Tendermint Community Update — September 2018
You’re reading the second community update from the Tendermint team. This is where we showcase notable projects that are building their products with our flagship software: Tendermint Core & Tendermint ABCI. We also aggregate the latest in research and development from scouring the web to distill down the most interesting finds optimized for your best reading experience.
In September, Tendermint made one new full-time hire and formed key partnerships with two projects: Playlist and Sentinel. Read on to know more.
Mircea Colonescu — Senior DevOps Engineer
Mircea joins us from a financial technology company. He’s well versed in Devops methods and is not a stranger to coding. He is working on maintaining the testnets and implementing new features in the cloud to support more stable infrastructure.
Tokenizing the Music Industry
Playlist is reinventing the music industry with the PLAY token and distributed consensus mechanisms. Playlist provides a fully licensed, ad-supported music streaming service that generates 10 times the user engagement of Pandora and Spotify. For the first time, token economics can enable millions of music fans to participate in the music economy. However, bringing Playlist users into the token economy right now would overwhelm conventional smart contract platforms. To overcome that challenge, Playlist is leveraging the unique capabilities of the Cosmos platform to bring incentivized cooperation at consumer scale.
Networking Layer for the Decentralized Era
Sentinel is a network layer for p2p or decentralized applications enabling users and organizations to create Public and Private networks that provide access to free, incentivized and payment-type (pre-paid, pay-per-use or post-paid) & distributed resources, enabling its clients to become both producers and consumers in the network.
Sentinel leverages the Cosmos-SDK, powered by Tendermint, to maximize the usability and efficacy of its dVPN application.
- Read more about Sentinel here: medium.com/@Sentinel/sentinel-dvpn-launching-soon-on-tendermint-and-cosmos
Bleeding Edge Ecosystem Research
- Fraud (and Data Availability) Proofs: Maximizing Light Client Security and Scaling Blockchains with Dishonest Majorities — by Mustafa Al-Bassam, Alberto Sonnino, and Vitalik Buterin.
- Raptor: A Practical Lattice-based Linkable Ring Signature, with purported practicality. They claim verification is as fast as the current analogue.
- The BAR Gossip paper has lots of great design lessons to learn from with a great overview of related and relevant work in the design of p2p systems.
- SNARKy Plasma and the Battleships game with state updates governed by the zkSNARK, in Plasma.
- Aurora: Transparent Succinct Arguments for R1CS, by Alessandro Chiesa, et al. TL;DR — another non-trusted setup, post-quantum SNARG, but this one offers an order of magnitude smaller proofs if you have an explicit circuit over STARKs.
- Atomic swaps on Grin, by Jasper! Should be promising for a network gossip protocol inside Mimblewimble since they can aggregate transactions.
- Some early thoughts about fee models for Cosmos zones, by Zaki Manian.
- Formal Barriers to Longest-Chain Proof-of-Stake Protocols, by Aravind Narayanan, et al. Talk at BPASE ’18 with Jonah Brown-Cohen. Key findings: in a game-theoretic model where all players are strategic, liveness-favoring chain-based PoS protocols allow for beneficial deviation from prescribed protocol behavior while BFT-based PoS protocols like Tendermint and Algorand are unaffected by the described attacks. In mitigating those attacks, Ethereum and others are exploring VDFs for external sources of randomness.
- Go implementation of the Handshake Urkel tree and Rust implementation of the Handshake Urkel tree, made by Dave Bryson. For a primer about Handshake, read Everything You Didn’t Know About the Handshake Blockchain — How this Blockchain Project Will Disintermediate the Keepers of the Internet, by Chjango Unchained.
- Apograf — aggregator for publications on cryptography, distributed computer systems, blockchain technology and other related fields.
CZ on Fortune Magazine
The article, The Future of Blockchain, According to the CEO of the World’s Biggest Crypto Company, was technically published in August but it’s nonetheless noteworthy to highlight that CZ (not giving crypto away) made a candid mention about where he sees the future of cryptocurrency headed. He envisions decentralized applications run not on smart contracts, but as their own blockchains, and he cited building blocks like Tendermint and Komodo Platform for potentially providing the foundations for the decentralized market of tomorrow:
“CZ thinks none of the current contenders are poised for long-term success because they are too slow…Instead, he thinks the existing blockchains will cede the field to more specialized ones.
We had not reached out to CZ or Fortune for this mention — it was entirely candid.