A Dive into the World of DAOs

This article presents a conceptual and factual dive into the world of DAOs, their merits, and the types of DAOs

Picture an organization with no leader or management, autonomous, yet still manages to improve, make important decisions and even pay its members their due. "Impossible!" might be the first word that comes to mind.

DAO, fully known as Decentralized Autonomous Organization, can be described as an open-source blockchain protocol governed by a set of rules encoded in smart contracts. These rules are carefully written, placed, and repeatedly tested by the developers to ensure they work. These rules would technically make decisions on the DAO going forward with little or no human interference and are very difficult to change once committed.

The people who made these rules are compiled by mutual understanding even when they don't own the DAO. The ownership of DAOs is given to the buyers of the project; hence DAOs usually have a native token or cryptocurrency. This community thus gets voting rights in terms of price action, decision making, etc., depending on how many tokens they have.

Using the rules set in the smart contracts, the DAO runs itself. It manages participants' behavior and executes automated consensus. Some DAOs have rules that even make improvements, such as hiring developers to make changes as technology improves—all these with limited to no human interference. Cool right?

How Secure are DAOs?

While reading the above, one thought that might have crossed your mind would be, 'what about our internet trouble-makers, HACKERS?

That might be a good time to add that this is one of the disadvantages of the DAO system. Because of its open-source nature, everyone can see the codes, principles, etc. In addition, hackers can reverse engineer the system if they are smart enough.

Unfortunately, this happened with the first DAO created in 2016, also known as "THE DAO." Although, as explained through Coindesk's article, millions of dollars worth of Ethereum was carted away from the Ethereum network, the hack caused the creation of the DAO. The hard fork Ethereum stopped it, which resulted in another variant known as Ethereum classic today, via which the funds were returned to the owners.

But it all worked out in the end, then? Maybe not for THE DAO, but at least the owners got their compensation.

Merits of the System

Regardless of the concerns, the system has tons of advantages. They include:

Trustlessness. 

You don't need to trust any CEO or group of management with your funds or decisions. Hence, there is little or no fear of mismanagement.

Open-sourced. 

You always have access to the research, decision-making process set, the codes, and even payouts; hence there's absolute transparency.

Cannot be shut down. 

Unlike traditional institutions, DAOs are created to keep going regardless. So nothing can shut it down except some group of people with a huge amount of its token, otherwise called voting rights, decide it is best to do so.

Time will fail us if we keep talking about the merits but think about running an organization independently and delivering as expected. I'm sure you can come up with some advantages of your own.

Starting 2020, many yield farming and decentralized exchange (DEX) platforms like yearn.finance (YFI), Compound (COMP), and Uniswap (UNI) are dependent on them for governancehence we could say it is fast securing its space in the crypto world

Types of DAO

There are tons of DAOs created for various purposes, and as such, classifying them can be very difficult. Still, they can broadly categorize them into 2: Technically- oriented DAOs and Social-oriented DAOs.

Technically-Oriented DAOs tend to focus on building the crypto space and managing governance in the process, e.g., Maker DAO. In contrast, social-oriented DAOs tend to bring groups of people together and help find ways for them to interact. E.g., Friends with Benefits(FWB).

This large spectrum is further divided into subgroups: Protocol DAOs, Social DAOs, Investment DAOs, Grant DAOs, Service DAOs, Media DAOs, Creator DAOs, and Collector DAOs.

Conclusion

Regardless of various concerns and possible problems as it affects legality, structure, and security, many believe that DAOs have the potential to replace traditionally structured business, as it has proven its worth through its completely transparent processes. As a result, investors and developers believe that DAO will eventually catapult itself to prominence is only a matter of time.

Also, Read; Future of Polygon; Escalation with Zero-Knowledge

Future of Polygon; Escalation with Zero-Knowledge

This article focuses on how the future of the Polygon network is moving towards Zero-Knowledge proofs.

Polygon's network has increased in popularity than it was a few years back due to its largely-widely accepted adoption. It was formerly known as MATIC network and still has its token named MATIC, the same as its formerly-known name - MATIC.

In its launching in 2017, it was apparent it ushered in waves of incredible scaling protocols that will revolutionize the Ethereum network. Little wonder, several users, including experts, refer to the Polygon as the "blockchain internet of Ethereum."

Polygon focuses on creating blockchains that will be compatible with the Ethereum blockchain, increasing the scalability of blockchains. To fulfill this, the network has incorporated ZK technology.

Before we delve deeper into Polygon's vision and how ZK technology plays a role, here is what to know about Polygon. Enjoy

Polygon in a Minute

Polygon is a layer-2 scaling solution for the Ethereum network that will help to enhance transaction processing speed and reduce transaction gas fees.

The Polygon network serves as a blockchain protocol framework that will allow the development of other blockchains compatible with the Ethereum blockchain.

The way Polygon is structured is such that it allows for interoperability within networks, that is, the effective communication between two blockchains. With this, it's easier for newly developed blockchains to communicate with the mother blockchain {ethereum blockchain}.

That said, the Polygon network works based on plasma technology. The plasma technology is a protocol consensus that reduces gas fees and acts fraud-proof. The plasma technology checks for the authenticity of transactions off-chains then sends the validated transaction to the blockchain.

Not only these, but Polygon also works on the Proof-of-Stake mechanism that allows for leveraging consensus depending on the staked tokens or funds. Essentially, all blockchain on the Polygon network function on the Proof-of-Stake mechanisms.

Although Polygon has an array of benefits to offer users, it's still looking to make advancements of the following infrastructures:

Optimistic Roll-Ups

This layer-2 infrastructure will work as a based proof system, and it will validate transactions offline then send them to the mother network.

The Polygon Plasma

The Polygon plasma is also a layer-2 based infrastructure that will serve as a framework for building dApps off the chain, benefiting from Ethereum's blockchain structure.

Valid Chain Solutions

Quite similar to the ZK roll-ups in that it carries out transactions off-chain, but it's different from the ZK roll-up in that it keeps data of transactions off the chain entirely.

Stand Alone Chains

Stand-Alone chains go by their names and will "stand-alone" because their validators secure them. These chains are named "sovereign side chains," only connect to the mother blockchain, "Ethereum blockchain," via bridges.

ZK Roll-Up

ZK means "Zero-Knowledge," It is a layer-2 solution that will validate transactions offline and send the result to the main blockchain. In cases of a fraudulent block, this solution will submit the proof of fraud to the leading network, and the submission of the invalid transaction will automatically invalidate the transaction.

Considering all these upgradeable infrastructures, the Polygon will produce groundbreaking solutions. However, since we focus on the ZK Roll up, we'll treat that separately.

Polygon ZK Day

The Polygon ZK day event was on the 9th of December in partnership with ETHGLOBAL. The tour lasted for about four hours, announcing a $400 Million deal to support the demo of new scaling solutions and ZK startups.

Seeing that the Polygon network is so bullish depending on the future of ZK, the company has committed a whopping sum of 1 billion to the related efforts.

The ZK day is to improve on Polygon's ZK technologies. In improving Polygon's ZK technologies, the company will be advancing the processes of zero-knowledge systems.

Three advancements are expected to occur on ZK technologies:

Polygon Hermez

Polygon Hermez is the integration of the Hermez network into the Polygon space. Hermez is a prominent cryptography-based ZK scaling project. The integration of the project will provide Polygon with the feature of the EVM compatibility solution. EVM compatibility solution is a standard for blockchain development, and it is a significant feature in Hermez. Consequently, EVM compatibility will be incorporated into Polygon.

Also, the Polygon Hermez will allow for easy swapping of tokens between Hermez and Polygon networks. The swapping of tokens between both networks will create a space for only Polygon tokens. This way, security is enhanced on the network, rewards increase, and other functional utilities. The ratio of swapping between both networks is 3.5 MATIC: 1 HEZ.

Polygon Nightfall

Polygon nightfall is another exciting advancement in Polygon ZK technologies. Polygon nightfall is a cost-effective route of transaction conduction in the Polygon space.

The inspiration behind the development of Polygon nightfall is the challenge of high gas fees in the Ethereum space. The high gas fee on the Ethereum space occurs due to the high number of transactions, and Polygon nightfall will ensure low gas fees associated with transactions.

That said, the importance of Polygon nightfall in the Zero-Knowledge system is privacy and massive processing of transactions.

Polygon Maiden

Finally, Polygon Maiden, a STARK-based ZK roll-up, will be solving challenges with ZK roll-ups. The challenge with ZK roll-ups is the failure to support arbitrary logic and transaction. That invariably led to the re-execution of transactions and the hidden identity of some transactions.

Polygon maiden will solve these challenges by applying its maiden VM(virtual machine) feature. The maiden VM, which is STARK-based, will support arbitrary logic and transactions. Consequently, it is easy to execute transactions in space.

Wrapping Up

Polygon ZK assures extraordinary services by developing incredible projects to align with their goals. Moreover, Polygon will not delay splashing any amount to build their services. So, we're confident of the developments we are vouching on.

Also Read; Layer 2 Solutions: Taking Scalability to New Heights

How to Fork The Ethereum Blockchain

So much has been said about Ethereum Fork. Through this article, you will learn beyond the verbal meaning of the Ethereum fork to how to fork an Ethereum blockchain. However, it is still necessary to intimate our readers on the basics of the Ethereum fork to get them abreast with the subject.

What is an Ethereum Fork?

Ethereum fork is the product of copying, updating, and building on an Ethereum blockchain. This process sometimes results in two cryptocurrencies. However, it is often not the intention of forking. Rather, it is meant to upgrade an existing blockchain. Ethereum fork like others can be soft or hard fork; it is left for the developers to know which fork to perform. 

If the developer intends a backward compatible and a non-consensual fork, they should consider soft forking, but if it is a non-backward compatible and consensus fork, the best approach should be a hard fork. 

Before going deeper to learn how to fork the Ethereum blockchain, note that a fork can be unintentional or accidental. When two or more miners find a block at the same time, it is an accidental fork. On the other hand, an intentional fork refers to a deliberate move to modify the rules of the blockchain. 

Why Fork a Blockchain

Blockchain could be forked for several reasons. Meanwhile, the onus of forking a blockchain is to improve the scalability, decentralization, cost of the transaction, security, and affect other changes worthwhile on the existing chain instead of building a new one. For instance, the Ethereum blockchain even from its frontier stage up till the awaiting serenity stage has proven to be sturdy, robust, and has many untapped potentials. Therefore, forking is the best since it will take more resources, time, and effort to create a similar blockchain. 

Requirements to Forking a Blockchain

If you ever considered forking an Ethereum blockchain, there are prerequisites you must meet. The requirement for forking a blockchain ranges from software to hardware requirements. Below are the prerequisites; 

Step 1; Basic knowledge of the blockchain

It will be difficult to fork a blockchain you know nothing about. Every developer must know how the blockchain works to enable him/her to fork the blockchain. Particularly for the Ethereum blockchain, the developer has to know how the Ethereum development environment works as well as how it interacts with other environments beyond the local environment.

Step 2; Basic development skills including JavaScript, Linux command, etc

Every blockchain has its compliant programming tools and language. However, JavaScript, Python, and Linux command lines are the basic language of most blockchains including Ethereum.

Step 3; Windows, Linux, or a Mac OS

Various blockchain forking tools are designed for various operating systems. It is expected that you run on either Linux, Windows, or Mac OS. That way, you simply download and install the operating system version of the tool you use. However, Linux and its distros are more in demand and a must-have for the best development experience. 

Step 4; Ethereum client for instance; Ganache GUI or Ganache CLI, RPC, Ruffle, etc. 

An 'Ethereum client' is just a term that refers to any node able to parse and verify the blockchain, its smart contracts, and everything related. It also allows you to provide interfaces to create transactions and mine blocks which is the key for any blockchain interaction. To fork an Ethereum blockchain, we will be using Ganache-Cli

Step 5; Ethereum nodes include Infura, QuikNode, Geth, Nethermind, etc. 

Ethereum Nodes allows you to run your own nodes which helps you to run a private, trustless, and self-sufficient application. However, it's somewhat costly and tasking. Instead of going through the hassle of using Geth, Open Ethereum, etc., you can simply use third-party APIs like Infura, quikNode, and the likes. 

Steps to Forking an Ethereum Blockchain

Having got the requirements to forking the Ethereum blockchain, it is time to get started. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fork an Ethereum blockchain. It is expected that after going through this guide, you'd be akin to having your first Ethereum fork. Read on; 

Create an Ethereum Endpoint

Let's start by choosing the Ethereum client that will help us in creating an Ethereum endpoint. There are varieties of Ethereum nodes such as Geth, Nethermind, Open Ethereum, Infura, QuikNode, and so on. You can run your node, but that requires more resources and technicalities. Therefore, you can use third-party APIs like Infura, QuikNode, Alchemy to run your node. 

For the sake of this article, we will choose to create our Ethereum endpoint using Infura or QuikNode. To create the Ethereum endpoint, sign up on any of the third-party APIs; Infura or QuikNode and follow the process. 

QuikNode

Login and verify your account to create a node. Make sure you verify the email before choosing a subscription that suits the node you want to deploy. 

Once you have access to your account, endpoint details will be generated for your node. Head to node and copy the HTTP protocol as follows;

Infura

If you prefer to create your endpoint using Infura, you can do the following; 

  1. Signup on Infura.io and verify your mail.
  2. Head to create a project. In this article, I named the project "NewFork." 
  3. Copy the endpoint as shown on the figure below. 

Remember to set the endpoint to the Mainnet before copying the HTTP Protocol. 

Note; whether you use QuikNode or Infura, don't forget to save the HTTP Provider Endpoint you copied because you will use it after setting up Ganache CLI. 

Download and Install Ganache CLI

Ganache-CLI is one of the major components of the Turtle client. It is the command-line interface of the Ganache Ethereum client that allows you to connect to a local blockchain for testing your decentralized application. Instead of forking the main-net directly, the ganache CLI allows you to have a local environment for your developments.

Ganache CLI uses ethereumjs to simulate full client behavior making development on Ethereum faster, easier, and safer. If you want to fork the Ethereum blockchain, it allows you to connect to a local Ethereum blockchain. For simplicity of illustration, we will be using Ganache-CLI to create a local blockchain on localhost:8545.

Linux users can download, install and run Ganache-Cli in two ways:

  1. Ganache CLI using npm (Node Package Manager). Open your terminal and run the command; 

$ npm install -g ganache-cli. 

  1. yarn package manager. Run theses for yarn package manager; 

$ yarn global add ganache-cli

Fork the Ethereum Main-net

Now you have installed Ganache-Cli, it is time to fork the mainnet.  Open your terminal/cmd and copy-paste the following:

$ ganache-cli --fork <ADD_YOUR_QUICKNODE_URL_HERE>

Remember to replace ADD_YOUR_QUICKNODE_URL_HERE with the QuickNode or Infura HTTP URL you got earlier and run the command; you should see something similar to the figure below; 

What happened is that it forked the mainnet at the blockchain’s latest block, 12200647. To find out, you can query the forked chain by pinging localhost:8545 as will be shown later.

Fork a Specific Block

Note the specific block in the blockchain you would like to fork. Fork it by appending "@" followed by the block number as shown below:

$ ganache-cli --fork <ADD_YOUR_QUICKNODE_URL_HERE>@<block_number>

Assuming we want to copy and make changes to a certain say xDai chain residing on the Ethereum blockchain network and use xDai for gas. Proceed to ETHExplorer and scroll to the holder's section. View the biggest Dai holders copy the address and run the following:

$ ganache-cli --fork <ADD_YOUR_QUICKNODE_URL_HERE> -u <address of token holder>

The above command line allows ganache to fork the Ethereum blockchain and unlock (-u) the attached Dai account for the local ganache environment. By implication, we used ganache-cli to impersonate a particular account address which is usually locked for the use which also helps us to make transactions on the simulated blockchain from that account address.

How to Query the Forked Coin

Impressive! You have forked a certain Dai account and will be happy to query the forked chain. Querying the forked chain allows you to get certain information about the forked chain such as transactions, gas used in the block, timestamp, miner’s address, etc.

You can do that by making an eth_getBlockByNumber call that will return information about the block at which we forked the chain. 

The command should look as follows;

$ curl --data '{"method":"eth_getBlockByNumber","params":["0xBA29D2",false],"id":1,"jsonrpc":"2.0"}' -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X POST localhost:8545

After you have run the code shown above, your terminal should look like these;

Conclusion

After going through this guide, it is expected that you know how to use  Ganache-Cli to fork a blockchain. You can deploy and fork a blockchain on a local environment using Ganache-Cli. To do that, you need to master basic command lines and understand the Ethereum development environment.

Also Read; Defi 2.0: An Upgrade to The First Generation of Defi

DeFi 2.0: An Upgrade to the First Generation of DeFi

This article covers the fundamentals of Defi 2.0 while discovering the need for DeFi 1.0 evolution.

Several crypto users are getting weary of DeFi 1.0 due to its many flaws and inconsistencies. To newbies, these flaws are not obvious, but to oldies, these flaws are very obvious. All of the flaws associated with DeFi 1.0 are due to its instability and lack of popular acceptance. 

Seeing that DeFi 1.0 can’t match the pace of crypto advancement, there is a need to launch into a better crypto world. Hence, the essence for the creation of DeFi 2.0.

DeFi 2.0 is an advanced version of the DeFi 1.0 with several improvements and addition to its networking. As a trader, we’ll recommend that you know so much about this new system network.

In this article, we’ll be discussing DeFi 2.0 in detail and the problems it will be solving. Also, we’ll be discussing how DeFi 2.0 solves these problems and why it is better than DeFi 1.0.

What is DeFi 2.0?

The DeFi 2.0 is an advancement of the DeFi 1.0 with improvement on its liquidity infrastructure layer and sustainability of the Decentralized Financing project. 

DeFi 1.0 offered users liquidity mining, AMMs, lending, and token exchange. The DeFi 1.0 network was also offered alongside many projects that made transactions on the ecosystem comfortable and secured. Some of these projects are 

Although these projects were incredible, there had to be improvements on the DeFi 1.0 ecosystem to accommodate the newly developed projects. The DeFi 2.0 will offer everything DeFi 1.0 will offer and many more. That is, the DeFi 2.0 ecosystem will offer liquidity, AMMs, lending, token exchanges, new finance technologies, user experience, and some improvement to capital utilization. 

To improve on the capital utilization and use experience, DeFi 2.0 will be solving problems DeFi 1.0 couldn’t solve. 

Meanwhile, here are some drawbacks to DeFi 1.0 

These said, just like DeFi 1.0, DeFi 2.0 will come alongside various, better, and more problem-solving projects too. Some of these projects are:

The Next Three Projects in DeFi 2.0

Olympus DAO

The Olympus DAO serves to solve one of the biggest problems with DeFi 1.0. DeFi 1.0 was DeFicient in how it sourced funds for loans. It focused majorly on using funds from users to supply its bridge pool. 

It'll mean that if there is no supply from users, there won't be a supply of funds to the bridge pool. Consequently, there won't be loaning in the network.

To properly handle this, Olympus DAO will be sorting funds for bridge pools without getting any from users. This is why Olympus DAO is often referred to as the alternative model to liquidity mining.

Olympus DAO is an algorithmic protocol that utilizes bond mechanisms to help it serve as an alternative for liquidity mining. It's the first protocol to use this kind of liquidity mining mechanism. 

Olympus DAO can function effectively by issuing its tokens at lower costs for easy purchase. With this, the OHM (Olympus DAO Token), will be able to secure a position in the market to create protocol-owned liquidity. 

Each OHM is oftentimes backed by DAI. It means that one OHM is backed by 1 DAI. So, higher OHM prices will mean more DAI pumped into the pledge contract. Consequently, more returns are available during participation in OHM pledges.

With this mechanism, the price of OHM is constantly maintained above 1 DAI and the market cap steadily approaches the overall asset value of Olympus treasury. 

In addition to all these said about the Olympus DAO, we must mention that users don't own the tokens on this system; it is the protocol that owns the tokens. 

This is an advantage as it helps to prevent selling pressure from immediate liquidity providers. So, it is Olympus DAO filling in the place of liquidity providers.

Abracadabra

Abracadabra works like MakerDAO in that they both are lending platforms and collateralize users’ assets to generate stable coins. Also, they both function by using protocol incentive tokens.

But unlike MakerDAO, Abracadabra collateralizes assets with proceeds such that users can use tokens to mint or borrow stable coins some of the tokens Abracadabra uses are yvUSDT and xSUSHI being tokens. By using these tokens, they can free up assets, liquidity, and user revenue.

Abracadabra has lending advantages too and some of them are:

On the whole, Abracadabra enhances the utilization of funds and reduces the chances of liquidation. 

Convex Finance

Convex finance has embarked on the journey to improve the user experience in DeFi 2.0. It will be doing this by showcasing a one-stop platform for its users for liquidity mining and CRV pledging. 

In the end, convex finance will be developing the CRV ecosystem by balancing CVX tokens by simplifying the CRVA locking, pledging, and process of the curve. 

Recent breakthrough with DeFi 2.0

One of the key indicators of the growth of DeFi 2.0 is the quick growth of its projects on the ecosystem. So far, Convex finances a Total Value Locked {TVL} of 14.55 billion surpassing yearn of .0 billion. 

In the same way, Abracadabra has accrued 4.2 million and Olympus DAO accruing 650 million growth change. All of these are clear indicators of the effectiveness and efficiency of DeFi 2.0.

Which Way to Go? 

We have seen the differences between the two DeFis, weighing their cons and pros, and have submitted our resolution to you to pick which best suits you. 

No one will prefer DeFi 1.0 over DeFi 2.0 seeing its ease of adaptability and its ease of incorporating ability into several crypto networks. You may want to deny it but several applications and transactions will soon wear out your patience for DeFi 1.0.

Instead of sticking to the old man, why not launch into newer experiences and enjoy smooth transactions on DeFi 2.0?

Also Read CURVE FINANCE: Let’s Take A Curve Into Defi Of Stablecoins

Layer 2 Solutions: Taking Scalability to New Heights

In this article we will explore the concept behind Layer 2 Solutions and the problems they are solving in blockchain.

Introduction

According to the CAP theorem (also known as Brewer's theorem) first proposed in 1998 by Eric Brewer before Seth Gilbert and Nancy Lynch propounded it in 2002, a distributed system cannot attain consistency, availability, and partition tolerance simultaneously. This same opinion holds sway among blockchain experts for blockchain protocols. The belief often referred to as blockchain trilemma suggests that blockchain cannot achieve three of its core principles: security, scalability, and decentralization simultaneously.

By implication, the blockchain trilemma said, a protocol can achieve decentralization and security while sacrificing scalability and vice versa. The blockchain trilemma provided an answer to why centralized networks can boast thousands of transactions per second and the blockchain networks like bitcoin and Ethereum can only afford a few tens of transactions per second. In that light, the trading system sacrifices decentralization while achieving high throughput, secure and scalable network. To scale up blockchain protocols, developers began looking to salvage the situation.

So far, to solve the trilemma belief, several approaches are taken. The proposed solutions to achieving scalability are Layer 2 and Layer 1 solutions respectively.

Layer-1 and Layer-2 Solutions

Although this article focuses on Layer 2 solutions, it will be necessary to lay a background that includes Layer 1 solutions. It will highlight several Layer 1 and Layer 2 solutions as well as references to top Layer 2 implementations you should know about.

Layer-1 Solutions

Often referred to as on-chain solutions, Layer-1 solutions are the scalability solutions that require redesigning the underlying protocols of the base protocol. Look at the Layer-1 solution as say, redesigning Ethereum or Bitcoin protocols to increase throughput and reduce fees. For instance, Visa, MasterCard, and other payment processors process an average transaction per second of 5000 while Bitcoin and Ethereum process 4 and 15, respectively. Going by the current design of these blockchain networks, as users of the networks grow, the TPS will keep reducing and transactions keep getting unnecessarily slow, hence, the need for a redesign. The Layer-1 solution entails redesigning the underlying protocols of the networks to allow for throughput, energy efficiency, and cheaper transaction fees. 

There are thus several methodologies employed to redesign the base protocols. Although some of them are still at their experimental stage, they include: 

Consensus-Based Protocol Redesign

This consists of redesigning the consensus protocol of the base protocol to scale transactions and efficiency. The leading blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum have leveraged PoW consensus that allows miners to solve cryptographic puzzles to validate and verify blocks thereby making it energy-demanding and tedious. Nonetheless, PoW systems are secured but often characterized by high transaction fees and low throughput when there is network congestion. To mitigate this risk and achieve a scalable network, PoS consensus becomes a good choice. Instead of miners solving cryptographic puzzles using enormous energy, users stake coins on the blockchain.

PoS consensus is set to cut down the high cost of transaction and throughput of the PoW networks. It is yet in its experimental stage, but some protocols are already developing on it. Among the top projects are Solana, Avalanche, and Ethereum. Ethereum termed its proposed PoS version Ethereum 2.0. From a frontier phase, Ethereum will be going full serenity next year by launching a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Unlike the high cost of transaction and low TPS of Ethereum 1.0, Ethereum 2.0 is expected to dramatically and fundamentally increase the capacity of the Ethereum network while increasing decentralization and preserving network security.

Sharding

Also in an experimental stage, sharding is adapted from distributed databases as one of the Layer-1 scaling solutions. Employing a Sharding Layer-1 scaling solution means breaking the state of the base protocol into distinct datasets called "shards". Here, tasks are managed by shards, simultaneously processed in parallel and they collectively maintain the entire network.

Each node in a network represents a shard instead of maintaining a copy of the entire main chain to allow scalability. Each shard across the network provides proofs to the mainchain and interacts with one another to share addresses, balances, and general states using cross-shard communication protocols. Although in an experimental stage, awaiting its launch in 2022, Ethereum 2.0 is exploring the implementations of shards.

Layer-2 Solutions

Instead of implementing the changes of the parent protocols of the blockchain, Layer-2 solutions took scalability to a whole new height. Layer-2 solutions are those scalability solutions that entail adding a layer to the base protocol to increase throughput. They take transactions off the main chain, hence, are called off-chain solutions. 

The off-chain solution doesn't allow base protocol structural changes since the second layer is added as an extra layer. For that reason, Layer-2 scaling solutions have the potential to achieve high throughput without sacrificing network security.

Layer-2 solutions consist of smart contracts built on top of the main blockchain. Those secondary layers are for scaling payments and off-chain computation. Layer-2 solutions can be achieved in various ways. For example;

Rollups

Rollups are one of the Layer-2 scaling solutions built on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike the Layer-1 solutions, they are secondary layers that allow users to perform transactions off the main Ethereum chain (Layer-1). It is designed to post transactional data on Layer-1 thereafter, hence, inheriting the security of the base protocol. Rollups possess the following properties:

  1.  Executes transaction outside Layer-1.
  2. Proofs transactions on Layer-1, thereby improving the security of Layer-2.  
  3. Using the transactional data on Layer-1, rollup smart contract in Layer 2 enforces correct transaction execution on it. 
  4. Operators stake a bond on the Rollups smart contract which they get incentivized to verify and execute transactions correctly. 

Rollups can either be zero-knowledge or optimistic Rollups. They both differ in their security model:

Optimistic Rollups

Optimistic rollups is a Layer 2 solution designed to enable autonomous smart contracts using the Optimistic Virtual Machine. By default it doesn't perform any computation, hence, can offer up to 10-100x improvements in scalability depending on the transaction. It sits parallel to the main Ethereum chain on Layer-2. Transactions on Optimistic rollups are written on the main Ethereum chain in form of call data thereby further reducing the gas cost. 

As stated ab initio, Optimistic rollups do compute transactions outside of the main layer in the form of batches and submit only the root hash of the block to the main chain. Hence, the need for a mechanism (fraud proofs) to ensure transactions are legitimate That way, when someone notices a fraudulent transaction, the rollups initiate fraud proofs before running a transactional computation using available state data. By implication, Optimistic rollups take significantly longer to confirm transactions than zero knowledge rollups. 

There are currently multiple implementations of Optimistic rollups that you can integrate into your dApps. They include; OptimismOff-chain Labs Arbitrum RollupFuel NetworkCartesiOMGX

Zero-Knowledge Rollups

This is a type of rollup on the ethereum blockchain. It bundles hundreds of transactions off-chain and generates a cryptographic proof known as Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (SNARK), often called validity proof.

The ZK-rollup smart contract maintains and updates the state of all transfers on Layer 2 with validity proof. Instead of the entire transactional data, the ZK Rollups needs only the validity proof, which goes on to simplify transactions on the network. Validating a block is quicker and cheaper in ZK Rollups because less data is included.

There are multiple implementations of ZK-rollups that you can integrate into your dApps. They include; LoopringStarkwareMatter Labs zkSynczkTubeAztec 2.0, and so on. 

Channels

A State Channel is a Layer-2 scaling solution that facilitates two-way communication between the participants which will allow them to perform transactions off the main blockchain. Typically, for a recurring payment State Channel does not require a recurring validation by nodes of the Layer-1 network to improve overall transaction capacity and speed. The underlying blockchain is sealed off via a set of smart contracts or multi-signature seals off. Leveraging the smart contract pre-defined by participants, they can directly interact with each other without the need of the miners. Upon the completion of the transaction or batch of transactions on a state channel, the final “state” of the “channel” and all its inherent transitions are recorded to the underlying blockchain. Some projects including Liquid Network, Celer, Bitcoin Lightning, and Ethereum's Raiden Network are currently deploying state channels scaling solutions.

Sidechain

A Sidechain is a secondary blockchain linked to the main blockchain via a two-way peg. Like most layer 2 scaling solutions, it uses an independent consensus and contracts to optimize throughput. On the sidechain, the main chain takes up security roles, confirming batched transaction records and resolving disputes.  

They are somewhat similar to channels, however, it differs in how they process transactions and the security impacts. Transactions are recorded publicly on the ledger, unlike the private records of the channels. Sidechains enable tokens and other digital assets to move back and forth freely from the main chain. When the sidechain completes a transaction, a confirmation is relayed across the chains, followed by a waiting period for added security. Due to their allowance to move assets around freely on the new network, a user who wants to send the coins/assets back to the main chain can do that by simply reversing the process.

Plasma

Plasma is a secondary chain on the Ethereum blockchain, proposed by Joseph Poon and Vitalik Buterin in their paper Plasma: Scalable Autonomous Smart Contracts. It comprises Merkel trees and smart contracts which create unlimited smaller versions of the main chain (Ethereum), called child chains. Integrating these child chains enables fast and cheap transactions off the main Ethereum blockchain into child chains.

Users can deposit and withdraw plasma chain funds, enabled by fraud proofs. For such a transaction to go on, there has to be communication between the child chains and the root chain, secured by the fraud proofs. Users deposit by sending the asset on the smart contract, managed by the plasma chain. Then the plasma chain proceeds to assign a unique ID to the deposited assets while the operator generates a batch of plasma transactions received off-chain at intervals. On the other hand, the contract initiates a challenging period during which anyone can use the Merkle branches to invalidate withdrawals if they can. 

Conclusion

Like the CAP theorem in distributed systems, the blockchain trilemma suggests that blockchain cannot achieve scalability, security, and decentralization simultaneously. However, the Layer-2 scaling solutions have come to challenge the thought system. It allows the mainchain to take care of security while maintaining scalable networks in its additional layers.

Also Read Arbitrum: Scaling without Compromise

Metaverse: A Fusion of Virtual and Actual World

One who is familiar with digital terms will not be new to the term "Metaverse". Metaverse create physical realities in a virtual world.

Just as there are entertainment Metaverses, there are art, social and medical Metaverses as well.

In fact, several games are built on the concept of Metaverses. Some of these games include FortniteAnimal Crossing, and Roblox. These games and many more present a concept of virtual reality in an augmented superset.

Over the years, several industries are beginning to see reasons to build their applications on the concept of the Metaverse. The government is seeking to hold virtual-physical meetings with leaders from around the world and artists are seeing potential in using the Metaverse to hold concerts too.

What then is the importance of the Metaverse that the crypto world is seeking to adopt? 

This article will extensively discuss all you need to know about Metaverse. We will also discuss it's importance with respect to blockchains and the digital world at large.

But first, what exactly is a Metaverse?

What is a Metaverse?

Simply put, a Metaverse is a concept of creating virtual spaces using a 3D augmented spectrum.

For instance, games that allow one to own lands, build cities, go outside space all operate on the concept of Metaverses. Any concept that presents a realistic virtual world is a Metaverse. This can be seen in plenty of Sci-Fi movies and even in novels.

The word Metaverse was first used in a fiction novel in 1992. The novel – Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson described it as a world outside our world.

Other examples are seen in virtual reality games like the Minecraft. Minecraft presents a unique medium for social interaction and relationships.

Students of the UC Berkeley were able to create a virtual campus on the Minecraft game. The students even conducted a virtual ceremony where each person joined with Minecraft characters.

Another application is the Roblox game. The Roblox game allows developers to create games and receive tokens as incentives. Afterwards, the developers withdraw their tokens outside of the game’s platform.

Furthermore, there is a wide application of Metaverse in the crypto world. There, Metaverses will allow users to own tokens, lands, and assets which can easily be traded while virtual money is converted to real money simultaneously.  

Aside from this, there are other applications of a Metaverse in the crypto world. We’ll discuss these shortly. Before we do, here is what to know about Metaverse basic foundation.

Metaverse Basic Foundation

The basic Metaverse foundation explains the components put together to build a blockchain Metaverse. These components are open standards, the internet, hardware, open programming language, and a decentralized ledger and smart contract.

The Internet

The internet is essential in creating a connection for digital assets. But the internet connection for blockchain Metaverse is highly secured.

Connections between computers on a decentralized network restrict authorized individuals or bodies like the government from gaining access. It only allows users of that network to gain total authority over their decentralized network.

Open Programming Language Standards

Metaverses use programming languages like web XR, javascript, WebAssembly, and HTML. Open standards of the media like 3D audio, images, and texts. It also uses 3D sequences and geometric figures and vectors.

Decentralized Ledger and Smart Contract

Metaverses are incorporated in blockchains, so they exhibit features of blockchain technology. They offer secure and plain transactions as well as public availability and support to the blockchain ecosystem.

Blockchain Metaverse and it's Importance

Many refer to the Metaverse as a replacement for the internet, whereas, it’s in actual sense the successor of the internet. Perhaps, it can be the next trillion-dollar project.

In the crypto world, Metaverses offer new experiences to gamers and creators of NFTs. Even in the decentralized platform, it offers permissionless and transparent transactions at high speed.

NFTs serve a foundational role in a Metaverse as they offer users the complete ownership of their lands. Afterward, one can sell off their virtual properties and exchange their money for real money.

A 259 parcel of virtual land in Sandbox was sold for over $900000 and it’s still the largest to date.

Arthur Madrid says people are easily blown away by the number of money players spend on digital assets. He thinks that making NFTs assets can add a layer to the already existing digital economy.

Mark Zuckerberg even said and I quote, 

"We want to get as many people as possible to be able to experience virtual reality and be able to jump into the Metaverse and to have these social experiences…",

This he said while referring to Horizon - the company’s experimental virtual reality project. Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to explore this using Facebook's oculus headsets.

Here are the main advantages of a Metaverse

Metaverses will allow fans to attend concerts virtually with characters that represent them. In April, Travis Scott helped a convert which had about 1 Million concurrent views. The concert which he held at on a Fortnite with half the attendee using the creative modes. 

While we cannot predict the future of Metaverses in the crypto world, we are certain that they will cause exponential growth in blockchains.

How does a Metaverse Work?

Up till now, the application of Metaverse is not popular among people and only a few projects use them.

Just like decentralized blockchains, Metaverses aren't owned by a single individual. The project is for everyone, and is owned by everyone. So, be sure of secured transactions on the Metaverse.

To own a part of the Metaverse, one has to invest in its architecture, services, and development. 

Since the project is still in its early phase, here is how it works and why it's the perfect successor of the internet.

Portability 

Metaverse creators have been able to create certain items. These items are virtual assets and can be sold and exchanged for real money. 

Likewise, you can transfer these items from one application to another without interference. Hence, the contents of the Metaverse is not "siloed"

Decentralized Nodes

Currently, there are over a thousand nodes that host the Ethereum network. Hence, the ethereum network is not held by an individual. So, one will not need any permission before carrying out any transaction.

The Ethereum network can do this due to its Metaverse projects as it will allow for permissionless transactions; transparent and quick.

And as you'll expect, the decentralized nodes are of great importance to the blockchain Metaverse. It also offers high-level security through its consensus mechanism. 

To Wrap It Up

Blockchain Metaverse is changing the way we interact in the digital world. It's changing the way we carry out virtual activities by providing more acceptable and realistic features to games and apps.

One common app that is looking to adopt this concept is Facebook. And other apps are looking to work with the project as governments are looking to enhance their modes of operation. Government officials are seeking to meet via virtual-physical platforms provided by Metaverse.

The importance of Metaverse on blockchains cannot be undermined. It allows users to transact easily and is permissionless. It also enables users to accrue virtual assets for themselves and exchange them for real money. To top it all, they can transfer assets from one app to another without any interference.

In a nutshell, the essentiality of the Metaverse cannot be undermined.

Also read Loot: The First On-Chain Community-Driven NFT Platform

Serum: A Blend of Speed, Convenience and Trustlessness

As the next-generation exchange system, Serum is making waves in proving its credibility in crypto-trading and decentralized finance transactions. It provides faster and frictionless orders with its automated order book system.

Serum provides incentives to its users which in turn favors so many developers. Some of these incentives are Serum Token (SRM) and MegaSerum Tokens(MSRM). With these tokens, one can achieve passive crypto income by staking their tokens on Serum. 

Serum allows every member to stake their tokens. It doesn't only allow members with the highest token to stake, it also allows members with small tokens to stake too. 

Seeing that Serum DEX has so much to offer, there's a need to know so much about it. In this article, we'll extensively discuss Serum DEX and its features. Also, we'll discuss the values and how it relates to other blockchains. Enjoy!

What is Serum?

The Serum is a decentralized exchange system built on the Solana ecosystem to provide unmatched low costs and speedy DeFi transactions. It charges as low as 0.0001 cents for transactions. 

The system aims to offer users faster settlement times and zero centralization. 

In offering a non-centralized side of its architecture, it centralizes price fees even without using Oracles services. Hence, we say the Serum system functions without Oracles. Oracle is a centralized service used by Defi protocols to verify, authenticate and query external data then send them to an already closed system.

Because Serum is based on the Solana blockchain, it offers fully decentralized services that are easy, fast, and affordable to use. 

In Serum DEX, users can easily transfer assets amongst different blockchains and even trade stable coins and wrapped coins or even convert coins from one coin to another. For instance, converting Ethereum to FxT. Some of the projects build on Serum DEX are:

Furthermore, users can create customized financial products as they deem fit. 

The Serum uses native Serum tokens(SRM) as its main governing assets and incentive for its ecosystem. With SRM, users can stake, trade, or participate in burn and buy fee incentives for reduced trading costs.

Also, with the SRM, users enjoy a further reduction in Serum-based transactions.

Aside from all of these, Serum aims to enhance frictionless cross-chain contracts in DeFi while traders trade synthetic assets. It provides many synergies with the Solana blockchain serving as its host application.

Solana Blockchain 

As the fast-growing blockchain system, Solana has secured a spot in the top 10 cryptocurrency projects according to the market cap. Being able to carry out fifty thousand transactions in a second(TPS), Solana blockchain has demonstrated to be the quickest blockchain anywhere on the globe. So, Serum building their project on the Solana network will allow for quick fast transactions on the Serum network. 

Solana, with all of its functions, is a layer-1 blockchain. So, to function effectively, Serum functions solely on a layer-1 solution system without layer-2 solutions. It operates solely on a decentralized clock that monitors time-stamps transactions together with an advanced Proof-of-Stake(POS) mechanism. 

In recent times, blockchain developers have been designing decentralized applications using the Solana blockchain. This widely accepted choice from blockchain developers is due to Solana's reputation in providing fast and scalable smart-contract-enabled blockchain. It's this advanced blockchain system that the Serum network is built on. Clearly, Serum is just a project on the Solana ecosystem.

That said, Serum DEX mirrors the cost and speed of the Solana network. With this, it offers a fully decentralized trading arena with easy trading on centralized exchange systems. It also offers inter-operable features that allow users to exchange assets such as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoins (BTC), SPL-based tokens, and ERC-based Tokens. 

Serum Token (SRM)

A unique thing about the Serum token (SRM) is its means of collecting values. It accrues values via hyperinflation.

SRM accrues values through adoption and utility. Some are:

That said, most SRM have extensive unlocking terms with all sales fees inclusive. Serum achieves this by locking the tokens. SRM are locked cryptographically in a smart contract. It takes about a year or less to unlock a locked token.

The period where you cannot unlock a locked token is its unlocking period. Most SRM have an unlocking period of one year.

In some cases, some SRM take up to 6 years to unlock. This type equates to 1/2190 SRM in a day.

SRM amount to a maximum of 10 Million tokens, creating about 175 million tokens in its circulation. Because of this high number of tokens in circulation, Serum has been able to provide liquidity to their project. However, several token stakeholders have decided to hold on to a large number of their tokens thereby reducing the number of tokens in circulation. 

Moving on, several traders stake SRM to achieve passive crypto income. They also do this by rescuing fees and staking rewards when trading on Serum DEX. 

Howbeit, traders with SRM can still partake in on-chain governance. Traders who do this will vote on updates to specific markets on the project. 

MegaSerum Tokens (MSRM)

A MegaSerum(MSRM) is equivalent to one million SRM. It means you have to have a million SRM as they'll amount to one MSRM.

MegaSerums are rare and there are only 10%. This is so as there are just fewer users that show belief and commitment to the Serum network. It's just those 10% that can lock their SRM with MSRM.

Project Serum Cryptocurrency Ecosystem 

The project Serum, built on the Solana ecosystem, provides usable services to developers and other users from the start of their project to its deployment. On a large scale, this ecosystem provides a suitable platform for non-technical users planning on delving into Decentralized Finance(Defi). This they can do on Serum's user-friendly App(dApp).

That said, in the Serum ecosystem, developers are automatically eligible for grants once they build on this network. With this, projects receive the support and funding to enhance their user adoption and brand awareness. 

A good example of a project like this is the Phantom project. The Phantom project is a Defi(Decentralized finance) and NFT crypto wallet. Another example is Coin98 that offers users smooth running payment gateway services. 

Also, Project Serum provides developers contact points and resources. With that, you can view on-chain codes, clients codes, and repositories. The project also offers tutorials for developers which can be found on the "Developer Resources" on its website.

Finally, the Project Serum allows users to comprehensively overview all Serum's tokens and integration within its ecosystem. And to top it all, the project provides a link to its whitepaper.

Serum and Staking Nodes

Before one becomes a Serum node, one must take at least 10million SRM including a minimum of 1 MSRM. However, at 100 million SRM or 100 MSRM tokens, nodes stop staking tokens. 

Nodes collect several rewards based on their network participation, the aggregate of activity, and performance within the Serum ecosystem. Generally, nodes are in charge of some blockchain operations like cross-chain settlement validation.

Staking

Oftentimes, traders can't continue the Serum project and earn passive income via Defi because they can't stake 10 million Serum tokens. This shouldn't be a challenge as there are alternatives to this.

Serum token holders can now stake tokens as regards a node. A node is formed by a leader and consists of members of that network. The node leader doesn't necessarily have the highest tokens. But the leader can be the founder of the node and will receive small fractions of node staking fees.

In a node, anyone or the leader can stake a node on behalf of another member. Still, Serum nodes will offer trading fees and governance rights within its ecosystem. 

However, there're mechanisms to provide an overload of tokens in the ecosystem. As many readers stake their SRM tokens, the system cools down following unstacking tokens. This period, known for just a week. 

Node Rewards

In a node, rewards are distributed through native SRM. However, the nodal leaders receive more proportion of the node than other members. Commonly, the leader receives 15% of the rewards while the 85% is distributed among other members. 

Annually, nodes receive a 2% percentage yield (APY) based on their staked funds. However, this percentage can increase to around 13%. This can only be possible if members of a node increase their performance duties and challenges. Also, nodes get special rewards for special challenges. One of these challenges includes providing collateral for SRM tokens. The aim of this is to prevent funds from burning. 

How to Use Serum

Serum exchange doesn't require that users own an account before a transaction. All you need to transact on Serum DEX is an internet connection, a wallet, and some cryptocurrencies. 

First, if you're carrying out a transaction on Serum, you’ll be needing a Solana wallet. Asides from the Solana wallet, there are other wallets that Serum interacts with.

Some are:

To switch between the wallet, click on the change wallet at the top right corner of the interface. Then pick your desired wallet.

Here is a breakdown of how to use the Serum before we delve into each process extensively.

Create a Solana wallet

Seeing that your cryptocurrency has arrived in your Solana wallet, you can add tokens by clicking on the add token feature on the interface. One may choose to add Serum unwrapped Bitcoin to the Sol.

The next thing to do is to find a Serum-based DEX to connect to this wallet.

Connecting your Wallet to Serum DEX 

Connecting your wallet to Serum DEX shouldn’t be challenging provided you follow these easy steps. Below are simple steps on wallet connection.

The Value of Serum

As of the time of writing this article, Serum values was the 11th most trending cryptocurrency. On the other hand, it was 141st on the coin market cap on that same day.

On the coin market, Serum was $8.10, a market price of $404.8 million, and a 24-hour value of $117.71 million.

To Wrap It Up

Serum DEX offers a platform for developers and other users to trade speedily and conveniently. For developers, it provides contact points and resources. Such that, they can view on-chain codes and attend tutorials. All that Serum offers is because of its conjunction with the Solana network. 

Also Read Solana: Exploring the Blockchain

Mina: The World's Lightest Blockchain

It’s almost impossible for developers to create a protocol with these three important ingredients – security, scalability, and decentralization. These three ingredients, however, exist in ideal cases. Their existence is termed the blockchain trilemma, and this name was given by Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum.

Since blockchains protocols don’t exist in the real sense but the blockchain trilemma, most blockchains exist as having only two of these three ingredients? That is security and scalability without decentralization or decentralization and security without scalability.

Most blockchains are highly decentralized, but they often face the challenge of overcoming scalability or security.

Bitcoin, for instance, faces a problem of scalability.

However, one blockchain protocol called Mina protocol is promising to solve the problems mentioned above. 

The Mina protocol is a lightweight blockchain that helps to improve the decentralization of codes on the network. Asides from this, the Mina protocol has so many to offer.

In this article, we will be looking at the Mina protocol, its architecture, and the risks associated with the Mina protocol.

Mina Protocol: Architecture and Procedures

Mina protocol is a rebrand from the Coda protocol. It changed its name from Coda protocol to Mina protocol in October 2020.

The Mina protocol is said to be brief, cutting down the numerous requirements for running Dapps effectively. Because Mina Protocol doesn’t require much space, it’s often referred to as the “succinct blockchain”.

Here is a significant problem that the Mina protocol has solved.

Blockchains are developed with high-security measures that protect information locked on the blockchain. These security codes protect transactions on the blockchain too.

Seeing the strong tide of technological advancement, more people have moved to storing and transacting on blockchains.

The sudden influx of users on blockchains has caused a lag in this blockchain technology. This lap is due to the shortening of blockchains sizes due to the high number of users in a blockchain.  

For blockchains like the bitcoin blockchain, larger bandwidth (storage) has been used to accommodate many users on the platform. So, it explains the reason for the large bitcoin blockchain size – 320 GB.

On the other hand, the Mina protocol has a size of 22kb, which is way lower than a bitcoin and other networks. This constant low size of the Mina protocol is attributed to the protocol’s ability to condense its blockchain using zero-knowledge proofs.

Moving on, Mina protocol aims to enhance payment options by advancing its payment system for easy distribution on the platform and the ease of verification of its users. 

On its white paper, you may see this termed as “succinct blockchain”.

Mina Protocol Architecture

A protocol’s architecture will refer to certain rules that the protocol abides by to function. It is these rules that determine the decentralization activity and security efficiency of a blockchain. Just like every other protocol, the Mina protocol has its architecture.

Block Producers

A Mina block producer produces new blocks for the blockchain. In producing new blocks, it validates the current state of the blockchain. 

A Mina block producer aims to provide security and achieve consensus on the blockchain.

On the Mina protocol, blockchain producers are not limited to certain people. Instead, any with the current state of the block can produce a block.

To produce a block ultimately, one must have enough computing power to reduce a blockchain SNARK within the slot time and connect to peers to broadcast the generated block. The developed connection to peers must be within an acceptable time, as the network consensus parameters state.

Stake Delegation

On Mina protocol, it’s possible to delegate funds and undelegated funds. Delegated funds can’t be spent. To undelegate funds, one must re-delegate them to their original account.

The Life Cycle of Payment

Payment is a transaction that transfers value from accounts to accounts with a transaction fee inclusive. The transaction fee is the charge to be paid by the sender to transfer his value to the recipient’s account.

Payment on the Mina protocol passes through various steps before they’re verified. Here are the payment verification steps on the Mina protocol.

Members of the Mina Protocol can create a payment then share it within the network. The Mina network then stamps it with a cryptographic key that validates the transaction from the sender.

The transaction is then sent to the network for processing by peers on the network. On receiving the payment, each peer gets a copy of the transaction in the local transaction pool. The local transaction pool is a memory store that stores all transactions a peer network has processed.

A block producer’s note is picked for a given time slot, with the active block producer choosing an in-flight payment depending on the payment fees. The active block producer then places the transaction fees on a transition block, also a list.

Also, the block producer defines the structure of a transition by generating a SNARK. The producer then transmits this new information for processing by the SNARK workers.

It’s important to note that block producers earn Mina as rewards when they build blocks.

To prove transactions, worker nodes perform SNARK calculations on each transition block.

These proofs emerge as individual proofs and neighboring proofs of payment. In the end, all payments are verified.

By generating proofs, SNARK workers earn currencies from the paid block producers. They then transmit the evidence over the network.

After verifying, the block producer sends out verification to all members of the block. The members then apply the required changes to their accounts before it reflects.

Proof of Stake Mechanism

The Mina protocol proof of stake functions majorly on the Ouroboros protocol. The Ouroboros protocol extends and modifies the Mina protocol blockchain.

Before now, the Ouroboros protocol was an extension of Praos, but now, it is the Ouroboros genesis.

Being a newer extension of Praos, Ouroboros protocol fixes any vulnerability that involves forks long fork attacks.

Scan State

Scan state refers to a data structure that permits transaction SNARKs production to decouple the output from block producers to snark workers. Also, due to the scan state’s data structure, SNARK proof generalization transactions can be completed and parallelized by several snark workers in a competition.  

Furthermore, because block producers don’t need to produce transaction SNARKs, there isn’t a change in the production time of the block. Also, irrespective of the transaction throughput, there is a constant time for block production. 

Scan state is replete with several full-binary trees, with each node present in a tree being worked on by snark workers. Periodically, single proofs from atop a full-binary tree are returned by the scan state. The proof affirms that transactions done at the tree’s base are correct.

Tokens 

Tokens are an avenue for users to issue and create their unique tokens. However, they require users to open a particular token account. 

Mina protocol allows users to mint their tokens which they can send using specialized token accounts. Mina’s command-line interface, also referred to as CLI, is the major way users interact on Mina’s Blockchain with tokens.

CLI offers an interface that encourages the functional creation of a new token account, new tokens, and minting of non-default tokens. Additionally, CLI features advanced daemon and client commands.

Snapps

Being the lightest blockchain in the world, Mina has a new applications category known as Snapps: Snarkified Applications. 

Similar to Ethereum Dapps, snapps are at a higher level due to their unique and specific properties. These properties,

Typically, snapps can be explained as Snapps = Dapps + Privacy + Off-Chain Data + Scalability. It is important to note that Mina’s snapps are way more efficient than Ethereum Dapps. Mina’s snapps benefit from Mina’s Blockchain scalability potential owing to Mina’s succinct nature.

How Mina Works

The Mina protocol runs on two major components - SNARK and Ouroboros Samasika. It is these two components that give the protocol its uniqueness. 

SNARK, for example, allows the protocol to maintain its small size despite the addition of some blocks to the blockchain. 

SNARK is a type of succinct cryptographic proof, and it validates each block after addition to a blockchain. Through this, it’s easy for nodes to store tiny proofs rather than the entire blockchain. 

On the other hand, the Mina protocol uses a unique Pos mechanism known as the Ouroboros Samasika. The Ouroboros Samasika provides bootstrapping via a genesis block. 

Succinct blockchains carry two significant functions; updating and verification.

In verifying, the succinct blockchain verifies blockchain, verifies consensus, and verifies blocks.

On the other hand, the succinct blockchain updates consensus and chain summary.

Asides from all these, the Mina blockchain also optimizes the storing of transactions. This is done by joining unproven blocks and submitting the process to a parallel prover. All of these it does by using a side-by-side scan. 

Risks Associated With Mina Protocol and Their Complications

More often than not, crashing nodes are due to configuration problems. The problem could be incorrect permission on the private key, incorrect characters, and incorrect peering.

To solve this, you can add your current user to the docker group. You can also add a prefix command, but this is not always recommended.

Keys directory has about 700 permissions, with private keys having 600 key files. All of these commands help to update your keys directory in your home directory.

This clearly indicates the absence of a message for twenty-four hours. That is, you have not received any message from your peers in the last 24 hours.

When writing this article, the current network is 128, including a coin base transaction and other fee transfers.

Often, the transaction was stuck and would indicate pending. Afterwards, the transaction will leave the transaction pool. You may try sending it again.

Payments can be canceled before syncing only if the funds are in the ledger.

To Wrap It Up

Mina protocol has stood the test of time, working efficiently, combining ingredients to allow you to transact easily on a blockchain. When writing this article, the current network is 128, including a coin base transaction and other fee transfers.

Mina protocol has solved lagging problems that arise due to the overcrowdedness of users on a blockchain. It was able to do this while still maintaining the decentralization of nodes.

On Mina protocol, transactions are secured on blockchains, and several blockchains can be added. Anyone can create a block; creating a partnership on Mina protocol is not restricted to a set of people.

Looking at the architecture, Mina Protocol has a bright future in blockchain technology.

Also read: Iron Fish: The Private Cryptocurrency

Arbitrum: Scaling without Compromise

A new technology of blockchain, serving and acting as an optimistic roll-up called Arbitrum, just surfaced in the cryptocurrency world. This system allows Ethereum holders, users, protocols, and participants to participate and settle all transactions on the Ethereum mainnet. This serves as linkup loops to the main Ethereum crypto body. 

Arbitrum, therefore, serves as a Layer 2 cryptocurrency platform. By implication, the security and protection of the Arbitrum interface and network come from Ethereum itself. 

Generally, this makes the transactions scalable, faster, and interoperable, enabling compatibility and bonding of the Ethereum based applications with the Ethereum Cryptocurrency market. 

What is Arbitrum

Arbitrum, based on development, has passed and served as a system that ensured efficiency in the management and marketing of Ethereum amongst other layer 2 solutions. It is achieving several goals through the combination of Virtual machine crypto-architecture, networking design, and incentives. 

It has 4 significant benefits. They include; 

Scalability 

During the regular operation of Arbitrum, decentralized apps (DApps) using Arbitrum only have to navigate the main startup catalog or a chain of startups when they make transactions outside of Arbitrum. This allows ease of expansion and upgrades based on the general demand of the server network, unlike other blockchains. 

Generally, this is an advantage of enabling easy transmission of information from the user network to the server's network. It further lengthens the time and duration of the transactions without issues of connection or 'interface error'. This might arise due to an increase in the level of traffic on the Ethereum mainnet within or beyond the proxy counts. 

Privacy

Only the validated participants can be granted an entry and exit on the DApps, and only such participants need to know what is in the DApps code and storage margin. 

This system of upgrade to Arbitrum has enabled a user-network secure network, and all that is being published within this cryptocurrency margin are recognition of the DApps state. The users enabled sector such that messaging, recordings, messages, and currencies have end-to-end encryption between the network and the user's interface. 

The DApps creator also has free will to allow the user to see the internal server information. This is based strictly on the user demand, and the Arbitrum network verifying information and disclosure is purely optional.

Trust Guarantee

Arbitrum is unlike many other cryptocurrency channels for trading, storage, and transaction of coins such as state channel, sidechain, blockchain, main wallet, or private chain solution. It guarantees an exact, precise, and accurate execution as long as the validator of a DApp, which is usually the user acts honestly. 

No system upgrade allows liquidation of funds or turndown in the rate of transactions and amount of transactions made using Arbitrum.

Interoperability With Ethereum 

Arbitrum is an interoperable and interchangeable system that allows the open-source Arbitrum compiler to generate Arbitrum-ready code. You can also transfer Ether or any other Ethereum based token back and forth within the Ethereum and Arbitrum network. 

Interoperation scaling is enabled as the Ethereum system now runs as a significant interface in the Ethereum network system. This gives an overall boost to the Ethereum mainnet. Consequently, it reduces the cost of operation and gas fee that comes with the rush in the Ethereum mainnet by network users. 

Arbitrum Deployment on Ethereum 

Arbitrum platform is technically designed and centralized, making it better and more reliable than most blockchains. Proof of work platform by leveraging on general accessibility to the public and a lower costs of user-network leverage, this innovation of Arbitrum supports standard EVM contract deployment allowing standard Solidity smart contracts to be deployed on Arbitrum Chains using existing developer tools; an entire interface network of cryptocurrencies and tokens could be deployed but this deployment tool is set on the Arbitrum roll-up only and not the Ethereum.

Arbitrum uses roll-ups (a setup tool) to record batches of transactions on the Ethereum mainstream. The chain and execution of these transactions are on a scalable sidechain, while leverage is placed on the Ethereum network for security and result.

The major reason for Ethereum deployment on Arbitrum is to achieve better throughput and make transactions on the ethereum blockchain cost-efficient. 

This led to the advanced improvement of Ethereum by the community to make it more scalable and deployed on other scaling-solution channels like Arbitrum.

Arbitrum enhancement in Crypto-market

In recent times, cryptocurrencies have gained popularity in the world's exchange market. Unlike the stock exchange market, the crypto market is almost entirely online, and coins, tokens, and artifacts are being traded by various merchants worldwide. However, Arbitrum has solved significant problems in some of this retrospect. Insecurity and lack of fast servers have posed disturbance in the trading and merchanting of cryptocurrency for years till today. This is one of the many problems the Arbitrum helps in the general overview and boost of the system. 

Arbitrum is faster gaining popularity as it now scales 80% of all hurdles posed on using the Ethereum mainnet. This has not only given Ethereum the boost in its exchange as a cryptocurrency but has also helped to increase the general value of the Ethereum coin. 

Infrastructure 

So, many discussions have been done on the centralization and tactical approach of the Arbitrum network in helping to scale Ethereum during an increase in the demand for Ethereum on the main site leading to various cases such as an increase in gas fee and a slower network; however certain infrastructure has been put in place to allow transactions on the Arbitrum Scaling Solution, this infrastructure is basically by the creation of Arbitrum Virtual Machines (VMs). 

The Arbitrum Virtual Machines are first-class actors that perform specific functions logged into the Ethereum network, this form a send-receive network which helps to send and receive funds and messages as well as perform calculations and store data offline according to the code program on the network, generally this is a mechanism that helps reduce gas fee either during an increase in traffic on the Ethereum site or a crashing of the site. 

This infrastructure has made the Arbitrum VMs more scalable and private than the conventional way of implementing smart contracts on other scaling solutions such as Polygon and Optimism. 

Arbitrum manages the VMs off-grid the mainnet with minimal activity online to ensure correct execution. When someone creates an Arbitrum VM, they select a set of operatives responsible for executing the VM. The set of operatives are called Managers. They are responsible for the execution of the VM. Arbitrum thereby guarantees the correct and exact execution [even if other selected managers are corrupt]; because of the low on-chain work, Arbitrum VM is made more private. 

Comparison between Arbitrum and Other Layer 2 Solutions 

Arbitrum has posed many advantages to cryptocurrencies, many of these advantages are listed below; 

To Wrap It Up

Arbitrum has, over some time, gained publicity as a network operative system of Ethereum, leveraging over several system setups that have placed it above many layer 2 solutions and serving as an alternative route during network effect on the Ethereum mainnet.

Arbitrum is not just a solution to the problems posed by the Ethereum mainnet. It is a scaling option that has diverted and enhanced the usage and navigation of Ethereum, geometrically boosting the system by almost 100% and enabling many onsite users of the Ethereum.

Cryptocurrency traders and merchants are advised to engage in the Arbitrum network as more than an alternative but a new phase of Ethereum. 

Also read Casper: The Future-Proof Blockchain

Casper: The Future-Proof Blockchain

The Casper Network is a layer 1 Proof-of-Stake blockchain that improves how businesses upgrade new services and products on the blockchain. Unlike other networks, it has peculiar features that make it unique. It's for these features that the Casper Network is becoming the best choice for programming and blockchain transmission.

One of these unique features includes its Highway protocol consensus. It's with this Highway protocol consensus that Casper blockchains can finalize the addition of new blocks to the chain. Aside from this, there are other unique features of the Casper Network. 

In this article, we extensively discuss the unique features of the Casper Network and how they aid blockchain transmission. Enjoy!

Casper Network: History, Protocol and CSPR Token 

The Casper Network is a permissionless blockchain network supported by the PoS consensus algorithm and WebAssembly (WASM). It was created to solve global blockchain challenges by effectively solving a trilemma:

Before we fully delve into the benefits, here is a brief on how the Casper Network came into existence and its operations.

The History of Casper Network

In 2018, two people founded the Casper Network - Mrinal Manohar and Medha Parlikar. In its creation, the creators aimed to create a network that promotes DApps, blockchain technology, and smart contracts globally. Hence, based on the Casper CBC specification, they created the first real-time Proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain.

Casper as a platform aims to continuously adapt to the needs of its users and developers from different spheres. Because of this, it is regarded as the gateway to a developed era for Web3 to match the increasing demand for connected services globally.

Highway Protocol 

The Highway protocol is a consensus protocol created with the Casper Network to attain a very high threshold required for finalizing blocks to be added to a blockchain. In essence, it enables quick agreement among validates for block addition on the Casper Network.

The Highway protocol is peculiar to the Casper Network giving it an edge over other networks. Asides from enabling quick agreement among validators, the Highway protocol allows for flexibility during the finalization of blocks. 

CSPR Token 

After completing on-chain transactions on Casper Network through Casper PoS consensus, network validators are rewarded with native cryptocurrencies. This reward is peculiar to the Casper Network system and is known as the CSPR token.

It was first introduced through the Coin list in a public sale. In the first supply, about 800million tokens were supplied but this was followed by a slight decrease in demand afterward. Although CSPR tokens were first sold on the Coin list, they're currently available on several crypto exchange platforms. 

Clean Energy Blockchain

According to research by the University of Cambridge, the bitcoin global consumption index is 0.6%. This is very high relative to other systems. In fact, Elon Musk announced a few months ago that it'll no longer accept bitcoin as a payment option. 

The reason for this high energy to power blockchains is due to the validation, computing, and securing activities of the blockchain network system. To solve this, the Casper blockchain has already incorporated a PoS, and a Highway protocol.

Unlike other platforms, the Casper blockchain network provides an environmentally-friendly blockchain network. Clearly, Casper produces clean energy blockchains.

Having known much about Casper Network, you must understand the benefits of this system. Below, we extensively discuss the benefits of the Casper Network.

The Benefits of the Casper Network 

As a Layer 1 Proof-of-Stake blockchain system, Casper Network makes it easy to add new blocks. This especially is a major difficulty that other systems haven't been able to solve. Asides from this, there are other advantages of the Casper Network. 

Developer-Friendly Features 

Commonly, developers use block-chain programming languages for their services. A typical example of a blockchain programming language is Solidity. Solidity makes it easier for developers to code for different locks. 

Unlike Solidity, the Casper Network has an advanced programming language known as WebAssemly(WASM) and Rust. Both of these programming languages make coding easy for developers. With the Rust and WebAssemly(WASM), businesses can efficiently future-proof their organizations. 

Now, here is some good news, Casper has a transpiler that converts solidity codes into Rust. This tool, known as Caspiler, helps developers convert decentralized applications such as Ethereum onto the Casper Network. 

Upgradeable Smart Contracts

The Casper Network has a very distinct characteristic that supports the upgrade of smart contacts already on the on-chain. In fact, the smart contract rate on Casper is less costly and less complex than with other platforms. 

Besides this, during upgrades, the Casper system checks for vulnerabilities too. With this, smart contracts cannot be edited by anyone, not even by the original developers once deployed. With upgradeability, businesses can now offer resilient and adaptable block-chain products and services.

Lower Gas Costs

Another very intriguing benefit of the Casper Network is its capacity to moderate gas costs. During large volume transactions, gas volumes can get high and customers can get services at ridiculously high prices. But with the Casper Network, we reduce network congestion when competing with other Layer 1 blockchain projects.

Caper even has a future gas costs plan to help businesses prepare for the future. They hope to develop a predictive gas future to allow businesses to save gas ahead of time. With this, businesses better plan for the future.

Weighted Keys

Often, blockchains come with binary(on and off) smart contracts which is a disadvantage for large teams. Large teams manage complex systems and applications which the binary smart contract cannot accommodate. This becomes a challenge for large teams as they cannot effectively work together and manage these complex systems. 

To properly manage complex systems, the Casper Network has weighted keys that allow for multi-level system access permission. These weighted keys organize the security and quantity of businesses' assets. All of these above are the advantages of the Casper Network.

Casper's New Solution for Defi

Seeing the rapid changes that are occurring to the digital world and the cryptocurrency world, it's critical that their systems adapt to these changes too. One of these facets is the Defi system. Meanwhile, Casper is leading in the Defi revolution quite well. 

Unlike other blockchains, the Casper Network doesn't contain high security, energy, and decentralization costs. From this, it's clear the Casper Network is leading in the Defi revolution. 

Flexible Protocol

Casper Network incorporates a new consensus protocol known as the Highway protocol. The highway protocol allows the easy finalization of additional blocks to be added to the blockchain. To do this, the highway protocol presents varying thresholds for finalization. 

Energy Efficient and High Finality Defi

Unlike other blockchains that depend heavily on miners to achieve a consensus, the Casper Network introduces validators to achieve consensus. And Casper can only achieve this through its advanced PoS protocol. 

Deterministic Protocol

A major pitfall in Defi is its probabilistic network fees. Several people say the EIP 1559 makes the ethereum fee deterministic but not both. However, the Casper Network provides both a probabilistic and deterministic network pricing model.

User-Developer Friendly Platform

With the Casper protocol, Developers can choose either a private or public and set their permission levels and privacy. In a way, this is paving the way for mass adoption for developers. 

The Casper Network features a WebAssembly for developers to create a user-friendly platform. Also, it features an SDK that offers developers the flexibility of deployment without learning new languages.

Upgradeable Smart Contract 

The Casper Network can upgrade smart contracts on-chain directly without technical difficulties. This is due to its advanced protocol design and governance procedures.

Sharding Layer 1 Solution

Commonly, users opt-in for Layer 2 solutions to base blockchains for scalability sales. However, this comprises security and decentralization. To solve this, Casper has Sharded Layer 1 configuration. 

How Casper Works

Casper functions basically by validating transactions with group validators then continuing with the network. This is quite different from other validation mechanisms like the Proof-of-Work network. For economical reasons, the Proof-of-Work networks centralized validators. However, Casper presents better options like decentralized dependence on validators.

Also, Casper presents stacked tokens that enhance the verification of transactions with validators. In the same way, they're able to receive CSPR rewards because of their PoS consensus protocol. Finally, just like other networks, the Casper Network has tokens for their transactions too.

The Mechanism of How The Casper Network Communicates

There exist networks of nodes that make it easier for peers to reach a consensus on a blockchain. But these nodes are not physical machines. Just like every digital machine, nodes some to network traffic, by presenting ID and addresses.

The Identity 

Since Casper ensures the effective security of data it must have high-quality security measures. To do this, Casper registered the fingerprint of members of a blockchain which serves as their identity. 

It's worthy of mention that each node has distinct identity features. Each of these features is generated once a new node is activated.

A typical node has an IP and a pair of ports that successfully access the nodes. Also, importantly, a node has an address.

Internodal Connections

Internodal connections refer to the connections that exist between nodes. Before a node successfully creates a connection between nodes it opens a TLS connection that ends on the receiving node.

The node that generates the TLS connection is often referred to as the Client node. On the other hand, the node that receives the TLS connection is the server node. This is important during connection creation as the client node must verify with the client node before generating any signal.

To further explain, TLS connections must contain the same digest and password to prevent connection attacks. The activity of the connection created is dependent on the route of the connection. Connections can be one way or two ways. If one way, connects reconnects with the server but if two ways, the entire connection is discarded. Two ways connections are used to send one-way messages.

Network 

It takes at least two nodes to establish a network. Before connecting to a node, the client node will attempt connecting with another node to form a full connection network. The essence of forming a connection is for efficient data transmission. 

There are two types of data transmission: 

Broadcast 

A broadcast allows you to transmit messages once without any accuracy that every node connected will receive the message.

Gossip

Just as you'll expect, gossip is just the distribution of value through a network without directly sending it to each node. It means that only some part nodes connect to the server before the distribution occurs. Some examples of values being gossiped about are endpoints, implementations, and blocks. 

It's very critical to note that only consensus messages sent by validators are broadcast. Anything outside of this is gossip.

Node Discovery 

When nodes constantly talk about their addresses, it can lead to node discovery. After gossip, each node ensures to establish a connection and records the endpoint. Failure to achieve this is node discovery.

To Wrap It Up 

The Casper Network has so much to offer to the digital world. Most especially, in the world of blockchains and developers. With Casper, developers can easily code using Rust or WebAssemly(WASM) programming languages present on Casper. 

The Casper Network does not only advance the world of developers, it advances other worlds too. In this article, we discuss the benefits and advancements that the Casper Network presents to the present and the future. 

Also read Iron Fish: The Private Cryptocurrency