This submitted by
was a discussion between MIT Digital Currency Initiative's Neha Narula and Lightning Lab's Elizabeth Stark that happened a few days ago about Bitcoin development. I think as investors/traders it's important for us to stay up to date on what is happening in the development of the tech in order to make good trading/investing decisions.
Here are the most significant quotes, in my opinion (most from Neha):
3:12 - On protocol development
I think that there are four key areas to think about when you think about what's happening in Bitcoin core and what kinds of updates are being made. I've been listening along this morning its been a lot about bitcoin as an asset and digital currency as an asset class. Now we're going to talk about it as a technology, which id what it was originally and what it always will be and what the asset class depends on. I think the key thing to remember with Bitcoin is that they're always trying to improve four key areas: Better privacy, which makes it harder to censor transactions. Better performance which makes it easier to run a full node and therefore makes the network more decentralized. Better robustness, making it harder to attack in general. And then, functionality.
4:32 - On development philosophy
Another big part of the philosophy I think and something that's driving a lot of the new functionality changes is we really need to minimize what goes on chain. So this is in pretty stark contrast to a lot of smart contract platforms which execute every step of every smart contract on chain. It's like you take the program you want to run, you put the whole thing on the chain. Bitcoin's going for a slightly different approach, that approach is let's do as little on chain as possible. [Stark asks where this originated from, if Satoshi had some of these ideas] Yea, I think whoever designed Bitcoin script was definitely thinking a lot about this. It comes from the fact that, A blockchain is replicated across thousands of nodes, and hopefully one day millions if not billions of nodes, you can't execute everything that way you gotta be really careful you gotta think about what goes on chain. I think that's part of the ethos, and that's where we see things like Taproot/Schnorr.
5:37 - On what Taproot/Schnorr is
6:43 - On the speed of Bitcoin development
Bitcoin development is a little slow, but the reason is because there's nobody in charge..and people care a lot about robustness and they really care about doing good code review and making sure that this stuff is solid before it gets in.
7:30 - More on the philosophy of development
The base chain needs to be as simple as possible and needs to have the hooks necessary to support higher level functionality, that's the idea. [Stark comments on not having the complexity in the middle of the network]. We're building bitcoin to be around for centuries. The idea here is you put as little as possible into that base layer. You don't want to involve the base layer, you don't want to be constantly be re-writing the base layer. You want to have a base layer that is really, really robust. Something we've seen a lot is complexity is really the enemy of security. If you have a very complicated protocol, if you have really complicated functionality, guess what? That's a huge attack surface. The whole point of this technology is to be secure. We're removing the trusted third party, we're relying on cryptography and software and so that really needs to be secure, and sometimes I just think people do not take that seriously enough.
10:07 - More on the philosophy of development
We are building software that is supposed to run for a very long time. If there's anything that I can tell people about today, it's to tell them about this philosophy, this mindset of trying to build software that is super robust. And that's sort of the interesting thing that have been happening in Bitcoin development too, like one big change is removing code. They removed openSSL which is a library for a lot of cryptographic function and this was super celebrated because a third party library is a source of bugs, a source of consensus failure, people have different versions on their machine. So removing this was a huge win, actually. Makes the network more secure.
11:07 - On mainstream adoption and what that means
13:20 - On funding open-source development
15:21 - On the Lightning Network (goes until end)
Side note: In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why Bitcoin has and will continue to succeed: there are word-class developers and scientists improving the protocol. I mean, just look at these people's fucking pedigrees:
Stark previously taught at Stanford and Yale University about the future of the internet, and was a visiting fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project...She has advised startups ranging from decentralized technology to AI and was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford StartX. Stark holds a J.D. from Harvard.
Neha attended Dartmouth College and earned her B.A. in computer science and mathematics in 2003. She recieved he M.S. in computer science from MIT as well as her Ph.D. from MIT in 2015. Her doctoral thesis was titled Parallel Execution for Conflicting Transcactions. For over seven and a half years, Neha was a Senior Software Engineer at Google. In the summer of 2012, Neha was a Data Scientist at Digg. She has been a Director of Research of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab since 2016 and the Director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative since 2017.
The story is the same for many developers at the MIT DCI, Chaincode, Lightning Labs, and the many other groups/companies that develop Bitcoin- all are highly
experienced and come from top/ivy-league universities around the world.
CryptoDiffer team Hello, everyone! We are glad to meet here: Max Freeman (@maxfreeman4), Project Lead at Epic Cash Yoga Dude (@Yogadude), PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Xenolink (@Xenolink), Advisor at Epic Cash Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Thanks Max, we are excited to be here! Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Hello Everyone! Thank you for having us here! Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Thank you to the CryptoDiffer team and CryptoDiffer community for hosting us! CryptoDiffer team Let`s start from the first introduction question: Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Epic Cash? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Hello! My background is Marketing and Business Development, I’ve been in crypto since 2011 started with Bitcoin, then Monero in 2014, Ethereum in 2015 and at some point Doge for fun and profit. I joined Epic Cash team in September 2019 handling PR and Marketing.
I saw in Epic Cash what was missing in my previous cryptos — things that were missing in Bitcoin and Monero especially. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Hello Cryptodiffer Community, I am not an original co-founder nor am I a developer for the Epic Cash project. I am however a community member that is involved in helping scale this project to higher levels. One of the many beauties of Epic Cash is that every single member in the community has the opportunity to be part of EPIC’s team, it can be from development all the way to content producing. Epic Cash is a community driven project. The true Core Team of Epic Cash is our community. I believe a community that is the Core Team is truly powerful. EPIC Cash has one of the freshest and strongest communities I have seen in quite a while. Which is one of the reasons why I became involved in this project. Epic displayed some of the most self community produced content I have seen in a project. I’m actually a doctor of medicine but in terms of my experience in crypto, I have been involved in the industry since 2012 beginning with mining Litecoin. Since then I have been doing deep dive analysis on different projects, investing, and building a network in crypto that I will utilize to help connect and scale Epic in every way I can. To give some credit to those people in my network that have been a part of helping give Epic exposure, I would like to give a special thanks to u/Tetsugan
. Tetsugan has been doing a lot of work for the Japanese community to penetrate the Japanese market, and Japan has already developed a growing interest in Epic. Daku Sarabh the owner and creator of Crypto Daku Robinhooders, I would like to thank him and his community for giving us one of our first large AMA’s, which he has supported our project early and given us a free AMA. Many more to thank but can’t be disclosed. Also thank you to all the Epic Community leaders, developers, and Content producers! Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind”. I started working on the ideas that would become Epic in 2018. I fell in love with Bitcoin in 2017 but realized that it needs privacy at the base layer, fungibility, better scalability in order to go to the next level. CryptoDiffer team
Really interesting backgrounds I must admit, pleasure to see the team that clearly has one vision of the project by being completely decentralized:) Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Epic Cash in 3–5 sentences? What technology stands behind Epic Cash and why it’s better than the existing one? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I’d like to highlight the differences between Epic and the two highest-valued privacy coin projects, Monero and Zcash. XMR has always-on privacy like Epic does, but at a cost: Its blockchain is over 20x more data intensive than Epic, which limits its possibilities for scalability. Epic’s blockchain is small and light enough to run a full node on cell phones, something that is in our product road map. ZEC by comparison can’t run on low end devices because of its zero knowledge based approach, and only 1% of transactions are fully private. Epic is simply newer, more advanced technology than prior networks thanks to Mimblewimble
We will also add more algorithms to widen the range of hardware that can participate in mining. For example, cell phones and tablets based around ARM chips. Millions of people can mine Epic that can’t mine Bitcoin, and that will help grow the network rapidly.
There are some great short videos on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQBFfksJlM97rgrplLRwNUg/videos
that explain why we believe we have created something truly special here.
Our core architecture derives from Grin, so we are fortunate to benefit on an ongoing basis from their considerable development efforts. We are focused on making our currency truly usable and widely available, beyond a store of value and becoming a true medium of exchange. Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Well we all have our views, but in a nutshell, we offer things that were missing in the previous cryptos. We have sound fiscal emission schedule matching Bitcoin, but we are vastly more private and faster. Our blockchain is lighter than Bitcoin or Monero and our tech is more scalable. Also, we are unique in that we are mineable with CPUs and GPUs as well as ASICs, giving the broadest population the ability to mine Epic Cash. Plus, you can’t forget FUNGIBILITY 🙂 we are big on that — since you can’t have true privacy without fungibility.
Also, please understand, we have HUGE respect to all the cryptos that came before us, we learned a lot from them, and thanks to their mistakes we evolved. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
To add on, what also makes Epic Cash unique is the ability to decentralize the mining using a tri-algo model of Random X (CPU), Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) for an ability to do hybrid mining. I believe this is an issue we can see today in Bitcoin having centralized mining and the average user has a costly barrier of entry.
To follow up on this one in my opinion one of the things we adopted that we have seen success for , in example Bitcoin and Monero, is a strong community driven coin. I believe having a community driven coin will provide a more organic atmosphere especially when starting with No ICO, or Premine with a fair distribution model for everyone. CryptoDiffer team Q3: What are the major milestones Epic Cash has achieved so far? Maybe you can share with us some exciting plans for future weeks/months? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Since we went live in September of 2019, we attracted a very large community of users, miners, investors and contributors from across the world. Epic Cash is a very international project with white papers translated into over 30 languages. We are very much a community driven project; this is very evident from our content and the amount of translations in our white papers and in our social media content.
We are constantly working on improving our usability, security and privacy, as well as getting our message and philosophy out into the world to achieve mass adoption. We have a lot of exciting plans for our project, the plan is to make Epic Cash into something that is More than Money.
You can tell I am the Marketing guy since my message is less about the actual tech and more about the usability and use cases for Epic Cash, I think our Team and Community have a great mix of technical, practical, social and fiscal experiences. Since we opened our YouTube channels content for community submissions, we have seen our content translated into Spanish, French, German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, and other languages Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Our future development roadmap will be published soon and includes 4 tracks:
Epic Server 2.9.0 — this release improves the difficulty adjustment and is aimed at making block emission closer to the target 60 seconds, particularly reducing the incidence of extremely short and long blocks — Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: June 2020
Epic Server 3.0.0 — this completes the rebase to Grin 3.0.0 and serves as the prerequisite to some important functional building blocks for the future of the ecosystem. Specifically, sending via Tor (which eliminates the need to open ports), proof of payment (useful for certain dex applications e.g. Bisq), and our native mobile app. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Fall 2020
Non-Interactive Transactions — this will enhance usability by enabling “fire and forget” send-to-address functionality that users are accustomed to from most cryptocurrencies. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Scaling Options — when blocks start becoming full, how will we increase capacity? Two obvious options are increasing the block size, as well as a Lightning Network-style Layer 2 structure. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Confidential Assets — Similar to Raven, Tari, and Beam, the ability to create independently tradable assets that ride on the Epic Blockchain. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
GUI Wallet 2.0 — Restore from seed words and various usability enhancements — Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: Fall 2020
Mobile App — Native mobile experience for iOS and Android. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Winter 2020
Telegram Integration — Anonymous payments over the Telegram network, bot functionality for groups. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
RandomX on ARM — Our 4th PoW algorithm, this will enable tablets, cell phones, and low power devices such as Raspberry Pi to participate in mining. Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: n/a
The economics of mining Epic are extremely compelling for countries that have free or extremely cheap electricity, since anyone with an ordinary PC can mine