Welcome to the next update of the TAO update series, to continue the journey through the development of the TAO Framework. This particular article is centered around Tritium, our version 3.0 software client.
Are we ready?
Alright, here we go. The following includes a list of all the most recent code changes since the last “git pull origin master”.
Wow, that’s a lot of changes. It’s interesting to look back on it and see how much has been accomplished. As shown here, there was a total of 5,885 new lines of code, with 3,980 lines replaced. This generally means that there was some older code replaced with new, better code, along with almost 2,000 lines of new and fresh code.
Now we get to explore what it is that was changed on the more granular detail level, to present to you what will be included in the Tritium update.
Since the last update, there have been some improvements to the Network, or the LLP in our instance. So what is it that makes the network important?
The network is responsible for all end-to-end communication.
If the network was unable to propagate messages, the core peer to peer network would be unable to function. The crypto (LLC) in our case is an overlay for certain network messages to deal with cryptographic objects such as our transactions or blocks. Let us look at the newest results of the LLP in action (you would have also seen this in my Tritium presentation at the 2018 Nexus Conference, linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2pdz4zO38k).
Here it’s good to see requests top out at 197,744 per second as the LLL is the foundation for the TAO, hence the repository name LLL-TAO(shhh, you’ll see the code soon enough if you can find it).
The next aspect of the Network that was formally demonstrated by Dino Farinacci is the LISP architecture, and how it fundamentally works together with the Ledger to provide a safer data layer on the internet. As we know right now, there are a lot of the same problems with identity: it used to be seen that the internet was a place full of fake accounts, trolls, and misinformation. Lately though, we have discovered that the internet can be full of amazing things and incredible possibilities for promoting the ideas of freedom and prosperity.
Now, one of the reasons the network has been plagued with the negative aspects is that there is no trust layer in the actual system. We have no way to identify someone other than their IP address which is easy to forge or fake by any means. This can create problems, because one cannot reliably know who they are talking to (this doesn’t mean they need to know personal information, but rather consistency across identities). Now, with tying LISP and Nexus together over the ledger, we create the ability to establish a cryptographic identity of the user. This happens over the network with the static EID in LISP, and over the ledger with a signature chain for a user. This becomes very important for reducing fraud and identity theft, which is one of the focal points for Nexus.
The ledger consists of the series of events that establish the ownership of any register in the stack. This makes the ledger operate very quickly, since it doesn’t have an incredible overhead in processing requirements beside general cryptographic functions. The biggest bottleneck of the Ledger falls under the LLC (Lower Level Cryptography), as this is where the cryptographic verification happens. The newest results of a Ledger scaling test (transactions only, no blocks in this test) shows over 4.3k tx/s capable of being processed by a single node.
This generates a good picture of what a full LLL stack running real transaction data over it would look like. This shows that the LLD is easily keeping up with the demand of writing over ~1,500 Kb/s (Bitcoin has a maximum of ~1.7 Kb/s). The reason for the slowness in Bitcoin is because of the block size limit of 1Mb every 10 minutes. In this case, we wanted to demonstrate the efficiency of the LLL stack in its capability to handle large loads of data. This particular example shows the maximum processing capabilities of one node, which essentially would be the limits of one L1 state processing channel. The signature aggregation being passed from L1 to L2 through L1 verification nodes in a 3DC would enable greater levels of the scalability without sacrificing the security of a global set of consensus validators.
Operating well, with a simple data structure that allows easy indexing and locating of the signature chain transaction history and identification of register ownership. Since the signature chain GenesisID is of a 256-bit number space, it is easy to transfer the permissions of a register to be owned by a signature chain, or simply another register. This sets the foundation now of the Nexus Digital Identity System.
Let’s recap what a register is for better context here:
A register is a data object that changes state through global consensus, or a logical layer application.
Why are registers important?
Computers are state machines by nature. They contain a value that correlates to something on the outside world and change this value based on a sequence of logic. I know this sounds complicated, but in reality, it is quite simple.
If I have 5 apples, I record this number in a register I own to prove I have these 5 apples. When other people can ask me how many apples I have, I can give them my register address, and they can see, ahh, viz. has 5 apples. Now if I sell an apple, let us say through an order I put on the network saying: I’ll give you this 1 apple if you give me 0.1 NXS, then we are able to have state changes recorded and verified by the network, correlated to financial transactions.
This means that if someone were to make this transfer into my contract order it could execute the state change of my total apples of value 5 to value 4, while I send off the apple to the lovely customer. This is a crude example, I know, but the intention of it is not to show secure program logic — but rather, logic that shows the use of a register on Nexus.
Now that we have gotten this out of the way, let us look into what Object registers have been defined as of this update:
Each of these 4 objects are objects that can have the state changed through the ledger consensus mechanism. This is important for Tokens, Escrow, Orders, and Accounts as I shouldn’t be able to modulate the balance of my account without approval from the network. The downside to having the ledger do all the state changing of the registers through the operation codes is the resource requirement of all nodes to process this state change and ensure that it does not create a conflict with another state. It becomes very important to find the balance between logical and ledger state changes, as the network doesn’t always need to know everything that the logical layer is doing, and the logical layer shouldn’t be doing everything that the ledger is doing. This distinction is important for understanding how Nexus Advanced Contracts will scale to levels of requirement for mass adoption.
Raw State registers on the other hand are defined through specifications on the Logical layer. They operate very quickly because nodes only need to write the data, address, and owner of the register. Only the owner of this register will be capable of writing a new state to it if it is not defined as read-only. This allows the Logical / Interface layers (The Application Space) to state record important data to their system such as hashes to IPFS files, private database transactions, or even to create authorization objects to modulate the state of their database based on user actions.
The following operations are implemented fully, with functionality that executes through the vchLedgerData data member of the Tritium Transaction class:
1. OP_WRITE: Write a new state to a register address given as a parameter to the operation code.
2. OP_REGISTER: Create a new register on the network. It must contain a unique register address, claiming it for this signature chain.
3. OP_TRANSFER: Transfer ownership of a register to another signature chain, or to another register address. This is an important function for establishing the ownership of data by signature chain, and the supply chain that moves it from one owner to the next.
4. OP_DEBIT: Debit a token from a given Account Object Register. This is the commitment of funds operation that gives the recipient the ability to claim with a corresponding credit. The balance of the debit that can be claimed is determined by the percentage ownership displayed through the temporal proof.
5. OP_CREDIT: Claim a balance referencing the transaction debit that was used to commit funds to the given receive account. If a credit is claiming a debit fund from an account they are joint owner of through register chain, a temporal proof is required to satisfy the display of their ownership.
The method that processes the operation codes is called execute:
This method is responsible for the changing of the states on the ledger level, as operations are instructions to the processing nodes to modulate the state of a register through global consensus. The operations and register layers are being designed to be processed on higher locking levels of the 3DC (namely L2), to ensure that transaction processing is broken up across multiple node layers which adds to our ability to scale the advanced contract processing.
If an operation code is followed by a validation script it will require the validation boolean logic to evaluate to true if an operation code is to be claimable as a proof. What this means is that a certain logic needs to be true for that operation to be claimed. An example would be, “Do not call me past 9:00 PM”, if one was to try and make a phone call the call would not be possible.
src/TAO/Operation/include/validate.h | 54 ++++++
A simple example of this would be relating to debits and credits, where one could put stipulations on the OP_DEBIT requiring the time to be of a certain point in the future. What this would result in is the OP_CREDIT satisfying this script by being submitted past the timestamp that was required. This allows one to program logic beyond the basic operation logic to create greater functionality and customization.
The Application Programming Interface will use what is termed JSON (Java Script Object Notation) to submit commands to the nodes that create these state changes in the register, resulting in program logic that gives us the ability to use advanced contracts.
The API will have two components, public and private.
This is important, as the public API will always be developed with public funds through the multiple Nexus Embassies, and provide the required functionality for public use. This will include most of the use cases and programmable logic.
The reason for this is for the integration of businesses that require some of their application logic to be more specialized as far as API functionality, due to the proprietary nature of their developments. This also becomes a “software-as-a-service” integration opportunity for an Embassy to generate additional revenue streams, in which the profits can be recycled back into the core development process.
Logical and Interface
The new Nexus Tritium Wallet is now in public beta. The launch of this has brought an incredible amount of feedback and bug reporting to improve the interface and logical layers. As many of you already know, we provide one common interface for such functionality, where any other distributed application developers will be able to develop their own.
The logical layer is where most of the processing gets done. It is an extended application space through the OSI.
It is important to understand this, because the idea of a blockchain carries many connotations that extend beyond just the ledger. It can coordinate many systems, have private networks that operate and state record off the ledger, access control schemes, state recording based on user actions, and the list can go on. We like to leave this area open for any new type of developers to extend their application space from the conventional OSI design.
What’s in Our Future?
As you can see from this blog post, most of the hard developing is now complete for Tritium. This means that we are in the stage of weaving together code over the network, establishing local databases to handle your sigchain and register indexes, and adding lower level RPC commands to interact with the Ledger, with the higher level API being the interface in the command set.
What does this mean?
Tritium will be released by the end of January, 2019. Yes — I said it — a timeline. As we have noticed over the last year, the removal of roadmaps and timelines did not do what was intended, it only created further uncertainty and rumors in the project. As we are moving into Chapter 3 of our history books with distributed Embassies, newer architecture, and distributed governance models, we felt it was appropriate to augment this with commitments from the development team to set and meet deadlines.
The 2018 Nexus Conference in September was filled with new and exciting technology updates, education about the future of blockchain, and inspirational speakers that reminded everyone of the beautiful and exceptional opportunities our world has to offer. First and foremost, Nexus would like to thank all of our partners, sponsors, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, community, and attendees, who made this one of the most enjoyable blockchain events of the year.
The Tritium Software Stack that Nexus has been developing was demonstrated by Colin Cantrell, the Founder & Architect of Nexus. In tandem, the developers have been working on the integration of LISP (Locator/ID Separation Protocol) to increase the speed and security of message propagation on the network level, presented by Dino Farinacci and Victor Moreno.
The team has also been focusing on the reorganization and restructuring of the US Embassy, to realign with the decentralized social and financial principles originally outlined in the Genesis White Paper. With these exciting changes, the team and community will be moving forward and will continue to promote the ascent of Nexus as a leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
2018 has been filled with conferences of all kinds. There are conferences that focus on hackathons, ICO projects, economic forums, and business development, all interested in educating the world about blockchain technology, new governance models and economic systems. None though are quite like The Nexus Conference. An intimate event of 350 people, the main focus of the conference was to bring people together who truly wanted to get into the trenches and build these new systems.
The event began with the Blockchain 101 course that introduced new enthusiasts to how exactly this distributed peer-to-peer truth machine works. Later during the conference, a speaker asked the crowd, “By a show of hands, for how many of you is this your first blockchain conference ever?” and half the audience raised their hand. Bringing new people into this emerging industry is an important part of the overall growth model, as the goal of freedom through financial and informational accessibility was at the center of Bitcoin, the original blockchain protocol.
Conversations at The Phoenician centered around how our society has evolved thanks to technology, especially since the information age started, with the invention of the internet. Nicholas Thompson of WIRED took the crowd on a journey through the history of technology and how it has impacted every stage of our lives. Jay Samit demonstrated how everything we do, from planning our calendar to ordering our food, is now virtual. Scott Hines shared his insight on how our digital identities will play a big role in machine learning. Jim Cantrell took the stage to remind everyone that the point of all this hard work is to give monetary control back to the people.
The last day of the conference introduced the attendees to one of Nexus’ invaluable advisors: Steve Beauregard, CRO of Bloq, who has had a profound impact on the evolving cryptosphere. James Glasscock focused on innovating curation through the distributed gig and token economy. After diving deeper into the regulation of the SEC, participants were invited to the first ever Nexus working groups.
The very first Nexus working groups produced very fruitful discussions, ranging from the technical exploration of the ledger, contracts, and network, to discussions relating to distributed social organization and how Nexus could create scalable self organizing structures. The DAC working group lasted for over 3 hours, which showed signs of intense interest in the discussion. This was important, as the fundamental aspects of decentralized technology rely on our ability to organise ourselves in new ways. The proposed structures and understanding of the limitations of our current options helped spur the discussion. We will set up online groups for all of the working groups and will hold regular Zoom meetings to combine knowledge in developing new standards. If anyone would like to join a working group (DAC, Network, Ledger, Contracts, API/Functionality, Architecture), please contact [email protected]
We hope that everyone walked away from the conference with a better understanding of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and the Nexus technology and are inspired to get involved in projects that advance the goals of making our society better for everyone in the world. We look forward to continuing the working groups so developers, business leaders, and average users can play an active role in what we’re building.
At the 2018 Nexus Conference, Colin Cantrell, Nexus Founder and Software Architect, gave a brilliant presentation explaining the latest developments of the Nexus Tritium protocol. Tritium is the first release of the Nexus Three Dimensional Blockchain (3DC), and will be followed by Amine and Obsidian. He explained the necessity of each layer of the Tritium software stack (Network, Ledger, Register, Operations, Logical, API and Interface), their different functions, and gave a deeper explanation of the Lower Level Library (LLL). Colin displayed some impressive benchmark tests comparing the Nexus Lower Level Database (LLD) read / write speeds to Ripple Nu DB, Google Level DB and Oracle Berkeley DB (spoiler: Nexus tested faster than all). He also demonstrated a live, functioning demo of Tritium with the entire stack running, and introduced many business use cases for advanced contracts.
Read the full recap and watch the presentation here.
The team conducted a key allocation meeting via Zoom on October 5th as part of the ongoing reorganization of the current Nexus Embassy, US. Staying true to the initiative of getting back to our roots, Colin Cantrell stated that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss global strategies, with community input on how the Embassy’s can be distributed.
It was proposed that in order to decentralize the organization, two new Embassies will be established – one in the United Kingdom, founded by Alex El-Nemer, and one in Australia, founded by Paul Screen, Mike Casey, and Nic Henry. The chairs of the meeting asked all 48 Zoom attendees whether there were any objections to the proposal, of which there were none.
US Embassy Restructuring
As part of the organizational restructure, certain positions have been eliminated or scaled down. The positions of CEO, formerly held by Ajay Ahuja, VP of Marketing, formerly held by Scott Bischoff, HR Manager, formerly held by Omnia Elawawzy, and Marketing Manager, formerly held by Wendy Katz are no longer paid positions at the US Embassy. The rest of the team want to thank them for all they have done for Nexus and wish them the best in their future endeavours. John Saviano, Nelson Sparks, and Colin Forbes (former CFO) have moved to contractor positions and will continue to help the project as needed. Alex El-Nemer will continue his activities within Global Business Development, but will couple this with leading the newly formed UK embassy.
The new Embassies will place additional emphasis on community involvement in the education of the technology. Business development will be the primary driver of marketing, as new use cases produce real stories that show the world how blockchain will help many different people. The secondary form of marketing will be blogs and updates written by the team, articles written by the community, educational videos and graphics, interviews, presentations and speaking opportunities at conferences, local meetups, and exhibits. In-house social media initiatives will continue to evolve and the team is meeting with some PR candidates to distribute communications to the mainstream media, secure placements for published articles, support the production of events, and to pitch for interview and speaking opportunities.
UK and Australia Embassies
Alex and Paul both spoke about the plans for their respective Embassies. Alex’s goal for the UK Embassy is to continue to develop relationships with companies who will increase the adoption of Nexus. They will do this through their networks by becoming a part of the Nexus ecosystem through blockchain use. Additionally, the UK embassy will hire developers tasked with building out the APIs necessary to integrate business applications with the Nexus blockchain, to increase enterprise involvement in the blockchain industry. The UK Embassy will continue to drive business development globally, but with a concentrated European focus.
The Australian Embassy will initially focus on starting an additional development team, with Paul taking on the role as an Ambassador to head communication efforts between the developers in all three countries. “The primary reason for starting all of these Embassies is a step to decentralize the project,” he said. This creates redundancy and risk mitigation as the team builds out the TAO framework and onboards new users. The plan is to hire 3-5 developers over the next 3-9 months, depending on NXS coin price, who will work on all layers of the Nexus software stack. The future plan is to scale out business development in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.
The current proposal for key allocation includes distributing three keys to the UK Embassy, three keys to the Australian Embassy, and seven keys to the new US Embassy. Once the new model is established, there is a second stage proposal to allocate two more keys (one to the UK and one to Australia) depending on the future price point. The third stage proposal is for the three Embassies to choose another candidate each for an allocation of a key. The Australian Embassy will focus on Southeast Asia, the UK will assess some potential candidates in Europe, and the US Embassy will search for a candidate in the South American region. Each Embassy will be sovereign, independent, and accountable for managing their own finances. They will also collaborate together on technological and business development, and share outsourced support services, such as PR, if mutually agreed through consensus.
Distributed Autonomous Community
One of the most exciting events at The Nexus Conference was the working group centered around creating a Distributed Autonomous Community (DAC), so everyone who is involved in Nexus is able to have their voice heard. Facilitated by April Bunje and Jules Alexandra, the community discussed possible solutions to the problems often faced by organizations when attempting to scale. For three years, Colin has spoken about the necessity for the creation of a representative structure and a cryptographic voting mechanism, to facilitate the allocation of funds that originate from the self-funding mechanism of the Nexus blockchain. The DAC organizational design is in development, with the plan to have it fully built out with the completion of Obsidian. The current structure encompasses different voting groups. The design is in an early stage of development, and we welcome as much collaboration on the research and design of it as possible.
Over the last year, Nexus has taken a unique approach to market research for the development of advanced contracts and APIs. The team has focused on business development, building partnerships that will help Nexus achieve its goals. Alex El-Nemer spoke in the key allocation meeting at the beginning of October about reaching out to companies to help them solve their most challenging problems. “When we have a meeting, we don’t go in pushing a blanket product, we just ask them, how can we help?” said Alex, explaining how the Nexus team approaches new partners.
Most companies are in the early days of understanding how blockchain technology can help them, and it’s important to educate them on what blockchains can and cannot offer. The team also helps businesses discern what they need from a public blockchain versus what can be accomplished with a public-private hybrid system. The next step is building a pilot: showing them how the code works and how it can be integrated into their systems through an API.
Many companies are already aware of the potential use cases of blockchain technology for their business model. Some have been researching and developing for a year or more, but are finding the limitations posed by other protocols, like the scaling issues on the Ethereum Smart Contracts Platform, and are now looking for a new solution. “Those that do know what it’s all about and are looking for people who can do it better than everyone else,” said Paul Screen.
Nexus’ use cases built by advanced contracts will have the primary focus on:
Automated peer to peer global transactions including the transfer of asset ownership
Immediate unbiased contract execution, replacing the need for third party escrow services
Consumer account verification to reduce fraud relating to social engineering attacks
Supply chain transparency and management, to reduce counterfeiting of goods and to prove the adherence to consumer and industry standards
Tokenization of digital data to create copyrights or licenses while automating royalty payments
The use of access control schemes to log and control the security to private database systems
Improvements in auditing through financial transparency
Nexus has also been collaborating with TechUK, a government trade organization. Alex and TechUK wrote a blockchain use case report, which has been distributed to over 900 TechUK members, including companies such as Facebook and Amazon. This report is raising the awareness of Nexus’ innovations, and we are actively collaborating with similar bodies in other countries.
One of the industries that the team is very passionate about is music, as Colin, Alex, Brian Vena and many others who support Nexus are musicians and music lovers. One of their greatest wishes is to empower artists, by creating technology that ensures artistic talent is rewarded and supported financially. This is one of the goals of the new partnership with SoundVault, a global music licensing and royalty tracking platform.
The feedback gathered from meetings with corporations and small businesses has helped Colin and the development team shape the architecture of Tritium, taking into account the needs of different industries, thus enabling the creation of truly useful technology. The team will continue building these relationships and connecting with more companies to establish real-world use cases for the Nexus blockchain.
Nexus Partners with Spacechain
At the Nexus Conference, Nexus announced its revolutionary partnership with SpaceChain, the decentralized space agency that plans to build an open-source, blockchain-based satellite network. The partnership centers around collaboration to deploy a decentralized internet in space. SpaceChain and Nexus have discussed hosting each other’s nodes on their respective future satellites, and there are many more exciting developments to be explored. Additionally, Jeff Garzik, one of the founders of SpaceChain, is joining the Nexus team as an advisor.
Since the Trust update (2.5.1) on the 13th of September, which replaced the expiration of Trust Keys with trust scores, the number of Trust Keys has doubled to over 400 active keys. This shows that more people are actively staking, providing higher network security, taking NXS off the market.
Read the new Proof of Stake with Tritium Trust White Paper here.
October 31- November 2nd: Dionna Bailey and Anastasiya Maslova are heading to World Crypto Con in Las Vegas.
November 3rd-9th: Colin Cantrell and Dino Farinacci will be attending the IETF in Bangkok, Thailand
November 16th-17th: Colin Cantrell will be at CryptoFinance conference in Oslo
At the 2018 Nexus Conference, Colin Cantrell, Nexus Founder and Software Architect, gave a brilliant presentation explaining the latest developments of the Nexus Tritium protocol. Tritium is the first release of the Nexus Three Dimensional Blockchain (3DC), and will be followed by Amine and Obsidian. He explained the necessity of each layer of the Tritium software stack (Network, Ledger, Register, Operations, Logical, API and Interface), their different functions, and gave a deeper explanation of the Lower Level Library (LLL). Colin displayed some impressive benchmark tests comparing the Nexus Lower Level Database (LLD) read / write speed to Ripple Nu DB, Google Level DB and Oracle Berkeley DB (spoiler: Nexus tested faster than all). He also demonstrated a live, functioning demo of Tritium with the entire stack running, and introduced many business use cases for advanced contracts.
The 3DC and the Tritium Software Stack
The design of the 3DC and the identification of node roles enables different nodes to perform different processes in parallel. This fundamental quality lays the foundation for scalable advanced contracts. The software stack also enables developers from all levels of experience to develop on the layer that is most suited to them. Colin explained that the stack design was inspired by nature: “As we know nature grows out in layers. Matter has certain layers of responsibility, where simple protons, neutrons and electrons form together a simple atom. They then start to form covalent Hydrogen or ionic bonds and then form molecules that form tissues and organs”.
Colin also gave a deeper explanation of the Lower Level Library (LLL), a polymorphic (able to inherit a class from a base class) template library and the foundation of Nexus. He compared the significantly faster performance of the Lower Level Database to other databases used in Bitcoin (Berkeley DB), Ethereum (LevelDB), and Ripple (NuDB). He highlighted the importance for the fundamental layers (Network and Ledger) to scale, as it supports the scalability of all the layers built on top (Register, Operation, API, etc.). The beauty of the LLL is that you can plug in any kind of processing system while maintaining high levels of scalability.
Here are the results of Colin’s 100,000 reads / writes benchmark test:
The Lower Level Protocol (LLP) is a custom-made network protocol that is responsible for end-to-end communication between nodes. Colin explained why he created the LLP: “the way that sockets are managed has a large influence on the ability to handle a large amount of connections and requests per second”. A screenshot of a Lower Level Protocol test showed it running at 194,761 requests per a second with over 1,000 simultaneous connections. Such high levels of scalability have been achieved by squeezing computing cycles through fundamental simplicity. He reiterated the importance of reducing the routing complexity to O(1) through IP-Multicast, so that the addition of nodes to the network does not decrease its performance. This makes the network less vulnerable to eclipse attacks and allows for larger blocks as messages propagate faster. Additionally, the Location/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) decouples your address space from your input identifiers, allowing the traversal of NATs (Network Address Translation) and the encryption of all data, creating a fully encrypted peer-to-peer communication system.
The Ledger layer manages register ownership and is responsible for maintaining data immutability. Ownership of data is proven on this layer through a cryptographic proof provided by Signature Chains. The Ledger layer of the Nexus public blockchain is not a storage system like the Cloud, but is instead “an ownership tracking device that allows immutable ownership to be stored, that other private systems can connect into”. This begs the question, why not simply create a private blockchain? “Well, because then you have a private MySQL database.” With a public blockchain, the more people that contribute resources toward validation, the more secure it is. Colin went on to explain that some blockchains with more centralized consensus mechanisms, such as Delegated Proof-of-Stake protocols, may be vulnerable to Zero Day attacks.
Colin was especially excited to present the Register layer of the Tritium software stack. Registers are stateful objects owned by the signature chain that published it. They form a relational database model, where the relationship between different registers can be managed by cryptographic proofs on the Ledger layer below. Registers can be chained to one another with coupled validation logic in order to record and track change in ownership, or to create multi-signatory accounts. Registers currently fall into two categories: raw state registers that store raw bytecode that can be read or modified by authorized accounts, and object registers, which are predefined, serialized classes that update and change state through the Ledger. For example, object registers can store the state of an account’s token balance, which can be used as a proof of ownership in another register, such as an escrow. The Register architecture makes Nexus significantly different than any other blockchain. Using the Operation layer built on top of the Register layer, registers can be transferred, read, or modified in different ways. These two layers together create what Nexus has termed an Advanced Contract. Unlike Ethereum and most other smart contract implementations that are stack-based and use a large number of operations, registers are very efficient, as accessing the value of a register is an order of one O(1), because its exact index is known.
While other smart contracts are executed by the nodes on which they reside, often requiring a specialized compiler and interpreter to execute the contract, advanced contracts can use the Operations layer to perform predefined operations on the registers. Additionally, distributed applications can be written and executed on clients computers, using raw state registers to store data. Operations are byte-code functions that change registers from one state to another. For example, a DEBIT will change the state of an account balance if authorized to do so. Likewise, a receiver will use this temporal proof to CREDIT their account by way of another state change. Colin explained how validation logic could be created by users to set parameters, i.e. escrow functions, and emphasized the importance of standardizing operations and registers through an open process to define secure and efficient logic. To that end, Colin welcomed all to participate in the working groups to help shape the standardization process, like an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for blockchain.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow easy, high-level interaction with the internals of a system. Nexus plans to make integration with blockchain technology seamless by abstracting the OSI Application layer above the aforementioned layers through APIs. The Logical layer will handle the interpretation of API calls and will populate results to the end user on the interface. Meanwhile, the Application layer will do most of the processing and data handling. The Ledger will only be used for validation and authorization, i.e tokenization and other forms of ownership. This allows developers the freedom to build their own applications at the logical/interface layers, while having access to the ledger and contract logic through JSON-APIs. This is important for many businesses, as they have sophisticated systems that already use many different APIs. There are many different use cases for a blockchain, which is why Nexus is focusing on scalability and ease of interoperability with old systems.
Tritium Live Demonstration
Colin’s live demo of Tritium showed how signature chains interact with one another and how the Ledger, Register, and Operations layers work together to create register chains and tokenized ownership. The Operation layer includes DEBIT, CREDIT, REGISTER, and WRITE operation codes. The Register layer used state proofs, ownership proofs, register chains, and account / token object registers. The demo showed the Ledger with two signature chains and demonstrated how a royalties payment could be executed in real time, based on ownership proofs represented by the corresponding token balance of the two signature chains. The token, called ART with a 100 ART max supply, was published to the Ledger. One signature chain was created with 50 ART and the other with another 50 ART, showing a 50-50 ownership. From there, one signature chain published metadata representing a song, with ownership assigned to the token object register. This allows a signature chain to prove partial ownership based on a token balance. This process takes about five database writes, which is a very low level of complexity, considering the LLD can handle hundreds of thousands of writes per a second. The next transaction demonstrated a debit operation from a native NXS object register, directly into the metadata register address, which then waited to be claimed. Colin explained that a CREDIT has to be claimed from a DEBIT, meaning that NXS will not be lost if sent to an invalid address. All tokens on Nexus are going to transfer as quickly as the NXS native token, taking only two operations.
Colin then demonstrated how the tokens are used as a temporal proof to claim 50% of the debit. He also attempted a double spend, to prove security, which failed, as the temporal proof had already been claimed by the object register holding the state of the balance of ART tokens on that signature chain. The owner of the other signature chain is then asked to provide their temporal proof from the state of their ART token balance to claim their 50% of the 20 NXS debit (ie. 10 NXS). They credit it to their account using this proof. This is all recorded on the Ledger, essentially serialized into byte code, and is interpreted by the operations engine by the method EXECUTE. Colin then demonstrated another double spend attempt that failed, to prove that the temporal proofs work only once. This is really important, as tokens can currently only be used to hold an ICO. However, tokenization can be used in many different processes to prove ownership, as they can prove a wide variety of chained events.
New Use Cases for Tokens
Colin spoke about the future of Nexus by introducing many new use cases with genuine utility, such as the tokenization of ownership, data, or assets. Anyone who attended the conference could see the passion and excitement in Colin’s voice as he presented these innovative solutions. Colin strongly believes that through music, blockchain technology will reach many different people. In the music industry, a large percentage of royalties goes to middle men, as do revenues in other industries go to third parties. As the demo showed, tokens can be used in licensing and in the use of copyrights, to provide artists and musicians the opportunity to earn money for their creations. Tokenization in the music industry will increase with importance, especially with the new Music Modernization Act. Now, a music subscriber could make a debit by paying a license fee once a month that would be split, based on the token ownership. It is important to note that the tokens are transferable while also retaining their utility in providing temporal proofs to the Ledger. This will allow an artist to crowdfund their new album by selling a portion of their tokens to the public. These tokens could then be sold on an exchange, traded, speculated on, and also be used to receive royalty payments. This gives tokens real utility beyond value storage and provides artists a new way to connect with their fans.
Supply chain transparency could be created with ease by recording the change in state, as NXS moves between each level of the supply chain. Tokens could also be used for automatic budget allocation for revenue streams, creating layers of tokenized accounts, which would save a lot of resources that go to managing this manually. Across many industries, tokens could help fraud prevention, as tokenized revenue streams will create a transparent movement of funds. Colin explained that tokens could split rights between many different people in order to create joint ownership. For example, in the sale of a jointly owned house. Tokens could also support patent leasing. A group of inventors could create tokens to distribute to investors, without the need for legal paperwork. Colin affirmed that “you don’t need a court, as crypto is the court”. The investor only has to prove that they hold the tokens to claim their percentage of the available dividend. Likewise, tokens could be used to represent shares of a company. A certain percentage of the revenue stream could then be allocated to the token holders, so that the dividends disperse automatically. A token split could also be utilized between a car dealership and manufacturer. The token distribution between the two would define the ownership of the revenue from a lease of the vehicle, allowing the automatic clearance of the finances and frictionless payout of revenue.
A further example was for the distribution of donations to nonprofits to prevent internal embezzlement, and the inefficiencies of administrative and managerial cost. Tokenization could make charitable donation distribution just and transparent, ensuring that a definite % goes to the people in need. Colin also explained how registers, debits, and credits could form the foundation of a decentralized exchange. For example, a seller could put up an order on Nexus, as an exchange object, a debit for 50 ART requiring a 10 NXS debit to this register, to allow a credit based on that temporal proof. Once both debits are fulfilled, the 50 ART would be unlocked for credit to the new holder, along with the 10 NXS to the new owner. Arbitration triangles could also be created, using multi-signature contracts with three signatories, but only two required to unlock funds. The arbiter or neutral party could be a shipping company, who could resolve any dispute between buyer and seller. The arbiter would only have power if there was a disagreement. This would provide safety in escrow services, and prevent the risk of deadlocks in case one signatory doesn’t agree with the other. Colin further explained that tokenization will allow the creation of distributed autonomous organisations, through token votes, where tokens could be used as proofs for vote weights in such a DAO. He ended his excellent presentation with a long awaited demo of the new wallet.
Most companies are in the early days of understanding how blockchain technology can help them, and it’s important to educate them on what blockchain can and cannot offer. Some companies are already aware of the potential use cases of blockchain technology for their business model, but are finding limitations posed by other protocols, like the scaling issues of the Ethereum Smart Contracts Platform. The business development team helps businesses discern what they need from a public blockchain versus what can be accomplished with a public-private hybrid system, and welcomes anyone who thinks they could benefit from the technology to contact them.
The new Nexus Tritium Wallet GUI (Graphical User Interface), which will replace the original Nexus QT wallet, debuts today in a public beta through October 27th, 2018. This new GUI is still in beta testing and should not be used as your primary wallet. The GUI is the second phase of the full Tritium release, following the Tritium Trust system integrated into the 2.5.1 wallet in September. This is the long awaited combination of new technology that Nexus has been developing throughout the year. Since the original vision, Tritium has expanded past these two phases to include the entire Tritium Software Stack which is in continuous development. Future releases will include Tritium Core with Signature Chains, Tritium Advanced Contracts and more.
Created by the Nexus developers Dillon Dugan, Kendal Cormany, Bryan Hallmark, Brian Smith, and Demorio Fluker, one of the most revolutionary changes for this wallet is the decoupling of the interface from the daemon (the back-end functionality tied to the Nexus blockchain). This significant advancement allows for modular design, separate updates, and enhanced ease of use for both developers and end-users.
The Overview page now contains a globe which shows your peer connections. Each wallet that your wallet connects to shows the city on the map along with the connection path. The globe can also be turned on and off based on user preference. Here you can easily view all of your important wallet statistics:
Currency value in USD
Number of transactions
Market price in BTC
NXS market capitalization
24 hour percent change
Number of connections
Staking information (block weight, trust weight, stake weight, interest rate)
The wallet also includes a send/receive module, transactions page, an address book, customization settings, market data, the trust list, and an integration with the Shapeshift Exchange, allowing you to exchange other cryptocurrencies and tokens.
The Console is a special module for developers that was a feature in the original QT. This is where you can use console commands such as:
Nexus partners with SpaceChain and appoints their Co-Founder and CTO, Jeff Garzik, to The Advisory Committee.
Scottsdale, Ariz. — September 27, 2018 At its 2018 Blockchain Conference last week, Nexus announced its partnership with SpaceChain, the decentralized space agency that plans to build an open-source, blockchain-based satellite network. Additionally, it was announced that Jeff Garzik, the Co-Founder and CTO of SpaceChain, will be joining the Nexus Advisory Committee.
As the third Bitcoin Core developer, Jeff Garzik brings extensive knowledge and experience to the Nexus team. Jeff attended The Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996 where he studied computer science and was involved in one of the best-known open source projects, the Linux kernel. Jeff co-founded SpaceChain with Zheng Zuo. The two successfully launched their first cube-satellite in February of 2018, which uses SpaceChain’s satellite software SpaceChain OS and hosts a QTUM blockchain node.
The partnership between Nexus and SpaceChain centers around collaboration to deploy a decentralized internet in space that both companies have been developing. The satellite mesh network will deliver a more accessible, secure, and censorship-resistant communication system, while demonstrating the potential of privatized, space-based initiatives. The partnership will include one of SpaceChain’s future satellites, that will host one of the Nexus nodes; they will also have the opportunity to host nodes on future Nexus satellites. Nexus is due to launch their first satellite next year. It will be the first ever satellite launch funded in cryptocurrency, with Nexus (NXS) being the cryptocurrency of choice.
As an advisor to the organization, Jeff will provide his expertise in coding and assisting Nexus in developing their 3-Dimensional Chain, an on-chain scaling solution of distributed ledgers for mass adoption. He will also assist in building the Nexus Advanced Contracts that Colin Cantrell, the Founder of Nexus, demonstrated at the 2018 Nexus Conference, held recently in Scottsdale.
“Jeff is an early contributor to the open-source movement, and someone who truly believes in what it can do to make the world more free and open.” Colin said, “I’m honored to be able to work with him, to make the promise of cryptocurrencies real for everyone.”
Garzik and Cantrell at the Nexus office.
Nexus is an innovative open-source blockchain technology and digital currency designed to improve the world through advanced peer-to-peer networks. Nexus focuses on solving the current challenges of speed and scalability in the blockchain industry and provides world-class quantum resistance through its many innovations. We aspire to combine blockchain technology with ground-based MESH networks and satellites to facilitate the formation of a decentralized and distributed internet. Nexus will enable people to take control of their personal and financial freedom, empowering humanity in the process. For more information and to see how you can help build the future, visit www.NexusEarth.com.
Founded in 2017, SpaceChain is building an open-source blockchain-based satellite network, allowing users to develop and run decentralized applications in space. The SpaceChain operating system will be available to anyone, anywhere in the world, all while remaining secure and immutable through proven blockchain cryptography. In doing so, SpaceChain’s vision is to remove barriers and allow a global community to access and collaborate in space. For more information, visit https://spacechain.com/.