NXT 1.7: A complete toolset
The NXT 1.7 branch is about to go live. After four so called “experimental” versions that ran on the NXT Testnet, NXT 1.7.4 has been released for the main net on the 1st of January and its functions will go live after a hard fork on the 21st of January.
Tweaking and Expanding
The 1.7 branch improves on several issues that users brought to the attention of the developers.
Probably the most anticipated is the improvements that have been made to the block time algorithm, which will all but eliminate the dreaded “long blocks” that blockchain systems sometimes experience. NXT 1.7.4 will cut block times to approximately 60 seconds.
Other tweaks are UI enhancements and an overhaul of the NXT Data Cloud system (implemented in the 1.5 branch last year), the instant execution of certain transactions once a vote is decided and the spreading of larger fees over blocks.
Apart from tweaks, the 1.7 branch will include new feature that will allow you to use NXT in new ways:
- Coin Shuffling, a fully decentralized coin mixing, to improve account privacy.
- Account Control for phased transactions, the Nxt equivalent of multisignature.
- Account Properties, assigning arbitrary name/value metadata to user accounts by both account owners and other users of the network.
- Singleton Assets, for representing single tradeable objects.
- Data Cloud, a decentralized, censorship-free and tamper-proof publication and retrieval of small files, documents, or arbitrary data.
Looking a bit deeper
NXT continues to expand its feature set into directly usable features for developers.
Coin Shuffling is the first truly decentralised feature of its kind. Whereas for bitcoin you would need to trust an external party to do your mixing for you, starting with the 1.7 branch, this is an in-built feature of NXT. The shuffling algorithm is based on a paper by Tim Ruffing at al. and has been audited by Tim Ruffing himself. Coin Shuffling allows NXT to take on the nature of cash if users choose to want to use it in this way, in that they will be able to use their coins without them being traceable. Shuffling also ensures NXT will remain fungible.
Account Control allows users to set up their accounts in such a way that transactions can only be executed after a previously determined form of Vote. This has the advantage of massively increasing account security, and also allows setting up accounts for companies. By using the “Vote by Asset” feature, it is possible to let Asset holders directly be involved in company spendings, for instance.
Account Properties allow both the user and other parties to assign values to NXT accounts. This means it is possible to “tag” accounts in any way you want. Properties can only be changed by the account that assigned them.
Singleton Assets are a specific class of Asset for non divisible virtual unique objects.
Data Cloud allows you to upload and store up to 42k of data on the blockchain. To avoid bloat the data is by default stored for two weeks only , but can optionally be stored longer or indefinitely by some nodes, and can be verified against the blockchain even after expiration.
NXT keeps expanding and developing. If you want to participate in the project, or want to test and use NXT, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at NXT Foundation. We are here to help you get started and can connect you to people in our community that can help you further. Here are some links for further reading:
Author: Bas Wisselink Board Member at NXT Foundation https://www.linkedin.com/in/bwisselink