There’s been a lot of talk about blockchain interoperability recently with the launch of Cosmos and the potential threat to the Ethereum ecosystem. This piece is going to be a deep dive on the technicalities of Cosmos and Polkadot, but will also give you the prerequisite knowledge you need to understand these protocols at a technical level (with pictures to help understand).
Firstly, it’s important to know why interoperability matters. In the existing internet, we can access and modify numerous data sets through APIs (application specific interfaces). However with blockchains, data is siloed by the chain that it exists on. So what does it mean to have interoperability?
- Trustlessly transfer assets between different chains
- Cross-chain smart contracts that can interact with each other
- Specialised chains that can be used by other blockchains
Before we get into the details of any particular interoperability approach, I’d like to spend some time outlining some of the basics of distributed systems in order to help us understand concepts later on. Keep in mind that blockchains are simply a set of machines all over the world coming to an agreement about what a collection of data should look like.
Distributed systems are, as the name implies, a group of computers working together to accomplish a very specific goal. An example of this goal might be to serve the same content around the world to lots of people (like keeping your Twitter newsfeed up to date). In trying to achieve this goal they have to overcome the following problems:
- Timing. Each computer/system will execute the same task at it’s own pace and time.
- Ordering. Trying to solve what happened and when with time is still very hard since clocks start “drifting” after a period of time. This makes order a complicated challenge since each system has its own account of what happened and when.
- Failure. Coordination between systems can fail due to a system crashing, not receiving/sending messages to other systems correctly or choosing to act maliciously (Byzantine)
Like humans, the way to solve most problems is through good communication. With computers though, this is a bit more complicated since they can communicate asynchronously or synchronously.
What does that mean?
- Synchronous = each system has a certain amount of time allocated to them to communicate and they take turns. Think of it in-real conversations for humans.
- Asynchronous = each system can communicate whenever they want and there’s no assumptions about when they’ll speak. Think of it as Slack for humans.
All said and done, at the end of the day a blockchain should have safety (agreement on the same output) and liveliness (chain keeps growing and functioning). If your chain has safety but not liveliness it’ll stop producing blocks. If it has liveliness but no safety it’ll produce many forks and you won’t know which one is the correct blockchain unless you have a rule (eg longest chain in Bitcoin)!
Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance is an implementation developed by Barbara Liskov and Miguel Castro and introduced in 1999. Proof of Stake chains like Cosmos and Polkadot have elements in their design inspired from PBFT so it’s worth outlining what it is and how it works.
- A party will listen to numerous transactions until it can form a block of these transactions. We’ll refer to this party as a proposer, since they propose a block.
- Once a block has been proposed, everyone participates in a pre-vote to confirm that they heard the same block. It’s important to note that a block could be incorrect/malicious but still be valid in the pre-vote stage since everyone’s simply trying to come to consensus that they received the same data/block.
- Once more than ⅔ of the participants agree that they received the same block, they move to the pre-commit step. A pre-commit vote is then cast to determine whether this is a valid block and nothing malicious is going on.
- If more than ⅔ of the participants vote that the block is indeed valid and correct then we can successfully commit this block to the blockchain.
- The height of the blockchain is increased and steps 1–5 are repeated.
From what we’ve learned above, we can see that the following steps ensures that the order of blocks is known (by the height of the blockchain increasing once a commit happens), each computer can take it’s time to come to its own conclusion then communicate what result it came to (timing) and can handle failure (malicious node proposing a block or a node not being able to vote).
Enter Cosmos, founded in 2016 by Jae Kwon and Ethan Buchman and raised over $17M+ in their ICO for ATOMs. The Cosmos Hub is it’s own blockchain that connects to other zones (blockchains) and therefore allows communication between different zones. Any proof-of-work blockchain such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, ZCash or an application specific blockchain would have to be connected to a bridge-zone via the Inter Blockchain Communication framework.
Getting into the architectural details, Cosmos Hub uses Tendermint as it’s consensus algorithm (inspired by PBFT) created by Jae Kwon in 2014. What this means is that each voting stage (pre-vote & pre-commit) has a fixed amount of time for everyone to vote before it moves on to the next stage. After a block has been finalised, there’s no going back. This means you can have instant mobile & internet-of-things payments since as soon as the transaction is in a block it’s finalised. Since no confirmations are required this is called having “fast finality”.
ATOMs held by users can be used to become validators in the system or to delegate ATOMs to a validator instead. The Cosmos blockchain will have 100 validators to begin with and plan to increase the limit via a governance parameter in the future. Only those with reasonable power in the network will be able to participate in the security of the network.
To make all of this less theoretical, I’ll outline a set of steps to possibly to convert ETH to BTC. — everyone’s favourite example.
- A trusted intermediary zone will be created for Ethereum and there will be set of validators who will be responsible for relaying messages from the Ethereum bridge-zone to the Cosmos Hub.
- Since both Ethereum and Bitcoin are probabilistic (there is a chance the current chain isn’t the correct one), the validators need to wait for a certain number of confirmations to ensure the transaction actually went through.
- Once the validators are certain the transaction is final they’ll initiate a transaction from their zone to the Cosmos Hub that they did indeed receive the Ether. The hub will then create a form of Wrapped Cosmos Ether that it’ll hold. Every other Cosmos zone will now be aware there’s new Wrapped Cosmos Ether in the system.
- Assuming an exchange rate was determined beforehand, the Wrapped Cosmos Ether will be exchanged for Wrapped Cosmos Bitcoin. This Wrapped Cosmos Bitcoin is then sent to the trusted intermediary Bitcoin zone and sent to the specified address on the actual Bitcoin chain.
There’s a few assumptions/things to be aware of with this model:
- The Cosmos Hub needs to ensure the balances of the Wrapped Cosmos assets are correctly incremented and decremented. While this is a potential downside, the Cosmos team has designed the system in a way that anyone can create their own hub. Essentially Cosmos will be a network of Hubs and Zones run by different groups.
- Each Zone has to be trusted that they’re relaying the correct messages about assets being sent/received. Senders also need to trust the validators set will correctly relay their messages and not steal their assets.
Polkadot is founded by Gavin Wood, a cofounder and former CTO of Ethereum and president of the Web3 Foundation. Polkadot raised over 145M+ late 2017 selling the native currency DOT during a crowdsale. If Cosmos resembles an open network of hubs and zones, Polkadot is a single “relay chain” which offers numerous benefits to chains, called “parachains” (short for parallelizable chains), that join it.
A couple key aspects Polkadot aims to innovate are:
- Each parachain gain pooled security from the validator set of the relay chain. Once a chain has connected to the Polkadot network by becoming a parachain it is secured with the same level of security as the whole Polkadot network. In Cosmos, each new chain needs its own validator set and has to bootstrap its own security.
- Parachains can interact with other parachains using trust-fee interchain communication. Users who want to communicate across chains do not need to trust every chain they transmit messages to, but just the singular security of the whole Polkadot network. Again, this is different from how Cosmos works where a user would need to trust the source chain, the routing chains, and the destination chain with each of their separate validator sets.
Polkadot’s consensus mechanism consists of two components: GRANDPA and BABE. GRANDPA is a finality gadget which draws on some ideas behind the GHOST fork choice rule (like Ethereum’s Casper) and BABE is a block production mechanism similar to Cardano’s Ouroboros. The introduction of a finality gadget allows for portions of the chain to be “finalized” and provably never be reverted. Separating the finality gadget from the block production allows for the slower finality gadget to work in a different process from the generation of new blocks in the chain. This means that the actual production of blocks can scale unlike in the PBFT-bound Cosmos Tendermint algorithm.
In the Polkadot ecosystem, you have the following parties:
- Collators — Produce the blocks for parachains and pass the information to the validators to verify.
- Nominator — Allocates their capital to validators to participate in the staking mechanism.
- Validator — Require a high bond requirement because they are responsible for actually sealing the new blocks of the relay chain. Their crucial roles include:
- Authoring new blocks.
- Finalizing the relay chain through participation in GRANDPA.
- Validating parachain blocks by ensuring the transactions which occurred are correct and that the cross-chain messages have been processed.
- Fishermen — Bounty hunters who “go fishing” for malicious actors by watching the other nodes of the network.
A good way to think about Polkadot is as an interconnected system that will connect to other chains it will want to communicate with through bridges. All parachains and the relay chain operate as one, unified system. A parachain can incorporate custom logic and will be responsible for handling its own state transitions while receiving and posting messages to other chains. Parachains will be able to communicate with other parachains by listening to each other, unlike Cosmos where everything must be routed through the Hub.
Polkadot’s architecture is elegant for the core design assumptions it had made. This starts off with the fact that parachain passively read information from bridge-contracts, rather than relying on bridge-contracts sending messages to other parachains. Each parachain is treated no different to any other parachain. This means Polkadot’s interchain communication framework is truly trustless, since parachains are acting in the interest of the relay chain rather than any specific parachain they’re validating. Furthermore, validators are re-assigned to another parachain at intervals and at random.
Let’s take an example that might be more relatable, how would it work if you wanted to convert currencies from one parachain to another? Let’s take the popular example of converting ETH to BTC.
Collators for the Ethereum parachain would pass block headers to validators in their parachain. The validators would then sign and publish the relevant transactions in the Ethereum bridge smart contract in a format that can be recognised and communicated with the parachain zone. Any ETH sent would be held by a Polkadot validator set, which would also provide DOTs as collateral for invalid transactions. The Ethereum parachain would in turn communicate with the Bitcoin parachain, which would release BTC to the specified address through the validator set governing that particular parachain. Design decisions are still being finalised, but the idea around their cross chain communication is that it’ll be trustless.
One thing to be aware of is that Polkadot’s parachain mechanism will allocate parachain slots via permissionless on-chain auctions. These auctions would involve locking up DOTs for some amount of time to keep the parachain connected to the Polkadot network. Governance will be able to step in and fix the situation in the case of urgent situations where the parachains contains a critical bug or serves some malicious purpose. Polkadot will be governed by an on-chain governance mechanism as it believes it’s the best way to govern crypto-networks.
As Gavin Wood stated for this article, “I believe any blockchains that do not introduce on-chain governance, including providing a viable mechanism to issue upgrades, will ultimately poison themselves through toxic populism. I do not believe “off-chain processes”, “on-chain signalling” and “rough consensus” provide a sufficient means to allow the real stakeholders in chain’s ecosystem to effectively govern and drive a chain to long term success. I also believe that it’s essentially impossible to retrofit governance.”
A lot of the core problems for interoperability seem to be solved at a high level, however the execution is still far behind. Cosmos launched in March 2019, but has only got the Cosmos Hub up and running. Their next steps are to finalise how the Inter-Blockchain Communication framework will work. Polkadot is set to launch end of 2019 with just the relay chain being live.
Overall, I’m extremely excited for both Cosmos and Polkadot to launch. What’ll be interesting to see is the developer adoption and the political struggles of each chain and how they play out. Application specific chains are a pipe dream at this point in time since not only is the basic infrastructure far from being completed, but developers will need to think about the resources and people they’ll need behind them to be connected and have sufficient security.
Will it even be a relevant trade-off? It’s hard to say. Maybe Ethereum’s off-chain governance is the very thing that allows it to thrive despite it’s slower roadmap execution since it allows true permissionless innovation with the guarantees of a highly secured chain.
The flip side to this argument is that all crypto networks will bootstrap their security on another chain, such as Ethereum, and then graduate to their own chain once they can guarantee the security of it through its existing community. A good example would be MakerDAO, they’d have enough resources to create their own chain and get enough political backing to be part of Polkadot’s para-chain. If for some reason it can’t get enough backing to be a part of the para-chain, it could establish a bridge zone on Cosmos and bootstrap their own security. Polkadot plans to provide bridge-slots for chains that are unable to provide pooled security but still give message passing down the line.
I think these are the kinds of nuanced questions that we as a community need to be asking rather than looking at chains as a zero-sum game. I’m personally excited for where all this leads us to and am receptive to your feedback on this piece. Reach out to me on Twitter @kermankohli.
Special thanks to Gavin Wood (Web3 Foundation), Logan Saether (Web3 Foundation), Billy Rennekamp (Cosmos), Chjango Unchained (Cosmos) for their contributions with ensuring the technical accuracy of the article.
Litecoin price prediction: Litecoin trades above $300, attempt to break below later?
TL;DR Breakdown LTC retests the $300 support overnight. Lower local low set at $320. Next support at $280. Today’s Litecoin price prediction is bearish as the market rejected further upside around $320 earlier today and currently moves lower to attempt to break below the $300 once again. The overall market trades in the red today. […]
- LTC retests the $300 support overnight.
- Lower local low set at $320.
- Next support at $280.
Today’s Litecoin price prediction is bearish as the market rejected further upside around $320 earlier today and currently moves lower to attempt to break below the $300 once again.
The overall market trades in the red today. Bitcoin has lost more than 2 percent and trades around $48.900. Meanwhile, Ethereum is among the worst performers with a loss of more than 5 percent. Alternatively, Stellar (XLM) is among the best performers, with a gain of 5 percent over the last 24 hours.
LTC/USD opened at $300.11 today after a bearish close yesterday that resulted in another retest of the $300 mark. Over the past hours, LTC/USD rejected further upside, indicating that we should see another push lower over the next 24 hours.
Litecoin price movement in the last 24 hours
The LTC/USD price moved in a range of $297.59 – $323.76$, indicating a moderate amount of volatility. 24 hour trading volume has dropped by 7.15 percent and totals $5.2 billion. The total market cap stands at $20.6 billion, ranking the cryptocurrency in 12th place overall.
LTC/USD 4-hour chart – LTC prepares to break below the $300 support again
On the 4-hour chart, we can see moving lower over the past hours as bears attempt to finally break below the $300 mark.
Overall, Litecoin price action momentum continues to be bearish as the market retraces after setting a new all-time high at $413 on the 10th of May. Previously, we saw Litecoin rally around 80 percent from the $220 major support area, indicating we could see a similar upswing over the following weeks.
First, Litecoin has to finish retracing from the current high. Support around the $300 mark was reached on Thursday. From there, Litecoin retested the $335 resistance and reversed to the $300 overnight.
Over the past hours, LTC/USD moved higher and established another lower high around the $320 mark. Therefore, we expect Litecoin to attempt to push below this support over the next 24 hours. Once the $300 support breaks, the next support is located around the $280 mark.
Since the $280 level previously acted as a very strong support, we should see the market price reverse back to the upside next week. From there, LTC/USD should move higher and try to establish another several-week upswing and set further all-time highs.
Litecoin Price Prediction: Conclusion
Litecoin price prediction is bearish as the market continues setting lower highs over the past few days. LTC/USD currently attempts to move lower once again to break the $300 support. Therefore, we expect further downside over the next 24 hours, with the next support target at the $280 mark.
Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.
Why Uniswap, Cardano, Solana, and Dogecoin Could Become Best-Performing Cryptos Of 2021
The year has been a good one so far for altcoins. There’s no denying Bitcoin’s pedigree and influence on the market as it is still the biggest cryptocurrency by far in the crypto space. Having said that, there are a lot of altcoins or relatively smaller and cheaper cryptocurrencies which have attracted investors and newbies looking to diversify their crypto portfolios. As crypto adoption continues to grow so has the interest in it which has been evident in the last few months. Institutional interest is at an all-time high as many traditional companies, firms and institutions are boarding the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
There are a lot of altcoins putting up impressive numbers guaranteed to give back good yields and this article sheds light on four of them.
Uniswap is one of the dApps based on the Ethereum blockchain. The project allows users to trade Ethereum tokens through liquidity pools. The DeFi coin boasts of being the first decentralized exchange with the option of a margin and leverage trading.
The UNI coin has two main services, thus delivering and utilizing liquidity. Although it is new in the crypto space as it was released into the market last year, its performance has made it one of the leading DeFi coins on the market.
Uniswap v3 was released days ago, an upgrade of its protocol and aims to provide better oracles, new fee tiers as well as give users more control over the liquidity they provide. Many analysts believe the coin is expected to blow and with its price at $36, it would be a steal compared to others.
Cardano has been one of the popular coins on the crypto market for some while. Its network has a smaller footprint which makes it flexible, more adaptable, and secure. Transactions are faster as it requires less energy, and have interoperability and scalability among its pros.
Cardano’s recent update has equipped it with the ability to build smart contracts which have attracted a lot of dApp developers, a sector that is blowing up this year. The coin is 4th on the crypto ladder with a trading price of $2.32 which has seen a 27.35% rise within the last seven days.
Another coin that is making a name for itself in the fast-growing DeFi ecosystem is Solana.
Launched in March 2020, the digital project has enjoyed a steady rise, making its way up the crypto ladder with impressive runs. Sol is currently at 16 on the crypto ladder with an impressive market valuation of $14 billion.
Its Proof-of-History algorithm has the highest speeds of a transaction and offers relatively cheaper transaction fees as compared to other coins such as Ethereum. The digital asset currently trades above $50.
DOGE has defied many odds to become one of the fastest-growing digital coins on the crypto market presently. Created as a meme coin back in 2013, it has seen a major resurgence taking its price from $0.0076 to an all-time high of $0.7 in less than 21 days led by Elon Musk’s never-ending endorsements.
Dogecoin has seen a surge of over 8000% so far this year and remains one of the cheapest coins to buy. It is currently trading at $0.5, and despite the many controversies surrounding DOGE, it does have what it takes to yield massive progress if adopted by Tesla for payments.
Litecoin mining software: all you need to know
You cannot talk about cryptocurrency history without mentioning Litecoin; it is one of the first altcoins after Bitcoin was created. It was released in October 2011 by Charlie Lee, who developed it as an open-source software project. He announced Litecoin as the ‘lite version of Bitcoin through a message he shared on the famous bitcoin […]
You cannot talk about cryptocurrency history without mentioning Litecoin; it is one of the first altcoins after Bitcoin was created. It was released in October 2011 by Charlie Lee, who developed it as an open-source software project. He announced Litecoin as the ‘lite version of Bitcoin through a message he shared on the famous bitcoin forum. Over the years, Litecoin now sits on the top as one of the world’s top digital currencies; it boasts a market capitalization of almost $3 billion and is expected to increase.
Since Litecoin’s creation, it was considered a reaction to Bitcoin, with its developers stating that their initial purpose is to create Litecoin as the “Silver” counterpart to Bitcoin “gold. Since Litecoin was a spinoff of Bitcoin, they share so many features. These include Bitcoin mining features. The only difference in the mining process is that while Bitcoin uses SHA-256, Litecoin uses a process called Scrypt mining.
Scrypt mining requires higher computing power, making it a lot more challenging to mine. This guide contains information on how to mine Litecoin.
What is Litecoin
Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that functions just like Bitcoin. It has some features which make it look very similar to Bitcoin. Transacting with Litecoin is far easier and faster. While Litecoin mining is a little more complicated than Bitcoin mining, they are both cloud mining and function similarly. They both use similar mining software, so a Litecoin miner will not find it difficult to use Bitcoin mining software and vise versa.
From a general perspective, Bitcoin and Litecoin can be considered decentralized cryptocurrencies which makes them different from how fiats like the U.S dollar are operated and governed.
Why should you care about Litecoin?
Litecoin is profitable; mining Litecoin has proven to be a profitable venture, especially if you go about it the right way, using mining hardware like the asic miner and the correct mining software. Cryptocurrency mining as a whole has made different miners rich the same way it has made them go broke. However, it all comes down to your ability to take risks.
What is mining?
Mining is how a miner uses both mining software and mining hardware to mine cryptocurrency either as a solo miner or through a mining pool. There are different Bitcoin mining software available for miners to chose from. This software makes cryptocurrency mining possible.
Before a miner can successfully mine, he also needs some specific mining hardware; for Litecoin, he needs at least a CPU or a GPU device. The device you choose will go a long way to determine how easy the cryptocurrency mining process would be. For LTC mining to be successful, you need a Litecoin mining rig (Bitcoin mining software and Bitcoin mining hardware) and a litecoin wallet.
Best Litecoin mining software
After getting the proper Litecoin mining hardware, the next step is to get mining software (this could either mean a CPUminer, GPU miner, or a mining app). Your mining software will also determine if you are doing solo mining or as part of a mining pool. Determining a mining device is easy, but getting the best cryptocurrency mining software is complex as many other factors contribute.
What is the best Litecoin miner?
There are numerous software available if you want to mine Litecoin. Some have different unique features like inbuilt wallets that serve as alternatives to the Bitcoin wallet. Here are some examples of mining softwares:
Easy miner is a free cryptocurrency software miner. Although it was initially designed to mine Bitcoin, it can also be used for Litecoin mining. It is open-source, which means you can customize the software to suit your mining needs. Easy miner has an inbuilt wallet and a moneymaker mode, allowing the mining of Litecoin on its stratum pool. EasyMiner is also available for Android users making it one of the most widely used cryptocurrency mining software among Litecoin miners.
This is regarded as one of the best cryptocurrency mining software out there. Although not as popular as the others on the list, it supports many devices, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. The best part is that it has automatic detection of network features. It also allows you to control and monitors a second MultiMiner mining rig simultaneously. It may not be as efficient as the others. However, it has some unique features that you will find interesting.
CGMiner Litecoin is not new; it has been around for a while. Over this period, it has provided different unique features and a large user base. It supports almost all Operating systems making it easy to adopt. It is also open-sourced, allowing users to customize it to suit their mining needs. Other features that it comes with include: complete monitoring, fan speed controls, and remote interface capabilities.
Awesome miner is a great choice, especially if you are trying to mine on multiple mining rigs simultaneously as it supports FGPA, ASIC. His software also supports 25 mining engines, including XMRig, SRBMiner, BFGMiner, and SGMiner. However, it is not free; you will have to pay a fee of $4 monthly and $36 annually. The fee is worth the price because it comes with several other features like the status and temperature of all ASIC and FPGA miners and an inbuilt Litecoin mining calculator.
GUIMiner Scrypt is also a good mining software, but in reality, it is a GUIMiner fork. What makes it a better version is its user-friendly features. It was initially forked to allow new users. However, it was designed just for windows devices with a graphics processing unit (GPU) and computer processing unit (CPU). It allows Scrypt mining that makes Litecoin more seamless.
Litecoin mining pool
Mining cryptocurrency as part of a pool is better because it makes mining operation easier and improves your hash rate. This, in turn, means a better block reward. Litecoin cloud mining has a more complex mining program because of its use of the scrypt algorithm, making the pool mining option a better choice.
Litecoin has various Litecoin mining pools for miners to chose from. These pools have their pros and cons. Here are five pools I feel you should put into consideration when looking for a pool to join.
Litecoin mining software FAQs
Is Litecoin mining still profitable?
Many people now doubt the profitability of mining cryptocurrencies primarily because of the competition involved. Today miners now compete with bigger mining establishments, making it impossible for solo miners to profit. However, as a Litecoin miner, you can consistently profit if you go about it the right way.
Litecoin mining is a task that you have to be prepared for; you need to be fully committed to it and tackle its risk. With this, you will be able to profit despite the considerable cost.
How long does it take to mine 1 Litecoin?
The time it would take to mine a Litecoin cannot be explicitly stated since it is primarily influenced by mining speed and the complexity of the computers you are using, the amount of time you spend mining, and the current difficulty factor. If you are mining with a computer CPU, you are bound to spend a long time mining a single LTC.
GPU mining is just a little better than CPU mining, no thanks to the competition on the ground. However, with the high-end ASIC mining, it won’t take you up to an hour to kine your first LTC. It is also way better if you are mining as part of a mining pool.
Profiting from Litecoin is influenced by different factors. This means it is uncertain whether or not you are going to profit. However, it is still worth your time and resources full time. The best way to profit from Litecoin is to invest full-time in mining rigs and other equipment. If you decide to mine solo with just a CPU, you will still profit but not as much.
Crypto mining involves risk-taking. However, you cannot escape taking a risk if you want to make a profit. A Bitcoin miner who is mining Bitcoin takes a similar risk with an estate manager.
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