This week Feng Han traveled to Philadelphia and to Singapore to speak at blockchain events, while Rong Chen provided answers to another round of community questions. With phase two of our DPoS consensus complete, the technical teams continue to produce significant updates while EF announced that it would inaugurate a new Developer Experience Team featuring community favorite Jimmy Lipham.
Will you be in or near Paris in May? If so, please register for UNESCO’s “Blockchain: perspectives and practices,” where Rong Chen will be speaking on behalf of Elastos about The Modern Internet as a tool for social good around the world.
– Modified related scripts and QR scanner plugin for Trinity to support Cordova 9.0.0;
– Improved the resolution for DApp path problems and plugin related issues on Runtime;
– Continued to implement signing and packaging of DApps via DID;
– New UI/UE design provides the feature of tasks segmentation;
– Runtime data storage changed from Realm to SQLite to support Swift 5.0;
– Fixed an issue where camera could not get picture data after taking a picture;
– Submitted the first version of wallet DApp (developer version, non-consumer version);
– Hive IPFS/Cluster performance testing and test data collection;
– Conducted Hive IPFS/Cluster performance testing and data collection;
– Improved Hive IPFS/Cluster documentation (mainly added Troubleshooting);
– Improved the Posix file operation function of the FUSE App;
– Continued Hive Storage Java API interface design;
– Started unified Hive Storage Native API interface design;
– Started Hive Native Storage and Swift version encoding implementation; currently docking Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud;
– Completed standard IPFS-based FUSE App application to Hive platform; supports Linux/Mac platform and added documentation;
– Wrote the automated test case for native Carrier offline messaging feature;
– The iOS Carrier is updated and version 5.2.3 is released;
– Provided support for new versions of Swift 5.0 and Carrier-v5.2.3 with Xcode 10.2, and updated DittoBox server, iOSClient and Android client and CarrierDemo repository;
– Updated the ownCloud of DittoBox Android Client to version 2.10.0;
– Updated the Native SDK compiled post-type (iOS only exports static libraries, other platforms export static and dynamic libraries by default);
– Updated iOS SDK project, internal dependent Native Carrier changed to direct static library dependency to resolve issues encountered on AppStore application review process;
Main Network Upgrade:
– Main network was upgraded to support 12 CRC Supernodes for DPoS consensus to realize AuxPoW + DPoS consensus; any bitcoin mining pool can be connected for merge mining with ELA
– Completed the Mainnet browser and web wallet upgrade;
– Changed DPoS reward distribution to happen per round instead of per block;
– Developed the main chain DPoS routing function;
– Developed cross-chain reverse proxy service;
– Improved the anti-doing process and adjusted the early warning mechanism of network abnormal state and carried out DPoS abnormal test;
– Optimized automated test framework for development team internal white box testing and optimized Lua testcase runtime dependent components;
– Added direct report detection procedures and modified mongodb table structure and voting procedures;
– On-duty arbitrator test procedure;
– Completed support for xpublickey and added the ability to export Keystore without private key;
– Optimized the SPV wallet multi-signing process and released a new version;
– Support for new mobile wallet testing for DPoS elections;
– Ethereum MPT tree principle analysis and code sorting to prepare for the SPV version of the Ether wallet;
– Started the porting and testing of the Trie tree in NeoVM;
– Developed a sidechain node Magic setting specification;
Elastos Main Network Upgrade Announcement
The Elastos blockchain development team will upgrade the mainnet node from 11:00AM to 2:00pm on April 13th (UTC Time).
Wallets will not be affected during the upgrade process.
This upgrade will optimize the stability of the DPOS nodes and improve the connection speed of the SPV nodes.
Have a look at the refreshed Cyber Republic website: https://www.cyberrepublic.org/
Check out the latest Cyber Republic Weekly Report here: https://blog.cyberrepublic.org/2019/04/08/weekly-report-april-8-2019/
Participate in the Cyber Republic forums at https://forum.cyberrepublic.org. All logins are linked to your Cyber Republic login, this includes the forums and, in the future, your Elastos DIDs.
Rong Chen has answered another round of your community questions: https://news.elastos.org/rong-chen-answers-community-questions-2/
Watch “The Future Of The Internet With Rong Chen” by SVK Crypto.
Feng Han attended the second 2019 Penn Blockchain Conference in Philadelphia, co-hosted by IBM, Ripple and the University of Pennsylvania, where he participated in the “Spotlight on China” panel. Feng discussed the role of a decentralized and secure internet, describing a coming era when DApps cannot be shut down by third parties; and users, not just corporations, can control and monetize their data.
Feng Han, spoke on a panel at the Chain Plus blockchain event in Singapore, where he discussed how the Modern Internet will influence future payment systems. He also spent time talking with Da Hongfei of NEO and Huobi’s North American CEO.
Director of Elastos Ecosystem Applications Shijun Song participated in Jinse Financial’s Jinse Salon in Shenzhen. The theme of the event was “Public Blockchains – Warlords of The Waring States.” Many public blockchain projects were invited to break down the well known directions of the industry, as well as some directions that have gone unnoticed as of yet.
Livestream: April 18
Elastos is hosting its first livestream Developer Workshop “Running Elastos Private Net.” Join our DevStudio Lead, KP, on April 18th, 9:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) – come prepared to follow along, ask questions and engage.
Livestream link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvS1cEKR-mU
Paris: May 17
Rong Chen has been invited to UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) headquarters in Paris on May 17th to be a speaker at their event, “Blockchain: practices and perspectives.” The event will focus on how blockchain technologies can be used for social good. This meeting will provide an opportunity for organizations, businesses and sciences to interact and will allow researchers and industry insiders from the fields of computer sciences, humanities, social sciences, economics and law have cross-industry discussions. For more information: https://en.unesco.org/blockchain-practices-and-perspectives
New Elastos Foundation Team: DX
The Developer Experience (DX) Team is a newly formed Elastos Foundation (EF) team that will bring focus to the Developer Experience. The team will focus on attracting, converting, and retaining developers.
Donnie Bullers is the leader of the DX team. He will be responsible for overall strategy, operations, and technical marketing. Jimmy Lipham, a well-known developer and active community member, will be tasked with guiding the developer experience and gauging levels of satisfaction. Martin Knight, a contributor to the CR News & Social Media team and regular designer for the EF, is currently heading up design and branding for the group. Kiran Pachhai, the Elastos Foundation’s Software Development Relations Manager, will be the team’s technical resource who will be working closely with DX to ensure both this team and Dev Studio are fully synchronized.
The System of Dynamics at the Heart of the Ecosystem
Song Shijun, The Director of the Elastos Ecosystem wrote a piece on system dynamics in regards to blockchain and Elastos.
I believe that when building an ecosystem, it is first necessary to find the native “system of dynamics” of that ecosystem, which will be the driving force for its positive and sustainable growth.
Take the Taobao ecosystem for example. It helps buyers and sellers trade goods, allowing large volumes of goods to flow between both sides. The circulation of goods is the source of the system of dynamics within the Taobao ecosystem. Based on these dynamics, manufacturers, logistics service providers, advertisers, software developers, and other auxiliary roles have been brought along, thus forming the great Alibaba that we all know today. Pay attention to the order of things—first, The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Sabre were available for purchase on Taobao, after which numerous buyers and sellers came on board; finally, logistics, advertisers, developers and other basic service providers came on board. Alibaba Zhitongche, Cainiao, and Alibaba Cloud weren’t built in a day. First, the demands were met and then the experience was improved.
The Internet is also an ecosystem in which its native system of dynamics allows for speedy circulation of information, giving rise to the Netscape browser, Souhu and Google search engines, personal Internet nodes like Facebook, and the real-time messaging of WeChat.
Market value often reflects a product’s influence on the world. Many people criticize the fact that blockchain has no applications, that it is only a speculative market, and that it doesn’t have major user demand. They therefore conclude its market value to be inferior to that of a single company.
Many people say that the reason no killer apps have emerged on any blockchain platform is because blockchain does not have sufficient functionality. I disagree with that. In 2002, when we were still in the era of dial-up Internet, QQ reached over 100 million users. And before digital payments were ubiquitous, there was a transaction market for fantasy games and equipment.
Any sector that has real demands will produce a market, just like in neighboring North Korea, where, despite all kinds of high-pressure controls, there is still an underground black market for foreign currency and food products. Even though Bitcoin is difficult to use and is slow, it still occupies one half or more of the cryptocurrency market. In this way, market demands are not determined by technology, but rather technology only determines the process by which a demand is fulfilled. So don’t be too hard on TPS, because although the need for a large-scale universal application has not yet been found, it is not that the technology that can’t fulfill the demand, but rather the product has not yet been discovered. This is just like the universal needs of all new Internet users in 2000 who signed up for email and QQ accounts.
Let’s go back to the source. Since the birth of Bitcoin until today, there have been no major changes. The world was shocked to discover that its operating principle could work. In layman’s terms, this shock can be explained by saying that before blockchain, computers used RAM, which were readable and writable, things like hard disks; computers also had ROM, which were read-only, including things like CDs. Blockchain created a third category; readable, writable, and unchangeable.
The value of computers and the Internet comes from their ability to process and transmit information, but the question of how to maintain the authenticity remains. If I am worried that the document I send might get a virus, I can generate a hash for the document and publish it online, but what if my website gets hacked and it is tampered with? Say I buy something on Taobao and they send me counterfeit goods and then I write a negative review on the store—could their customer service erase it? One-time write privileges of the CD can’t solve this problem, because the speed won’t be able to keep up with the big data of the Internet. But blockchain is updated and saved in real time online, conveniently allowing it to solve these problems.
In thirty years, the Internet has produced massive amounts of data. All our content creations, transaction records, and digital wealth rely on big data. How do I know that the data you sent me isn’t counterfeit or tampered with? The traditional world has spent a huge cost on protecting the authenticity of data. After the Shanghai Stock Exchange closes each day, securities dealers, banks, and exchanges begin the process of repeated accounting. Neither institution trusts the other one’s accounting, so the only way is to verify again from scratch. Do you think this method is very effective? How much do you think that costs? If we used the Merkle Tree to trace the hashes from all transactions for ten minutes, down to the ultimate root hash records on the Bitcoin blockchain, wouldn’t it be faster than the process of accounting? Wouldn’t the cost be lower? Is TPS really the problem then?
Blockchain is very useful because it can guarantee that records can’t be changed, can carryout transactions with digital currency, and can even run smart contracts. But we can’t have blockchain solve problems and all links—we still need large-scale high-speed computers to quickly compute the hash, and traditional networks are responsible for transmitting information. Let it do the tasks for which it is best suited rather than every single task. For example, you wouldn’t mistake me, a programmer, for a computer repairperson.
To review a little bit about the computing models of computers, any piece of computing equipment, including cell phones, computers, and cloud computing, all are comprised of three components: a CPU, RAM and a computer bus. The CPU is responsible for computing, RAM is responsible for storing data, and the computer bus is responsible for transmitting data. This is a simplified version of the principles of computer constitution and all computer systems use this same principle.
Inside of our computer hard drive, there is also a CPU running programs. Its purpose is to allow reading and writing data to hit the cache more. The more capable this program, the faster the hard drive can read and write. But this function cannot change their position as storage equipment. CPUs and programs all serve this purpose giving them better storage capabilities. When we pull blockchain into a computing system, its core function is to store data and to guarantee that the data stored cannot be altered. So, many people say that blockchain TPS has a bottleneck, making it impossible to create applications, which seems to mean that this coder wouldn’t even be able to fix the computer, and certainly can’t write code. We must consider further whether we are using blockchain in the right place!
Only after we understand the entire principle of computers and are clear about blockchain’s function and position within the overall computing model can we more effectively consider where its ecosystem is. In the ten years since the birth of blockchain, transfers are insufficient. But blockchain allows data to become trustful and unalterable and prevents digital assets from being double spent. If these special functions are combined with the Internet, providing a trustful basis for Internet data and allowing digital content to be tradable, this will take today’s Internet into a new era. Some people call it “ValueWeb” or “SmartWeb,” and these are not an exaggeration. I believe that the ability to create trustful information and to make content something that can be transacted is the core system of dynamics for the blockchain ecosystem.
But blockchain can only perform trustful storage; the data must ultimately be “broadcast” using iOS or Android and displayed on a screen; both broadcast and display are off-chain activities. Although we can verify that the data content has not been altered by inspecting the hashes on-chain, malicious users could still copy and paste tens of thousands of illegal versions, to trick people into thinking that the copied blockchain is virus free or that it is the original document. It is actually very easy to sell counterfeit versions of the blockchain.
Everyone trusts Bitcoin because if I send you one BTC, then I have one less and you have one more, making it impossible to double-spend. This is why Bitcoin is able to have value. But if after sending a piece of digital content to you, mine still remains, then you have gained one piece, that is double spending. If there is no way to solve the problem of double spending digital content, then there would be no way to form a closed loop of value, meaning that we wouldn’t be able to form the system of dynamics for the ecosystem.
In order to solve the problems discussed above, we can imitate the separation of powers by separating users, runtime environments (OS) and apps. Among those, the runtime environment is crucial. Previously, we ran apps on iOS and Android, where the operating system doesn’t manage the authenticity of the apps or the data, causing all kinds of problems with rights and data breaches. Elastos Runtime is a runtime environment that strictly controls these things. Apps are unable to access the “external network” and can only access the authorized “internal network,” enabling protection of data security. It is open source, public, and records made on the blockchain ledger provide the basis for its operation. If you have a token for a digital book in your wallet, then you can read that book; if you send the token to another person, then you won’t be able to open that book anymore.
In this way, we can separate user data from developers’ apps. We should let the runtime environment protect data, the app broadcast the data and the blockchain record the ledger. This is similar to the common practice of different people performing accounting services for a company’s incoming and outgoing payments and in order to prevent fraud. On today’s Internet, apps not only are responsible for broadcasting data, but also are also responsible for managing data, which gives the app an excess of power. After apps are separated from data through Elastos Runtime, data gets an impartial operating environment for protection, thus avoiding fraud on all sides. Apps using this model will naturally comply with the requirements of GDPR laws.
To reiterate the overall Elastos computing model, it is the same as a computer, and includes three components: CPU, RAM and bus.
CPU: Utilizing off-chain computing, Elastos Runtime is combined with the trustful operating environment that protects data content, enabled by the operating system, which was researched and developed for 17 years by previous iterations of Elastos.
RAM: On-chain storage. Elastos utilizes Bitcoin merged mining for the largest and safest hash rate provided by the Bitcoin blockchain to protect the safety of the Elastos main chain ledger, yielding trustful data. Sidechains are simultaneously in development to adapt to applications from different industries, achieving customizable demands for RAM.
Bus: Elastos has already released Elastos Carrier, a decentralized P2P encrypted communication database, to enable transmission of trustful data.
Now, we have found an on-chain and off-chain closed solution based on the theoretical model that prevents digital content and digital currency from being double spent. The Internet achieves the transmission of information, and Taobao has realized the ability to transmit the value of goods. Elastos hopes to realize the transmission of the value of information on the Internet and to form the system of dynamics for the new, blockchain-based Internet. We are currently on the way to solving this puzzle.
As the Director of the Elastos Ecosystem, my main duties are to continuously stitch together existing technologies and to never stop trying to achieve the realization of model applications. The man-hours that we have invested into creating the new Internet have not yet been sufficient to achieve this massive dream. But following the launch of our main network, the DPoS+AuxPow consensus going online, and the subsequent launch of the trustful operating environment, I hope that the end of this year will bring a breakthrough and that next year we might be able to show everyone some model apps which embody the value of blockchain.
Finally, I want to explain a little more that the economic model for blockchain is not the same as that for the Internet. The Internet unicorns strive for the biggest drive space, the highest number of users, or the strongest VPN. The mindset is that if I could just get rid of my competition, then I could monopolize the market and charge whatever I want. Blockchain’s economic model places a higher emphasis on collaboration. If users in your app produce data, then it could be used in my app as well, so long as the user gives access, allowing both of our apps to amplify each other, thereby bringing more value to the customer. In the spirit of blockchain, Elastos is a completely public, open-source and free to use solution, and more closely resembles an agreement. Elastos is just one embodiment of this agreement and we welcome any public chain, company, or partner to realize a better solution and to use the knowledge and skills accumulated in your own industry to improve upon it. We are creating an all-new Internet together, not so that we can become a unicorn of the blockchain world, but rather that we can have freer and more equal competition with the Internet giants.
I hope you will join The Modern Internet.