Amazon recently opened its first "no checkout" store in Seattle, now followed by Sainsbury's opened similar "till-free" store in the UK. Such environment, where there is no cashier or even point of sale per se, is ideal for cryptocurrency payments. Till-free/no checkout stores are obviously unsuited for cash payments (or vice versa?), so the only option (besides crypto) is plastic card, or the card linked to your mobile phone app (i.e. Apple Pay). But what if you need some privacy and don't want to use plastic card? Maybe privacy is not that important for some people in grocery stores, but there will be other kinds of till-free stores... Or you simply don't have a bank account and plastic card, or your card is not accepted by Apple Pay? Here crypto goes on stage, because it combines the best features of two words: cash (it's anonymous and secure) and plastic cards (it's virtual and can be used on mobile phone).
My essay about blockchain, CryptoNote, and GRAFT in GRAFT blog.
Although we have created a lot of materials explaining GRAFT (both existing features and future developments), including countless technical or semi-technical pages, marketing brochures, blog posts, and educational videos, it’s often difficult to see the whole picture while going through all of the specifics. A focus on the multiple features and their design details can obscure the view of the entire system, creating a so-called “you can’t see the forest through the trees” effect. We are getting many questions from supporting community members as well as potential customers and partners about “the big plan”: what is the ultimate goal, and how exactly are we going to achieve it? Whereas the answer to the first part of this question is quite simple and short, the answer to the second part requires some time and efforts. In this series of blog posts we will iterate through the various GRAFT features and try to explain why they are there, and how they help achieve our ultimate goal: Conquest of the crypto payments world.
Part 1: Blockchain and CryptoNote
Let’s start from the very beginning with the blockchain, or layer one of GRAFT. The blockchain is maintained by a peer-to-peer network of computers, or network nodes. We refer to these network nodes as “cryptonodes” to distinguish them from our “supernodes” (a.k.a. “masternodes” in other networks), which constitute the second layer of the GRAFT network (to be explained in a future blog post). The GRAFT blockchain is based on the CryptoNote protocol, which is the most private blockchain protocol in use as of today. In order to save time and resources, we used the luxury of the open source principle and forked the initial code of the GRAFT cryptonode from Monero — the best implementation of the CryptoNote protocol. In addition to acquiring fundamental privacy features “out of the box”, forking Monero provided a high degree of confidence in our blockchain from day one of the mainnet existence. It’s important to note that the code of GRAFT supernodes, which we create from scratch, is also open source, so essentially everything that we add on top of the previously existing features is also available for others to reuse.
Now let’s go back to the initial question and apply it to the blockchain layer: Why a brand new blockchain and why CryptoNote?
Continue reading in GRAFT blog
How corporations want to put Bitcoin into centralized proprietary box so they could take control over majority of cryptocurrency transactions
Here is more details about Bakkt - a Microsoft/ICE/Starbucks plan to centralize Bitcoin (and I guess other cryptocurrencies in the future) trading.
Imagine that dozens of mutual funds, pension funds, and endowments hold Bitcoin in the Bakkt warehouse. If Asset Manager A buys $200 million in Bitcoin from Asset Manager B, the Bitcoin tokens simply move from B’s account at Bakkt to A’s account at Bakkt, via a trade on the ICE exchange. The total number of Bitcoins held at Bakkt doesn’t change. Let’s assume that millions of those transactions happen every day, all inside the Bakkt ecosystem. Bakkt simply keeps a ledger of those offsetting Bitcoin debit and credits. The individual purchases and sales don’t need to be broadcast to the blockchain.
Basically, Bakkt warehouse is going to be another centralized exchange with private version of Bitcoin Lightning, a singleton proprietary off-chain settlement machine where all fees associated with transactions are paid to the single owner of the warehouse. Such approach obviously contradicts the principle of cryptocurrency decentralization. Although unlike credit card payments system banks are not part of this scheme, corporations are still going to set the rules of the game. You will have to have an account in this system in order to pay or get paid, which means there is still someone who decides whether you are or you are not eligible (not to mention privacy and security concerns associated with any centralized system).