Ivy Playground for Bitcoin: Experimenting With the Future of Bitcoin Smart Contracts

IvyChain.jpg

Blockchain developer Chain is releasing an open-source compiler and development environment for writing Bitcoin smart contracts using Ivy, a smart contract language developed in-house.

Chain is best known for the open-source Chain protocol and Chain Core, an enterprise blockchain infrastructure that facilitates financial transactions on scalable, private blockchain networks. An open-source developer edition of Chain Core is available to developers, with a testnet operated by Chain. Ivy was developed at Chain as a smart contract language for Chain Core. With Ivy for Bitcoin, which compiles to Bitcoin Script, Chain wants to make it easier for average programmers to write smart contracts for the public Bitcoin network.

By design, Bitcoin doesn’t include a Turing-complete programming language for smart contracts of arbitrary complexity. But this doesn’t mean that Bitcoin doesn’t support smart contracts. In fact, the simple, low-level, primitive operations included in Bitcoin’s native scripting language (Bitcoin Script) can be exploited to write smart contracts of significant complexity. “Bitcoin Script does provide a set of useful primitives — signature checks, hash computations, and absolute and relative timelocks  — and the freedom to combine those primitives,” notes the Chain news release.

However, Bitcoin Script is not being fully used by software developers, which according to Chain is due to “the relative difficulty of reading and writing Bitcoin Script programs, and of creating and using addresses from those programs.” In fact, Bitcoin Script is a very low-level, assembly-like language, which doesn’t offer the readability and ease of use of high-level programming languages. Therefore, most Bitcoin programmers limit themselves to simple applications, without pushing Bitcoin Script to its limits.

The Chain developers want to change that with Ivy, a higher-level language that allows developers to create custom, SegWit-compatible Bitcoin addresses that enforce arbitrary combinations of conditions supported by the Bitcoin protocol, including signature checks, hash commitments and timelocks.

Earlier this year, Chain released Ivy Playground, a tool for designing, drafting and testing smart contracts on a Chain Core blockchain network with Ivy. Now, Chain is making Ivy available to Bitcoin developers and releasing Ivy Playground for Bitcoin, which allows developers to design, create and spend simulated Bitcoin contracts. The playground includes preloaded smart contract templates for Bitcoin and developer documentation.

A disclaimer states that Ivy is relatively untested prototype software and should be used for educational and research purposes only. “Do not attempt to use Ivy to control real Bitcoins,” warns the front-page document.

Besides Chain, other developers are realizing that Bitcoin needs more sophisticated smart contracts and user-friendly programming environments for smart contracts. Recently, blockchain developer Blockstream introduced Simplicity, a new programming language for blockchain-based smart contracts, intended for inclusion in Blockstream’s sidechains and eventually in Bitcoin. Lead developer Russell O’Connor said that “after extensive vetting,” Simplicity support could be considered for inclusion in one of the next releases of Bitcoin.

In the Blockstream announcement, O’Connor noted that Ivy’s programming language development efforts may be suitable for being compiled to Simplicity. But it now appears that Ivy’s progress toward these more sophisticated Bitcoin smart contracts is advancing faster than some might have expected.

The post Ivy Playground for Bitcoin: Experimenting With the Future of Bitcoin Smart Contracts appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.


Source: bitcoinmagazine
Ivy Playground for Bitcoin: Experimenting With the Future of Bitcoin Smart Contracts

Vector, Nexus Join the Space Race With Plans for Satellite-Based Blockchain Network

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Space company Vector and blockchain developer Nexus announced a partnership to host Nexus’s decentralized cryptocurrency on a satellite orbiting the Earth, using Vector’s GalacticSky platform.

According to the developers, Nexus technology offers improvements over existing blockchain systems like Bitcoin and Ethereum. For example, Nexus features SHA-3 cryptography with 571-bit keys, which is believed to offer “quantum security” against future attacks based on next-generation quantum computers. Nexus is also developing a “3D Chain” (3DC) to address the current challenges of speed and scalability in the cryptocurrency industry.

“The future of Nexus combines satellites, ground-based mesh networks, and blockchain technology to facilitate the formation of a decentralized internet,” notes the joint press release. “Nexus is building the foundation to broadcast the blockchain and Nexus Network from space,” adds the Nexus website. Basing the Nexus cryptocurrency in space can, according to the developers, protect it from interference from governments and corporations.

“With Bitcoin’s valuation at an all-time high, people are beginning to accept cryptocurrency as a real form of payment, but there are still problems with storage and ownership,” Colin Cantrell, founder and lead core developer of Nexus, said in a statement. “The capabilities provided by the GalacticSky platform, combined with the flexibility of Vector’s launch model, bring us one step closer to accomplishing our mission of providing the world with a decentralized currency that can be accessed virtually anywhere, anytime.”

While the Nexus cryptocurrency is not directly related to decentralizing the internet, its future infrastructure, based on satellites and mesh networks, is.

Vector’s GalacticSky platform, launched in 2016, is a “satellite virtualization platform” that offers customers the possibility to test new space applications with satellites already in orbit, before committing to the costly process of designing and launching their own satellites. GalacticSky customers will be able to reconfigure existing micro satellites dynamically and in near real-time, just like software-defined radio systems. In fact, Vector describes GalacticSky as a software-defined satellite platform. Established to develop affordable launch capabilities and in-orbit platforms for the micro-spacecraft sector, Vector has been described as a hot space startup and a potential SpaceX competitor.

“Over the last year, we’ve made many advancements in order to solidify our standing as a leading nanosatellite launch company,” said Vector co-founder and CEO Jim Cantrell, the father of Nexus’s Colin Cantrell. “Housing Nexus’[s] cryptocurrency on our GalacticSky platform not only validates our proof of concept, but demonstrates how prolific this opportunity is for startups looking to innovate in space without the need to build their own satellite.”

Jim Cantrell was also on the founding team of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Moon Express, the first private company to attempt to land on the lunar surface. Earlier this year, Vector and Citrix partnered to bring data center and cloud virtualization technology into space. Vector also announced a partnership with Astro Digital to launch one of Astro Digital’s satellites in 2018.

The ambitious plans of Vector and Nexus can be compared to the Blockstream Satellite service, which broadcasts real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from satellites in space. An important difference is that Blockstream doesn’t operate satellites but uses existing commercial satellites as relays.

An even more important difference is that, with the new initiative, the new and independent Nexus cryptocurrency will be really based in space, running on a blockchain distributed across across multiple satellites. Therefore, according to the joint press release, “Nexus is no longer tied to a nation-state and can create the backbone for a more decentralized financial ecosystem.”

In a video, Colin Cantrell explains Nexus history, vision, current state and future plans. In another video, he provides an overall view of Nexus architecture and zooms in o scalability and quantum security aspects.

The post Vector, Nexus Join the Space Race With Plans for Satellite-Based Blockchain Network appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.


Source: bitcoinmagazine
Vector, Nexus Join the Space Race With Plans for Satellite-Based Blockchain Network

DASH and Litecoin Analysis January 1, 2018

DASH/USD

DASH rolled over slightly during the session on Friday, but continues to find plenty of support at the $1000 level. Ultimately, I think that the $1200 level above is resistance. In the meantime, it looks like we are ready to bounce slightly, but I would not expect much in the way of significant moves. Short-term trading opportunities in a back and forth range is what I expect we will see.

 

LTC/USD

Litecoin rolled over slightly during the trading session on thin volume for Friday. However, I think that the $200 level is going to be targeted, but the support starts at $225 level. Because of that, I’m looking for a buying opportunity. However, if we were to break down below the $200 level, we will probably drift towards the $150 level after that.

The post DASH and Litecoin Analysis January 1, 2018 appeared first on NEWSBTC.


Source: newsbtc
DASH and Litecoin Analysis January 1, 2018

Ethereum Analysis January 1, 2018

ETH/USD

Ethereum continues to be very noisy, but quite frankly at this time of year it’s very difficult to get a significant move. There’s little in the way of volume, so I think that the price action can’t be taken too seriously. The $600 level below should be a bit of a “floor”, just as the $775 level is the “ceiling.” I look at buying pullbacks as the best way to trade this market.

 

ETH/BTC

Ethereum rallied a bit during the trading session on Friday, and it looks as if we are going to continue to go higher, but we need to clear the 0.0525 level to continue the uptrend. In this thin trading environment though, I suspect we will probably pull back in drop just a bit before buying pressure returns.

Thinks watching, see you next time.

The post Ethereum Analysis January 1, 2018 appeared first on NEWSBTC.


Source: newsbtc
Ethereum Analysis January 1, 2018

Bitcoin Analysis January 1, 2017

BTC/USD

Bitcoin did very little during the trading session on Friday, as traders are focusing on the new year celebration more than anything else. Having said that, there is plenty of support just below at the $13,000 level, and because of this I think it’s only a matter of time before the buyers get involved on a pullback. I also recognize that the 16,000 level above is massively resistive. In the short term, I think we continue to go back and forth.

 

BTC/JPY

Bitcoin went slightly lower during the trading session on Friday, as we drift sideways in general. Currently, I see the ¥1.5 million level as massive support, just as I see the ¥2 million level as massive resistance. I believe longer-term we go higher, but also recognize that short-term pullbacks are possible.

Thank you for watching, see you next time

The post Bitcoin Analysis January 1, 2017 appeared first on NEWSBTC.


Source: newsbtc
Bitcoin Analysis January 1, 2017

EXMO Bitcoin exchange chairman Pavel Lerner apparently kidnapped

Pavel Lerner, chairman of the crypto exchange EXMO, was apparently abducted on Boxing Day in Ukraine. So he is said to have been captured and abducted shortly after leaving his Kiev office in the street. Since then he lacks every trace. According to consistent international media reports, Russian citizen Pavel Lerner was forcibly overwhelmed and […]

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Source: thebitcoinnews
EXMO Bitcoin exchange chairman Pavel Lerner apparently kidnapped