This is the second part of a 3-piece blog series on the key ideas behind the Cosmos Network.
The previous part covered the basic ideas behind early Tendermint, an approach to building a cryptocurrency without Proof of Work mining. Early Tendermint merged together a consensus algorithm based on Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) with the concept of security bonds, in order to enable construction a permissionless cryptocurrency with low operating costs. These ideas were in place by the end of 2014, and early technical work on Tendermint had begun.
This is the first part of a 3-piece blog series on the key ideas behind the Cosmos Network.
In March 2019, one of the promising Blockchain 3.0 projects — the Cosmos Hub — goes live. It delivers the ability to build an Internet of Blockchains — myriad decentralized ledgers, hosting disparate financial applications, able to coordinate the movement of financial assets between each other. Understanding the Cosmos vision and its implementation is valuable for cryptocurrency technologists and investors, since the upside is massive. This is the story of the key ideas behind Cosmos, and how they came to be. We…
Software is eating the world. Starting with the 1990s, we have witnessed myriad parts of our economy revolutionised by cheap data storage and computation. Every decade since has brought new computing platforms and datasets to solved previously unmet desires. The 90s facilitated information exchange and online commerce through the desktop internet; and the previous decade transformed how we connect socially, record memories, and collaborate using supercomputers in our pockets, aka smartphones. The hunt is on for the next big IT platform.
Here is a wacky idea.
The flavor of the month in digital currency circles is the Bitcoin block-size hard-fork debate. It is entertaining to watch from the sidelines, but I fear entertainment could turn into disaster.
At first glance, the debate seems to be technical in nature — global bandwidth availability, node count and other factors seem to be the determinants.
But! The debate is also about:
A clash of personalities: Devs with pet solutions, devs fighting with each other etc. Bitcoin has a diverse dev community which is a huge asset.
The specialty of Bitcoin is not its currency or payments technology. To be honest, Bitcoin is a bad currency and less than ideal payments system. But that’s what everyone is investing in.
What’s stupendous and frightening about Bitcoin is that this is computer code coordinating human action all over the globe. Tens of thousands of people and machines follow the source code creating a hybrid human-machine organization!
That code could be imbued with the same power as say, the constitution of a small nation, will count as one of the great ‘Aha!’ moments of human history.
We’ll build on this…
The Fin-tech community can be classified into holding one of five outlooks for the future. Diagram below plots these outlooks as ‘Levels’ of belief and associated risk:
The more one descends in the diagram, the more one confronts specific prognostications for the future. Entrepreneurial and investment opportunities get restricted. Risk also rises as higher levels incur all development and market risks accrued by the lower levels plus some more. Table below lists platforms, incremental risks and advantages for each level.
Is ‘The Block-chain Application Stack’ a probable or improbable future?
A month back, Joel Monegro from Union Square Ventures authored a set of articles, collectively titled ‘The Blockchain Application Stack’ to sketch out a vision of the architecture of all internet applications ten years from today.
I am interested in understanding whether their vision is a probable or improbable future. My opinion is that it is an improbable one, and I outline why. For reference, an image of their stack is:
One of the ways of reasoning about the future tries to isolate a set of assumptions that will hold…
Internet of Money enthusiast