FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is Nexus?
Nexus is a digital currency, distributed framework, and peer-to-peer network. Nexus further improves upon the blockchain protocol by focusing on the following core technological principles:
Nexus will combine our in-development quantum-resistant 3D blockchain software with cutting edge communication satellites to deliver a free, distributed, financial and data solution. Through our planned satellite and ground-based mesh networks, Nexus will provide uncensored internet access whilst bringing the benefits of distributed database systems to the world.
For a short video introduction to Nexus Earth, please visit this link.
2. What benefits does Nexus bring to the blockchain space?
As Nexus has been developed, an incredible amount of time has been put into identifying and solving several key limitations:
- Quantum computing vulnerability
- Centralized network access
- Slow difficulty adjustment
- Slow block times
- Miner centralization
- Block reward halving
- Clock drift
Nexus is also developing a framework called the Lower Level Library. This LLL will incorporate the following improvements:
- LLC (Lower Level Cryptography): This is a suite of cutting edge cryptographic methods including hashing, asymmetric encryption, digital signatures, and symmetric encryption algorithms
- LLP (Lower Level Protocol): This is a template protocol to allow any protocol to be created with ease without the need for repeated network programming.
- LLD (Lower Level Database): This is a set of templates for creating high efficiency database systems. This high efficiency can be used to power large websites, which are currently built with database software that is not designed to scale.
3. How does Nexus secure the network and reach consensus?
Nexus is unique amongst blockchain technology in that Nexus uses 3 channels to secure the network against attack. Whereas Bitcoin uses only Proof-of-Work to secure the network, Nexus combines a prime number channel, a hashing channel and a Proof-of-Stake channel. Where Bitcoin has a difficulty adjustment interval measured in weeks, Nexus can respond to increased hashrate in the space of 1 block and each channel scales independently of the other two channels. This stabilizes the block times at ~50 seconds and ensures no single channel can monopolize block production. This means that a 51% attack is much more difficult to launch because an attacker would need to control all 3 channels.
Every 60 minutes, the Nexus protocol automatically creates a checkpoint. This prevents blocks from being created or modified dated prior to this checkpoint, thus protecting the chain from malicious attempts to introduce an alternate blockchain.
4. What is quantum resistance and how does Nexus implement it?
To understand what quantum resistance is and why it is important, you need to understand how quantum computing works and why it’s a threat to blockchain technology. Classical computing uses an array of transistors. These transistors form the heart of your computer (the CPU). Each transistor is capable of being either on or off, and these states are used to represent the numerical values 1 and 0.
Binary digits’ (bits) number of states depends on the number of transistors available, according to the formula 2n, where n is the number of transistors. Classical computers can only be in one of these states at any one time, so the speed of your computer is limited to how fast it can change states.
Quantum computers utilize quantum bits, “qubits,” which are represented by the quantum state of electrons or photons. These particles are placed into a state called superposition, which allows the qubit to assume a value of 1 or 0 simultaneously.
Superposition permits a quantum computer to process a higher number of data possibilities than a classical computer. Qubits can also become entangled. Entanglement makes a qubit dependant on the state of another, enabling quantum computing to calculate complex problems, extremely quickly.
One such problem is the Discrete Logarithm Problem which elliptic curve cryptography relies on for security. Quantum computers can use Shor’s algorithm to reverse a key in polynomial time (which is really really really fast). This means that public keys become vulnerable to quantum attack, since quantum computers are capable of being billions of times faster at certain calculations. One way to increase quantum resistance is to require more qubits (and more time) by using larger private keys:
Bitcoin Private Key (256 bit):
Nexus Private Key (571 bit):
Bitcoin addresses are created by hashing the public key, so it is not possible to decrypt the public key from the address; however, once you send funds from that address, the public key is published on the blockchain rendering that address vulnerable to attack. This means that your money has higher chances of being stolen.
Nexus eliminates these vulnerabilities through an innovation called signature chains. Signature chains will enable access to an account using a username, password and PIN. When you create a transaction on the network, you claim ownership of your signature chain by revealing the public key of the NextHash (the hash of your public key) and producing a signature from the one time use private key. Your wallet then creates a new private/public keypair, generates a new NextHash, including the corresponding contract. This contract can be a receive address, a debit, a vote, or any other type of rule that is written in the contract code.
This keeps the public key obscured until the next transaction, and by divorcing the address from the public key, it is unnecessary to change addresses in order to change public keys. Changing your password or PIN code becomes a case of proving ownership of your signature chain and broadcasting a new transaction with a new NextHash for your new password and/or PIN. This provides the ability to login to your account via the signature chain, which becomes your personal chain within the 3D chain, enabling the network to prove and disprove trust, and improving ease of use without sacrificing security.
The next challenge with quantum computers is that Grover’s algorithm reduces the security of one-way hash function by a factor of two. Because of this, Nexus incorporates two new hash functions, Skein and Keccak, which were designed in 2008 as part of a contest to create a new SHA3 standard. Keccak narrowly defeated Skein to win the contest, so to maximize their potential Nexus combines these algorithms. Skein and Keccak utilize permutation to rotate and mix the information in the hash:
To maintain a respective 256/512 bit quantum resistance, Nexus uses up to 1024 bits in its proof-of-work, and 512 bits for transactions.
5. What is the Unified Time protocol?
All blockchains use time-stamping mechanisms, so it is important that all nodes operate using the same clock. Bitcoin allows for up to 2 hours’ discrepancy between nodes, which provides a window of opportunity for the blockchain to be manipulated by time-related attack vectors. Nexus eliminates this vulnerability by implementing a time synchronization protocol termed Unified Time. Unified Time also enhances transaction processing and will form an integral part of the 3D chain scaling solution.
The Unified Time protocol facilitates a peer-to-peer timing system that keeps all clocks on the network synchronized to within a second. This is seeded by selected nodes with timestamps derived from the UNIX standard; that is, the number of seconds since January 1st, 1970 00:00 UTC. Every minute, the seed nodes report their current time, and a moving average is used to calculate the base time. Any node which sends back a timestamp outside a given tolerance is rejected.
It is important to note that the Nexus network is fully synchronized even if an individual wallet displays something different from the local time.
6. Why does Nexus need its own satellite network?
One of the key limitations of a purely electronic monetary system is that it requires a connection to the rest of the network to verify transactions. Existing network infrastructure only services a fraction of the world’s population.
Nexus, in conjunction with Vector Space Systems, is designing communication satellites, or cubesats, to be launched into Low Earth Orbit in 2019. Primarily, the cubesat mesh network will exist to give Nexus worldwide coverage, but Nexus will also utilize its orbital and ground mesh networks to provide free and uncensored internet access to the world.
1. How can I get Nexus?
There are two ways you can obtain Nexus. You can either buy Nexus from an exchange, or you can run a miner and be rewarded for finding a block. If you wish to mine Nexus, please follow our guide found here.
Nexus exchange options include:
Nexus is actively reaching out to other exchanges to continue to be listed on cutting-edge new financial technologies.
2. How much does a transaction cost?
Under Nexus, the fee structure for making a transaction depends on the size of your transaction. A default fee of 0.01 NXS will cover most transactions, and users have the option to pay higher fees to ensure their transactions are processed quickly.
When the 3D chain is complete and the initial 10-year distribution period finishes, Nexus will absorb these fees through inflation, enabling free transactions.
3. How fast does Nexus transfer?
Nexus reaches consensus approximately every 50 seconds. This is an average time, and will in some circumstances be faster or slower. NXS currency which you receive is available for use after just 6 confirmations. A confirmation is proof from a node that the transaction has been included in a block. The number of confirmations in this transaction is the number that states how many blocks it has been since the transaction is included. The more confirmations a transaction has, the more secure its placement in the blockchain is.
4. Did Nexus hold an ICO? How is Nexus funded?
The Nexus Embassy, a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit corporation, develops and maintains the Nexus blockchain software. When Nexus began under the name Coinshield, the early blocks were mined using the Developer and Exchange (Ambassador) addresses, which provides funding for the Nexus Embassy.
The Developer Fund fuels ongoing development and is sourced by a 1.5% commission per block mined, which will slowly increase to 2.5% after 10 years. This brings all the benefits of development funding without the associated risks.
The Ambassador (renamed from Exchange) keys are funded by a 20% commission per block reward. These keys are mainly used to pay for marketing, and producing and launching the Nexus satellites.
When Nexus introduces developer and ambassador contracts, they will be approved, denied, or removed by six voting groups namely: currency, developer, ambassador, prime, hash, and trust.
Please Note: The Nexus Embassy reserves the sole right to trade, sell and or use these funds as required; however, Nexus will endeavor to minimize the impact that the use of these funds has upon the NXS market value.
5. Is there a cap on the number of NXS in existence?
After an initial 10-year distribution period ending on September 23rd, 2024, there will be a total of 78 million NXS. Over this period, the reward gradient for mining Nexus follows a decaying logarithmic curve instead of the reward halving inherent in Bitcoin. This avoids creating a situation where older mining equipment is suddenly unprofitable, encouraging miners to continue upgrading their equipment over time and at the same time reducing major market shocks on block halving events.
When the distribution period ends, the currency supply will inflate annually by a maximum of 3% via staking and by 1% via the prime and hashing channels. This inflation is completely unlike traditional inflation, which degrades the value of existing coins. Instead, the cost of providing security to the blockchain is paid by inflation, eliminating transaction fees.
6. What is the difference between the LLD wallet and the Oracle wallet?
Due to the scales of efficiency needed by blockchain, Nexus has developed a custom-built database called the Lower Level Database. Since the development of the LLD wallet 0.2.3.1, which is a precursor to the Tritium updates, you should begin using the LLD wallet to take advantage of the faster load times and improved efficiency.
The Oracle wallet is a legacy wallet which is no longer maintained or updated. It used the Berkeley DB, which is not designed to meet the needs of a blockchain. Eventually, users will need to migrate to the LLD wallet. Fortunately, the wallet.dat is interchangeable between wallets, so there is no risk of losing access to your NXS.
7. How do I change from Oracle to the LLD wallet?
Step 1 – Backup your wallet.dat file. You can do this from within the Oracle wallet menu File, Backup Wallet.
Step 2 – Uninstall the Oracle wallet. Close the wallet and navigate to the wallet data directory. On Windows, this is the Nexus folder located at
%APPDATA%\Nexus. On macOS, this is the Nexus folder located at
~/Library/Application Support/Nexus. Move all of the contents to a temporary folder as a backup.
Step 3 – Copy your backup of
wallet.dat into the Nexus folder located as per Step 2.
Step 4 – Install the Nexus LLD wallet. Please follow the steps as outlined in the next section. Once your wallet is fully synced, your new wallet will have access to all your addresses.
8. How do I install the Nexus Wallet?
You can install your Nexus wallet by following these steps:
Step 1 – Download your wallet
Step 2 – Move the program to a location of your choosing. You may install the wallet program wherever you prefer. Before running the wallet program, please consider space limitations and load times. Your disk storage must have available space to store all data including the blockchain, which is currently ~3GB.
On the Windows OS, the wallet saves data to the
On macOS, data is saved to the
~/Library/Application Support/Nexus folder.
If you wish to store this information in another location, you can create a symbolic link.
(optional) Using Windows, follow these steps:
- Open a command prompt as administrator
mklink /D %appdata%\Nexus drive:\new\location\path
(optional) On macOS, follow these steps:
- Open the Terminal application
ln -s '~/Library/Application Support/Nexus' '/new/location/path'
Step 3 (optional) – Before running the wallet, we recommend downloading the blockchain database manually. Nexus Earth maintains a copy of the blockchain data which can save many hours from the wallet synchronization process. Please go to www.nexusearth.com, click the Get Nexus menu, then select Recent Database.
Step 4 (optional) – Extract the database file. This is commonly found in the .zip or .rar format, so you may need a program like 7zip to extract the contents. Please extract it to the Nexus folder, as outlined in step 2.
Step 5 – You can now start your wallet. After it loads, it should be able to complete synchronization in a short time. This may still take a couple of hours. Once it has completed synchronizing, a green check mark icon will appear in the lower right corner of the wallet.
Step 6 – Encrypt your wallet. This can be done within the wallet, under the Settings menu. Encrypting your wallet will lock it, requiring a password in order to send transactions. Do not forget or lose this password, or you will lose access your wallet balance.
Step 7 – Backup your
wallet.dat file. This can be done from the File menu inside the wallet. This file contains the keys to the addresses in your wallet. You may wish to keep a secure copy of your password somewhere, too, in case you forget it or someone else (your spouse, for example) ever needs it.
You should back up your
wallet.dat file again any time you create – or a Genesis transaction creates (see “staking” below) – a new address.
1. Can I mine Nexus?
Yes, there are 2 channels that you can use to mine Nexus, and 1 channel of minting:
Prime Mining Channel
This mining channel looks for a special prime cluster of a set length. This type of calculation is resistant to ASIC mining, allowing for greater decentralization. This is most often performed using the CPU.
This channel utilizes the more traditional method of hashing. This process adds a random nonce, hashes the data, and compares the resultant hash against a predetermined format set by the difficulty. This is most often performed using a GPU.
Proof of Stake (nPoS)
Staking is a form of mining NXS. With this process, you can receive NXS rewards from the network for continuously operating your node (wallet). It is recommended that you only stake with a minimum balance of 1000 NXS. It’s not impossible to stake with less, but it becomes harder to maintain trust. Losing trust resets the interest rate back to 0.5% per annum.
2. How do I mine Nexus?
As outlined above, there are two types of mining and 1 proof of stake. Each type of mining uses a different component of your computer to find blocks, the CPU or the GPU. Nexus supports CPU and GPU mining on Windows only. There are also third-party macOS builds available.
Please follow the instructions below for the relevant type of miner.
Almost every CPU is capable of mining blocks on this channel. The most effective method of mining is to join a mining pool and receive a share of the rewards based on the contribution you make. To create your own mining facility, you need the CPU mining software, and a NXS address. This address cannot be on an exchange. You create an address when you install your Nexus wallet. You can find the related steps under How Do I Install the Nexus Wallet?
Please download the relevant miner from the Mining & Minting Nexus page on the Nexus Earth website. Note that there are two different miner builds available: the prime solo miner and the prime pool miner. This guide will walk you through installing the pool miner only.
Step 1 – Extract the archive file to a folder.
Step 2 – Open the
miner.conf file. You can use the default host and port, but these may be changed to a pool of your choice. You will need to change the value of nxs_address to the address found in your wallet.
Sieve_threads is the number of CPU threads you want to use to find primes.
Ptest_threads is the number of CPU threads you want to test the primes found by the sieve. As a general rule, the number of threads used for the sieve should be 75% of the threads used for testing.
It is also recommended to add the following line to the options found in the .conf file:
"experimental" : "true"
This option enables the miner to use an improved sieve algorithm which will enable your miner to find primes at a faster rate.
Step 3 – Run the nexus_cpuminer.exe file. For more information on pools and settings, see the Mining & Minting Nexus page.
The GPU is a dedicated processing unit housed on-board your graphics card. The GPU is able to perform certain tasks extremely well, unlike your CPU, which is designed for parallel processing. Nexus supports both AMD and Nvidia GPU mining, and works best on the newer models. Officially, Nexus does not support GPU pool mining, but there are 3rd party miners with this capability.
The latest software for the Nvidia miner can be found here. The latest software for the AMD miner can be found here. The AMD miner is a third party miner. Information and advice about using the AMD miner can be found on our Slack channel. This guide will walk you through the Nvidia miner.
Step 1 – Close your wallet. Navigate to
~/Library/Application Support/Nexus on macOS) and open the
nexus.conf file. Depending on your wallet, you may or may not have this file. If not, please create a new txt file and save it as
You will need to add the following lines before restarting your wallet:
Step 2 – Extract the files into a new folder.
Step 3 – Run the
nexus.bat file. This will run the miner and deposit any rewards for mining a block into the account on your wallet.
For more information on either Prime Mining or Hashing, please join our Slack and visit the #mining channel. Additional information can be found here.
3. How do I stake Nexus?
Once you have your wallet installed, fully synchronized and encrypted, you can begin staking by:
- Choosing Unlock Wallet from the Settings menu.
- Check the box that says “Unlock for Mint Only”, then enter your password.
- When the question mark at the lower right of the wallet window changes to a clock icon, you are now staking.
After you begin staking, you will receive a Genesis transaction as your first staking reward. This establishes a Trust key in your wallet and stakes your wallet balance on that key. From that point, you will periodically receive additional Trust transactions as further staking rewards for as long as your Trust key remains active.
IMPORTANT – After you receive a Genesis transaction, backup your
wallet.dat file immediately. You can select the Backup Wallet option from the File menu, or manually copy the file directly. If you do not do this, then your Nexus balance will be staked on the Trust key that you do not have backed up, and you risk loss if you were to suffer a hard drive failure or other similar problem. In the future, signature chains will make this precaution unnecessary.
4. I am staking with my Nexus balance. What are interest rate, trust weight, block weight, and stake weight?
These items affect the size and frequency of staking rewards after you receive your initial Genesis transaction. When staking is active, the wallet displays a clock icon in the bottom right corner. If you hover your mouse pointer over the icon, a tooltip-style display will open up, showing their current values.
Please remember to backup your
wallet.dat file (see question 3 above) after you receive a Genesis transaction.
Interest Rate – The minting rate at which you will receive staking rewards, displayed as an annual percentage of your NXS balance. It starts at 0.5%, increasing to 3% after 12 months. The rate increase is not linear but slows over time. It takes several weeks to reach 1% and around 3 months to reach 2%.
With this rate, you can calculate the average amount of NXS you can expect to receive each day for staking.
Trust Weight – An indication of how much the network trusts your node. It starts at 5% and increases much more quickly than the minting (interest) rate, reaching 100% after one month. Your level of trust increases your stake weight (below), thus increasing your chances of receiving staking transactions. It becomes easier to maintain trust as this value increases.
Block Weight – Upon receipt of a Genesis transaction, this value will begin increasing slowly, reaching 100% after 24 hours. Every time you receive a staking transaction, the block weight resets. If your block weight reaches 100%, then your Trust key expires and everything resets (0.5% interest rate, 5% trust weight, waiting for a new Genesis transaction).
This 24-hour requirement will be replaced by a gradual decay in the Tritium release. As long as you receive a transaction before it decays completely, you will hold onto your key. This change addresses the potential of losing your trust key after months of staking simply because of one unlucky day receiving trust transactions.
Stake Weight – The higher your stake weight, the greater your chance of receiving a transaction. The exact value is a derived by a formula using your trust weight and block weight, which roughly equals the average of the two. Thus, each time you receive a transaction, your stake weight will reset to approximately half of your current level of trust.
1. What principles does Nexus abide by?
Nexus operates under the following overarching principles:
Respecting ourselves and others brings greater cooperation and growth, building strong relationships and stronger communities.
Through knowledge we are able to discover the mysteries of the universe, gain a greater understanding of those around us, and let go of the fears that hold us back. The pursuit of knowledge is an adventure that brings us amazing discoveries which enrich our everyday lives.
Honesty and transparency foster trust between people, which helps us make better decisions in all aspects of our lives and enables us to be our authentic selves. Honesty cultivates our awareness of the reality around us and improves our communication with others.
Pursuing our individual goals and following our passions, without being censored or needlessly hampered, is true freedom. When people voluntarily associate with each other, respecting the principle of ownership, we are able to reach our potential and find true happiness. Freedom is a positive-sum game; a win-win for all people across the globe.
2. Who is building Nexus?
The Nexus blockchain is being developed by the Nexus Earth Embassy, a registered nonprofit organization in the United States of America. The Embassy is funded through the Nexus Ambassador Fund. The Core team members are:
- Colin Cantrell (Videlicet), Founder / Software Engineer / Software Architect / Nexus Embassy Founding Director
- Kierre Reeg (kierrereeg), Nexus Embassy Founding Director / Business Manager
- Jacynda Smith (jacynda), Nexus Embassy Director / Nexus Hub Manager
- Brian Smith (resistance_is_futile), Nexus Developer / Software Engineer
- Dionna Bailey (dionna), Business Development
- Wendy Katz (wendykatz), Marketing Manager
- Brian Vena, Business Development
- Nelson Sparks, Operations Manager
- Gail Holman, Comptroller
- Glen Luyckx (mrprobz), Online Support/Wallet Tech Support
- Andrew Krohn (ajkrohn), Online Support/Wallet Tech Support
- Ashley Swazey (concordia), Executive Assistant
- Anastasiya Maslova, (anastasiya) Community Coordinator
- John Saviano, (saviano) Graphic / Website Designs
- Mike Casey (mikecasey), Deputy Community Manager / Reddit Moderator / Nexus Hub Manager
- Nick (bibbityjibbity), Online Support
Colin and Brian are full-time developers working on Nexus. We have many part-time contributors that work with our core development team, and we are always keen to find more C++/blockchain team members.
3. Who do I contact to become involved?
4. Who owns Nexus?
Nexus is a 501(4)c that is not owned by anyone anywhere, and is currently comprised of a temporary board of directors and advisors organized to make decisions and have legal recognition. This structure only exists until the development of ambassador and developer contracts are established, which will be democratically voted in or out, creating a robust organization to self operate without centralized leadership.
1. How did Nexus start?
Nexus started as a vision of improving the Bitcoin protocol and at the same time cleaning the cryptosphere from scam coins.
Lead Developer Videlicet (Viz) studied the foundations of the Bitcoin Core code, understanding how Satoshi structured Bitcoin and identifying opportunities for improvement. At this time, the altcoin market was being flooded with scams and pump and dump schemes where coins pushing promises, buzz words, and the allure of quick profits were used to swindle BTC from communities. Fom Viz’s vision, Coinshield (CSD) was born.
The first CSD block was mined on September 23, 2014 at 16:20 UTC-7, and the project soon-to-be named Nexus was live. At that point, the project had one channel of mining: a Prime Mining channel (CPU). On October 23, 2014, the Hashing (GPU) channel was launched as the second proof channel. The blocks included a first-ever subsidy, where a portion from each mined block would be sent to one of 13 developer accounts and another portion would be sent to one of 13 exchange accounts. On January 24, 2015, CSD was listed on Bittrex Exchange.
Shortly afterwards, Viz drafted the first whitepaper that outlined how the network would work to recycle and merge the economies and communities of these scam coins. The goal was to help the people in those communities, bring them into the CSD community, and at the same time help clean up the cryptosphere. The exchange accounts would be used to merge these economies by exchanging the coins for a portion of CSD.
On April 11, 2015, Viz announced the intention to rebrand to Nexus. Discussion pursued about the ticker symbol, and NIRO was chosen to represent Nexus. On July 24, 2015, Nexus version 2.0 was released with Nexus Proof of State (nPOS) and the introduction of the Trust Network. This laid the foundation for the broader scope of Nexus.
At the beginning of September 2015, Videlicet revealed his identity as Colin Cantrell. In October 2015, a more formal team was formed to promote development, build the community, and market Nexus. The ticker symbol was revised to NXS. Discussions on Nexus’s direction led to the decision to abandon the recycling and merging that was part of the Coinshield project. The technical work required to implement the merging was done, but with the explosion in the number of new cryptos, the process would have had little impact. Therefore, Nexus began to develop into something much more expansive. The project had a whole new direction.
2. Is there a roadmap for Nexus?
Nexus does not release a detailed roadmap to the public, in order to prevent price manipulation. Providing dates and deadlines creates fear of missing out (FOMO) when they approach, and fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) whether they are missed or met. Instead, Nexus outlines a Strategic Vision, consistent development updates, and a set of larger releases called the TAO.
- The 3D Chain (Partitioning, scaling, and enhanced quantum resistance)
- Advanced Contracts (an augmented smart contracting language and virtual machine)
- Mobile Wallets (iOS and Android)
- Modular User Interface
- Terrestrial Mesh
- Orbital Mesh
3. What does TAO stand for?
Each letter represents the activation of a component required for the 3DC. Each component corresponds to a transaction level lock.
- Tritium – L1 – trust wallet with transaction level locks using a signature chain
- Amine – L2 – improved proof-of-stake trust system and activation of the second tier locking groups
- Obsidian – L3 – mining vault where miners contribute directly to Nexus as a distributed pool
All three of these updates will include improvements to the advanced contracting virtual machine.
4. When is Tritium expected to be released?
The Tritium wallet will form the basis of the Tritium updates, as the new wallet will include a faster backend, and a cleaner interface design. This also speeds up transaction throughput, implements Level 1 locks, and also activates signature chains with enhanced trust algorithms.
The Nexus developers want to ensure that they release the best architecture possible and are working diligently on making this complicated process a reality.
5. How does Nexus solve the scaling debate?
Since every transaction requires space in a block, there are several solutions that have been proposed for blockchains. Bitcoin has Segregated Witness and Lightning Network, and Ethereum has Plasma, but both essentially rely on off-chain solutions to provide scaling (a more centralized approach). They create payment channels or side chains, that rely on the trust of the verifier to then re-commit the updated balances at the discretion of trusted verifier.
The second proposed solution is to increase block sizes or reduce blocks times as in Ethereum’s case. Effectively, this increases the capacity for new transaction either through size or frequency. Namely, more transactions can fit within a single block, or there are more blocks per time interval. Since each Bitcoin block is found roughly every 10 minutes, increased block size increases the number of transactions per second the protocol can handle.
If you look beyond these solutions, however, there is a key problem with the way the Bitcoin protocol processes transactions. Regardless of the computing power working to find blocks, each block can only fit so much data, and each block still takes 10 minutes to find. Bitcoin consumes the energy equivalent to powering a small country, and yet the only thing that increases is the mining difficulty. This is because each miner is competing with every other miner to find the next block.
Nexus recognizes that using proof-of-work as a competition is ineffective. In fact, this is the very reason that mining pools exist in the first place. Nexus’s 3D chain uses a synergistic approach where additional resources adds capability to the network. The Nexus 3D Chain by design should only be limited by node count, allowing it to scale unhindered.
6. What is the 3DC or 3D Chain?
Nexus’s innovation is to replace the mining pool with the blockchain itself on the Level 3 locks. Instead of miners having the authority to determine the next block by getting the winning hash, mining will become a group-wide activity. Miners will submit hashes to the network that lock the Level 2 proof of stake hashes, and agree by group consensus the data that will be locked. With no “one hash rules all,” the 3DC will be a set of hashes that will be combined into a single root hash for that block interval.
As transactions are performed, nodes in the network start verifying them immediately. When they are validated, they are locked by the CPU miners and assigned a weight (L1). This weight and trust increases as more nodes agree that the transaction has happened. As more transactions arrive, the ‘heavier’ transactions require less work and the CPU miners begin on the newer transactions.
After the transactions are validated and locked, the proof-of-stake nodes start to consolidate them into a single hash using their holdings of NXS to provide weight. This locks the transactions with the L2 Trust Lock, which is far more secure than the L1 locks, because all the information has already been verified at this stage.
The GPU miners finalize the addition of the block to the blockchain by hashing the Merkle root hash produced by the L2 Trust Locks.
Image courtesy of Spaid (https://medium.com/@gjsteele71/the-nexus-multi-dimensional-chain-simplified-9d680d9008b8)
For more information on the 3D blockchain, please read this article.
7. How does Nexus solve blockchain bloat?
Every single transaction performed on a blockchain takes up a small amount of data. Over time, regardless of how small each transaction can be made, the blockchain gets bigger. This is an immutable fact of the blockchain protocol. Satoshi, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, envisaged the network’s capacity to only be limited by Moore’s Law. As we can see now, this still is a large bottleneck.
After the Segwit upgrade for Bitcoin, a 1MB block size can fit an estimated 12195 transactions per block. With a 10-minute average time per block, that’s only about 20 transactions per second maximum. In practice, this figure lies somewhere between 7-10 transactions per second on average. In order to surpass Visa, which handles 2000 per second on average, block sizes would need to exceed 98MB. If you extrapolate this over a year, then the blockchain would grow by 5 TB every year.
Obviously, this would be difficult to sustain. There are several proposals aimed at reducing this problem, from sharding, to child chains, to blockchain pruning. Nexus’s solution uses a custom-made Lower Level Database to select nodes to service pieces of the 3D blockchain structure. This allows nodes to partition their data use and chain storage across the network. They will no longer require the full chain to reside on their system. The more nodes in the network, the less each individual node will need to service.
8. Will Nexus incorporate smart contracts?
Nexus’s contract functionality will consist of contract templates embedded into the underlying code within the 3DC. Nexus contracts will not be Turing-complete because infinite runtime is never necessary nor secure in a digital currency. This means Nexus contracts will be more usable without creating network congestion issues.
Some of these contracts will be used to enable key Nexus functionality and will work invisibly.
Examples of this functionality includes:
- Two-way signatures requiring a receipt signature to prevent accidental loss,
- Reusable addresses, and
- Reversible transactions.
Contracts can be used to store and update information, create payment channels, prove identity, and any number of possible functions yet to be imagined.
9. Will there be any hard forks in Nexus?
Nexus is designed to avoid hard forks via the incorporation of an update mechanism which will create updates to consensus rules without having to change the code. These rules will only be issued by developers and their according developer key signature, and will be validated by the other five voting groups.
1. Nexus claims to “decentralize the decentralization.” What does this mean?
As decentralized as blockchain technology strives to be, it nevertheless remains dependant on traditional infrastructure. By combining the decentralized blockchain software, satellite and ground based mesh networks, and a large team of passionate people, Nexus is focused on gaining a high degree of autonomy from external influences. By placing our own communication infrastructure in space, the network won’t be susceptible to government jurisdiction (similar to international waters).
Nexus’s three-dimensional chain will also reduce the need for mining pools. Pools exist because traditional blockchains only reward miners when they find a block, which can be rare. In essence, Nexus will become the pool, with miners being rewarded for each contribution instead of each block.
The phrase “decentralize the decentralization” was taken from an article written by founder Videlicet on May 6th, 2016. It was the introduction to the idea of “Blockchain 3.0”, and followed up with the technical architectures outlined above. The full article can be read here.
2. How is Nexus going to put CubeSats into orbit?
Nexus has partnered with Vector Space Systems, which was co-founded by Jim Cantrell. Jim is a veteran in the aerospace industry, having worked with NASA and co-founding SpaceX with Elon Musk. Vector uses small disposable rockets to cut down costs, and are capable of launching 66 kg into low earth orbit (LEO). A standard 1U CubeSat weighs less than 1.33 kg, so each launch can put approximately 25 satellites into orbit. We have also found certain opportunities in developing satellites that weigh less than one kilogram to increase the number of satellites per rocket launch.
3. Why is Nexus using Vector Space and Galactic Sky?
Vector Space offers affordable launch capability, as it seeks to reshape the multi-billion dollar launch market. It is an innovative leader in the micro-satellite launch industry, as big companies like SpaceX focus on launching mid- to large-size satellites into geosynchronous orbit. Vector plans to be one of the first companies to offer affordable low earth orbit (LEO) capability in 2018.
Galactic Sky, which is a business unit of Vector, uses software-defined satellites to provide a satellite virtualization platform. Using this virtual environment, developers can test ideas and algorithms to demonstrate satellite viability without having to launch and test in orbit. This helps accelerate the conception and testing process, going from years to weeks.
The connection between Vector Space and Nexus goes beyond that of supplier and client. Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector Space Systems, is a firm supporter of Nexus and has interest in its success.
4. When will the first CubeSats be launched?
Nexus is planning to start launching its first satellites for the Phase 1 constellation in 2019. The satellite designs are currently in development, with our top priority being the implementation of the TAO framework supporting the 3D blockchain. We will also see collaboration with Galactic Sky as it is deployed through the year 2019.
5. How many CubeSats are required for the mesh network?
The Nexus mesh network will consist of a range of satellites, from the sub-1U to the larger 3U satellites. Approximately 2000 CubeSats will be required to achieve total global coverage. The ground-based mesh networks will help scale and balance this load by performing data transmission on the ground rather than requiring satellite access at all times.
Constellations will be put up in stages, with Phase 1 providing intermittent connectivity. Our launch agreement terms will be disclosed as it is formalized in 2018.
6. How much does it cost to build and deploy the satellites, and how is this funded?
Each 1U CubeSat costs approximately $20,000 – 50,000 each to produce depending on assembly and how many units are purchased. A 3U satellite, being larger, can cost up to $100,000. Each Vector launch costs between $1.5 million and $3 million, depending on payload size.
The funding for building and launching these satellites will come from the Nexus Ambassador Fund.
7. Does Nexus have any developers working on developing the mesh network?
The mesh network is being developed by Phillip Swazey. Phillip used to work for Iridium, a satellite communication company which currently operates its own satellite constellation. He is currently designing our preliminary 1U satellites for Phase 1 deployment.