Inside the blockchain developer’s mind: The vertical scaling crisis

Inside the blockchain developer’s mind: The vertical scaling crisis

This is Part 2 of a three-part series in which Andrew Levine outlines the issues facing legacy blockchains and posits solutions to these problems. Read Part 1 on the upgradeability crisis here and Part 3 on the governance crisis as it goes live on Sept. 25.

The advent of the internet has revealed that we have a digital self that can amplify our real-world power thanks to the ability to interact with people anywhere on Earth and coordinate actions that our physical selves never could.

But our digital selves are shackled — imprisoned on private computers belonging to Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, and the list goes on. These private monopolies don’t actually produce technology; rather, their product is us — our digital selves — and their entire purpose is to extract as much value from us as they possibly can.

Many people recognize the potential for blockchain technology to disrupt these private monopolies and oligopolies, but unfortunately, no specific blockchain has been able to reach beyond the walls of the existing blockchain and cryptocurrency community.

And if it did, it would not be technically capable of supporting the kind of growth and adoption needed to empower every person on Earth to take control of their digital selves. Why is that? Is it just a matter of picking the right features? Switching to proof-of-stake? Sharding?

Unfortunately, the problem is much bigger than one or two missing features and will not be resolved by the planned changes to existing protocols because the problems lie at the very foundation of how they are constructed. The very architecture limits the potential for these platforms to scale vertically.

Vertical scaling is how you manage the growth of a single node (computer) in a network. Blockchains are databases that never discard information. Information is only added to the database, never removed. This makes growth an even bigger problem. Not only that, but most blockchains are not designed to make efficient use of the various parts of a computer. This adds up to a big database, consuming a lot of computational resources on a given machine in an inefficient manner.

In order to compensate for these shortcomings, node operators rely on expensive enterprise-grade hardware — specifically, random-access memory, or RAM, and non-volatile memory express, or NVMe, which is what pushes network participation (node operation) beyond the grasp of ordinary people. And somehow, we’re supposed to believe that is not bad for decentralization!

Ironically, one of the strongest arguments for the existence of a vertical scaling crisis is the level of demand for horizontal scaling solutions.

As of this writing, an Ethereum full node still does not exceed 500 GB. That’s nothing! And yet, it is also absolutely true that a complicated, risky mechanism needs to be added to Ethereum so that its blockchain can be broken up into bits and pieces, and that precious computational resources need to be spent on simply enabling these “shards” to communicate with one another, let alone perform meaningful computations.

The problem is that horizontal scaling — sharding — is not a substitute for vertical scaling. Imagine you have a factory producing 1,000 cars per year, but there is sufficient demand for 2,000 cars. What do you do first: build a new factory or try to make more cars out of the factory you already have? Vertical scaling is optimizing the factory to produce more cars before simply building a new factory. Blockchain nodes are the “factory,” and what determines their output is how efficiently they use the components in a computer.

Speaking from direct experience, blockchains are horribly unoptimized with respect to node resource management, which makes them the perfect candidate for vertical scaling solutions.

In blockchain, there are essentially two lineages: Ethereum and BitShares. Many people might not be familiar with BitShares, but its architectural design underpins some of the most performant blockchains in the space, including EOS, Hive and Steem. While Ethereum, and the many chains that are modeled on it, remains the most highly valued general-purpose blockchain with the most decentralized applications and unique users, the BitShares line absolutely dominates in terms of raw transaction activity, making it the performance king.

My team, arguably, has more experience in the BitShares line than any other team on Earth, so we will focus on that design. Because blockchains in the BitShares line are capable of performing so many more transactions per second, this actually increases the importance of vertical scaling — because their blockchain state is growing so much faster.

Vertical scaling, in the computing context, is essentially all about using the cheapest form of memory (disk) whenever possible and to the greatest extent possible. In the case of blockchains, the two most relevant processes are fork resolution and storing state. There are all of these different versions of the database out there (“forks”), and the nodes have to come to a consensus on which one is the “right” one. That’s fork resolution.

Now, you have an irreversible database that needs to be stored. Ideally, you want that stored on the cheapest possible medium (disk) as opposed to the most expensive (RAM).

Because you want forks to be resolved as fast as possible, you want these computations to be done in RAM (fast memory). But once the forks have been resolved and new transactions have been added to the irreversible state, you want to store this database in disk. The problem with blockchains from the BitShares line is that they achieve their performance through a design that never actually reflects the current state of the blockchain. Instead, when each block is applied, the pending transaction state is “undone,” the old values are written back to the database, and then the block is applied.

One problem with this approach is that most of the time, this means performing the exact same calculations again and writing the same state back to the database that was just there, which is extremely inefficient.

Even more relevant to the issue of vertical scaling is that this design means the irreversible state as a whole cannot be stored on disk without having to “pop” blocks back out of disk and into RAM to resolve forks. Not only does this increase the RAM load on a given node, but it also has very serious consequences with respect to leveraging RocksDB.

RocksDB is a database technology developed by Facebook to power its news feed. In short, it enables us to get the performance of RAM but from disk. Many blockchain projects are using RocksDB in various ways, but the problem with the database design we have outlined is that the constant need to undo pending transactions and rewrite to the database negates the benefits of RocksDB.

Facebook’s news feed is all about database reads. Consider how many posts you scroll through before you engage with a single one. For that reason, RocksDB is designed to work best when there are far more reads to the database than writes. The database design outlined above leads to so many database writes that it negates the benefits of even using RocksDB.

In order to take full advantage of RocksDB, we need to rebuild the blockchain from the ground up to efficiently ferry blocks from RAM to disk while minimizing the number of writes so as to benefit from RocksDB. We can accomplish this by eliminating the need to undo/rewrite and creating a single database that tracks irreversible state and never needs to be undone.

This would enable us to minimize RAM use in nodes by efficiently ferrying irreversible blocks out of RAM and into disk without having to bring them back. We estimate that this could reduce the cost of running a node by as much as 75%! Not only would this make node operation more accessible, increasing the number of nodes in operation, but these cost savings would ultimately be passed along to users and developers.

Existing blockchains are reaching the performance limits of what they can get out of a single node as a consequence of how they resolve forks and how they store their blockchain state. In this article, we have explained how database design can lead to a fork resolution process that increases RAM use as well as database writes that negate the benefits that could accrue from the use of RocksDB, ultimately leading to less efficient blockchain nodes.

The truth is that there is a lot more to vertical scaling than this single problem. Blockchain ecosystems are complex, with many components that feedback into one another. Decreasing the cost of running an individual node is critical for increasing the number nodes in operation and reducing the costs of using the network, but there are also tremendous gains to be had by minimizing network congestion, incentivizing efficient node operation and more.

Our goal is not to explain in detail how one can solve the vertical scaling problem but to give some insight into the nature of what we think is a dramatically underappreciated problem in the blockchain space. Horizontal scalability is absolutely a very important area of interest, but if we ignore the problem of vertical scalability, all we will accomplish by horizontally scaling is dramatically increasing the number of horribly inefficient nodes.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew Levine is the CEO of OpenOrchard, where he and the former development team behind the Steem blockchain build blockchain-based solutions that empower people to take ownership and control over their digital selves. Their foundational product is Koinos, a high-performance blockchain built on an entirely new framework architected to give developers the features they need in order to deliver the user experiences necessary to spread blockchain adoption to the masses.

Source: crytonow.com

Author: adminhttps://crytonow.com


Bitcoin Dangerously Close To Going Parabolic in 2021 | Europe & Venezuela Get Serious [MUST WATCH]

Bitcoin Dangerously Close To Going Parabolic in 2021 | Europe & Venezuela Get Serious [MUST WATCH]

What is your best bitcoin and cryptocurrency price prediction for 2021? Today we discuss bitcoin price, polkadot cryptocurrency, chainlink, ethereum, & MORE of the latest cryptocurrency news!

What do you think? What impact will this decision have in 2021?

Altcoin Daily, the best cryptocurrency news media online!

***********************************************************************

#Bitcoin #Cryptocurrency #Invest #Crypto #TheFed #News #Litecoin #Cardano #Ethereum #DigiByte #Litecoin #Invest #Binance #Elastos #PundiX #Tron #IOTA #Ripple #XRP #Starbucks #StellarLumens #Google #Vechain #cryptocurrency #news #btc #eth #litecoin #marketanalysis #entrepreneur #business #success #investment #finance #bitcoins #StockMarket #BestCryptocurrency

***NOT FINANCIAL, LEGAL, OR TAX ADVICE! JUST OPINION! I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I DO NOT GUARANTEE A PARTICULAR OUTCOME I HAVE NO INSIDE KNOWLEDGE! YOU NEED TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS! THIS IS JUST ENTERTAINMENT! USE ALTCOIN DAILY AS A STARTING OFF POINT!

This information is what was found publicly on the internet. This information could’ve been doctored or misrepresented by the internet. All information is meant for public awareness and is public domain. This information is not intended to slander harm or defame any of the actors involved but to show what was said through their social media accounts. Please take this information and do your own research.

bitcoin, cryptocurrency, crypto, altcoin, altcoin daily, blockchain, news, best investment, top altcoins, ethereum, best altcoin buys, 2020, top altcoins 2020, bitcoin crash, xrp, cardano, chainlink, ripple, buy bitcoin, yearn finance, bitcoin price prediction, Cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency news, cryptocurrency news media, cryptocurrency investing, bitcoin news, Is now a good time to buy bitcoin, September 2020, defi, Best Cryptocurrency to Invest in 2021, polkadot crypto, ocean protocol,

#bitcoin #cryptocurrency #cryptocurrencynews

Source: cryptolearningvideos.com

Author: by admin


Chainlink up 30% following six-week downtrend and developer selloff

Chainlink up 30% following six-week downtrend and developer selloff

A Chainlink developer address appears to have been offloading tokens and putting downward pressure on prices. But things are looking up.

Published on September 24, 2020

Following a six week downtrend from its all-time high, LINK has rebounded 30% in the past 24 hours after a reported developer selloff resulted in downward pressure on the oracle protocol token’s price.

The strong rebound in the Bitcoin price, a sea of green among DeFi coins and a new Chainlink partnership announcement have all contributed to the price increase.

Chainlink’s native token had fallen over 60% from its peak of $20 mid-August, bottoming out at crucial support levels around $7.50 on Thursday, September 24. The six week downtrend appears to have been been accelerated by multiple sales of large chunks of LINK from what UK crypto publication Trustnodes reports is the dev address.

This ‘dev address’ has been selling batches of 500,000 tokens, worth approximately $4.8 million per batch at current prices, regularly over the past six months. The frequency of sell-offs increased after LINK hit its all-time high last month. The address shows several outflows to a Binance address but then the trail goes cold.

There are around 26 million tokens remaining in this address, worth an estimated $258 million at current prices.

Image – Etherscan.io

Since its peak, LINK market capitalization has declined from more than $7 billion to around $3 billion currently, however it remains one of the best performing crypto assets this year surging over 1000% from January 1st to its all-time high. At current prices, it is still up 450% since New Year’s day.

The selloff has dropped prices back to a crucial support level and the ‘Link Marines’ appear to have chosen this point to load up again. The $7 to $8 price zone was where LINK held in July before its epic run up to $20. A return to that level this week has catalyzed buying pressure as traders eyed a long overdue bounce yesterday.

That bullish momentum mounted resulting in a surge of 30% in less than 24 hours as LINK prices topped out at $10 a few hours ago. Since then, prices have retreated a little and are currently hovering around $9.80.

The price bump came hours after Chainlink announced a partnership with travel company Travala.com. LINK has been integrated as a payment method on the crypto friendly hotel booking platform and token holders can book accommodation in over 2.2 million hotels and homes in 230 countries.

Bitcoin’s momentum may have also had an effect. The king of crypto is well known for its capacity to move the rest of the market and it too bounced off support at $10,250 with a gain of 5% in push to $10,750 over the past 24 hours.

#Travala to Integrate $LINK for Payments#LINK token holders will be able to pay for travel booking at over 2.2M hotels and homes globally #[email protected]#[email protected]://t.co/vkX4ckt8AO

— Travala.com ✈️ (@travalacom) September 23, 2020

The Bitcoin Cash community appears to be signaling support for the upcoming BCHN fork, with 82%…

Binance may currently be the only one capable of making Uniswap governance proposals, which does not…

Bitcoin price still has a CME futures gap unfilled at $9,600 but that doesn’t mean $11K…

Prominent DeFi community members faced a backlash after attempting to engineer a token scheme inspired by…

Leading DeFi token Uniswap has seen massive losses recently following in the footsteps of CRV and…

Source: news.iobanker.com

Author: ByioBanker


DeFi Overtakes Ethereum In The Media, Data Shows – Accu-rate

DeFi Overtakes Ethereum In The Media, Data Shows – Accu-rate

Ethereum is the primary cryptocurrency benefiting from the DeFi trend. And while a rising tide lifts all boats, the demand for the top-ranked altcoin is second-to-none.

And while Ethereum is dominating the crypto market right now, its DeFi that is dominating the headlines in the media, not the altcoin that makes it all possible.

Decentralized finance is on the tips of everyone’s tounges these days. It is hard not to notice even for passerby the enormous profits being generated out of what seems like thin air thanks to a variety of DeFi tokens.

The DeFi trend has helped bring the crypto market out of the troughs of the bear market and breaking 2020 highs. And while bitcoin has failed to set a higher high on high timeframe price charts, Ethereum, the altcoin central to the DeFi world, has achieved the important feat.

A higher-high is a sign an uptrend is forming, and throughout 2020, Ethereum has exploded in price. It has been one of the best performing altcoins and beat out nearly every other asset as the best investment to make with a stimulus check after Black Thursday.

Even now, despite a deep correction, anyone who did just that is still deep in profit thanks to DeFi buzz and demand driving up ETH prices. In addition to driving up prices, media mentions of Ethereum are on the rise.

But its nothing compared to the spike in DeFi mentions, which has now surpassed the top-ranked altcoin itself.

ethereum ethusd defi

DeFi Versus Ethereum Media Mentions | Source: The Tie

The altcoin is in enormous demand thanks to the DeFi trend. Most tokens are built as ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. To move these tokens to and from liquidity pool platforms, decentralized exchanges, and other wallets, it costs a transaction gas fee in ETH.

For example, the liquidity swap platform Uniswap recently debuted its UNI token, giving away 400 free tokens to early users of the platform.

ethereum ethusd defi

ETHUSD Daily Price Increase Driven By DeFi Trend | Source: TradingView

But to access the tokens, users need to pay extremely high fees in ETH to move the UNI to and from any destination to sell it.

Because it was free money, essentially the crypto version of the stimulus check, users rushed to cash out the UNI and it caused Ethereum gas fees to break an hourly record for reaching over $900,000 worth of ETH.

Rising fees in Ethereum are a controversial topic, claiming that it shows that the platform needs to scale in order to survive. Others say that this is simply a sign of enormous demand, and the demand will keep Etheruem prices rising and DeFi in media headlines for years to come.

Featured image from DepositPhotos, Charts from TradingView

Source: news.accurateft.com


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Whales Move $319,000,000 Million in Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP As Crypto Markets Rebound

Whales Move $319,000,000 Million in Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP As Crypto Markets Rebound

Some of the biggest crypto wallets in the world, owned by unknown entities called whales, are moving millions in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and XRP as the markets recover.

Traders on the exchange Binance, in particular, appear to be involved in numerous high-value Bitcoin transactions in the past day.

Wallets on the exchange sent two identical 3,500 BTC transactions – each worth almost $36 million – to two separate unknown wallets, according to the crypto tracker Whale Alert. A third transaction sent 3,405 BTC worth more than $35 million to another wallet of unknown origin.

🚨 🚨 🚨 3,500 #BTC (35,936,314 USD) transferred from #Binance to unknown wallet

Tx: https://t.co/Ur58fQKmI1

— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) September 24, 2020

🚨 🚨 🚨 3,500 #BTC (35,936,314 USD) transferred from #Binance to unknown wallet

Tx: https://t.co/wxa2ZeBbvW

— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) September 24, 2020

Here’s a look at the largest BTC whale transactions in the past day, with three additional transactions involving Binance.

  • 2,317 BTC worth $24.1 million sent from Binance to an unknown wallet
  • 1,000 BTC worth $10.7 million sent from Binance to an unknown wallet
  • 3,146 BTC worth $32.6 million transferred from an unknown wallet to Binance
  • 955 BTC worth $10.1 million sent from an unknown wallet to the custody giant Xapo
  • 1100 BTC worth $11.3 million sent from an unknown wallet to the exchange Bitstamp
  • 1100 BTC worth $11.3 million sent from an unknown wallet to Bitstamp
  • 2000 BTC worth $20.6 million sent from an unknown wallet to the exchange Huobi
  • Looking at Ethereum, Binance also received 32,371 ETH worth $10.5 million from an unknown wallet yesterday. Additionally, 197,436 ETH worth $63.0 million was transferred between two unidentified wallets

    Meanwhile, the payments startup Ripple appears to be involved in several large XRP transactions.

    Whale watchers are tracking two Ripple-related transactions in particular. One moved 50,886,987 XRP worth $11.4 million from an unknown wallet to a known Ripple wallet. Another sent 29,341,273 XRP worth $6.7 million from an unknown wallet to Ripple.

    Ripple owns more than half of the total supply of XRP.

    At the time of writing, Bitcoin is at $10,693, up 3.65% in the last twenty-four hours.  Ethereum is at $345, up 6.24% in the last twenty-four hours. XRP is at $0.2322, up 3.74% in the last twenty-four hours.

    Source: dailyhodl.com


    Inside the blockchain developer’s mind: The vertical scaling crisis


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