Who cares about political tweets from some random country's president when payment channels are a much more interesting and are actually capable of carrying value?
So let's have a short history of various payment channel techs!
Generation 0: Satoshi's Broken nSequence Channels
Because Satoshi's Vision included payment channels, except his implementation sucked so hard we had to go fix it and added RBF as a by-product.
Originally, the plan for nSequence was that mempools would replace any transaction spending certain inputs with another transaction spending the same inputs, but only if the nSequence field of the replacement was larger.
Since 0xFFFFFFFF was the highest value that nSequence could get, this would mark a transaction as "final" and not replaceable on the mempool anymore.
In fact, this "nSequence channel" I will describe is the reason why we have this weird rule about nLockTime and nSequence. nLockTime actually only works if nSequence is not 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. final. If nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF then nLockTime is ignored, because this if the "final" version of the transaction.
So what you'd do would be something like this:
- You go to a bar and promise the bartender to pay by the time the bar closes. Because this is the Bitcoin universe, time is measured in blockheight, so the closing time of the bar is indicated as some future blockheight.
- For your first drink, you'd make a transaction paying to the bartender for that drink, paying from some coins you have. The transaction has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, and a starting nSequence of 0. You hand over the transaction and the bartender hands you your drink.
- For your succeeding drink, you'd remake the same transaction, adding the payment for that drink to the transaction output that goes to the bartender (so that output keeps getting larger, by the amount of payment), and having an nSequence that is one higher than the previous one.
- Eventually you have to stop drinking. It comes down to one of two possibilities:
- You drink until the bar closes. Since it is now the nLockTime indicated in the transaction, the bartender is able to broadcast the latest transaction and tells the bouncers to kick you out of the bar.
- You wisely consider the state of your liver. So you re-sign the last transaction with a "final" nSequence of 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. the maximum possible value it can have. This allows the bartender to get his or her funds immediately (nLockTime is ignored if nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF), so he or she tells the bouncers to let you out of the bar.
Now that of course is a payment channel. Individual payments (purchases of alcohol, so I guess buying coffee is not in scope for payment channels). Closing is done by creating a "final" transaction that is the sum of the individual payments. Sure there's no routing and channels are unidirectional and channels have a maximum lifetime but give Satoshi a break, he was also busy inventing Bitcoin at the time.
Now if you noticed I called this kind of payment channel "broken". This is because the mempool rules are not consensus rules, and cannot be validated (nothing
about the mempool can be validated onchain: I sigh every time somebody proposes "let's make block size dependent on mempool size", mempool state cannot be validated by onchain data). Fullnodes can't see all of the transactions you signed, and then validate that the final one with the maximum nSequence is the one that actually is used onchain. So you can do the below:
- Become friends with Jihan Wu, because he owns >51% of the mining hashrate (he totally reorged Bitcoin to reverse the Binance hack right?).
- Slip Jihan Wu some of the more interesting drinks you're ordering as an incentive to cooperate with you. So say you end up ordering 100 drinks, you split it with Jihan Wu and give him 50 of the drinks.
- When the bar closes, Jihan Wu quickly calls his mining rig and tells them to mine the version of your transaction with nSequence 0. You know, that first one where you pay for only one drink.
- Because fullnodes cannot validate nSequence, they'll accept even the nSequence=0 version and confirm it, immutably adding you paying for a single alcoholic drink to the blockchain.
- The bartender, pissed at being cheated, takes out a shotgun from under the bar and shoots at you and Jihan Wu.
- Jihan Wu uses his mystical chi powers (actually the combined exhaust from all of his mining rigs) to slow down the shotgun pellets, making them hit you as softly as petals drifting in the wind.
- The bartender mutters some words, clothes ripping apart as he or she (hard to believe it could be a she but hey) turns into a bear, ready to maul you for cheating him or her of the payment for all the 100 drinks you ordered from him or her.
- Steely-eyed, you stand in front of the bartender-turned-bear, daring him to touch you. You've watched Revenant, you know Leonardo di Caprio could survive a bear mauling, and if some posh actor can survive that, you know you can too. You make a pose. "Drunken troll logic attack!"
- I think I got sidetracked here.
- Bears are bad news.
- You can't reasonably invoke "Satoshi's Vision" and simultaneously reject the Lightning Network because it's not onchain. Satoshi's Vision included a half-assed implementation of payment channels with nSequence, where the onchain transaction represented multiple logical payments, exactly what modern offchain techniques do (except modern offchain techniques actually work). nSequence (the field, but not its modern meaning) has been in Bitcoin since BitCoin For Windows Alpha 0.1.0. And its original intent was payment channels. You can't get nearer to Satoshi's Vision than being a field that Satoshi personally added to transactions on the very first public release of the BitCoin software, like srsly.
- Miners can totally bypass mempool rules. In fact, the reason why nSequence has been repurposed to indicate "optional" replace-by-fee is because miners are already incentivized by the nSequence system to always follow replace-by-fee anyway. I mean, what do you think those drinks you passed to Jihan Wu are, other than the fee you pay him to mine a specific version of your transaction?
- Satoshi made mistakes. The original design for nSequence is one of them. Today, we no longer use nSequence in this way. So diverging from Satoshi's original design is part and parcel of Bitcoin development, because over time, we learn new lessons that Satoshi never knew about. Satoshi was an important landmark in this technology. He will not be the last, or most important, that we will remember in the future: he will only be the first.
Incentive-compatible time-limited unidirectional channel; or, Satoshi's Vision, Fixed (if transaction malleability hadn't been a problem, that is).
Now, we know the bartender will turn into a bear and maul you if you try to cheat the payment channel, and now that we've revealed you're good friends with Jihan Wu, the bartender will no longer accept a payment channel scheme that lets one you cooperate with a miner to cheat the bartender.
Fortunately, Jeremy Spilman proposed a better way that would not let you cheat the bartender.
First, you and the bartender perform this ritual:
- You get some funds and create a transaction that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig between you and the bartender. You don't broadcast this yet: you just sign it and get its txid.
- You create another transaction that spends the above transaction. This transaction (the "backoff") has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, plus one block. You sign it and give this backoff transaction (but not the above transaction) to the bartender.
- The bartender signs the backoff and gives it back to you. It is now valid since it's spending a 2-of-2 of you and the bartender, and both of you have signed the backoff transaction.
- Now you broadcast the first transaction onchain. You and the bartender wait for it to be deeply confirmed, then you can start ordering.
The above is probably vaguely familiar to LN users. It's the funding process of payment channels! The first transaction, the one that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig, is the funding transaction that backs the payment channel funds.
So now you start ordering in this way:
- For your first drink, you create a transaction spending the funding transaction output and sending the price of the drink to the bartender, with the rest returning to you.
- You sign the transaction and pass it to the bartender, who serves your first drink.
- For your succeeding drinks, you recreate the same transaction, adding the price of the new drink to the sum that goes to the bartender and reducing the money returned to you. You sign the transaction and give it to the bartender, who serves you your next drink.
- At the end:
- If the bar closing time is reached, the bartender signs the latest transaction, completing the needed 2-of-2 signatures and broadcasting this to the Bitcoin network. Since the backoff transaction is the closing time + 1, it can't get used at closing time.
- If you decide you want to leave early because your liver is crying, you just tell the bartender to go ahead and close the channel (which the bartender can do at any time by just signing and broadcasting the latest transaction: the bartender won't do that because he or she is hoping you'll stay and drink more).
- If you ended up just hanging around the bar and never ordering, then at closing time + 1 you broadcast the backoff transaction and get your funds back in full.
Now, even if you pass 50 drinks to Jihan Wu, you can't give him the first transaction (the one which pays for only one drink) and ask him to mine it: it's spending a 2-of-2 and the copy you have only contains your own signature. You need the bartender's signature to make it valid, but he or she sure as hell isn't going to cooperate in something that would lose him or her money, so a signature from the bartender validating old state where he or she gets paid less isn't going to happen.
So, problem solved, right? Right? Okay, let's try it. So you get your funds, put them in a funding tx, get the backoff tx, confirm the funding tx...
Once the funding transaction confirms deeply, the bartender laughs uproariously. He or she summons the bouncers, who surround you menacingly.
"I'm refusing service to you," the bartender says.
"Fine," you say. "I was leaving anyway;" You smirk. "I'll get back my money with the backoff transaction, and posting about your poor service on reddit so you get negative karma, so there!"
"Not so fast," the bartender says. His or her voice chills your bones. It looks like your exploitation of the Satoshi nSequence payment channel is still fresh in his or her mind. "Look at the txid of the funding transaction that got confirmed."
"What about it?" you ask nonchalantly, as you flip open your desktop computer and open a reputable blockchain explorer.
What you see shocks you.
"What the --- the txid is different! You--- you changed my signature
?? But how? I put the only copy of my private key in a sealed envelope in a cast-iron box inside a safe buried in the Gobi desert protected by a clan of nomads who have dedicated their lives and their childrens' lives to keeping my private key safe in perpetuity!"
"Didn't you know?" the bartender asks. "The components of the signature are just very large numbers. The sign of one of the signature components can be changed, from positive to negative, or negative to positive, and the signature will remain valid. Anyone can do that, even if they don't know the private key. But because Bitcoin includes the signatures in the transaction when it's generating the txid, this little change also changes the txid." He or she chuckles. "They say they'll fix it by sep
arating the sig
natures from the transaction body. They're saying that these kinds of signature malleability won't affect transaction ids anymore after they do this, but I bet I can get my good friend Jihan Wu to delay this 'SepSig' plan for a good while yet. Friendly guy, this Jihan Wu, it turns out all I had to do was slip him 51 drinks and he was willing to mine a tx with the signature signs flipped." His or her grin widens. "I'm afraid your backoff transaction won't work anymore, since it spends a txid that is not existent and will never be confirmed. So here's the deal. You pay me 99% of the funds in the funding transaction, in exchange for me signing the transaction that spends with the txid that you see onchain. Refuse, and you lose 100% of the funds and every other HODLer, including me, benefits from the reduction in coin supply. Accept, and you get to keep 1%. I lose nothing if you refuse, so I won't care if you do, but consider the difference of getting zilch vs. getting 1% of your funds." His or her eyes glow. "GENUFLECT RIGHT NOW."
- Payback's a bitch.
- Transaction malleability is a bitchier bitch. It's why we needed to fix the bug in SegWit. Sure, MtGox claimed they were attacked this way because someone kept messing with their transaction signatures and thus they lost track of where their funds went, but really, the bigger impetus for fixing transaction malleability was to support payment channels.
- Yes, including the signatures in the hash that ultimately defines the txid was a mistake. Satoshi made a lot of those. So we're just reiterating the lesson "Satoshi was not an infinite being of infinite wisdom" here. Satoshi just gets a pass because of how awesome Bitcoin is.
CLTV-protected Spilman Channels
Using CLTV for the backoff branch.
This variation is simply Spilman channels, but with the backoff transaction replaced with a backoff branch in the SCRIPT you pay to. It only became possible after OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY (CLTV) was enabled in 2015.
Now as we saw in the Spilman Channels discussion, transaction malleability means that any pre-signed offchain transaction can easily be invalidated by flipping the sign of the signature of the funding transaction while the funding transaction is not yet confirmed.
This can be avoided by simply putting any special requirements into an explicit branch of the Bitcoin SCRIPT. Now, the backoff branch is supposed to create a maximum lifetime for the payment channel, and prior to the introduction of OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY this could only be done by having a pre-signed nLockTime transaction.
With CLTV, however, we can now make the branches explicit in the SCRIPT that the funding transaction pays to.
Instead of paying to a 2-of-2 in order to set up the funding transaction, you pay to a SCRIPT which is basically "2-of-2, OR this singlesig after a specified lock time".
With this, there is no backoff transaction that is pre-signed and which refers to a specific txid. Instead, you can create the backoff transaction later, using whatever txid the funding transaction ends up being confirmed under. Since the funding transaction is immutable once confirmed, it is no longer possible to change the txid afterwards.
Todd Micropayment Networks
The old hub-spoke model (that isn't how LN today actually works).
One of the more direct predecessors of the Lightning Network was the hub-spoke model discussed by Peter Todd. In this model, instead of payers directly having channels to payees, payers and payees connect to a central hub server. This allows any payer to pay any payee, using the same channel for every payee on the hub. Similarly, this allows any payee to receive from any payer, using the same channel.
Remember from the above Spilman example? When you open a channel to the bartender, you have to wait around for the funding tx to confirm. This will take an hour at best
. Now consider that you have to make channels for everyone you want to pay to. That's not very scalable.
So the Todd hub-spoke model has a central "clearing house" that transport money from payers to payees. The "Moonbeam" project takes this model. Of course, this reveals to the hub who the payer and payee are, and thus the hub can potentially censor transactions. Generally, though, it was considered that a hub would more efficiently censor by just not maintaining a channel with the payer or payee that it wants to censor (since the money it owned in the channel would just be locked uselessly if the hub won't process payments to/from the censored user).
In any case, the ability of the central hub to monitor payments means that it can surveill the payer and payee, and then sell this private transactional data to third parties. This loss of privacy would be intolerable today.
Peter Todd also proposed that there might be multiple hubs that could transport funds to each other on behalf of their users, providing somewhat better privacy.
Another point of note is that at the time such networks were proposed, only unidirectional (Spilman) channels were available. Thus, while one could be a payer, or payee, you would have to use separate channels for your income versus for your spending. Worse, if you wanted to transfer money from your income channel to your spending channel, you had to close both and reshuffle the money between them, both onchain activities.
Poon-Dryja Lightning Network
Bidirectional two-participant channels.
The Poon-Dryja channel mechanism has two important properties:
- No time limit.
Both the original Satoshi and the two Spilman variants are unidirectional: there is a payer and a payee, and if the payee wants to do a refund, or wants to pay for a different service or product the payer is providing, then they can't use the same unidirectional channel.
The Poon-Dryjam mechanism allows channels, however, to be bidirectional instead: you are not a payer or a payee on the channel, you can receive or send at any time as long as both you and the channel counterparty are online.
Further, unlike either of the Spilman variants, there is no time limit for the lifetime of a channel. Instead, you can keep the channel open for as long as you want.
Both properties, together, form a very powerful scaling property
that I believe most people have not appreciated. With unidirectional channels, as mentioned before, if you both earn and spend over the same network of payment channels, you would have separate channels for earning and spending. You would then need to perform onchain operations to "reverse" the directions of your channels periodically. Secondly, since Spilman channels have a fixed lifetime, even if you never used either channel, you would have to periodically "refresh" it by closing it and reopening.
With bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels, you may instead open some channels when you first begin managing your own money, then close them only after your lawyers have executed your last will and testament on how the money in your channels get divided up to your heirs: that's just two onchain transactions in your entire lifetime. That is the potentially very powerful scaling property that bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels allow.
I won't discuss the transaction structure needed for Poon-Dryja bidirectional channels --- it's complicated and you can easily get explanations with cute graphics elsewhere.
a weakness of Poon-Dryja that people tend to gloss over (because it was fixed very well by RustyReddit
- You have to store all the revocation keys of a channel. This implies you are storing 1 revocation key for every channel update, so if you perform millions of updates over your entire lifetime, you'd be storing several megabytes of keys, for only a single channel. RustyReddit fixed this by requiring that the revocation keys be generated from a "Seed" revocation key, and every key is just the application of SHA256 on that key, repeatedly. For example, suppose I tell you that my first revocation key is SHA256(SHA256(seed)). You can store that in O(1) space. Then for the next revocation, I tell you SHA256(seed). From SHA256(key), you yourself can compute SHA256(SHA256(seed)) (i.e. the previous revocation key). So you can remember just the most recent revocation key, and from there you'd be able to compute every previous revocation key. When you start a channel, you perform SHA256 on your seed for several million times, then use the result as the first revocation key, removing one layer of SHA256 for every revocation key you need to generate. RustyReddit not only came up with this, but also suggested an efficient O(log n) storage structure, the shachain, so that you can quickly look up any revocation key in the past in case of a breach. People no longer really talk about this O(n) revocation storage problem anymore because it was solved very very well by this mechanism.
Another thing I want to emphasize is that while the Lightning Network paper and many of the earlier presentations developed from the old Peter Todd hub-and-spoke model, the modern Lightning Network takes the logical conclusion of removing a strict separation between "hubs" and "spokes". Any node on the Lightning Network can very well work as a hub for any other node. Thus, while you might operate as "mostly a payer", "mostly a forwarding node", "mostly a payee", you still end up being at least partially a forwarding node ("hub") on the network, at least part of the time. This greatly reduces the problems of privacy inherent in having only a few hub nodes: forwarding nodes cannot get significantly useful data from the payments passing through them, because the distance between the payer and the payee can be so large that it would be likely that the ultimate payer and the ultimate payee could be anyone on the Lightning Network.
- We can decentralize if we try hard enough!
- "Hubs bad" can be made "hubs good" if everybody is a hub.
- Smart people can solve problems. It's kinda why they're smart.
After LN, there's also the Decker-Wattenhofer Duplex Micropayment Channels (DMC). This post is long enough as-is, LOL. But for now, it uses a novel "decrementing nSequence channel", using the new
relative-timelock semantics of nSequence (not the broken one originally by Satoshi). It actually uses multiple such "decrementing nSequence" constructs, terminating in a pair of Spilman channels, one in both directions (thus "duplex"). Maybe I'll discuss it some other time.
The realization that channel constructions could actually hold more channel constructions inside them (the way the Decker-Wattenhofer puts a pair of Spilman channels inside a series of "decrementing nSequence channels") lead to the further thought behind Burchert-Decker-Wattenhofer channel factories. Basically, you could host multiple two-participant channel constructs inside a larger multiparticipant "channel" construct (i.e. host multiple channels inside a factory).
Further, we have the Decker-Russell-Osuntokun or "eltoo" construction. I'd argue that this is "nSequence done right". I'll write more about this later, because this post is long enough.
- Bitcoin offchain scaling is more powerful than you ever thought.
- Introduction Binance is an exchange company formed in 2017. If one may ask, is Binance just an exchange or a progressive crypto exchange? My answer is that Binance is not just a crypto exchange company but an 'engine' that drives crypto-currency adoption. How? My readers may ask. My answers will first start with a simple analogy of what is adoption.
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, (usually a child, from that person's biological or legal parent or parents,) and in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents (Wikipedia,2018). In the sense of crypto-currency it is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another ( new idea or way or thing) and in so doing permanently transfers all rights and responsibility that belong to the old or normal way to the new way. Driving in the other hand is knowing how to operate the mechanisms which control the system (vehicle); it requires knowing how to apply the rules of the road (which ensures safe and efficient sharing with other users). An effective driver also has an intuitive understanding of the basics of system (vehicle ) handling and can drive responsibly (Jacob,2018). A driver may be a person, company, a system or device that knows the mechanism which control a system and the driver must formulate or know the rules and the basics of directing the system to its target. A device driver for instance is a system (computer program) that operates or controls a particular type of device (EMC,2010). In our case we are looking at crypto-adoption driver, a person or company that knows the mechanism which can be used to make greater number of people to transfer permanently the rights and responsibility of fiat money to blockchain currency (Crypto-currency).
A clear case of driving adoption can be easily seen in Football which have been in existence long ago, but FIFA devices a way to entice all nation to participate and develop football infrastructure in there countries by moving Football tournament hosting around different regions and other things they did to make the sports to be popular (adopted) all over the regions of the world.
Similarly, crypto-currency have been there before Binance started, crypto-exchanges have been there before the advent of Binance but what Binance did and what they did not do helped in replicating adoption across all the regions of the globe. The only challenge here is whether these position can be substantiated?
- The Authors experience My name is Bartholomew Eke (PhD), a Software Engineer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Africa. I developed interest on cryptocurrency in 2010 after reading Nakamoto published paper Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer electronic cash system (Satoshi,2008) which I saw as a research on cryptography protection of online payments. I didn't well understood it until on Febuary 2014 on hearing that Mt. Gox the largest Bitcoin exchange tend, had gone bankcrupt and had made away with depositors 'Coins'. The word coins attracted my interest, I wondererd why they should be keeping the Coins instead of the notes, but I latter learnt it was not Coins but Bitcoins. Before that time Satoshis's Bitcoin was simply viewed by me as a research exercise aimed at improving crryptography which I had many programs on. The research on tracking of Mt. Gox Bitcoin in the publication of Sarah et. al (2016) increased my interest in Crypto-currency and exchanges research. The research is still ungoing though I have published some of my findings but one of my crushial discovery is that Binance is not just a cryptocurrency exchange but a driver of cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption. I am one of the few people trading in crypto exchanges as part of my research project so it often does not matter whether I gained a trade or lost provided I made my findings. I have used more than 15 exchanges only on experimental bases some of which include Coinbase, Blockchain, Kraken, Bitrrex, Tradesatoshi, Binance, Kucoin, Bit-Z, Cryptopia, Luno, Abucoin and Cryptagio just to mention a few. My criteria of registering include Low volume, High Volume, Low fee, High Fee, difficulty of registration, exchange incentive, exchange policy, cardinal goal of exchange, Fiat or non-fiat, age of exchange and other criteria which I will still publish in my future paper. I have lost and gained crypto in the process of the research but I saw some things that Binance does differently which may or may not have contributed to surge in users interest.
- Binance Key Drivers In discussing the story of a young exchange called Binance there are some findings worth mentioning and they include: i) Segregation (Discrimination) : In all the money transfer companies and exchanges I have studied before the advent of Binance there is serious segregation among its customers. In some exchanges this differentiation is very scaring but in Binance it is very minimal, unnoticeable and almost non existent. I will use three experiences to explain, in Coinbase my country (Nigeria) can not trade but they can deposit and withdraw crypto, so why allow them to register only to segregate. Most exchanges, majority of users do not withraw more than 1BTC per day but exchanges group them into three level of users which have different withdrawal limits ( which is very OK for some reasons) but many exchanges go further to place trade restrictions based on this segregations. For instance Cryptopia do not allow you to trade USDT or its equivalent if you are not in certain levels. Bit-z will not allow you to participate in some trading competition or even get airdrops if you are not in some category of user. There are more instances but you will not experience any difference as a user until you want to withdraw above certain limits in Binance. Binance operates little or no discrimination allowing 'Private Crypto' users to remain in level 1 and operate freely provided they withraw smaller amounts. There are many world micro scale and unbanked users who can not afford to get any valid government ID for level 3 registration- Binance is were they fill welcomed. I spent some months as level 1 client and now am in level 2 but my withrawal is hardly upto one BTC a day so I feel no difference but that's not true with many exchanges. ii) Incentives: The unprecidented incentives that Binance offer can make some body with zero dollar to be a marchant with Binance. In November 2017, I told my research students who do not have funds to complete their research work, to register in Binance and generate money to finish their research; they did and are about to graduate. Binance empowered them, they simply registered, got some Airdrops from some new crypto companies, sold and traded with the money and where given trading bonuses and they sold the coins and paid for there research costs via Binance. Their trading incentive vary so much that all kinds of traders benefit, to be more concrete Ontology had a condition of trading 0.5BTC over a week. Using $100 a trader can easily trade five times a day which is $1000 buy-sell volume, in five days that is $5000 volume above 0.5BTC at that time and they gave 1000 ONT which was worth (at some time) $10000, what else is incentive or empowerment. No one can deny these facts. Some new exchanges have copied these model which is great for cryptocurrency adoption. All young school leavers in my area are into Airdrop due to this model introduced by Binance. iii) Low trading Fee : Binance is a cryptocurrency which is accepted for transaction in my local domain thanks to the exchange, for the past six months IT training centers in my locality accept and use Binance as payment for IT training. Trading fee is half when the coin is used to pay for fees but due to its relative stability Binance have found usage in other payments. Beginners can easily learn trading at reduced cost due to low fees. Majority of crypto traders in Binance are startup traders who are learning fast due to trading incentives. iv) High Volume: One of the Support team in Abucoin said that people go to Binance because of there high trading volumes, many people still have the same opinion. But as an academics I know that at a time Binance traded less than 1BTC during their starting stage either as one second or one minute trade volume, they did not start the first second of opening trade with large volumes. BTC only have less than 40% of all Crypto (Coinmarketcap,2018) and Binance introduce good altcoins which was followed by volumes. I was told when Binance started by a forum friend that an exchange that does not offer fiat currency will not attract traders but I differed, insisting that a trader will always prefer to make money in 'Aghanistan and spend it in Paris'. If a trader can ingage in quality trade in an exchange he will only go to the next exchange for cash-out. Cashing out is not always a problem once there is another exchange that is ready to exchange even a single crypto like Bitcoin or even TUSD or USDT. v) Honesty: Binance is an honest exchange, they promise they will distribute prices for trade in a given time you will get it before the time or right at the time they promised. Some exchanges do not add crypto handling delays when they make promise only to discover that a transfer may take 30 seconds today and 3 days the next hour. Binance will tell you two weeks after trading competition the coins will be distributed, they do not usually mean it. What they actually said is that "in two days time after context we will send the winners there coins and the coins can take at most 10 days to reach". In most cases the coins reach in seconds instead of the added days they promised. Cryptocurrency is scary and new users are afraid of dealing with faceless customer service personnels, emails and text messages. What they always want is "your coin is confirming 1/30 confirmations"; they can go to sleep believing that in 5days the coin will be their own. Binance delivers on promises. When they found abnormality that will make customers loss they will raise alarm. For instance during Bytecoin surden price spike in early May 2018 they warned customers to trade with cursion explaining that coin deposit problem may have caused price abnormality-honesty. They constantly remind you to trade with their Binance coin for low fee even when they know that your failure to do that results to higher fees and more gain to the company but they prefer to honestly warn customers. v) Selection of Promising Alt Coins: I am a lecturer in Africa and have never worked with any crypto company but I have traded more than 15 coins in Binance (the evidence is the piece of coin left) but the coins are promising. The coin that is usually at the bottom of the Binance volume is Via Coin which is still a good coin (from my accessment). Most of the coins listed in the exchange easily move up creating great choice and selection space for traders. When crypto exchange grow, users grow and trading space need to grow, Binance is master in that strategy. If a company produces a fake coin or even a 'good coin' with bad road map they will not even approach Binance for listing for two reasons- fear of not spending their money since they do not have plans to make more money from long term plan, fear that there listing request will be rejected. The choice of coins cut across prices and different rating in Coinmarketcap; Binance does not wait for a coin to be in the first 100 before listing them rather if they believe the coin is promising they select the coin. vi) Recognition of developer community Any IT company today that do not take care of its developers or technical teams well will loose them to other cryptocurrency companies and there are many of them coming up. Exchanges seem to believe that there job is to deal on other peoples products but Binance has shown that the best we to understand the crypto world is by been one with it. Binance is not just an exchange, it is a cryptocurrency, a blockchain technology and security and software development organization. This is correct but that can not be said of many exchanges except those copying Binance model. Surprisingly those exchanges copying Binance are also getting visible result. vii) Efficiency and Speed of Site and Trading App. There are things that the Western countries take for granted- power availability and very high speed internet connectivity. Readers of this story from advanced nations should jump to the next point. But the rest of the world have little power which is not even available always and internet cost are high and speed are extremely low. Even when the provider have technology to provide high speed users prefer to have their data last for one full month than to see it finished due to high speed usage. Some times provider intentionally slow down speed to avoid customers outcry of quick finishing data. This calls for exchanges to carry majority of users along in developing there trading platforms. The faster the better and Binance is acting and continues to work on this. viii) Security This is closely related to technology since internally trading apps needed to be upgraded to remain ahead of hackers, crakers and phishing organisations. Early in the year 2018 Binance had a phishing attack, we could easily imagine the state of the cryptocurrency exchange now is they had suceeded. But the phishers could not still coins even when they have broken in, this increased users confidence in the exchange and draw more new clients. The new features added to the exchange have even made email phishing extremely difficult to phishers. There are other security features added which users can sence but are hidden to public discussion. ix) Rich Binance is a rich company, rich in their attitude to the world community, rich in income generation, rich in the way they give to start up companies even when they are also start up themselves, rich in their logo and rich in communicating with customers. Rich in innovative ideas. Binance is rich. Poverty repels, so Binance will keep attracting every body to itself. x) Binance is blessed with an experienced and humble CEO When a company has an experienced leader the multiplier effect is seeing on the rest of the staff. Innovative staff will have little headache in getting their ideas approved. An arrogant leader is a liability to a company and make the company to keep regreting its actions. The leader is planning to go to Malta but he is still insisting that it is just a branch of Binance making the current host the consider its stands on tough regulation.
- Binance Road Pot Holes A driver must be careful about pot holes else his good car may tumble. Binance no dought now is really a cryptocurrency innovation adoption driver and must watch out for the following. i) Rise of Communities around cryptos Communities grow a company and communities make companies to go down. If all traders pull out from Binance the company will be history. When Bitcoin started, there was one cryptocurrency community, one group of Bitcoin developers, one Bitcoin enthusiast, but today that is far from the reality. We now have many Bitcoin communities (BTC, BCH, BTCP, BTG etc) and many altcoin communities. Passion have started to roll in these communities and support is continously solicited and soon tougher competitions will ensure the coin to list need to be voted for and a new way for paying for coin listing should be deviced using Binance Coin to vote. ii) Ico Support Binance supports ICOs but for more than three months there LaunchPad on their website have being showing Bread and Gifto, this is very bad. When not launching a coin the LaunchPad need to be empty and when new coin are not coming to the Binance LaunchPad the LaunchPad should go to new coins. Binance community can vote to select the next coin that will go into the LaunchPad. If it required payment then they can use their binance coin to vote and get rewarded by the new coin in a form of shared bounty or airdrop. iii) Strong Community We have discussed the rise of communities, binance is lacking on strong community (a group that have strong passion for Binance as an Exchange, a Cryptocurrency and as a Technology). A community driven by volunteers and not by Binance employee, a community that will work for the passion and not for duty. I see three Binance and the group must be very passionate about the three. This may not be group of Binance Traders - no they are too busy and have no coin or exchange friend. Binance may be working towards this direction in the Binance Angels project but wisdom must be used to get the correct arrow head of the community and to actually let go of the person to freely handle the community. If the staff want to lord it on the community followership will be for duty not for the passion. iv) Binance Bounties Binance have so many trading bounties won after the competitions. This is good but part of this bounties need to be used to bring in more new users who will register and a buy Binance and smaller amount for new members without any conditions. The trade competitions the way most of them are ends up in the hands of already suceessful members who can trade once a day and win the competition due to there financial musle. These group of big traders are highly desirable and will continue to remain in the first to third places. But future members need to be attracted with the little tokens falling out from every bounty. v) Need for Binance_Inc Exchange Binance is so big and will get bigger. Binance need to have another cryptocurrency exchange, but instead of just an exchange Binance should have an incubator exchange. 'Division Two exchange' this exchange will be low volume and should serve as a source for listing in the main exchange. If a coin is performing with high volume it can be moved to the main exchange. In a crypto in the main exchange is not performing in they can be moved back to the incubator exchange. In this way Binance will remain the technology and develop in other areas.
- Binance as an Innovative Crypto-currency Adoption Driver It has been said that adoption is the original dependent variable in innovation research and the desirable property of innovative systems which change agents seek to enhance. "Innovation" on the other hand is any change in structure, design, products, or processes in which there is a definable new element introduced into the system; the process is essentially the same for all technologies including blockchain technologies. In innovative space the characteristics of people or organizations are associated with higher levels of adoption and the company that makes the adoption to happen faster is very innovative. The voiced or unvoiced assumption underlying the examination of correlates of innovativeness is causal: If we manipulate the characteristics of organizations or individuals so that they more closely resemble those of the highly innovative, we will make the organizations or individuals themselves more innovative (Eveland, 1979)
Conclusion It is very easy to conclude this article by saying that since Binance was able to make more people to adopt cryptocurrency in a fast manner that they are not only drivers of cryptocurrency adoption but they are Innovative. Ask of an innovative cryptocurrency exchange the response should be Binance, when they move others copy so without the statistics of their trade volumes one can easily see that they are truely the leaders that the crypto exchange space have today.
References Eveland J. D. (1979) Issues in Using the Concept of "Adoption of Innovations", Journal of Technology Transfer, 4(1) 1-13, Retrieved 2018 from jdeveland.com/papers%20for%20Website/adoption.htm
EMC Education Services (2010). Information Storage and Management: Storing, Managing, and Protecting Digital Information. John Wiley & Sons
Nakamoto S. (2009) Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, Retrieved 30 May, 2018.
Sarah M., Marjori P., Grant J., Kirill L., Damon M., Geoffrey M. V., and Stefan S.,(2016) A Fistful of Bitcoins: Characterizing Payments among Men with No Names, Communications of the ACM, 59(4), 86-93,USA.
Jacob M. Appel (2018); "Must Physicians Report Impaired Driving? Rethinking a Duty on a Collision Course with Itself"; Journal of Clinical Ethics (volume 20, number 2).
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