Skycoin – Fiber

SKYCOIN FIBER
08.04.2018
BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM FOR APPLICATIONS
CHRISTIAN OTT
AUTHOR
Introduction
The total number of cryptocurrencies has grown rapidly over the past few years. While CoinMarketCap listed only 66 cryptocurrencies at the end of 2013, we can find close to 1600 cryptocurrencies listed on the site today.1 If we consider the early stage of crypto and the possible influx that will come with commodity-backed and asset-backed cryptocurrencies, that number is only about to grow. While most of these tokens have their own purpose and use cases, the majority certainly does not want to spend most of their resources on the development of their own blockchain platform. Instead, they want to focus on developing and marketing their product and use an existing blockchain platform, which best suits their needs. With Skycoin Fiber, the Skycoin project offers such a blockchain platform2 and in this article, we will take a closer look at how it works.

Fundamentals
Starting off this article, we have to clear some fundamentals. When we talk about a blockchain, we talk about a database. So, if a project is offering a blockchain platform, it means that they are offering a database, that can be used by a set of applications, without these applications having to develop a blockchain database on their own. However, the types of applications that can run on a blockchain are yet to be determined. As of right now, the vast majority of applications that run on a blockchain are cryptocurrencies. That focus on cryptocurrencies among blockchain projects is the reason, why we often talk about ICO platforms rather than blockchain platforms. Certainly, ICO platforms provide users with a customizable cryptocurrency template in addition to a blockchain and can therefore offer a bit more than a pure blockchain platform.

Development Time Matters
There are a few of these ICO platforms out there. To analyze, which is the best one among them, people compare them by different values. Most comparisons focus on transactions per second, the number of partnerships and the ICOs that were already launched on that platform. However, nobody seems to value the time, that this platform has been already in development. Why is that important? Well, from the point of view of a developer, it is very optimistic (frankly: unrealistic) to develop a complex blockchain platform from scratch in 1-2 years, as most new blockchain platform ICOs suggest. If you want to build the best possible foundation, that can be used by other applications, you probably won’t come up with the best solution at your first try. In my opinion, you need several iterations, until you have a working product, and the testing of that product takes a vast amount of time as well. That might sound boring, but a blockchain platform will greatly benefit from a huge amount of time spent on the development of this platform. A thorougly planned implementation, that is tested, validated and secure is much more likely to be extendable and scalable, than a beta version, that has been thrown to the market and is improved after that.

Skycoin Fiber Starter Kit
With that being said, Skycoin is in development since 2012. It was rewritten multiple times from scratch,3 until the team had developed an extendable, future-proof foundation for Skycoin.4 This foundation includes readable and non-bloated code,5,6 as well as a high security standard,7,8 which both evolved from years of testing and refinement. Fortunately, this technology is not limited to exclusive use by Skycoin. With Skycoin Fiber, it is possible for other applications to use this technology as well.

So, how does a starter kit for Fiber based applications look like? Besides benefitting from the technology developed by Skycoin over the past six years, which is working, well-tested, secure and extendable, there are three major points, how applications benefit from using Skycoin Fiber. First of all, every application on Fiber is provided with its own blockchain.9 This eradicates the problem of a bloated blockchain, which we have seen with Ethereum in the past. Every time there were one or more successful ICOs at once or a very popular app like Cryptokitties,10 the transaction costs for transfers of Ether and Ethereum-based tokens increased heavily,11 because all Ethereum-based tokens are placed on one blockchain. Second, since all applications are provided with their own blockchain, the developers can fully customize the technology2 and are not bound to the limited possibilities of customization provided by, for example, smart contracts.12 Customization is even further facilitated by the use of the very well readable programming language Golang in Skycoin.13 Third, blockchains on Skycoin Fiber are fast. They are capable to perform a transaction throughput of at least 300 transactions per second,14 which enables these blockchains to serve as a foundation for highly used applications.
STARTER KITSKYCOIN FIBER300+ TPSOWN BLOCKCHAINCUSTOM
BASICSSKYCOIN FIBERYEARSSECURECLEAN
Tokens on Fiber
In addition to launching applications on Fiber, there are even more benefits, if you are launching a cryptocurrency on top of it. Every coin or token on Fiber can be set up based on Skycoin.15 Therefore, you are not only provided with a working and secure cryptocurrency from the start, it also contains major features of Skycoin. With the implementation of the Token Hour mechanism, transactions will be free and users will be awarded with a parallel currency.16 Furthermore, the token can receive an intuitive wallet and a stand-alone blockchain explorer.17,18 The Skycoin project even plans to set up a multicoin hardware wallet, to make the storage of the tokens as save as possible.19 Moreover, tokens on Fiber will benefit from the possible integration of future features of Skycoin, meaning Fiber tokens will be able to obtain the privacy protocol CoinJoin20 as well as the implementation of Obelisk as a new consensus algorithm.21
FEATURESTOKENS ON FIBERWALLETTOKEN HOURSFEES
Future Benefits of Fiber
These were only the features, that Fiber can offer for applications and tokens right now. In addition to these, there are three major upcoming features, that will be realized in the near future. The first one is scalability. With each blockchain added to Fiber, the scalability of Fiber projects will increase. With the use of parallel blockchains laid side-by-side, the capacity of the number of transactions per second can theoretically increase up to over a million.22 To make this scalability possible, the blockchains on Fiber need to run on dedicated hardware, which the Skycoin Project aims to develop by itself. They have already started with the release of the first version of the Skyminer in January 2018, which was shipped to 300 customers around the world. While this first Skyminer already has eight CPU boards, the Skycoin Project wants to release even more powerful hardware with 64 CPU boards or even 256 CPU boards in the future. Once these Skyminers are in mass production, it will be the hardware platform for the Skycoin Project’s blockchain applications, which displays the second major upcoming feature on Fiber.23 While scalability and hardware will be available for all applications launched on Fiber, the third major upcoming feature will be exclusive to tokens. To solve the problem of most tokens not getting listed on major exchanges, the Skycoin Project is working on the implementation of a Skycoin-based exchange, where every token on Fiber will be tradable against Skycoin and other major cryptocurrencies right after its launch. In addition to that, a feature called ‘Spend the Bitcoin’ is also in development, which will enable you to pay people in Bitcoin, even though you send them another cryptocurrency.24
FUTUREFIBER IN THESCALABLEEXCHANGEHARDWARE
Fiber’s Early Adopters
The name ‘Fiber’ is actually a rebrand of Skycoin’s blockchain platform and was called ‘Skyledger’ before.25 To my understanding, the rebrand was made to differentiate tokens that were launched in cooperation with the Skycoin Project from other tokens, who more or less just cloned the code.26 It appears a company Shellpay is continuing to use the Skyledger brand to market tokens, that they have set up based on Skycoin’s technology.27 However, Shellpay acts separately from the Skycoin Project.28,29

Two tokens are mentioned in Skycoin’s business whitepaper as early adopters of Fiber.30 The first one is SPO, who also has a partnership with Skycoin. SPO is developing a decentralized storage service and a set of applications running on top of Skywire.31,32 Among these applications is a site-building service,33 an own teller service34 as well as a new browser, which provides users with a customized browsing experience.35 The second token on Fiber is MyDailyLife Talent Hub, which is developing a talent marketplace on top of a global trustchain.36 MDL’s platform offers the possibility for talents and bookers to connect to each other, as well as a marketplace, where talents can trade or rent their gear, equipment, or memorabilia, all under the use of a fully transparent reputation system.37
ADOPTERSSKYCOIN FIBERTALENTMARKETPLACESKYWIREAPPLICATIONS
Wrap-up
During the last six years, the Skycoin Project developed a foundation for their currency Skycoin, that can be used by other tokens as well. With Skycoin Fiber, it offers each incoming project an own private blockchain, that is fully customizable and can process a minimum of 300 transactions per second. Moreover, if you want to set up a token on Fiber, you will receive a customizable cryptocurrency based on Skycoin, which offers major features, such as free transactions, a parallel currency and an intuitive wallet. Furthermore, tokens on Fiber will be able to integrate upcoming developments on Skycoin, such as enhanced privacy or a new consensus algorithm. In addition to these existing features, Fiber will offer even more in the future. With more projects coming to the platform and dedicated hardware being shipped to users all over the world, each blockchain will be able to scale up to thousands of transactions per second, with the use of parallel blockchains. An exchange for Fiber based tokens combined with major trading pairs is in the works as well. Although offering Fiber as a blockchain platform to other tokens by the Skycoin Project is relatively new, there are already two early adopters using Fiber with SPO and MDL and there might be many more joining in the upcoming years.

Infographics
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Sources – Introduction
1
66 cryptocurrencies were listed on the 29th of December in 2013 on CoinMarketCap, while 1548 were listed on first of April in 2018.
Christian Ott; see the historical snapshots of 29.12.2013 and 01.04.2018 on CoinMarketCap for more information; 04.04.2018
2
“Skycoin Fiber offers customers a “Plug and Play” blockchain that is quick and easy to implement and fully customizable.”
Skycoin; Medium; Skycoin Fiber Platform; 03.04.2018
Sources – Skycoin
3
“What started as an audit into Bitcoin’s volatility, grew into six years of writing (and rewriting and rewriting) to resolve issues such as duplicate Coinbase outputs, signature immutability, transaction immutability, and the most critical: Bitcoin’s consensus algorithm (Proof-of-Work, or PoW).”
Skycoin; Business Whitepaper v1.0; Project History; 02.04.2018
4
“Cryptosystems for Geographic Time Scales: Future Proofing Skycoin … Future Proofing Skycoin: Salted Hashes at Network Level … Future Proofing Skycoin: Rolling State Hashes at Blockchain level … Future Proofing Skycoin: Cryptography For Geographic Timescales … Future Proofing Skycoin: Attacks on the Address Generation”
Skycoin; Skycoin Blog; Development Update #43; 09.12.2014
5
“Fiber achieves this high level of performance due to its elegance. Fiber is less than 5000 lines of code, compared to Bitcoin’s 100,000+ lines of code. Large and convoluted codebases introduce bugs, thus requiring band-aid patches of code, whereas Fiber is elegant and brilliant in its simplicity.”
Skycoin; Medium; Skycoin Fiber Platform; 03.04.2018
6
“… so Skycoin’s main blockchain is only two thousand lines of code. There is no scripting language and nobody even thirty years from now could come in and say, “We need to add a feature to this and try to take over.” There is nothing to add. This is done. We have not changed it in four years and it is not going to change for the next one hundred and fifty years.”
Synth; YouTube; Coin Interview with Skycoin 02; 11.12.2017
7
“Fiber, Skycoin’s underlying blockchain technology was designed for infinite lateral scalability and a high level of security.”
Skycoinproject; Twitter; 09.03.2018
8
“We are using golang so there are no buffer overflow attacks or way that remote party can take over the client and steal your wallet. The worse than can do is crash the client, but cannot loot the wallet remotely. Bitcoin is using C++ and OpenSSL and was affected by the HeartBleed bug. It was possible to buffer overflow Bitcoin through the OpenSSL library and possibly steal wallets through the merchant protocol. Skycoin was implemented with almost no dependencies. There are no 3rd party libraries in Skycoin that can be exploited. The only 3rd party library we are using is for encryption and we fuzzed the library for days and put in strict constraints on the data allowed to pass into the library. The program is designed to crash, rather than accept the invalid input that could lead to leaking the private keys. Even if attacked, we do not know of any way that the client can be used to exfiltrate the wallet or private keys over the network.”
Skycoin; Skycoin Blog; Ask the developers #5; 10.04.2014
Sources – Fiber Starter Kit
9
“Each company and project hosted on Fiber gets its own fully customizable, private blockchain capable of Visa-like speeds.”
Skycoin; Medium; Skycoin Fiber Platform; 03.04.2018
10
“Due to congestion on the network, we are increasing the birthing fee from 0.002 ETH –> 0.015 ETH. We hope this will allow more kittens to be born on time as there have been significant delays.”
Twitter; CryptoKitties; 04.12.2017
11
The sum of daily transaction fees in the Ethereum network increased by around 400 Ether per day from 03.12.2017 to 07.12.2017, starting at a sum of 407 Ether on 03.12.2017, to 1183 Ether on 05.12.2017 to 2239 Ether on 07.12.2017, while the number of transactions per day stayed at around 700 thousand for this period.
Christian Ott; see the Ethereum network transaction fees and the Ethereum transaction chart from 3rd to 7th of December in 2017 on Etherscan; 07.04.2018
12
NEO for example offers only 10 commands to modify the status of a smart contract. However, with costs of 100 to 1000 GAS to create a new smart contract (which is currently 1500 to 15000 dollar), there might not be a lot of people using it anyways.
Christian Ott; see the NEO API reference and system fees on NEO Docs; 07.04.2018
13
“Software engineering guided the design of Go. More than most general-purpose programming languages, Go was designed to address a set of software engineering issues that we had been exposed to in the construction of large server software. Offhand, that might make Go sound rather dull and industrial, but in fact the focus on clarity, simplicity and composability throughout the design instead resulted in a productive, fun language that many programmers find expressive and powerful. The properties that led to that include: Clear dependencies; Clear syntax; Clear semantics; Composition over inheritance; Simplicity provided by the programming model (garbage collection, concurrency); Easy tooling (the go tool, gofmt, godoc, gofix)”
Rob Pike; talks.golang.org; Go at Google: Language Design in the Service of Software Engineering; 2012
14
“One blockchain of Skycoin is 10 times faster than Ethereum, 300 transactions per second minimal.”
Synth; YouTube; Chris Coney & Skycoin ☁️ Lead Developer Synth; 29.03.2018
Sources – Tokens on Fiber
15
“Through Fiber, customers have a private chain that is fully customizable to their needs and equipped with all the benefits of Skycoin technology”
Skycoin; Business Whitepaper v1.0; Application ecosystem; 02.04.2018
16
“We don’t only have Skycoin. We have 30 ICOs. We have a thing that was called Skyledger, now it is called Fiber. We have a platform just like ERC-20, where people can launch their own coins, but in our platform, there is no transaction fees and there is no gas.”
Synth; YouTube; Chris Coney & Skycoin ☁️ Lead Developer Synth; 29.03.2018
17
“This is on top of the convenience already provided by Skycoin mobile and desktop wallets.”
Skycoin; Business Whitepaper v1.0; Hardware Wallets; 02.04.2018
18
Skycoin Explorer
https://explorer.skycoin.net/
19
“So, basically we have a script now for launching coins. If you have a developer, he just reads the readme, he launches the coin, you message us, you give us your ticker, we validate your ticker, we have to make sure there is no conflict. Then we add your genesis block in your chain for platform and then suddenly your coin will be in every Skycoin wallet, because it is a multiwallet. And we have hardware wallet support…”
Synth; YouTube; Skycoin Unleashed – Bold, Driven, Futuristic; 07.03.2018
20
“A CoinJoin transaction is a transaction that mixes multiple outputs, from different wallets in a single transaction. – Even a modest rate of coin mixing through CoinJoin (5% of transaction volume) introduces enough diffusion into network to severely frustrate association of specific addresses to individual wallets or users from public data. Especially for high volume services that end up processing most of the transactions on the network. – If the third party CoinJoin server is trusted, this has the same level of privacy as ZeroCoin and quantum zero knowledge proof schemes, but with a much simpler protocol. In Bitcoin, you can tell CoinJoin transactions apart from normal transactions. in Skycoin, there is no difference between a normal transaction and a CoinJoin transaction. The protocol is simple: – you send inputs and outputs to a 3rd party CoinJoin server – they take inputs/outputs from multiple users, randomize order, send back transaction – each user signs their outputs and sends signature back to the server – the server injects the transaction into the network.”
Skycoin; Skycoin Blog; Development Update #62; 26.03.2015
21
(On Obelisk) “We have done several simulations. There are several peer reviewed academic research papers published about it. There are open source simulations in the github repo. The exchanges are worried about us enabling the full consensus algorithm without enough testing. We have to do a lot of testing before we turn everything on. Currently the exchanges forced us to use a masternode dev check-point system. Over time, we are going to make extensive changes to the node and keep minting on the checkpoint system, while rolling out everything. Then after extensive testing, will roll out everything in stages. The testing of the new features and stages, needs to be done on a smaller coin (other Skyledger coins) before being rolled out to Skycoin. Skycoin’s market cap is too large and we have to be cautious about bugs and not rolling out new code before its tested. The dev check-point system is a compromise that allows us to test new consensus algorithms, while protecting the exchanges. If the exchanges lose money from a bug and lose $200,000 in Skycoin then we have to pay them for the lose basicly. The exchanges are all short-staffed because of massive user base growth. They are taking weeks sometimes to upgrade the Skycoin node version, after we release a new version. We have to carefully coordinate our release and upgrade schedules to minimize exchange downtimes.”
Synth; Skycoin subreddit; Part 2 of our first Skycoin Official AMA with Synth; 06.03.2018
Sources – Future Benefits of Fiber
22
“Skycoin Fiber is the blockchain of blockchains. It is the foundation of cryptocurrency 3.0. A network of blockchains laid side-by-side, like strands, that is infinitely scalable. Bitcoin’s single blockchain can handle 6 TX/s, Ethereum’s single blockchain can handle 30 TX/s. With Skycoin Fiber, each blockchain string can handle 300-3000 TX/s. These strands run parallel to each other, are deeply customizable, and have no limit. Whereas a single strand is limited in its capability, wrapping multiple strands together creates cords that can raise bridges to connect communities. Each blockchain strand added to Fiber strengthens the whole system into cords that hold the bridge for the new information super-highway. Skycoin is bringing transaction speeds and on-chain scalability to a new dimension with Fiber’s integrated parallel blockchain technology. Skycoin Fiber does not compete with first and second generation cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, it replaces them by allowing each customer their own dedicated and customizable blockchain strand for free.”
Several moderators; Telegram; Skycoin main channel; 06.03.2018
23
“Here is the problem: If you look at Skyminer, there is eight CPU boards in that and that’s a small one. There is gonna be a 64-board CPU one and there is gonna be a Skyminer eventually, that has 256 CPU boards. … If you want to do 300 transactions a second, you need dedicated hardware. You are not gonna be running that blockchain on your Windows 98 laptop. You have 256 nodes, you run blockchain 1 on node 1 and blockchain 2 on node 2 and application b on node 3. So, if you are running 60 blockchains, you need 60 nodes. I don’t want 60 nodes running on one computer fighting with each other and each of them getting 2% CPU and the network would slow down. So, if you are a company and you need 300 transactions per second you need have dedicated capacity in terms of CPU and memory. The Skyminer is a personal cloud. It is like having your own amazon EC2 in your bedroom. It is our hardware platform for launching these blockchain applications.”
Synth; YouTube; Chris Coney & Skycoin ☁️ Lead Developer Synth; 29.03.2018
24
(On launching tokens on Fiber) “… you will be instantly listed on the exchange if you want. People will be immediately able to exchange Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, Qtum, Ark, Lisk, all these 40 coins to buy your coin. And eventually they even will be able to spend the coin. We have a feature called ‘Spend the Bitcoin’. You will be able to send Skycoin or any of these coins to a Bitcoin address. So, if you want to hold Ark or Lisk or Qtum, but you want to pay people in Bitcoin, on our backend it sends our server the coins and it sends the person the Bitcoin. We are working on these interoperability projects, on the hardware wallet, the mobile wallet.”
Synth; YouTube; Skycoin Unleashed – Bold, Driven, Futuristic; 07.03.2018
Sources – Fiber’s Early Adopters
25
“This month we bid adieu to Skyledger and said “bon jour” to Skycoin Fiber.”
Skycoin; Medium; All Clear, Skyfleet, Take to the SKY!; 04.04.2018
26
That conclusion derived from SPO and MDL being mentioned in the Skycoin business whitepaper as adopters of Fiber, while other tokens based on Skycoin’s technology (SHELL, METL) are not listed there.
Christian Ott; refering to the section “Application ecosystem” in Skycoin’s Business Whitepaper v1.0; 04.04.2018
27
There will be an event about Skyledger held in London on April 20th, 2018. Steve Leonard stated on 03.04.2018 in the main channel of Skycoin on Telegram, that this is not a Skycoin event. Since all projects on the official website of the event are tokens associated with Shellpay (with the exception of planet blockchain), it seems as if the event itself is organized by Shellpay.
Christian Ott; see http://skyledgerlondon.net/ for more information; 04.04.2018
28
“Shellpay itself is a skycoin clone afaik – Shellpay then made more skycoin clones or had involvement with them (suncoin appears to have a separate team) and then called this “Skyledger” (shellpay’s invention) – Skyledger was made up by shellpay to market their skycoin clones with the “sky” brand, which wasn’t really acceptable – Skycoin can’t really do anything to stop them, so skycoin is going to control the name “skyledger” and prevent shellcoin from trying to claim that “Skyledger” is the main thing (with skycoin subordinate to it),. The reality is that Skycoin is the main thing and “Skyledger” is the basket of clones beneath it, that use skycoin’s blockchain technology (and notably do not include the rest of the skycoin application stack, such as skywire (meshnet), bbs, cxo)”
Steve Leonard; Telegram; Skycoin main channel; 25.08.2017
29
(On Jane Zhang, CEO of Shellpay) “she is doin bussiness development for skyledger and setting up companies up with coins and ICOing them, but they are sort of seperate”
Synth; Telegram; Skycoin main channel; 06.11.2017
30
“Companies have already begun adopting Fiber as the foundation for their blockchain solutions: … Spaco … MyDailyLife (MDL) Talent Hub”
Skycoin; Business Whitepaper v1.0; Application ecosystem; 02.04.2018
31
“Spaco is a decentralized service built on Fiber, running storage and data transfer, a peer-to-peer encrypted Internet browser with built in anti-spam and versatile user-controlled feed filtering, as well as secure future applications in custom site-creation, shopping, games, video, and much more.”
Skycoin; Business Whitepaper v1.0; Application ecosystem; 02.04.2018
32
“The SPO Storage Layer is the essence of SPO Smart Networking. This network is formed by nodes that hosted and run by any individual “miner”. Basic storage services, CDN services, API services and Live Streaming are all integrated in one place. Our attempt with SPO Storage Service lies within the instant availability to our users, while it maintains supreme quality on its high speed and limit-less storage space.”
SPO; Official Website; SPO poster series; 09.03.2018
33
“Site-building under SPO will greatly benefit from the SPO Storage base. NO MORE server rental, site crash or DDOS attacks.”
SPO; Official Website; SPO poster series; 09.03.2018
34
“SPO Teller is our main method when distributing SPO Tokens, the SPO Teller system marks its own stability and convenience by letting our users achieve instant-trading with BTC, ETH, SKY.”
SPO; Official Website; SPO poster series; 09.03.2018
35
“SPO strives to bring our users a customised browsing experience by continious iteration of Text Information Filtering.”
SPO; Official Website; SPO poster series; 09.03.2018
36
“MyDailyLife (MDL) Talent Hub – MDL aims to build a trustchain for the $2.3 trillion entertainment industry. The MDL platform features a unique prosumer-based ecosystem marketplace and micro-KOL (Key Opinion Leader) partnership programs to raise revenue.”
Skycoin; Business Whitepaper v1.0; Application ecosystem; 02.04.2018
37
“Its core technology enables the MDL platform to have efficient and transparent economy ecosystem that has several revenue streams – the marketplace, where talents can trade, rent, or exchange their gear, equipment, or memorabilia to other talents or their fans; partnership with brands that are eager to promote their products and services with the most outstanding demographic layers, insurance system that secures business performance; livestreaming; extended functionality; commission from deals; and more.”
Dimitry Doronin; Telegram; MDL Talent Hub main channel; 04.04.2018