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Introducing MultiChain Streams

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For shared immutable key-value and time series databases

Today we’re proud to release the latest version of MultiChain, which implements a crucial new set of functionality called “streams”. Streams provide a natural abstraction for blockchain use cases which focus on general data retrieval, timestamping and archiving, rather than the transfer of assets between participants. Streams can be used to implement three different types of databases on a chain:

  1. A key-value database or document store, in the style of NoSQL.
  2. A time series database, which focuses on the ordering of entries.
  3. An identity-driven database where entries are classified according to their author.

These can be considered as the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘who’ of a shared database.

Streams basics

Any number of streams can be created in a MultiChain blockchain, and each stream acts as an independent append-only collection of items. Each item in a stream has the following characteristics:

  • One or more publishers who have digitally signed that item.
  • An optional key for convenient later retrieval.
  • Some data, which can range from a small piece of text to many megabytes of raw binary.
  • A timestamp, which is taken from the header of the block in which the item is confirmed.

Behind the scenes, each item in a stream is represented by a blockchain transaction, but developers can read and write streams with no awareness of this underlying mechanism. (More advanced users can use raw transactions to write to multiple streams, issue or transfer assets and/or assign permissions in a single atomic transaction.)

Streams integrate with MultiChain’s permissions system in a number of ways. First, streams can only be created by those who have permission to do so, in the same way that assets can only be issued by certain addresses. When a stream is created, it is open or closed. Open streams are writeable by anybody who has permission to send a blockchain transaction, while closed streams are restricted to a changeable list of permitted addresses. In the latter case, each stream has one or more administrators who can change those write permissions over time.

Each blockchain has an optional ‘root’ stream, which is defined in its parameters and exists from the moment the chain is created. This enables a blockchain to be used immediately for storing and retrieving data, without waiting for a stream to be explicitly created.

As I’ve discussed previously, confidentiality is the biggest challenge in a large number of blockchain use cases. This is because each node in a blockchain sees a full copy of the entire chain’s contents. Streams provide a natural way to support encrypted data on a blockchain, as follows:

  1. One stream is used by participants to distribute their public keys for any public-key cryptography scheme.
  2. A second stream is used to publish data, where each piece of data is encrypted using symmetric cryptography with a unique key.
  3. A third stream provides data access. For each participant who should see a piece of data, a stream entry is created which contains that data’s secret key, encrypted using that participant’s public key.

This provides an efficient way to archive data on a blockchain, while making it visible only to certain participants.

Retrieving from streams

The core value of streams is in indexing and retrieval. Each node can choose which streams to subscribe to, with the blockchain guaranteeing that all nodes which subscribe to a particular stream will see the same items within. (A node can also be configured to automatically subscribe to every new stream created.)

If a node is subscribed to a stream, information can be retrieved from that stream in a number of ways:

  • Retrieving items from the stream in order.
  • Retrieving items with a particular key.
  • Retrieving items signed by a particular publisher.
  • Listing the keys used in a stream, with item counts for each key.
  • Listing the publishers in a stream, with item counts.

As mentioned at the start, these methods of retrieval allow streams to be used for key-value databases, time series databases and identity-driven databases. All retrieval APIs offer start and count parameters, allowing subsections of long lists to be efficiently retrieved (like a LIMIT clause in SQL). Negative values for start allow the most recent items to be retrieved.

Streams can contain multiple items with the same key, and this naturally solves the tension between blockchain immutability and the need to update a database. Each effective database ‘entry’ should be assigned a unique key in your application, with each update to that entry represented by a new stream item with its key. MultiChain’s stream retrieval APIs can then be used to: (a) retrieve the first or last version of a given entry, (b) retrieve a full version history for an entry, (c) retrieve information about multiple entries, including the first and last versions of each.

Note that because of a blockchain’s peer-to-peer architecture, items in a stream may arrive at different nodes in different orders, and MultiChain allows items to be retrieved before they are ‘confirmed’ in a block. As a result, all retrieval APIs offer a choice between global (the default) or local ordering. Global ordering guarantees that, once the chain has reached consensus, all nodes receive the same responses from the same API calls. Local ordering guarantees that, for any particular node, the ordering of a stream’s items will never change between API calls. Each application can make the appropriate choice for its needs.

Streams and the MultiChain roadmap

With the release of streams, we’ve completed the last major piece of work for MultiChain 1.0, and are now firmly on the path to beta. We expect to spend the next few months expanding our internal test suite (already quite large!), finishing the Windows and Mac ports, adding some more useful APIs, updating the Explorer for streams, tweaking aspects of the consensus mechanism, releasing our web demo, and generally tidying up code and help messages. Most importantly, we’ll continue to fix any bugs as soon as they’re discovered, so that our mistakes don’t interrupt your work.

In the longer term, where do streams fit into the MultiChain roadmap? Taking a step back, MultiChain now offers three areas of high-level functionality:

  • Permissions to control who can connect, transact, create assets/streams, mine/validate and administrate.
  • Assets including issuance, reissuance, transfer, atomic exchange, escrow and destruction.
  • Streams with APIs for creating streams, writing, subscribing, indexing and retrieving.

After the release of MultiChain 1.0 (and a premium version), what’s next in this list? If you look at the API command which is used to create streams, you’ll notice an apparently superfluous parameter, with a fixed value of stream. This parameter will allow MultiChain to support other types of high-level entity in future.

Possible future values for the parameter include evm (for an Ethereum-compatible virtual machine), sql (for an SQL-style database) or even wiki (for collaboratively edited text). Any shared entity whose state is determined by an ordered series of changes is a potential candidate. Each such entity will need: (a) APIs which provide the right abstraction for updating its state, (b) appropriate mechanisms for subscribed nodes to track that state, and (c) APIs for efficiently retrieving part or all of the state. We’re waiting to learn which other high-level entities would be most useful, to be implemented by us or by third parties via a plug-in architecture.

What about smart contracts?

In a general sense, MultiChain takes the approach in which data is embedded immutably in a blockchain, but the code for interpreting that data is in the node or application layer. This is deliberately different from the “smart contracts” paradigm, as exemplified by Ethereum, in which code is embedded in the blockchain and runs in a virtual machine. In theory, because smart contracts are Turing complete, they can reproduce the behavior of MultiChain or any other blockchain platform. In practice, however, Ethereum-style smart contracts have many painful shortcomings:

  • Every node has to perform every computation, whether it’s of interest or not. By contrast, in MultiChain each node decides which streams to subscribe to, and can ignore the data contained by others.
  • The virtual machine used for smart contracts has drastically worse performance than code which has been natively compiled for a given computer architecture.
  • Smart contract code is immutably embedded in a chain, preventing features from being added and bugs from being fixed. This was demonstrated forcefully in the demise of The DAO.
  • Transactions sent to a smart contract cannot update a blockchain’s state until their final ordering is known, because of the nature of general purpose computation. This leads to delays (until a transaction is confirmed in a block) as well as possible reversals (in the event of a fork in the chain). By contrast, MultiChain can treat each type of unconfirmed transaction in the appropriate way: (a) incoming assets immediately update a node’s unconfirmed balance, (b) incoming stream items are instantly available, with their global ordering subsequently finalized, (c) permissions changes are applied immediately and then replayed in incoming blocks.

Nonetheless, as I’ve said before, we’re certainly not ruling out smart contracts as a useful paradigm for blockchain applications, if and when we see strong use cases. However, in MultiChain smart contracts would be implemented in a stream-like layer on top of the blockchain, rather than the lowest transaction level. This will preserve MultiChain’s superior performance for simpler blockchain entities like assets and streams, while offering slower on-chain computation where it’s really needed. But there are fewer such cases than you might think.

Please post any comments on LinkedIn.

Technical addendum

All commands related to streams are documented in full in the MultiChain API page, but here is a brief summary:

  • Create a stream using create stream or createfrom ... stream
  • Add an item to a stream with publish or publishfrom
  • Retrieve a list of streams using liststreams
  • Start or stop tracking a stream with subscribe and unsubscribe
  • Retrieve stream items using liststreamitems, liststreamkeyitems and liststreampublisheritems
  • List stream keys and publishers with liststreamkeys and liststreampublishers
  • For large stream items, retrieve the full data using gettxoutdata (see maxshowndata below)
  • Control per-stream permissions with calls like grant [address] stream1.write
  • View a stream’s permissions using listpermissions stream1.*

Some other developer notes relating to streams:

  • The create permission allows an address to create streams.
  • Relevant per-stream permissions are write, admin and activate
  • New blockchain parameters: root-stream-name (leave empty for none), root-stream-open, anyone-can-create, admin-consensus-create, max-std-op-returns-count
  • New runtime parameters: autosubscribe to automatically subscribe to new streams created and maxshowndata to limit the amount of data in API responses (see gettxoutdata above).
  • The maximum size of a stream item’s data is fixed by the max-std-op-return-size blockchain parameter, as well as the smaller of the maximum-block-size and max-std-tx-size values minus a few hundred bytes.
  • Nodes using the old wallet format cannot subscribe to streams, and should be upgraded.

Source: https://www.multichain.com/blog/2016/09/introducing-multichain-streams/

Blockchain

TRAMS DEX Propels Global Adoption of DeFi with Automated Market Maker (AMM) protocol

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TRAMS DEX Propels Global Adoption of Defi with Automated Market Maker (AMM) protocol, as Industry Leader VIP Guests, Global Participants, and Management Team concludes Webinar Session Marking a Successful First-Phase Launch.

 

VIP Speakers Unanimously Acknowledge Perfect Market Timing of TRAMS DEX in Decentralized Finance Industry, High Industry Growth Factors, Following 2 Hour-Long Launch Session.

The TRAMS DEX founder and senior management team today concluded a high-impact webinar session as an official launch of its Automated Liquidity Provider protocol, the first of three phases for TRAMS’ Decentralized Finance Business. Industry leader VIP guests and participating members pledge support for open finance and Defi for creating more access to financial products at much lower costs to anyone on demand.

The launch took place in District Singapore, Republic Plaza 9 Raffles Place with a Zoom Webinar hosting a global Defi community and TRAMS DEX protocol members/users community. The discerning VIP panels and participants from ranging continents stencil the much-needed change in the financial sector especially in traditional banking plagued with corruption and scandals where only a small closed and selected groups are the main beneficiaries.

The webinar introduces the protocol with its open finance principles and guides participants into the operations with these key points: TRAMS DEX is one of three key operations from the TRAMS ecosystem with the main operating principle of Decentralized Finance (Defi). TRAMS DEX is an Automated Liquidity Provider that enables better and faster user interactions with digital assets. With the innovation of the Automated Market Maker (AMM) solution, traders can easily exchange digital assets at any time with guaranteed market supplies from the liquidity pool without giving up the custody of their digital assets. As a decentralized exchange, TRAMS DEX is able to create open access opportunities for participation without discrimination and any controlling institution barrier.

At TRAMS.io, anyone with an Internet connection and a Web 3.0 wallet can gain access to liquidity where otherwise would be ineligible through traditional finance or banking. TRAMS DEX operates a Decentralized Exchange that offers three (3) impactful functions with a minimal user interface designed for clear navigation.

The first function, global liquidity access or buyable, sellable, or tradable market access. Users of the protocol can easily gain access to “constant” liquidity with a simple crypto assets swap function at a minimal cost of 0.3% transaction fee. Direct wallet connections are automated as well with a few simple clicks. All transactions are secured with blockchain encryptions and conducted on-chain with transaction data records automatically recorded for open access viewing on Ether can in real-time.

The second function, make money from idle assets. TRAMS DEX creates a money-making model for liquidity providers (LPs) on the platform. By supplying idle crypto assets to any pools listed on the protocol, the LP earns a profit share generated from the swapping fees on TRAMS DEX. The liquidity provider profit sharing is proportional to contribution. Profits are calculated at least once every twenty-four hours (24 hrs). True to open finance principles and Defi, participating LPs can withdraw their contribution at any time without any fee or penalty.

Thirdly, earn a high passive income. The TRAMS DEX incentive model lets participants earn high passive income in the form of yields, calculated in APY% (annual percentage yield), simply by staking (or depositing) its native token (TRAMS) on the platform. This encourages participants to remain active on the platform and better maintains constant liquidity reserve. This translates to double benefits for participating LPs, more profits are added on-top of the profit-sharing earning from staking LP tokens on TRAMS DEX.

TRAMS DEX is accessible constantly 24/7 to anyone globally. All associated costs of operations are kept very low and precise by utilizing automated smart contracts and AMM trading algorithms for trade executions and operations. Compared to traditional financial institutions and banks, TRAMS DEX provides better, cheaper, more accurate services.

Bryan Feinberg of Plato Data Intelligence, the Founder/CEO of Etheralabs, commented from New York City via Zoom video call with the support of blockchain as the fundamental architecture of TRAMS DEX and Defi space which offers high data security and transaction transparency for users. As a member of the Blockchain Venture Advisory, he believes Decentralized Finance such as TRAMS DEX has a high adoption rate and direct use case for blockchain applications.

Mamadou Toure, Forbes 10 Most Influential person in Africa and President/CEO of Ubuntu Capital Group, tributes TRAMS DEX for providing access channel to liquidity where traditional banking and capital access are limited to non-existent. He further acknowledged the opportunities TRAMS DEX would create for users world-wide to easily finance business initiatives.

Victor Kong, CEO of VK Capital Digital Funds Pte Ltd endorses William Tien, TRAMS DEX’ Founder/CEO, for his vision and ambition in creating a Decentralized Ecosystem starting with TRAMS DEX following by TRAMS Finance and TRAMS Assets, for phase 2 & 3, respectively, as an alternative to private equity funds for real estates and infrastructure projects with a portfolio size of 1-10 million USD. TRAMS DEX removes the high barrier to entry by drastically reducing mandatory due diligence costs of raising capital, which remains the same as a 50 million USD project. He also credits the intention of listing the ecosystem, TRAMS DEX included, on the London Stock Exchange via reverse IPO within 3-6 months.

 

 

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Blockchain

Self-Sovereign Decentralized Digital Identity

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Time & Date: Wednesday, Nov 4th, 2020
8:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

Speakers: Marco Aniballi (BlockBlox)
Luke Stokes (FIO, EosDAC)
Alex Puig (Caelum Labs)
Gordon Einstein (CryptoLaw Partners)
Sander de Bruijn (Crypto Entrepreneur)

Zoom Info: https://zoom.us/j/89200977541

 

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Blockchain

Kucoin and Revain Announce Partnership

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Before deciding to buy or apply for any service, consumers are primarily interested in doing their homework via the ability review via 3rd Party Objectivity based on what other people are thinking.

This is especially true for the blockchain universe. The success of Bitсoin and Ethereum has given rise to thousands of young projects that are as complex as they are innovative.

In order not to get lost in multiple offers of wallets, exchanges, and cryptocurrencies, Internet users are starting to look for reviews to guide their decision-making process.

The revain.org project began to use blockchain to keep all reviews unchanged. This gives trust to the community and allows users to learn with the ability to interact with both projects that interest them and the communities they represent.

Trust can play an extremely important role for serious companies. The KuCoin and Revain projects have started cooperation for the common benefit of both communities. The Revain Widget implemented on the main page of one of the leading exchanges allows visitors to read and write reviews directly on the platform.

Companies that have already achieved success should understand that the review widget increases a conversion rate and provides additional traffic.

And there are other pluses as well

For example, why would you buy products on a mystery shopping service if you can simply read a ready-made review on the Revain website?

And it will be fair, fast and, most importantly, it’s free.

It’s not a surprise when blockchain technologies are used in the crypto community. But the Revain Project doesn’t intend to stop there and has serious plans to expand the topic on which the writers will write reviews.

It’s important for people that the review includes pros and cons.

This could stem from concerns about fake reviews, and an underlying assumption that balanced reviews feel more authentic than reviews that are overly or exclusively positive.

Consumers want retailers to have better technology, offer more services, and establish better personal connections. Consumers think about what good shopping experience looks like in the first place. Therefore, when people read or write a review, they pay attention not only to the facts but also to the feelings that appeared after the purchase from the company to which the review was then written.

When there are feelings, it is important to preserve a zone of trust and comfort

The usual advertising channels carry information about the product and the brand. But they do not contain the emotions of other buyers. The buyer chooses where he will share his buying experience.

And it is especially important that the credibility of the review that is written on the seller’s website does not reach heaven. It is very important to have an independent platform, the need for which has been ripening for a long time in the Internet community.

Therefore, reviews are written on the Revainplatform. You can display these reviews on your website using a simple widget. Thus, customers will see the independence of the review and at the same time, they can read it without leaving your site.

Of course, there were sites for reviews, they exist now and will continue to appear. But a project like Revain meets the expectations of ordinary people and businesses as much as possible. After all, reviews cannot be deleted or falsified because of blockchain. The hash of each review is kept for centuries.

Because of this, some reviews may seem funny as their authors decided to add some new facts or correct mistakes later. I recommend visiting and reading such reviews. A very interesting experience.

 

Source: Rinat Arslanov has been the Co-Founder and CEO of Revain since its inception. He describes his passion for Revain as a life project for him. He is currently doing his Ph.D. at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics and is expected to complete his doctorate in 2022.

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