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Announcing the new MultiChain wallet

An important step forwards for performance and scalability After two months of intensive development and testing, we’re proud to release the latest alpha of MultiChain, with a completely rewritten in-node wallet. This new wallet transforms the performance and scalability of creating, receiving and storing transactions in MultiChain. Before we get into the details, let me… Read more »

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An important step forwards for performance and scalability

After two months of intensive development and testing, we’re proud to release the latest alpha of MultiChain, with a completely rewritten in-node wallet. This new wallet transforms the performance and scalability of creating, receiving and storing transactions in MultiChain.

Before we get into the details, let me provide some context. When we began developing MultiChain, we made the decision to use Bitcoin Core, the standard node for the public bitcoin network, as a starting point. In programming terms, this means that MultiChain is a “fork” of the bitcoin software. Our primary reasoning was that bitcoin was (and continues to be) the highest valued and most battle-tested cryptocurrency ecosystem, by quite some way.

On the plus side, this decision helped us get to market quickly, compared to coding up a blockchain node from scratch. Despite the many differences between public and private blockchains, they share a large amount of technical common ground, including the peer-to-peer protocol, transaction and block structure, digital signature creation and verification, consensus rules, key management, and the need for a node API. Forking from Bitcoin Core allowed us to leverage its maturity and focus on what MultiChain adds to blockchains – configurability, permissioning and native asset support. As a result, we were able to release the first alpha in June 2015, just 6 months after starting development.

However, alongside these benefits, we also had to accept the fact that some aspects of Bitcoin Core are poorly architected. While they work just fine at small scales, their performance degrades dramatically as usage grows. With the public bitcoin network still restricted to a few transactions per second, this won’t be an issue for most Bitcoin Core users for a long time. But with private blockchains aiming for hundreds or thousands of transactions per second, we knew that, sooner or later, these bottlenecks would need to be removed.

Bitcoin Core’s wallet

The “wallet” within Bitcoin Core was always the most crucial of these pain points. Its job is to store the transactions which are of particular relevance to the node, because they involve a blockchain address which it owns or a “watch-only” address whose activity it is tracking. For example, every transaction which sends funds to or from a node must be stored in that node’s wallet. And every time a node creates a transaction, it must search for one or more “unspent outputs” of previous wallet transactions which the new transaction will spend.

So what’s wrong with the wallet we inherited from Bitcoin Core? Actually, three things:

  • All wallet transactions are held in memory. This causes slow startup times and rapidly increasing memory usage.
  • Many operations perform an inefficient “full scan” of every transaction in the wallet, whether old or new.
  • Every transaction in the wallet is stored in full, including any arbitrary “metadata” which has no meaning from the node’s perspective and is already stored in the blockchain on disk. This is very wasteful.

The consequence is that, with around 20,000 transactions stored, Bitcoin Core’s wallet slows down significantly. After 200,000 or so, it practically grinds to a halt. Even worse, since a MultiChain blockchain allows up to 8 MB of metadata per transaction (compared to bitcoin’s 80 bytes), the wallet’s memory requirements can balloon rapidly even with a small number of transactions.

It’s important to clarify that these shortcomings apply only to Bitcoin Core’s wallet, rather than its general transaction processing capacity. In other words, it can comfortably process and store millions (or even billions) of transactions which don’t relate to its own addresses, since these are held on disk rather than in memory. For example, many popular bitcoin exchanges and wallets use Bitcoin Core as-is, but store their own transactions externally rather than inside the node.

MultiChain’s new wallet

We could have made the same demand of MultiChain users, to store their own transactions outside of the node. However this didn’t feel like the right solution because it would greatly complicate the setup and maintenance for each of a chain’s participants. So instead, we bit the bullet and rewrote the wallet from the ground up.

How does the new wallet differ? If you have any experience with databases, the answers may be obvious:

  • Rather than keeping the wallet transactions in memory, they are stored on disk in a suitable format, with transactions of interest retrieved when necessary.
  • Instead of performing full wallet scans, the transactions are “indexed” in various ways to enable those which fulfill particular criteria to be rapidly located.
  • Any piece of transaction metadata which is larger than 256 bytes is not stored in the wallet. Instead, the wallet contains a pointer to that metadata’s position in the blockchain itself.

In other words, we’ve rebuilt the in-node wallet to be properly database-driven (using LevelDB), rather than relying on a naïve in-memory structure that can’t be searched efficiently. Unsurprisingly, the difference (as measured on a 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7) is rather dramatic:

MultiChain wallet transaction throughput

Memory Usage

The graphs show that, once the old wallet contains 250,000 transactions, its send rate drops to 3 tx/sec and it adds 600 MB to the node’s memory usage. By contrast, the new wallet sustains over 100 tx/sec and only adds 90 MB. We stopped testing the old wallet at this point, but even with 6-8 million stored transactions, the new wallet continues to send over 100 tx/sec, and it tops out at around 250 MB of RAM used (due to database caching).

These tests were performed under realistic conditions, with multiple addresses and assets (and therefore many unspent transaction outputs) in the node’s wallet. In an idealized scenario (one address, one asset, few UTXOs), the sustained send rate was over 400 tx/s. Either way, as part of this rewrite, we have also properly abstracted all of the wallet’s functionality behind a clean internal interface. This will make it easy to support other database engines in future, for even greater robustness and speed.

To reiterate, all of these numbers refer to the rate at which a node can create, send and store transactions in its local wallet, rather than its throughput in terms of processing transactions created by others. For general network throughput, MultiChain can currently process 200 to 800 tx/sec, depending on the hardware it’s running on. (Be skeptical of any blockchain software promising numbers like 100,000 tx/sec on regular hardware, because the bottleneck is digital signature verification, which takes real time to perform. If nodes are not verifying individual transaction signatures, a blockchain cannot possibly be used across trust boundaries, making it no better than a regular distributed database.)

To finish, I’d like to mention the next major feature coming to MultiChain, which required this wallet rewrite. This feature, called streams, provides a high-level abstraction and API for general purpose data storage on a blockchain. You can think of a stream as a time-series or key-value database, with the added blockchain-related benefits of decentralization, digital signatures, timestamping and immutability. We know of many blockchain use cases that could use this functionality, and we’re already hard at work on building it. Watch this space.

 

Please post any comments on LinkedIn.

 

Technical addendum

Starting in MultiChain alpha 22, you can verify which version of the wallet is currently running by examining the walletdbversion field of the getinfo or getwalletinfo API calls. A value of 1 means the original Bitcoin Core wallet, and 2 means the new MultiChain wallet.

If you run the new version of MultiChain on an existing chain, it will not immediately switch to the new wallet. You can upgrade the wallet by stopping the node and then re-running multichaind with the parameters -walletdbversion=2 –rescan. You can downgrade similarly using –walletdbversion=1 –rescan.

By default, when you start a node on a new chain, it will automatically use the new wallet. You can change this by running multichaind for the first time with the parameter –walletdbversion=1.

With the new wallet, all MultiChain APIs work exactly the same way as before, with the exception of the old transaction querying APIs getreceivedbyaddress, listreceivedbyaddress and listtransactions (use listwallettransactions or listaddresstransactions instead). In addition, the new wallet does not support API calls and parameters relating to Bitcoin Core’s poorly implemented and soon-to-be-deprecated “accounts” mechanism, which was never properly supported by MultiChain. These calls are safely disabled with an error message.

 

Source: https://www.multichain.com/blog/2016/07/announcing-the-new-multichain-wallet/

Blockchain

MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC

MicroStrategy Bitcoin

Rate this post Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury. Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets. In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500.  As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance.  Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000.  MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million.  Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin. Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

The post MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC appeared first on Cryptoknowmics-Crypto News and Media Platform.

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Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury.

Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy

Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets.

In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500. 

As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance. 

Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000. 

MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment

Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million. 

Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin.

Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

READ  MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin Stack Up: Brilliant Moves or Risk?

#Bitcoin #CEO Michael Saylor #MicroStrategy #MicroStrategy BTC Investment

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/microstrategy-acquires-more-bitcoin-holds-more-than-105000-btc/

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Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ‘backwater’ without central bank digital currency

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One of the few high-profile public officials to have served under both the Obama and Trump administrations, Chris Giancarlo is a former Wall Street executive-turn-regulator who is widely-respected by nearly all parties on Capitol Hill. As the former Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, however, his latest venture, the Digital Dollar Foundation, might well test his soft touch with politicians.

The former regulator is now leading the Foundation towards five pilot programs set to launch this year, part of a broader effort to help the United States regain the lead in a race against China towards a functioning CBDC.

According to Giancarlo, however, the US’s priorities when it comes to a CBDC shouldn’t merely be jingoistic:

“What’s very clear, [is] that China intends their digital yuan to be an instrument of state surveillance. […] And this is why it’s one of the reasons why the digital dollar project, we’re so animated, because we feel that our new mission is to make sure central banks wake up to this and the US Fed wakes up to this, that these social values that got us here, the rule of law, a free capital markets, free enterprise, zones of individual economic privacy, are ingrained in a new digital future of the US dollar, and that we don’t allow ourselves to be taken in by what China’s doing and match that state surveillance approach.”

However, the race to a CBDC isn’t merely about maintaining current US values, but also potnetially about unlocking new forms of smart contract-based value for the wider population. 

“The notion of a digital currency, whether it be sovereign and non-sovereign, tied to smart contracts, allows money to solve the old problem of being able to move it in place, i.e. moving around the globe as easily as you could send a text message, but also move it in time. Heretofore, money was a temporal thing, but with a smart contract you can say, I want to program my money today to go to my one grandchild in the future once they graduate college and all of those contingencies can be programmed in. […] With a programmable digital currency, you can program it today to move around the globe in space, but move around the globe in time. And that is such, I think, such a powerful construct.”

Ultimately, this work is part of an effort to ensure that America maintains technological supremacy. 

“You can’t stop the march of technology in time, and if you do, you become a backwater. We in the United States have always been open to innovation and we must be open to this innovation as well. In a prudent way, in a way that’s in correspondence with our society that expects investor protections and a role for government. […] And it’s one that I’m very excited to be involved in.”

Watch the full interview here:

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Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ’backwater’ without central bank digital currency

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Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/chris-giancarlo-u-s-risks-becoming-backwater-without-central-bank-digital-currency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chris-giancarlo-u-s-risks-becoming-backwater-without-central-bank-digital-currency

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Thailand SEC Bans Meme Coins, Fan Tokens, NFTs

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Local exchanges in Thailand had been given a deadline until July 11 to submit their new rules for listing tokens that complies with the new guidelines from the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Board has approved the new rules that prohibit digital asset exchanges from providing services in relation to utility tokens and certain types of cryptocurrencies. The rules also specify that the exchanges set a requirement to be imposed in the event that digital tokens issued by their own exchange or related persons are listed on the exchange. In this regard, the token issuer who fails to comply with the white paper and relevant rules in substance could risk having such tokens delisted from the exchange. This new regulatory guideline aims to enhance protection of digital asset traders’ interest.”

The Thai SEC also added that listing rules prohibits local exchanges from providing services that have these following characteristics:

(1) Meme Token – having or no clear objective or substance or underlying, and whose price runs on social media trends.

(2) Fan token: tokenized by the fame of influencers.

(3) Non-Fungible Token (NFT): a digital creation to declare ownership or grant of right in an object or specific right. It is unique and not interchangeable with digital tokens of the same category and type at the equal amount.

(4) Digital tokens which are utilized in blockchain transactions and issued by digital asset exchanges or related persons.

Along with this move is their previous announcement of regulating Decentralize Finance (DeFi) projects in the country, including the issuance of digital tokens.

In the previous announcement, liquidity provider tokens, governance tokens, or tokens issued to those transacting in DeFi projects “must be licensed and must abide by the specified rules”.

The new regulation stipulates crypto exchanges, digital-asset brokerages, digital asset-dealers, private fund managers and investment advisors must be licensed by the Ministry of Finance.

Thai SEC states that, “For traders, it is best to study the DeFi project before getting involved in both technical and security aspects.” They also added that traders “should check whether the service provider is a digital-asset business that is licensed and regulated by the SEC or other regulatory agencies under law.”

This article is published on BitPinas: Thailand SEC Bans Meme Coins, Fan Tokens, NFTs

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Source: https://bitpinas.com/regulation/thailand-sec-ban-meme-tokens/

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