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The creators of SPECTER seek VC support for a cryptocurrency without blockchain

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A seasoned researcher behind two influential articles in the emerging field of crypto-economics is preparing to launch a new cryptocurrency.

Revealed in an exclusive interview with CoinDesk, Yonatan Sompolinsky, author of the GHOST protocol and co-author of the SPECTER protocol, intends to release this still anonymous project by the end of 2018. On the basis of his work, the project aims to solve one of the biggest challenges in the industry: the speed at which transactions are disseminated and recorded by distributed accounting systems.

The founders of the project include Yoad Lewenberg, co-author of SPECTER, and Ethan Hileman, researcher, who worked with the TumbleBit team, the Bitcoin Privacy Project. However, the team is not only equipped with developers, but also commercial experts – including Guy Corem, former CEO of the Israeli bitcoin mining company Spondoolies-Tech, who raised more than $ 12 million in capital -risk before closing its doors.

Together, the team founded a new company, DAGlabs, that would amass $ 15 million as part of a Series A.

Yet this is the vision of the project that is perhaps the most remarkable, considering how it intends to achieve its goal.

Rather than using a blockchain system, public cryptocurrency will be among the first to operate via a system called Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG) – a technology designed by Sompolinsky as a way to create a viable payment rail with distributed concepts.

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Sompolinsky tells CoinDesk:

"We want to change blockchain to blockDAG Whether you buy parts or not, you should think of this technology as the next step, releasing the blockchain from the naivety of the structure of the chain. 39; use of a real system. "

However, for all the innovation, we will also note what the new cryptocurrency will share with bitcoin, today the most important and most valuable blockchain system, but which is considered less and less important. less relevant for payments.

According to the DAGlabs team, the new cryptocurrency will use a work proof extraction algorithm in which anyone who buys material can compete for his rewards. That said, Sompolinsky does not see bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies based on proof of work as competitors, so to speak.

"I do not compete with all this plethora of new blockchains, we have a shop and a specific and well defined niche, we want to expand the first layer," he said.

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Register of Science

As Sompolinsky said, the project is also a critique of the current state of development of the blockchain, which he considers to have been delayed by the fighting.

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In particular, he cites his experience with arguments about capacity levels on bitcoin, in which developers have often tried to push solutions to scalability without modifying or updating the first layer of the system – the blockchain itself. Referring to Satoshi's roundtable of last year, an invitation-only event in Cancun, Mexico, he recalled an experience where he was shocked by the state of the conversation.

"Cancun was a revelation for me: in Cancun, everyone was fighting between 1 MB and 2 MB … nobody was talking about increasing scalability on the channel," he said. .

Sompolinsky introduced the new cryptocurrency as a "vehicle" allowing researchers to move on to the next stage of the evaluation of this line of exploration, which he felt was the only way to go to the next stage. it would benefit from being tested under free market conditions.

But given the list of open-source projects using the initial model of parts offer (ICO) as a means of soliciting market finance, often for untested concepts, he also wanted to differentiate his project in according to years of accumulated research.

"There are not 800 projects that implement a concept like DAG, very, very little, maybe less than five that I know, are trying to increase layer 1. It's not a problem. There are not 800 projects that say we should abandon the concept of the chain in favor of a block graph, "he said.

Among those who make it are IOTA and bytecoin, the first being one of the few cryptocurrencies yet to garner a total market capitalization of more than $ 1 billion.

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Once completed, the end network should appeal to anyone who wants to use cryptocurrency with "very fast confirmation and low fees", although that does not mean that the concept has been perfected. According to Sompolinsky, there are still many topics to discuss.

For example, he remains open-minded as to how he will structure any show, stating that he very strongly considers the model used by Zcash Company – the creators of the zcash protocol – in which investors accredited members receive tokens in stages for their support.

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How does it work

Yet even those who are experienced in the field of cryptocurrency can find the concept strange. After all, after the cryptocurrency hype vanished, the so-called "underlying blockchain technology" was often touted as the real secret sauce.

The interest of some renowned researchers for a counter-thesis is interesting, although it is undoubtedly a development that has simply received less attention over the years.

Explored by Sompolinsky since its inception, the idea is that the process of ranking transactions into blocks, then selecting one to add to the chain, could be better optimized. In the SPECTER concept, blocks are created at a rate of about 10 per second (as opposed to, for example, ethereum where a block is created every 12 seconds). All of these blocks are referenced in a DAG, and multiple interleaved block threads are created. Then, the most valid transaction history is "voted" by the miners who select the most inter-repository block graph.

And because it allows for such a large amount of transactions on the network, the transaction history will not be stored permanently. Instead, the transaction history will only be stored for a limited time, and once it has been validated, it will be deleted.

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However, other barriers, including congestions of the spine and bandwidth, could be advanced. The team intends to address these potential problems by creating incentives in the protocol that encourage participating agents to behave properly.

Still, if the concept as a whole sounds familiar to you, you've probably come across while reading about ethereum, which has incorporated some of these ideas into the way it rewards the so-called "uncle blocks" "- those who are not selected inclusion in the ethereum blockchain, but still include useful work.

Although uncles are not considered to be ultimately valid, they are still profitable to exploit, and are still referenced in the blockchain book itself.

Indeed, what might be most remarkable about the SPECTER project is that Sompolinsky's ideas have often been influential. For example, Casper, the fiercely debated provocative protocol of the Ethereum, takes its name from the GHOST protocol (a play on the cartoon series "Casper the Friendly Ghost")

What's left

Although the frameworks of the project are in place, there are still some questions to fill before the cryptocurrency can be put on the market.

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Currently under development, the final protocol will be presented in a forthcoming white paper SPECTER2. The technology will then begin testing in autumn next year, and in winter, the new cryptocurrency will be launched. Current updates will then continue quickly.

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For its part, DAGlabs worked on the combination of the SPECTER cryptocurrency with MimbleWimble, the natively private cryptocurrency that was the cause of much excitement in the community. Later, the platform also wants to author the writing of intelligent contracts based on DAG in the platform.

But the last step towards which DAGlabs pivots is perhaps as ambitious as cryptocurrency itself. Once the team has established a functional cryptocurrency, it intends to allow the DAG infrastructure to facilitate something on the merged extraction model, ie when the hardware Underlying can be used simultaneously for multiple cryptocurrencies.

Yet, that's the way Sompolinsky will launch the project that he ultimately wants to attract attention – calling for years of research and engagement with the open-source community, a "respectable" way to the market.

He concluded:

"The easiest way for me was to do an ICO, a lot easier than what I'm doing now, I'm going towards the most respectable path of equity."

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which owns an interest in Zcash Company, the for-profit entity that develops the zcash protocol.

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