Out of Sync · Issue #2296 · bitcoin/bitcoin · GitHub

Proposal: The Sia Foundation

Vision Statement

A common sentiment is brewing online; a shared desire for the internet that might have been. After decades of corporate encroachment, you don't need to be a power user to realize that something has gone very wrong.
In the early days of the internet, the future was bright. In that future, when you sent an instant message, it traveled directly to the recipient. When you needed to pay a friend, you announced a transfer of value to their public key. When an app was missing a feature you wanted, you opened up the source code and implemented it. When you took a picture on your phone, it was immediately encrypted and backed up to storage that you controlled. In that future, people would laugh at the idea of having to authenticate themselves to some corporation before doing these things.
What did we get instead? Rather than a network of human-sized communities, we have a handful of enormous commons, each controlled by a faceless corporate entity. Hey user, want to send a message? You can, but we'll store a copy of it indefinitely, unencrypted, for our preference-learning algorithms to pore over; how else could we slap targeted ads on every piece of content you see? Want to pay a friend? You can—in our Monopoly money. Want a new feature? Submit a request to our Support Center and we'll totally maybe think about it. Want to backup a photo? You can—inside our walled garden, which only we (and the NSA, of course) can access. Just be careful what you share, because merely locking you out of your account and deleting all your data is far from the worst thing we could do.
You rationalize this: "MEGACORP would never do such a thing; it would be bad for business." But we all know, at some level, that this state of affairs, this inversion of power, is not merely "unfortunate" or "suboptimal" – No. It is degrading. Even if MEGACORP were purely benevolent, it is degrading that we must ask its permission to talk to our friends; that we must rely on it to safeguard our treasured memories; that our digital lives are completely beholden to those who seek only to extract value from us.
At the root of this issue is the centralization of data. MEGACORP can surveil you—because your emails and video chats flow through their servers. And MEGACORP can control you—because they hold your data hostage. But centralization is a solution to a technical problem: How can we make the user's data accessible from anywhere in the world, on any device? For a long time, no alternative solution to this problem was forthcoming.
Today, thanks to a confluence of established techniques and recent innovations, we have solved the accessibility problem without resorting to centralization. Hashing, encryption, and erasure encoding got us most of the way, but one barrier remained: incentives. How do you incentivize an anonymous stranger to store your data? Earlier protocols like BitTorrent worked around this limitation by relying on altruism, tit-for-tat requirements, or "points" – in other words, nothing you could pay your electric bill with. Finally, in 2009, a solution appeared: Bitcoin. Not long after, Sia was born.
Cryptography has unleashed the latent power of the internet by enabling interactions between mutually-distrustful parties. Sia harnesses this power to turn the cloud storage market into a proper marketplace, where buyers and sellers can transact directly, with no intermediaries, anywhere in the world. No more silos or walled gardens: your data is encrypted, so it can't be spied on, and it's stored on many servers, so no single entity can hold it hostage. Thanks to projects like Sia, the internet is being re-decentralized.
Sia began its life as a startup, which means it has always been subjected to two competing forces: the ideals of its founders, and the profit motive inherent to all businesses. Its founders have taken great pains to never compromise on the former, but this often threatened the company's financial viability. With the establishment of the Sia Foundation, this tension is resolved. The Foundation, freed of the obligation to generate profit, is a pure embodiment of the ideals from which Sia originally sprung.
The goals and responsibilities of the Foundation are numerous: to maintain core Sia protocols and consensus code; to support developers building on top of Sia and its protocols; to promote Sia and facilitate partnerships in other spheres and communities; to ensure that users can easily acquire and safely store siacoins; to develop network scalability solutions; to implement hardforks and lead the community through them; and much more. In a broader sense, its mission is to commoditize data storage, making it cheap, ubiquitous, and accessible to all, without compromising privacy or performance.
Sia is a perfect example of how we can achieve better living through cryptography. We now begin a new chapter in Sia's history. May our stewardship lead it into a bright future.
 

Overview

Today, we are proposing the creation of the Sia Foundation: a new non-profit entity that builds and supports distributed cloud storage infrastructure, with a specific focus on the Sia storage platform. What follows is an informal overview of the Sia Foundation, covering two major topics: how the Foundation will be funded, and what its funds will be used for.

Organizational Structure

The Sia Foundation will be structured as a non-profit entity incorporated in the United States, likely a 501(c)(3) organization or similar. The actions of the Foundation will be constrained by its charter, which formalizes the specific obligations and overall mission outlined in this document. The charter will be updated on an annual basis to reflect the current goals of the Sia community.
The organization will be operated by a board of directors, initially comprising Luke Champine as President and Eddie Wang as Chairman. Luke Champine will be leaving his position at Nebulous to work at the Foundation full-time, and will seek to divest his shares of Nebulous stock along with other potential conflicts of interest. Neither Luke nor Eddie personally own any siafunds or significant quantities of siacoin.

Funding

The primary source of funding for the Foundation will come from a new block subsidy. Following a hardfork, 30 KS per block will be allocated to the "Foundation Fund," continuing in perpetuity. The existing 30 KS per block miner reward is not affected. Additionally, one year's worth of block subsidies (approximately 1.57 GS) will be allocated to the Fund immediately upon activation of the hardfork.
As detailed below, the Foundation will provably burn any coins that it cannot meaningfully spend. As such, the 30 KS subsidy should be viewed as a maximum. This allows the Foundation to grow alongside Sia without requiring additional hardforks.
The Foundation will not be funded to any degree by the possession or sale of siafunds. Siafunds were originally introduced as a means of incentivizing growth, and we still believe in their effectiveness: a siafund holder wants to increase the amount of storage on Sia as much as possible. While the Foundation obviously wants Sia to succeed, its driving force should be its charter. Deriving significant revenue from siafunds would jeopardize the Foundation's impartiality and focus. Ultimately, we want the Foundation to act in the best interests of Sia, not in growing its own budget.

Responsibilities

The Foundation inherits a great number of responsibilities from Nebulous. Each quarter, the Foundation will publish the progress it has made over the past quarter, and list the responsibilities it intends to prioritize over the coming quarter. This will be accompanied by a financial report, detailing each area of expenditure over the past quarter, and forecasting expenditures for the coming quarter. Below, we summarize some of the myriad responsibilities towards which the Foundation is expected to allocate its resources.

Maintain and enhance core Sia software

Arguably, this is the most important responsibility of the Foundation. At the heart of Sia is its consensus algorithm: regardless of other differences, all Sia software must agree upon the content and rules of the blockchain. It is therefore crucial that the algorithm be stewarded by an entity that is accountable to the community, transparent in its decision-making, and has no profit motive or other conflicts of interest.
Accordingly, Sia’s consensus functionality will no longer be directly maintained by Nebulous. Instead, the Foundation will release and maintain an implementation of a "minimal Sia full node," comprising the Sia consensus algorithm and P2P networking code. The source code will be available in a public repository, and signed binaries will be published for each release.
Other parties may use this code to provide alternative full node software. For example, Nebulous may extend the minimal full node with wallet, renter, and host functionality. The source code of any such implementation may be submitted to the Foundation for review. If the code passes review, the Foundation will provide "endorsement signatures" for the commit hash used and for binaries compiled internally by the Foundation. Specifically, these signatures assert that the Foundation believes the software contains no consensus-breaking changes or other modifications to imported Foundation code. Endorsement signatures and Foundation-compiled binaries may be displayed and distributed by the receiving party, along with an appropriate disclaimer.
A minimal full node is not terribly useful on its own; the wallet, renter, host, and other extensions are what make Sia a proper developer platform. Currently, the only implementations of these extensions are maintained by Nebulous. The Foundation will contract Nebulous to ensure that these extensions continue to receive updates and enhancements. Later on, the Foundation intends to develop its own implementations of these extensions and others. As with the minimal node software, these extensions will be open source and available in public repositories for use by any Sia node software.
With the consensus code now managed by the Foundation, the task of implementing and orchestrating hardforks becomes its responsibility as well. When the Foundation determines that a hardfork is necessary (whether through internal discussion or via community petition), a formal proposal will be drafted and submitted for public review, during which arguments for and against the proposal may be submitted to a public repository. During this time, the hardfork code will be implemented, either by Foundation employees or by external contributors working closely with the Foundation. Once the implementation is finished, final arguments will be heard. The Foundation board will then vote whether to accept or reject the proposal, and announce their decision along with appropriate justification. Assuming the proposal was accepted, the Foundation will announce the block height at which the hardfork will activate, and will subsequently release source code and signed binaries that incorporate the hardfork code.
Regardless of the Foundation's decision, it is the community that ultimately determines whether a fork is accepted or rejected – nothing can change that. Foundation node software will never automatically update, so all forks must be explicitly adopted by users. Furthermore, the Foundation will provide replay and wipeout protection for its hard forks, protecting other chains from unintended or malicious reorgs. Similarly, the Foundation will ensure that any file contracts formed prior to a fork activation will continue to be honored on both chains until they expire.
Finally, the Foundation also intends to pursue scalability solutions for the Sia blockchain. In particular, work has already begun on an implementation of Utreexo, which will greatly reduce the space requirements of fully-validating nodes (allowing a full node to be run on a smartphone) while increasing throughput and decreasing initial sync time. A hardfork implementing Utreexo will be submitted to the community as per the process detailed above.
As this is the most important responsibility of the Foundation, it will receive a significant portion of the Foundation’s budget, primarily in the form of developer salaries and contracting agreements.

Support community services

We intend to allocate 25% of the Foundation Fund towards the community. This allocation will be held and disbursed in the form of siacoins, and will pay for grants, bounties, hackathons, and other community-driven endeavours.
Any community-run service, such as a Skynet portal, explorer or web wallet, may apply to have its costs covered by the Foundation. Upon approval, the Foundation will reimburse expenses incurred by the service, subject to the exact terms agreed to. The intent of these grants is not to provide a source of income, but rather to make such services "break even" for their operators, so that members of the community can enrich the Sia ecosystem without worrying about the impact on their own finances.

Ensure easy acquisition and storage of siacoins

Most users will acquire their siacoins via an exchange. The Foundation will provide support to Sia-compatible exchanges, and pursue relevant integrations at its discretion, such as Coinbase's new Rosetta standard. The Foundation may also release DEX software that enables trading cryptocurrencies without the need for a third party. (The Foundation itself will never operate as a money transmitter.)
Increasingly, users are storing their cryptocurrency on hardware wallets. The Foundation will maintain the existing Ledger Nano S integration, and pursue further integrations at its discretion.
Of course, all hardware wallets must be paired with software running on a computer or smartphone, so the Foundation will also develop and/or maintain client-side wallet software, including both full-node wallets and "lite" wallets. Community-operated wallet services, i.e. web wallets, may be funded via grants.
Like core software maintenance, this responsibility will be funded in the form of developer salaries and contracting agreements.

Protect the ecosystem

When it comes to cryptocurrency security, patching software vulnerabilities is table stakes; there are significant legal and social threats that we must be mindful of as well. As such, the Foundation will earmark a portion of its fund to defend the community from legal action. The Foundation will also safeguard the network from 51% attacks and other threats to network security by implementing softforks and/or hardforks where necessary.
The Foundation also intends to assist in the development of a new FOSS software license, and to solicit legal memos on various Sia-related matters, such as hosting in the United States and the EU.
In a broader sense, the establishment of the Foundation makes the ecosystem more robust by transferring core development to a more neutral entity. Thanks to its funding structure, the Foundation will be immune to various forms of pressure that for-profit companies are susceptible to.

Drive adoption of Sia

Although the overriding goal of the Foundation is to make Sia the best platform it can be, all that work will be in vain if no one uses the platform. There are a number of ways the Foundation can promote Sia and get it into the hands of potential users and developers.
In-person conferences are understandably far less popular now, but the Foundation can sponsor and/or participate in virtual conferences. (In-person conferences may be held in the future, permitting circumstances.) Similarly, the Foundation will provide prizes for hackathons, which may be organized by community members, Nebulous, or the Foundation itself. Lastly, partnerships with other companies in the cryptocurrency space—or the cloud storage space—are a great way to increase awareness of Sia. To handle these responsibilities, one of the early priorities of the Foundation will be to hire a marketing director.

Fund Management

The Foundation Fund will be controlled by a multisig address. Each member of the Foundation's board will control one of the signing keys, with the signature threshold to be determined once the final composition of the board is known. (This threshold may also be increased or decreased if the number of board members changes.) Additionally, one timelocked signing key will be controlled by David Vorick. This key will act as a “dead man’s switch,” to be used in the event of an emergency that prevents Foundation board members from reaching the signature threshold. The timelock ensures that this key cannot be used unless the Foundation fails to sign a transaction for several months.
On the 1st of each month, the Foundation will use its keys to transfer all siacoins in the Fund to two new addresses. The first address will be controlled by a high-security hot wallet, and will receive approximately one month's worth of Foundation expenditures. The second address, receiving the remaining siacoins, will be a modified version of the source address: specifically, it will increase the timelock on David Vorick's signing key by one month. Any other changes to the set of signing keys, such as the arrival or departure of board members, will be incorporated into this address as well.
The Foundation Fund is allocated in SC, but many of the Foundation's expenditures must be paid in USD or other fiat currency. Accordingly, the Foundation will convert, at its discretion, a portion of its monthly withdrawals to fiat currency. We expect this conversion to be primarily facilitated by private "OTC" sales to accredited investors. The Foundation currently has no plans to speculate in cryptocurrency or other assets.
Finally, it is important that the Foundation adds value to the Sia platform well in excess of the inflation introduced by the block subsidy. For this reason, the Foundation intends to provably burn, on a quarterly basis, any coins that it cannot allocate towards any justifiable expense. In other words, coins will be burned whenever doing so provides greater value to the platform than any other use. Furthermore, the Foundation will cap its SC treasury at 5% of the total supply, and will cap its USD treasury at 4 years’ worth of predicted expenses.
 
Addendum: Hardfork Timeline
We would like to see this proposal finalized and accepted by the community no later than September 30th. A new version of siad, implementing the hardfork, will be released no later than October 15th. The hardfork will activate at block 293220, which is expected to occur around 12pm EST on January 1st, 2021.
 
Addendum: Inflation specifics
The total supply of siacoins as of January 1st, 2021 will be approximately 45.243 GS. The initial subsidy of 1.57 GS thus increases the supply by 3.47%, and the total annual inflation in 2021 will be at most 10.4% (if zero coins are burned). In 2022, total annual inflation will be at most 6.28%, and will steadily decrease in subsequent years.
 

Conclusion

We see the establishment of the Foundation as an important step in the maturation of the Sia project. It provides the ecosystem with a sustainable source of funding that can be exclusively directed towards achieving Sia's ambitious goals. Compared to other projects with far deeper pockets, Sia has always punched above its weight; once we're on equal footing, there's no telling what we'll be able to achieve.
Nevertheless, we do not propose this change lightly, and have taken pains to ensure that the Foundation will act in accordance with the ideals that this community shares. It will operate transparently, keep inflation to a minimum, and respect the user's fundamental role in decentralized systems. We hope that everyone in the community will consider this proposal carefully, and look forward to a productive discussion.
submitted by lukechampine to siacoin [link] [comments]

Google Alternatives huge list restore your privacy

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to degoogle [link] [comments]

My collection of amazing early Bitcoin comments, right here from Reddit:

On buying (or not) a gaming rig to mine Bitcoin:
With the difficulty skyrocketing and exchange rates sitting stagnant at $5~8 for the last week or so, you pretty much missed the boat to buy dedicated mining hardware, IMHO. If you already have the hardware, or are looking for an excuse to buy a couple bitchin' new graphics cards for a gaming rig, there's definitely money to be made mining when you're not using it.
But I don't think I'd drop $1k into a rig that's only to mine with unless it was $1k I'd blow on something even more retarded. I certainly wouldn't sink next month's rent into it.
https://reddit.com/AskReddit/comments/hnp7f/_/c1wuv1b/?context=1
On easily cashing out Bitcoin using mtgox:
I think getting money is not that difficult. The daily volume on mtgox is over $100K, so I think anyone can currently sell Bitcoins for USD without problems.
https://reddit.com/AskReddit/comments/hnp7f/_/c1wuhjh/?context=1
On it being $10:
Is Bitcoin 10 usd yet?
https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hpq6c/is_bitcoin_10_usd_yet/
Bonus: Snapshot of the isbitcoin10usdyet website from 2011: https://web.archive.org/web/20110606125320/http://www.isbitcoin10usdyet.com/
Mtgox might disappear:
400K bitcoins is $4M dollars. Given all risks and uncertainties around bitcoins, no wonder some of the early founders exit their investments. Tomorrow mtgox or dwolla may disappear. It is the matter of one government intervention.
https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hq1wj/_/c1xgesq/?context=1
Bitcoin is terrible at friendly front-end:
This is a dangerous point-of-view. The entire bitcoin ecosystem is ugly, confusing, and deeply unusable. Really think about the questions posed in the article. The client works, as in, it creates a functional front-end for some bitcoin-related tasks, but it isn't at all designed for how humans would want to interact with the currency. The point of the article isn't that the client is hard, it's that the client works pretty well for obsessive nerds (present company included), but if bitcoin is really going to succeed at the goals it sets out to accomplish, it needs to not only be usable by normal people, it needs to be exceptional. If you think it's reasonably usable, you're welcome to that opinion, but please understand that you're the exact sort of person Mr. Falkvinge was referring to. Great with complex logic, terrible at friendly front-end.
https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hrqpm/_/c1xtfuy/?context=1
On wallets going out of sync:
One thing that I think is lacking is the ability to functionally use wallets on different machines as they will tend to get out of sync. This might be able to be overcome if new addresses were deterministically created from a seed contained in the wallet, but there are probably better ways.
Also, the UI for the official client is kind of a bone.
https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hrqpm/_/c1y730k/?context=1
On Bitcoin’s ease of use:
In fact, BTC is in such an infant state right now only enthusiasts investors, and geeks who can actually grasp how the system truly works, are using it for real.
The usability issues raised by the article are real. No grandma, or any well respected enterprise for that matter, would accept working with this type of GUI. If anything, a REAL enterprise backend still needs to be developed to handle the BTC's ungly guts, with all transactions details, hashes, mining, wallets, proxy connections, peer discovery via IRC channels... I mean... this is all too RAW for the end user. I can see a near future where startups will begin to offer user friendly GUIs, online access, maybe even online banking for your bitcoin accounts, automated backups and safety mechanisms to protect your coins in case of theft.
All of us geeks will end up supporting the bootstrap of this network so that, later on, your grandma will be able to use this just as she would use a credit card today.
https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hrqpm/_/c1xungz/?context=1
rBitcoin is not a sub for memes:
This isnt a subreddit for memes. Take it back to pics
https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/i7z0v/_/c21m3ld/?context=1
I think I’ll keep my money elsewhere:
This further reinforces BC's image as nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. When the distribution is skewed that heavily towards early adopters, they will have almost total control over the market. Those 32 could manipulate to their hearts content. I think I'll keep my money elsewhere....
https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/ifl26/_/c23e3ei/?context=1
Tulip mania:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania
https://www.reddit.com/AskReddit/comments/hnp7f/i_just_invested_half_of_my_next_months_rent_in/c1wuhkt/
submitted by wisequote to btc [link] [comments]

guide to how to restore your privacy huge list

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to privacytoolsIO [link] [comments]

RiB Newsletter #14 – Are We Smart (Contract) Yet?

We’re seeing a bunch of interesting Rust blockchain and crypto projects, so this month the “Interesting Things” section is loaded up with news, papers, and project links.
This month, Elrond, appeared on our radar with the launch of their mainnet. Although not written in Rust, it runs Rust smart contracts on its Arwen WASM VM, which itself is based on the Rust Wasmer VM. Along with NEAR, Nervos, and Enigma (and probably others), this continues an encouraging trend of blockchains enabling smart contracts in Rust. See the “Interesting Things” section for examples of Elrond’s Rust contracts.
Rust continues to be popular for research into zero-knowledge proofs, with Microsoft releasing Spartan, a zk-SNARK system without trusted setup.
In RiB news, we published a late one-year anniversary blog post. It has some reflection on the changes to, and growth of, RiB over the last year.
The Awesome Blockchain Rust project, which is maintained by Sun under the rust-in-blockchain GitHub org, has received a stream of updates recently, and is now published as the Awesome-RiB page on rustinblockchain.org.
It’s a pretty good resource for finding blockchain-related Rust projects, with links to many of the more prominent and mature projects noted in the RiB newsletter. It could use more eyes on it though.

Project Spotlight

Each month we like to shine a light on a notable Rust blockchain project. This month that project is…
ethers.rs
ethers.rs is an Ethereum & Celo library and wallet implementation, implemented as a port of the ethers.js library to Rust.
Ethereum client programming is usually done in JavaScript with either web3.js or ethers.js, with ethers.js being the newer of the two. These clients communicate to an Ethereum node, typically via JSON-RPC (or, when in the browser, via an “injected” client provider that follows EIP-1193, like MetaMask).
ethers.rs then provides a strongly-typed alternative for writing software that interacts with the Ethereum network.
As of now it is only suited for non-browser use cases, but if you prefer hacking in Rust to JavaScript, as some of us surely do, it is worth looking into for your next Ethereum project.
The author of ethers.rs, Georgios Konstantopoulos, accepts donations to sponsor their work.
Note that there is also a Rust alternative to web3.js, rust-web3.

Interesting Things

News

Blog Posts

Papers

Projects

Podcasts and Videos


Read more: https://rustinblockchain.org/newsletters/2020-08-05-are-we-smart-contract-yet/
submitted by Aimeedeer to rust [link] [comments]

huge list of google alternatives tutorial for those people who respects their privacy

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to Huawei [link] [comments]

Transcript of discussion between an ASIC designer and several proof-of-work designers from #monero-pow channel on Freenode this morning

[08:07:01] lukminer contains precompiled cn/r math sequences for some blocks: https://lukminer.org/2019/03/09/oh-kay-v4r-here-we-come/
[08:07:11] try that with RandomX :P
[08:09:00] tevador: are you ready for some RandomX feedback? it looks like the CNv4 is slowly stabilizing, hashrate comes down...
[08:09:07] how does it even make sense to precompile it?
[08:09:14] mine 1% faster for 2 minutes?
[08:09:35] naturally we think the entire asic-resistance strategy is doomed to fail :) but that's a high-level thing, who knows. people may think it's great.
[08:09:49] about RandomX: looks like the cache size was chosen to make it GPU-hard
[08:09:56] looking forward to more docs
[08:11:38] after initial skimming, I would think it's possible to make a 10x asic for RandomX. But at least for us, we will only make an ASIC if there is not a total ASIC hostility there in the first place. That's better for the secret miners then.
[08:13:12] What I propose is this: we are working on an Ethash ASIC right now, and once we have that working, we would invite tevador or whoever wants to come to HK/Shenzhen and we walk you guys through how we would make a RandomX ASIC. You can then process this input in any way you like. Something like that.
[08:13:49] unless asics (or other accelerators) re-emerge on XMR faster than expected, it looks like there is a little bit of time before RandomX rollout
[08:14:22] 10x in what measure? $/hash or watt/hash?
[08:14:46] watt/hash
[08:15:19] so you can make 10 times more efficient double precisio FPU?
[08:16:02] like I said let's try to be productive. You are having me here, let's work together!
[08:16:15] continue with RandomX, publish more docs. that's always helpful.
[08:16:37] I'm trying to understand how it's possible at all. Why AMD/Intel are so inefficient at running FP calculations?
[08:18:05] midipoet ([email protected]/web/irccloud.com/x-vszshqqxwybvtsjm) has joined #monero-pow
[08:18:17] hardware development works the other way round. We start with 1) math then 2) optimization priority 3) hw/sw boundary 4) IP selection 5) physical implementation
[08:22:32] This still doesn't explain at which point you get 10x
[08:23:07] Weren't you the ones claiming "We can accelerate ProgPoW by a factor of 3x to 8x." ? I find it hard to believe too.
[08:30:20] sure
[08:30:26] so my idea: first we finish our current chip
[08:30:35] from simulation to silicon :)
[08:30:40] we love this stuff... we do it anyway
[08:30:59] now we have a communication channel, and we don't call each other names immediately anymore: big progress!
[08:31:06] you know, we russians have a saying "it was smooth on paper, but they forgot about ravines"
[08:31:12] So I need a bit more details
[08:31:16] ha ha. good!
[08:31:31] that's why I want to avoid to just make claims
[08:31:34] let's work
[08:31:40] RandomX comes in Sep/Oct, right?
[08:31:45] Maybe
[08:32:20] We need to audit it first
[08:32:31] ok
[08:32:59] we don't make chips to prove sw devs that their assumptions about hardware are wrong. especially not if these guys then promptly hardfork and move to the next wrong assumption :)
[08:33:10] from the outside, this only means that hw & sw are devaluing each other
[08:33:24] neither of us should do this
[08:33:47] we are making chips that can hopefully accelerate more crypto ops in the future
[08:33:52] signing, verifying, proving, etc.
[08:34:02] PoW is just a feature like others
[08:34:18] sech1: is it easy for you to come to Hong Kong? (visa-wise)
[08:34:20] or difficult?
[08:34:33] or are you there sometimes?
[08:34:41] It's kind of far away
[08:35:13] we are looking forward to more RandomX docs. that's the first step.
[08:35:31] I want to avoid that we have some meme "Linzhi says they can accelerate XYZ by factor x" .... "ha ha ha"
[08:35:37] right? we don't want that :)
[08:35:39] doc is almost finished
[08:35:40] What docs do you need? It's described pretty good
[08:35:41] so I better say nothing now
[08:35:50] we focus on our Ethash chip
[08:36:05] then based on that, we are happy to walk interested people through the design and what else it can do
[08:36:22] that's a better approach from my view than making claims that are laughed away (rightfully so, because no silicon...)
[08:36:37] ethash ASIC is basically a glorified memory controller
[08:36:39] sech1: tevador said something more is coming (he just did it again)
[08:37:03] yes, some parts of RandomX are not described well
[08:37:10] like dataset access logic
[08:37:37] RandomX looks like progpow for CPU
[08:37:54] yes
[08:38:03] it is designed to reflect CPU
[08:38:34] so any ASIC for it = CPU in essence
[08:39:04] of course there are still some things in regular CPU that can be thrown away for RandomX
[08:40:20] uncore parts are not used, but those will use very little power
[08:40:37] except for memory controller
[08:41:09] I'm just surprised sometimes, ok? let me ask: have you designed or taped out an asic before? isn't it risky to make assumptions about things that are largely unknown?
[08:41:23] I would worry
[08:41:31] that I get something wrong...
[08:41:44] but I also worry like crazy that CNv4 will blow up, where you guys seem to be relaxed
[08:42:06] I didn't want to bring up anything RandomX because CNv4 is such a nailbiter... :)
[08:42:15] how do you guys know you don't have asics in a week or two?
[08:42:38] we don't have experience with ASIC design, but RandomX is simply designed to exactly fit CPU capabilities, which is the best you can do anyways
[08:43:09] similar as ProgPoW did with GPUs
[08:43:14] some people say they want to do asic-resistance only until the vast majority of coins has been issued
[08:43:21] that's at least reasonable
[08:43:43] yeah but progpow totally will not work as advertised :)
[08:44:08] yeah, I've seen that comment about progpow a few times already
[08:44:11] which is no surprise if you know it's just a random sales story to sell a few more GPUs
[08:44:13] RandomX is not permanent, we are expecting to switch to ASIC friendly in a few years if possible
[08:44:18] yes
[08:44:21] that makes sense
[08:44:40] linzhi-sonia: how so? will it break or will it be asic-able with decent performance gains?
[08:44:41] are you happy with CNv4 so far?
[08:45:10] ah, long story. progpow is a masterpiece of deception, let's not get into it here.
[08:45:21] if you know chip marketing it makes more sense
[08:45:24] linzhi-sonia: So far? lol! a bit early to tell, don't you think?
[08:45:35] the diff is coming down
[08:45:41] first few hours looked scary
[08:45:43] I remain skeptical: I only see ASICs being reasonable if they are already as ubiquitous as smartphones
[08:45:46] yes, so far so good
[08:46:01] we kbew the diff would not come down ubtil affter block 75
[08:46:10] yes
[08:46:22] but first few hours it looks like only 5% hashrate left
[08:46:27] looked
[08:46:29] now it's better
[08:46:51] the next worry is: when will "unexplainable" hashrate come back?
[08:47:00] you hope 2-3 months? more?
[08:47:05] so give it another couple of days. will probably overshoot to the downside, and then rise a bit as miners get updated and return
[08:47:22] 3 months minimum turnaround, yes
[08:47:28] nah
[08:47:36] don't underestimate asicmakers :)
[08:47:54] you guys don't get #1 priority on chip fabs
[08:47:56] 3 months = 90 days. do you know what is happening in those 90 days exactly? I'm pretty sure you don't. same thing as before.
[08:48:13] we don't do any secret chips btw
[08:48:21] 3 months assumes they had a complete design ready to go, and added the last minute change in 1 day
[08:48:24] do you know who is behind the hashrate that is now bricked?
[08:48:27] innosilicon?
[08:48:34] hyc: no no, and no. :)
[08:48:44] hyc: have you designed or taped out a chip before?
[08:48:51] yes, many years ago
[08:49:10] then you should know that 90 days is not a fixed number
[08:49:35] sure, but like I said, other makers have greater demand
[08:49:35] especially not if you can prepare, if you just have to modify something, or you have more programmability in the chip than some people assume
[08:50:07] we are chipmakers, we would never dare to do what you guys are doing with CNv4 :) but maybe that just means you are cooler!
[08:50:07] and yes, programmability makes some aspect of turnaround easier
[08:50:10] all fine
[08:50:10] I hope it works!
[08:50:28] do you know who is behind the hashrate that is now bricked?
[08:50:29] inno?
[08:50:41] we suspect so, but have no evidence
[08:50:44] maybe we can try to find them, but we cannot spend too much time on this
[08:50:53] it's probably not so much of a secret
[08:51:01] why should it be, right?
[08:51:10] devs want this cat-and-mouse game? devs get it...
[08:51:35] there was one leak saying it's innosilicon
[08:51:36] so you think 3 months, ok
[08:51:43] inno is cool
[08:51:46] good team
[08:51:49] IP design house
[08:51:54] in Wuhan
[08:52:06] they send their people to conferences with fake biz cards :)
[08:52:19] pretending to be other companies?
[08:52:26] sure
[08:52:28] ha ha
[08:52:39] so when we see them, we look at whatever card they carry and laugh :)
[08:52:52] they are perfectly suited for secret mining games
[08:52:59] they made at most $6 million in 2 months of mining, so I wonder if it was worth it
[08:53:10] yeah. no way to know
[08:53:15] but it's good that you calculate!
[08:53:24] this is all about cost/benefit
[08:53:25] then you also understand - imagine the value of XMR goes up 5x, 10x
[08:53:34] that whole "asic resistance" thing will come down like a house of cards
[08:53:41] I would imagine they sell immediately
[08:53:53] the investor may fully understand the risk
[08:53:57] the buyer
[08:54:13] it's not healthy, but that's another discussion
[08:54:23] so mid-June
[08:54:27] let's see
[08:54:49] I would be susprised if CNv4 ASICs show up at all
[08:54:56] surprised*
[08:54:56] why?
[08:55:05] is only an economic question
[08:55:12] yeah should be interesting. FPGAs will be near their limits as well
[08:55:16] unless XMR goes up a lot
[08:55:19] no, not *only*. it's also a technology question
[08:55:44] you believe CNv4 is "asic resistant"? which feature?
[08:55:53] it's not
[08:55:59] cnv4 = Rabdomx ?
[08:56:03] no
[08:56:07] cnv4=cryptinight/r
[08:56:11] ah
[08:56:18] CNv4 is the one we have now, I think
[08:56:21] since yesterday
[08:56:30] it's plenty enough resistant for current XMR price
[08:56:45] that may be, yes!
[08:56:55] I look at daily payouts. XMR = ca. 100k USD / day
[08:57:03] it can hold until October, but it's not asic resistant
[08:57:23] well, last 24h only 22,442 USD :)
[08:57:32] I think 80 h/s per watt ASICs are possible for CNv4
[08:57:38] linzhi-sonia where do you produce your chips? TSMC?
[08:57:44] I'm cruious how you would expect to build a randomX ASIC that outperforms ARM cores for efficiency, or Intel cores for raw speed
[08:57:48] curious
[08:58:01] yes, tsmc
[08:58:21] Our team did the world's first bitcoin asic, Avalon
[08:58:25] and upcoming 2nd gen Ryzens (64-core EPYC) will be a blast at RandomX
[08:58:28] designed and manufactured
[08:58:53] still being marketed?
[08:59:03] linzhi-sonia: do you understand what xmr wants to achieve, community-wise?
[08:59:14] Avalon? as part of Canaan Creative, yes I think so.
[08:59:25] there's not much interesting oing on in SHA256
[08:59:29] Inge-: I would think so, but please speak
[08:59:32] hyc: yes
[09:00:28] linzhi-sonia: i am curious to hear your thoughts. I am fairly new to this space myself...
[09:00:51] oh
[09:00:56] we are grandpas, and grandmas
[09:01:36] yet I have no problem understanding why ASICS are currently reviled.
[09:01:48] xmr's main differentiators to, let's say btc, are anonymity and fungibility
[09:01:58] I find the client terribly slow btw
[09:02:21] and I think the asic-forking since last may is wrong, doesn't create value and doesn't help with the project objectives
[09:02:25] which "the client" ?
[09:02:52] Monero GUI client maybe
[09:03:12] MacOS, yes
[09:03:28] What exactly is slow?
[09:03:30] linzhi-sonia: I run my own node, and use the CLI and Monerujo. Have not had issues.
[09:03:49] staying in sync
[09:03:49] linzhi-sonia: decentralization is also a key principle
[09:03:56] one that Bitcoin has failed to maintain
[09:04:39] hmm
[09:05:00] looks fairly decentralized to me. decentralization is the result of 3 goals imo: resilient, trustless, permissionless
[09:05:28] don't ask a hardware maker about physical decentralization. that's too ideological. we focus on logical decentralization.
[09:06:11] physical decentralization is important. with bulk of bitnoin mining centered on Chinese hydroelectric dams
[09:06:19] have you thought about including block data in the PoW?
[09:06:41] yes, of course.
[09:07:39] is that already in an algo?
[09:08:10] hyc: about "centered on chinese hydro" - what is your source? the best paper I know is this: https://coinshares.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Mining-Whitepaper-Final.pdf
[09:09:01] linzhi-sonia: do you mine on your ASICs before you sell them?
[09:09:13] besides testing of course
[09:09:45] that paper puts Chinese btc miners at 60% max
[09:10:05] tevador: I think everybody learned that that is not healthy long-term!
[09:10:16] because it gives the chipmaker a cost advantage over its own customers
[09:10:33] and cost advantage leads to centralization (physical and logical)
[09:10:51] you guys should know who finances progpow and why :)
[09:11:05] but let's not get into this, ha ha. want to keep the channel civilized. right OhGodAGirl ? :)
[09:11:34] tevador: so the answer is no! 100% and definitely no
[09:11:54] that "self-mining" disease was one of the problems we have now with asics, and their bad reputation (rightfully so)
[09:13:08] I plan to write a nice short 2-page paper or so on our chip design process. maybe it's interesting to some people here.
[09:13:15] basically the 5 steps I mentioned before, from math to physical
[09:13:32] linzhi-sonia: the paper you linked puts 48% of bitcoin mining in Sichuan. the total in China is much more than 60%
[09:13:38] need to run it by a few people to fix bugs, will post it here when published
[09:14:06] hyc: ok! I am just sharing the "best" document I know today. it definitely may be wrong and there may be a better one now.
[09:14:18] hyc: if you see some reports, please share
[09:14:51] hey I am really curious about this: where is a PoW algo that puts block data into the PoW?
[09:15:02] the previous paper I read is from here http://hackingdistributed.com/2018/01/15/decentralization-bitcoin-ethereum/
[09:15:38] hyc: you said that already exists? (block data in PoW)
[09:15:45] it would make verification harder
[09:15:49] linzhi-sonia: https://the-eye.eu/public/Books/campdivision.com/PDF/Computers%20General/Privacy/bitcoin/meh/hashimoto.pdf
[09:15:51] but for chips it would be interesting
[09:15:52] we discussed the possibility about a year ago https://www.reddit.com/Monero/comments/8bshrx/what_we_need_to_know_about_proof_of_work_pow/
[09:16:05] oh good links! thanks! need to read...
[09:16:06] I think that paper by dryja was original
[09:17:53] since we have a nice flow - second question I'm very curious about: has anyone thought about in-protocol rewards for other functions?
[09:18:55] we've discussed micropayments for wallets to use remote nodes
[09:18:55] you know there is a lot of work in other coins about STARK provers, zero-knowledge, etc. many of those things very compute intense, or need to be outsourced to a service (zether). For chipmakers, in-protocol rewards create an economic incentive to accelerate those things.
[09:19:50] whenever there is an in-protocol reward, you may get the power of ASICs doing something you actually want to happen
[09:19:52] it would be nice if there was some economic reward for running a fullnode, but no one has come up with much more than that afaik
[09:19:54] instead of fighting them off
[09:20:29] you need to use asics, not fight them. that's an obvious thing to say for an asicmaker...
[09:20:41] in-protocol rewards can be very powerful
[09:20:50] like I said before - unless the ASICs are so useful they're embedded in every smartphone, I dont see them being a positive for decentralization
[09:21:17] if they're a separate product, the average consumer is not going to buy them
[09:21:20] now I was talking about speedup of verifying, signing, proving, etc.
[09:21:23] they won't even know what they are
[09:22:07] if anybody wants to talk about or design in-protocol rewards, please come talk to us
[09:22:08] the average consumer also doesn't use general purpose hardware to secure blockchains either
[09:22:14] not just for PoW, in fact *NOT* for PoW
[09:22:32] it requires sw/hw co-design
[09:23:10] we are in long-term discussions/collaboration over this with Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash. just talk right now.
[09:23:16] this was recently published though suggesting more uptake though I guess https://btcmanager.com/college-students-are-the-second-biggest-miners-of-cryptocurrency/
[09:23:29] I find it pretty hard to believe their numbers
[09:24:03] well
[09:24:09] sorry, original article: https://www.pcmag.com/news/366952/college-kids-are-using-campus-electricity-to-mine-crypto
[09:24:11] just talk, no? rumors
[09:24:18] college students are already more educated than the average consumer
[09:24:29] we are not seeing many such customers anymore
[09:24:30] it's data from cisco monitoring network traffic
[09:24:33] and they're always looking for free money
[09:24:48] of course anyone with "free" electricity is inclined to do it
[09:24:57] but look at the rates, cannot make much money
[09:26:06] Ethereum is a bloated collection of bugs wrapped in a UI. I suppose they need all the help they can get
[09:26:29] Bitcoin Cash ... just another get rich quick scheme
[09:26:38] hmm :)
[09:26:51] I'll give it back to you, ok? ha ha. arrogance comes before the fall...
[09:27:17] maye we should have a little fun with CNv4 mining :)
[09:27:25] ;)
[09:27:38] come on. anyone who has watched their track record... $75M lost in ETH at DAO hack
[09:27:50] every smart contract that comes along is just waiting for another hack
[09:27:58] I just wanted to throw out the "in-protocol reward" thing, maybe someone sees the idea and wants to cowork. maybe not. maybe it's a stupid idea.
[09:29:18] linzhi-sonia: any thoughts on CN-GPU?
[09:29:55] CN-GPU has one positive aspect - it wastes chip area to implement all 18 hash algorithms
[09:30:19] you will always hear roughly the same feedback from me:
[09:30:52] "This algorithm very different, it heavy use floating point operations to hurt FPGAs and general purpose CPUs"
[09:30:56] the problem is, if it's profitable for people to buy ASIC miners and mine, it's always more profitable for the manufacturer to not sell and mine themselves
[09:31:02] "hurt"
[09:31:07] what is the point of this?
[09:31:15] it totally doesn't work
[09:31:24] you are hurting noone, just demonstrating lack of ability to think
[09:31:41] what is better: algo designed for chip, or chip designed for algo?
[09:31:43] fireice does it on daily basis, CN-GPU is a joke
[09:31:53] tevador: that's not really true, especially in a market with such large price fluctuations as cryptocurrency
[09:32:12] it's far less risky to sell miners than mine with them and pray that price doesn't crash for next six months
[09:32:14] I think it's great that crypto has a nice group of asicmakers now, hw & sw will cowork well
[09:32:36] jwinterm yes, that's why they premine them and sell after
[09:32:41] PoW is about being thermodynamically and cryptographically provable
[09:32:45] premining with them is taking on that risk
[09:32:49] not "fork when we think there are asics"
[09:32:51] business is about risk minimization
[09:32:54] that's just fear-driven
[09:33:05] Inge-: that's roughly the feedback
[09:33:24] I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but I think it's not so simple as saying "it always happens"
[09:34:00] jwinterm: it has certainly happened on BTC. and also on XMR.
[09:34:19] ironically, please think about it: these kinds of algos indeed prove the limits of the chips they were designed for. but they don't prove that you cannot implement the same algo differently! cannot!
[09:34:26] Risk minimization is not starting a business at all.
[09:34:34] proof-of-gpu-limit. proof-of-cpu-limit.
[09:34:37] imagine you have a money printing machine, would you sell it?
[09:34:39] proves nothing for an ASIC :)
[09:35:05] linzhi-sonia: thanks. I dont think anyone believes you can't make a more efficient cn-gpu asic than a gpu - but that it would not be orders of magnitude faster...
[09:35:24] ok
[09:35:44] like I say. these algos are, that's really ironic, designed to prove the limitatios of a particular chip in mind of the designer
[09:35:50] exactly the wrong way round :)
[09:36:16] like the cache size in RandomX :)
[09:36:18] beautiful
[09:36:29] someone looked at GPU designs
[09:37:31] linzhi-sonia can you elaborate? Cache size in RandomX was selected to fit CPU cache
[09:37:52] yes
[09:38:03] too large for GPU
[09:38:11] as I said, we are designing the algorithm to exactly fit CPU capabilities, I do not claim an ASIC cannot be more efficient
[09:38:16] ok!
[09:38:29] when will you do the audit?
[09:38:35] will the results be published in a document or so?
[09:38:37] I claim that single-chip ASIC is not viable, though
[09:39:06] you guys are brave, noone disputes that. 3 anti-asic hardforks now!
[09:39:18] 4th one coming
[09:39:31] 3 forks were done not only for this
[09:39:38] they had scheduled updates in the first place
[09:48:10] Monero is the #1 anti-asic fighter
[09:48:25] Monero is #1 for a lot of reasons ;)
[09:48:40] It's the coin with the most hycs.
[09:48:55] mooooo
[09:59:06] sneaky integer overflow, bug squished
[10:38:00] p0nziph0ne ([email protected]/vpn/privateinternetaccess/p0nziph0ne) has joined #monero-pow
[11:10:53] The convo here is wild
[11:12:29] it's like geo-politics at the intersection of software and hardware manufacturing for thermoeconomic value.
[11:13:05] ..and on a Sunday.
[11:15:43] midipoet: hw and sw should work together and stop silly games to devalue each other. to outsiders this is totally not attractive.
[11:16:07] I appreciate the positive energy here to try to listen, learn, understand.
[11:16:10] that's a start
[11:16:48] <-- p0nziph0ne ([email protected]/vpn/privateinternetaccess/p0nziph0ne) has quit (Quit: Leaving)
[11:16:54] we won't do silly mining against xmr "community" wishes, but not because we couldn'd do it, but because it's the wrong direction in the long run, for both sides
[11:18:57] linzhi-sonia: I agree to some extent. Though, in reality, there will always be divergence between social worlds. Not every body has the same vision of the future. Reaching societal consensus on reality tomorrow is not always easy
[11:20:25] absolutely. especially at a time when there is so much profit to be made from divisiveness.
[11:20:37] someone will want to make that profit, for sure
[11:24:32] Yes. Money distorts.
[11:24:47] Or wealth...one of the two
[11:26:35] Too much physical money will distort rays of light passing close to it indeed.
submitted by jwinterm to Monero [link] [comments]

Hard coded UTXO checkpoints are the way to go. They're safe. They're necessary.

Update 3:
Pieter convinced me in the comments of his Stack Exchange answer that these checkpoints don't give any material improvement over assumevalid and assumeutxo. He made me realize why my Case IV below would not actually cause a huge disruption for assumevalid users. So I rescind my call for UTXO checkpoints.
However, I maintain that UTXO checkpoints done properly (with checkpoints sufficiently in the past) are not a security model change and would not meaningfully alter consensus. It sounded like Pieter agreed with me on that point as well.
I think UTXO checkpoints might still be a useful tool
I will call for Assume UTXO tho. It plus assumevalid adds pretty much much all the same benefits as my proposal.
OP:
Luke Jr has been proposing lowering the maximum block size to 300mb in order to limit how long it takes a new node to sync up. He makes the good point that if processor power is growing at only 17%/year, that's how much we can grow the number of transactions a new node needs to verify on initial sync.
But limiting the blocksize is not the only way to do it. As I'm sure you can foresee from the title, I believe the best way to do it is a hardcoded checkpoint built into the software (eg bitcoin core). This is safe, this is secure, and it is a scalability improvement that has no downsides.
So what is a hardcoded checkpoint? This would consist of a couple pieces of data being hardcoded into the source code of any bitcoin full-node software. The data would be a blockheight, block hash, and UTXO hash. With those three pieces of information, a new client can download the block at that height and the UTXO set built up to that height, and then it can verify that the block and UTXO set are correct because they both have the correct hashes.
This way, a new node can start syncing from that height rather than from the first block ever mined. What does this improve?
While not strictly necessary, its likely that the UTXO data would come from the same source as the software, since otherwise full nodes would have to store UTXO sets at multiple block heights just in case someone asks for it as part of their checkpoint. Also, full-nodes should store block information going back historically significantly further than their checkpoint, so they have data to pass to clients that have an earlier checkpoint. So perhaps if a client is configured for a checkpoint 6 months ago, it should probably still store block data from up to 2 years ago (tho it wouldn't need to verify all that data - or rather, verifying it would be far simpler because the header chain connecting to their checkpoint block would all that needs to be validated).
To be perfectly clear, I'm absolutely not suggesting a live checkpoint beacon that updates the software on-the-fly from a remote source. That is completely unsafe and insecure, because it forces you to trust that one source. At any time, whoever controls the live source could disrupt millions of people by broadcasting an invalid block or a block on a malicious chain. So I'm NOT suggesting having a central source, or even any distributed set of sources, that automatically send checkpoint information to clients that connect to it. That would 100% be unsafe. What I'm suggesting is a checkpoint hardcoded into the software, which can be safely audited.
So is a hardcoded checkpoint safe and secure? Yes it is. Bitcoin software already needs to be audited. That's why you should never use bitcoin software that isn't open source. So by including the three pieces of data described above, all you're doing is adding a couple more things that need to be audited. If you're downloading a bitcoin software binary without auditing it yourself, then you already take on the risk of trusting the distributor of that binary, and adding hardcoded checkpoints does not increase that risk at all.
However, most people can't even audit the bitcoin software if they wanted to. Most people aren't programmers and can't feasibly understand the code. Not so for the checkpoints. The checkpoints could easily be audited by anyone who runs a full node, or anyone who can check block hashes and UTXO hashes from multiple sources they trust. Auditing the hardcoded checkpoint would be so easy we could sell T shirts that say "I helped audit Bitcoin source code!"
The security profile of a piece of bitcoin node software with hardcoded checkpoints or without hardcoded checkpoints is identical. Not similar. Not almost. Actually identical. There is no downside.
Imagine this twice-a-year software release process:
Month 0: After the last release, development on the next release start (or rather, continues).
Month 3: The next candidate version of the software is finalized, including a checkpoint from some non-contentious distance ago, say 1 month ago.
Month 6: After 3 months of auditing and bug fixing, the software is released. At this point, the checkpoint would be 4 months old.
In this process, downloading the latest version of bitcoin software would mean the maximum months of blocks you have to sync is 10 months (if you download and run the software the day before the next release happens). This process is safe, its secure, its auditable, and it saves tons of processing time and harddrive space. This also means that it would allow bitcoin full nodes to be run by lower-power computers, and would allow more people to run full nodes. I think everyone can agree that outcome would be a good one.
So why do we need this change? Because 300kb blocks is the alternative. That's not enough space, even with the lightning network. I'm redacting the previous because I don't have the data to support it and I don't think its necessary to argue that we need this change.
So why do we need this change? This change represents a substantial scalability improvement from O(n) to O(Δn). It removes a major bottleneck to increasing on-chain transaction throughput, reducing fees, increasing user security as well as network-wide security (through more full nodes), or a combination of those.
What does everyone think?
Update:
I think its useful to think of 4 different types of users relevant in the hypothetical scenario where Bitcoin adopts this kind of proposal:
  1. Upfront Auditors - Early warnings
  2. After-the-fact Auditors - Late warnings
  3. Non-full-auditors - Late warnings
  4. Non full nodes - No warnings
Upfront auditors look at the source code of the software they use, the keep up to date with changes, and they make sure that what they're running looks good to them. They're almost definitely building directly from source code - no binaries for them. They'll alert people to a problem potentially before buggy or malicious software is even released. In this scenario, their security is obviously unchanged because they're not taking advantage of the check-pointing feature. We want to encourage as many people as possible to do this and to make it as easy as possible to do.
After-the-fact Auditors want to start a new node and start using Bitcoin immediately. They want to audit, but are ok with a period of time where they're trusting the code to be connecting the chain they want. They take on a slight amount of personal risk here, but once they back-validate the chain, they can sound the alert if there is a validation problem.
Non-full-auditors are simply content to trust that the software is good. They'll run the node without looking at most or any of the code. They take on more risk than After-the-fact Auditors, but their risk is not actually much worse than After-the-fact Auditors. Why? Because as soon as you're sure you're on the right chain (ie you do a few monetary transactions with people who accept your bitcoin), you're golden for as long as you use that node and the part of the chain it validated. The can also still help the network to pretty much the same degree as After-the-fact Auditors, because if there are a problem with their transactions, they can sound the alarm about a problem with that software.
Non full nodes obviously have less security and they don't help the network.
So why did I bother to talk about these different types of users?
Well, we obviously want as many Upfront auditors as possible. However, doing that out of the starting gate is time consuming. It takes time to audit the code and time to sync the blockchain. Its costly. For this reason, for better or worse, most people simply won't do it.
Without checkpoints, we don't have type 2 or type 3 users. The only alternative to being an Upfront Auditor is to be an SPV node that doesn't help the network and is less secure. With checkpoints, we could potentially change many of those people who would just use SPV to doing something much more helpful for the network.
One of the huge benefits of After-the-fact Auditors and Non-full-auditors is that once they're on the network, they can act like Upfront Auditors in the next release. Maybe they're not auditing the source code, but they can sure audit the checkpoint very easily. That means they can also sound the alarm before malicious or broken software is released, just like Upfront Auditors. Why? Because they now have a chain they believe to be the true one (with an incredibly high degree of confidence).
What this means is that Upfront Auditors, After-the-fact Auditors, and Non-full-auditors help the network to a very similar degree. If software that doesn't sync to the right chain, they will find out about it and alert others. Type 2 and 3 take on personal risk, but they don't put the network at greater risk, like SPV nodes do.
If we can convert most Non-full nodes into Type 2 or Type 3 users, that would be massive gain for the security of Bitcoin. Luke Jr said it himself, making nodes that support the network as easy as possible to run is critical. This is one good way to do that.
Update 2: Comparison to -assumevalid and why using checkpoints upgrades scalability
The -assumevalid option allows nodes to skip validation of blocks before the hardcoded golden block hash. This is similar to my proposal, but has a critical difference. A node with -assumevalid on (which I've heard is the default now) will still validate the whole chain in the case that a longer chain is floating around. Because of this, -assumevalid can be an optimization that works as long as there's no other longer chain also claiming to be bitcoin floating around the network.
The important points brought up by the people that wrote and discussed adding this feature was that:
A. Its not a change in security model, and
B. Its not a change in consensus rules.
This meant that it was a pure implementation detail that would never and could never change what chain your node follows.
The checkpoints I'm describing are different. On point A, some have said that checkpoints are a security model change, and I've addressed that above. I'd like to add that there is no way for bitcoin to be 100% trustless. That is impossible. Bitcoin at the deepest level is a specified protocol many people have agreed to use together. In order to join that group even on the most fundamental level, you need to find the spec people are agreeing to use. You have to trust that the person or people that gave you a copy of that spec gave you the right one. If different people claim that different specs are "bitcoin", you have to choose which people to trust. The same is true of checkpoints. New entrants want to join the network that the people they care about interacting with believe is Bitcoin, and those are the people they will trust to get the spec, or the source code, or the hash of the UTXO set. This is why I say the security profile of Bitcoin with checkpoints is identical to Bitcoin without checkpoints. The amount of trust you have to put in your social network is not materially different.
While its not a security model change, as I've supported above, using checkpoints is consensus rules change. Every new checkpoint would change the consensus rules. However, I would argue this isn't a problem as long as those checkpoints are at a non-contentious number of blocks ago. While it would change consensus rules, it should not change consensus at all. There are 4 scenarios to consider:
I. There's no contention.
II. There's a long-range reorg from before the checkpoint.
III. There exists a contentious public chain that branched before the checkpoint would usually be taken.
IV. There exists an invalid chain that's longer than the valid chain.
In case I, none of it matters, and checkpoints have pretty much exactly the same result as -assumevalid.
In case II, Bitcoin has much bigger problems. Its simply unacceptable for Bitcoin to allow for long-range reorgs, so this case must be prevented entirely. The downsides of a long-range reorg for bitcoin without checkpoints is MUCH MUCH larger than the additional downsides with checkpoints.
In case III, the obvious solution is to checkpoint from an earlier non-contentious blockheight, so nodes validate both chains.
Case IV is where things really differ between checkpoints and -assumevalid. In this case, nodes using a checkpoint will only validate blocks after the checkpoint. However, nodes using -assumevalid will be forced to validate both chains back to their branch-point.
I don't believe there are other relevant cases, but as long as checkpoints are chosen from non-contentious heights and have time to be audited, there is no possibility that honestly-run bitcoin software would in any way affect the consensus for what chain is the right chain.
This brings me back to why checkpoints upgrades scalability, and -assumevalid does not. Case IV is the case that prevents -assumevalid from being a scalability improvement. You want new nodes to be able to sync to the network relatively quickly, so say the 90th percentile of machines should be able to do it in less than a week (or maybe we want to ensure sync happens within a day - that's up for debate). With checkpoints, invalid chains branched before the checkpoint will not disrupt new entrants to the network. With -assumevalid, those invalid change will disrupt new entrants. Since an invalid chain can have branched arbitrarily far in the past, this disruption could be arbitrarily large.
One way to deal with this is to ensure that most machines can handle validating not only the whole valid chain, but the whole invalid chain as well. The other way to deal with this is checkpoints.
So back to scalability, with checkpoints all we need to ensure is that the lowest power machines we want to support can sync in a timely manner back to the checkpoint.
submitted by fresheneesz to BitcoinDiscussion [link] [comments]

⚡ Lightning Network Megathread ⚡

Last updated 2018-01-29
This post is a collaboration with the Bitcoin community to create a one-stop source for Lightning Network information.
There are still questions in the FAQ that are unanswered, if you know the answer and can provide a source please do so!

⚡What is the Lightning Network? ⚡

Explanations:

Image Explanations:

Specifications / White Papers

Videos

Lightning Network Experts on Reddit

  • starkbot - (Elizabeth Stark - Lightning Labs)
  • roasbeef - (Olaoluwa Osuntokun - Lightning Labs)
  • stile65 - (Alex Akselrod - Lightning Labs)
  • cfromknecht - (Conner Fromknecht - Lightning Labs)
  • RustyReddit - (Rusty Russell - Blockstream)
  • cdecker - (Christian Decker - Blockstream)
  • Dryja - (Tadge Dryja - Digital Currency Initiative)
  • josephpoon - (Joseph Poon)
  • fdrn - (Fabrice Drouin - ACINQ )
  • pmpadiou - (Pierre-Marie Padiou - ACINQ)

Lightning Network Experts on Twitter

  • @starkness - (Elizabeth Stark - Lightning Labs)
  • @roasbeef - (Olaoluwa Osuntokun - Lightning Labs)
  • @stile65 - (Alex Akselrod - Lightning Labs)
  • @bitconner - (Conner Fromknecht - Lightning Labs)
  • @johanth - (Johan Halseth - Lightning Labs)
  • @bvu - (Bryan Vu - Lightning Labs)
  • @rusty_twit - (Rusty Russell - Blockstream)
  • @snyke - (Christian Decker - Blockstream)
  • @JackMallers - (Jack Mallers - Zap)
  • @tdryja - (Tadge Dryja - Digital Currency Initiative)
  • @jcp - (Joseph Poon)
  • @alexbosworth - (Alex Bosworth - yalls.org)

Medium Posts

Learning Resources

Books

Desktop Interfaces

Web Interfaces

Tutorials and resources

Lightning on Testnet

Lightning Wallets

Place a testnet transaction

Altcoin Trading using Lightning

  • ZigZag - Disclaimer You must trust ZigZag to send to Target Address

Lightning on Mainnet

Warning - Testing should be done on Testnet

Atomic Swaps

Developer Documentation and Resources

Lightning implementations

  • LND - Lightning Network Daemon (Golang)
  • eclair - A Scala implementation of the Lightning Network (Scala)
  • c-lightning - A Lightning Network implementation in C
  • lit - Lightning Network node software (Golang)
  • lightning-onion - Onion Routed Micropayments for the Lightning Network (Golang)
  • lightning-integration - Lightning Integration Testing Framework
  • ptarmigan - C++ BOLT-Compliant Lightning Network Implementation [Incomplete]

Libraries

Lightning Network Visualizers/Explorers

Testnet

Mainnet

Payment Processors

  • BTCPay - Next stable version will include Lightning Network

Community

Slack

IRC

Slack Channel

Discord Channel

Miscellaneous

⚡ Lightning FAQs ⚡

If you can answer please PM me and include source if possible. Feel free to help keep these answers up to date and as brief but correct as possible
Is Lightning Bitcoin?
Yes. You pick a peer and after some setup, create a bitcoin transaction to fund the lightning channel; it’ll then take another transaction to close it and release your funds. You and your peer always hold a bitcoin transaction to get your funds whenever you want: just broadcast to the blockchain like normal. In other words, you and your peer create a shared account, and then use Lightning to securely negotiate who gets how much from that shared account, without waiting for the bitcoin blockchain.
Is the Lightning Network open source?
Yes, Lightning is open source. Anyone can review the code (in the same way as the bitcoin code)
Who owns and controls the Lightning Network?
Similar to the bitcoin network, no one will ever own or control the Lightning Network. The code is open source and free for anyone to download and review. Anyone can run a node and be part of the network.
I’ve heard that Lightning transactions are happening “off-chain”…Does that mean that my bitcoin will be removed from the blockchain?
No, your bitcoin will never leave the blockchain. Instead your bitcoin will be held in a multi-signature address as long as your channel stays open. When the channel is closed; the final transaction will be added to the blockchain. “Off-chain” is not a perfect term, but it is used due to the fact that the transfer of ownership is no longer reflected on the blockchain until the channel is closed.
Do I need a constant connection to run a lightning node?
Not necessarily,
Example: A and B have a channel. 1 BTC each. A sends B 0.5 BTC. B sends back 0.25 BTC. Balance should be A = 0.75, B = 1.25. If A gets disconnected, B can publish the first Tx where the balance was A = 0.5 and B = 1.5. If the node B does in fact attempt to cheat by publishing an old state (such as the A=0.5 and B=1.5 state), this cheat can then be detected on-chain and used to steal the cheaters funds, i.e., A can see the closing transaction, notice it's an old one and grab all funds in the channel (A=2, B=0). The time that A has in order to react to the cheating counterparty is given by the CheckLockTimeVerify (CLTV) in the cheating transaction, which is adjustable. So if A foresees that it'll be able to check in about once every 24 hours it'll require that the CLTV is at least that large, if it's once a week then that's fine too. You definitely do not need to be online and watching the chain 24/7, just make sure to check in once in a while before the CLTV expires. Alternatively you can outsource the watch duties, in order to keep the CLTV timeouts low. This can be achieved both with trusted third parties or untrusted ones (watchtowers). In the case of a unilateral close, e.g., you just go offline and never come back, the other endpoint will have to wait for that timeout to expire to get its funds back. So peers might not accept channels with extremely high CLTV timeouts. -- Source
What Are Lightning’s Advantages?
Tiny payments are possible: since fees are proportional to the payment amount, you can pay a fraction of a cent; accounting is even done in thousandths of a satoshi. Payments are settled instantly: the money is sent in the time it takes to cross the network to your destination and back, typically a fraction of a second.
Does Lightning require Segregated Witness?
Yes, but not in theory. You could make a poorer lightning network without it, which has higher risks when establishing channels (you might have to wait a month if things go wrong!), has limited channel lifetime, longer minimum payment expiry times on each hop, is less efficient and has less robust outsourcing. The entire spec as written today assumes segregated witness, as it solves all these problems.
Can I Send Funds From Lightning to a Normal Bitcoin Address?
No, for now. For the first version of the protocol, if you wanted to send a normal bitcoin transaction using your channel, you have to close it, send the funds, then reopen the channel (3 transactions). In future versions, you and your peer would agree to spend out of your lightning channel funds just like a normal bitcoin payment, allowing you to use your lightning wallet like a normal bitcoin wallet.
Can I Make Money Running a Lightning Node?
Not really. Anyone can set up a node, and so it’s a race to the bottom on fees. In practice, we may see the network use a nominal fee and not change very much, which only provides an incremental incentive to route on a node you’re going to use yourself, and not enough to run one merely for fees. Having clients use criteria other than fees (e.g. randomness, diversity) in route selection will also help this.
What is the release date for Lightning on Mainnet?
Lightning is already being tested on the Mainnet Twitter Link but as for a specific date, Jameson Lopp says it best
Would there be any KYC/AML issues with certain nodes?
Nope, because there is no custody ever involved. It's just like forwarding packets. -- Source
What is the delay time for the recipient of a transaction receiving confirmation?
Furthermore, the Lightning Network scales not with the transaction throughput of the underlying blockchain, but with modern data processing and latency limits - payments can be made nearly as quickly as packets can be sent. -- Source
How does the lightning network prevent centralization?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
What are Channel Factories and how do they work?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How does the Lightning network work in simple terms?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How are paths found in Lightning Network?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How would the lightning network work between exchanges?
Each exchange will get to decide and need to implement the software into their system, but some ideas have been outlined here: Google Doc - Lightning Exchanges
Note that by virtue of the usual benefits of cost-less, instantaneous transactions, lightning will make arbitrage between exchanges much more efficient and thus lead to consistent pricing across exchange that adopt it. -- Source
How do lightning nodes find other lightning nodes?
Stack Exchange Answer
Does every user need to store the state of the complete Lightning Network?
According to Rusty's calculations we should be able to store 1 million nodes in about 100 MB, so that should work even for mobile phones. Beyond that we have some proposals ready to lighten the load on endpoints, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. -- Source
Would I need to download the complete state every time I open the App and make a payment?
No you'd remember the information from the last time you started the app and only sync the differences. This is not yet implemented, but it shouldn't be too hard to get a preliminary protocol working if that turns out to be a problem. -- Source
What needs to happen for the Lightning Network to be deployed and what can I do as a user to help?
Lightning is based on participants in the network running lightning node software that enables them to interact with other nodes. This does not require being a full bitcoin node, but you will have to run "lnd", "eclair", or one of the other node softwares listed above.
All lightning wallets have node software integrated into them, because that is necessary to create payment channels and conduct payments on the network, but you can also intentionally run lnd or similar for public benefit - e.g. you can hold open payment channels or channels with higher volume, than you need for your own transactions. You would be compensated in modest fees by those who transact across your node with multi-hop payments. -- Source
Is there anyway for someone who isn't a developer to meaningfully contribute?
Sure, you can help write up educational material. You can learn and read more about the tech at http://dev.lightning.community/resources. You can test the various desktop and mobile apps out there (Lightning Desktop, Zap, Eclair apps). -- Source
Do I need to be a miner to be a Lightning Network node?
No -- Source
Do I need to run a full Bitcoin node to run a lightning node?
lit doesn't depend on having your own full node -- it automatically connects to full nodes on the network. -- Source
LND uses a light client mode, so it doesn't require a full node. The name of the light client it uses is called neutrino
How does the lightning network stop "Cheating" (Someone broadcasting an old transaction)?
Upon opening a channel, the two endpoints first agree on a reserve value, below which the channel balance may not drop. This is to make sure that both endpoints always have some skin in the game as rustyreddit puts it :-)
For a cheat to become worth it, the opponent has to be absolutely sure that you cannot retaliate against him during the timeout. So he has to make sure you never ever get network connectivity during that time. Having someone else also watching for channel closures and notifying you, or releasing a canned retaliation, makes this even harder for the attacker. This is because if he misjudged you being truly offline you can retaliate by grabbing all of its funds. Spotty connections, DDoS, and similar will not provide the attacker the necessary guarantees to make cheating worthwhile. Any form of uncertainty about your online status acts as a deterrent to the other endpoint. -- Source
How many times would someone need to open and close their lightning channels?
You typically want to have more than one channel open at any given time for redundancy's sake. And we imagine open and close will probably be automated for the most part. In fact we already have a feature in LND called autopilot that can automatically open channels for a user.
Frequency will depend whether the funds are needed on-chain or more useful on LN. -- Source
Will the lightning network reduce BTC Liquidity due to "locking-up" funds in channels?
Stack Exchange Answer
Can the Lightning Network work on any other cryptocurrency? How?
Stack Exchange Answer
When setting up a Lightning Network Node are fees set for the entire node, or each channel when opened?
You don't really set up a "node" in the sense that anyone with more than one channel can automatically be a node and route payments. Fees on LN can be set by the node, and can change dynamically on the network. -- Source
Can Lightning routing fees be changed dynamically, without closing channels?
Yes but it has to be implemented in the Lightning software being used. -- Source
How can you make sure that there will be routes with large enough balances to handle transactions?
You won't have to do anything. With autopilot enabled, it'll automatically open and close channels based on the availability of the network. -- Source
How does the Lightning Network stop flooding nodes (DDoS) with micro transactions? Is this even an issue?
Stack Exchange Answer

Unanswered Questions

How do on-chain fees work when opening and closing channels? Who pays the fee?
How does the Lightning Network work for mobile users?
What are the best practices for securing a lightning node?
What is a lightning "hub"?
How does lightning handle cross chain (Atomic) swaps?

Special Thanks and Notes

  • Many links found from awesome-lightning-network github
  • Everyone who submitted a question or concern!
  • I'm continuing to format for an easier Mobile experience!
submitted by codedaway to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

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