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What Is A Blockchain Client?

Monax | Explainer | Blockchains

Monax | Explainer | Blockchains

Blockchains have their origins in cryptocurrency platforms, in particular bitcoin, where they represent historical records of verifiable monetary stake. They were designed in the first place to solve the double spending problem, that is, to establish consensus in a decentralized network over who owns what and what has already been spent. Blockchains are authenticated records of the history of a networks activity distributed among the users of the blockchain all around the globe. A blockchain enables secure storage of arbitrary information in some cases, a token balance; in other systems more complex information within the network simply by securing a set of private keys. Modern blockchain designs are capable of storing arbitrary data and establishing permissions to modify that data through self-administering and self-executing scripts which are performed by a distributed virtual machine.These scripts are known as smart contracts , and they allow platform operators to define complex and fully customisable rules which govern the blockchains interaction with its users. A blockchain network is a software network comprised of a set of users running a blockchain node. All of the blockchain nodes in a given blockchain network are connected together so that they are collectively building and also interacting with a single authoritative ledger. As such when we discuss the characteristics of a blockchain we are really discussing three different things: What are the characteristics of a Blockchain Network? What are the characteristics of a Blockchain Client? Throughout this explainer, we will attempt to be precise as to which of these we are speaking to. Area (3) is not very interesting frankly. Blockchain ledgers are simply a record of transactions which have been broken into bl Continue reading >>

What Are Bitcoin Nodes And Why Do We Need Them?

What Are Bitcoin Nodes And Why Do We Need Them?

What Are Bitcoin Nodes and Why Do We Need Them? It's well known that bitcoin is designed as a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network.However, what's often lost in translation is the sheer amount of machinery that is needed to maintain this global infrastructure. For example, in order to validate and relay transactions, bitcoin requires more than a network of miners processing transactions, itmust broadcast messages across a network using 'nodes'. This is the first step in the transaction process that results in a block confirmation. To function to its full potential, the bitcoin network must not only provide an avenue for transactions, but also remain secure.By using a number of randomly selected nodes, the network can reduce the problem of double spending when a user attempts to spend the same digital token twice. However, bitcoin doesn't just need nodes, it requires lots of fully functioning nodes nodes that have the bitcoin core client on a machine instance with the complete block chain.The more nodes there are, the more secure the network is. This is one of the reasons there is a plan to put bitcoin nodes in space , and that the plan has important implications for bitcoin. The problem is, the number of nodes on the network is dropping, and core developers believe it may continue to do so. Looking at a 60-day chart of bitcoin nodes shows that the number has gone down significantly. It went from 10,000 reachable nodes in early Marchto below 8,000 at the beginning of May. What's interesting is that during a recent 24-hour period, the number of reachable nodes went down from 8,200 to 7,600 and back to 8,200 again. This suggests that a portion of users running nodes are turning off their machines at night, meaning that this contingent of nodes are being run on desktop Continue reading >>

Blockchain - What Exactly Is An Ethereum Client And What Clients Are There? - Ethereum Stack Exchange

Blockchain - What Exactly Is An Ethereum Client And What Clients Are There? - Ethereum Stack Exchange

What exactly is an Ethereum client and what clients are there? Ethereum.org's introductory Command Line Interface tutorial mentions these clients: eth - a C++ client suitable for mining, IoT and contract development geth - a security audited Go client for use with Mist, suitable for Dapp development pyethapp - Python client to help understand and hack Ethereum What exactly is an Ethereum client? Is it a full network node that can post transactions to the blockchain (if that is the correct lingo?) or could it also be a light JS client that connects from a browser to a full node? Could someone please shed some light on what clients there currently are and what roles they fulfil? An 'Ethereum client' is just a term. It refers to any node able to parse and verify the blockchain, its smart contracts and everything related. It also allows you/provides interfaces to create transactions and mine blocks which is the key for any blockchain interaction. There are currently three reference implementations available, as you already highlighted: eth - C++ client of the webthree project. It was formerly known as cpp-ethereum: geth - Golang client of the go-ethereum project: pyethapp - Python client of the pyethereum project: All clients should work the same, from the user's perspective. They provide the same interfaces and so on. For example, if you launch a DApp or the Ethereum Wallet or a DApp browser instance, it should not note any difference in communicating with the client. Graphical clients available by the Ethereum core developers are: mist which works on top of geth or eth and aims to be a DApp browser and currently implements the ethereum-wallet-dapp. alethzero is internally called the hardcore client but it's being deprecated. Non-official clients implementing the yellow p Continue reading >>

Lets Talk About Bitcoinnodes

Lets Talk About Bitcoinnodes

I write on upcoming cryptotrends. My amazon store: Follow me: @ecurrencyhodler @theliteschool Due to the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, sometimes key terms or definitions may unintentionally be misconstrued by members of the community. This is particularly problematic for those who want to learn about Bitcoin because they may get confused by variant vocabulary. For example, a Full Bitcoin Node to one person may mean something slightly different to another. In light of this, I propose a list of terms below to help the community unify the language in regards to Bitcoin Nodes. Before we talk about Bitcoin Nodes, lets talk about nodes broadly within the context of a distributed network model. In a distributed network, the simplest way to define a node would be to say it is a point of intersection or connection with the network. It can act as both a redistribution point or a communication endpoint. This loose definition helps us better understand the different ways a Bitcoin Node functions within the Bitcoin Network. The following suggested definitions should all collectively be considered as Bitcoin Nodes. A Full Bitcoin Node is an integral component of the Bitcoin Network because it validates the blockchain. It does this by downloading a copy of it. It is also capable of relaying transactions and recent blocks, but this isnt required to be considered a Full Node. Now when you first open up a Full Node client like Bitcoin Core, most people are sitting behind a firewall. In this case, your Full Node is limited in the number of connections it can connect to (around 8) and only looks for Super Nodes a.k.a. Listening Nodes. The reason for this is because your Full Node isnt publicly connectable yet. In a distributed network, a Super Node functions as a highly connected redis Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-step Guide For Beginners

What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-step Guide For Beginners

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners Angel Investors, Startups & Blockchain developers... Is blockchain technology the new internet? The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto . But since then, it has evolved into something greater, and themain question every single person is asking is: What is Blockchain? By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency , Bitcoin , the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology. Bitcoin has been called digital gold, and for a good reason. To date, the total value of the currency is close to $9 billion US. And blockchains can make other types of digital value. Like the internet (or your car), you dont need to know how the blockchain works to use it. However, having a basic knowledge of this new technology shows why its considered revolutionary. So, we hope you enjoy this, what is Blockchain guide. The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value. Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain. Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared and continually reconciled database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isnt stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verif Continue reading >>

Full Node - Bitcoin Wiki

Full Node - Bitcoin Wiki

Any computer that connects to the Bitcoin network is called a node. Nodes that fully enforce all of the rules of Bitcoin are called full nodes. Most nodes on the network are lightweight nodes instead of full nodes, but full nodes form the backbone of the network. The latest version of bitcoin full node software can be found on the bitcoin.org site . Full nodes download every block and transaction and check them against Bitcoin's core consensus rules. Here are examples of consensus rules, though there are many more: Blocks may only create a certain number of bitcoins. (Currently 12.5 BTC per block.) Transactions must have correct signatures for the bitcoins being spent. Transactions/blocks must be in the correct data format. Within a single block chain , a transaction output cannot be double-spent. If a transaction or block violates the consensus rules, then it is absolutely rejected, even if every other node on the network thinks that it is valid. This is one of the most important characteristics of full nodes: they do what's right no matter what. For full nodes, miners actually have fairly limited power: they can only reorder or remove transactions, and only by expending a lot of computing power. A powerful miner is able to execute some serious attacks , but because full nodes rely on miners only for a few things, miners could not completely change or destroy Bitcoin. Nodes that have different consensus rules are actually using two different networks/currencies. Changing any of the consensus rules requires a hard fork , which can be thought of as creating a new currency and having everyone move to it. Consensus rules are different from policy rules, which specify how a node or miner prioritizes or discourages certain things. Policy rules can be changed freely, and dif Continue reading >>

Parity

Parity

Parity comes with an extensive, easy-to-use, in-built Ethereum Wallet and app environment that can be accessed via your Web browser of choice. Account, address book and multi-sig management Hardware and electronic cold wallet support Develop smart contracts and decentralised applications with Parity or build protocol extensions. Check out our Wiki , Gitter and Bug Bounty Program Parity is designed for mission critical use in enterprise environments. Parity has a number of features that make it perfect for deployment in private or consortium setting. The Parity Ethereum client is built from the ground up to the highest standards of software development. Tuned, hand optimised use of low-level Rust language JITEVM turbocharges execution of complex contracts Multi-level in-memory caching Memory and concurrency safety guaranteed by Rust language Actor-based modularity ensures maximal resilience Unit tested and peer reviewed from day one Standard, JSON-based, chain-specification format EVM plugins allow native speed contracts Actor-based modular architecture with IPC Rust's ownership tracking facilitates minimal memory footprint Cache management gives fine control to user State-trie pruning minimises storage footprint 1-line install on Mac and Linux Docker images available Library APIs are fully documented 100% consensus test conformant implementation Complies with standard devp2p network protocol Fully compatible with JSON-RPC API Stable is the most mature and tested software Beta comes with additional features and better performance but may yet have quirks and issues to be fixed Nightly is a cutting edge software build but comes with a strong caveat against using it for managing anything of value From RLP and the Trie to the network subsystem. We aim for our unit tests to Continue reading >>

How Blockchains Could Change The World

How Blockchains Could Change The World

Ignore Bitcoin’s challenges. In this interview, Don Tapscott explains why blockchains, the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency, have the potential to revolutionize the world economy. What impact could the technology behind Bitcoin have? According to Tapscott Group CEO Don Tapscott, blockchains, the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency, could revolutionize the world economy. In this interview with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland, Tapscott explains how blockchains—an open-source distributed database using state-of-the-art cryptography—may facilitate collaboration and tracking of all kinds of transactions and interactions. Tapscott, coauthor of the new book Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World, also believes the technology could offer genuine privacy protection and “a platform for truth and trust.” An edited and extended transcript of Tapscott’s comments follows. In the early 1990s, we said the old media is centralized. It’s one way, it’s one to many; it’s controlled by powerful forces, and everyone is a passive recipient. The new web, the new media, we said, is one to one, it’s many to many; it’s highly distributed, and it’s not centralized. Everyone’s a participant, not an inert recipient. This has an awesome neutrality. It will be what we want it to be, and we can craft a much more egalitarian, prosperous society where everyone gets to share in the wealth that they create. Lots of great things have happened, but overall the benefits of the digital age have been asymmetrical. For example, we have this great asset of data that’s been created by us, and yet we don’t get to keep it. It’s owned by a tiny handful of powerful companies or governments. They monetize that data Continue reading >>

Openchain - Blockchain Technology For The Enterprise

Openchain - Blockchain Technology For The Enterprise

Openchain is an open source distributed ledger technology. It is suited for organizations wishing to issue and manage digital assets in a robust, secure and scalable way. Anyone can spin up a new Openchain instance within seconds. The administrator of an Openchain instance defines the rules of the ledger. End-users can exchange value on the ledger according to those rules. Every transaction on the ledger is digitally signed, like with Bitcoin. Deploy your own private sidechain in seconds The consensus mechanism used by Openchain differs from other Bitcoin-based systems, it uses Partionned Consensus: Every Openchain instance only has one authority validating transactions. Instead of one single central ledger, each organization controls their own Openchain instance. Instances can connect to each other. Different transactions will be validated by different authorities depending on the assets being exchanged. Every asset issuer has full control on the transactions relevant to that asset. Openchain is more efficient than systems that use Proof of Work: Openchain uses a client-server architecture which is more efficient and reliable than a peer-to-peer architecture. There is no miner, transactions are directly validated by the asset administrator. Since there is no miner, transactions are instant and free. Validators validate and store transactions. Observers receive a read-only copy of the ledger. They do their own validation of the ledger and store their own copy. Validators and observers expose standard HTTP-based APIs. Clients and wallets connect to validators to submit digitally signed transactions. Smart contracts are independent actors receiving and sending transactions according to arbitrary business logic. Gateways create 2-way pegging between two Openchain instance Continue reading >>

Blockchain

Blockchain

We are on a mission to build a more open, accessible, and fair financial future, one piece of software at a time. Our technology is revolutionizing the financial services industry by empowering millions across the globe to authenticate and transact immediately and without costly intermediaries. We are on a mission to build a more open, accessible, and fair financial future, one piece of software at a time. Continue reading >>

Blockchain: Under The Hood

Blockchain: Under The Hood

Blockchain is increasingly mentioned in various business circles, but people often lack a concrete understanding of what it is, particularly when it comes to its underlying technology. This article is the first of two which will focus on blockchain from a technical perspective. In this piece, we explore what blockchain is for those who have heard of it, and would like to know how it actually works and why its important. Next, we will showcase how we applied the blockchain methodology in a proof of concept with a Global Financial Services organization. First born in 2008, blockchains claim to fame comes from its role as the underpinning technology for Bitcoin, but it has evolved to be used for much more than cryptocurrencies. While it is many things, it is a decentralized, independently veriable, and immutable ledger at its core. When transactions are recorded on the ledger, every member of the network is updated. The decentralized nature of this ledger ensures that these transactions and the information they carry are tamper-proof 1 . Thanks to blockchains use of merkle trees , it is very easy for the network to verify the validity of each transaction. Git repos are very similar to blockchains in structure and function Git also uses merkle trees and this similarity is helpful, because blockchain can be seen as a peer-to-peer (P2P) hosted git repository. In order to modify this repository, users must have a copy of the whole repository and pull the latest commits 2 . When you download a blockchain client and run it, you have to checkout the entire blockchain history, much like checking out a git repo. To run a node, you must download the entire blockchain and run the blockchain client software. Each commit in the repository can be thought of as a block in the blockchain Continue reading >>

Ethereum Project

Ethereum Project

You are responsible for your own computer security. If your machine is compromised you will lose your ether, access to any contracts and possibly more. You are responsible for your own actions. If you mess something up or break any laws while using this software, it's your fault, and your fault only. You are responsible for your own karma. Don't be a jerk and respect the rights of others. What goes around comes around. The user expressly knows and agrees that the user is using the Ethereum platform at the users sole risk. The user acknowledges that the user has an adequate understanding of the risks, usage and intricacies of cryptographic tokens and blockchain-based open source software, eth platform and ethereum The user acknowledges and agrees that, to the fullest extent permitted by any applicable law, the disclaimers of liability contained herein apply to any and all damages or injury whatsoever caused by or related to risks of, use of, or inability to use, ethereum or the Ethereum platform under any cause or action whatsoever of any kind in any jurisdiction, including, without limitation, actions for breach of warranty, breach of contract or tort (including negligence) and that neither Stiftung Ethereum (i.e. Ethereum Foundation) nor Ethereum team shall be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages, including for loss of profits, goodwill or data that occurs as a result. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain warranties or the limitation or exclusion of liability for certain types of damages. Therefore, some of the above limitations in this section may not apply to a user. In particular, nothing in these terms shall affect the statutory rights of any user or exclude injury arising from any willful misconduct Continue reading >>

Light Clients And Proof Of Stake

Light Clients And Proof Of Stake

Special thanks to Vlad Zamfir and Jae Kwon for many of the ideas described in this post Aside from the primary debate around weak subjectivity , one of the important secondary arguments raised against proof of stake is the issue that proof of stake algorithms are much harder to make light-client friendly. Whereas proof of work algorithms involve the production of block headers which can be quickly verified, allowing a relatively small chain of headers to act as an implicit proof that the network considers a particular history to be valid, proof of stake is harder to fit into such a model. Because the validity of a block in proof of stake relies on stakeholder signatures, the validity depends on the ownership distribution of the currency in the particular block that was signed, and so it seems, at least at first glance, that in order to gain any assurances at all about the validity of a block, the entire block must be verified. Given the sheer importance of light client protocols, particularly in light of the recent corporate interest in internet of things applications (which must often necessarily run on very weak and low-power hardware), light client friendliness is an important feature for a consensus algorithm to have, and so an effective proof of stake system must address it. In general, the core motivation behind the light client concept is as follows. By themselves, blockchain protocols, with the requirement that every node must process every transaction in order to ensure security, are expensive, and once a protocol gets sufficiently popular the blockchain becomes so big that many users become not even able to bear that cost. The Bitcoin blockchain is currently 27 GB in size , and so very few users are willing to continue to run full nodes that process every tra Continue reading >>

Six Main Disadvantages Of Bitcoin And The Blockchain Kaspersky Lab Official Blog

Six Main Disadvantages Of Bitcoin And The Blockchain Kaspersky Lab Official Blog

Blockchain: so cool, what a breakthrough soon almost everything will be based on blockchain technology. If you bought all of that, then I might just disappoint you. This article will discuss the version of blockchain technology that is used for Bitcoin cryptocurrency. There are other implementations, and they may have eliminated some of the disadvantages of the classic blockchain, but usually everything is built around the same principles. I consider the Bitcoin technology itself revolutionary. Unfortunately, Bitcoin has been used for criminal activities far too often, and as an information security specialist, I strongly dislike that practice. Yet, technologically speaking, Bitcoin is an obvious breakthrough. The Bitcoin protocol components and built-in ideas arent new; generally, they were all known before 2009, but only the authors of Bitcoin managed to piece them together to make it work back in 2009. Since then, for almost nine years, only one critical vulnerability has been found in its implementation, when one malefactor snagged 92 billion bitcoins. Fixing that required rolling back the entire financial record by 24 hours. Nevertheless, just one vulnerability in nine years is praiseworthy. Hats off to the creators. The authors of Bitcoin faced the challenge of making it all work with no central system and no one trusting anyone else. The creators rose to the challenge and made electronic money an operational currency. Nevertheless, some of their decisions were devastating in their ineffectiveness. I am not here to discredit blockchain, a useful technology that has shown many remarkable uses. Despite its disadvantages, it has unique advantages as well. However, in the pursuit of the sensational and revolutionary, many people concentrate on the upsides of the tech Continue reading >>

Clients - Bitcoin Wiki

Clients - Bitcoin Wiki

A bitcoin client is the end-user software that facilitates private key generation and security, payment sending on behalf of a private key, and optionally provides: Useful information about the state of the network and transactions. Information related to the private keys under its management. Syndication of network events to other peer clients. This table compares the features of the different clients. All of the listed clients are open-source. How well the client protects your private keys from people with access to the machine the wallet is stored on. The private keys can be encrypted, for example. The private keys can also be either stored on your device or on a remote server. Clients which more fully implement the Bitcoin network protocol are safer -- they can't be as easily tricked by powerful attackers. A client which fully implements the protocol will always use the correct block chain and will never allow double-spends or invalid transactions to exist in the block chain under any circumstances. Clients which only partially implement the protocol typically trust that 50% or more of the network's mining power is honest. Some clients trust one or more remote servers to protect them from double-spends and other network attacks. Some clients require that you download and verify a large amount of data before you can send or receive BTC. Continue reading >>

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