Bitcoin (BTC) statistics - Price, Blocks Count, Difficulty ...

Coin Brief: Your Open Source for Bitcoin and Digital Currency News

This is a subreddit dedicated to Coin Brief. Please, feel free to ask us any questions, submit anything we may find useful, or just discuss our service!
[link]

Aeon

Aeon (AEON) is a private, secure, untraceable currency. You are your bank, you control your funds, and nobody can trace your transfers.
[link]

Blockchain Difficulty Stats /r/Bitcoin

Blockchain Difficulty Stats /Bitcoin submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

The Difficulty With Bitcoin Stats

The Difficulty With Bitcoin Stats submitted by enmaku to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Gridcoin 5.0.0.0-Mandatory "Fern" Release

https://github.com/gridcoin-community/Gridcoin-Research/releases/tag/5.0.0.0
Finally! After over ten months of development and testing, "Fern" has arrived! This is a whopper. 240 pull requests merged. Essentially a complete rewrite that was started with the scraper (the "neural net" rewrite) in "Denise" has now been completed. Practically the ENTIRE Gridcoin specific codebase resting on top of the vanilla Bitcoin/Peercoin/Blackcoin vanilla PoS code has been rewritten. This removes the team requirement at last (see below), although there are many other important improvements besides that.
Fern was a monumental undertaking. We had to encode all of the old rules active for the v10 block protocol in new code and ensure that the new code was 100% compatible. This had to be done in such a way as to clear out all of the old spaghetti and ring-fence it with tightly controlled class implementations. We then wrote an entirely new, simplified ruleset for research rewards and reengineered contracts (which includes beacon management, polls, and voting) using properly classed code. The fundamentals of Gridcoin with this release are now on a very sound and maintainable footing, and the developers believe the codebase as updated here will serve as the fundamental basis for Gridcoin's future roadmap.
We have been testing this for MONTHS on testnet in various stages. The v10 (legacy) compatibility code has been running on testnet continuously as it was developed to ensure compatibility with existing nodes. During the last few months, we have done two private testnet forks and then the full public testnet testing for v11 code (the new protocol which is what Fern implements). The developers have also been running non-staking "sentinel" nodes on mainnet with this code to verify that the consensus rules are problem-free for the legacy compatibility code on the broader mainnet. We believe this amount of testing is going to result in a smooth rollout.
Given the amount of changes in Fern, I am presenting TWO changelogs below. One is high level, which summarizes the most significant changes in the protocol. The second changelog is the detailed one in the usual format, and gives you an inkling of the size of this release.

Highlights

Protocol

Note that the protocol changes will not become active until we cross the hard-fork transition height to v11, which has been set at 2053000. Given current average block spacing, this should happen around October 4, about one month from now.
Note that to get all of the beacons in the network on the new protocol, we are requiring ALL beacons to be validated. A two week (14 day) grace period is provided by the code, starting at the time of the transition height, for people currently holding a beacon to validate the beacon and prevent it from expiring. That means that EVERY CRUNCHER must advertise and validate their beacon AFTER the v11 transition (around Oct 4th) and BEFORE October 18th (or more precisely, 14 days from the actual date of the v11 transition). If you do not advertise and validate your beacon by this time, your beacon will expire and you will stop earning research rewards until you advertise and validate a new beacon. This process has been made much easier by a brand new beacon "wizard" that helps manage beacon advertisements and renewals. Once a beacon has been validated and is a v11 protocol beacon, the normal 180 day expiration rules apply. Note, however, that the 180 day expiration on research rewards has been removed with the Fern update. This means that while your beacon might expire after 180 days, your earned research rewards will be retained and can be claimed by advertising a beacon with the same CPID and going through the validation process again. In other words, you do not lose any earned research rewards if you do not stake a block within 180 days and keep your beacon up-to-date.
The transition height is also when the team requirement will be relaxed for the network.

GUI

Besides the beacon wizard, there are a number of improvements to the GUI, including new UI transaction types (and icons) for staking the superblock, sidestake sends, beacon advertisement, voting, poll creation, and transactions with a message. The main screen has been revamped with a better summary section, and better status icons. Several changes under the hood have improved GUI performance. And finally, the diagnostics have been revamped.

Blockchain

The wallet sync speed has been DRASTICALLY improved. A decent machine with a good network connection should be able to sync the entire mainnet blockchain in less than 4 hours. A fast machine with a really fast network connection and a good SSD can do it in about 2.5 hours. One of our goals was to reduce or eliminate the reliance on snapshots for mainnet, and I think we have accomplished that goal with the new sync speed. We have also streamlined the in-memory structures for the blockchain which shaves some memory use.
There are so many goodies here it is hard to summarize them all.
I would like to thank all of the contributors to this release, but especially thank @cyrossignol, whose incredible contributions formed the backbone of this release. I would also like to pay special thanks to @barton2526, @caraka, and @Quezacoatl1, who tirelessly helped during the testing and polishing phase on testnet with testing and repeated builds for all architectures.
The developers are proud to present this release to the community and we believe this represents the starting point for a true renaissance for Gridcoin!

Summary Changelog

Accrual

Changed

Most significantly, nodes calculate research rewards directly from the magnitudes in EACH superblock between stakes instead of using a two- or three- point average based on a CPID's current magnitude and the magnitude for the CPID when it last staked. For those long-timers in the community, this has been referred to as "Superblock Windows," and was first done in proof-of-concept form by @denravonska.

Removed

Beacons

Added

Changed

Removed

Unaltered

As a reminder:

Superblocks

Added

Changed

Removed

Voting

Added

Changed

Removed

Detailed Changelog

[5.0.0.0] 2020-09-03, mandatory, "Fern"

Added

Changed

Removed

Fixed

submitted by jamescowens to gridcoin [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

[OC] If the regular season ended today, who would make your All-NBA 1st team? And 2nd team? And 3rd team? And 4th team? And 5th team? And 6th team? And 7th -- uh oh -- I think I lost my marbles... but let's keep going... 8th team? 9th team? 10th team?

Getting named as an NBA All-Star is a high honor, but being named to an All-NBA team is even rarer air. After all, only 15 players in the entire league earn that distinction. The fact that it's such an exclusive club makes it so important, so the idea of adding more players to the list would devalue it by nature. It'd be a silly, fruitless exercise, and a complete waste of time.
That said... it sure beats "reality" right now. And in the interest of escapism, let's entertain that hypothetical. Who would make your 1st team All-NBA? Your 2nd? Your 3rd? Your 4th? The challenge is get all the way up to the 10th if you can handle that test of your sanity.
For my own, I include a few caveats:
--- The NBA breaks down All-NBA spots more traditionally with frontcourt and backcourt, but I find that outdated. For mine, I'm going to include 1 "lead guard," 2 "wings," 1 "big," and 1 "flex" that can be any position. To me, that's reflective of the modern game. Most teams play with 1 guard, 3 wings, and 1 big, but there are teams that use 2 lead guards, or 2 bigs, etc.
--- The nature of basketball statistics tends to break down by game, or by minute, or even by play/possession. In the process, we tend to overlook players who are durable and add aggravate value over the course of a season. Personally, I'm going to factor in "games played" more than most would.
--- The advanced stats I'm listing are true shooting percentage and ESPN's estimated "wins added" based on their real plus/minus metric.
With all that said, let's get to the madness.
1st TEAM
GUARD: James Harden (HOU). 34.4 points, 7.4 assists, 62 TS%, +10.4 wins added
You can tell when a player has reached an historic level of greatness when no one seems to care when they're averaging over 34 points per game (on awesome efficiency.) Ho hum.
WING: LeBron James (LAL). 25.7 points, 10.6 assists, 58 TS%, +11.0 wins added
After last year's disappointment, LeBron James has come back leaner and meaner, with much better effort on D. He hasn't been attacking the paint and drawing fouls quite as well as he did in his youth, but he's adjusted his playing style and racked up a career high in assists.
WING: Giannis Antetounkmpo (MIL). 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, 61 TS%, +11.2 wins added
The Greek Freak's struggles at the free throw line (down to 63%) have lowered his efficiency from last year, but he's still clearly in contention for another MVP season. His point total nearly matches his minutes (30.9).
BIG: Nikola Jokic (DEN). 20.2 points, 6.9 assists, 60 TS%, +6.0 wins added
The Joker LOOKS like he should be a complete liability on defense, but the stats haven't born that out (he's +1.8 on that end in RPM.) And given that, his transcendent passing ability assists (get it???) his 1st team candidacy.
FLEX: Anthony Davis (LAL). 26.7 points, 2.4 blocks, 61 TS%, +5.2 wins added
The Lakers have vaulted into the top 3 in defense, largely due to Anthony Davis' ability to wreak havoc on that end. And keep in mind, he's leading his team in PPG as well.
2nd TEAM
GUARD: Damian Lillard (POR). 28.9 points, 7.8 assists, 62 TS%, +4.9 wins added
If it wasn't for Steph Curry and James Harden, Dame would be looking at a lot more first-team All-NBA seasons. This hasn't been Portland's best by any stretch, but it's hard to fault him for that.
WING: Luka Doncic (DAL). 28.7 points, 8.7 assists, 58 TS%, +5.9 wins added
No doubt, Luka Doncic is our toughest exclusion from the 1st team and the one I figure will be the most unpopular pick (so far.) The reason he slipped off the 1st team for me is the injury; he's played 10 less games than Nikola Jokic.
WING: Kawhi Leonard (LAC). 26.9 points, 5.0 assists, 59 TS%, +5.7 wins added
Similarly, it's always going to be tough for me to justify Kawhi on a 1st team as long as he takes off games (he's missed 13/64 so far.) Still, he should be rested and ready to go for another title campaign.
BIG: Rudy Gobert (UTA). 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 70 TS%, +4.5 wins added
I wonder if Rudy Gobert's coronavirus issues will hurt him in media votes in the future. Personally, I'm just going to keep rewarding him and recognizing him as one of the most impactful players in the league.
FLEX: Jimmy Butler (MIA). 20.2 points, 6.1 assists, 58 TS%, +4.1 wins added
Jimmy Butler's struggled to score from the field this year, but his ability to draw contact and get to the line (9.1 FTA) keeps his efficiency above average. And therein, his passing and defense help boost him into this range.
3rd TEAM
GUARD: Chris Paul (OKC). 17.7 points, 6.8 assists, 61 TS%, +5.5 wins added
An incredible year all around for CP3, who has turned 35 years old this month.
WING: Jayson Tatum (BOS). 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 56 TS%, +4.6 wins added
We all know him as a deadly scorer, but Jayson Tatum's added strength has helped him hang at the 4 spot on defense, which is a boon for the Celtics' small-ball/wing-ball approach.
WING: Khris Middleton (MIL). 21.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 62 TS%, +3.7 wins added
Giannis is the engine that drives the Bucks, but having shooters like Middleton around him is key.
BIG: Pascal Siakam (TOR). 23.6 points, 3.6 assists, 56 TS%, +4.8 wins added
Without Kawhi Leonard soaking up attention, Pascal Siakam's not getting as many easy baskets (his 2-point FG% has dropped from 60.2% to 50.6%.) Still, he's a hugely valuable player on both ends of the floor. Is he a true “big?” No. But I think that term is broad enough to extend past centers and can include PFs as well for our purposes.
FLEX: Russell Westbrook (HOU). 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 54 TS%, +6.0 wins added
I've never been a big Westbrook fan, but I give him credit for keeping his activity level and productivity up in a new role. He's gotten better and better as the season has gone on as well.
4th TEAM
GUARD: Ben Simmons (PHI). 16.7 points, 8.2 assists, 61 TS%, +4.2 wins added
Shooting? Still a problem. But fortunately, Ben Simmons does virtually everything else well. He can also step up his game when needed (like when Embiid is out.)
WING: Donovan Mitchell (UTA). 24.2 points, 4.2 assists, 56 TS%, +2.1 wins added
I don't know if Donovan Mitchell is truly any better than any high-scoring SGs like Devin Booker or Zach LaVine, but we have to reward him from being on a winner.
WING: Brandon Ingram (NO). 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 59 TS%, +2.4 wins added
A candidate for Most Improved, Brandon Ingram helped carry his team early in the season. He'll still have to figure out his chemistry with Zion Williamson, but it's safe to say he made himself a lot of money this year.
BIG: Bam Adebayo (MIA). 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 61 TS%, +3.1 wins added
Bam's ability to move the ball on offense (5+ assists) and move his feet on defense is key to the team. The scary part is: he may have another level to his game to reach.
FLEX: Devin Booker (PHX). 26.1 points, 6.6 assists, 62 TS%, +3.5 wins added
It's getting hard to blame Devin Booker for Phoenix's W-L record. He's just a flat-out stud scorer.
5th TEAM
GUARD: Trae Young (ATL). 29.6 points, 9.3 assists, 60 TS%, +3.2 wins added
Like Devin Booker, Trae Young is an offensive savant. Unfortunately, his defense is even more of an issue. He graded at -3.1 in RPM on that end, one of the worst in the entire NBA.
WING: Bradley Beal (WAS). 30.5 points, 6.1 assists, 58 TS%, +1.8 wins added
You expect Trae Young to be bad at defense, but Bradley Beal has graded surprisingly bad there as well (-2.8 RPM.) Of course, starting alongside Isaiah Thomas doesn't make that easy. Nevertheless, we had to downgrade him a few spots for the inconsistent effort there.
WING: Jaylen Brown (BOS). 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 59 TS%, +3.3 wins added
Coming out of Cal, some scouts questions Jaylen Brown's feel for the game. Right now, it's hard to find many things that he doesn't do well.
BIG: Joel Embiid (PHI). 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, 59 TS%, +2.8 wins added
Embiid would rank higher at full strength, but he's missed about 1/3 of the season so far.
FLEX: Kyle Lowry (TOR). 19.7 points, 7.7 assists, 59 TS%, +3.2 wins added
Now age 34, Kyle Lowry continues to play very well on both ends. He's the little engine that could -- or perhaps more appropriately, the caboose.
6th TEAM
GUARD: Eric Bledsoe (MIL). 15.4 points, 5.4 assists, 58 TS%, +2.9 wins added
Eric Bledsoe gets more flak than credit, but he's still one of the best players on the best team in the league.
WING: Zach LaVine (CHI). 25.5 points, 4.2 assists, 57 TS%, +4.3 wins added
If the Bulls had a better record, Zach LaVine could have been a few spots higher. His defense isn't quite as bad as advertised either.
WING: C.J. McCollum (POR). 22.5 points, 4.3 assists, 54 TS%, +3.7 wins added
This must be the "all flak" team, because C.J. McCollum also gets blamed a lot for Portland's struggles to get over the hump. To me, Dame+CJ isn't the problem; the complete mess at the SF-PF position is to blame.
BIG: Domatas Sabonis (IND). 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, 59 TS%, +1.5 wins added
Arvydas' kid also has some baby Joker to his game, as his 5.0 assists are a huge part of Indiana's offense.
FLEX: Paul George (LAC). 21.0 points, 3.9 assists, 58 TS%, +2.5 wins added
Again, I'm factoring in games played more than most, and Paul George (42 GP) has missed quite a bit of time.
7th TEAM
GUARD: Kemba Walker (BOS). 21.2 points, 4.9 assists, 57 TS%, +2.5 wins added
Kemba Walker doesn't have the same workload in Boston as he did in Charlotte, and the stats reflect that. Still, he's safely one of the top 10 PGs in the league.
WING: Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA). 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 60 TS%, +2.6 wins added
Here we're talking BOJAN (from Utah) and not BOGDAN (from Sacramento), although they're both good. Bogey's delivered on the three-point shooting for Utah, hitting 41.4% on 7+ attempts a game.
WING: Danilo Gallinari (OKC). 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 61 TS%, +2.8 wins added
Perpetually underrated, it may be time we stop acting shocked when Gallo's teams (LAC last year, OKC this year) are better than people expect.
BIG: Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN). 26.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 64 TS%, +2.7 wins added
KAT was among the hardest to rank for me. Offensively, he's historically great -- arguably the best shooting center of all time. The defense is an issue, of course, and the workload is what doomed him on my list. His 35 games played is our lowest total so far.
FLEX: Jrue Holiday (NO). 19.6 points, 6.9 assists, 54 TS%, +3.5 wins added
It's fitting that Jrue Holiday is listed at "flex," because he's gone from a pure point guard to a jack of all trades.
8th TEAM
GUARD: Ja Morant (MEM). 17.6 points, 6.9 assists, 57 TS%, +1.6 wins added
As the lead guard of a team, you expect Ja Morant to put up good raw stats. However, his efficiency and steadiness is remarkable for a rookie making the leap from Murray State. He also gets a boost for leading Memphis into playoff position (for now, until the NBA decides to snatch that away.)
WING: Evan Fournier (ORL). 18.8 points, 3.2 assists, 60 TS%, +2.1 wins added
Quietly, Evan Fournier is having a good season for Orlando. If you don't believe me, google it.
WING: Robert Covington (HOU). 12.8 points, 1.5 steals, 57 TS%, +2.8 wins added
Every team would love to have a low-usage 3+D forward like RoCo. Except for Philly and Minnesota, I guess.
BIG: Hassan Whiteside (POR). 16.3 points, 14.2 rebounds, 64 TS%, +2.1 wins added
This may be a controversial pick because Whiteside has become a punching bag for fans, but he may have made the rare transition from underrated to overrated (and overpaid) and back to underrated again.
FLEX: Tobias Harris (PHI). 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 56 TS%, +2.1 wins added
Speaking of overpaid... Tobias Harris hasn't lived up to his giant contract yet, but he's undoubtedly a good starter to have on your team.
9th TEAM
GUARD: Spencer Dinwiddie (TOR). 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, 54 TS%, +3.0 wins added
Nothing raises your bitcoin valuation more than that sweet, sweet All-NBA 9th team trophy.
WING: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC). 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 57 TS%, +2.1 wins added
Like Jrue Holiday, SGA is a point who can play "up" a position. In fact, he’s been working effectively at both SG and SF this year, as illustrated by that nice rebounding rate.
WING: Duncan Robinson (MIA). 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 68 TS%, +3.0 wins added
This may be high for a one-trick pony, but that trick happens to be quite a valuable one. The unknown Robinson is hitting 44.8% of his threes (at 8.4 attempts per game.) He's a huge part of Miami's offensive gameplan.
BIG: Kristaps Porzingis (DAL). 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 54 TS%, +3.9 wins added
Too high? Too low? I can't figure out Porzingis' season in Dallas so far. Still, any big who can block shots and hit threes has an inherent value.
FLEX: Dennis Schroder (OKC). 19.0 points, 4.1 assists, 57 TS%, +5.4 wins added
Perhaps the biggest surprise to OKC's success this season has been a career year for Dennis Schroder off the bench. He's even played well when paired with CP3 and SGA in the same lineup. The stats suggest that Schroder should rank even higher than this, but I'm still trying to wrap my mind around him becoming such an efficient player all of a sudden.
10th TEAM
GUARD: Lou Williams (LAC). 18.7 points, 5.7 assists, 55 TS%, +3.6 wins added
Sweet Lou has a little less to do now that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are in town, but he's still one of the best scorers off the bench.
WING: Buddy Hield (SAC). 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 57 TS%, +3.0 wins added
A NEW addition to the "scorer off the bench club," Buddy Hield deserves kudos for accepting that role as the Kings try to find a spark. He hasn't been as red-hot as he had been last season, but he's still one of the best SGs in the league.
WING: Gordon Hayward (BOS). 17.3 points, 4.1 assists, 59 TS%, +1.9 wins added
Gordon Hayward has quietly been working his way back into top form, with his ball movement and BBIQ two real feathers in his cap. He's dinged a few spots here based on missed time (he's only played 45 games.)
BIG: Montrezl Harrell (LAC). 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 61 TS%, +3.6 wins added
Fittingly, Montrezl Harrell will join Lou Williams' team here. It'll be interesting to see whether Doc Rivers rolls with the two of them in crunch time during the playoffs.
FLEX: Nikola Vucevic (ORL): 19.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 54 TS%, +2.0 wins added
It's debatable how valuable Vucevic's 20-10 seasons are because he's not a good defender and he's not a terribly efficient scorer. That said, I'm giving him credit for a high degree of difficulty here as the go-to scorer on a team that doesn't have a lot of weapons offensively.
just missed the cut
If you'd like to sub in any other players, here are some notable names:
PG FredVanVleet (TOR), PG Devonte' Graham (CHA), PG Malcolm Brogdon (IND), PG Jamal Murray, PG Lonzo Ball, PG De'Aaron Fox (SAC), PG/SG Marcus Smart (BOS), PG/SG Kendrick Nunn (MIA), SF Joe Ingles (UTA), SF Will Barton (DEN), SF DeMar DeRozan (SA), SF/PF Davis Bertans (WAS), SF/PF Aaron Gordon (ORL), PF LaMarcus Aldridge (SA), C Myles Turner (IND), C Steven Adams (OKC), C Andre Drummond (CLE), C Jarrett Allen (BKN), C Derrick Favors (NO), C Jonas Valanciunas (MEM), C Brook Lopez (MIL). And of course, we need an obligatory Zion Williamson (NO) mention, although his 19 games played is a tough hurdle to overcome.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

Warning: Blockchain difficulty adjustment affecting price movements

Below are notable difficulty adjustments when hash rate fell and block times become slower for Bitcoin.
  1. 26 Mar 2020 [difficulty adjustment -15.95%, avg block time 11min 54secs]. On the 28th price crashed from $6674 to $6138 ( -8%).
  2. 8 Nov 2019 [difficulty adjustment -7.1%, avg block time 10min 46secs]. On the same day price crashed from $9234 to $8783 ( -4.88%).
  3. The next big adjustment was around Nov to Dec 2018 and there were 3 big adjustments with high block times.

Current situation:
We are 1 day 10 hours from the next difficulty adjustment. Projected difficulty adjustment is -5.61% (https://fork.lol/pow/retarget), which could indicate a small dip. However, take note that the date of last adjustment was the 5th and the 3rd halving was on the 11th, between the 5th to the 11th there was increased hashrate from miners trying to mine the final week of 12.5btc that offset the really slow block times after the halving. Therefore it will be the next difficulty adjustment after the one on the 20th that will completely reflect the slower block times after the halving. Currently the median block time taken on the 17th was around 14min (-28.5% difficulty adjustment).
For people who do not understand blockchain, basically with the Bitcoin 3rd halving, mining profitability fell for a lot of miners and they probably turned off their miners therefore the blockchain mining time became considerably slower which is reflected with slow transaction speed and higher fees as seen currently. Bitcoin sellers moving their BTC from wallet to an exchange are faced with slow transaction speed and therefore the sell pressure of BTC fell considerably which will attribute to the current price increase. There is a correlation between sell pressure and blockchain congestion (the size of the correlation is undetermined).
There is going to be a race. A race between BTC price hiking high enough to attract more miners to reduce avg block times versus the closing window of roughly 2 weeks before the next difficulty adjustment. If the price does not jump high enough, the next difficulty adjustment in the first week of June could signal a huge dip.
I am not an expert. I just did some research on the above and wanted to share with fellow Bitcoin compatriots so that we can tread with caution and not lose our shirts. I do not plan to short BTC but I will exit my BTC positions if I expect double digit negative difficulty adjustment in early June.
Please visit the original post here https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/gm23pe/warning_blockchain_difficulty_adjustment/
There are pictures in the original post as well as 2nd halving evidence with pics. I could not post pics here. If possible please upvote the original post, a lot of people downvote it. Not sure why people downvote it, maybe veterans attempting to hide information from newcomers to fleece them of their shirt.

Update 1:>! As of writing, I have opened a small short position on Bitcoin. Stop loss around 10k, estimated take profit around 8500. The reason is because the difficulty adjustment in the next 20 hours, even though is just -5% roughly is still significant. I direct you to look into all the difficulty adjustments in the last 2 years and you will know how rare it is. The ones I caught were all listed at the very top of the post. Since it is my first time shorting BTC, I take this as a learning opportunity so that I will have some experience to face the bigger difficulty adjustment in the first week of June. Analysis into execution, even in failure I am happy.!<
Update 2: The difficulty adjustment (DA) happened roughly 6 hours ago and the sell pressure from -6% DA did not seem to be affecting the market much. However, please take a look now at the estimation for the next DA.
On https://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/dashboard/ it is estimated to be -25%.
On https://fork.lol/pow/retarget estimated to be -18%.
On https://www.blockchain.com/charts/median-confirmation-time the median block time for the last day was 16.8min.
My original proposition that the true DA of the halving can only be realized in the next DA stands and that it will be considerable. The increased sell pressure from that DA will be highly significant. That is why there is a race by current miners to get the BTC price up high enough to attract more miners to not have the DA drop too much.
Update 3: Current BTC price at $9100 ( ~39 hours after DA). Then again BTC could have dropped from all sorts of reason. However the coincidence with the DA and with all the past DA is just too high to simply shrug off as irrelevant. Anyways past result cannot predict future ones, stay safe with the trading. Will no longer check on this post.
References:
Difficulty adjustment dates taken from https://btc.com/stats/diff
Bitcoin graph history for price movement taken from coinmarketcap.
Median confirmation time (block time) taken from https://www.blockchain.com/charts/median-confirmation-time

Credits to people who assisted the analysis:
kairepaire for pointing out faster block times between 5th-11th.
babies_eater for https://fork.lol/pow/retarget
moes_tavern_wifi for https://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/dashboard/
Pantamis for https://diff.cryptothis.com/
submitted by theforwardbrain to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Warning: Blockchain difficulty adjustment affecting price movement

Warning: Blockchain difficulty adjustment affecting price movement
Below are notable difficulty adjustments when hash rate fell and block times become slower for Bitcoin.
  1. 26 Mar 2020 [difficulty adjustment -15.95%, avg block time 11min 54secs]. On the 28th price crashed from $6674 to $6138 ( -8%).
  2. 8 Nov 2019 [difficulty adjustment -7.1%, avg block time 10min 46secs]. On the same day price crashed from $9234 to $8783 ( -4.88%).
  3. The next big adjustment was around Nov to Dec 2018 and there were 3 big adjustments with high block times.
  • 19 Dec 2018 [-9.56%, avg block time 11min 3secs]
  • 3 Dec 2018 [-15.13%, avg block time 11min 47secs]
  • 17 Nov 2018 [-7.39%, avg block time 10min 48secs]
  • There was huge drop off starting on 14th Nov all the way to a bottom on 14-15th Dec ($6351 to $3288 around -48%).

Current situation:
We are 1 day 10 hours from the next difficulty adjustment. Projected difficulty adjustment is -5.61% (https://fork.lol/pow/retarget), which could indicate a small dip. However, take note that the date of last adjustment was the 5th and the 3rd halving was on the 11th, between the 5th to the 11th there was increased hashrate from miners trying to mine the final week of 12.5btc that offset the really slow block times after the halving. Therefore it will be the next difficulty adjustment after the one on the 20th that will completely reflect the slower block times after the halving. Currently the median block time taken on the 17th was around 14min (-28.5% difficulty adjustment).

https://preview.redd.it/ysnv85wh0lz41.jpg?width=597&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e130b077f9dc2fc9d02666ef89e6f9249a05f535
For people who do not understand blockchain, basically with the Bitcoin 3rd halving, mining profitability fell for a lot of miners and they probably turned off their miners therefore the blockchain mining time became considerably slower which is reflected with slow transaction speed and higher fees as seen currently. Bitcoin sellers moving their BTC from wallet to an exchange are faced with slow transaction speed and therefore the sell pressure of BTC fell considerably which will attribute to the current price increase. There is a correlation between sell pressure and blockchain congestion (the size of the correlation is undetermined).
There is going to be a race. A race between BTC price hiking high enough to attract more miners to reduce avg block times versus the closing window of roughly 2 weeks before the next difficulty adjustment. If the price does not jump high enough, the next difficulty adjustment in the first week of June could signal a huge dip.
I am not an expert. I just did some research on the above and wanted to share with fellow Bitcoin compatriots so that we can tread with caution and not lose our shirts. I do not plan to short BTC but I will exit my BTC positions if I expect double digit negative difficulty adjustment in early June.

Bitcoin 2nd halving evidence:

2nd halving falls between the 5th and the 19th adjustment so it is only reflected on the 3rd of Aug difficulty adjustment ( -5.43%).

See the dip on the 3rd of August. Price fell from $600 to $533 about 11% drop.
Update 1:>! As of writing, I have opened a small short position on Bitcoin. Stop loss around 10k, estimated take profit around 8500. The reason is because the difficulty adjustment in the next 20 hours, even though is just -5% roughly is still significant. I direct you to look into all the difficulty adjustments in the last 2 years and you will know how rare it is. The ones I caught were all listed at the very top of the post. Since it is my first time shorting BTC, I take this as a learning opportunity so that I will have some experience to face the bigger difficulty adjustment in the first week of June. Analysis into execution, even in failure I am happy.!<
Update 2: The difficulty adjustment (DA) happened roughly 6 hours ago and the sell pressure from -6% DA did not seem to be affecting the market much. However, please take a look now at the estimation for the next DA.
On https://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/dashboard/ it is estimated to be -25%.
On https://fork.lol/pow/retarget estimated to be -18%.
On https://www.blockchain.com/charts/median-confirmation-time the median block time for the last day was 16.8min.
My original proposition that the true DA of the halving can only be realized in the next DA stands and that it will be considerable. The increased sell pressure from that DA will be highly significant. That is why there is a race by current miners to get the BTC price up high enough to attract more miners to not have the DA drop too much.
References:
Difficulty adjustment dates taken from https://btc.com/stats/diff
Bitcoin graph history for price movement taken from coinmarketcap.
Median confirmation time (block time) taken from https://www.blockchain.com/charts/median-confirmation-time

Credits to people who assisted the analysis:
kairepaire for pointing out faster block times between 5th-11th.
babies_eater for https://fork.lol/pow/retarget
moes_tavern_wifi for https://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/dashboard/
Pantamis for https://diff.cryptothis.com/
submitted by theforwardbrain to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Daily Crypto Brief for Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

This is your ITB Media Daily Crypto Brief for Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

In Mainstream Financial News.

CNBC reports: Bank of England has done a lot — but it needs to do more, analyst says - https://cnb.cx/3fst91O
Giles Keating, a member of Bitcoin Suisse’s board and former global chief economist for investment banking at Credit Suisse, discusses central banking and how policymakers should be supporting companies through the coronavirus crisis

Bloomberg Headline: Crypto Founder Admits He Cheated Investors Out of $25 Million - https://bloom.bg/37By0ew
The founder of a cryptocurrency firm admitted to conspiring to dupe investors into committing more than $25 million to the enterprise by lying about an initial coin offering. Robert Farkas and two other founders of Centra Tech Inc., Sohrab Sharma and Raymond Trapani, were charged in 2018 with misleading investors by claiming to have developed a debit card allowing users to make purchases with digital currency at any business accepting Visa or Mastercard. Sharma and Trapani are scheduled to go to trial in November.

The Asia Times: New Turkey blockchain regulations expected - https://bit.ly/37AwWrc
The co-founder of BiLira (TRYB), the first stablecoin pegged to the Turkish lira, is predicting that Ankara will announce a new regulatory framework for blockchain “within the next year. ”

Wall Street Journal Headline: Cyber Daily: Oversight of Cryptocurrency and Other Financial Technology Is Evolving - https://on.wsj.com/3dNMKZT
Oversight of Cryptocurrency and Other Financial Technology Is Evolving. Good day. ... Hackers attacking cryptocurrency exchanges in the last 18 months have stolen millions of dollars of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Plus, a large share of cryptocurrency trades appear to be fake, some researchers say.

Forbes Headline: Exclusive: Borrowing Dollars Against Bitcoin And Crypto Is About To Get A Lot Easier - https://bit.ly/30QTse0
"In order for bitcoin to continue to mature as an asset class and increase demand from institutional investors, we need more platforms like Anchorage Financing to provide leverage for these investors," said Silvergate CEO Alan Lane.

In Social Media headlines.
Altcoin Daily LIVE: Anthony Pompliano Reveals His Cryptocurrency Investment Strategy for 2020. Bitcoin Podcast - https://bit.ly/3fstTE8
The Moon: BITCOIN PUMP!!!!!!!!!!! BREAKING NEWS: FEDERAL RESERVE NEW STIMULUS PACKAGE!!!! - https://bit.ly/37CLJBH Data Dash: Bitcoin Leaps Back To $9,500. Here's What I'm Looking For Next. - https://bit.ly/3hxCiYW
Crypto Zombie: BITCOIN MAJOR BOUNCE!!! WHALES MIMIC 2017 BULL RUN!!! $12,000 BTC IMMINENT! - https://bit.ly/3d3MZ20

In Crypto Publications headlines.

Cointelegraph reports: Bitcoin Difficulty Sees Two-Year Record Surge as Hash Rate Mimics 2017 - https://bit.ly/3fAdTzY
Bitcoin Difficulty Sees Two-Year Record Surge as Hash Rate Mimics 2017. A giant 14.95% advance makes analysts confident as miners appear to balance increased costs to retain profitability. The post Bitcoin Difficulty Sees Two-Year Record Surge as Hash Rate Mimics 2017 appeared first on CoinTelegraph.

Coindesk.com headline: COMP’s Sudden Growth Has Swamped a DEX Dealing Only in Stablecoins - https://bit.ly/2YJKtsp
COMP's Sudden Growth Has Swamped a DEX Dealing Only in Stablecoins. ... Curve is an automated market maker devoted exclusively to stablecoins. On Sunday, it saw $3.5 million in daily trading volume, according to its self-reported stats.

Cryptonews.com reports on its front page: Brute Force Attack Puts Super-fast End to ‘4-Week’ Bitcoin Riddle - https://bit.ly/2YH6Sqt
Hackers rose to the challenge of stealing a bitcoin – with a “brute force” cryptanalytic attack allowing raiders to crack into a wallet and make away with the BTC 1 booty. Alistair Milne, the chief investment officer at the Altana Digital Currency Fund, had set the world of social media a challenge, with four seed word clues posted to Twitter.

This has been your ITB Media Daily Crypto Brief for Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
submitted by Gigantile to altcoin_news [link] [comments]

Tier-Based PMC Reward System

Was listening to the Tarkov talk podcast this morning and hatchlings were brought up, in which Nikita said along the lines, "There's a gaming principle saying you should not punish players, but reward the ones that play as intended." Well, I was thinking about it, and felt maybe something that can provide incentive for those that fight their gear fear and try to 'play as intended'. My group of friends and I already call out players we see as 'Tier 1, tier 2, etc' type of players increasing in number based on THICC-ness.
So, what if players are rewarded on both sides of the spectrum for how THICC they come in. For example, why not a flat-rate for raid survival from traders varying by map, payment varying by difficulty of raid. I personally don't feel an issue with hatchlings, however, giving me incentive to put money investment into my loadouts would be nice. Also, rewarding players more for killing higher tier PMCs would be a nice emphasis on PMC. Perhaps a flat-rate reward from fence for braving the Tarkovian wasteland.
Ex. Completing Customs Day-time: 12,500 Rouble flat-rate from Fence for surviving + Tier III Bonus = 14,375 Roubles.
This can also be adjusted based on PVP and PVE statistics. Such as scavs being a 0.1% additional, players based on tier. Tier 1 0.5%, Tier 2, 1.0%, Tier 3 2.0%, Tier 4 3.0%(All values are purely hypothetical and for example purposes) Including an increased XP reward per kill based on PMC tiers.
Ex. Customs Day-time: 12,500 + Tier III Bonus = 14,375, 14,375 + 10 Scavs = 14,519 Roubles + 2 Tier 3 PMCs and 1 Tier 4 PMC = 15,535 Roubles.
This bonus is in addition to the roubles, gear, etc found in raid, not dependent on the loot gained, just an additional bonus for putting in investment for higher rewards. The system could determine Tier based on cost of gear brought into raid and assigned within ranges of value.Q: What if I bring in the thiccest kit I can and hide it before being a hatchet boi and completing the raid after that?A: System should check for value in case someone 'Upgraded' tiers after looting a thicc boi and apply reward based on extracted equipment.Q: What if I just bring a SICC container filled with bitcoins?A: Items within secure containers both brought in and out should not apply to the system in both tier-placement for both deployment and extraction.
Even if the flat-rate/tier bonuses aren't very high, it's still a reward for playing as intended, maybe even have a survival streak multiplier that has a cap, or a kill-streak multiplier for PVP in consecutive raids. Made a little mock-up image for comparison of tiers, forgive the somewhat bad editing, made purely for demonstration. But, just an idea, I'd like to see stats of how many tier 4 PMCs killed in raid and stuff. Not sure if something like this has been suggested before, but would love discussion about something like this. Thanks for reading!
TL;DR: More incentive for going in and coming out with gear as opposed to punishing hatchlings in some way shape or form. Hatchets gonna hatchet, let me get more for being THICC.
https://preview.redd.it/i5eft83emn641.jpg?width=1400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b49965794160acd721620eee0dfeea8154f9f601
submitted by JDizzleOnPC to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

Gobler's Fantasy Consistency Rankings Week 8

WEEK 8 CONSISTENCY RANKINGS HERE
Hey all. I posted these last week, but didn't quite get the traction I had hoped for due to difficulties with the automod.
In short, this tweet from last season regarding the consistency between Tyreek Hill and Anotonio Brown inspired me to create data for player consistency. For those too lazy to click the link, Tyreek Hill and Antonio Brown were both averaging around 21.5 points in PPR leagues through week 13 of the 2018 season. However, how those two players went about getting those points differed greatly. Antonio Brown was fairly consistent throughout the season. With his lowest score being 14.6 and his highest being 31.4, AB’s line graph is fairly flat and consistent - at least in comparison to Reek’s. Tyreek Hill’s graph, on the other hand, is all over the place. As the top twitter comment suggests, “Tyreek Hill [was] Bitcoin.” Hill would explode for monster games some weeks, but then score in the single digits in others.
This got me thinking. Why isn’t there more emphasis on consistency? Every year before drafts begin, every other comment is about “minimizing risk” by drafting safe and consistent players. We are taught to value the James Whites of the world, but then blow large quantities of our FAAB on players like Will Fuller.
Using my 9th grade math skills, we can better objectively view players through consistency using standard deviation. With this information, we can gather a better understanding of which players are truly consistent, as opposed to simply looking at season averages. Furthermore, we can also use this data to help us make more accurate predictions in the future.

Standard Deviation (SD)
Standard deviation is a measurement of variation or dispersion in a given set of data. The smaller the standard deviation, the closer the data is to the mean (average).
For example: Let’s say that Lamar Jackson has an SD of 6.97 fantasy points, and Jameis Winston has an SD of 7.74 fantasy points. Clearly, 6.97 is less than 7.74. From this, we can say that Lamar’s performances have been closer to his expected value (average) more so than Jameis’s performances have been to his expected value.
68-95-99.7 Rule
In a normally distributed set of data, we can expect that 68.26% of values are plus or minus one standard deviation from the mean, 95.44% of values are within plus or minus 2 SD, and 99.7% are within plus or minus 3 SD.
Using Lamar as an example again, we would say that about 68% of Lamar’s performances are between ±1 SD from his average of 25.1 fantasy points. Since Lamar’s SD is 6.97, we can say that 68% of his games are between 18.13 (25.1 - 6.97) and 32.07 (25.1 + 6.97) points.

Disclaimer: I did not include ± 3 SD from mean since ± 2SD covers almost all data with 95.44%. Also, I don’t think you need me to tell you that there is a 99.7% chance that a player like Lamar Jackson’s score falls between something like 46.0 and 10.0 points.
Coefficient of Variation (CV)
If you’re only going to take one thing from this post, this is the most important part. Coefficient of variation is a measurement of consistency. It’s simply the players Standard deviation divided by their respective average. It’s a good way to compare results between multiple sets of data, like fantasy football players. This just shows us the relationship between a player’s SD and their average. More specifically, it shows us how close players are to their overall season average, which is considered their “expected value.”
THE SMALLER THE NUMBER = MORE CONSISTENT. For example: Let’s say Christian McCaffrey has a CV of .450 and David Johnson has a CV of .526. From this, we can say that CMC has been more consistent and is more often performing closer to his season average on a weekly basis than DJ is.

Things to Note
Q: What scoring format is this for?
A: .5 PPR scoring and standard scoring for QBs, D/STs, and Ks.

Q: Why is player ________ not on this list?
A: To provide a more accurate depiction of each players respective seasons, I first sort the players by average points/game. Then, I only include the top 20 scoring players for QBs, top 40 for RBs, top 40 for WRs, top 20 for TEs, and top 20 for Ks. But because I’m a sweetheart, and D/STs are more about matchups, I include all 32 D/STs. If your player isn’t on the table, then they didn’t make the cut this week. I also took the liberty of removing players that are on IR for the remainder of the fantasy season, haven't played most games (with the exclusion of Brees), or aren't on teams anymore @AB84.

Q: What formula for standard deviation did you use?
A: Credit to u/YoureNotMom. On last weeks post, this Bachelor of mathematics educated me on why using the population standard deviation was not as statistically valid as using the sample standard deviation. In his words: "We don't know each QB's true perimeters. Imagine we're in the Matrix and everyone's every characteristic is quantified. Two such parameters would be your mean and standard deviation for both passing yards and passing TDs (for 4 total). As a computerized NPC, you will always produce outcomes derived from those parameters. You could then calculate the mean and standard deviation of fantasy points based on the yards and TD figures.
However, we're not in the matrix, so we don't know a QBs "true" mean and SD for his fantasy points. We only have this year's sample to work backwards with and to infer their "true" values from. So if you rerun these numbers with the sample instead of the population button depressed, you'll get more-valid statistics."

Q: This all seems like a lot of data, no?
A: It is and it isn’t. I wanted to provide an objective and somewhat more holistic perspective. That’s why I included everything that I did. For those who just want a quick glance at the consistency part, look at the highlighted column at the end of the table for coefficient of variation.

Q: Since the coefficient of variation is mean divided by the standard deviation, then why for D/STs with negative averages is their CV not negative? A negative divided by a positive is negative.
A: Good question. You are 100% correct. A negative divided by a positive is most definitely a negative. However, if the CV are entered as negatives, and then I sort from lowest to highest, the negative numbers would be incorrectly listed at the top of the consistency column.

Q: Where did you get all the stats from?
A: I used ESPN standard scoring for the D/ST. For everything else, I used .5 PPR scoring data from fantasydata.com

Q: Why did you choose purple and yellow for the table?
A: Kirktober is over, and he is nearly leading the league in Quarterback Rating. If November is anything like October, a certain internet holiday that takes place the entirety of November might be hard for me to maintain.
submitted by -Gobler- to fantasyfootball [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Hits ALL TIME HIGH! What is Crypto Mining Difficulty and How it Impacts YOUR Profits - Explained W/ BTC ZenCash ZEC What Is Bitcoin Mining Difficulty? - YouTube Bitcoin Q&A: Why Can't Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Adjust a Little Quicker? BITCOIN MINING DIFFICULTY EXPLAINED IN 10 MINUTES!

The Bitcoin difficulty chart provides the current Bitcoin difficulty (BTC diff) target as well as a historical data graph visualizing Bitcoin mining difficulty chart values with BTC difficulty adjustments (both increases and decreases) defaulted to today with timeline options of 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and all time Bitcoin (BTC) Stats. Transactions count, value, Bitcoins sent, difficulty, blocks count, network hashrate, market capitalization... Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Stats. Transactions count, value, Bitcoin Cashs sent, difficulty, blocks count, network hashrate, market capitalization... Bitcoin Difficulty Estimator (by /u/archaeal) Come chat with us in our new Telegram group! (page refreshes automatically) (all times local) copy stats to clipboard. FUN FACT: Due to a longstanding bug in the Bitcoin source code, the time spent mining the first block in each difficulty epoch actually has no effect on the next difficulty calculation. Even if this block somehow took an entire ... The Bitcoin difficulty started at 1 (and can never go below that). Then for every 2016 blocks that are found, the timestamps of the blocks are compared to find out how much time it took to find 2016 blocks, call it T. We want 2016 blocks to take 2 weeks, so if T is different, we multiply the difficulty by (2 weeks / T) - this way, if the hashrate continues the way it was, it will now take 2 ...

[index] [30952] [38862] [10949] [44251] [30895] [219] [5070] [20817] [5872] [49926]

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Hits ALL TIME HIGH!

What is crypto mining difficulty, how is it adjusted, what is the point of a block time? Vosk explains how the difficulty for mining a block reward is adjusted when mining Bitcoin on sha-256 or ... Like Reading About Bitcoin? - https://geni.us/eH9P Buy The Most Efficient GPU for Mining! - https://geni.us/Y3STM Mining Deal of the Day - https://geni.us/vSDc87y Join Red Panda Mining's Discord ... After the Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty jumped sharply today, mining has become 20% more difficult than right before the third BTC halving in May. However,... The Bitcoin mining difficulty currently adjusts roughly every 2 weeks, while on other chains mining difficulty adjusts much more often. Why? Why does Bitcoin... 01:18 Market Update 02:18 BTC Difficulty and Hash Rate Drop 05:01 Satoshi Nakomoto Won't Sell Bitcoin 07:28 eToro Market Analysis 10:59 Paxful in India 13:36 IOST NFT Collectibles and Mystery Box ...

#