トレンドのトレンドをわかることが大事です。

「2018年はビットコイン(BTC)にとって素晴らしい1年」スペンサー・ボガート氏、将来的に500万円台も?

「2018年はビットコインにとって素晴らしい1年」スペンサー・ボガート氏、将来的に500万円台も?

ブロックチェーンに特化したVCのブロックチェーン・キャピタル(Blockchain Capital)のパートナーであるスペンサー・ボガート(Spencer Bogart)氏が12月17日、アメリカの放送局CNBCの経済番組「Fast Money」に出演し、「ビットコインにとって素晴らしい1年だった」と2018年を振り返った。

ビットコイン(BTC)の現在の価格は?

ビットコイン(BTC)5万ドルに自信

ボガート氏はファンダメンタルは変わっていないと主張し、「2018年はビットコインにとって素晴らしい1年になりました。価格のことは忘れてください。非常に安くて早くトランザクションを行えるライトニングネットワーク進展があった年でもあります」と説明した。

エコシステムがより強固になってきていると語るボガート氏は、今年イエール大学やハーバード大学、マサチューセッツ工科大学(MIT)が仮想通貨投資ファンドに投資を行ったことや、ナスダックやニューヨーク証券取引所が2019年にビットコインに関連した商品をローンチする予定であることを挙げ、仮想通貨市場に直接的もしくは間接的に資金が流れてくる可能性を示唆している。

またブロックチェーン・キャピタルが長期ベンチャー投資家であることを強調し、「ビットコインが5万ドル(約560万円)になるかって?もちろんです」と話し、その時期についてはどれくらいの時間がかかるか分からないとして、明言は避けた。

若い世代の台頭などビットコイン(BTC)の未来は明るい?

そして最後には業界の将来について、「恐らく最も心強いことは、才能ある人たちがこの業界に参加してきていることです。もし若い人たちと話す機会があれば、このことは興味を引くでしょう。そしてそのうちの聡明な人たちは、ビットコインに関わっていきたいと話しています」とコメントしている。

ボガート氏は自身のツイッターでも、アメリカの10代が初めて現金やギフトカードよりもビットコインなどのデジタル通貨が欲しいことが判明したパイパー・ジャフレー(Piper Jaffray)社が発表した2018年ホリデーシーズンの消費者に関するレポートを引用。「世代の変化はビットコインにとてつもない追い風になる。細部にとらわれて全体を見失うな」と投稿していた。

ボガート氏は、今年5月にビットコインの価格が年末までに1万ドル(約110万円)になるとの予想を発表していた。

ビットコイン(BTC)のリアルタイムチャート

関連
「ビットコイン(BTC)は死んだ」19歳の仮想通貨富豪が明言
「ビットコイン(BTC)の価値はゼロになる」米大学教授が提言

参考
CNBC

 

PayPal創業者支援のスタートアップTagomi(タゴミ)のサービスがスタート!

Paypal創業者支援のスタートアップTagomi(タゴミ)のサービスがスタート!

今月17日(月)、仮想通貨の電子ブローカー事業に取り組むスタートアップTagomi(タゴミ)のサービスがスタートした。

仮想通貨の世界に不足しているプレイヤーとは?

ウォール・ストリートでは、大口の投資家はブローカーに頼って取引の細かい変数を設定して、取引所と価格を決定する。ある意味、これらのブローカー・ディーラーは、市場にベットする投資家と市場そのものをつなぐ媒介である。しかしながら、仮想通貨の世界ではブローカーの役割を果たすプレイヤーはほとんど存在していない。

最近、コインベース(Coinbase)はこの領域に参入すると発表した。ジェミニ(Gemini)もまた、特定の顧客に対してこのようなことを行なっている。そして、電話やチャットグループを通じてほぼ独占的に店頭取引(OTC)を行うプレイヤーがいる。

Tagomi(タゴミ)とは、どのような企業か?

Tagomi(タゴミ)は、ペイパル(PayPal)の創業者であるピーター・ティール(Peter Thiel)氏のファンドが支援するスタートアップ企業だ。同社は、仮想通貨市場への仲介役を探している投資家のために、デジタルを活用したワンストップ・サービスを提供することを目指している。今年の初めには、1,600万ドル(約18億円)の資金調達に成功した。

Tagomiを率いるのは、KCGの元幹部でありゴールドマン・サックス(Goldman Sachs)のパートナーを務めていたグレッグ・タサール(Greg Tusar)とユニオン・スクエア・ベンチャーズ(Union Square Ventures)の投資チームに所属していたCEOのジェニファー・キャンベル(Jennifer Campbell)である。

「最良」の条件で取引を「執行」すること

Tagomiのビジネスには、コンサルティングの要素も含まれる。例えば、大口の顧客が現れて、数百万ドルの仮想通貨取引を行いたいとする。するとTagomiは、複数の取引所から集められた利用可能なデータに基づいて、取引を行う最善の方法を顧客に提示する。

当然、取引が実行されるまでに条件が変わる場合がある。それは、複数の取引所でも単一の取引所でも起こりうるし、数時間あるいは数日の間に起こる可能性がある。いくつかの場合では、取引アルゴリズムが意思決定プロセスに役立つかもしれない。最終的な目標は、タイミングのずれと市場の影響を制限することによって、「最良執行」を実現することである。

「最良執行」は、既存の株式などの市場ではよく理解されているが、仮想通貨の世界ではまだまだ発展途上である。コインベースとブロックチェーン社は、「最良執行」の独自標準を開発している。Tagomiは「最良執行」について、トレーダーがポジションを自由に行き来することができる流動性に着目しているという。Tagomiの今後の動きに注目である。

(文・師田賢人

関連
「シリコンバレー全盛期は間もなく終わり」とPayPal共同創業者、次はブロックチェーン含む新規領域
ブロックチェーンと人工知能の融合が奏でる近未来の旋律 ~NYの「Japan×AI&Blockchain」レポート

参考:The Block


この度 無料メルマガ『週刊Crypto Journal』配信開始しました。このメルマガでは、仮想通貨/ブロックチェーンの一週間の注目ニュースをピックアップしてわかりやすく解説します。配信は、毎週日曜夜です。購読→ 『週刊Crypto Journal

 

Coinbase Now Lets You Convert your Altcoins into Bitcoin

Coinbase convert

Want to convert your altcoins to bitcoins this Christmas? Coinbase has launched Coinbase Convert, a new feature that allows retail users to make direct crypto-to-crypto conversions on the exchange.

Quick Crypto Conversions

The new feature, which was announced on December 17, 2018, will allow customers to sell one cryptocurrency to buy another, saving traders both time and multiple fees.

According to the company announcement, "conversions complete instantly and at a lower cost than if done via two separate transactions.”

Coinbase Convert will initially support conversions between bitcoin, ether, litecoin, ethereum classic, 0x and bitcoin cash, but more cryptocurrencies are expected to be added to the queue, based on customer feedback.

Using the Convert feature, the digital asset platform will charge a 1 percent fixed fee, according to its fee disclosure page.

The crypto-to-crypto feature is targeted at retail users who don't trade much or those who want to spend less time converting their cryptocurrencies.

The addition of Coinbase Convert comes a few days after the exchange partnered with PayPal to facilitate zero-fee cash withdrawals on PayPal. The integration of PayPal into the withdrawal options available on its platform makes it faster to cash out of Coinbase.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

 

Pierre Rochard: “Lightning Adoption Will Basically Mirror Bitcoin Adoption”

Pierre Rochard: “Lightning Adoption Will Basically Mirror Bitcoin Adoption”

Lightning is a second-layer solution for the Bitcoin blockchain that addresses the scaling issues surrounding it today.

Similar to Bitcoin, Lightning is an open-source protocol in which anyone can contribute to. Whether it is through programming and developing applications or setting up a node, participation in Lightning is not just accessible. It’s welcomed.

The Lightning community is already vibrant and growing every day. Pierre Rochard is one person who has already cemented his place in the Bitcoin community as a strong advocate for the digital currency, founding the Bitcoin Advisory in 2013. More recently, his work with Lightning has garnered plenty of attention through his suite of Lightning applications. Specifically, Rochard’s Lightning plug-in integration for Microsoft Excel showed the world that Lightning has a place in commonly used applications.

The Lightning plug-in uses neutrino, a sidechain solution whose purpose is to allow for interaction with Bitcoin’s global transaction history without downloading the entire blockchain. Specifically, neutrino was designed to facilitate this on devices with low-power processors, limited storage or bandwidth, and intermittent power — essentially, a good fit for an Excel spreadsheet.

As for the use-case of this application, Rochard has mentioned in the past that it is for “power users” who are highly familiar with the technologies being used and not for the everyday user. Nonetheless, its general purpose is to send Lightning payments from an Excel spreadsheet.

Rochard’s suite of Lightning applications is a testament to the progress being made in developing Bitcoin’s second-layer solution in the first year of its existence. In the following interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Rochard discusses his Lightning plugin as well as the bigger picture of Lightning as it relates to the global adoption of Bitcoin.

In the months since he announced that this plugin can run a full node within the spreadsheet. Rochard has created a node launcher GUI to help people set up a Lightning and Bitcoin node locally for the plugin to connect.

“My initial experimentation with the Excel plugin was that it would have a Lightning node bundled with it and running inside of it, using Neutrino instead of a full node,” said Rochard. But there was a problem with that set-up. Neutrino is not implemented on mainnet, so it can’t be used with real bitcoins yet, meaning that no one would be able to use the Excel plugin with real bitcoins.

Neutrino versus Full Node

Satoshi’s white paper describes a process called “simple payment verification” (SPV). But SPVs have never actually been implemented.

Instead, Rochard explains, the Bitcoin community has settled for “compromises that are SPV-ish.”

Right now, using this compromise process, a wallet will send a list of transaction IDs to a node and query all information relating to those transaction IDs. The trick is that not all of those transaction IDs that the SPV wallet is sending to the node are actually from the SPV wallet. Instead, the list includes a bunch of random information in addition to the actual queries it's actually interested in. This action is meant to preserve some privacy since the node doesn’t know which piece of information is the specific piece it is looking for. It just knows it’s somewhere in there, hidden in a crowd of other bits of information.

Still, however, Rochard pointed out that few mobile wallets actually implemented this process. “Instead, most of them are basically contacting a trusted server that is just the specific addresses that its interested in and then it receives information back on this. So that provides zero privacy.”

With Neutrino, the full node sends what’s called a “block filter,” which is essentially a short summary of a bitcoin block, to the “light client” and checks if specific transactions or addresses of interest have a match in this filter.

“If they do,” said Rochard, “then we’re going to request the full block and download that and then extract the data from it. So that, essentially, means you have way more privacy because now the full node doesn’t know what specific transactions in that block got your interest because there’s thousands of transactions in a block.”

Of course, Neutrino isn’t as secure as the Bitcoin blockchain itself. Specifically, it doesn’t validate all protocol rules, it just checks the transactions in a specific block. In other words, it doesn’t verify the 21 million bitcoin limit, which opens up doors to compromises on security.

“I would strongly emphasize that there is simply no substitute for running your own full node,” said Rochard. “Really, the Neutrino functionality is kind of a convenience/UX improvement, but it it does compromise on the properties of Bitcoin.” That was the other motivation for this node launcher that Rochard created. He wants the people with the bandwidth capabilities to run a full node to be able to do so.

“I think that we should have the UI for every platform and in every programming language and we should really have as many UIs as possible. As it relates to which ones are going to be most used, that's an area where I want maximum amount of competition and where really I embrace pluralism and would be against tribalism, which is unusual for me because I'm usually very tribalistic with my Bitcoin maximalism.”

When it comes to the Lightning UI, however, Rochard is far less “tribalistic.”

“I'm an alt-UI, Multi UI proponent, and the reason is that we're going to want to onboard the full spectrum of users. From people who are using Lightning on their mobile wallet, to the people that are using Lightning in a Chrome extension with Joule to people who are using Lightning in an Excel spreadsheet with my plugin. Wherever the user is most comfortable and wherever it is most practical and simple for them, I want there to be a wallet for them.”

The Future of Lightning: Overcoming Bottlenecks to Adoption

“I think that Lightning's adoption is going to basically mirror bitcoin’s adoption; and bitcoin’s adoption comes from a very grassroots source. It's not like a top-down thing,” said Rochard. “We've even seen Bitcoin businesses emerge from grassroots users for the most part. Someone becomes a Bitcoin enthusiast [gets] into the ecosystem and then starts a Bitcoin-related service where they see a gap. That's kind of been the general path.”

Rochard projects that the growth of Lightning will follow a similar path, but first, users will need tools that allow them to work with the protocol.

“You have people who are Bitcoin enthusiasts who are like, ‘Oh, what's this neat, layer-two, offchain network that people are buzzing about on Twitter? I'm gonna go check that out. Now, I use Windows — I have no technical capabilities and I don't know how to use a command line, so I can't get on Lightning today. Oh, Pierre came out with a node launcher. Okay, now I can get on Lightning.’

“And that's that's how the process is going to happen. At first it's going to be ten people, then a hundred people and then a thousand people.”

Adoption Through Infrastructure

Participating in a recent Lightning residency at Chaincode Labs was a pivotal moment for Rochard and turned him from being “cautiously bullish” to a “cult-member, indoctrinated-fanatic” of Lightning.

There, he met a software developer at Bitmex who gave the impression that, while Lightning was on Bitmex’s radar, it wasn’t a priority from a development perspective.

“Now within the next couple of years, they're going to have a Lightning feature,” Rochard suggested. “That much is clear. So, I think that, you know, it's not within the next six months but within the next few years, exchanges are going to have Lightning features.

“Now the question is: How useful are these? Because if it's to deposit $20 worth of bitcoins, that's not useful for anyone. On top of figuring out how useful this is for exchanges, it's just too early right now. If we want thousands of dollars being transacted on Lightning in payments, we need to have atomic multipaths worked out among other things.”

Looking ahead, Rochard said that, when it comes to exchanges, Lightning adoption will continue to evolve; users will find themselves using bitcoin on-chain in the meantime. In the future, however, as the capacity of the Lightning Network increases, using Lightning for everyday transactions on exchanges will become automatic.

“In five years, it’s going to the the case that you’re no longer going to be able to use bitcoin at an exchange without using Lightning, but that’s much longer term.”


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

 

Pierre Rochard: “Lightning Adoption Will Basically Mirror Bitcoin Adoption”

Pierre Rochard: “Lightning Adoption Will Basically Mirror Bitcoin Adoption”

Lightning is a second-layer solution for the Bitcoin blockchain that addresses the scaling issues surrounding it today.

Similar to Bitcoin, Lightning is an open-source protocol in which anyone can contribute to. Whether it is through programming and developing applications or setting up a node, participation in Lightning is not just accessible. It’s welcomed.

The Lightning community is already vibrant and growing every day. Pierre Rochard is one person who has already cemented his place in the Bitcoin community as a strong advocate for the digital currency, founding the Bitcoin Advisory in 2013. More recently, his work with Lightning has garnered plenty of attention through his suite of Lightning applications. Specifically, Rochard’s Lightning plug-in integration for Microsoft Excel showed the world that Lightning has a place in commonly used applications.

The Lightning plug-in uses neutrino, a sidechain solution whose purpose is to allow for interaction with Bitcoin’s global transaction history without downloading the entire blockchain. Specifically, neutrino was designed to facilitate this on devices with low-power processors, limited storage or bandwidth, and intermittent power — essentially, a good fit for an Excel spreadsheet.

As for the use-case of this application, Rochard has mentioned in the past that it is for “power users” who are highly familiar with the technologies being used and not for the everyday user. Nonetheless, its general purpose is to send Lightning payments from an Excel spreadsheet.

Rochard’s suite of Lightning applications is a testament to the progress being made in developing Bitcoin’s second-layer solution in the first year of its existence. In the following interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Rochard discusses his Lightning plugin as well as the bigger picture of Lightning as it relates to the global adoption of Bitcoin.

In the months since he announced that this plugin can run a full node within the spreadsheet. Rochard has created a node launcher GUI to help people set up a Lightning and Bitcoin node locally for the plugin to connect.

“My initial experimentation with the Excel plugin was that it would have a Lightning node bundled with it and running inside of it, using Neutrino instead of a full node,” said Rochard. But there was a problem with that set-up. Neutrino is not implemented on mainnet, so it can’t be used with real bitcoins yet, meaning that no one would be able to use the Excel plugin with real bitcoins.

Neutrino versus Full Node

Satoshi’s white paper describes a process called “simple payment verification” (SPV). But SPVs have never actually been implemented.

Instead, Rochard explains, the Bitcoin community has settled for “compromises that are SPV-ish.”

Right now, using this compromise process, a wallet will send a list of transaction IDs to a node and query all information relating to those transaction IDs. The trick is that not all of those transaction IDs that the SPV wallet is sending to the node are actually from the SPV wallet. Instead, the list includes a bunch of random information in addition to the actual queries it's actually interested in. This action is meant to preserve some privacy since the node doesn’t know which piece of information is the specific piece it is looking for. It just knows it’s somewhere in there, hidden in a crowd of other bits of information.

Still, however, Rochard pointed out that few mobile wallets actually implemented this process. “Instead, most of them are basically contacting a trusted server that is just the specific addresses that its interested in and then it receives information back on this. So that provides zero privacy.”

With Neutrino, the full node sends what’s called a “block filter,” which is essentially a short summary of a bitcoin block, to the “light client” and checks if specific transactions or addresses of interest have a match in this filter.

“If they do,” said Rochard, “then we’re going to request the full block and download that and then extract the data from it. So that, essentially, means you have way more privacy because now the full node doesn’t know what specific transactions in that block got your interest because there’s thousands of transactions in a block.”

Of course, Neutrino isn’t as secure as the Bitcoin blockchain itself. Specifically, it doesn’t validate all protocol rules, it just checks the transactions in a specific block. In other words, it doesn’t verify the 21 million bitcoin limit, which opens up doors to compromises on security.

“I would strongly emphasize that there is simply no substitute for running your own full node,” said Rochard. “Really, the Neutrino functionality is kind of a convenience/UX improvement, but it it does compromise on the properties of Bitcoin.” That was the other motivation for this node launcher that Rochard created. He wants the people with the bandwidth capabilities to run a full node to be able to do so.

“I think that we should have the UI for every platform and in every programming language and we should really have as many UIs as possible. As it relates to which ones are going to be most used, that's an area where I want maximum amount of competition and where really I embrace pluralism and would be against tribalism, which is unusual for me because I'm usually very tribalistic with my Bitcoin maximalism.”

When it comes to the Lightning UI, however, Rochard is far less “tribalistic.”

“I'm an alt-UI, Multi UI proponent, and the reason is that we're going to want to onboard the full spectrum of users. From people who are using Lightning on their mobile wallet, to the people that are using Lightning in a Chrome extension with Joule to people who are using Lightning in an Excel spreadsheet with my plugin. Wherever the user is most comfortable and wherever it is most practical and simple for them, I want there to be a wallet for them.”

The Future of Lightning: Overcoming Bottlenecks to Adoption

“I think that Lightning's adoption is going to basically mirror bitcoin’s adoption; and bitcoin’s adoption comes from a very grassroots source. It's not like a top-down thing,” said Rochard. “We've even seen Bitcoin businesses emerge from grassroots users for the most part. Someone becomes a Bitcoin enthusiast [gets] into the ecosystem and then starts a Bitcoin-related service where they see a gap. That's kind of been the general path.”

Rochard projects that the growth of Lightning will follow a similar path, but first, users will need tools that allow them to work with the protocol.

“You have people who are Bitcoin enthusiasts who are like, ‘Oh, what's this neat, layer-two, offchain network that people are buzzing about on Twitter? I'm gonna go check that out. Now, I use Windows — I have no technical capabilities and I don't know how to use a command line, so I can't get on Lightning today. Oh, Pierre came out with a node launcher. Okay, now I can get on Lightning.’

“And that's that's how the process is going to happen. At first it's going to be ten people, then a hundred people and then a thousand people.”

Adoption Through Infrastructure

Participating in a recent Lightning residency at Chaincode Labs was a pivotal moment for Rochard and turned him from being “cautiously bullish” to a “cult-member, indoctrinated-fanatic” of Lightning.

There, he met a software developer at Bitmex who gave the impression that, while Lightning was on Bitmex’s radar, it wasn’t a priority from a development perspective.

“Now within the next couple of years, they're going to have a Lightning feature,” Rochard suggested. “That much is clear. So, I think that, you know, it's not within the next six months but within the next few years, exchanges are going to have Lightning features.

“Now the question is: How useful are these? Because if it's to deposit $20 worth of bitcoins, that's not useful for anyone. On top of figuring out how useful this is for exchanges, it's just too early right now. If we want thousands of dollars being transacted on Lightning in payments, we need to have atomic multipaths worked out among other things.”

Looking ahead, Rochard said that, when it comes to exchanges, Lightning adoption will continue to evolve; users will find themselves using bitcoin on-chain in the meantime. In the future, however, as the capacity of the Lightning Network increases, using Lightning for everyday transactions on exchanges will become automatic.

“In five years, it’s going to the the case that you’re no longer going to be able to use bitcoin at an exchange without using Lightning, but that’s much longer term.”


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

 

Syncing Data Between Bitcoin Nodes Is About to Get Easier

Synching Data Between Bitcoin Nodes Is About to Get Easier

Minisketch is a new solution that’s trying to solve an old problem.

Spearheaded by Blockstream co-founder Pieter Wuille, Bitcoin Core contributor and fellow Blockstream co-founder Gregory Maxwell, and Blockstream software engineer Gleb Naumenko, the open-source initiative is designed to achieve set reconciliation between the mempools of each full node.

“Set reconciliation, in short, is the problem of trying to figure out what the differences are between two sets stored on different computers, while minimizing how much data needs to be exchanged between them. In particular, it’s trying to do so while sending less data than the entire set of data,” Wuille told Bitcoin Magazine

For Bitcoin, this means discerning the differences in transaction data between nodes. Maxwell likened set reconciliation to the process of syncing your phone’s contact list with another person who has many of the same contacts.

“You could send them your whole list but it won’t fit on a postcard and would be pretty wasteful in any case, since they already know most of the contacts … It is possible, in fact, to communicate your whole set of contacts to them by sending only as much information as the size of the difference between your lists even without any idea in advance of what the actual differences are,” Maxwell told Bitcoin Magazine.

In short, set reconciliation would reduce the bandwidth required to run a full node on the Bitcoin network by minimizing how much data each node transmits to each other. This would effectively allow nodes to sync up the data in their mempools more efficiently.

Breaking Down Set Reconciliation

The problem that minisketch wants to amend isn’t blockchain specific.

Set reconciliation is a constant frustration that any distributed system grapples with. Writ large, it simply means that two or more parties on a distributed network hold different sets of data, and to reconcile this, they must figure out which pieces of the data they’re missing — as well as which pieces they have that the other party lacks.

For Bitcoin, these data are transactions. These transactions are relayed from node to node until they are picked up by miners to be included into new blocks.

The problem is that the order of transactions can vary from mempool to mempool (the queues that list incoming transactions to be included into new blocks). This means that there can be (and usually is) a discrepancy in the order of transactions between mempools and newly relayed blocks.

“Bitcoin nodes have a … problem when relaying transactions between each other. Any given node will have mostly the same transactions as any one of its peers — received from other links, but not exactly the same. Today nodes waste a lot of bandwidth just figuring out who needs to be sent what [data],” Maxwell said.

How Minisketch Closes the Gap

An implementation of the PinSketch algorithm, minisketch constructs a library of data to be used for constructing set sketches (i.e., for this use case, sets of transaction data). Nodes and miners can then use these sets for compact set reconciliation.

Simply put, the solution would allow node operators to compare notes on transaction data. It would allow them to sketch (create) sets (lists) of transactions, and the program would cross-check these sets to see which data occurs in one but not both sets. Instead of spending time and energy revealing all of this data to each other, though, with minisketch, nodes only need to know the difference between their transaction sets to sketch a full set.

As Wuille explained, it would look like this in practice:

“If we simplify it to just a single difference, it’s easy to see how this may work:

  • Say I have the set {3,5,7,11}, and you have the set {3,5,7,9,11}, so the difference is {9}.
  • We both compute the sum of our elements, so I obtain 3+5+7+11=26, and you obtain 3+5+7+9+11=35.
  • I send my sum 26 to you, and you subtract it from your sum; the difference is 9.

“This works, but it is restricted to finding a single difference. Minisketch generalizes this by sending various types of ‘sums’ of the data. The result is that with N different sums, you can find N differences … As long as the number of differences between the sets is not more than the number of ‘sums’ sent, minisketch will always succeed in finding all the differences.”

If successfully implemented, this set reconciliation could make transaction relay between nodes more efficient. Along with other in-the-works improvements to Bitcoin’s infrastructure, this could reduce each node’s broadcasting burden by a significant margin, Maxwell said.

“I made a measurement a while back and found that transaction relay was about 87 percent of a node’s bandwidth usage. This was before compact blocks, so the number is potentially greater now. Our simulation results indicate that we might be able to cut relay overheads by the order of 40x through a combination of improvements that include minisketch.”

According to Wuille, the minisketch solution could also create “a more robust network.” Maxwell expanded on this line of thinking by indicating that with the protocol, nodes could use their saved bandwidth to connect with 16 to 24 other nodes instead of the standard 8, “which would make some theoretical attacks even harder to pull off without using more bandwidth,” he claimed.

Maxwell is also hopeful that one day, minisketch could be used to revamp block propagation as well. “There have been other protocols for block propagation using IBLT (Invertible Bloom Lookup Table) that minisketch would make a lot better,” he said, though he admitted that such a solution is “not urgent” because “[compact] blocks already make block transfer itself use only about 4MB per node per day, so even if improvements reduced that number to nothing it wouldn’t make that big of a difference to users or the network.” Instead, he envisions this solution being more useful for “very low transmission like Blockstream’s satellite.”

Wuille indicated that minisketch will reduce node bandwidth requirements and have a higher success probability than IBLT, but he conceded that for larger data sets, IBLT would be faster. Maxwell added that “IBLT is very inefficient for less than a few hundred differences,” while minisketch is more efficient for smaller data sets.

Minisketch is still very much in the preliminary stages, however; Wuille stated that an actual BIP is a while away and that adoption is subject to a number of factors.

Reiterating his observations to a point, Maxwell noted that the protocol is also not part of Bitcoin’s network consensus. If any node operators felt comfortable enough and wanted to try to improve their transaction relays, they could choose to use minisketch even without its ubiquitous adoption on the network.

“One useful point is that relay mechanisms are not a part of the Bitcoin consensus. You and I could start using an improved protocol between us regardless of what other people choose to do. This means that improvements to relay are only delayed by ordinary protocol/software engineering considerations — we have to build it, verify it, integrate it, etc. —  but unlike a consensus change, it doesn’t depend on anyone agreeing to it except the people who choose to use it.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

 

Syncing Data Between Bitcoin Nodes Is About to Get Easier

Synching Data Between Bitcoin Nodes Is About to Get Easier

Minisketch is a new solution that’s trying to solve an old problem.

Spearheaded by Blockstream co-founder Pieter Wuille, Bitcoin Core contributor and fellow Blockstream co-founder Gregory Maxwell, and Blockstream software engineer Gleb Naumenko, the open-source initiative is designed to achieve set reconciliation between the mempools of each full node.

“Set reconciliation, in short, is the problem of trying to figure out what the differences are between two sets stored on different computers, while minimizing how much data needs to be exchanged between them. In particular, it’s trying to do so while sending less data than the entire set of data,” Wuille told Bitcoin Magazine

For Bitcoin, this means discerning the differences in transaction data between nodes. Maxwell likened set reconciliation to the process of syncing your phone’s contact list with another person who has many of the same contacts.

“You could send them your whole list but it won’t fit on a postcard and would be pretty wasteful in any case, since they already know most of the contacts … It is possible, in fact, to communicate your whole set of contacts to them by sending only as much information as the size of the difference between your lists even without any idea in advance of what the actual differences are,” Maxwell told Bitcoin Magazine.

In short, set reconciliation would reduce the bandwidth required to run a full node on the Bitcoin network by minimizing how much data each node transmits to each other. This would effectively allow nodes to sync up the data in their mempools more efficiently.

Breaking Down Set Reconciliation

The problem that minisketch wants to amend isn’t blockchain specific.

Set reconciliation is a constant frustration that any distributed system grapples with. Writ large, it simply means that two or more parties on a distributed network hold different sets of data, and to reconcile this, they must figure out which pieces of the data they’re missing — as well as which pieces they have that the other party lacks.

For Bitcoin, these data are transactions. These transactions are relayed from node to node until they are picked up by miners to be included into new blocks.

The problem is that the order of transactions can vary from mempool to mempool (the queues that list incoming transactions to be included into new blocks). This means that there can be (and usually is) a discrepancy in the order of transactions between mempools and newly relayed blocks.

“Bitcoin nodes have a … problem when relaying transactions between each other. Any given node will have mostly the same transactions as any one of its peers — received from other links, but not exactly the same. Today nodes waste a lot of bandwidth just figuring out who needs to be sent what [data],” Maxwell said.

How Minisketch Closes the Gap

An implementation of the PinSketch algorithm, minisketch constructs a library of data to be used for constructing set sketches (i.e., for this use case, sets of transaction data). Nodes and miners can then use these sets for compact set reconciliation.

Simply put, the solution would allow node operators to compare notes on transaction data. It would allow them to sketch (create) sets (lists) of transactions, and the program would cross-check these sets to see which data occurs in one but not both sets. Instead of spending time and energy revealing all of this data to each other, though, with minisketch, nodes only need to know the difference between their transaction sets to sketch a full set.

As Wuille explained, it would look like this in practice:

“If we simplify it to just a single difference, it’s easy to see how this may work:

  • Say I have the set {3,5,7,11}, and you have the set {3,5,7,9,11}, so the difference is {9}.
  • We both compute the sum of our elements, so I obtain 3+5+7+11=26, and you obtain 3+5+7+9+11=35.
  • I send my sum 26 to you, and you subtract it from your sum; the difference is 9.

“This works, but it is restricted to finding a single difference. Minisketch generalizes this by sending various types of ‘sums’ of the data. The result is that with N different sums, you can find N differences … As long as the number of differences between the sets is not more than the number of ‘sums’ sent, minisketch will always succeed in finding all the differences.”

If successfully implemented, this set reconciliation could make transaction relay between nodes more efficient. Along with other in-the-works improvements to Bitcoin’s infrastructure, this could reduce each node’s broadcasting burden by a significant margin, Maxwell said.

“I made a measurement a while back and found that transaction relay was about 87 percent of a node’s bandwidth usage. This was before compact blocks, so the number is potentially greater now. Our simulation results indicate that we might be able to cut relay overheads by the order of 40x through a combination of improvements that include minisketch.”

According to Wuille, the minisketch solution could also create “a more robust network.” Maxwell expanded on this line of thinking by indicating that with the protocol, nodes could use their saved bandwidth to connect with 16 to 24 other nodes instead of the standard 8, “which would make some theoretical attacks even harder to pull off without using more bandwidth,” he claimed.

Maxwell is also hopeful that one day, minisketch could be used to revamp block propagation as well. “There have been other protocols for block propagation using IBLT (Invertible Bloom Lookup Table) that minisketch would make a lot better,” he said, though he admitted that such a solution is “not urgent” because “[compact] blocks already make block transfer itself use only about 4MB per node per day, so even if improvements reduced that number to nothing it wouldn’t make that big of a difference to users or the network.” Instead, he envisions this solution being more useful for “very low transmission like Blockstream’s satellite.”

Wuille indicated that minisketch will reduce node bandwidth requirements and have a higher success probability than IBLT, but he conceded that for larger data sets, IBLT would be faster. Maxwell added that “IBLT is very inefficient for less than a few hundred differences,” while minisketch is more efficient for smaller data sets.

Minisketch is still very much in the preliminary stages, however; Wuille stated that an actual BIP is a while away and that adoption is subject to a number of factors.

Reiterating his observations to a point, Maxwell noted that the protocol is also not part of Bitcoin’s network consensus. If any node operators felt comfortable enough and wanted to try to improve their transaction relays, they could choose to use minisketch even without its ubiquitous adoption on the network.

“One useful point is that relay mechanisms are not a part of the Bitcoin consensus. You and I could start using an improved protocol between us regardless of what other people choose to do. This means that improvements to relay are only delayed by ordinary protocol/software engineering considerations — we have to build it, verify it, integrate it, etc. —  but unlike a consensus change, it doesn’t depend on anyone agreeing to it except the people who choose to use it.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

 

ビットコインの取引量、ほとんどの取引所で90%超の水増しが観測される

暗号資産市場の調査を行うBLOCKCHAIN TRANSPARENCY INSTITUTEは、コインマーケットキャップ(CMC)上に表示されるビットコイン(BTC)ペアの取引量のほとんどがウォッシュトレーディングにより水増しされているとの調査結果を公表した。

CMCに表示されるBTCペアの取引量上位の取引所でウォッシュトレーディングが行われていないのはBinanceとBitfineだった。ほとんどの取引所の取引量は実際の10分の1以下であるとの衝撃的な調査結果が報告された。

BLOCKCHAIN TRANSPARENCY INSTITUTEは、取引所のウェブサイトのトラフィックデータを取得し分析している。また、Google Analyticsを活用し月次のユニークユーザー数を取得し、APIトレーディングの割合やモバイルユーザー数などのデータも実際の取引量を算出するために活用した。

ウォッシュトレーディングとは、偽の買いと売りの注文を約定させ偽りの取引を演出することを指し、市場を操作する目的で行われる。暗号資産市場ではCMCの取引量ランキング上位に食い込むと注目度が上がるため、ウォッシュトレーディングがマーケティング手法の一種として利用されている。

トークンを上場させる際、取引所がプロジェクトの運営者に手数料を要求することで収益を上げるビジネスモデルが流行しているため、取引量を釣り上げることが運営者へのアピールにもなる。上場手数料の平均は5万ドルで、2018年を通じた手数料の総額は1億ドルに上ると見積もられている。

出典:BLOCKCHAIN TRANSPARENCY INSTITUTE

右端の% Real VolumeがCMCに表示される取引量と比較した実際の取引量だ。CMCに表示される1位のCoinbeneの日次取引量は2.2億ドルだが、実際は270万ドルと約100分の1だった。日本の取引所ではLiquidがCMCの上位にランクインしており、実際の取引量は表示されている約10分の1と報告された(ただし、当該ページの画像では11%だが、トップページの画像では100%と表示されている)。

BLOCKCHAIN TRANSPARENCY INSTITUTEが算出した実際の取引量に基づくランキング

BLOCKCHAIN TRANSPARENCY INSTITUTEが作成したBTCペアの取引量の上位はBinaceとBitfinexだ。日本の取引所としてbitFlyerは4位にランクインしている。

BLOCKCHAIN TRANSPARENCY INSTITUTEは、来年はより多くの暗号資産ペアの実際の取引量情報に関するレポートを発表するとしている。また取引所別のセキュリティに関する調査も行う予定だ。


BLOCKCHAIN TRANSPARENCY INSTITUTE

 

ビットコイン(BTC)に頼る英国のイラン人学生増加?経済制裁により銀行で送金受けられず

ビットコイン(BTC)に頼る英国のイラン人学生増加?経済制裁により銀行で送金受けられず

アメリカがイランに対する経済制裁を再発動したことを受け、国際銀行間通信協会(SWIFT)が11月にその国際送金網からイランの銀行を除外することを発表した。このSWIFTの決定により、イギリスに住むイラン人の学生が仮想通貨を使い始めているという。

銀行を使えないイラン人学生が仮想通貨の使用へ

イギリスのガーディアン(The Guardian)の報道によると、SWIFTのイランの銀行に対する処置により同国在住の数百人のイラン人の学生が銀行のサービスを受けることができず、学費などの支払いに遅れが生じているという。

ガーディアン紙は、学費の支払いができず学生ビザのはく奪や卒業できない可能性があるイラン人の学生を紹介。レディング大学のロースクールに通うパーサ ・サダト(Parsa Sadat)氏は、イランに住む家族には学費を支払うだけの資金はあるが、銀行を通じてイギリスへの送金ができないために、学費の支払いができない状況だという。

サダト氏は大学側から唯一の選択肢としてクリスマスにイランに戻り、次の学期の学費である5,350ポンド(約76万円)を現金で持ってくることを提案されていた。

イランワイヤー(IranWire)の編集者であるマザイア・バハリ(Maziar Bahari)氏は、ガーディアン紙の取材に対して、「アメリカの経済制裁の影響を受けるイギリスに住むイラン人の大学生は数百人にも上り、銀行サービスの制限を回避するため学生はビットコイン(BTC)などの仮想通貨を使用し始めていると」コメントしている。

イランにおける仮想通貨の状況

留学生がいるイランに住む家族は、国内の取引所でビットコインなどの仮想通貨を買い、政府機関の許可なしに世界中に送金することができる。しかし、マネーロンダリングやテロリストの資金源になる恐れから、政府によっては仮想通貨の保有者に対して送金を報告するよう求めている場合もある。

またイランでは中央銀行が今年4月に、マネーロンダリングやテロリストの資金源対策として各銀行に対して仮想通貨に関する企業へのサービスを禁止を決定。しかし、仮想通貨メディアのCCNの7月の報道によると、法定通貨リアルの下落とドル高により、国内でのビットコインの取引高は増加しているという。

関連
イランの銀行をSWIFTから除外も、仮想通貨業界にとって追い風の可能性
独自の仮想通貨発行迫られるイランがロシアと急接近、米国の経済制裁で

参考
The Guardian

 

「ビットコイン(BTC)は死んだ」19歳の仮想通貨富豪が明言

「ビットコイン(BTC)は死んだ」19歳の仮想通貨富豪が明言

エリック・フィンマン(Erik Finman)氏は10代にしてビットコインのブームに乗り富を築いた人物の一人。マーケットウォッチ(MarketWatch)が12月17日、フィンマン氏のインタビュー記事を掲載、「ビットコインは死んだ」と発言していたことが分かった。

ビットコイン(BTC)の現在の価格

ビットコインで11万円を4億5,000円に

フィンマン氏は当時12歳だった2011年に、祖母からもらった1,000ドル(約11万円)で初めてビットコインを購入。ピーク時の資産は400万ドル(約4億5,000万)以上もあったとされている。そんなフィンマン氏はビットコイン信者達に対して、長期的な見通しは暗いと警告している。

フィンマン氏はマーケットウォッチの取材に対して、「ビットコインは死んだ。断片化し過ぎており、多数の内紛も起こっており長くは続くないと思っている。上昇相場はあと1度か2度あるかもしれないが、長期的には終わっている」とコメントした。

またピーク時から95%も下落したライトコイン(LTC)についても次のように悲観的な見解を示した。

「ライトコインは長らく死んだも同然だ。例えば日が落ちた時に、暗くなるまで8分間あったとすると、ライトコインはその7分経った状態にいるようなものだ」

可能性のある仮想通貨は?

一方でフィンマン氏は、プロジェクトベースの仮想通貨は成功する可能性が残されていると主張。テクノロジーが優れている例として、イーサリアム(ETH)やジーキャッシュ(ZEC)、ビットコインキャッシュ(BCH)を挙げていたが、開発者らによるマーケティングが上手くいっていないと指摘している。

フィンマン氏は15歳の時に10万ドル(約1,100万円)相当のビットコインを売却し、「Botangle」というオンラインの教育ビジネスを始めていた。その後アメリカ航空宇宙局(NASA)の管轄の宇宙実験プロジェクトにも参加し、2018年12月16日に「Project Da Vinci」という名の人工衛星の打ち上げに成功したことを自身のツイッターで報告していた。

ビットコイン(BTC)のリアルタイムチャート

関連
「ビットコイン(BTC)の価値はゼロになる」米大学教授が提言
「ビットコイン(BTC)の適正価格は約178万円」トム・リー氏の見解

参考
MarketWatch

 

「ビットコイン(BTC)は死んだ」19歳の仮想通貨富豪が明言

「ビットコイン(BTC)は死んだ」19歳の仮想通貨富豪が明言

エリック・フィンマン(Erik Finman)氏は10代にしてビットコインのブームに乗り富を築いた人物の一人。マーケットウォッチ(MarketWatch)が12月17日、フィンマン氏のインタビュー記事を掲載、「ビットコインは死んだ」と発言していたことが分かった。

ビットコイン(BTC)の現在の価格

ビットコインで11万円を4億5,000円に

フィンマン氏は当時12歳だった2011年に、祖母からもらった1,000ドル(約11万円)で初めてビットコインを購入。ピーク時の資産は400万ドル(約4億5,000万)以上もあったとされている。そんなフィンマン氏はビットコイン信者達に対して、長期的な見通しは暗いと警告している。

フィンマン氏はマーケットウォッチの取材に対して、「ビットコインは死んだ。断片化し過ぎており、多数の内紛も起こっており長くは続くないと思っている。上昇相場はあと1度か2度あるかもしれないが、長期的には終わっている」とコメントした。

またピーク時から95%も下落したライトコイン(LTC)についても次のように悲観的な見解を示した。

「ライトコインは長らく死んだも同然だ。例えば日が落ちた時に、暗くなるまで8分間あったとすると、ライトコインはその7分経った状態にいるようなものだ」

可能性のある仮想通貨は?

一方でフィンマン氏は、プロジェクトベースの仮想通貨は成功する可能性が残されていると主張。テクノロジーが優れている例として、イーサリアム(ETH)やジーキャッシュ(ZEC)、ビットコインキャッシュ(BCH)を挙げていたが、開発者らによるマーケティングが上手くいっていないと指摘している。

フィンマン氏は15歳の時に10万ドル(約1,100万円)相当のビットコインを売却し、「Botangle」というオンラインの教育ビジネスを始めていた。その後アメリカ航空宇宙局(NASA)の管轄の宇宙実験プロジェクトにも参加し、2018年12月16日に「Project Da Vinci」という名の人工衛星の打ち上げに成功したことを自身のツイッターで報告していた。

ビットコイン(BTC)のリアルタイムチャート

関連
「ビットコイン(BTC)の価値はゼロになる」米大学教授が提言
「ビットコイン(BTC)の適正価格は約178万円」トム・リー氏の見解

参考
MarketWatch