Q: What is a Moderated Blockchain?
A: Electroneum’s new Moderated Blockchain (a type of permissioned blockchain that is at the qualitative level of IBM’s Hyperledger or Facebook’s announced Libra open ledger network) that has been uniquely and cleverly developed to provide Electroneum with a minimal but sufficient level of interference. This will allow the highly skilled engineering staff to supervise the distributed ledger which is maintained by a list of trusted validators. And this allows the tech team to detect anomalies or irregularities that could come from hackers attempting to breach our security, and immediately stop them preventing a double-spend or 51% attack. Because Electroneum controls the list of trusted validators, this empowers them to guarantee, and that is similar to IBM’s hyper ledger or that of Facebook’s Libra blockchain.
Q: Why did you move to a Moderated Blockchain?
A: To improve the functionality of Electroneum at the exchanges, allowing them to confirm deposit transactions faster and to protect the network from 51% attacks, and also Electroneum can decide to where the block rewards are rerouted ensuring that they are used to help improve the lives of the poorer in underdeveloped countries.
Q: What is the role of blockchain in a permissioned network?
A: It is essentially an immutable history of financial transactions. Electroneum’s Moderated Blockchain, which is a type of permissioned blockchain, unlike other decentralised cryptocurrency networks, can guarantee a tamper-proof system of transactional records.
Q: What motivation would someone have to trade on a permissioned blockchain when their transaction could get rolled back, or worse still, never get confirmed?
A: With Electroneum’s new Moderated Blockchain reorganisations can still occur but never will an irregular transaction actually be fully confirmed and then overwritten.
Q: Is there any risk of manipulation with a moderated blockchain?
A: There is a risk of manipulation if an authenticator key is leaked. However, the extent would be negligible and therefore not affect users, exchanges or miners. We developed a system to closely monitor the behaviour of both the network and miners to ensure any foul play is immediately crushed.
Q: How is Electroneum’s Moderated Blockchain different to other decentralised blockchains?
A: We have the authority to decide who mines the blocks and therefore, we can increase the likelihood that they are trusted validators.
Q: Why doesn’t Electroneum move to a fully centralised blockchain?
A: Our unique and cleverly created Moderated Blockchain is meant to have minimal interference to remove the risks and add protection whilst remaining decentralised to the point wherein the unlikely event that a meteor was to wipe out all of the Electroneum staff out of the face of the Earth by a meteor, ETN would not cease to exist. This because those nodes currently mining our blockchain or anybody else for that fact could swap out the codes and fork the network to take over control and guarantee the permanence of the cryptocurrency thus shielding our users from losses.
Q: What is Proof of Responsibility or PoR?
A: Proof of Responsibility, or PoR for short, is a new mining paradigm which obligates the miners to two primary responsibilities which are: 1) Maintain the integrity of the payment network, and 2) Spend the block rewards they receive responsibly to help poor people in line with Electroneum’s humanitarian agenda.
Q: How does PoR compare to PoW or Proof of Work?
A: PoR saves a lot of time and energy compared to PoW because instead of working with block validators overtime to prove or not that they’re reliable miners, we save time and potential adverse issues by hand-picking the miners ourselves.
SECURITY AND 51% ATTACKS OR DOUBLE SPENDS
Q: What is a 51% attack?
A: It is when someone takes over 50% control of the hashing power of a cryptocurrency. Hackers usually use this to benefit themselves with double spends, which is a hard loss for the exchanges as well as users in many cases.
Q: What IS an example of a 51% attack?
A: You may know 51% attacks better from both Bitcoin Cash in 2018 and Ethereum Classic in 2019, where hackers acquired more than 50 percent of the hashing power on those networks and getting away with a significant loot.
Q: What is hashing power?
A: This is the rate with which the mining rigs solve mathematical problems.
Q: Why doesn’t Electroneum require large amounts of hashing power anymore?
A: The Electroneum network difficulty automatically adjusts to maintain the target block time of two minutes. Regardless of the magnitude of the hashing power in Electroneum’s network will be kept to a two-minute target block time.
Q: Is Electroneum now insusceptible to a 51% attack?
A: We’re no longer susceptible to a 51% attack – making us one of the most secure blockchains in existence today.
Q: What if someone hack one authenticated miner?
A: In the unlikely event that hackers were to succeed in breaching the security of an authenticated miner, the authentication key of that miner would not be accessible to the hacker in itself because of the unique way our blockchain team has come up to shield it from being discovered. The hacker, therefore, would not be able to affect the network because they would be unable to mine sequential blocks. And because of the uniqueness of the Moderated Blockchain, our moderating network layer would immediately detect the breach and rescind the rights of that miner.
Q: What if two or more hacks?
A: If one hack is highly unlikely due to two security breaches being necessary, two hacks are exponentially harder to achieve. But if it were to happen, the keys they may have stolen limit the hash rate of the miner. This means that if somebody were to take the code and run it on the highest-powered mining machine, it would still produce the same hash rate as it would in the lowest powered mining rig making it impossible for them to control over 50% of the network’s hash rate because of the way our Moderated Blockchain is set up. This also ensures the NGOs can run an Electroneum mining node on hardware with which their tech teams are familiar.
Q: How do you judge how responsible the miners are?
A: We look at how many blocks they are mining compared to how many blocks they are expected to mine going by the hashing power allotted to them.
Q: What happens after a mining node has been shut off?
A: Simply, it stops mining and needs to be restarted and then retype or re-enter the authentication key.
NEW TRUSTED MINERS
Q: Who are the miners?
A: We have chosen vocational NGOs as trusted mining partners who are also trustworthy organisations. We have done due diligence to ensure they are transparent, honest, and aligned with our vision to work within the developing world. We have made sure that they also want to accompany us in our goal to expand our Gig Fair project, which is aimed at helping provide people in the poorest regions of the world with an income opportunity and the opportunity to attain skills and means to generate an income that will empower them to live better. The NGOs that we’ve selected are trusted brands that have proven track records in helping people. Cryptocurrency is at its early stages and is met with skepticism by many people and entities around the world as well as in the developing world. So, our mission is to educate these NGOs about cryptocurrency so that they can, in turn, convey the message of the benefits of crypto, particularly ETN, to people in the developing world and make them feel more confident to use crypto, which ultimately will help spur crypto’s mass adoption.
Q: Why are these NGOs anonymous (initially)?
A: Because they themselves have decided to remain anonymous over concerns of how cryptocurrency could reflect on their organisations.
Q: What do NGOs do for the project?
A: They validate the blocks and rewarded for this and take the proceeds to help people?
Q: Where are the NGO’s and Charities located?
A: For now, locations of the NGOs are being kept undisclosed for security reasons until they themselves decide they if they want to make public that information.
Q: Five million ETN or about $22,500 at the then valuation was paid out daily before. How much is being paid out now?
A: Because the block rewards have been reduced by a whopping 75% creating scarcity which is a good thing to extend longevity, currently just over 1.2 million ETN or about $5,300 is being paid out in block rewards.
Q: Can we see who is mining and how much they are mining?
A: The block rewards will still be visible on the blockchain explorer and those with sufficient technical knowledge will be able to see the different miners signing blocks with different mining keys. But Electroneum is not forcing the NGOs to reveal their identities because they are still going through a learning curve and when they understand crypto and experience the benefits first-hand, they will more than likely reveal themselves.
Q: Where are their mining rigs stored?
A: We have suggested that mining rigs be run in the cloud to ensure uptime; however, ultimately, it is up to the NGOs themselves decide where their equipment is hosted. It is essential to point out that we have reduced energy and hash rates by a millionfold as such a standard rack-mounted server that you would find in any business today is sufficient to run an Electroneum mining node.
Q: Who setup their mining rigs?
A: At this stage, all mining rigs have been set up by the Electroneum team as this is the first foray for NGOs into the cryptocurrency mining space.
Q: Who is managing their mining rigs?
A: The mining rigs are self-sufficient and need very little if any, technical support, however, a moderator layer monitors the new Moderated Blockchain to ensure the mining rigs are online and benefit the network. If we were to detect a mining rig going offline, we would inform the NGO and provide assistance where required.
Q: How will NGOs use their ETN (from mining blocks)?
A: The NGOs, initially, almost certainly convert the ETN to USD or other currencies because they have always used fiat to deliver their donations and assistance because that is what they are used to doing. Once they see the benefits and value of ETN they may start using it on the ground to amongst the people they help. We have deliberately targeted NGOs that are in regions that were we are imminent to enable airtime top-ups directly with ETN from within the Electroneum mobile app.
FUTURE PROGRESS & CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS
Q: How will this initiative affect corporate partnerships moving forward?
A: Because the network is more secure, Electroneum as a platform will be more attractive as a platform in the eyes of potential partners.
Q: How will it help to grow our on-the-ground initiatives?
A: The NGO’s we’re working with will be in the regions we’re targeting on the ground. So, this will be contributing to the eco-system, the NGO’s will be able to spend their ETN on education through the Gig Economy too.
Q: Can new NGOs apply to mine?
A: I If you know or are an NGO that focuses on vocational training and education, and that it is within the developing world, then we would love to hear from you via our community forum.
Q: How will the 75% reduction in the block reward benefit the community?
A: Reducing the block rewards means ETN ‘s expands the longevity of the coin by making ETN scarcer and thus lengthening the duration of the emission of coins.