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Can Sharding Fix the Limitations of Blockchain or is the Network Doomed?

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Performance and scalability issues have bottlenecked the future development and real-life application of popular mainchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Many methods have been employed to solve this problem, but all of them have their own pros and cons.

The Impossible Trinity – safety, decentralization and scalability, coined by the blockchain world, bars the way to the future and the industry has fought hard to figure out an optimized solution. Sharding, proposed by Ethereum, has been viewed as one such candidate.

What is sharding?

Sharding technology splits a network into smaller partitions called shards, which contain an independent state and transaction history. The idea behind this is to divide a huge amount of workload into smaller pieces to make life easier for every participating node.

If sharding were to be adopted, each node will only need to keep a part of the network’s information, instead of downloading the whole ledger, which can lead to a large data file. Subsets of nodes grouped into one shard will only process transactions specific to that shard. By doing this, the network will be able to process many transactions in parallel, and the performance will continue to increase with more nodes joining in, thus making the network highly scalable.

Limitation of sharding

Of course, sharding carries both pros and cons. The security of the network might be compromised as sharding makes it possible to launch Single-Shard Takeover Attack (1% Attack), where an attacker can create a malicious shard by taking over the majority of collators in a single shard. A 1% Attack is easier to be launched compared to the 51% Attack, which requires more than 50% of the network’s computing power.

To solve this problem, one suggestion is that every shard gets assigned a validator that is random-sampled from a pool. This way, the validator does not know which shard it gets beforehand, so chances it will collude with a malicious node are minimized.

However, this untested solution raises questions. Who would be a qualified validator? How to incentivise validators? What if a validator fails and a malicious node gets validated? What if there are too many malicious nodes causing the random-sample approach to be de facto ineffective? All this needs to be carefully addressed.

Apart from the above, sharding also brings forth other problems. First, by partitioning the whole network into smaller shards, it is effectively making the whole network more susceptible to attacks as it is always easier to take control of a part of the network than the whole network.

Next, with a validator assigned to each node, the problem of single-point-of-failure appears again, and this could cause the network to be less decentralized. A more complex mechanism will, however, eat into efficiency and defeat the initial purpose.

Last but not least, while a validator might be able to protect the network from being jeopardized by a single malicious node, all the data in that attacked node are left unprotected.

So it seems that while sharding is improving performance, it is also sacrificing safety and degree of decentralization, which is surely not an ideal solution.

What can be done?

Blockchain Directed Acyclic Graph (B-DAG) is a proprietary solution by the SmartX project. Unlike a blockchain, every single transaction is itself a “block” in a B-DAG system. From this perspective, B-DAG resembles DAG. However, unlike other DAG projects, SmartX has different Epochs, which subdivide the network by a given time-cycle and main blocks are randomly produced in each Epoch. The main blocks will be linearly linked to form the Most Heavily Weighted Chain, which resembles the chain-structure of blockchain.

With this unique B-DAG technology, SmartX is harvesting both the advantages of traditional blockchain and DAG. It is faster, cheaper-to-use and more scalable compared with the traditional blockchain, while it is also safer and more promising compared to DAG.

Like traditional trading systems, SmartX uses a balance account model. During every Epoch cycle, if it is found that an output account for a certain transaction block does not exist, the account will be created across the network. The input amount will be transferred to this account and the input must have sufficient balance. Each account balance is determined by the difference between the input and output transaction components. 

The system ensures that every transaction is treated as idempotent. The end result is the same whether a transaction is executed once, multiple times, or repeated. Duplicated transactions are recognized by the random Nonce value of the transaction. 

SmartX will have several genesis nodes by default, each staking a minimum of 10 million tokens in order to allow participation in node operation. SmartX allows for mining nodes to join and leave at any time. The purpose of this is to select nodes that have a stronger willingness to participate. 

Conclusion

Sharding is only a band-aid solution to the fundamentally broken system of Blockchain. Sharding breaks the network down into partitions to deal with workloads but compromises decentralization and security. Blockchain needs to be completely reimagined, not fixed after the fact. The project SmartX does just this through its own proprietary, innovative and all-new DAG structural algorithm – B-DAG, which can integrate the transaction partitions created by any nodes around the world. Since SmartX operates like a flow chart and every transaction does not need to pass through nodes sequentially, the project does not have the same memory issues as Blockchain. This feature also gives SmartX a higher transaction speed and allows implementation of more than one consensus mechanism. 

Sharding will always have to operate on a Proof of Work system and hold all transactions as “pending” before packaging them at the same time. SmartX is using both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. By doing this, SmartX is able to take advantage of both types of consensus mechanisms. Every node participating in SmartX’s network will have to make a pledge and ensure that it has enough bandwidth and capacity to support itself. SmartX will use proprietary Blockchain-DAG technology to achieve decentralization, optimized handling capacity and delay validation at the same time.

SmartX Links

Telegram Channel: https://t.me/smartx_en

Website: http://smartx.one 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SmartXOne 

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Smartxone/

BitcoinTalk:https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5164757.msg51805131

Altcoins

Encrypgen’s New HODLING Incentive Program May Send DNA Token Soaring

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Encrypgen
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Cryptocurrency traders have enjoyed a Bitcoin moon shot during the past few months.  Those gains have created a much more enjoyable environment for crypto bulls.  Whether it’s a temporary or permanent increase remains to be seen but hitting the 10,000 level has put everyone in a better mood.  Unfortunately, altcoins have not had experienced the same type of gains and are lagging significantly behind Bitcoin.

I’ve written articles in the past year that there is at least a decent chance that many altcoins won’t survive the current environment.  The ones that do will do so because they created a platform that has real world usage.  After spending countless hours researching many of the existing altcoins, I’ve yet to see a company that is more promising than Encrypgen (DNA).

Encrypgen Background Information

Encrypgen is a genomic blockchain network that provides customers and partners with best-in-class, next generation, blockchain security for protecting, sharing and re-marketing genomic data. This creates a fair marketplace for a person’s DNA that can be stored privately and sold (if a person wishes to do that). A person’s DNA can also be shared privately and securely with their physician for their personalized care.

Typically, people can send their DNA off to a lab to find out who they are and where they come from. As fun as that might sound, there is a significant security problem…

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Bitcoin

Investors Beware: Another Large Bitcoin Crash Might Be Coming

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Bitcoin crash
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The crypto prices have surged quite high in the last few months. Of course, their progress is nowhere near the one seen in 2017, but they appear to be getting there, one day at the time. However, things might not be as simple as that, and according to recent performance — it is more than possible that a major Bitcoin crash is incoming.

The fact is that cryptos saw a massive amount of growth in a very short period. Bitcoin itself more than doubled its price in only two months. Now, the rally is starting to crash in on itself, and the coin is already about $1,000 lower than last week. If such development does come to pass, a lot of people will experience quite large losses, although experienced investors might find some opportunities, and leverage in order to enhance their holdings’ long-term value.

For example, Bitcoin dominance is expected to crash very quickly, which will work in favor of quite a lot of altcoins. While this does not seem to be the best time to invest in BTC, altcoins are another story, and diversifying a portfolio now might end up being very profitable in days to come.

Bitcoin behavior mirrors the pre-bear market situation

The crash that analysts are predicting right now comes as a direct consequence of all the hype that has been building up in…

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Top 3 Coins to Buy Before They Go Big

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coins
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Crypto bulls are back, that much is clear. The long-lasting, harsh crypto winter is gone, and the new era in digital currency sector opens up some rather interesting opportunities. With many more bull runs expected to come in months ahead, a lot of coins are likely to blow up and maybe even hit new all-time highs, although that still remains purely theoretical.

On the other hand, the fact is that numerous coins are seeing prices that were not achieved since early 2018, and the overall momentum remains bullish. With that in mind, even if new records do not come for a very long time — chances are that many of the coins will blow up enough for investors to see some serious gains in months to come. As a result, investing in some of these coins now might be a very profitable decision, for those who have the patience to wait a few months. Here are some of the projects believed to have the greatest potential to go big in the second half of 2019 and beyond.

1. TRON (TRX)

Putting TRON on the list should not really surprise anyone, as the project constantly comes up with new project updates, partnerships, and alike. It also constantly breaks records, as is becoming one of the biggest players in the dApp and smart contract development sector.

In the past few…

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