submitted by D-platform to u/D-platform [link] [comments]
1. What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
2. Bitcoin’s core featuresFor a more beginner’s introduction to Bitcoin, please visit Binance Academy’s guide to Bitcoin.
Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) modelA UTXO transaction works like cash payment between two parties: Alice gives money to Bob and receives change (i.e., unspent amount). In comparison, blockchains like Ethereum rely on the account model.
Nakamoto consensusIn the Bitcoin network, anyone can join the network and become a bookkeeping service provider i.e., a validator. All validators are allowed in the race to become the block producer for the next block, yet only the first to complete a computationally heavy task will win. This feature is called Proof of Work (PoW).
The probability of any single validator to finish the task first is equal to the percentage of the total network computation power, or hash power, the validator has. For instance, a validator with 5% of the total network computation power will have a 5% chance of completing the task first, and therefore becoming the next block producer.
Since anyone can join the race, competition is prone to increase. In the early days, Bitcoin mining was mostly done by personal computer CPUs.
As of today, Bitcoin validators, or miners, have opted for dedicated and more powerful devices such as machines based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (“ASIC”).
Proof of Work secures the network as block producers must have spent resources external to the network (i.e., money to pay electricity), and can provide proof to other participants that they did so.
With various miners competing for block rewards, it becomes difficult for one single malicious party to gain network majority (defined as more than 51% of the network’s hash power in the Nakamoto consensus mechanism). The ability to rearrange transactions via 51% attacks indicates another feature of the Nakamoto consensus: the finality of transactions is only probabilistic.
Once a block is produced, it is then propagated by the block producer to all other validators to check on the validity of all transactions in that block. The block producer will receive rewards in the network’s native currency (i.e., bitcoin) as all validators approve the block and update their ledgers.
Block productionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Merkle tree data structure in order to organize hashes of numerous individual transactions into each block. This concept is named after Ralph Merkle, who patented it in 1979.
With the use of a Merkle tree, though each block might contain thousands of transactions, it will have the ability to combine all of their hashes and condense them into one, allowing efficient and secure verification of this group of transactions. This single hash called is a Merkle root, which is stored in the Block Header of a block. The Block Header also stores other meta information of a block, such as a hash of the previous Block Header, which enables blocks to be associated in a chain-like structure (hence the name “blockchain”).
An illustration of block production in the Bitcoin Protocol is demonstrated below.
Block time and mining difficultyBlock time is the period required to create the next block in a network. As mentioned above, the node who solves the computationally intensive task will be allowed to produce the next block. Therefore, block time is directly correlated to the amount of time it takes for a node to find a solution to the task. The Bitcoin protocol sets a target block time of 10 minutes, and attempts to achieve this by introducing a variable named mining difficulty.
Mining difficulty refers to how difficult it is for the node to solve the computationally intensive task. If the network sets a high difficulty for the task, while miners have low computational power, which is often referred to as “hashrate”, it would statistically take longer for the nodes to get an answer for the task. If the difficulty is low, but miners have rather strong computational power, statistically, some nodes will be able to solve the task quickly.
Therefore, the 10 minute target block time is achieved by constantly and automatically adjusting the mining difficulty according to how much computational power there is amongst the nodes. The average block time of the network is evaluated after a certain number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, the difficulty level will decrease; if it is less than the expected block time, the difficulty level will increase.
What are orphan blocks?In a PoW blockchain network, if the block time is too low, it would increase the likelihood of nodes producingorphan blocks, for which they would receive no reward. Orphan blocks are produced by nodes who solved the task but did not broadcast their results to the whole network the quickest due to network latency.
It takes time for a message to travel through a network, and it is entirely possible for 2 nodes to complete the task and start to broadcast their results to the network at roughly the same time, while one’s messages are received by all other nodes earlier as the node has low latency.
Imagine there is a network latency of 1 minute and a target block time of 2 minutes. A node could solve the task in around 1 minute but his message would take 1 minute to reach the rest of the nodes that are still working on the solution. While his message travels through the network, all the work done by all other nodes during that 1 minute, even if these nodes also complete the task, would go to waste. In this case, 50% of the computational power contributed to the network is wasted.
The percentage of wasted computational power would proportionally decrease if the mining difficulty were higher, as it would statistically take longer for miners to complete the task. In other words, if the mining difficulty, and therefore targeted block time is low, miners with powerful and often centralized mining facilities would get a higher chance of becoming the block producer, while the participation of weaker miners would become in vain. This introduces possible centralization and weakens the overall security of the network.
However, given a limited amount of transactions that can be stored in a block, making the block time too longwould decrease the number of transactions the network can process per second, negatively affecting network scalability.
3. Bitcoin’s additional features
Segregated Witness (SegWit)Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, is a protocol upgrade proposal that went live in August 2017.
SegWit separates witness signatures from transaction-related data. Witness signatures in legacy Bitcoin blocks often take more than 50% of the block size. By removing witness signatures from the transaction block, this protocol upgrade effectively increases the number of transactions that can be stored in a single block, enabling the network to handle more transactions per second. As a result, SegWit increases the scalability of Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
SegWit also makes transactions cheaper. Since transaction fees are derived from how much data is being processed by the block producer, the more transactions that can be stored in a 1MB block, the cheaper individual transactions become.
The legacy Bitcoin block has a block size limit of 1 megabyte, and any change on the block size would require a network hard-fork. On August 1st 2017, the first hard-fork occurred, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”), which introduced an 8 megabyte block size limit.
Conversely, Segregated Witness was a soft-fork: it never changed the transaction block size limit of the network. Instead, it added an extended block with an upper limit of 3 megabytes, which contains solely witness signatures, to the 1 megabyte block that contains only transaction data. This new block type can be processed even by nodes that have not completed the SegWit protocol upgrade.
Furthermore, the separation of witness signatures from transaction data solves the malleability issue with the original Bitcoin protocol. Without Segregated Witness, these signatures could be altered before the block is validated by miners. Indeed, alterations can be done in such a way that if the system does a mathematical check, the signature would still be valid. However, since the values in the signature are changed, the two signatures would create vastly different hash values.
For instance, if a witness signature states “6,” it has a mathematical value of 6, and would create a hash value of 12345. However, if the witness signature were changed to “06”, it would maintain a mathematical value of 6 while creating a (faulty) hash value of 67890.
Since the mathematical values are the same, the altered signature remains a valid signature. This would create a bookkeeping issue, as transactions in Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks are documented with these hash values, or transaction IDs. Effectively, one can alter a transaction ID to a new one, and the new ID can still be valid.
This can create many issues, as illustrated in the below example:
Since the transaction malleability issue is fixed, Segregated Witness also enables the proper functioning of second-layer scalability solutions on the Bitcoin protocol, such as the Lightning Network.
Lightning NetworkLightning Network is a second-layer micropayment solution for scalability.
Specifically, Lightning Network aims to enable near-instant and low-cost payments between merchants and customers that wish to use bitcoins.
Lightning Network was conceptualized in a whitepaper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. Since then, it has been implemented by multiple companies. The most prominent of them include Blockstream, Lightning Labs, and ACINQ.
A list of curated resources relevant to Lightning Network can be found here.
In the Lightning Network, if a customer wishes to transact with a merchant, both of them need to open a payment channel, which operates off the Bitcoin blockchain (i.e., off-chain vs. on-chain). None of the transaction details from this payment channel are recorded on the blockchain, and only when the channel is closed will the end result of both party’s wallet balances be updated to the blockchain. The blockchain only serves as a settlement layer for Lightning transactions.
Since all transactions done via the payment channel are conducted independently of the Nakamoto consensus, both parties involved in transactions do not need to wait for network confirmation on transactions. Instead, transacting parties would pay transaction fees to Bitcoin miners only when they decide to close the channel.
One limitation to the Lightning Network is that it requires a person to be online to receive transactions attributing towards him. Another limitation in user experience could be that one needs to lock up some funds every time he wishes to open a payment channel, and is only able to use that fund within the channel.
However, this does not mean he needs to create new channels every time he wishes to transact with a different person on the Lightning Network. If Alice wants to send money to Carol, but they do not have a payment channel open, they can ask Bob, who has payment channels open to both Alice and Carol, to help make that transaction. Alice will be able to send funds to Bob, and Bob to Carol. Hence, the number of “payment hubs” (i.e., Bob in the previous example) correlates with both the convenience and the usability of the Lightning Network for real-world applications.
Schnorr Signature upgrade proposalElliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (“ECDSA”) signatures are used to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
However, many developers now advocate for replacing ECDSA with Schnorr Signature. Once Schnorr Signatures are implemented, multiple parties can collaborate in producing a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.
This would primarily be beneficial for network scalability. When multiple addresses were to conduct transactions to a single address, each transaction would require their own signature. With Schnorr Signature, all these signatures would be combined into one. As a result, the network would be able to store more transactions in a single block.
The reduced size in signatures implies a reduced cost on transaction fees. The group of senders can split the transaction fees for that one group signature, instead of paying for one personal signature individually.
Schnorr Signature also improves network privacy and token fungibility. A third-party observer will not be able to detect if a user is sending a multi-signature transaction, since the signature will be in the same format as a single-signature transaction.
4. Economics and supply distributionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Nakamoto consensus, and nodes validate blocks via Proof-of-Work mining. The bitcoin token was not pre-mined, and has a maximum supply of 21 million. The initial reward for a block was 50 BTC per block. Block mining rewards halve every 210,000 blocks. Since the average time for block production on the blockchain is 10 minutes, it implies that the block reward halving events will approximately take place every 4 years.
As of May 12th 2020, the block mining rewards are 6.25 BTC per block. Transaction fees also represent a minor revenue stream for miners.
https://preview.redd.it/3mx7amtio9g11.png?width=696&format=png&auto=webp&s=f2bd956843196fa2f51048a86f9608b6e714f62esubmitted by noxonsu to SwapOnline [link] [comments]
On the eve of the release on the mainnet, the team of the cross-chain wallet Swap Online is publishing a research study and the code of the atomic swapusing USDT.
USD Tether — the equivalent of the dollar on Omni LayerThe solution described above with the protocol “over” the Bitcoin network gave life to one of the most controversial cryptocurrency projects of the last two years — Tether. Tether (symbol Tether — ₮, ticker — USDT) is a hybrid cryptocurrency with a rate binding to one US dollar. Moreover, according to the assurances of Tether Limited, the issuer of the given tokens, the “binding” is to be understood literally, as each purchased token of USDT corresponds to one US dollar available at the disposal of the company.
If we take the three largest exchanges based on their daily turnover of transactions at the time of writing (Binance, OKEx and HuObi), and then track the five most popular trading pairs for each, we will encounter USDT in 13 out of 15 cases.
USDT — the token with the largest capitalization in the world.All this generates great community interest in faster, safer and cheaper solutions for exchanging Tether into other currencies. Obviously, such a solution could be atomic swaps, which are instant, decentralized cross-chain exchanges. The Komodo laboratory, the main headliners of this technology, who presented it in the autumn of 2017, reported on the successful exchange of KMD to USDT carried out on the BarterDEX platform, Komodo’s own exchanger.
At the same time, according to our data, the developers of Komodo made a swap on the ERC20-a version of Tether, which is only available in 3% of cases. Approximately 60 million USDT from global turnover can thus be exchanged using this method, which, obviously, cannot be considered as a solution to the problem. Striking examples of imperfections of existing solutions can be found even on Etherscan.
This fall, the team of Swap Online is ready to present an atomic swap with Tether. And here’s how we did it.
How Omni conducts transactionsTo carry out the Omni transaction, a user needs to create a regular Bitcoin transaction-transfer of 546 satoshi (minimum) with an additional output storing payload using the OP_RETURN op-code. An example of such a transaction. The payload is a mandatory part of any Omni transaction, as it is a sequence of bytes containing all the necessary information about the transaction.
Let us consider what information is stored in the payload itselftransaction marker — 4 bytes, the mandatory part of any Omni payload is always equal to 0x6f6d6e69 — ASCII code omni. If the first 4 bytes of the sequence are not equal to 0x6f6d6e69, then this sequence is not a payload of Omni.
version — 2 bytes, an analog version of the transaction in Bitcoin. For the described algorithm to work, version 0 is used, or that is the same as 0x0000.
transaction type — 2 bytes, transaction type, for an atomic swap it is sufficient to use only “Simple send” transactions, as simple send is the usual sending of omni currency from its address to the address of the recipient. Simple send corresponds to the transaction type code 0, that is, the next 2 bytes 0x0000. Other possible types of transactions exist in Omni.
token identifier — 4 bytes, identifier of the currency used. For example TetherUS has the identifier 31 or 0x0000001f. All tokens created by the Omni protocol at this time can be seen via the following link.
amount — 8 bytes, for a transaction of type Simple send, this is the amount of the sent currency.
As you can see, payload does not store the addresses of senders and recipients of the transactions, these addresses are determined by the Bitcoin transaction in which the payload output was detected. By scanning inputs, the Omni protocol determines who makes the transfer by finding the output of the corresponding address from among the inputs of the transaction p2pkh.
Thus, for a transfer from Alice to Bob of, for example, 50,000,000 TetherUS, we need to create a Bitcoin transaction where one of the inputs will refer to the p2pkh output corresponding to the Alice address. It is also important that this entry be the first in this transaction (the index of this entry in the received transaction would be is minimal or none at all). One of the outputs of this transaction should be the output of p2pkh to Bob’s address, and another output must have been one of the outputs with the following payload:
Atomic Swap on Omni LayerSuppose that Alice and Bob are willing to make an inter-blockchain exchange of cryptocurrencies. Alice wants to exchange the units of any Omni currency, for example TetherUS (the given currency has the currency identifier # 31 in the Mainnet, then in the text we will only talk about this currency of the Omni protocol, since it is the most popular at the moment, but the algorithm below will work for any currency of the Omni protocol as well) for b units of a cryptocurrency working on another blockchain. (Omni works on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, of course, according to the algorithm below it is possible to exchange TetherUS for Bitcoins, but due to their work on one and the same blockchain, this exchange can be done in a different, more efficient way).
GlossaryA — blockchain of Bitcoin.
B — the blockchain of the cryptocurrency for which TetherUS is being exchanged.
a — the sum of TetherUS, which Alice wants to exchange.
b — the sum of the cryptocurrency of the adjoining blockchain B, to which Alice wants to exchange her a TetherUS.
Creating a Transaction1) Bob generates a random value secret.
2) Bob calculates the secretHash by performing the following operation: secretHash = RIPEMD160 (secret)
3) Bob creates and sends an htlc transaction sealed by secretHash
4) Bob sends Alice a secretHash value, and a hash of the hrlc transaction he created in the previous paragraph in order for Alice to make sure that the correct htlc transaction is actually present in the B blockchain.
5) Alice received from Bob the secretHash and hash of the htlc-transaction Bob created, and is convinced that such a transaction is really present in the B blockchain, and that this is indeed a htlc-transaction sealed by the secretHash value.
6) using the received secretHash, Alice creates the following transaction and translates it into the Bitcoin blockchain:
Let us call such a transaction financing_tx. In fact, it is almost an ordinary Bitcoin htlc transaction that is used in atomic swap with the only difference that in the amount field, 546 satoshi is the minimum number of Bitcoins that can be at the output of the transaction, below this value, Bitcoin counts the transaction as dust and does not conduct it.
7) Alice creates a transaction according to the following scheme:
Let us call this transaction redeem_tx. Alice creates such a transaction with two inputs: the first is the input referencing the output of funding_tx, which contains the htlc script. Alice does not sign this script, that is, the SigScript field remains completely empty. The second input is the input referring to any unspent exits of Alice, the main condition is that at this output stage there are enough Bitcoins to pay the transaction fee, and this entry is signed by Alice with her private key with the signature type SIGHASH_ALL (that is, she signs the entire transaction except for SigScript fields on the inputs transaction, which makes this transaction immutable. The outputs of the same transaction are the elementary Simple Send and a TetherUS from Alice to Bob (details of what Simple Send, payload is and how it works can be found in another section).
8) Alice sends Bob the redeem_tx created in the previous paragraph and the one she signed herself.
9) Bob got the redeem_tx sent by Alice, checks it, just looks through the inputs and outputs, making sure that this is really a transaction that Alice should have created using the real algorithm. After that, Bob signs the transaction with his private key and provides the secret value in the SigScript of the corresponding redeem_tx entry.
10) Bob sends the signed redeem_tx transaction to the blockchain, thereby transferring the TetherUS currency from Alice to himself. Note — before carrying out this step, we still need to check that Alice’s address has the necessary amount of TetherUS.
11) Alice looks through blockchain A and gets the value secret and uses it in the B blockchain to transfer the funds using the htlc transaction Bob created in point 3. The exchange ends here.
Stating the obvious: naturally the timelock value used by Bob when creating the htlc-transaction must be significantly longer than the timelock that Alice uses, since her htlc transaction should be spent earlier than the htlc created by Bob. This is necessary so that Bob cannot manage to spend both htlc.
ConclusionThus, connecting Omni Layer to Swap Online allows users to cover transactions.
Full research you may find in our GithubC++ source code for creating TX
C++ source code for redeem TX
Swap.Online Essential LinksWebsite: https://testnet.swap.online GitHub: https://github.com/swaponline Email: [email protected] Telegram: https://t.me/swaponline Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Swaponline Twitter: https://twitter.com/SwapOnlineTeam Wiki: https://wiki.swap.online/ Bitcointalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4636633
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