to create a fake history of the blockchain system and present it to new users joining the network for the first time. After all, these users need to get the history from someone, and immediately after logging on they have no way to tell who is honest and who is lying. Naturally these malicious users would probably present a fake record of events in which they come out having more money than they do in the history that truly happened.

In a proof-of-work system, faking the history is impossible, because block publishers must spend enormous amounts of energy to find the secret key (the nonce) which will allow them to publish a valid block, and if this key is not valid it can be detected by anyone else instantly. Therefore in order to make a plausible fake history, someone would need to spend roughly as much electricity as it has taken to mine the entire Bitcoin history up to this point, which is not plausible. No constraint like this exists in proof-of-stake.

But using VDFs, we can come up with a system in which we can prove that data is truly old. If, say, at a certain point we feed data from the blockchain's history into a VDF that takes a year to run, a year later we will be able to prove that the history up to that point is at least a year old, which no forger will be able to equivalently do.

What is the alternative to using VDFs for random numbers? Is this the only possible way to generate random numbers or will something else work?

VDF is a proposed upgrade (from a researcher named Justin Drake) to a system called RANDAO, which when Ethereum 2.0 launches will be the system used for random number generation. RANDAO is a sort of virtual committee in which each participant in block creation are requested to present a random number to the network. RANDAO will then combine all the various inputs it received in a certain way to use as a seed for our randomness functions.

The numbers are submitted in a way that prevents cheating, by requesting submissions to be send first in an encrypted fashion, then sent revealed. This is basically the equivalent of a game where everyone plays a card face down, then only after all players have played their card, the players one by one turn the cards face up. The way Ethereum 2.0 is planning on doing this is like such: first they must submit a public key to the rest of the chain. Then once everyone has done this, all users will each sign the same number with the public key they just submitted. The cryptographic signatures that are produced are used as the pool of random numbers.

The proposal behind VDF is not to replace RANDAO, but to improve RANDAO by using VDF afterwards, i.e. feeding the output of RANDAO into the input of VDF.

The reason that we are using both RANDAO and VDF instead of just running VDF on some existing on-chain value similar to the timestamp idea we proposed earlier is basically for double security - in case VDF breaks (like if quantum computers are built allowing users to run VDF much faster than the desired time) we will still have RANDAO, which is not perfect (explained in the next paragraph) but not completely broken.

Why is VDF an improvement on existing solutions?

There is one way to cheat at RANDAO, but you can only do it if everyone else has already revealed their cards, and you are either the last person who is expected to reveal your "card" (the number you submitted to the randomness function), or are conspiring together with everyone else who has yet to reveal their cards. It is very simple - imagine you look at all the cards already face up and notice that with the cards the way they are, you "win" the randomness game (and therefore the right to produce the next block). You then simply choose not to reveal any more cards, and your number will not be taken into account. This may seem like a small flaw, but any amount of influence users can have over our random number generator is a bad thing - functions used to secure billions of dollars cannot be "leaky" in this way!

An often-considered solution is requiring a security deposit of sorts to play the RANDAO. If a player cheats, we can take away their security deposit as punishment, and thus make cheating not worth it. In Ethereum 2.0, RANDAO is played by block producers, who already must have at least 32 Ether locked into the system in order to produce blocks. In order to make this system work, we must punish people who try to defraud the network or go offline for too long by taking some or all of their 32 Ether. So one might think that we can just punish cheating at RANDAO the same way we already are planning to punish several other forms of bad behavior.

The problem is that we can't punish cheating aggressively enough to prevent people still potentially being able to gain from it despite the loss of their deposit. This is because RANDAO is not meant to be used solely for choosing block producers, but also for any application running on Ethereum that requires a random seed for any purpose whatsoever, and there's no telling how much money might be at stake in any one of these apps. Imagine that someone has an Ethereum application that facilitates a lottery game in which the winner will receive millions of dollars worth of Ether. Even if we took away all 32 Ether, a block publisher might still be able to make cheating very profitable by rigging the lottery outcome in a situation like this!

In reality, we can only punish by a very small amount because if someone doesn't show up for the final round of RANDAO, it could be cheating, but could also just be poor network conditions. Forcing someone to risk losing tons of money in the event of a slight hiccup in their internet service makes becoming a block publisher seem like a very unattractive option. This would not be a good thing for the security of the Ethereum network.

How long would the delay in the VDF likely actually be in practice?

The current proposal is to set the delay time to 102.4 minutes, or a little over an hour and a half.

This is because blocks are produced in 6-second increments, and it takes an "epoch" of 64 blocks to play the RANDAO. This is a 6.4-minute period in total, which means that as long as it takes someone longer than 6.4 minutes to solve the VDF, there is no possible way they can "cheat" and bias the RANDAO before it ends. (In reality, you still are going to need to solve it quite a bit faster than that to get a decent shot.)

So why set the delay in the VDF for 102.4 minutes, and not just 6.4? The reason is that we anticipate that bad actors will attempt to create specialized hardware (this is called an ASIC, a single-purpose computer similar to those which have been invented for Bitcoin mining) that will solve the VDF faster than the computers available to the average person, and thus allow them to cheat. We protect ourselves against this bad outcome by setting the delay so much longer than the epoch time so that that even if hardware manufacturers create computers that allow them to solve the VDF much faster than the average person, they will still not be able to cheat.

The 102.4 minute number is therefore the length of time we expect the average person to solve the VDF in, with certain people likely attempting (and succeeding) in solving it faster, but not so fast that they can actually calculate it in time to bias the RANDAO.

Does this mean that if it takes one and a half hours to calculate the VDF, we can only get a new random number every one and a half hours?

No. This is because we can stagger several VDFs running parallel to one another but beginning and ending at different points. We start one per epoch (6.4 minute period), meaning that 102.4 minutes after the very first one is run we start getting regular random numbers every 6.4 minutes. Each random number is then available for any function anyone on the blockchain wants to use it for.

In Ethereum 2.0, who will be running the VDFs?

In the design Justin Drake has outlined, block producers are not required or expected to run the VDF themselves. Rather after block producers play RANDAO, another group called the "evaluators" will run the VDFs on the output of the RANDAO.

Obviously there is nothing stopping the same person from using different computers to be both a block producer and a VDF evaluator, nor would this be inappropriate to do.

Once the evaluators are done calculating, they will broadcast to the block producers the output of the VDF.

Only a single accurate evaluator is necessary for the system to be working at any time. The VDF only has one possible output, so it's just one person that actually must go through the labor of running it after which they can announce the output to everyone else. And at that point everyone else will be able to see that the evaluator is honest, given the function's verifiability.

How will users be incentivized to run/evaluate VDFs? Why spend the electricity?

First of all, it's estimated that running VDFs for Ethereum will only require 160 watts of power, which is a little more than keeping a ceiling fan going in your living room. This costs about 40 cents per day. So this is not exactly a major sacrifice.

There is a reward however. The block producers are responsible for verifying the result of the VDF given to them by evaluators. In order to prevent block producers from being "lazy" and simply waiting for other people to listen to the evaluators rather than doing it themselves, Drake suggests that we might want to give a small incentive to the first validator who listens for and correctly reports the VDF output to the rest of the network.

This doubles as an incentive to run the VDF quickly, since the same person can be a block producer and a VDF evaluator. The quicker their VDF runs, the more of a chance they have of reporting their own VDF output before any other evaluators are done, which means that they will get a reward.

This is a good thing because it's better for VDF evaluators to run the function as fast as possible and not get lazy. This keeps everything going smoothly and securely on the Ethereum network.

Why is the Ethereum Foundation spending $15M to research VDFs?

First of all, it's not strictly accurate that Ethereum themselves are spending $15M (as widely reported), but rather they are trying to pool this money together and split the cost with other blockchain protocols that are planning to use VDFs as well.

Anyway, this money is meant to go to R&D to produce ASIC hardware for VDFs that will be open and available for any Ethereum user. Remember that we need to ensure that no one is running VDFs many times faster than the typical user in order for our algorithm to be secure. If we assume that regular users are running these algorithms on a standard CPU, then it will be very easy to make a chip that can run, say, ten times as faster. However, if the Ethereum Foundation does their own R&D to produce a chip and distributes it to anyone to use, then any bad actor needs to outperform the Ethereum Foundation's project times ten. Even if they can raise more money, this will be quite difficult assuming that the good guys have done a decent job.

The purpose of this document is to help facilitate this process of developing ASICs and advocate for open knowledge and community participation at every stage of creation.

If you enjoyed this article, follow me on twitter: @maxwellsfoley

Sources

Original paper on VDFs - https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/601.pdf

Justin Drake's proposal - https://ethresear.ch/t/minimal-vdf-randomness-beacon/3566

RANDAC describing incentives of RANDAO - http://randac.org/RANDAC.html

Everything VDF, read as much as your heart desires - https://vdfresearch.org/


Scale Journal Launched 2019 Week 9

Scale Week 9 恭喜 gōngxǐ Released Sun Mar 10, 2019

Scale Week 9 of 2019 opens with a congratulations, GONG HEI to the first show of a new art gallery, Oui.Gallery in HK doing contemporary art shows with topics ranging from global to China to HK to Shenzhen to technology. Have you heard of Scuttlebutt? We take a look at this social network of the asynchronous living. Trustware is investigated. Other articles include historical texts related to Unix philosophy and a historical precendent with Toshiba being regulated by the USA government similar to how Huawei is being handled now. Thanks for reading Scale. Feedback is welcom! Join our Telegram chat, submit your links, and upvote the best ones.


Scale Journal Launched 2019 Week 8

Scale Week 8 信 xìn Released Sun Mar 3, 2019

Scale Week 8 PDF is out! Like the updated site design? Did you try the experimental pool feature? You may add links now from our telegram chat! This edition is focused on studying some other systems such as Wikipedia, looking at how one could do work that people need using BOINC and GridCoin, and we take a look at Tron and EOS, both which have way faster transaction speeds than Ethereum. Feedback welcome by joining our chat: https://t.me/qihardware. Thanks for reading!


Scale Journal Launched 2019 Week 07

Scale Week 7 货 huò Released Tue Feb 26, 2019

Welcome to Scale Week 7. We are testing out a few improvements such as using our Chinese word of the week as the general theme or prompt for the issue. Also, lead article this week is by Clement Renaud, titled: We have human rights and animal rights. Should there be computer rights? Also, we have a new version of our site to be tested. If interested, please join our chat: https://t.me/qihardware. Thanks for reading! Feedback Welcome.


Scale Journal Launched 2019 Week 06

Scale Week 6 Released! Fri Feb 15, 2019

We are still improving our system and thanks for the feedback. We added the registered Scale ISSN from 2004! We added Clement Renaud’s word of the week and new contributions for the weekend and week to read. Keep the new content flowing. We have original writings and reseach coming as well!

Here is a short way to describe Scale:

The Community Gathers Links + Papers & Only 14 Make the Cut into 1 PDF Weekly on Fridays.

Feedback Welcome! Scale Up Together!


Scale Journal Launched 2019 Week 05

The First Project of Qi Hardware is Scale, a Journal for Hardware, Software, Crypto and China.

It is a renewed project from 15 years before with a bold mandate to gather links to scholarly papers, medium posts, wikipedia articles and more and rate them. The top 14 right now make the cut and will be released on Fridays as one PDF. The format is for your offline reading pleasure on paper or tablet, we encourage reading even in a sauna or on a mountain or by the sea. Scale Up. Feedback Welcome!

Here is a shorter way to describe Scale:

The Community Gathers Links + Papers & Only 14 Make the Cut into 1 PDF Weekly on Fridays.

Feedback Welcome! Scale Up Together!

  • @rejon

My take on ProgPOW — looking for a reasonable answer to a reasonable question (Chinese Translation)

我对 ProgPOW 的看法——为一个合情合理的问题寻找一个合乎逻辑的答案

EDITOR NOTE: This is a community translation of Alexey Akhunov's original post on Medium.

Claim 1: The only ways to stop the development of specialised mining devices for Ethereum are to make ETH really cheap, or to drastically reduce mining reward

主张1:阻止以太坊专用挖矿设备开发的唯一路径,是打压以太币价格,或大幅降低挖矿奖励。

Both of these action lead to the reduction of mining revenue. Nothing else will credibly stop people from trying to develop better devices.

Some people claim that the reason that the reason EtHash specialised mining devices appeared only recently (3+ years after the launch of Ethereum) is due to EtHash’s excellent “ASIC-resistance”, compared to other algorithms. I believe that instead this 3 years delay is mostly due to:

  1. Ethereum not being worth much until the beginning of 2017
  2. Credibility of Proof Of Stake replacing PoW “soon”. The key word here is “replacing”. Eth 2.0 pivot in June 2018 meant that PoS and PoW chains will coexist, at least for some time.

It appears to me that the growing consensus among blockchain developers is that it is counterproductive to fight the specialisation of mining hardware. The goal instead should be indirectly fostering (or at least not resisting) more competition in the mining hardware development, which can be achieved by keeping mining “rewarding”. This can be done either by increasing the rewards, or by decreasing the mining costs. Both EIP-1234 (reduction of reward) and ProgPOW (increase of mining cost) go into the opposite direction.

打压币价和大幅降低挖矿奖励,均导致挖矿收入骤降。除此之外,没有什么能阻止人们尝试开发更高性能的设备。

有些人声称以太坊专用挖矿设备最近(以太坊算法推出3年后)才面世的主要原因,是由于EtHash算法相比其他算法,更出色的“抗ASIC”特性所致。而我认为,这3年的延迟主要由于:

1)以太币的价格在2017年之前都不高。 2)PoS 短期内取代 PoW 的可信度。关键点在“取代”。Eth2.0 在2018年6月份切换算法,意味着在一段时间内两种算法将共存。

在我看来,区块链开发者之间越来越多的共识是,与挖矿硬件专用化作斗争是适得其反的。相反,开发目标应该是间接促进(或者至少不抵制)挖矿硬件之间的竞争,这可以通过保障挖矿收益来达成。而保障挖矿收益,则可以通过增加挖矿奖励,或降低挖矿成本实现。但EIP-1234(降低挖矿奖励)和ProgPOW(增加挖矿成本),都是朝着相反方向发展。

Claim 2: GPU mining is a losing battle, and Ethereum is the last bastion

主张2:使用 GPU 设备挖必败无疑,而以太坊则是这场战役的最后堡垒。

If we look at a very helpful table of how much miners earn per day in USD, from messari.io, and recall that Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, ZCash, Bitcoin Cash are predominantly mined with specialised (not GPUs) hardware, it becomes clear that Ethereum is “the last bastion” of GPU mining.

Img from medium

I do not anticipate any new cryptocurrencies launching with the aspiration of being “ASIC-resistant”. Notable example is Grin, which will increase the reward share of their ASIC-friendly algorithm from 10% to 100% within the first 2 years after launch. Decision of Grin to actually make one of the algorithms ASIC-friendly is due to their hope that making ASIC design simpler will encourage competition. Here is the relevant video link.

下图来自 messari.io, 是旷工每日收益表。再回想一下比特币,达世币,莱特币,Zcash, BCH均主要使用专用挖矿设备(而非 GPU 设备),就会更清楚以太坊就是 GPU 设备的“最后堡垒”。

我预计任何新发布的加密数字货币都不再有“抗ASIC”的愿景。值得关注的 Grin算法,计划在发布后2年内,将其ASIC友好算法的奖励份额,从10%提升至100%. Grin的这一决定,是基于他们期望ASIC 友好算法可以鼓励竞争。详情请见链接 video link.

Claim 3: Hardware design shops are getting better at what they do

主张3:硬件设备制造商会不断进步。

One of the most interesting takeways from David Vorick’s talk (video link) for me was that the process of designing digital chips is separate from “taping out”, which is in turn separate from the actual fabrication. Another interesting fact about people like David is that it does not take a very long time (1–2 years) for a very good software developer to learn enough about hardware design to set up a design shop. The required information to do such a transition is not well shared and accessible, so one has to learn directly from people, but such transition is not at all impossible. Hardware design is not a black magic and I expect, given the demand, the number of independent hardware design shops will only grow.

David Vorick 的演讲中(video link),最吸引我的一点是,芯片设计和“流片”是分开的,也就是说,芯片设计与芯片制造是分开的。另一个有趣的事实是,像 David 这样的优秀软件工程师,花费相当的时间(1-2年)去学习硬件设计知识,即可建立硬件设计工作室。这种(从软件开发到硬件设计的)转变所需的知识,并不容易获取和共享,所以必须直接请教有经验的人,但这种转变也并非全无可能。硬件设计不是什么黑科技,我预计,基于现有需求,独立硬件设计工作室的数量将会不断增长。

Claim 4: Pursuit of “ASIC resistance” is a strategy of denial that can hurt more than help

主张4:追求“抗 ASIC”是一种逃避策略,对以太坊的发展有害无益。

There were some calls to the Ethereum protocol developers to come up with the “Guidelines for the developers of the specialised mining hardware for ProgPOW on Ethereum”. At first, I did not really understand what these guidelines would be. But recently someone has explained to me that it would be basically answer to the question: “Hey, Ethereum protocol developers, we heard you are switching PoW to ProgPoW. We want to start designing a specialised hardware for it (yes, we know that you think we shouldn’t, but it is neither illegal nor unethical to do it, so we will give it a shot). Please tell us what we should do to make sure we are not labeled as bad actors after the fact”.

This is a very reasonable question. But if you subscribe to the ASIC-resistance strategy, the only answer you can give is this: “There is nothing you can do to prevent being labeled as a bad actor. We don’t want you to develop your hardware, and if we see that you have succeeded, we will try to do another PoW change so you cannot sell your hardware and go out of business”. Which is not a very reasonable answer, and can hurt more than help.

This combination of reasonable question and unreasonable answer is what actually motivated me the most to write this article in the first place. So what the reasonable answer should be?

最近,有人呼吁以太坊开发者出台“ProgPOW 算法下专用硬件设备制造者的开发指南”。起初,我并不真正理解该开发指南是指什么。不过最近有人向我解释,该指南大体可以回答这个问题——“嘿,以太坊开发者们,我们听说你们将要从PoW切换至ProgPOW, 我们想要为此算法做一款专用挖矿设备(当然啦,我们知道你们认为我么你不应该这样做,可这既不违法,也不违反道德,所以我们打算试试看)。请告诉我们应当怎么做,以确保我们不会在既成事实后被认定为坏蛋。”

这是一个很合理的问题。但是,如果你认同抗ASIC策略,那么你能给出的唯一答案,就是“你无论做什么都会被认定为坏蛋。我们不想让你开发这款设备,如果我们发现你已经成功了,那我们就会改变算法,这样你的设备就卖不出去了。”这不是一个很合理的答案,且有害无益。

这样一个合理的问题,和不合理的答案,就是我最初写这篇文章的动机。那么,这个问题真正合理的答案,又是什么呢?


What is a BTC fullnode?

The "Full node" definition from Mastering Bitcoin is: "A bitcoin network node with all four functions: wallet, miner, full blockchain database, and network routing"

Actually, any healthy crypto currency should contain all of four of these fundamental functions.

You may use them separately, part of them or combine them to make your product.

For example:

  1. Mining pool: only use part of full blockchain database, network routing, wallet and miner.

  2. Cryptocurrency trading platform: only uses wallet.

  3. Block Explorer: uses full blockchain database.

  4. Hardware wallet: only use part of the wallet.

The more components used, the more complexity is added.


Testnet guide: Your first cryptocurrency transaction (without real coins)

The cryptocurrency is usually too much expensive to be used for test today.

Because it runs in mainnet. As a beginner in blockchain, you can finish your

first transaction in testnet, it is also a public network. And you can always

get the testnet coins for free. This guide will tell you how to get and use it.

What's testnet coins ?

In the blockchain world, it usually has 3 networks.

They are mainnet, testnet and private network.

For example:

  • Bitcoin: mainnet, testnet3 and regtest
  • Ethereum: mainnet, ropsten and private network

Different network use different coin, so

  • You can't send Bitcoin to Ethereum directly
  • You also can't send coins from mainnet to testnet
  • You will lost your coin or reject by the wallet if you send to the wrong network

coins that used in the testnet called testnet coins.

Why use testnet ?

  • Mainnet and testnet are public network

  • Testnet is a public beta network

    It is always used by the programmers, but it can also used by anyone who want to learn about the blockchain

  • You can try the blockchain apps at the very early stage in the testnet

How to get test coins ?

You can get coins through mining or trading in mainnet.

In testnet, you can also get them through mining, but the quick way is testnet faucet.

Before you get the coins, you need to install the wallet that supports testnet

Wallet

Blockchain Testnet Support Testnet Not Support
Bitcoin BitPay, Copay CoolBitx, BRD, Jaxx
Ethereum Toshi, Status, MetaMask, MyEtherWallet Trust

Faucet

NOTE: DON'T BE GREEDY, Take it for testing, donate it back if you don't use it.

Bitcoin faucet

Etherum faucet

Find a good place to finish your first transaction

If you get testnet coins, now you can make payment. There are a lot of blockchain apps support testnet.

Bitcoin testnet apps

You can find your transactions through any of the Bitcoin Explorer

Ethereum testnet apps

You can find your transactions through the Ethereum Explorer


Survey of Books

As of 2018-07-13

Recommendation (More stars, best read)

✨✨✨✨✨

Category Title Author Introduction
Business 区块链:新经济蓝图及导读 / Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy 梅兰妮·斯万(Melanie Swan) 首先提出了区块链1.0,2.0,3.0概念,给出了每个阶段的一些实践,中译本的最后又给出了一些创业项目
Tech 精通比特币 / Mastering Bitcoin Andreas M. Antonopoulos 比特币技术的经典书籍,没有之一
Tech 区块链开发指南 申屠青春 从基础的技术讲起,本书介绍了比特币,以太坊,Fabric区块链的开发,是一本不错的中文版本
Tech 区块链项目开发指南 / Building Blockchain Projects: Building decentralized Blockchain applications with Ethereum and Solidity 纳拉扬·普鲁斯蒂 (Narayan Prusty) 通过本书可以学习和掌握DApps的开发
Tech Node.js区块链开发 朱志文 本书属于自己动手系列,从架构设计到代码实现,完整的介绍亿书项目

✨✨✨✨

Category Title Author Introduction
Business 区块链+ 杜均 介绍了区块链在各个行业的应用

Setup an IPFS Node

The Definitive Guide

IPFS is a distributed file system, not the blockchain.

If you want to know more about instances of distributed file system, there are lots of information available through Wikipedia.

EDITOR NOTE: We could not take it any longer. When we heard that in China people have been buying hard drives with ipfs enabled, thinking it will generate money, we had to get closer to the reality of setting up an IPFS node RIGHT NOW.

This guide is meant to be best CURRENT practice in a few scenarios.

Software Implementations

Hardware that can be used as fullnode

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Mini-computers (like Bitnodes or Bitseed)
  • Physical Computer / Standard PC
  • Virtual Server (AWS, linode, etc)
  • NAS

Biggest Issues

  • There is no human friendly interface to setup IPFS on a drive.
  • There is no system for generating revenue from running or, renting the extra space on your HD.
  • Low adoption
  • Lots of competition from Google, Amazon, Apple, MS on cloud storage.

From Beginner to Expert

EASY: Run IPFS in a Docker container

EASY: Run ipfs on your computer

MEDIUM: Setup NPM module to do ipfs solution

HARD: Setup ipfs on Raspberry Pi / PC

  • INCOMPLETE, needs to be written.

Innovation to do

  • Make IPFS Apache module
  • Make IPFS Nginx modules
  • Make simple front-end to some simple NAS
  • Make some simple front-end to openwrt

Setup a Bitcoin Full Node

The Definitive Guide

While many people are concerned with mining Bitcoin, few are running Bitcoin fullnodes. A Bitcoin fullnode is an instance of bitcoind running with the entire bitcoin blockchain. For the health and speed of the network, it is ideal for Bitcoin Fullnodes to be geographically dispersed. If you are running a mining farm, it is also good to have a local Bitcoin Fullnode to decrease latency of transactions.

The final reason it is great to run a bitcoin fullnode is because you BELIEVE IN BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN and CRYPTOCURRENCY. It is the RIGHT thing to do.

The Bitcoin Fullnode is the BIBLE of BITCOIN that is continuously written :)

This guide is meant to be best CURRENT practice in a few scenarios

Software Implementations

Hardware that can be used as fullnode

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Mini-computers (like Bitnodes or Bitseed)
  • Physical Computer / Standard PC
  • Virtual Server (AWS, linode, etc)

Biggest Issues

  • Currently as of 2018-06-22, Bitcoin Fullnode requires at least 250G hard drive.
  • Processor with enough power to handle both network throughput and transactions.
  • Power draw from the computer. Smaller mini computer like bitseed only 10W.
  • No really scaled manufacturer producing Bitcoin fullnodes.

From Beginner to Expert

EASY: Bitseed

Bitseed is an active project and company selling bitcoin nodes as a hardware product.

Buy a Bitseed

Install a Bitseed on a computer

EASY: Bitnodes

  • As of 2018-06-22, the main core software project for bitnode is DISCONTINUED
  • We do not recommend buying hardware or installing onto random hardware as this project seems stalled.

Install your own Bitnode on Linux

curl https://bitnodes.earn.com/install-full-node.sh | sh

MEDIUM: Setup Bitcoind on your computer

Make sure you have a dedicated 250G+ drive, preferably SSD, dedicated to bitcoin.

Example: Mac Mini

  • Current: Mac Mini i5 4G RAM + 512G Hardisk, RMB 2600 / $450 USD

MEDIUM

  • Buy cheap mini-computer
  • Make sure has 250-500G hard drive
  • Install debian
  • Install bitcoind
  • Plug in ethernet network (make sure network uses DHCP)
  • BOOM! WORKS!

MEDIUM: Setup fullnode docker image in Amazon ECS

HARD: Setup fullnode in Raspberry Pi / PC

We recommend against the raspberry pi bitcoin fullnode, as we have tried many times. The raspberry pi is underpowered and without enough ram. The other issue, is throughput on the drive.


Setup an Ethereum Full Node

Run a Full Node

Software Implementations

Hardware that could be used as fullnode

  • Raspberry Pi
  • BEAGLEBONE BLACK
  • ODROID XU3/XU4
  • WANDBOARD
  • PC
  • Virtual Server (AWS, linode)

From Beginner to Expert

EASY: Ubuntu Linux

  • You may also install the go-ethereum in Ubuntu like this:
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ethereum/ethereum
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ethereum

MEDIUM: Docker

MEDIUM: Mini-computer (Raspberry Pi, etc)

MEDIUM: AWS

HARD: Build from Source Code

Mining

on AWS Instance

  • Select t2.xlarge or larger instance

Software & Guide

Mining on Physical Hardware (Reference)

Hardware

Type Detail
CPU Dual/Quard Core processor 2.0GHz+
RAM 4G DDR Memory
Disk 32G HDD
Display Card 8x MXM RX470/RX480 Graphics Cards with x1 PCI­E Gen 2
Power supply 1600W Power Supply

Software & Guide


Survey of Putting It On the Blockchain

Current State of Putting Things onto the Blockchain

As of 2018-06-26

Ways of Putting Onto the Blockchain

Certifications

99% of the time when someone says let's "Put That On the Blockchain" what that is transalted into is a timestamp and sha-256 hash placed onto the main Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchains.

Proof of Existence

The original proof of existence is https://proofofexistence.com

Messages

Since the first blockchain was the Bitcoin Blockchain, there is a limited amount of information that can be put onto each block. Ethereum does not have the same limit on blocksize, but a concept of "gas" used to keep down the insanity of putting increasingly larger sets of data onto "the blockchain". Even the forked Bitcoin, BCH, has an increased block size to 32mb, but only 220 bytes in the OP_RETURN for placing a document.

Documents

Let's consider messages as small documents, so when we are talking about Documents we are really talking about documents like PDF, Songs, Videos, Presentations, etc. So let's consider documents 1 mb and larger.

  • More than likely, best way to do this is SHA-256 hash to external storage

Blockchain File Storage

Needs Research

  • Factom
  • Siacoin
  • Filecoin (status)

Current State of Hardware & Software Wallets

Current State of Hardware & Software Wallets

As of 2018-06-25

Hardware

Open Source

Close Source

Assessing if REAL

Software

Open Source

Downsides

  • Apple looks to block cryptocurrency wallets like trust, toshi, etc. Status Release Notes, iOS Discussion
  • Status app already blocked
  • Trust wallet given 2 week notice
  • Option for future wallets: Android, custom hardware, desktop-based

A BTC Fullnode Hello World

Learn the full node through hello world for separate components.

Full blockchain database

It will need a long time to synchronize the entire database, be patient please.

We will use a lightweight way to learn the database:

git clone git@github.com:bitpay/insight.git && cd insight
npm install
npm start

Then open a browser and go to: http://localhost:8100

Wallet

You can use any type of wallet, online/offline, software/hardware.

A lot of users use SPV wallet today, so you don't need to wait a long time to synchronize the entire database.

Miner

You should know Block hashing algorithm in the beginning,

There are 2 ways to do crypto currency mining, solo or mining pool

Actually it seems nobody uses "solo mining" today, although it is more useful to understand how the miner works.

People eager to use a "mining pool," you will get more stable rewards, but it makes understanding how mining works more difficult.

Today, it's better to buy a ASIC miner or GPU miner today, as it will waste a lot of time for you to build a useless miner that is not competitive today.

If you still want to know more about miner, you can read the article Bitcoin mining the hard way: the algorithms, protocols, and bytes

Network routing

Routing is not as popular as the other components. You can also learn it from the following