Our last “Moments with KP” was met with overwhelming positivity, so we’ve decided to do another one. In this edition, KP not only educates in one-on-one interactions, in telegram chats and across various forums, but when a Skycoin supporter chose to compare the two projects, he is quick to educate about the misinformation in the Skycoin supporter’s article.
Let’s start with that, shall we?
This article was written on medium, and then posted to twitter: https://medium.com/skyfleet-captains-log/skycoin-vs-elastos-20fe8aa6a1a0
KP wrote a series of responses. However, we managed to grab some screenshots before they were buried and the article altered. The biggest claims that the article makes (even after being modified) are:
“The risk to Elastos is that governments and ISPs can block or monitor any traffic that relies on centralized infrastructure. This infrastructure can also be shut down by invading forces or natural disasters.”
“Elastos isolates itself from the web. If an Elastos developer creates, for example, a web browser, then that browser can only reach content that exists within the Elastos Runtime Environment — it would not be able to visit Facebook or Twitter. Likewise, someone searching on Google will never find Elastos content, because Google can’t see it.
“There are certainly security benefits to building this type of closed sandbox. But the very thing that keeps Elastos content safe also hinders adoption. The World Wide Web is not going away, and even if Elastos developers create their own versions of Google and Facebook, it will be hard to persuade users to switch over to these closed platforms when they can’t interact with their friends and favorite websites on ‘the outside.’”
These claims are incorrect, as KP explains below:
We at the CR encourage all comments and discussions, critical or not as long as it’s not purposefully misleading or inappropriate, and though this is not an official Skycoin representative, we hope that this serves as an example of what NOT to do as a community–which is to write something unsubstantiated that attacks another blockchain community, defend it even after it’s been disproven, and filter the presentation to benefit personal agendas.
Even when dealing with our very own CR Social Media Team, KP is bound to make corrections so that no misinformation is shared:
Our CR Social Media Team posted this: https://twitter.com/Cyber__Republic/status/1115011417806114816
“How many more times will Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV fork? How about Elastos? Never!”
KP: “Maybe forking isn’t a good term, but rather “finality” is what Elastos focuses on. So even if you need a hard fork for any major infrastructural upgrades in the future, the finality ensures that all miners and DPoS supernodes follow the upgrades or else their blocks will become invalid. It’s very very difficult to create two competing forks as you would need to amass more than 51% of PoW and over 2/3rds DPoS Supernodes for collusion (which is very difficult as 12 of them are honest at all times and are controlled by the CR Council). So in this way, the probability of forking is so tiny, it’s almost zero, but it is still technically possible.”
And when Amos gets the community going, helping our community heads get too big about mining difficulting increasing 18x since April 1st, https://twitter.com/ChillZoneInt/status/1116026356645679105,
KP has to remind us just as we’re dreaming of integrating merged mining with BCH and other SHA256 PoW algorithms that:
“Difficulty for elastos will always be lower than bitcoin though since it’s mined every 2 min
Instead of every 10 like BTC is.”
Always the realist, KP.
To be clear, no community member is spared KP’s educational wrath. Even I, author of this very article, is often put in my place:
KenNinja: Maybe we can mention something along the lines of how DID could prevent scammers like the ones in our Twitter.
Dave: That’s a great idea for a post
KP Woods: That would be untrue. It’s the feature of Carrier that prevents scammers, not DID. Because you can talk to other people only if you’re friends with them on carrier.
I should just stop pretending to know anything.
Unlike how I’m making him sound, KP actually does spend quite a bit of time answering questions, rather than going out of his way to correct innocent individuals like me.
When asked: “What happened to the 35% (DPoS) of 1,320 000 ELA, which was sent to the foundation since the mainchain was live?”
“That’s the money that’s being used to fund projects in the CR interim period. For instance, React Native project, Hyperconnect, CR website, CR costs, CR News and Social Media team, etc. After August 2019, the 16.3 million ELA dedicated to the CR will start being used.”
The point we’re making about KP is that he goes out of his way to educate the community, and it’s often a time consuming process. This is why we feel the need to aggregate this amazing content and share his answers to everyone.
Here are some questions that came up after a CR Community member read the last spotlight series: https://news.elastos.org/spotlight-series-3-elastos-hybrid-consensus-and-finality-of-blocks/
“We briefly mentioned there are 12 CRC supernodes at all times and that they always act honestly.” How do you know they will always act honestly?
“Because the Ethereum sidechain is also DPoS, it can support much higher TPS (Transactions Per Second) than the public Ethereum blockchain.” – Sacrificing (one of the layers of) security for convenience (i.e. scalability)? It means that this ETH is dependent completely on DPOS unlike real ETH, so doesn’t it make it a different token and not the same market value? Or is it that it is not supposed to be pretended to be real ETH but is rather a way to add ETH smart contract methods onto an ELA side chain? If it was considered real ETH, it would be inflating the number of Ether wouldn’t it? So this must not be what is going on. I saw it was called SETH in the explanation. Is there somewhere to read about how sidechain coins compared to their original counterparts?
KP answers these thoughtful questions in detail:
“The 12 CRC supernodes are controlled by the secretariat team of the Cyber Republic, and each CRC supernode is controlled by the private key of each of the 12 council members. So, while there is a possibility that some of the council members could collude, if this is detected in any way, they not only lose their 5000 ELA that they have to stake, but in addition, they likely will be impeached by the community and they’ll lose their reputation since they’re the decision makers of the Cyber Republic. So, yeah, it’s possible but highly unlikely the 12 CRC supernodes will try to do something nefarious because they have a lot more to lose than the regular supernodes.
The Ethereum sidechain has DPoS consensus on the Elastos ecosystem and the DPoS nodes that are used in Ethereum sidechain are the same DPoS nodes that are also used in the main chain (AuxPoW+DPoS) consensus. You need over 2/3 signatures to confirm a block and that’s at least 25 signatures out of 36 active supernodes. So, this goes back to #1. The 12 supernodes are CRC supernodes, it’s very hard to collude with more than 2/3 of the supernodes so it’s not really sacrificing security while also improving the scalability of it.”
The community member continues with additional questions:
I understand that a supernode that disgraced itself would surely end up being effectively ‘impeached’ and never voted in again. If the CR Council member has to be publicly known, which may not be necessary for supernodes – then I agree that the CR Council Member has more to lose because their public reputation is on the line.
However, why does the CR Council Member have to stake only 5000 ELA, the same as a supernode, when they get voting power over proposals? The CRC has more power than a supernode, yet the same staking requirements.
Next, the ETH sidechain inherits neither Bitcoin’s PoW security or its low scalability.
so there’s still a little bit I don’t understand, SETH are they supposed to be 1:1 value with ETH?
KP: “The supernodes that are nefarious get a ban of 7 days, but they still retain their votes so after 7 days, they can rejoin. But since the 12 CRC supernodes are controlled by the private key of the council members, once that council member is impeached, they can never be a council member again which effectively means they can never participate as one of the council members. The 12 CRC supernodes are never voted in via DPOS election process but are rather always controlled by the private keys of the current 12 council members.
The CR Council Member has to stake 5000 ELA same as the other supernodes because that’s the amount of ELA needed to stake to register to be a supernode. The council members do have voting power over proposals, but they don’t necessarily have the only power. The community can also reject any of the proposals provided the requirements are met.
ETH sidechain does NOT inherit the bitcoins PoW security as it’s only DPoS consensus, so it inherits the DPoS security of the Elastos hybrid consensus. However, remember that if you want a more secure sidechain, you can use NEO sidechain which is PoW and merged mined with BTC. Or, you can submit a proposal on CR to create a second ETH sidechain with PoW consensus. The framework right now is a starting point. It’ll continue to evolve over time as the new needs are gathered and on a need-basis.
Do not compare Ethereum sidechain of Elastos with the public Ethereum blockchain because they are two completely separate blockchains and have no relation to one another other than the fact that they can both run smart contracts based on solidity, vyper, etc. The ethereum sidechain is exclusively tied to the Elastos main chain because you first have to transfer some ELA from main chain to Ethereum sidechain in order to create transactions on Ethereum sidechain so all the sidechains are tied to main chain in some respect.
In this way, the currency that’s used on Ethereum sidechain is ETH ELA and can only be used on Ethereum sidechain. When you want to transfer this to someone else, it basically transfers to main chain and then to another address that way. As you can see, the currency that’s used in all the sidechains are still secured by bitcoin hashpower one way or another. It’s just that you may be able to spend these ETH ELA on ethereum sidechain at a faster rate than on main chain.
Once you understand the above, I think it’ll make more sense to you why this method was chosen on Elastos. And it really doesn’t matter what consensus is chosen for Elastos sidechains because they function independently of the main chain, but the token that’s used on these sidechains are still secured by the Bitcoin merged miners and their enormous hashpower any time they wanna move these ELA somewhere else.”
The community member has yet another question:
Is all currency on the ETH sidechain ELA that has been moved there? I realize it’s not, and only just to connect them, but I still have some bits missing from my understanding of sidechains. But this here seems to contradict what you said about the CRC:
“The 12 CRC supernodes, which are controlled by private keys held by the 12 Cyber Republic council members, will always act honestly and will never accept any malicious blocks, as it is in their best interest to do so. After all, each council member must deposit 5,000 ELA to be considered for the Cyber Republic election and each can be voted out by the community at any time.”
There’s a second election for council members? Where is the info about this?
KP: “That’s correct. You cannot generate ETH ELA out of thin air nor can you generate any tokens on any other sidechains. They all have to first be transferred from main chain to these sidechains.
However, since we know Ethereum can issue ERC20 and ERC721 tokens, you can then spend these ETH ELA to issue your own ERC20 or ERC721 tokens that are not tied to ELA in any way because they’re exclusive on Ethereum sidechain.
As for elections, they are held every year. You can read the constitution of CR on CR website, but that constitution is subject to change as the community refines it.”
A different community member asks:
If I start collecting digital assets for projects build on Elastos using ELA ETH sidechain, or the (ERC721 standard) how will these digital collectables appear in my ELA wallet? I’m curious about the ERC721 standard vs the ELA DID standard for creating digital collectibles. Will ELA use both or turn everything into ELA DID?
KP: “Those are some good questions and there are no clear answers at the moment because the concept of digital assets is still in development. Right now, the foundation for digital assets is just going live. The digital assets will come to fruition once the base is solid and built in the next year. One of the future spotlight series will also be about digital capsule, so I don’t want to answer these specific questions about it as things might change between now and then.
With that said, don’t think of DID doing everything. DID is used for a very specific purpose – for KYC, identity, and authentication. Digital assets sidechain is a different thing that will take care of how digital assets like movies and apps are managed and tracked. Then there is Elastos Hive that is used for the actual storage. Then there is Titan and Carrier that is used for the actual relay of digital content. It’s when you combine all these together that you make a complete digital capsule. It doesn’t involve just one sidechain but multiple sidechains doing multiple things each built for specific purposes.”
KP also discusses how supernodes are treated for inactivity.
“There are two kinds of inactivity:
You are an on-duty arbitrator and you don’t submit a block proposal for 48 hours. For this, you are penalized 500 ELA and receive a 7 day ban.
You are a regular arbitrator and there are only 24 signatures and you don’t sign a block so it’s not a 2/3rds vote.
In the first case, the Blockchain won’t halt because if one on-duty arbitrator is not submitting a proposal, another one on the list will submit as described by the spotlight series. In the second case, the blockchain will halt because the block hasn’t received 2/3 votes for up to an hour. If this happens, these inactive arbitrators get 100 ELA removed and they become inactive after that.”
On becoming a CR Council member:
“To run for an election as one of the Cyber Republic council members, you need 5000 ELA to stake. Once your term is over, you get your 5000 ELA back, of course. This is just a required deposit.”
KP’s answered several question on scaling for me, as well:
“DApps will not need to interact with the main blockchain often, and will only be interacting with it when they need to execute some smart contracts which can happen only periodically. All off-chain communication is handled by Elastos Carrier, Elastos Hive, etc, so the dapps are not running on-chain 100% of the time but rather they are run on mobile devices and utilizing other devices like TV boxes, personal cloud storage, other nodes, etc, for actual communication.
The Ethereum sidechain is DPoS consensus and the block time is 5 seconds each, so it’s already super fast and should handle a lot of load even if hundreds of smart contracts are deployed to one single Ethereum sidechain. However, a second Ethereum sidechain can be spawned if there’s a need for it in which case there would be one dapp talking to one Ethereum sidechain while another dapp would be talking to another Ethereum sidechain. This works the same way for NEO sidechains too and token sidechains as well.
Let’s assume that there are some dapps that are very heavy and do require their own Ethereum sidechain. Let’s also assume that there are around 10 dapps that need their own Ethereum sidechain. This is just an assumption, of course, but in order to require your own dedicated sidechain, your app will need to have an insane traffic because if not, a single Ethereum sidechain can handle lots and lots of dapps already. But, for arbitrators needing to run all these sidechains, one thing to keep in mind is that an arbitrator is just a process. Through the configuration of your arbitrator process, you are basically running one node of each sidechain, one main chain node. So, even if there are 20 sidechains in the future, they don’t all need to be running on the same machine. They can, but they don’t need to.
So, in this way, a single supernode may consists of multiple containers, machines, etc that run different nodes for different sidechains. This is a horizontal solution that Elastos employs and I think even if there comes a time when there might be 20 sidechains in the future, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Again, this is all assuming that there will even be 20 sidechains running. There may never be a need to. We will have to wait and see how Elastos’ solution fares when real dapps start getting deployed.”
Once again, we appreciate all the time KP spends to answer community questions, no matter how small or time consuming they may be.