Like many before me I got bitten by the blockchain bug…hard. Before I could fully fathom what was happening to me, I was well and truly down the rabbit hole — reading, listening, watching, speaking with any and everyone to get my arms around this fascinating technology. Month after month of bloodshot eyes, sleepless nights and fret-filled dreams about blockchain use cases that I might be missing out on came to an end one night after a blockchain meetup where I met Tim.
By this point I was already developing my own beliefs about how the technology might develop, who the early adopters would be and what constraints needed to be addressed for broad-based adoption. I had missed getting involved early in the Internet explosion, but I had great seats to the mobile and social media revolutions that followed so I felt quite comfortable sitting within the ambiguity that defines the current blockchain space. Without question, I was well and truly convinced that the blockchain was the greatest development since the Internet and Satoshi was a polymath of the highest order.
But meeting Tim shook me to my soul causing me to question some of my core assumptions. Tucked away in a half-completed PowerPoint deck filled with highly technical jargon and mathematical models, was a quote from Tim that read “The truth is that Bitcoin is amazing, but it could have been designed a bit more elegant.”. What? Seriously? Of course, like any technology it can and has been improved upon but “a bit more elegant”? Who the hell does this guy think he is? I went home that night perplexed. I didn’t sleep a wink and woke up the next day knowing that I needed to find out more about this “Tim” guy.
I often joke that there’s one thing all former MBA students excel at and that’s tearing down other people’s ideas. So, I set about to do just that. I’d meet with Tim in the evenings learning about this AtomicChain concept of his. And each day I’d go about trying to debunk everything he told me the night prior. First, I tried poking holes in his quantum safe digital signature scheme. I read the UK’s National Security Whitepaper on Quantum-Safe Cryptography, the Report on Post-Quantum Cryptography from NIST, the XMSS signature schemes whitepaper by Buchmann, Dahmen and Hulsing and on and on. I started following key players in the space like Emin Gun Sirer and the Quantum Resistant Ledger. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t find a better solution to securing the chain from quantum threats than the patent pending Reversible Atomic Digital Signature that Tim had developed. I found it even more amazing that no one outside of his circle even knows it exists! The applications for this technology across government, finance, etc. could be a multi-billion-dollar opportunity on its own.
But, if I’m honest, I still wasn’t convinced that a cryptocurrency was the highest and best use for what Tim had created. While this signature scheme is a major development, personally I don’t think this advance alone is sufficient to make a currency useful and lead to broad-based adoption. At this point we hadn’t even touched on the scalability issues affecting Bitcoin and Ethereum right now. What about scaling Tim? Everyone knows that on-chain scaling is one of the biggest challenges in the space and there’s an arms race to demonstrate the highest transactions per second amongst a wide range of players. How have you addressed that? Tim’s reply was almost overly simplistic. “We can remove the cap on transaction speeds and support a virtually unlimited number of transactions per second.” Seriously? Some of the smartest minds in the world are working on this challenge and it’s just that easy? We then discussed how this AtomicChain gets rid of both the hash and the block ID, is 90x compressible, supports hybrid proof of work and proof of stake and is small enough that even a mobile phone or smartwatch can be used to verify transactions (using grid computing similar to the BOINC platform). What at first seemed far-flung and out of reach started to come together in a way that made sense in its simplicity.
Still skeptical though, I thought surely that if it were really this good then the miners would find a way to fork it and it would end up competing against itself. That day Tim introduced me to the term “un-forkable”. Because it’s so rare, it’s not a particularly common term in the cryptocurrency space, despite some interesting work being done on un-forkable consensus systems in Sydney. Tim then taught me about a new consensus protocol, Racetrack mining, supported by Timelock and Proof of Complexity. With Racetrack mining a new time-work segment (analogous to a block) is mined each minute. Miners race to find the most unique cryptographic signature (Proof of Complexity) which is then reported to the Super Nodes in a winner take all race that begins anew every minute (Timelock) of every day. Proof of Complexity mining is orders of magnitude faster and more secure than what is currently available.
Since most currencies are based off Satoshi’s protocol I then investigated the latest innovations in the protocol space. I researched IOTA’s tangle and other DAG based protocols. I was intrigued by Hashgraph’s virtual voting consensus mechanism and gossip about gossip. The WAVES protocol has some unique characteristics as well with its plug-ins approach and its leased proof-of-stake consensus. The new protocols claiming to bridge the gap between chains seem to pop up every other week. These and many other protocols all have their merits, all address discrete pieces of the myriad technical challenge we face and are all built for purposes other than being a global standard for cryptocurrency.
Finally, I stopped doubting and started believing. I looked at Tim and said, “I believe you and we’re going to change the world together.” So today we’re officially introducing Chartercoin to the world. Chartercoin, which will launch in 2018, will be the fastest, most secure and most stable cryptocurrency ever developed. Our vision is to be the primary digital currency used for transactions by businesses, government and individuals around the world. We address 3 of the biggest issues facing the open source currency ecosystem, quantum security, scalability and governance through an interdependent protocol that is, dare I say, elegant in its design.
What we’ve discussed here is just the tip of the iceberg and we encourage you to come along for the ride. Don’t hold your breath waiting on an ICO because there won’t be one. Instead, plan on firing up a super node when the time is right and be a part of a movement that will change our world. In our next 2 posts we’ll go into more detail around Chartercoin’s revolutionary digital signature scheme and our new consensus protocol called Racetrack mining. Stay tuned…
Interview with Tim: “Blockchain & Chartercoin with Timothy Fletcher”, http://techlowdownshow.com/2017/12/03/blockchain-chartercoin-with-timothy-fletcher/