Cardano more secure than NXT?

Lior Yaffe
Oct 13, 2017 · 2 min read

Today I noticed a new entry into CMC with a significant market cap probably named after Gerolamo Cardano a 16th century Italian mathematician known mainly because of his famous dispute with Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia about the solution to one particular case of the cubic equation. Since I recalled this dispute from my university days and since this token came out of nowhere and has market value of 700M$+, I decided to take a look.

Surprise surprise, it turns out that Cardano is a new POS coin. On their web site, they say, “We present “Ouroboros”, the first blockchain protocol based on proof of stake with rigorous security guarantees,” as if everything before it was insecure. And in their documentation, they made an amazing statement (which they later removed) “The first significant work on proof of stake was conducted by the team of the Nxt cryptocurrency, but their protocol had significant flaws and no formal verification.”

You get that? A token launched to mainnet 10 days ago claims that the NXT POS protocol, which continues to run securely in production for 4+ years, as a public blockchain, in hacker infested territory “had significant flaws”. Maybe they should say “has significant flaws”, what are these flaws? They didn’t say.

I decided to take a look at their Whitepaper but ran into a 50+ page wall of text full of mathematical jargon which is practically unreadable for a software engineer like myself.

Then browsed through their documentation and quickly found pages like DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PAPER AND IMPLEMENTATION, i.e. the paper describes an amazingly secure system (?) but this is not what they implemented. Then they describe a naive UPDATE SYSTEM MODEL which lets the stake holders vote whether to upgrade to a new version (good luck with that) and a BOOTSTRAP ERA which allows only “bootstrap stakeholders” to generate blocks and will end “when bootstrap stakeholders vote for it”. Why would they vote to give up their own monopoly over the control?

Dear Cardano team, please show some respect.

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