BitShares 2.0 to Debut Mid October with Blockstream Inspired “Stealth Transfers” Capability

The developers behind BitShares, a Blockchain 2.0 blockchain-based decentralized financial platform, will release its much anticipated 2.0 version by the middle of October, according to a project statement.

The updated platform, dubbed Graphene, is being developed by Cryptonomex, a company founded by BitShares’ core developers. With the new “SmartChain” technology developed by Cryptonomex, BitShares 2.0 will apparently have the industrial performance and scalability to handle a trading volume equivalent to NASDAQ or more than 100,000 transactions per second.

In recent months, the Bitshares’ core developers decided to adopt “Confidential / Stealth Transfers” into the second version of the platform. The new feature is inspired by the “Confidential Transactions” approach by high profile Blockchain 2.0 startup Blockstream in its development of sidechains to extend Bitcoin’s functionality.

The Cryptonomex team noted:

One of the things we lamented in our original announcement was that bitcoin-style privacy was an illusion. Ironically on the same day we announced Graphene and BitShares 2.0 Blockstream released an implementation of Confidential Transactions which is well understood and computationally viable. After reviewing their approach we decided to implement them in Graphene for BitShares 2.0.

Confidential Transfers hide the amounts being transfered while still allowing those who validate the blockchain to verify that the balances transfered sum to 0 and are not negative. Stealth transfers are used to automatically generate a unique key for every transfer. The combination of these two features means that it becomes practically impossible for a 3rd party to identify how much you have sent or received or who is sending money to whom.

The Blockstream development team, who Confidential Transaction in their Sidechains Elements implementation, believes these stealth transfers to be one of the most powerful new features being explored in Elements. The feature keeps the amounts transferred visible only to participants in the transaction and those they designate, while still guaranteeing that no more coins can be spent than are available in a cryptographic way. This goes beyond the usual privacy offered by Bitcoin’s blockchain, which relies purely on public, pseudonymous identities.

Adding another new feature, Cryptonomex also developed a desktop client for users who do not want to rely on a web browser to secure their funds. Operating either as a full node or a light node, the client uses “..the latest Qt WebEngine which is based upon Chromium rather than Webkit and should be much more stable than the BitShares 0.9x wallets which were known to crash from time to time (especially on Windows).”

In interest of getting the update ready for the end of the summer, the BitShares team had to make some compromises on project deliverables. They postponed the roll out of the Bond market components and reduced the feature set of the graphical user interface. They plan to complete these areas after the BitShares 2.0 release.

To prepare for the launch, the Bitshares’ community has also been battering its test network continuously over recent weeks.

Cryptonomex indicated:

Durring this testing members of the community have hammered the blockchain with as many transactions as they could produce. People were running out of test BTS with which to pay fees. These tests pushed throughput up to 20 transactions per second and the network kept chugging. You may notice that 20 TPS is a long way from 100K TPS so I would like to explain this a bit.

The performance of the test network is mostly hindered by existing P2P protocol and not by the CPU load of processing transactions. To reach 100,000 TPS would require high-end servers with Gigabit, low-latency, connections between them.

Resulting from the limitations in the P2P protocol from Bitshares 0.9, the project team is delaying the goal of one second bock internals until they design a new protocol that will dramatically lower latency.

Nonetheless, Cryptonomex is confident in the BitShares platform:

The real proof-of-performance/scalability lies in how quickly we can replay the blockchain once we have it downloaded. Our replay performance continues to be above 100K transactions per second. The networking issues will get resolved as demand increases. For now the existing protocol can easily handle 3x the volume of Bitcoin which is over 30x the current volume of BitShares transactions. By the time the network is averaging 30 transactions per second it will be earning an average of $8000 per day in fees ($3M per year), the market cap would be much higher, and as a result worker proposals would easily be able to fund all of the innovation needed on the networking layer.

They intend to launch the BitShares 2.0 chain no later than 4PM EST on October 13th.

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