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Messages - ataraxiaceleste

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1
I very well understand that 5 -10 years in the blockchain world can be a very longtime where lots of changes may happen. However, I think it is a sufficient amount of time for enough for any major technological adoption to happen. It is estimated that the IoT market will have a market size that of $1,436 Billion by the year 2027, that would mean lots of devices connected to the internet.
Lots of connected devices would also mean potential hacks and security breaches. Deploying blockchain to monitor these devices would be the only practical solution. Blockchains such as Concordium can help used the inbuilt ID verification systems to enable seamless interaction of humans and IoT connected devices or even between different devices, legal regulation is another hassle that can be tackled by a blockchain like this.

Number of blockchain and crypto users would have increased by a large number, that would also mean more scrutiny, so we can expect that regulation will be the only way for blockchain projects to stay relevant in the space. It would also mean that users have access to a large choice of Blockchains that would have matured over the many years.

A lot more people being being considered "digitally finance literate". Hence, the entry to barrier will not be too much. We will be closer to hyper bitcoinization. Global Debt will be at an all time high and we may see another cycle of economic collapse.

We will all have alternative means of financial freedom Blockchain technology in itself would have evolved so much. I expect a large number of projects to have moved to advanced security algorithms by then. It will be interesting to see how the tech evolves.

IoT homes, self driving cars, decentralized companies and decentralized autonomous organizations bigger than corporations will be fun to watch and participate in.

I know I missed many more things, but what is your take on how the future of blockchain might look like.

2
Consumer behavior is changing with an increase in e-mobility and on demand services. People are now willing to share data and use more technology which is accelerating a digital experience in everything we do. Ride sharing is becoming more popular among urban riders. Not only is it eco-friendly but also great to cut down expenses. This also comes with many unforeseen risks. Use of blockchain technology can help reduce these risks very accurately and help create a safer and more sustainable environment for all.

A friend told me about Concordium and how regulation can be a good thing. It got me wondering. Using blockchains like Concordium which are designed to bring 'Blockchain to Business' can help greatly reduce the risks, since it has regulatory compliance by design. It can make sure that the co-passengers sharing the ride with you do not have any criminal background without actually putting their privacy at risk by revealing too much information to the other passengers too which would reduce any malicious actions by other co-passengers that they might take to advantage incase too much information is revealed.

It even has a verification feature both on chain and off chain, at the same time maintaining privacy of all, ( basically using ( Zero Knowledge Proofs to privately verify information )  so you can safely share rides with people you don't know.

Using blockchain can help track many things like the the usage times and share vehicle data to owners, manufacturers in a safe and secure way without being tampered with.

Can help link data held by different businesses across industries, can enable “pay as you go mechanisms” and help both consumers and retailers help boost businesses especially in a time where economies these days are hit by the Covid19 pandemic.

There are many more applications I was thinking of. How else is blockchain being used in the Automotive industry? Are there any cryptos in particular catering to the automotive industry?

Automotive industry is a very big sector that can generate billions in revenue if done correctly.

3
In the wake of GDPR and other privacy laws, companies need ways to process data in a way such that the trust is distributed among several parties. This is super important for preservation of privacy as well as being compliant with the laws.

Topology-Hiding Computation (THC) allows a set of parties to securely compute a function over an incomplete network without revealing information on the network topology. Since its introduction in TCC’15 by Moran et al., the research on THC has focused on reducing the communication complexity, allowing larger graph classes, and tolerating stronger corruption types.

All of these results consider a fully synchronous model with a known upper bound on the maximal delay of all communication channels.

Unfortunately, in any realistic setting this bound has to be extremely large, which makes all fully synchronous protocols inefficient. In the literature on multi- party computation, this is solved by considering the fully asynchronous model.

However, THC is unachievable in this model (and even hard to define), leaving even the definition of a meaningful model as an open problem.

Researchers from Concordium, MIT, IDC Herzilya and ETH Zurich introduce a meaningful model of unknown and random communication delays for which THC is both definable and achievable.

The probability distributions of the delays can be arbitrary for each channel, but one needs to make the (necessary) assumption that the delays are independent.

The existing fully-synchronous THC protocols do not work in this setting and would, in particular, leak information about the topology.

Second, in the model with trusted stateless hardware boxes introduced at Eurocrypt’18 by Ball et al., the researchers present a THC protocol that works for any graph class.

Third, they explore what is achievable in the standard model without trusted hardware and present a THC protocol for specific graph types (cycles and trees) secure under the DDH assumption.

The speed of all protocols scales with the actual (unknown) delay times, in contrast to all previously known THC protocols whose speed is determined by the assumed upper bound on the network delay.

A fundamental solution to this problem is to introduce a meaningful model to secure multiparty computation.


4
I am excited for the European Blockchain Convention that is scheduled to happen next month, in September.

I am particularly interested  in this conference because it mainly deals with Blockchain for Business. I think Business' are going to be key drivers of Blockchain to the masses.

Some interesting panel topics that caught my attention are :

Transforming digital identity into Self Sovereign Identity
Notabene and Concordium are two projects I am closely watching. I look forward to the talk by CEO of Concordium, Lone Fønss Schrøder and the CEO of Notabene Pelle Braendgaard. Concordium mainly because they are building regulatory compliant Blockchain for Business. Notabene has been vocal about Travel Rule. Regulation will surely be a key decision maker in adoption of crypto in 2021.   

I also am interested in the following panels :
Where Do We Stand on Self-Sovereign Identity?
Blockchain: Regulation and the Law in 2020.
Central Bank Digital Currencies and the Future of Money.

5
Consider the following seemingly paradoxical question :

Can Peggy convince Vic of the veracity of an NP statement, without leaking any information about the witness even in case Vic is malicious and Peggy does not trust her computer?
Can we avoid that Peggy fools Vic into accepting false statements, even if Peggy is mali- cious and Vic does not trust her computer?

At EUROCRYPT 2015, Mironov and Stephens-Davidowitz introduced cryptographic reverse firewalls (RFs) as an attractive approach to tackling such questions.

Study interactive proof systems (IPSes) in a strong adversarial setting where the machines of honest parties might be corrupted and under control of the adversary. Their aim is mainly to answer the seemingly paradoxical questions like above.

Intuitively, a Reverse Firewall for Peggy/Vic is an external party that sits between Peggy/Vic and the outside world and whose scope is to sanitize Peggy’s/Vic’s incoming and outgoing messages in the face of subversion of her/his computer, e.g. in order to destroy subliminal channels.

The researchers at Concordium, Chaya Ganesh , Bernardo Margi , Daniele Venturi put forward several natural security properties for RFs in the concrete setting of IPSes.

As their main contribution, they construct efficient RFs for different IPSes derived from a large class of Sigma protocols that they call malleable.

A nice feature of their design is that it is completely transparent, in the sense that their RFs can be directly applied to already deployed IPSes, without the need to re-implement them.

It can get quite technical unless you are actually have prior knowledge about subversion, Cryptographic Firewalls , Zero knowledge Proofs to fully understand this in depth.

They finally conclude the research by showing how to design cryptographic reverse firewalls allowing to preserve security of interactive proof systems in the face of subversion. Their firewalls apply to a large class of Sigma protocols meeting a natural malleability property, and can be extended to cover classical applications of Sigma protocols for designing zero-knowledge proofs and for proving compound statements.

6
I found a research paper that basically speaks about creating the simplest multi-key linearly Homomorphic signature scheme. In it they mainly consider the problem of outsourcing computation on data authenticated by different users.

With that they aim to create the simplest possible solution to provide data integrity in cloud-based scenarios. Concretely, their multi-key linearly homomorphic signature scheme (mklhs) allows users to upload signed data on a server, and at any later point in time any third party can query the server to compute a linear combination of data authenticated by different users and check the correctness of the returned result.

Their construction generalizes Boneh et al.’s linearly homomorphic signature scheme to the multi-key setting and relies on basic tools of pairing-based cryptography. Compared to existing multi-key homomorphic signature schemes, they claim their mklhs is a conceptually simple and elegant direct construction, which trades-off privacy for efficiency.

They claim that the simplicity of their approach leads them to a very efficient construction that enjoys significantly shorter signatures and higher performance than previous proposals.

Finally, they move onto implement mklhs using two different pairing-friendly curves at the 128-bit security level, a Barreto-Lynn-Scott curve and a Barreto-Naehrig curve.

Their benchmarks illustrate interesting performance trade-offs between these parameters, involving the cost of exponentiation and hashing in pairing groups.

Interestingly the author of this research also happens to be working in the Science Team of Conocrdium which has funded the ongoing research of Aarhus University. Is this a great break through in the field of Cryptographic Engineering and Network Security field. Can more protocols leverage such signature schemes?

7
Altcoin discussion / Market Trends, IEO's to Uniswap
« on: August 11, 2020, 12:25:56 AM »
As you all know the bull markets have officially begun. This is just the beginning of what is going to be the most epic bull run of all times. I expect a full fledged bull market by 2021. Let us look at the current trends in the market I am not going to be doing TA here or doing a technical analysis but instead looks at the kind of sales that are happening.

Current trends in the markets :

1. Uniswap Tokens :
Uniswap is an exchange protocol that allows users to trustlessly swap ERC20 tokens. Rather using the traditional order book model, Uniswap pools tokens into smart contracts and users trade against these liquidity pools. Anyone can swap tokens, add tokens to a pool to earn fees, or list a token on Uniswap. Massive gains were seen in projects first introduced in Uniswap. Craziest gainz were not on centralized exchanges but on Uniswap. Tokens cile Compound, Balancer.

2. Private Sales :

We saw private sales for many reputed projects. The Atari Group, one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and interactive entertainment producers, announced the closing of the first round of private sales of the Atari Token in April 2020, reserved for qualified investors and implemented by Atari Chain. unit price of US$0.08 per Atari Token. Many private sales happened in projects like Skale Network , Edgeware ,Polkadot dint hesitate to take the private sale route for a portion of their tokens.

3. Lockdrops :
Somenotable projects that did lockdrops are Supernova , Dusty network, Plasm , Darwinia Network were soem notable lockdrops of 2020.

4. Incentivised Testnests :

Incentivized testnets have been a huge flavour the market. Many reputed projects think that this might be the fair method to onboard legit community members who might contribute and also want them to have some skin in the game. Some projects having/ had incentivised testnets are : Kusama , Cosmos ,Cardano , Near , Coda , Oasis , NuCypher , Concordium. Concordium is a project I am super excited because it brings regulation and ID on the blockchain so finally it makes sense for businesses to get involved in the public blockchain domain. They already seem to have had 2 rounds of testnet. 3rd round is roumoured to be an incentivised testnet. So do not miss it in case you want to get some GTU.

5. IEO :
IEO is the new IPO. Binance had some cool IEO's this year. Namely,  Kava , Troy , WazirX , Cartesi , The Sandbox ( which will happen in a few days ).

8
Bas Spitters and Danil Annenkov of Concordium have proposed a novel way of embedding functional smart contract languages into the Coq proof assistant using meta-programming techniques.
Their framework allows for developing the meta-theory of smart contract languages using the deep embedding and provides a convenient way for reasoning about concrete contracts using the shallow embedding. They mainly propose an approach that allows to make a connection between the two embeddings in a form of a soundness theorem.

As an instance of their approach they develop an embedding of the Oak smart contract language in Coq and verify several important properties of a crowdfunding contract.

They claim that they have developed techniques that are applicable to all functional smart contract languages thorough this.

I know that this can be a technically heavy subject.But wondering if any researchers or any other blockchain projects have gone down this route?

9
As the industry matures and more institutional money pours in we are seeing many old projects and many new projects emerge winners from a market perspective.How much of it is actually fueled by actual utility? Or is it mere market speculation?

I see many new projects that are innovating. Science Backed Blockchain Concordium plans to release GTU ( Global Transaction Unit ). The Graph plans to release its own Graph Tokens. Many Web 3 projects are releasing their own tokens that will utilize substrate. Near Protcol , Skale and so many new projects. 

Post Defi Wave lots of profits have been made, where will that new money flow into? Will it lead to the new wave of Bull run as more new projects which are heavily researched and have working products take over the blockchain markets by storm?

10
What are your thoughts on the need for regulation in the cryptocurrency industry? As the industry matures, I think it would make sense to go the regulatory route rather than to fight the "existing system"?I think Concordium clearly understands the need for Privacy.

I like how this project clearly separates between privacy and anonymity. The founder of Concordium is the founder of Saxo Bank. It made sense when he mentions in his video that he's seen trends like the internet grow when no one believed him and the way it matured over time.He thinks something very similar is going to happen in blockchain as well.According to him Banks and Financial institutions ( he has more than 20 years of experience being CEO of a bank he co founded ) need identity verification and anonymity will not be possible but privacy sure can be possible and Concordium addresses this very point.It made sense to me. What are your thoughts?

11
Concordium is innovative in its approach to the fundamental challenges of all public blockchains from network security to smart contracts. But the two central innovations are the tight integration with regulatory requirements and the new 2-layer consensus protocol.

Concordium blockchain enables provably private transactions, while providing means to de-anonymise actors with suspicious behaviour. The latter being done under strict regulatory control.

Their new consensus protocol combines the traditional longest-chain-rule with a Byzantine Agreement Protocol. The former allows very fast addition of new blocks and the latter ensures that new blocks are quickly protected against roll-back.

This combination allows for obtaining a measure of the network conditions and based on this measure the blockchain can be dynamically optimised for security and performance.

They exploit the strong consensus mechanism to provide “Finality as a Service” supporting cross-chain interoperability and enabling sharding.

12
Altcoin projects / The Pedersen Commitment
« on: July 28, 2020, 02:21:16 AM »
Torben Pedersen started working on the commitment scheme when constructing a secret sharing scheme allowing anyone receiving a share of a secret to verify his share alone — ie., without talking to anyone.
The commitment scheme is a basis of this and has the nice property that one commits to relatively much data in one go in such a way that no one ever — even if we one day get a quantum computer — can get any information about this data unless the owner decides to reveal it.

With this property in place, it is often much easier to prove the security of cryptographic protocols using the commitment scheme. Another reason why it has been so popular is probably that it is very simple, and it has the following property which is useful in many situations:

If I have made commitments C1 and C2 to two numbers, A1 and A2, then the product of the two commitments, C1*C2, is the commitment to A1+A2.

Pedersen Commitment Explained :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9SOk9dIOCk&feature=emb_logo

Torben Pedersen is now the CTO of Conocrdium. He beleives that Concordium is not trying to “teach” the Industry how to use the power of Blockchain but Concordium is coming from the Business world to help businesses use blockchain technology to enhance day-to-day productivity.

13
Existing Nakamoto-style blockchains (NSBs) rely on some sort of synchrony assumption to offer any type of safety guarantees.

A basic requirement is that when a party produces a new block, then all previously produced blocks should be known to that party, as otherwise the new block might not append the current head of the chain, creating a fork. In practice, however, the network delay for parties to receive messages is not a known constant, but rather varies over time.

The consequence is that the parameters of the blockchain need to be set such that the time between the generation of two blocks is typically larger than the network delay (e.g., 10 minutes in Bitcoin) to guarantee security even under bad network conditions.

This results in lost efficiency for two reasons:
(1) Since blocks are produced less often, there is low throughput. 
(2) blocks can only be considered final, and thus the transactions inside confirmed, once they are extended by sufficiently many other blocks, which incurs a waiting time that is a multiple of 10 minutes.

This is true even if the actual network delay is only 1 second, meaning that NSBs are slow even under good network conditions.

Concordium Researchers at Aarhus Research Center at Aarhus University show how the Bitcoin protocol can be adjusted such that they preserve Bitcoin’s security guarantees in the worst case, and in addition, their protocol can produce blocks arbitrarily fast and achieve optimistic responsiveness.

The latter means that in periods without corruption, the confirmation time only depends on the (unknown) actual network delay instead of the known upper bound.

Technically, they propose an approach where blocks are treated differently in the “longest chain rule”.

The crucial parameter of their protocol is a weight function assigning different weight to blocks according to their hash value.

They even present a framework for analyzing different weight functions, in which they prove all statements at the appropriate level of abstraction.

This allows them to quickly derive protocol guarantees for different weight functions. They even exemplify the usefulness of their framework by capturing the classical Bitcoin protocol as well as exponentially growing functions as special cases, where the latter provide the above mentioned guarantees, including optimistic responsiveness.

14
The post Covid19 world has changed lives forever, Identity will become even more important now that people will have to return to normalcy in the coming months. This does not change the narrative for lax regulation, in fact regulatory compliance will only get stricter, we have seen FATF introduce more stricter provisions and asking countries to comply. Imagine having to face no regulatory hassles and slowing you down with respect to international business, travel and commerce. This is exactly why this regulatory compliance is important at a protocol level.

Concordium plans to introduce an innovative identity layer that allows users to create a verifiable identity off-chain to facilitate compliance with relevant regulations, while also allowing that identity to be represented on-chain in a way that protects the user’s privacy.

In the past there has usually been an extreme balances between user privacy and accountability. Some blockchains allow fully anonymous transactions without any accountability, making them vulnerable to illegal activity. Equally troubling is that while some blockchains do not provide true anonymity for transactions, allowing for transactions and accounts to be tracked, they offer no systematic way to discover the real-world identity of suspicious users.

Concordium claims to offer a workable solution by providing transactional privacy for users, along with a mechanism that allows accountability to local regulations.

This means that transactions are processed without exposing the identity of the sender or receiver, who will also be the only parties that can see the actual amount of a transaction, if the transaction is an encrypted transfer. On the other hand, where a suspicious transaction or set of transactions have been detected, the real-world identity of the user can be revealed to qualified authorities with the help of anonymity revokers and identity providers.

Moreover, if a specific real-world identity is suspected of malicious behavior, anonymity revokers and identity providers can help trace all accounts of that user.

I think this will help regulation get embedded within the protocol design. Though this might seem scary to many, it actually is safe because we know what exactly is being tracked and what is not. So that leaves very less scope for snooping by governments, malicious actors will have less leverage here and users will be protected from hackers and other bad actors.

This will in turn encourage more business to adopt public permissionless blockchains because it would be easier to shield themselves against bad actors, still provide accountability to their audience, while keeping any essential sensitive business components private and most of all they don't really have to worry about regulatory compliance.

This will truly help accelerate open blockchain environments with security and guarantees of permissioned closed environments that business' prefer.



15
Some of the Obtained guarantees of Concordium as proven by Dinsdale-Young et al. [DMMNT19], we obtain the following guarantees from Concordium's finality layer:
 
 • Chain-Forming: that finalized blocks form a chain;
 
 • Agreement: that all parties agree on the finalized blocks;
 
 • Updated: that the last finalized block does not fall too far behind the last block in the underlying blockchain;
 
 • ⅓-Support: that all finalized blocks are ‘supported’ by honest parties holding at least ⅓ of the total stake.This means that honest parties had these blocks on their chains before finalization and they are not required to adopt a new chain after finalization, limiting potential rollbacks.
 
 To further ensure the reliability of Concordium platform their researchers are investigating formal verification methods to formally prove the security of their finality layer [DSTT19].
 
 Do you think these gurantees from the Finality layer are possible?

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