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Posts from the Graft development blog, this is for easy reference, please like, love or otherwise show your appreciation at: https://www.graft.network/blog 

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Snider

It’s been a week since the previous dev status update, so here is another update on GRAFT development status.

The first RTA design paper and proposal have been published on github, so the community can review and approve the ideas and make the design even more solid. Please review and leave your feedback. More documents, such as updated, detailed RTA transaction flow, will be released shortly.

The development team has been working on supernode (D)DOS resistance. We’re also finalizing P2P connection management fixes, preparing for a merge of recent Monero releases, and reviewing issues reported by RTA Alpha testers.

Wallet Redesign Preview

There are lots of cool features we’re planning for GRAFT and the GRAFT wallet in particular. These changes will be rolled out over time as the supporting functionality develops inside the GRAFT network and around it, but we wanted to give you a sneak preview of things to come.

Screen-Shot-2018-12-10-at-6.11.17-PM-1-3

The new and redesigned features include rich transactions and improved payment workflows, login usability improvements, better wallets management, multisignature wallet support, the ability to launch and control supernodes from the app, integration with the GRAFT CryptoFind app, integration with the upcoming GRAFT ColdPay card, and quite a few other innovations and improvements.

Happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update December 10th, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

Hi everyone, this is our brief weekly update on GRAFT development activities.

Last week, the core team was working on client release 1.13.2, RTA alpha bug fixing, and design of RTA protocol improvements. We are going to release those designs first in a form of RFC (request for comments) so the entire community could review and approve the ideas and make the design even more solid.

While the core dev team is focused on RTA, the client applications team is working on online (ecommerce) payment module and ETH pay-in broker. Although we have already implemented Bitcoin pay-in broker, Ethereum blockchain is very different from Bitcoin, which requires a different design of the exchange broker transaction flow. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum does not support multiple wallet addresses, and, unlike GRAFT, it does not support “built-in” payment IDs, so the broker must use a pool of wallets to accept multiple payments simultaneously. The goal is to enable , GRAFT pay-in broker support for most typical blockchain schemes, so adding a new crypto asset to the list of supported payment types will become a seamless task.

Finally, we’ve also been working on forward thinking wallet redesign with lots of (what we think are) super cool integrated features – we’ll be sharing that with you shortly.

Happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update December 3rd, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update November 26, 2018

Time to embrace and structure community code contributions

We have made a tremendous progress over the last year – a stable mainnet, an alpha of the Full Supernode with real-time authorization, and a healthy lineup of components and applications meant to make the ecosystem work end-to-end and provide for adoption.

The other great news is that GRAFT has grown to the point where some significant community contributions are starting to come in – some in form of bug and exploits reports, others in form of algorithm tweaking, others as suggestions for various types of improvements.

While this is fantastic and a sign of a healthy open source project, it does pose a question of how to handle these contributions as, contrary to what it might seem like to a lay man, this is not a plug-and-play situation – these contributions need to be vetted, insured against overlaps, arbitrated in the case of conflicting suggestions, and finally tested extensively. The suggestions do take time to be processed and addressed and for a very busy team of core developers, it can be very time consuming.

Over all, this required quite a bit of thinking and deliberation. As we’re deciding on the model to follow, it’s important to consider different open source development models and their pros and cons.

A little background

Screen-Shot-2018-11-26-at-5.23.42-PM-300x193.png Linux kernel development model

Open source projects are usually quite complex as they require coordinating efforts of many different parties, with wide variety of incentives. Because these folks are typically not compensated, they are free to pursue their own interests and beliefs. This typically leads to couple different models for the open source development. One such iconic model is Linux kernel. Despite the fact that Linux doesn’t have a single salaried core team of developers (other than Linus himself), for many years he acted as the project manager, coordinator, and central authority when it came to development decisions.

Now contrast this with Bitcoin’s decentralized development model, where there’s no single maintainer and any disagreement in strategy leads to a split of the project:

Screen-Shot-2018-11-26-at-5.24.24-PM-300x127.png

These splits not only waste time and energy that could be harnessed, but also create confusion in the market, as evidenced by recent market events.

Settling on a Hybrid Development Model

While we want to end up with a more of a decentralized development model, where the project takes a life of its own without the core devs being in the critical path, we realize that it will take time and efforts to build the community of developers and testers supporting the project. At this point most of external contributions are made by very few active contributors.

To facilitate this process we decided to adopt a hybrid strategy, where the core devs control the direction of the project and carry on the bulk of the development, while the community can organize their submissions into a separate tree that will then get merged into the main tree.

Screen-Shot-2018-11-26-at-5.06.12-PM-300x169.png GRAFT Hybrid Community Development Model

To support this approach, someone needs to actively arbitrate the community development. We thought the most appropriate choice would be Jason (@jagerman42) who has graciously agreed to be a maintainer of the community tree. We invite others to step up as well as coordinators/maintainers if they feel like they are up to the task. We’re also open for any suggestions regarding further optimization of the development model.

We will also start publishing more of the design challenges and open issues for the dev community to be informed earlier of the core team’s thinking and to solicit community feedback earlier in the development process.

We’re looking forward to moving towards this model and further evolving the community contribution practices as the project evolves.

The post GRAFT Hybrid Community Development Model for 2019 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider
Slava Gomzin, Co-Founder of GRAFT

In the previous post we reviewed the similarities between GRAFT and plastic card networks. Now let’s review the differences.

Difference #1 – Decentralization

There is such a key property of GRAFT Network that fundamentally differentiates it from plastic cards. Unfortunately, not all buyers realize and appreciate this property immediately because it is not that obvious to the average consumer, especially in developed countries. And let’s be completely honest with ourselves here – not everyone cares about this property – it’s not until you find yourself in, not before your get into a situation that it suddenly becomes very important. I am talking about decentralization.

The card processing consists of several elements represented by multiple corporations: payment networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc.), issuing and acquiring banks (such as Chase, Bank of America, etc.), and payment processors (such as First Data, Heartland, etc.). Each corporation has its rules and compliance to national governments, which means they can reject any merchant or buyer, anytime. They can put you out of business, make you “persona non grata” – without any reason, notice, or explanation, just because you don’t fit their requirements – by declining your credit card application, decreasing your credit limit, locking your funds, or cancelling your merchant account. Millions of people live behind the “invisible wall” built by those corporations and governments, without access to banking system, i.e. without ability to use credit/debit cards.

Unlike plastic cards, GRAFT Network does not belong to anyone. GRAFT is more a protocol rather than a product due to its open source nature and peer-to-peer architecture. Therefore, the buyers and merchants cannot be either rejected or approved: they simply connect to the network (by downloading free apps) and start using it, no strings attached. But remember that unlike typical ”bare” cryptocurrencies, the features #1 – 4 from above are still there to satisfy both buyers and merchants standards on the same level as they are satisfied by payment card processors, only without centralization.

Difference #2 – Privacy

Another key difference is somewhat related to #1; however, it is completely separate feature, which is achieved by using special additional technical means rather then just solely based on the fact that GRAFT is independent from corporations and governments. What’s really similar to #1 is the fact that for some people this property may not been important at first glance – again, until you get into specific situation when it does become important. This property is absolute privacy provided by GRAFT Network to both buyer and merchant. Unlike plastic cards and most cryptocurrencies, GRAFT’s sender address, recipient address, transaction amount, and transaction fee amount are invisible to everyone except for the sender and recipient themselves. Although payment card networks do not expose the details of transaction to the public, this data is accessible by employees of multiple corporations, can be shared with governments, and can be stolen by hackers. Unlike plastic cards, no employees or hackers can access GRAFT transaction data which is encrypted forever – thanks to strong cryptography and underlying blockchain’s CryptoNote protocol.

Difference #3 – Security

Security is another thing that differentiate GRAFT Network from plastic cards. I spent years working on security of plastic cards payments . This technology was created in 1960s, and improved in 1990s by introducing EMV – “chip and pin” cards. But back then, even in 1990s, people were not very familiar with terms like “cybersecurity” or “hacker”, so the technology was not designed with security in mind. The result – a multi-million industry called “credit card fraud” that flourishes to this day.

I am not saying cryptocurrencies don’t have security issues at all – everything related to computers and network has potential security issues. However, if you manage your wallets and keys properly, the security of GRAFT for both buyers and merchants is much stronger than plastic cards: no chargebacks, no lost or stolen cards with the primary account number embossed on the face of the card, and no hacked point of sale systems with millions and millions of payment card records stolen and sold on dark market.

Difference #4 – Technology

Let’s not forget about technology – payment cards use centralized networks, relational databases, and centrally managed customer and merchant accounts. GRAFT uses decentralized peer-to-peer network, distributed blockchain database, and random wallet addresses which are not linked to customer identities.

GRAFT “inherits” all the positive features of traditional payment card processing networks while offering solutions to negative sides of centralized, insecure, olding technology. Give it a try!

The post How GRAFT Is Similar To And At The Same Time Different From Visa And Other Payment Card Networks (Part 2) appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider
Slava Gomzin, Co-Founder of GRAFT

GRAFT Network is often compared to credit and debit card processing networks such as Visa, Mastercard, and other plastic payment brands. Most of the time such a comparison is focused solely on the differences while in fact GRAFT and payment card networks have some (good) things in common. In this post I will try to describe both similarities and differences.

Let’s start with the good things that both GRAFT and plastic cards have in common. GRAFT “borrowed” many good features from payment cards, which have been tried and tested for over 50 years, and become a defacto standard for payments in that time.

Similarity #1 – No cost to the user

Traditionally in cryptocurrency, transaction fees are paid for by the buyer – a practice that goes against the grain of payment workflows in the global merchant space, where transaction fees get charged to the vendor. Just like with plastic cards, GRAFT Network does not charge the buyer a fee for processing a payment transaction. This difference might seem to be insignificant, but in reality it is one of the most important features which positions GRAFT on the right side of the user experience battle. After so many years of plastic card payments, where the buyer is not even aware of transaction fees paid by merchants, Bitcoin and other crypto started “forcing” consumers to pay “network” fees for each transaction including in-store purchases. This setup creates an inhibition to spending and is one of the reasons cryptocurrencies are still not widely supported by mainstream consumers as a payment method at checkout. In some cases, the fees reach an incredible amount, often making the purchase itself illogical. Would you buy a cup of coffee that costs $3 and pay another $1 (extra 33%) as a “network fee” if you can pay just $3 by credit or debit card? GRAFT resolves this problem by charging the merchant instead of the buyer, just like plastic cards do, leaving it to the merchant to price their goods and services accordingly

Similarity #2 – Predictable transaction costs

There is another, more serious problem with cryptocurrency transaction fees: inconsistency. Retail is a tough business with small margins, and it likes predictability. Retailers want to be able to know in advance what part of the revenue they take home and what part they pay to the payment processor. Payment card brands recognized this issue many years ago and resolved by setting very consistent rules. The fees may vary based on amount and type of transaction, but they always can be calculated in advance. The most important rule is that there is always a rule. For example, the processor can charge the merchant 3% + $0.20 for each transaction. If the merchant sells its product for a total of $10,000 today to 100 customers, they know they will pay $320 in transaction fees.

Unlike payment cards, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies usually charge transaction fees based on the size of transaction record in kilobytes. It is impossible to predict the fee as the buyer’s wallet compiles the payment “on the fly” from a number of outputs of previous transactions which varies from wallet to wallet. If GRAFT only “flipped” the fees burden from buyers to merchants but kept the same common cryptocurrency approach to fee calculation, it wouldn’t work for merchants. So GRAFT made the fees predictable, dependant on transaction amount just like payment card brands. The authorization cost of a GRAFT Network transaction (paid to the supernodes supporting the network) is 0.5% of the transaction amount while the settlement (paid to the miners) is a fixed fee of 0.1 GRFT (more details about GRAFT fee structure can be found here). This helps bring predictability, and thus stability to the process, making accepting crypto payments more attractive to the merchants.

Similarity #3 – Special transaction types.

When we go deeper into the specifics of retail – especially the hospitality and gas station business – there are more exotic features of payment systems, and many people, including developers of other cryptocurrencies, have not developed around their existence, leaving big holes for cryptocurrency use in these areas. Most of us, however, are familiar with features such as pre-authorizations from our day to day life as consumers. Payment card brands developed these features because they were vital for many businesses to replace cash payments. Cryptocurrency designers, however, have underestimated the importance of brick-and-mortar business requirements because they focused mostly on online payments.

When you swipe your card at gas station to fill your car’s gas tank, your card is not charged immediately, but instead it is preauthorized for a particular amount set by the merchant or its payment processor; for example, $50. Preauthorization (aka “pre-auth”) ensures that your account has enough money to pay for the gas, up to $50, but it does not charge your account. Technically, you still have the $50, but temporarily you cannot spend it because pre-auth decrements your spending limit. It’s done this way because the pump does not know in advance how much gas will enter your tank (and how much you will have to pay for it). Once you’re finished fueling, the pump sends the exact amount to the network and finalizes the transaction. This operation is called completion because it actually completes the transaction. Completion unlocks the funds previously locked by pre-auth and charges your account for the exact amount. So if you owe the pump $25 for the gas, it will cancel your $50 hold and debit your bank account balance by $25 (or increase your available credit in the case of a credit card).

“Pre-auth”/”complete” mechanisms are also applicable in other big industries such as hospitality – when you check in to the hotel your card is pre-authorized for the approximated cost of your entire stay plus some additional amount for unexpected expenses. When you check out, your room your card is “completed” for the exact amount including your mini-bar charges. It sounds simple but there is a whole infrastructure behind the scenes supporting this. All existing cryptocurrencies lack “pre-auth/complete” functionality and therefore cannot be used as a method of payment at gas stations, hotels, and many other businesses. GRAFT fills this gap and provides a “pre-auth/complete” mechanism similar to plastic cards – thanks to the supernode infrastructure.

Similarity #4 – Real Time Authorizations

Finally, let’s talk about the most important feature provided by payment cards (this could very well have been listed at #1 but it’s important to emphasize the previous three as they are big challenges for the cryptocurrency paradigm that should not be overlooked). Payment cards work remarkably fast when it comes to authorization and preauthorization. Typically it takes a fraction of second (up to several seconds if their processor is slow) to get authorization or pre-authorization from Visa or most other card processing networks. It takes from several minutes to several hours to confirm payment with most cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin itself was designed for online transfers of funds where authorization time is not a critical factor. Bitcoin is more like a bank ACH transfer than a credit card payment. Most cryptocurrencies have followed Bitcoin’s design and inherited this “feature”. In the reality of brick-and-mortar stores, however, time is money, literally, as for these merchants more time spent on every payment means less customers (less revenue) and more cashiers (more expenses).

GRAFT Network processes instant authorizations and preauthorizations using special technology called Real Time Authorizations (RTA) which is accomplished through GRAFT’s decentralized supernode topology. Therefore, payments processed through the GRAFT Network are suitable for brick-and-mortar merchants.

This part is concluded now; in the next post, which will be published tomorrow, we will discuss key differences between GRAFT and plastic card networks. After all, there must be something fundamentally different in the way GRAFT processes payments, otherwise, why would anyone forget good old plastic card and rush to pay with crypto via GRAFT Network?

The post How GRAFT Is Similar To And At The Same Time Different From Visa And Other Payment Card Networks (Part 1) appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider
465073-PFRU5I-483.jpg Hi everyone, this is our weekly update on GRAFT development activities.

Last week we released the RTA public alpha. We already have 283 RTA alphanet supernode testers – and counting! If you want to join the community please follow the instructions on GRAFT website.

The RTA alpha is a period for finding vulnerabilities in the design, from both a scaling and exploits point of view. We expect the RTA alpha testers to contribute to pushing the network’s scalability limits as well as security and usability.

Meanwhile, development team is continuing working on issues identified during the closed phase of RTA alpha. Additionally, we’ve started working on improvements to the authorization flow. The concept of supernodes/masternodes is not new, but the GRAFT transaction flow is unique. Unlike other supernode/masternode systems, GRAFT implements the payment flow between a buyer and a merchant, or more precisely – between a buyer’s mobile wallet and merchant’s point of sale app or terminal, in a brick-and-mortar store or online. Thus, there are nuances that require special handling.

With Thanksgiving approaching, we want to say a big thank you to all the RTA testers, GRAFT fans at large, and especially the community leaders like Jason (@jagerman42), TechnicalTumbleweed (@TechnicalTumbleweed), Tiago (@el_duderino_007), and Patrick (@SomethingGettingWrong) for the great work they are doing in helping others get up and running. We don’t mention it often enough, and on occasion we get a little defensive, but we’re incredibly appreciative of such community efforts – GRAFT wouldn’t be where it is today without them and all of you! With that said, we are also working on amping up and streamlining community / developer collaboration processes – will have something very good to announce shortly along these lines!

As always, we appreciate detailed feedback and great ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday!

The post GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update November 19th, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

GRAFT Development Status Update November 12, 2018

Today is a very big day for GRAFT project – we’re releasing the new baby into the world!

The RTA Supernode is a linchpin of the GRAFT project, allowing the real-time transaction authorizations. To get to this point it took a lot of work engineering reliable transport protocol, supernode sample selection, all in a maintainable and modular way.

With the RTA Public alpha release, we’re opening the testing up to the wider public to further test and optimize its performance and reliability.

How to participate in RTA Public Alpha

  • Follow these instructions to install the RTA supernode
  • Submit this form to request the alphanet supernode PoS stake.
  • Join the RTA Alpha Telegram group to get more info about the testing process and share your findings and ideas with the community and developers.

What kinds of goals is RTA public alpha pursuing?

There are several goals for the RTA Public Alpha testing stage:

  • Find potential issues and bugs that cannot be found on a low scale network of closed alpha (about 50 participants/supernodes)
  • Allow supernode owners to get familiar with the supernode setup and maintenance processes so they will be fully prepared for the RTA Beta launch on the mainnet
  • Allow the supernode owners to estimate the earnings on the real network (the stimulus transactions will be running on public alphanet on the same or similar scale as they will be available on the mainnet after the Beta launch)
  • Most importantly, work on preparing the network for the mainnet launch by allowing community to discover any security holes and potential exploits
The RTA alpha is time to find vulnerabilities in the design, from both scaling and exploits point of view. We expect the RTA alpha testers to contribute to pushing the network’s scalability limits as well as security and usability. To that end we’re working on a bug bounty reward program that will be announced shortly.

What to expect?

  • November 12 – the RTA SN instructions are available to the community to build their RTA supernodes, configure them and connect to the Alphanet (RTA Alpha testnet)
  • November 14 – Transaction simulator availability – a special bot that will generate regular test transactions in the system
  • November 15 – Alphanet hard fork to enable the latest release of RTA supernodes and client apps; Wallet/POS RTA-compatible clients updates available via Apple app store
  • November 26Stimulus Tx package testing…

How long with the RTA public alpha last?

We don’t know what kind of things are going to get uncovered during the course of the public alpha, so it’s hard to put a date on the Mainnet beta release. 8 weeks is a good case scenario, but at this point it’s a rough target.

How to report bugs / suggestions?

Please funnel the bug reports and suggestions through our community dev liason – Jason R @jagerman..

Happy GRAFTing!

The post RTA Public Alpha Release appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

One good question that comes up often is

Do people really want to pay with cryptocurrency?

Some make an argument that people see cryptocurrency as a long term investment and don’t want to spend it on daily items, others say that merchants might be reluctant to accept crypto due to the regulatory uncertainty, yet other say that people are unlikely to pay with crypto due to its volatility.

Truth is, they all have a point and there will be limiting factors on crypto for payment adoption (at least for some time).

However! We want to point out that GRAFT’s main purpose in life is not crypto acceptance per se – but providing a decentralized credit/debit payment network alternative that doesn’t rely on issuing banks and spreads the fees across the network. Crypto acceptance makes a good first use case, but it doesn’t end there. From the user’s point of view it’s a way to have an alternative to traditional credit / debit cards with underlying privacy, reasonable rates, loyalty program consolidation, etc.

Here would be a typical decision tree that a user would be facing at the check out:

wouldliketopay.png

A community member had this to say on this topic, which is pretty on point:

Firstly, Graft is not a “Crypto POS” it’s a decentralized payment network that can be used at the POS or as an online payment gateway. We don’t need the widespread adoption of Cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange for the Graft Network to be successful. For example, if the Graft Network ‘today’ was doing just 0.1% of the Visa Network’s transaction, then Graft SuperNodes would be returning close to 300% pa ( SuperNode owners would make exceptional income from SN rewards, thus the Graft price would rapidly increase). However, keep in mind that we are not just going after Visa, we are going after Mastercard, Amex, Diners, Paypal, Western Union …the list goes on.

2018 has seen a rise in the popularity of stable coins to address the volatility issue. There are now over 57 Launched or pre-launched stable coins. Because Graft is a payment Network, not just a payment processor ($GRFT coin acts like a utility token and becomes a gateway to accept other Cryptocurrencies) – so the Graft Network could, in theory, facilitate payment from any cryptocurrency, thus there’s no reason it can’t support a whole basket of stable coins (it just requires the backing of an exchange broker/ liquidity provider). There are also new gen coins coming out with Inflationary monetary policies (eg GRIN) which are designed for the purpose of becoming a medium of exchange (to mimic fiat currencies) . Soon the volatility risk or purchasing/receiving Crypto payments will be a thing of the past. Merchants will also be incentivized to receive Cryptocurrency due to lower fees….

As for consumers: A lot of people have this US/western mindset and still have lots of faith in government-backed fiat currencies. However, go ask the people of Venezuela, Argentina or Turkey how safe they feel holding their own Government backed currencies. If you look through the history of fiat currency, they always collapse/end in hyperinflation. It’s just a matter of time. Sure, widespread adoption of cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange could be years or decades away. However, as already mentioned, we don’t need widespread adoption for the Graft Network to be successful, we need less than 0.1% (between Visa/ MC/AMEX/ Dinners etc).

The post CASH, CREDIT, OR GRAFT? appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

Hi everyone, this is our weekly update on GRAFT development activities.

RTA Alpha

GRAFT developers are currently launching RTA Public Alpha, which is targeted for November 12th, 2018, while preparing to start working on RTA Beta.

There are several goals for the RTA Public Alpha testing stage:

  • Find potential issues and bugs that cannot be found on a low scale network of closed alpha (about 50 participants/supernodes)
  • Allow supernode owners to get familiar with the supernode setup and maintenance processes so they will be fully prepared for the RTA Beta launch on the mainnet
  • Allow the supernode owners to estimate the earnings on the real network (the stimulus transactions will be running on public alphanet on the same or similar scale as they will be available on the mainnet after the Beta launch)
  • Most importantly, work on preparing the network for the mainnet launch by allowing community to discover any security holes and potential exploits

We would like to thank our community, and especially the alpha test group, for their continuous feedback, finding issues, and suggesting solutions – you guys ROCK!!

Anti-ASIC Major Network Update

Last week GRAFT network was successfully updated (“hard forked”) with a new version of GRAFT software that introduced a new variation of the PoW hash algorithm which prevents ASIC mining. The major network update has applied a new variation of CryptoNight hash algorithm (CN variant 2) which is currently ASIC-resistant.

The major network update (aka hard fork) in GRAFT mainnet was triggered on Wednesday, October 31st at block 207,700. As a reminder, major network update means that if you are running a GRAFT network node (graftnoded) you must upgrade to the latest software. If you haven’t done it yet, please do it ASAP, otherwise your node will be either disabled or connected to the wrong chain. Note that users of GRAFT mobile and desktop wallets are not affected by the hard fork and should not do anything.

Customer Facing Applications

While the core GRAFT developers were focused on RTA Alpha, other developers continued working on hardware payment terminal apps, exchange brokers, and payment gateway for service providers. More specifically, last week they were working on the following tasks:
  • Exchange Broker Bitcoin status monitoring
  • Payment Gateway Email service enhancement
  • Verifone Terminal app error handling
  • Verifone Terminal app new UI
  • Payment Gateway DAPI status monitoring

Please see below the screenshots of the new Verifone terminal app UI. The new UI, remastered for accepting payments in multiple cryptocurrencies, is being tested now before submitting to Verifone for recertification. Currently, both GRFT and BTC are supported on GRAFT and Bitcoin mainnets, with more altcoins coming very soon.

verifone1-1024x595.png

Verifone2-1024x595.png

Finally, some in the community have expressed concerns about the issues they identified that are not getting addressed in a timely manner or being “ignored”. We would like to assure you that we take all the comments and pull requests very seriously. The timing of when those get addressed has to align with our development timeline though as each request has to be carefully evaluated, integrated, and set up for proper testing.

In terms of the team’s skill set, we want to assure everyone that we have one of the most capable teams we’ve ever had the privilege of working with over our longish careers. We have over 150 years of combined experience and education in the field among us and multiple PhD’s and professional certifications on the team. We have built very robust and secure systems at the core of Cisco, Sonicwall, NCR, and HP in the past. We study relentlessly and leverage the best known methods in the field and the latest research being done out of MIT and Stanford.

We take this project very seriously and pour our heart and soul into it, using everything we know, but most importantly – leveraging what already works. Payment-processing blockchain is not the place for wild experimentation.

With that said, we look forward to more pull requests in the spirit of a real community open source project.

Looking forward to another exciting week and Happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update November 5th, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

It’s been another hard working week for GRAFT devs, and here is another update on GRAFT development status.

RTA Alpha

A new major version update for the RTA Alpha supernode has been released to the private Alpha testing group. This release includes stabilized communication between supernodes as well as fixes for the bugs found during alpha testing. There were fixes in the logging subsystem, and also now we can collect application logs from all the nodes in alphanet using syslog. We’ve started collecting alpha testers’ feedback, which typically comes in a form of suggestions, issue reports, and even pull requests. Once the team and the alpha group are “OK” with the version, the supernodes will be released to the Public Alpha where everyone can test them to prepare for the actual supernode hosting after RTA Beta is launched on the mainnet. We even plan to provide “stimulus” RTA transactions on the Public Alpha so supernode owners can “feel” the real traffic and estimate their income. We will announce the specific Public Alpha release date later this week at the Malta Blockchain Summit.

Anti-ASIC Major Network Update

Last week GRAFT devs released a new version of GRAFT software for the upcoming major network update that will introduce a new version of the PoW hash algorithm which prevents ASIC mining. The major network update will apply a new variation of CryptoNight hash algorithm (CryptoNight V8 / CN variant 2) which is currently ASIC-resistant. The source code of the new version 1.5.1 can be downloaded from master. The Linux (both Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04) and Windows binaries are available for download from github.

The major network update (aka hard fork) in GRAFT mainnet is scheduled for Wednesday, October 31st at block 207,700. As a reminder, major network update means that if you are running a GRAFT network node (graftnoded) you must upgrade to the latest software before October 31st. If you haven’t done it yet, please do it within the next 48 hours, otherwise your node will be disconnected from the mainnet. Note that users of GRAFT mobile and desktop wallets are not affected by the hard fork and should not do anything.

Customer Facing Applications

Other developers are working on Payment Gateway, Exchange Broker, and Verifone Terminal App. During the last week, among other things, they have been working on generic status monitoring, advanced UI, advanced reporting, and consuming a new RTA API provided by the Payment Gateway. The next major tasks and milestones for this team are online payment implementation (integration with eCommerce platforms) and implementing additional cryptos as a method of payment (currently, GRFT and BTC can be processed by the payment gateway and exchange broker, and accepted at the payment terminal app). We will keep you posted on the development of those important features.

Decentralized Exchanges

We believe that decentralized exchanges are the future. Bisq is one of the true decentralized exchanges, and GRAFT trading is available there. Please let us know if you have any suggestions regarding decentralized exchanges listings.

Happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update October 29th, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Last Updated: October 25, 2018

GRAFT developers just released a new version of GRAFT software for the upcoming major network update that will introduce a new variation of the PoW hash algorithm which prevents ASIC mining. Network hashrate is important, but it is not the only factor in blockchain security. The way this hash power is distributed between the miners is also important. ASICs break the balance and facilitate centralization (concentration of hash power) which can be dangerous for the network.

The major network update will apply a new variation of CryptoNight hash algorithm (CryptoNight V8 / CN variant 2) which is currently ASIC-resistant. The source code of the new version 1.5.1 can be downloaded from master. The Linux (both Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04) and Windows binaries are available for download from github.

The major network update (aka hard fork) in GRAFT mainnet is scheduled for Wednesday, October 31st at block 207,700 (block 194,130 in GRAFT testnet tomorrow, October 24, 2018).

The major network update means that if you are running the GRAFT network node (graftnoded) you must upgrade to the latest software before October 31st. If you do not upgrade your node before October 31st, it will be disconnected from the mainnet. Note that users of GRAFT mobile and desktop wallets are not affected by the hard fork and should not do anything – as long as they are still connected to the default proxy supernodes (if you are connected to your own supernode, do not forget to upgrade the underlying network node).

The post GRAFT “Anti-ASIC” Major Network Update 1.5 on October 31, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

Hi everyone, this is our weekly update on GRAFT development activities. Last week we were focused on RTA alpha debugging and new release, exchange broker development, and payment gateway UI, while dealing with an “anti-ASIC” major network update. Let’s review the status of all these activities.

The new RTA alpha release with stabilized communication is ready, the only reason we did not release it to the alpha testers last week was the work on the hard fork patch, so the release will happen later this week. This RTA release is a close version of the upcoming beta release to the mainnet, with a few things still in development.

Before RTA beta, however, we are going to open the RTA alpha to the public, so everyone will be able to “touch” and try to break it while still in test mode (right now it is only available to the 50 alpha testers.) Once we get a “confirmation” from the RTA Public Alpha testers, we will release the beta to the mainnet. This way we can test the supernode network scalability in environment pretty close to the real world operations before it goes to full production.

While the core dev team was focused on RTA and the upcoming major network update, another team continued working on payment terminal apps, exchange broker, and payment gateway. More specifically, last week there were working on an enhanced GUI for exchange broker and payment gateway (as shown on the screenshot below). Since the payment gateway is aimed towards the less technical, more business operations oriented audience, the quality and functionality of the user interface is very important.

ui.png

Also, the core team is working on a patch for the upcoming major network update that will introduce a new variation of the hash algorithm that prevents ASIC mining. Network hashrate is important, but it is not the only factor in blockchain security. The way this hash power is distributed between the miners is also important. ASICs break the balance and facilitate centralization (concentration of hash power) which can be dangerous for the network.

The patch will apply a new variation of CryptoNight hash algorithm (CryptoNight V8 / CN variant 2) which is currently ASIC-resistant. The patch is still being tested – thanks to the group of GRAFT miners’ who help with the testing. We will announce the hard fork block number and date once the testing is finished (probably tomorrow). As usual, we remind that the major network update (aka “hard fork”) is only relevant to the miners and other full node operators; if you use one of the GRAFT mobile or desktop wallet apps you don’t need to do anything.

Finally, please check out the questions and answers from our first official AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session which took place last week. We tried to answer all the questions from the community, but if you don’t find an answer to your question in the list – don’t worry, we plan to conduct periodic (shooting for monthly) AMA sessions!

Happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update October 22nd, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Community Manager: Welcome everybody for the first GRAFT developer AMA! We’ve been collecting questions across our various social media channels, which lead developers, Slava and Dan will be responding to. This channel will be reserved strictly for questions and answers. We will give the community a few moments to respond in the Discord #graft-lounge and Telegram, and determine if there are any follow-up questions we have time to address. I will be working to keep things moving so that we can get through as many questions as we can in the short amount of time that we have. Please note that if your question doesn’t get answered, it will remain in the pool for follow-on AMAs.

With that, let’s begin with our first question…


Question: Could you talk a little about the software development process that Graft uses? What development methodology does Graft use? Is it an industry-standard model (such as agile, incremental, or waterfall) or something custom designed? Perhaps you could walk us through how the process works, for example how a concept goes from initial idea to implementation to testing to competition?

Dan: We use an agile methodology with two-week sprints.  The system is quite complex with many components that we have to time together into planned releases.  We started with formal testing but are quickly migrating towards community supported rollouts.  You can see how various pieces stitch together looking at our development roadmap.


Question: I currently scan various blockchain projects. I’ve noticed several unresponded pull requests that seem to be ignored. In understanding C++ for a number of years. They seem to be solutions for a drastic fix. I cannot involve myself in a blockchain that the dev doesn’t fix issues in a timely manner. How can i invest with any courage the dev and the project is community oriented if they do not listen to pull requests!

Is there any particular reason why PR are being ignored and is the super node RTA going to launch without any review from all pull requests?

Slava: We pay attention to all pull requests. Pull requests however are not “just push an approve” button activity – they have to be vetted, tested, incorporated into the release schedule, and timed for the appropriate network update (fork) – all these things take time and are gated by the development and release schedule.


Question: It is appreciated that the Graft Team have said many times that people who buy GRFT aren’t investors. But if GRFT is truly a ‘community’ coin then it would help if someone is available to give one consistent message from the Graft team to the people that form the community. There is often misinformation and confusion in the telegram and elsewhere because there isn’t someone from the core team that is managing communication with the community. Will you be hiring an individual or team to manage communication with the community?

Dan: We are sometimes constrained as to what we can share due to incomplete conceptual framework (we start out with broad brush strokes and then fill in the details as we move closer to implementation), private info from 3rd parties that we’re not at liberty to share (such is often the case with exchanges or other partners), or simply are working on something that may or may not pan out and we try to avoid situations where we overpromise and underdeliver.  As engineers, we tend to communicate once something is done and no uncertainties remain – we’re learning however to communicate more, bear with us.


Question: In the current alpha implementation, the RTA SuperNode requires a hot wallet with full spend keys on the VPS running the SuperNode.  This seems dangerous: if we imagine graft at $1, that means a T4 is holding a hot wallet worth a quarter of a million USD, which makes it a tempting target for hacks—someone who gains access to the VPS could steal the entire stake plus any transaction fees.  Why did Graft decide to go with a hot wallet approach as opposed to the cold-stake approach (of submitting stakes as time-locked transactions on the blockchain) commonly used by other Masternode systems?

Slava: First, it’s important to take into account the specifics of the Cryptonote protocol – proof of balance in a CryptoNote wallet is not as easy as doing the same in “”regular”” non-private blockchains. Second, we are aware of this issue and already have it in the backlog, so it will be resolved in the future RTA release.


Question: The recently announced stimulus plan for supernodes was unveiled without any details at all as to how it will work.  This has led the community taking wild guesses as to how it might work (e.g. with the unofficial calculator floating around) and what the payoffs might be.  Proper planning for potential supernode operators requires the actual details.

When do you plan to formalize the stimulus payoff details so that people can start deciding whether or not they want to run supernodes?

Dan: The stimulus plan will take a bit of flushing out.  We have defined the general direction and the targets for the incentives and will be filling in the details as we get to the roll out stage.  The goal is to make the network perform at roughly 100k tx monthly volume.


Question: There has been quite some discussion recently on the GRAFT blockchain telegram channel about the upcoming Monero CNv2 fork and the impact it may have on the GRAFT blockchain. Some are convinced that the fork will lead to a substantial migration of ASIC/FPGA hashrate to GRAFT (being the most profitable CNv1) from XMR. This in turn could lead to centralization of the network, a potential drop in value (as the farms are less like to hold their GRAFT) and even outright attacks. It would be great to get more information from you on this topic, if you plan to fork to CNv2 or any of the CNv1 derivates in the coming months?

Slava: The GRAFT dev team is working on the patch. We will announce the date of the hard fork shortly.


Question: Where are we with Verifone and Ingenico exactly? What will be procedure for merchant to turn on GRAFT as currency on their POS machines, and will it require manual update?

Dan: Regarding Verifone software – it is done and ready for the rest of the network – of course there are iterations and updates happening on that as we go as all these things are interconnected. Using GRAFT on Verifone terminals only requires Engage-compatibility. Engage is their app platform – they are rolling it out to various models starting with the newest / most capable ones.  To enable GRAFT, the merchant has to go to Verifone marketplace, add the app to their merchant account, configure the wallet and few other payment gateway options. As simple as that. Regarding Ingenico – we are waiting for the platform upgrade from their side and opening API’s – tentatively Q1 2019, so for now our primary goal is to get the Verifone terminal to work flawlessly.


Question: Could you briefly share the Graft Team marketing plan and road marks that you are following to implement the plan?

Dan: Here’s an example of what we’re thinking and driving towards. https://www.graft.network/merchant-service-provider/ . Please keep in mind however, that this is a decentralized, community project, so core team’s involvement in marketing and distribution is focused on working on core software and integrations.


Question: Many people have attempted to send coins from the mobile wallet to Cryptopia. The transaction fails because the mobile wallet does not support non-integrated payment ID’s. The users then contact Cryptopia about the lost coins and then Cryptopia asks for a payment ID. There are a few problems with this all too common scenario, but the biggest problem in my opinion is that the mobile wallet does not provide access to transaction ID’s. Will the mobile wallet soon be able to display transaction ID’s?

Slava: 1) Cryptopia is the only exchange that does not support integrated addresses. We’ve contacted their devs several times and asked to implement this support. They promised to do it but never provided any ETA. By the way, they do not support integrated address for Monero or other CryptoNote coins, not just GRAFT. Here is the latest response from Cryptopia devs: “We’ve escalated this issue and hope to have an ETA for you in the near future. We haven’t forgotten about it.” 2) In the next releases of the wallets we plan to add both detached payment id & full transaction history (including Tx ID).


Question: When will the results of the RTA alpha testing (bug reports/fixes/etc.) be made public? Or if they won’t be, when will you start accepting public bug reports for RTA supernodes?

Slava: As you may have noticed, we have started communicating the development status on a weekly basis providing lots of details to the community.  The results of the testing feed back into the development with the end result of a public alpha and then beta state of the product.


Question: Do you plan to conduct any external security audit of the platform (RTA/Exchange brokers/etc.) before the final production release?

Slava: One-time security audits are largely ineffective (subpar, expensive, and short lived) as the code changes literally every day.  The code is open to the community to examine and find bugs.  We’re also looking into implementing a bug bounty program.  (Note that both GRAFT co-founders are CISSP certification holders and have serious infosec background.)


Question: What is the long-term plan for continuing Graft’s management?  Some other coins have defined organization structures that are designed to continue without the present Dev teams.  Has the Graft team thought about how Graft will be managed on an ongoing basis once the project reaches maturity?

Dan: Good question.  We recognize that there is a natural evolution in a decentralized project governance as the project matures.  We are considering a DAO path potentially, taking notes from other leading projects, and looking to incorporate some of the innovative models (like quadratic voting) that provide equalized participation.


Question: Multiple sites out there already support payments with cryptocurrency.  How’s GRAFT different?

Dan: The primary purpose of the GRAFT project is to build a DECENTRALIZED payment network – the fact that it can process crypto payments is one of the important by-products, not the be all and end all. The devil is in the details – centralized payment brokers go against the principles of decentralization and they don’t scale. GRAFT’s goal is a decentralized payment network with no borders, no single party controls, no (or marginalized) banks, agnostic to the currency you pay with.


Question: I’ve heard that early supernode holders will be incentivized to participate in the graft network and I applaud that. Doesn’t it make sense to incentivize merchants to encourage graft usage by offering a transaction fee holiday for some time period up front?  You could still pay the network supernode participants out of the coins set aside for incentives (or not).  I think that incentivizing the vendor will go MUCH further towards promoting crypto adoption.

Dan: Yes, we’re thinking about incentivizing other eco-system participants and have thought about waving the transaction fees for the merchants for period of time.  It’s not clear whether it’s strong enough of an incentive for them to adopt a new payment network if they didn’t have an interest in it before.  We are thinking that the focus with merchants should be on creating awareness in the industries that are notoriously hard to get merchant services in, as well as making it super easy for them to integrate GRAFT into their existing systems and processes.


Question: Service Brokers are going to be One of the most critical part of the Graft Ecosystem. Considering an example where Bitcoin payment is made by a buyer and Merchant’s payout choice is in Fiat USD. This is the most obvious use case I could think of. And the kind of liquidity needed for converting BTC to USD is going to be huge (to make settlement seemless). I fear individuals (SN owners) could provide this liquidity. Unless a major exchange could be a service broker I personally feel this will be difficult. Hard fact being we are facing difficulties in listing Graft on a bigger exchange, so what’s the plan on getting a high liquidity exchange?

Dan: You’re right – payout brokers are one of the keys to the functional network. We anticipate the liquidity to come from both smaller and larger brokers. The plan is that once the project gains recognition and adoption in the marketplace, the exchanges will open up as it’s a very lucrative market for them.  At this time we have a number of smaller payout brokers who have registered their intent to provide these services to the network.


Question: One problem with almost every cryptocurrency is the boundless growth of the blockchain data. One of the numbers that got pulled from the reward post was 100k transactions per day.  Graft transactions average about 12kB, so put those together and you get the blockchain growing by 1.2GB/day.  It’ll hit nearly 100 gigs after 2 months, nearly 500 gigs after a year.Does Graft have any long-term plan to reduce that storage requirement at the node and/or supernode level?

Slava: This is common problem for all blockchains, not just a specific problem to GRAFT. The current short-term solution is merging recent Monero code which introduced a new method of proofs for confidential transactions – Bulletproof – which is supposed to reduce the blockchain size by 80%.

https://web.stanford.edu/~buenz/pubs/bulletproofs.pdf
https://monero.stackexchange.com/questions/6781/what-are-bulletproofs


Question: We appreciate your efforts to involve the community in the project, how would you like to improve this relationship over the next few months?

Dan: Thanks for this question. As a decentralized project, we have to really pull back on implementing roll-out and adoption plans for the network and rely on the community to take over and form their own geographic and industry clusters with their own promotion and business plans for the network.   We will know that the network is thriving if there are initiatives, ideas, local governance, and business models that go well beyond what was envisioned by the founding team.


Question: How does GRAFT handle void transaction? Is that similar to void transaction of Credit cards?

Slava: Void transactions are typically handled by the point of sale, before it even comes to the settlement. If payment is processed, some payment processors allow voiding such transaction. On blockchain it is impossible to reverse (void) a transaction after it is added to the transaction pool (even before it’s added to the block), so RTA “void” should be replaced by refund (return) transaction.


Community Manager: Excellent. Well that concludes today’s AMA. I want to thank Dan and Slava for taking the time out to answer questions. We are happy to get through so many, and look forward to future sessions. Thank you all!


The post October AMA with the Devs appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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It’s been another hard working week for GRAFT devs, and here is our brief weekly update.

We are continuing work on debugging and improvement of the RTA communication protocol. During the last week we merged “blocking doubled RTA notifications” PR, fixed connection and white peer lists management, and did some internal debugging, merging, and testing. Also, we just finished creating a couple of diagnostics tools – an automated communication test framework and GraftnetExplorer (see the screenshots below).

The supernodes communicate to each other through “tunnels” which they build using the existing network of underlying cryptonodes. They use a special mechanism that allows creating a set of shortest and fastest tunnels. Currently, the protocol works but not in the most efficient way, so we are looking for weak spots and bugs. These diagnostic tools have already allowed us to find and fix a couple of bugs in communication between the supernodes. At some point we may release them to the alpha group (and then to the public as well).

GraftnetExplorer-1024x770.png

As you can see on the GraftnetExplorer screenshot above, several supernodes in this dev network are interconnected, which means they can send each other instant notifications or broadcast messages to a larger group or even the entire network – all without knowing the IP addresses of other nodes, just by using their logical IDs. This is one of the major features (but not the only one) that differentiates the GRAFT supernodes from similar protocols such as Dash masternodes as it significantly enhances both the privacy and security of the GRAFT network.

The automated testing framework is another utility, recently developed by the team, that allows us to simulate various scenarios of communication between the supernodes and print the resulting diagnostics and statistics.

automated-test-framework-1024x673.jpg

On the screenshot above you can see one of the results of the test run. There is a detailed backtrace located before the red line, while the next test is the same but without the details. 3 out of 4 the communication tests were successful, while one was failed (‘broadcast’, marked by letter ‘F’).

Another part of the team continues working on terminal apps, payment gateway, and exchange broker – optimizing the API, preparing for the production environment deployment, and developing reports. They are in the middle of the sprint, and the results will be reported next week.

Also, please check out a new version of the GRAFT white paper which now can be downloaded from the website. In this version, we have added recent proposals created since the previous white paper release, and summarized the changes in the original functionality. As the ideas initially set forth in the original GRAFT white paper gradually materialize, we need to make adjustments as we get deeper into the project. There are three areas of new or updated content in this version of the white paper:

And finally, the GRAFT Team will be hosting an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) live on Telegram and Discord on October 18th, at 12pm EDT, so if you have not submitted your questions yet please do so!

Happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Weekly Development Status Update October 15th, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Have a burning question about the GRAFT Network? Marketing plan? Adoption? Community involvement? Technical questions? Submit your question(s) and get an answer! In a continued effort to increase engagement with our community and educate the market, the GRAFT Team will be hosting an AMA live on Telegram and Discord on October 18th, at 12pm EDT.

Questions will be categorized and collected through a Google form to make the best use of time and format.

* PLEASE SUBMIT ONE QUESTION AT A TIME. You will have the opportunity to post another question after submission. This allows us to keep the questions concise, organized and minimize duplication.

SUBMIT QUESTIONS HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/10VVUaqcWqp9Kg2y1

FORMAT:

  • Questions will be moderated by our Discord Community Manager, and answered by GRAFT devs.
  • Q&A will be delivered simultaneously on Telegram and Discord via the GRAFT Bridge Bot.
  • We have an hour for the AMA. Will try to get through as many questions as we can, with target of 20. The remaining questions will be held over for the future monthly AMA rounds.
  • Afterword, a summary will be posted to the GRAFT blog, and then pushed to all social media channels.
Happy GRAFTing!

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Snider

It’s been a week since the previous dev status update, and, as we promised last time, we would like to keep our community posted weekly, so here is another update on GRAFT development status.

Last week we continued working on RTA implementation in several directions including fixing bugs discovered during alpha testing, implementing the full automated test suite, preparing a new supernode release, and continuing working on stability of the communication protocol. The fixes include the bugs in initial seed connection, p2p logging, and storing of p2p state data. The automated test suite is built on python-based test framework and will allow to automate the regression and other QA tests.

The new supernode release for alpha testers will be available later this week. In addition, we are finalizing the supernode plugin framework which will be used for plugging extra apps such as exchange brokers into the supernode.

Speaking of exchange brokers and other components of GRAFT network ecosystem, we almost finished developing a live demo that showcases the payment flow on a hardware payment terminal. One of the main goals of GRAFT project is bringing crypto payments into the physical world of brick-and-mortar stores. Unlike most other projects in the area of crypto payments, we realize that the shortest way to adoption by brick-and-mortar retailers and service providers is using their existing hardware payment terminals (aka “pinpads”), because these terminals are already integrated with various point of sale systems. While there are only a few major payment terminal brands, there are hundreds if not thousands of types of point of sale applications they are connected to.

Hardware payment terminals can be loaded with additional software such as GRAFT payment app, without requiring retailers to purchase, test, certify, and maintain a new hardware in their stores. But how to showcase such an app online if it’s designed to run on particular hardware? Our payment application emulator is the first version of such a showcase application that will allow the demonstration of altcoin acceptance on a Verifone terminal using GRAFT network. The initial version of the emulator (see the screenshot below) will be released later this week and available for anyone to try a Bitcoin/GRAFT payment.

Screen-Shot-2018-10-08-at-2.48.06-PM-102

From the last week’s events, it’s also important to mention the following two things. First, the incentives for RTA supernodes. Although this is not directly related to development process, the additional rewards will help boost the RTA network once it’s released to public beta on the mainnet. Second, the patch fixing the code execution vulnerability which was “silently” released last Monday. The fix for this denial of service vulnerability is merged into master under 1.4.5 and can be downloaded and built by anyone running GRAFT network nodes (please do not confuse it with the previous “burning bug” patch 1.4.4 for exchanges that was released a few days before the last one).

See you next week! Happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Development Status Update October 8, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Any network needs to be stimulated to get off the ground. A simple marketplace network might require bringing in sellers when there are not enough buyers, or bringing in buyers when there are not enough sellers. All the prominent networks of today – Uber, AirBnB, eBay, Amazon – faced this issue and were able to overcome it by tapping into existing users or providers of similar services, and by creating extra startup incentives for people joining their platforms.

GRAFT is no exception. It is a complex network with many participants – users, miners, full supernode operators, service brokers, proxy supernode operators, merchants, application developers. Having so many players is both a blessing and a challenge.

Miners represent the first layer of the network (settlement), and they are already incentivized through both network transaction fees and block mining rewards, which do not depend on the number of settled transactions and provide a steady income for miners. Beyond the miners, the next group without which the network will not function are the full supernodes which are critical for real-time authorizations (RTA) and the pay-in/pay-out facilitation.

Full supernodes get paid for performing validations for the network and preventing double-spending while processing authorizations in real time. Their income depends exclusively on the number of transactions that they get to work on as well as the total number of full supernodes in the network. Full supernodes are chosen randomly in each block, with two selected from each of the four tiers for a total eight supernodes, which equally split the 0.5% fee of the transaction they authorize. The problem, however, is that a small transaction volume of the brand new payment network would result in low initial full supernode income, and thus little incentive to run full supernodes before the network volume ramps up.

The good news is that there is a fairly easy way to incentivize the full supernode hosts without resorting to simple airdrop-type incentives or block reward sharing. What we will do instead is send enough RTA transactions across the network to provide a healthy transaction volume until the network is fully ramped up. This way we reward full supernodes for the real work they are supposed to do – validating transactions – unlike most other second layer reward models where masternodes receive passive income for just “being there” (which does little to promote network robustness or self-optimization).

The incentive program is designed to maintain a robust daily transaction volume until merchant-generated RTA transactions reach that level on their own. The number and size of stimulus transactions will depend on overall transaction volume and will be reduced gradually as the network gains momentum. We estimate the cost of this program to range between 50 and 100 million GRFT.

As with any new network, especially one with lots of participant types, the GRAFT Network needs to be stimulated to maintain a level of involvement ensuring stability of the network and availability of network services. We believe that the most critical part needing extra stimulation at this early stage is the full supernode layer. To stimulate the network as a whole, however, we are also considering additional groups of participants that may require stimulus going forward. For example, buyers may need to receive cashback incentives (similar to some credit cards) in order to choose GRFT over other methods of payment available at the checkout.

As always, we’re open to other suggestions from the community.

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Earlier this week we published a form for project contributions in form of donations on the home page. We would like to take a moment to explain the rationale behind it and address the concerns raised by some members of the community.

We collected modest funds during the ICO, further affected by the falling market. While sufficient to carry out the main development track we’ve committed to, there are ancillary initiatives the community has expressed interest in or that have potential to increase awareness or improve adoption, that do not fit into our current budget.

Tier 1-2 exchange listings are expensive, and while they add to the liquidity of the token, they do not represent the “critical path” for the project and therefore are not allocated for in our current budget. We do however recognize there are different groups within the community for which liquidity is important. We also recognize that in order to speed adoption of the GRAFT ecosystem, it’s important to have as many gateways to the GRFT token as possible for increased visibility and to present opportunities for participants to engage where they feel most comfortable, i.e. their favorite exchange.

In addition to exchange listings, we have additional projects we can get involved in, like the ColdPay card. These projects require significant capital investment upfront.

To enable these new initiatives, we are opening up the project to voting and donations as a way for the community to indicate their appetite for us delivering on these initiatives and help fund these projects.

We have heard a few concerns so far from the community and would like to address those:

  • No specifics on the exchanges
    Most exchanges we enter into negotiations with ask for a non-disclosure agreement. They do it so that the negotiated amounts are not widely known and to avoid getting inundated with inquiries from the community. We will disclose what we can, when we can. (This is of course not applicable to community vote listings)
  • No transparency on the donation wallet
    The criteria for the payment system was that we could collect the shipping address data alongside the donation, and the promotion claim would be inextricably linked to the donation to prevent abuse. We can and will create a separate swipe wallet for the balance to be seen by the community.
  • Community doesn’t have enough visibility into the projects and use of funds
    We heard you – we’re adding a way to vote for these initiatives. Vote here


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Snider

We listened to our community and decided to publish development status updates more often (bi-weekly or even weekly). However, since one week cannot accommodate the same amount of news as one month, don’t expect to receive long updates anymore!

Here is a quick round up of the news since the previous dev update.

First Working Prototype of Bitcoin Pay-In Broker

We have completed the first working prototype of a Bitcoin Pay-In Broker, which allows merchants to accept Bitcoin at checkout (both in brick-and-mortar stores and online) using GRAFT mobile point of sale or hardware payment terminal apps. The buyer can pay with any wallet supporting Bitcoin, as designed in the original GRAFT white paper. This is a big milestone for the GRAFT project, along with the ongoing RTA alpha, as the main concept of GRAFT is supporting multiple cryptocurrencies as a method of payment for merchants and buyers.



Some time next week we will place a button on the web site that will allow anyone to try out this workflow on the live network with live brokers and payment gateway!

RTA Alpha

The Dev team is continuing working on RTA alpha issues. Currently, we are focused on communication stability and optimization of RTA communication. We still have several issues with tunnel construction (the base mechanism for RTA communication based on P2P network), and optimizing the amount of messages traveling between the nodes – to provide more lightweight and stable communication.

As a reminder, RTA alpha is closed release to a group of 50 alpha testers selected from the large community of volunteers. Not surprisingly, these people are going to be the first full supernode owners and operators, although we have a much larger group of future supernode owners waiting for the beta release. The plan is to release beta to the mainnet as soon as the alpha is stable and fully featured with the functionality required for RTA transaction processing.

By the way, we have some exciting news for supernode owners coming out this week – we’re formulating an incentive program to stimulate the supernode network as part of ramping up the GRAFT network as a whole. We believe we’ve come up with a very elegant solution for it. More details will be released soon.

“Burning bug” Patch

There was a bug found in CryptoNote wallet code, the full description of the issue can be found here. The short story is that the bug affected only exchanges and only the wallet – no implications for regular users, and no need (even for exchanges) to update the network node daemon. Since GRAFT is not a direct clone of Monero (unlike some other CryptoNote blockchains), it took some time to adjust the Monero patch to current GRAFT wallet code, which was eventually done successfully last week, and the patch was “silently” released to the exchanges. TradeOgre and STEX updated their wallets immediately and as usual, Cryptopia is behind schedule but communicated to us that they are working on the update and it will be ready “asap” (no ETA provided).

As a side note – such bugs and patches mean that some part of engineering resources had to be diverted, but the impact on RTA timelines should be minimal.

Stay tuned, happy GRAFTing!

The post GRAFT Development Status Update October 1st, 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

While we’ve been focusing on stabilizing the Full Supernode based RTA (real-time authorizations), part of the team has been diligently working on the other components that are necessary to make the main GRAFT Network use case (paying with any digital currency with your favorite wallet) a reality – namely Payment Gateway and an Pay-in (aka Accept) Broker, and it’s time to show some progress!

Pay-in broker is a type of an exchange broker that provides alt-currency acceptance for the network. It’s a critical piece required to enable any digital currency acceptance at the POS with the wallets of user preference.

Payment Gateway provides a layer between the payment terminal and a network that’s meant to handle business logic and part of the remote wallet functionality.

The post Engineering Update: Pay-in Broker and Payment Gateway Demo appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

Electroneum recently announced real-time transactions available as beta on their network. We wanted to take some time to shed some light on the difference in approaches between solutions like Electroneum and GRAFT.

With their approach, Electroneum is effectively following the centralized model of Bitpay, Coinbase, Coingate, GoUrl.io, and many other centralized crypto payment processing gateways in that they issue an authorization immediately as the transaction enters the transaction pool, without waiting for confirmations on the network. There is little innovation in this approach which is well-known to the industry. With centralized entity in the middle, the buyer and the merchant must rely on trusted party just like with traditional plastic payment processing, which means compromise on privacy, security, and a single point of control.

Unlike Bitpay and other centralized payment gateways, Electroneum shifts the risk of transaction not getting confirmed onto the merchant rather than absorbing it themselves.

The vendor does not get the cryptocurrency instantly, but our system acts as a trusted 3rd party to ensure the ETN or other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is sent (our patent covers ETN, Bitcoin and other cryptos). The vendor knows the payment is sent and will make its way to the blockchain, so they can allow instant checkout – and the customer can walk out of the store with their cup of coffee or checkout online etc.
https://electroneum.com/2018/06/12/announcing-instant-payment-beta-vendor-application/

This illustrates the fundamental difference in approach where GRAFT is decentralized and utilizes an independent authorization sample (selected from the distributed network of supernodes) to validate the transaction, and independent exchange brokers to handle off-network (alt currency) acceptance risks when handling real-time payments.

GRAFT’s approach not only minimizes the risk of real-time transaction processing, but distributes to remaining risk (and reward) to the right party. It also allows acceptance of alternative cryptocurrencies, where Electroneum’s current approach is limited to ETN currency.

Finally, but importantly, GRAFT builds a payment network eco-system as opposed to providing a single vendor solution, which is the essence of decentralization that’s at the very core of the blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

*** Note that our intent is not to pick on Electroneum with this article – we’re merely trying only to bring some clarity in what sets GRAFT apart from other payment solutions, using Electroneum as one of the better representatives of this class of centralized solutions.

The post Real-time Transactions – GRAFT vs Electroneum, etc. appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

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Guest post by Pauline Farris

Back in the early 2000’s, the “dot.com” bubble burst, and investors lost huge amounts. One of the interesting elements of that entire bubble was that it was an investment niche dominated by men. Women, for some reason, just didn’t take the risks involved. And while they were scoffed at for not investing, they had the last laugh.

Studies have shown that women who invest in markets—either for themselves or for organizations— are more cautious and risk-averse than men (and it should be noted that their approach tends to work well in terms of long-term income/revenue growth). We are witnessing the same phenomenon with cryptocurrencies as with the “dot.com” bubble. While anonymity is part of the attraction of investing in cryptos, there are surveys that point to a large underrepresentation of women. In fact, the latest Google Analytics result for the bitcoin gender divide, as reported in Coin Dance, is as follows:

bitcoin-gender-1024x954.png

Obviously, males “rule” this investment product. For those who remember the history of such investment gender divides, this should serve as a warning. On the other hand, there are those who predict that, over time, women will enter this investment market, for some clear reasons:

1. Cryptos are becoming more mainstream

Companies from a variety of sectors, as well as non-profits and even political campaigns, are now accepting Bitcoin payments. As early as 2014, Dell began to accept them as a legitimate source of payment. Most companies and organizations that accept payments do so through third-party services, as they facilitate the exchange between Bitcoin and fiat currencies. Among companies and organizations now accepting Bitcoin are: Steam, Save the Children, Shopify, Microsoft, Overstock, and eGifter. And this was as of the end of 2017.

2. Global Acceptance

Cryptos are moving into the global marketplace as a preferred method of international financial transactions. As companies continue to move into foreign markets, they will also begin to use cryptos and the blockchain technology that undergirds them in everything from smart contracts, to logistics, to payments. As Margaret Reid, content writer for The Word Point, a professional translation service, has pointed out: “We are seeing an increase in requests for contract translations from clients who are dealing in Bitcoin and who want to record and store those contracts in the Bitcoin blockchain. This is a growing sector of translations that is not going away.”

3. The Technology Holds Great Promise

While blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are rather intimately tied to one another, the technology is now becoming recognized as having the potential to disrupt almost every economic sector. Because of its distributed ledgers of blocks that are immutable, there is the potential for security and fraud prevention that traditional technologies do not offer. Identities, contracts, purchases, shipments, personal records, and more can be stored in these blocks and provide permanent information and data that cannot be altered and only accessed by keycodes. The implications for government, insurance, travel, healthcare, education, and almost any business are huge. As everyone begins to recognize its potential, blockchain is becoming highly reputable. Interestingly, the cryptos that it undergirds are being pulled into reputable phenomena with it.

4. There are a Few Women Role Models

Iliana Oris Valiete is an accountant by profession. She moved into the Bitcoin market when it was fully new. Now working for Accenture on blockchain innovations, she has also made it her mission to encourage more females to move into the cryptocurrency investment market. According to Valiete, of the current ICO’s (initial coin offerings that are basically investment fundraising), about 13% are headed by females, and this represents good gender participation growth. She believes that these women will act as role models for the gender-mates, but that growth in female participation will still be rather slow.

So, Is It Good or Bad?

The debate continues on this one. And the verdict is certainly still out. Among those who are raising a red flag of alarm is Duncan Stewart, Research Director of Deloitte’s technology division in Canada. According to Stewart, just the fact that the gender divide is so large constitutes a bubble in itself. He further states that, throughout history, there is no such gender divide of this magnitude, in any stock or security, that has resulted in survival of that asset.

And yet, there are other considerations. First, when men get into an investment, they tend to share that investment potential and make recommendations to their “buddies,” usually men. And this may have factored in to the current gender divide. Couple that with the fact that the Bitcoin foundation Board of Directors is 100% male, and you have a rather “perfect storm” of male domination.

But bitcoin is still relatively new. And many certainly predict that it will become a critical currency whose use will only continue to grow, steadily and impactfully. As consumers continue to increase their use of Bitcoin to purchase legal products and services, and as it continues to be a valuable holding, women will increase their participation.

Time will tell. For now, Bitcoin remains a male “thing.” Whether it turns into another “dot.com” bubble or not is simply a matter of waiting and watching.

Pauline Farris speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.

The post Cryptocurrency is a “Boys’ Club.” Is This Good or Bad? appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

As previously announced, we have released network node version 1.4.2 (“v10”) for a major network update. This update will correct the emission curve by reducing block rewards by 50% starting at block 176,000, which will be reached around September 17, 2018.

The new block reward formula will be as following:

reward = (M – A) * 2^-19 * 10^-10 / 2

Where M is the maximum total supply and A is the current supply.

This correction will not change the maximum supply of GRAFT that will be ever created, it will just stretch the emission curve such that it will take longer to mine the maximum supply. All GRAFT supporters should benefit from the corrected emission formula because it will stabilize the growth of the circulating supply.

In addition, GRAFT v10 will drop the mining difficulty algorithm adjustment made in the previous (v9) major network update (LWMA+tweak) and return to a standard LWMA difficulty calculation. The adjustment was originally added in an attempt to make the difficulty drop faster after a network attack, as it was believed that such network attacks were responsible for block delays and network stalls in the turbulent days between the first (v8) and second (v9) major network updates. As it turned out, however, those issues were caused by an unrelated bug inherited from Monero and have been long-since fixed on Graft’s network (the fix did not require a fork).

In retrospect, the v9 algorithm adjustment had the unintended side effect of inducing larger swings in mining difficulty because it made difficulty drop too quickly. Over time, opportunistic miners learned to exploit those difficulty swings by mining on the graft network with huge hashrates whenever difficulty dropped to win a handful of low-difficulty blocks, then leaving the network as soon as difficulty increased again. This would, in turn, result in long block times that would then trigger another difficulty drop, thus repeating the cycle. While such difficulty shifts are unavoidable, the v9 difficulty adjustment made the swings a little worse and are being removed in this fork to help make the mining difficulty more stable.

The major network update means that each GRAFT network node must be updated to the new software version before the specified block/date. Otherwise, any node that isn’t updated will be on the wrong version of the blockchain. The source code and the Linux and Windows binaries are currently available for download. The installation instructions are unchanged.

As another reminder, a major network update means that if you are running the GRAFT network node (graftnoded daemon), you must upgrade it to the current software release as soon as possible. If you do not install the updated node before block 176,000, it will be disconnected from the mainnet after block 176,000.

Note that the users of GRAFT mobile and desktop wallets will not be affected by the upcoming major network update and don’t need to do anything—as long as they are still connected to the default proxy supernodes (if you are connected to your own supernode, however, do not forget to upgrade the underlying network node to stay on the right network).

The post GRAFT Major Network Update 1.4.2 (“v10”) appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

It’s time for another dev update! It’s no secret that RTAs (real time authorizations) remain the main focus for the GRAFT development team, so let’s start from the alpha review.

RTA Alpha

We are excited to announce that RTA transaction now works end to end for the entire sale workflow – it is stable, and takes just a couple of seconds to get approval on both wallet and point of sale as expected. There is still some work to be done before we move to beta release, and there are many ways to do even more improvements. But here is the most important thing: the first instant payment on a private CryptoNote blockchain is now a reality!

The RTA alpha release contains a full set of components necessary to conduct an end-to-end point of sale transaction in real time:

  • completely redesigned full supernode, i.e. the supernode that can participate in authorization sample and approve a GRAFT transaction in real time;
  • completely redesigned wallet and point-of-sale proxy supernodes, i.e. the supernodes that provides an “entry point” to the RTA network and participate in RTA transactions;
  • mobile and desktop wallet and point of sale apps for iOS and Mac OS X redesigned for RTA.

In addition, there is a special testing environment created for RTA alpha testing – alphanet – a dedicated testnet which contains several seed nodes, a miner, proxy supernode cluster with load balancer, and blockchain explorer.

We managed to assemble a very efficient and quite large team of alpha testers – 50+ active members who are able to run both RTA supernode and iOS/Mac clients (wallet, POS). In addition, we have selected an extra “reserve” group of volunteers (also 50+) that will be able to join the testing once it’s extended to the next phases – additional clients for Android/Windows and then beta release.

People familiar with development release cycle know that alpha releases are usually unstable and may lack some features. RTA alpha was not an exception. Once the RTA functionality was released to the alphanet, we discovered issues that we could not see during regular testing. We are able to simulate the real network very well because the alphanet consists of real participants running on different networks and different hardware or hardware abstractions, rather than artificially cloned nodes and supernodes. We really appreciate the patience and positive attitude of alpha testers team!

So it’s time to learn more about the RTA transaction flow, which you will be able to experience in retail stores soon! It is very simple – a couple of clicks (literally) in the wallet app and a couple of clicks at the point of sale app: RTA-flow-903x1024.png Figure 1: GRAFT RTA Workflow Between Mobile Wallet and Point-of-sale Apps

Payment Gateway for Merchants and Service Providers

As recently described in the Fees and economics update post, one of the important profiles in GRAFT ecosystem is a Merchant Service Provider (MSP). An MSP’s role is to provide and support payment network services to the merchant, ensure the uptime of the network (usually referred to as Service Level agreement or SLA), provide and manage equipment (e.g. payment terminals), provide reporting, etc.

To enable an MSP to do this, another type of server is needed – one that would:

  • Manage the terminal’s configuration (including wallet address)
  • Handle the MSP specific fee economics for the MSP (an MSP could choose to handle tiers of service differently or charge different fees for different transaction amounts)
  • Maintain transaction reporting and analyyics for merchants

In theory, such payment gateway can be designed and implemented by a third party such as traditional payment processor that wants to add cryptocurrency payments to their portfolio of services. However, we decided to create a “reference implementation” to enable faster adoption rate as a part of our go-to-market strategy.
Since GRAFT is a decentralized payment network, the payment gateway is multi-tenant, multi-instance, open source app, and everyone can host their own payment gateway and become a service provider on the network.

Payment Gateway is this “fifth element” that is supposed to manage the GRAFT payment apps on hardware payment terminals and GRAFT ecommerce interfaces, and link them with the GRAFT supernodes. Since it has transaction visibility, it is considered part of merchant’s ‘back office’ applications. payment-gateway-home-screen-849x1024.png Figure 2: GRAFT Payment Gateway, Service Provider Dashboard payment-gateway-merchant-dashboard-987x1 Figure 3: GRAFT Payment Gateway, Merchant Dashboard

* Note: With GRAFT network, the merchant can be their own MSP, but would still require the functions of a Gateway in order to manage the terminals setup, reporting, etc.

Upcoming Dev Updates

We’re moving forward with every track on the development roadmap and even pulling some of them forward. An interesting upcoming project, which is currently in design and not even announced yet, is GRAFT ColdPay Supercard. This is a smart card that combines functionality of cold wallet, which can be used with mobile or desktop host app, and payment card, which can be used for making a payment at hardware payment terminals and mobile points of sale. More details about this exciting development will be unleashed very soon. Stay tuned, happy grafting!

The post GRAFT Development Status Update September 2018 appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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Snider

Please remember this day – September 6, 2018. After several issues were fixed, GRAFT RTA transaction now works in a point-of-sale workflow, end to end, on alphanet, and it’s stable! It takes just a couple of seconds to process the payment! There is still some work left to be done before we move to beta, but… it works!

We will be publishing a full development update soon shortly. Payment Successful

The post RTA now working in a sales workflow! appeared first on Graft Blockchain.


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  • HashVault Stats

    • Global Hashrate
      69.28 MH
    • Avg Hashrate
      24.23 KH
    • Total Miners
      2,860
    • Miners Paid
      63,036
    • Total Payments
      945,468
    • Total Hashes
      1.89 PH
    • Blocks Found
      340,213
×