Tech-ECHO KW37 – Lightweight Lightning Client, Mimblewimble and Stablecoins

In addition to a Light Client for the Lightning Network, the calendar week 37 was mainly characterized by innovations in the Ethereum network and various stable coins. But also other topics like a patent dispute between Bitmain and Whatsminer or Mimblewimble shaped the week.

In the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash environment, all eyes were on the debates between Roger Ver, Jimmy Song and Tone Vays last week. In the Ethereum ecosystem a lot has happened with sharding, a new testnet and token standard. Also with other crypto currencies time did not stand still.

In the IOTA environment the team worked on a solution for the volatility problem, various stable coins came into the limelight and Beam is a new crypto currency with MimbleWimble focused on anonymity. Generally there were patent disputes in the blockchain area and with ASIC Boost a ghost from the past came into the Bitcoin system again.

A Lightning Client for Bitcoin code

This week the development front around Bitcoin code remained relatively quiet, but Lightning Labs was able to reach a milestone: On September 10th Tankred Hase presented the new version of the Lightning App. The special thing about it: The app should run as a light client – even on smartphones. With this app it is no longer necessary to run your own Lightning Full Node. The app is currently connected to the test network. Those who are “in it for the technology” can download the app and transfer some “play money” to the Light Client via a faucet (also available for Bitcoin thanks to Lightning).

Bitcoin code: New Milestone in Sharding and the Görli-Testnet

Vlad Zamfir has written a proof of concept for Bitcoin code together with Steve Marx and others. Sharding is a scaling solution for the Ethereum network. Simply put, the approach is that not every node needs to know the entire blockchain, but only a shard:

One can imagine that a secure solution is complicated. The risk of a so-called cross-shart atomicity failure must be excluded. One can imagine this error in such a way that someone sends a payment in one shard but the reception is not registered in another. Such contradictions must not occur in the network and Vlad Zamfir believes that his solution will avoid this error.

Afri Schoedon of Parity is convinced that a new type of Ethereum test net is needed. In the linked article he describes what there are for different publicly accessible test networks – that alone is an interesting overview. What he thinks is missing is a network that allows different clients and is not proof of work.

The Görli-Testnet-Proposal contains three points: First, it invites to elaborate a proof-of-authority mechanism in the form of an Ethereum Improvement Proposal. Proof of Authority is a consensus mechanism in which an authority is trusted to generate the blocks.

Especially for test nets, such a consensus mechanism can be useful for possible troubleshooting, since the identity of the validators is formally verified at least via dApps. Secondly, such mechanisms should be implemented in clients like Geth or Parity Ethereum. Finally, Afri Schoedon wants to set up a complete proof-of-authority testnet with Görli. Ultimately, the ultimate goal is to have a test net in which the various innovations affecting Casper can be tried out in more detail.