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Introducing MultiChain Streams

For shared immutable key-value and time series databases Today we’re proud to release the latest version of MultiChain, which implements a crucial new set of functionality called “streams”. Streams provide a natural abstraction for blockchain use cases which focus on general data retrieval, timestamping and archiving, rather than the transfer of assets between participants. Streams… Read more »

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For shared immutable key-value and time series databases

Today we’re proud to release the latest version of MultiChain, which implements a crucial new set of functionality called “streams”. Streams provide a natural abstraction for blockchain use cases which focus on general data retrieval, timestamping and archiving, rather than the transfer of assets between participants. Streams can be used to implement three different types of databases on a chain:

  1. A key-value database or document store, in the style of NoSQL.
  2. A time series database, which focuses on the ordering of entries.
  3. An identity-driven database where entries are classified according to their author.

These can be considered as the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘who’ of a shared database.

Streams basics

Any number of streams can be created in a MultiChain blockchain, and each stream acts as an independent append-only collection of items. Each item in a stream has the following characteristics:

  • One or more publishers who have digitally signed that item.
  • An optional key for convenient later retrieval.
  • Some data, which can range from a small piece of text to many megabytes of raw binary.
  • A timestamp, which is taken from the header of the block in which the item is confirmed.

Behind the scenes, each item in a stream is represented by a blockchain transaction, but developers can read and write streams with no awareness of this underlying mechanism. (More advanced users can use raw transactions to write to multiple streams, issue or transfer assets and/or assign permissions in a single atomic transaction.)

Streams integrate with MultiChain’s permissions system in a number of ways. First, streams can only be created by those who have permission to do so, in the same way that assets can only be issued by certain addresses. When a stream is created, it is open or closed. Open streams are writeable by anybody who has permission to send a blockchain transaction, while closed streams are restricted to a changeable list of permitted addresses. In the latter case, each stream has one or more administrators who can change those write permissions over time.

Each blockchain has an optional ‘root’ stream, which is defined in its parameters and exists from the moment the chain is created. This enables a blockchain to be used immediately for storing and retrieving data, without waiting for a stream to be explicitly created.

As I’ve discussed previously, confidentiality is the biggest challenge in a large number of blockchain use cases. This is because each node in a blockchain sees a full copy of the entire chain’s contents. Streams provide a natural way to support encrypted data on a blockchain, as follows:

  1. One stream is used by participants to distribute their public keys for any public-key cryptography scheme.
  2. A second stream is used to publish data, where each piece of data is encrypted using symmetric cryptography with a unique key.
  3. A third stream provides data access. For each participant who should see a piece of data, a stream entry is created which contains that data’s secret key, encrypted using that participant’s public key.

This provides an efficient way to archive data on a blockchain, while making it visible only to certain participants.

Retrieving from streams

The core value of streams is in indexing and retrieval. Each node can choose which streams to subscribe to, with the blockchain guaranteeing that all nodes which subscribe to a particular stream will see the same items within. (A node can also be configured to automatically subscribe to every new stream created.)

If a node is subscribed to a stream, information can be retrieved from that stream in a number of ways:

  • Retrieving items from the stream in order.
  • Retrieving items with a particular key.
  • Retrieving items signed by a particular publisher.
  • Listing the keys used in a stream, with item counts for each key.
  • Listing the publishers in a stream, with item counts.

As mentioned at the start, these methods of retrieval allow streams to be used for key-value databases, time series databases and identity-driven databases. All retrieval APIs offer start and count parameters, allowing subsections of long lists to be efficiently retrieved (like a LIMIT clause in SQL). Negative values for start allow the most recent items to be retrieved.

Streams can contain multiple items with the same key, and this naturally solves the tension between blockchain immutability and the need to update a database. Each effective database ‘entry’ should be assigned a unique key in your application, with each update to that entry represented by a new stream item with its key. MultiChain’s stream retrieval APIs can then be used to: (a) retrieve the first or last version of a given entry, (b) retrieve a full version history for an entry, (c) retrieve information about multiple entries, including the first and last versions of each.

Note that because of a blockchain’s peer-to-peer architecture, items in a stream may arrive at different nodes in different orders, and MultiChain allows items to be retrieved before they are ‘confirmed’ in a block. As a result, all retrieval APIs offer a choice between global (the default) or local ordering. Global ordering guarantees that, once the chain has reached consensus, all nodes receive the same responses from the same API calls. Local ordering guarantees that, for any particular node, the ordering of a stream’s items will never change between API calls. Each application can make the appropriate choice for its needs.

Streams and the MultiChain roadmap

With the release of streams, we’ve completed the last major piece of work for MultiChain 1.0, and are now firmly on the path to beta. We expect to spend the next few months expanding our internal test suite (already quite large!), finishing the Windows and Mac ports, adding some more useful APIs, updating the Explorer for streams, tweaking aspects of the consensus mechanism, releasing our web demo, and generally tidying up code and help messages. Most importantly, we’ll continue to fix any bugs as soon as they’re discovered, so that our mistakes don’t interrupt your work.

In the longer term, where do streams fit into the MultiChain roadmap? Taking a step back, MultiChain now offers three areas of high-level functionality:

  • Permissions to control who can connect, transact, create assets/streams, mine/validate and administrate.
  • Assets including issuance, reissuance, transfer, atomic exchange, escrow and destruction.
  • Streams with APIs for creating streams, writing, subscribing, indexing and retrieving.

After the release of MultiChain 1.0 (and a premium version), what’s next in this list? If you look at the API command which is used to create streams, you’ll notice an apparently superfluous parameter, with a fixed value of stream. This parameter will allow MultiChain to support other types of high-level entity in future.

Possible future values for the parameter include evm (for an Ethereum-compatible virtual machine), sql (for an SQL-style database) or even wiki (for collaboratively edited text). Any shared entity whose state is determined by an ordered series of changes is a potential candidate. Each such entity will need: (a) APIs which provide the right abstraction for updating its state, (b) appropriate mechanisms for subscribed nodes to track that state, and (c) APIs for efficiently retrieving part or all of the state. We’re waiting to learn which other high-level entities would be most useful, to be implemented by us or by third parties via a plug-in architecture.

What about smart contracts?

In a general sense, MultiChain takes the approach in which data is embedded immutably in a blockchain, but the code for interpreting that data is in the node or application layer. This is deliberately different from the “smart contracts” paradigm, as exemplified by Ethereum, in which code is embedded in the blockchain and runs in a virtual machine. In theory, because smart contracts are Turing complete, they can reproduce the behavior of MultiChain or any other blockchain platform. In practice, however, Ethereum-style smart contracts have many painful shortcomings:

  • Every node has to perform every computation, whether it’s of interest or not. By contrast, in MultiChain each node decides which streams to subscribe to, and can ignore the data contained by others.
  • The virtual machine used for smart contracts has drastically worse performance than code which has been natively compiled for a given computer architecture.
  • Smart contract code is immutably embedded in a chain, preventing features from being added and bugs from being fixed. This was demonstrated forcefully in the demise of The DAO.
  • Transactions sent to a smart contract cannot update a blockchain’s state until their final ordering is known, because of the nature of general purpose computation. This leads to delays (until a transaction is confirmed in a block) as well as possible reversals (in the event of a fork in the chain). By contrast, MultiChain can treat each type of unconfirmed transaction in the appropriate way: (a) incoming assets immediately update a node’s unconfirmed balance, (b) incoming stream items are instantly available, with their global ordering subsequently finalized, (c) permissions changes are applied immediately and then replayed in incoming blocks.

Nonetheless, as I’ve said before, we’re certainly not ruling out smart contracts as a useful paradigm for blockchain applications, if and when we see strong use cases. However, in MultiChain smart contracts would be implemented in a stream-like layer on top of the blockchain, rather than the lowest transaction level. This will preserve MultiChain’s superior performance for simpler blockchain entities like assets and streams, while offering slower on-chain computation where it’s really needed. But there are fewer such cases than you might think.

 

Please post any comments on LinkedIn.

 

Technical addendum

All commands related to streams are documented in full in the MultiChain API page, but here is a brief summary:

  • Create a stream using create stream or createfrom ... stream
  • Add an item to a stream with publish or publishfrom
  • Retrieve a list of streams using liststreams
  • Start or stop tracking a stream with subscribe and unsubscribe
  • Retrieve stream items using liststreamitems, liststreamkeyitems and liststreampublisheritems
  • List stream keys and publishers with liststreamkeys and liststreampublishers
  • For large stream items, retrieve the full data using gettxoutdata (see maxshowndata below)
  • Control per-stream permissions with calls like grant [address] stream1.write
  • View a stream’s permissions using listpermissions stream1.*

Some other developer notes relating to streams:

  • The create permission allows an address to create streams.
  • Relevant per-stream permissions are write, admin and activate
  • New blockchain parameters: root-stream-name (leave empty for none), root-stream-open, anyone-can-create, admin-consensus-create, max-std-op-returns-count
  • New runtime parameters: autosubscribe to automatically subscribe to new streams created and maxshowndata to limit the amount of data in API responses (see gettxoutdata above).
  • The maximum size of a stream item’s data is fixed by the max-std-op-return-size blockchain parameter, as well as the smaller of the maximum-block-size and max-std-tx-size values minus a few hundred bytes.
  • Nodes using the old wallet format cannot subscribe to streams, and should be upgraded.

 

Source: https://www.multichain.com/blog/2016/09/introducing-multichain-streams/

Blockchain

Alpha Finance (ALPHA) Climbs to All-Time High — Targetting $1

After a possible short-term drop, ALPHA is expected to resume its upward movement towards $1.08 and could possibly even reach $1.31.   Doji Signals ALPHA Top? ALPHA has been on a parabolic upward trend since it began trading on Oct. 10, 2020. The rate of increase accelerated and ALPHA was able to reach an all-time … Continued

The post Alpha Finance (ALPHA) Climbs to All-Time High — Targetting $1 appeared first on BeInCrypto.

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Alpha Finance Lab (ALPHA) has been increasing at an accelerated rate since December 2020. It proceeded to reach an all-time high price of $0.80 on Jan. 21.

After a possible short-term drop, ALPHA is expected to resume its upward movement towards $1.08 and could possibly even reach $1.31.

 

Doji Signals ALPHA Top?

ALPHA has been on a parabolic upward trend since it began trading on Oct. 10, 2020.

The rate of increase accelerated and ALPHA was able to reach an all-time high price on Jan. 21. However, this created a long upper wick. Depending on the close, it could create a Doji or a shooting star candlestick.

Nevertheless, the trend remains bullish as long as ALPHA is trading above this parabolic support line.

ALPHA Parabola
ALPHA Chart By TradingView

Due to the lack of support below the current price, a breakdown could cause a significant drop. It could potentially fall back to the 0.5 or 0.618 Fib retracement levels at $0.41 and $0.31 respectively.

However, technical indicators are still bullish and have failed to generate any significant weakness.

ALPHA Indicators
ALPHA Chart By TradingView

Short-Term Movement

The short-term chart shows a pronounced bearish divergence in both the RSI and the MACD, which preceded the current drop.

In addition, it provides a support area at $0.64, which has been reached and initiated a bounce.

Furthermore, there is an ascending support line at $0.60.

Therefore, as long as ALPHA is trading above the latter, we can consider the short-term trend bullish.

A breakdown from this support line would also entail a breakdown from the parabolic support line outlined in the previous section. This would likely confirm the bearish trend reversal.

ALPHA Short-Term
ALPHA Chart By TradingView

Wave Count

Cryptocurrency trader @CryptoNTez outlined an ALPHA chart which shows an upward movement of nearly 80% over the past three days. However, he did not provide any possible targets for the upcoming upward move.

ALPHA Movement
Source: Twitter

The most likely count suggests that ALPHA is in an extended wave 3 (shown in white below) of a bullish impulse that began in October 2020. The sub-wave count is given in orange.

The most likely target for the top of wave 3 is found at $1.08 (3.61 Fib extension of wave 1). A likely target for the top of the entire impulse is found at $1.37 (4.61 Fib extension of the same wave).

A decrease below the sub-wave 1 high of $0.51 would invalidate this particular wave count. It would also entail a breakdown from both the parabolic and normal ascending support lines, hence confirming that the trend is bearish.

ALPHA Count
ALPHA Chart By TradingView

Conclusion

While the long-term trend for ALPHA seems to still be bullish, a short-term drop that validates the ascending support line near $0.60 could occur prior to the resumption of the upward trend.

For BeInCrypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here!

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Valdrin is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and financial trader. After obtaining a masters degree in Financial Markets at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics he began working at the Ministry of Economic Development in his native country of Kosovo.
In 2019, he decided to focus full-time on cryptocurrencies and trading.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/alpha-finance-alpha-climbs-all-time-high-targetting-1/

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Blockchain

Aave Crosses into DeFi Layer-2 with Matic Bridge

DeFi flash loan lending platform Aave has launched its own L2 scaling solution by allowing its aTokens to be ported to the Plasma powered Matic Network. Similar to liquidity pool tokens, the Aave aTokens are minted when users deposit crypto-assets into the lending protocol to earn interest. Now they can use and trade maTokens on … Continued

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The demand for scaling on Ethereum is increasing. More decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols like Aave have been experimenting with implementing Layer-2 (L2) solutions.

DeFi flash loan lending platform Aave has launched its own L2 scaling solution by allowing its aTokens to be ported to the Plasma powered Matic Network.

Similar to liquidity pool tokens, the Aave aTokens are minted when users deposit crypto-assets into the lending protocol to earn interest. Now they can use and trade maTokens on the high-speed, low-cost Matic Network with the interest of the original aToken remaining intact on Layer 1.

Aave founder and CEO, Stani Kulechov, tweeted about move;

Plasma Powered Token Exchange

Matic is powered by the Ethereum L2 scaling Plasma framework which uses a combination of smart contracts and cryptographic verification to enable fast and cheap transactions. This is obtained by offloading the transactions from the main Ethereum chain into side chains or plasma chains.

The Matic Network has a key functionality called Quickswap, a Uniswap clone that isn’t present on Ethereum Layer-1. The new maTokens can be staked on Quickswap to earn liquidity provider rewards.

Speaking to The Defiant, the creator of the Aave-Matic bridge, Nick Mudge, said;

“Aave’s aTokens are not traded on some exchanges like Uniswap because liquidity providers would lose the interest that aTokens generate. But that is not the case with maTokens on Matic Network, which derive all their value from aTokens.”

Mudge is also the lead developer of the non-fungible token (NFT) staking game, Aavegotchi. He wanted to reduce the cost of game-based transactions which can now be done with cheaper maTokens transactions on Matic.

When asked about accruing interest on the Matic Network, Mudge explained;

“It’s not updated on Matic network. When maTokens are sent to Ethereum they are converted to their aToken amount PLUS interest.”

AAVE Token Price Update

Aave is currently the second largest DeFi protocol by total value locked according to DeFi Pulse which reports it at just over $3 billion.

Its native AAVE token, which has been on fire recently, has retreated a bit alongside the general crypto market slump today. It has fallen back to $176 as of press time.

AAVE was the best-performing DeFi asset in 2020 by a clear margin and has made over 20% in the past seven days to hit an all-time high of just over $200 on Jan. 19.

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Martin has been writing on cyber security and infotech for two decades. He has previous trading experience and has been actively covering the blockchain and crypto industry since 2017.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/aave-crosses-defi-layer-2-matic-bridge/

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Blockchain

AurusGOLD returns to New to the Street

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AurusGOLD (AWG) is a gold-backed token independently minted by participants of the Aurus ecosystem. Each token represents full ownership and can be redeemed for 1 gram of 99.99% gold, sourced from LBMA-accredited refineries. Managing Director Guido van Stijn returns to New to the Street to discuss the latest developments.

**

ABOUT US
Exploring the Block profiles Blockchain Technologies and Companies. Exploring the Block produces multi-part series following the goals and achievements of the companies we follow and invite our audience to track the growth and challenges these companies face. Each series provides personal look at the company through the eyes of the CEO or company executive as they discuss their goals, roots and products with our experienced team of anchors/journalists to provide our viewing audience with who, what, where, when and why about the companies you want to learn about.

New To The Street profiles public companies, advertises and markets their products and services, and provides business news. New To The Street paves the way to the latest financial issues, offering a blend of business and financial services news reporting and in-depth interviews relating to new products, economic analysis and public company profiles. New to the Street is produced by FMW Media Works Corp.

FMW Media
FMW Media Corp. operates one of the longest-running U.S and International sponsored programming T.V. brands “NewToTheStreet,” and its blockchain show “Exploring The Block.” Since 2009, these brands run shows across major U.S. Television networks. These TV platforms reach over 540 million homes both in US and international markets. Developing 2-additional shows “TheBestinNY” and “The Ultimate Listing”

Source: https://exploringtheblock.com/aurusgold-returns-to-new-to-the-street/

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