Following the hugely successful London Blockchain Conference, the BSV Blockchain Association held a Twitter Space discussing the event, Teranode, overlay networks, ARC and much more.
Set a reminder for our upcoming Space! https://t.co/4hCfHfn1Il
— Bitcoin Association (@BitcoinAssn) June 13, 2023
Bitcoin’s evolving network architecture and infrastructure
Brett Banfe kicks off this Space conversation by saying how much he learned at the recent London Blockchain Conference. He wants to start by focusing on some of the ways Bitcoin’s architecture and infrastructure are changing and evolving, and he asks Deggen Kellenschwiler how this will change with the release of Teranode.
Kellenschwiler says it helps to think about how Bitcoin started: everyone had a client that would mine, build blocks, sign transactions, etc. As usage increased, wallets became a separate thing that could send, receive, and sign transactions without to deal with these. other functions, but instead send transactions to miners at the center of the network.
Overlay networks are the next step in Bitcoin’s network topology. Wallets handle peer-to-peer, sending transactions to overlay networks, validating them and sending them to miners. There will be specialized overlay networks for specific types of tokens. It will be a three level system.
BOW—What is it and what role will it play in the Bitcoin network?
What about ARC? What is it and what role will it play? It is a prototype overlay node that accepts all transaction types without filtering.
Thomas Giacomo explains that ARC has been ordered by the BA to replace MAPI. It is currently in private beta with TAAL (CSE: TAAL | FWB: 9SQ1 | OTC: TAALF) and GorillaPool testing it, and it will be available for public beta soon. The goal is to release an MVP as soon as possible and build additional features based on user feedback. The goal is to make it faster, more efficient and simpler than MAPI.
How easy is it to build things that fit Dr. Craig Wright for the network? Not easy, says Giacomo. It’s never easy to take the theory and realize it, but they can get close by designing, checking things with Dr. Wright and then develop things.
Giacomo explains that ARC is focused on microservices and is infinitely scalable. Part of the secret of the latter is that it can validate transactions without relying on nodes. All this will lead to a better distribution of peer-to-peer transactions.
IPv6, Multicast and preventing spam attacks
Banfe returns the conversation to Teranode asking what role IPv6 and Multicast, two things discussed in The Bitcoin Masterclasses, will play along with Teranode in building a robust, scalable network. Will they play a role in ensuring that valid information is sent across communication channels and will they help mitigate DDoS attacks?
Jake Jones answers this question. He explains that multicast is mainly used to manage network traffic. It is intended to send data to the node closest to the recipient’s address. The multicast listener discovery is on the second layer of the network and by listening to groups it can drop those without subscribers. It is also possible to blacklist senders or drop entire groups in case of DDoS attacks.
Jones agrees that what Kellenschwiler and Giacomo said earlier about going back to first principles helps make sense. There are three layers; nodes in the middle, then layers of services and users. Transactions go in one direction: from users to services and nodes. Multicast helps manage all this traffic.
Jones emphasizes that DDoS attacks will also be prevented by transaction costs and specialization in services. Wallets and services will handle specific transaction types, which will help reduce spamming.
At this point, Ty Everett of Project Babbage shares some of his thoughts on the matter. He points out that many transactions require authentication between parties, which in itself will help discourage spamming. He also stresses that it’s not free to spam; all transactions cost something.
Kellenschwiler echoes Everett’s thoughts on this, adding that nodes can disconnect peers that repeatedly send invalid transactions. While there is some room for error, if it happens frequently it will not be tolerated. He also points out that bandwidth is not free and services that have been subsidized until now have to be paid for.
Is there room for smaller companies and competitors?
All this leads to an important question; will there be room for smaller players, or will it all be dominated by a few large companies?
Giacomo says we have an opportunity to complete the Internet, rebuild the international payment system and change the way businesses use databases. This all requires a costly infrastructure, so big players will dominate with full nodes. However, he says, there is plenty of room for smaller companies and operators to operate specialized overlay nodes.
Everett agrees in principle; while smaller entities may not be present in the center of the network, overlays will be different. Smaller outfits can validate transactions and run overlay nodes, validating transactions with SPV.
Thoughts on the London Blockchain Conference
Banfe closes the discussion by asking everyone for their thoughts on the London Blockchain Conference. He says he learned a lot, was happy to meet everyone and it was a great event.
Everett echoes these sentiments, saying he went with no expectations and was thrilled by the number of open-minded people he met. He was grateful for the opportunity to educate and show businesses how his company can help them here and now.
Jones says this was his first personal event. He was impressed by the quality of the talks and the attendees. He said it was all very focused on the technology rather than price speculation, which was encouraging.
George Siosi Samuels says it was great to hear from many people interested in the technology. He spoke with a cybersecurity expert who was fascinated by the digital asset recovery process. Before attending the conference, he didn’t know it was possible and had many questions. This shows that people were challenged and their minds were opened. Samuels emphasizes the importance of interaction outside of Twitter, where everything is so amplified.
Crescenda Babiera declined the opportunity to attend and said she was overwhelmed by the whole thing. She was happy to meet everyone, and traveling from the Philippines to attend a technology conference was a big deal for her. She especially appreciated the opportunity to meet colleagues whom she has long admired in real life.
Check out: wallets and overlay services on the Bitcoin network
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