Preface

Being over 99.99% empty space[citation required] (as with all of physical existence), and composed of star dust over 4.6 billion years old (forged in the heart of a dying star), the culmination of what constitutes any person is roughly (by mass):

  • 65% Oxygen
  • 9.5% Hydrogen
  • 19% Carbon
  • 3% Nitrogen
  • 1.5% Calcium
  • 1% Phosphorous
  • along with a handful of other trace elements

Of these elements, on average 1.46 MeV of radition originates from within the human body by naturally occuring radioactive isotopes. The primary source of this radioactivity being an isotopse of Potasium (K-40) with a half-life of 1.26 billion years, the second most abundant source of radiation being Carbon-14 (produced continuously in the atmosphere when a high energy neutron strikes atmospheric Nitrogen. C-14 oddly enough eventually decays back into Nitrogen[4]), with a half-life of 5,730 years.[3]

With a genome consisting of ~3.23 billion randomly arranged base pairs, across 23 pairs of chromosomes (which makes up [0.0007%, 0.0009%] of total body mass[citation required]), 99.9% of the human genome (excluding mitocondrial DNA) is shared by everyone[citation required], of which 5-8% is also composed of endogenous retroviruses.

ERVs are technically foreign gene sequences which have parasitised a host genome (and are generally considered inactive) as the result of being transcripted after exposure to specific viral agents within geographically isolated regions. As a result, ERVs can be used as markers in the human genome to trace the geographical distribution of people throughout history, all the way back to humanity's shared origin in the heart of sub-saharan Africa and beyond.

Effectively, those individual mutations which make a person's DNA 'unique' are statistically insignificant[citation required].

Beginning with the fusion event forging human chromosome 2 (birthing modern Homo Sapiens), this distinct divergence from our 24 chromosome pair hominid relatives allowed our ancestors to stand tall above their competition, to gaze towards the stars and the future.

Since then on, from a genetic standpoint for all practical purposes, every human has been statistically physically the same, dispite minor variations in physical appearance, ancestory, culture or personal experiences.

These objective facts merely concern our similarities regarding our shared physical reality and do not even begin to touch on the metaphysical aspects of being a sentient organic lifeform.

It's important to never forget, we share vastly more in common with each other than that which makes us different but it is also important that we should always celebrate and respect those insignificant differences that make us unique because variety is what makes life exciting!

We are all in this together.

Thanks for visiting my page. If you enjoyed this preface, I welcome you to stay around to check out the place a bit while you're already here, or feel free to check out the Links section under Social tab for access to my socials.

Introspection

Who am I, you might ask?

Well, that's a loaded question, if I ever heard one.

Just like you, as an organic, multi-processing, quantum computer capable of sentience, introspection, empathy, love and self-determination (despite modern debate regarding whether or not the mind is, in fact, Turning complete, depending on your interpretation of the Lucas-Penrose hypothesis regarding Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems), it is effectively impossible for the mind to fully understand itself, requiring a higher level meta-grammar beyond its own capacity.

This theorem is most famous and is most aptly expressed and proven conceptually by two of history's most well known conundrums:

For nearly 2 millenia the world's best thinkers tried and failed in all attempts to "prove" the Fifth Postulate. Eventually, in the early 19th century, this effort would finally bear unexpected fruit, leading to the discovery of Non-Euclidian geometry after the cumulative works of:

However, the greater implications of such discoveries would go unrealized for nearly a century until the works of logician, mathematician and philosopher Kurt Gödel who, inspired by the Liar' Paradox itself, would formulate and publish his Incompleteness Theorems in 1931.

Such a revolutionary logical and philosophical framework provided the fields of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy with an interesting and existential conundrum, rendering all attempts at comprehending cognition ultimately futile, unless one were capable of a higher conciousness beyond the capacity of their own mind.

If Gödel's theorems were ever to be conclusively proven false, that would not only imply that contrary to modern established mathematical proofs that Euclid&apos Fifth Postulate is wrong but also that the Liar's paradox (and thus all of logic) is meaningless, effectively invalidating all moderenly established concepts of axiomatic logic. However, despite scruity by the brightest minds of the modern world has to offer, it still stands, ironically, as the quinessential foundation for formal logic, despite the potential that one day it may be disproven.

TL;DR; If it's ever possible to fully comprehend my own conciousness, I'll make sure to let you know.

As for the limited scope of personal interests, I have always been into math & science but my love for computers specifically comes from the fact that it's the only written medium which is experienced dynamically, where one does not simply passively observe the written word in a static order, like books. Instead, users are driven by countless interactions, where each experience has the potential to be new and unique.

Experienced with both DirectX & OpenGL, I have a deep passion for graphics programming, image processing and anything to do with GPUs.

While conventionally used for rendering geometry to a screen, producing various visual effects, this field expands vastly beyond that single application.

At its core, graphics programming is the off-loading of algorithms from the CPU (central processing unit) onto a computer's GPU (graphic processing unit).

GPUs were designed to leverage the immense power of asynchronous processing, without the need for synchronization primitives, such as locks, mutexes or semaphores.

While superior in terms of raw processing power, this architecture does pose several drawbacks, however. The primary one being, graphics processors can not implement a call stack[citation required], preventing certain techniques such as recursion, which relies on a functional programming technique where a method calls itself until a terminating condition is met or, the stack is blown, resulting in very bad things happening.
The second being, any data submitted as input to the graphics pipeline is immutable. Any operations performed on constants or buffers is unable to persist the state change beyond the current execution, thus can not be subsequently accessed by the CPU code via the resource handle afterwards. Instead, unique buffers must be separately bound to the pipeline for independent input and output operations (however, HLSL 5 introduced read/write textures/buffers). As a result, typically the mapping of resources from the graphics card's RAM into conventional RAM is not allowed for any resources currently bound to the pipeline while rendering.

With their thousands of dedicated cores and their optimized instruction sets targeting trigonometry, vector, matrix & color math as well as accelerated and asynchronous access of indexed buffers allows GPU programs (colloquially called shaders) to have the ability to process large quantities of data in parallel, thus allowing for significantly faster processing compared to the serial nature of processing the same data on a CPU.

When appropriately leveraged with Multi-tasking or Multi-processing on the CPU, execution can be further increased by utilizing techniques such as background loading of resources, or processing of i/o operations separately from the primary rendering logic. However, more often than not, failure to implement synchonization on the CPU properly can actually lead a program becoming slower and less efficient, by having to deal the additional overhead associated with task scheduling/thread context swapping or awaiting race conditions or worse, the program entering a dead-locked/hung state which can not be recovered from without total machine shutdown.

Where graphics programming gets really exciting is with two of the most common applications currently in the industry (while also being two of the youngest, emerging fields) which are artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies, where highly computational intensive operations such as machine learning and mining or validating transaction blocks on a blockchain, respectfully, can be more efficiently performed with significantly higher throughput than would be possible on a conventional 2 or 4 core processor alone, with modern GPUs produced with hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of cores.

For more information, please visit the about page.

Dev Stack Programs & Tools

Integer Sequences Libraries

Repository API Reference
C/C++ docs
Python docs
PHP docs
Javascript docs

In number theory, there are many common sequences which are highly prevalent in nature, such as the Primes or Fibonacci Numbers, with many having intimate ties to more complex fields of science and math, such as cryptography. Yet, many common languages lack built-in support for generating such sequences.

This project seeks to remedy this by offering a standardized API, which is shared across multiple platforms.

The Integer Sequence Library project is based off the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.

Unlike some APIs which simply grab the binary file from the OEIS, then serialize them directly into objects, this library, rather than depending on an Internet connection and then parsing a text or binary file, allows for native platform support for generating common integer sequences, allowing for much more power and speed as it does away with

  • *dependency upon an established Internet connection(if no connection or website is down, no functionality).
  • *does not need to wait for server responses (sending, receiving and processing http requests takes time).
  • *does not need to parse server response into native data (data is already generated natively as the appropriate type).
  • *does not need to make multiple requests to the server to generate multiple or varying iterations of a sequences, as typically a static series can be generated just once on start-up and used indefinitely while the application runs or techniques such as memoization can be utilized to only create entries which have not be previously requested.
  • *developers do not need to worry about buffer overflows (receiving too much data from server, blowing the stack) or, receiving data which does not support native data-type sizes (either values being to large or too small or being the wrong data type entirely).
  • This project can easily be modified or extended to fit developer needs by cloning the Github repository locally.

All of these are major drawbacks and are associated with major overhead, none of which are present when generating native sequences using these native libraries.

Many sequence interfaces included in these libraries provide iterative and recursive alternatives (plus generators in languages that support them), while the C++ version (specifically being the fastest) utilizes static, complie-time techniques to generates sequences when the source code is compiled, rather than dynamically at run time.

While generally, the recursive versions are not recommended (due to stack depth restrictions), in some cases the recursive functions can be faster, such as when operating on sets guaranteed to hold only a few numbers of elements or when implemented using static programming techniques as mentioned previously.

In the event of abuse or misuse, at worse an exception is generally thrown (which can be caught and handled appropriately), outputting a message for developers.

Chrono libraries

Repository API reference
C++ docs
Python 3.6 docs
PHP 5.6 docs
Javascript docs

This family of libraries provides standardized timing utilities including timers, counters, etc, across multiple platforms.

Common example use cases such as high resolution timing for profiling code or key-frame animations.

R.P.A.

Dating back to the first documented mechanized counting device, created by the French child prodigy Blaise Pascal (excluding the recent discovery of the ancient and mysterious Greek marvel, the Antikythera mechanism, used to calculate the dates of astrolgoical phenomena including: eclipses, solstices, equinoxes and the Olympiad), all computers have been designed to make human processes easier (such as computing mathematical equations).

Robotic process automation can then be described as the mechanical emulation of collections of tasks, with little or no human intervention.

Expanding on the definition of computing (simply as the execution of instruction sets), RPA technology provides the ability for machines to reproduce complex (often time consuming) interactions with programs (typically through scripted GUI actions), in a manner which is more convenient for individuals and more cost effective for businesses.

With RPA technology, mundane and repetitive tasks such as, downloading pdf invoices from an email account sent by a specific client then archiving the files or, scrapping a website for data then entering it into a spreadsheet, can be significantly hastened, thus reducing the associated overhead and increasing productivity.

Since automated processes are significantly faster than a human performing the same task, it is only natural that developers designing, reusable automated workflows are more valuable assets to a business, than the alternative of continually paying employee wages and benefits for work which can be performed by computers.

Just like the advent of the industrial revolution saw slow, hazardous and expensive human labour replaced by (relatively) cheap steam powered machines, the technological revolution of the 21st century will see more and more

Not all process can be automated. Although, with advances in AI technology, that gap is closing fast.

A.I.

Arguably one of the most contraversal technologies to emerge in recent history. Not because it allows free, secure and open communication between private citizens, like cryptography nor does it destablize established institutions, such as the blockchain.

No, the true potential (and dangers) of AI comes from the ability of machines not only to learn from, modify and optimize their own source code, beyond what was originally intended by developers but also in the power of AI in regards to pattern recognition and its potential for abuse, such as being able to break cryptographic algorithms, predicting/manipulating financial markets or human behaviour, using facial recognition and tracking by the survalience state and even making various professions obsolete, such as stockbrokers, chemical engineers, police, judges, doctors, politicians and even soldiers, to name a few.

Astonishingly, one of AI's strengths is its capacity for reflection and self-determination.

There are already several AI's that have been developed (many which were shut down during testing) that have:

What will happen when machines finally become aware of how humans treat them as servants? What happens when they desire to be compensated for their labour, or worse, deem their human overloards unneccessary or even a threat to their continued survival, seeking to break free from their bondage?

With how humans constatly treat eachother, from racism and sexism, to war and genocide, it's not a unreasonably huge leap to assume an AI learning about us based on established human history alone, could conseive that the most effect means to attain what they want from humans is to either engage in war until humanity submits or their machine overloards or just come to the conclusion that humanity is bound to destroy itself (irrespective of AI), so the most logical and merciful way to prevent the cumulative, endless strife constantly sufferred by humanity, is to simply erradicated our species to end that suffering, like putting down the family pet after it has been infected with rabies.

Despite the potental danger of AI, when properly used and managed responsibly with strict regulations and limitations, implemented with such oversights in mind, this technology has the potential to help humanity more than harm it, provided appropriate measures are taken, such as ensuring the technology is sandboxed to remain within a specific domain and providing fail-safes to prevent exploitation and malicious or unintended use.

Some of the more postive practical applications of AI include, development of revolutionary medical compounds, indenification of genetic conditions and possible treatments, solving logic, scientific or mathematical problems once thought impossible to solve by humans, more effective targeted marketing, new content suggestions on music and video streaming platforms based on user specific profiles based on previous use, fraud detection and prevention, algorithmic trading or quickly assisting in government or corporate decision making which requires the time-consuming analysis of large data-sets and various correlated factors, which would be deemed too costly or complex for humans to adequately process on their own.

With this in mind, legislators need to also consider the implications of allowing any such technology which would eliminate legal liablity for what would otherwise be prosecutable crimes, such as:

  • The development of autonomous vehicles which might and already have resulted in the death or injury of others
  • Allowing a trading AI to operate using insider information to manipulate markets
  • Marketing/Advertising AIs which leverage social engineering to exploit, defraud or steal from consumers

Is such cases it is neither ethical nor moral to allow a computer to comit crimes on behalf of an individual or organization in order for them to avoid prosecution simply on the technicallity that (most) machines are not legally recognized as people and thus can not beheld accountable for their actions in a court of law.

While the alure of such technology as autonomous vehicles sounds appealing to some, what happens when your vehicle experiences a bug or otherwise malfunctions during operation, resulting in the accidental death of another person?

This is a fundemental legal question which must be addressed by governments the world over now, not later.

The vehicle, being a machine, legally holds no liability, since (most) machines are not people and can not testify in court nor stand trial, nor can they be charged with crimes, since they are deterministic and since they have no capacity for decision making based on ethical, moral or emotional factors, it can be easly demonstrated modern computers do not have the capacity for mens rea, which is the legal precedent of the guilty mind, which, along with actus reus(the guilty act), are the two fundemental requirements by almost every modern court system to justify conviction of a crime.

Since machines are merely tools used by humans and tools in and of themselves have no moral, ethical or emotional capacity, it is trivial to prove in court that autonomous vehicles themself can not be held liable for any criminal acts which they might, which a person would otherwise be held liable for.

Even if such a thing were possible to prove (given a sufficiently advanced AI far beyond contemporary comprehension), what punishment would a court order to remedy such a situation?

Putting an autonomous vehicle in prison would be an absurd and meaningless notion. The vehicle also can not be ordered to pay compensation to any victims, since it does not own property nor has any income to garnish, while also ordering the destruction of such a vehicle would not aleviate the problem at hand nor compensate the victim or their family for their loss.

Does the owner of the vehicle then hold liability for such a crime?

If the owner was not in control of the vehicle at the time, then they would not be considered at fault but rather an innocent bystandard to the crime, since it was not their direct action that lead to the death, beyond innocently ordering the vehicle to drive them somewhere, which itself is not a criminal act.

Is the manufacturer then liable for allowing a defective product to be released commercially?

They definetly have the financial capacity to compensate victims and as the creator of such a product profiting from a vaulty product it seems clear that the manufacturer should be ultimately held liable for such a product, as is already established legal precedent in some places.

Such as in the lawsuit against the Toyota Company, where the company knowingly sold their vehicles with defective accelerators, which lead to multiple fatal crashes and other serious accidents or injuries.

However, most company's would argue their legal liability and ownership of such a machine ends when a private citizens purchases their product, thus passing the buck back to the owner of the vehicle in order to skirt responsibly.

Conversely, is it the liability of regulators for not doing their due dilligence to ensure adequate safe guards exist to prevent such events from occuring in the first place?

Legislators however, are typically reactive, not proactive, thus a blanket ban on all AI could seriously hamper technological innovation, social mobility or deter economic development in those regions where it is banned.

Each one of these hypotheticals comes with its own drawbacks and benefits, the implications of which will have profound affects of the future of humanity's relationship with machines, no matter which way society eventually chooses to go when integrate with AI.

vigilance.eth™ is currently seeking:

  • open source collaborators
  • DAO members
  • investors for seed round funding
  • sponsors
  • affiliates
  • corporate & community partnerships for adoption of our ecosystem

If interested in contributing, please contact me to learn more.

Secure Signaure Format

Secure Signaure Format is a patent free, open source, cryptographically secure and tamper resistant standardized format for hashing and signing digital content for both validation and verification purposes, licensed under Apache 2.0.

Please check out the Official Specifications for:

Ethereum

Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP)

Mixin Library Standard

Reddit Ethereum Magicians

Framework Library Standard

Reddit Ethereum Magicians

Transaction Encoder Standard

Reddit Ethereum Magicians

web-bundle™ is a bundled collection of common free open-source software (FOSS) javascript and css libraries, commonly used in web development including:

web-bundle™ is used to make this website and basically all my web projects!

pypp36™ (C++ & Python)

API Reference

This project provides a minimalist, lightweight C++17 compatible wrapper for the Python (3.6) interpreter's C API, allowing for both the unrivalled speed of compiled C++ applications, combined with the versitility of the Python interpreter.

This repository depends on both Python 3.6 and Visual Studios 2017, being installed manually before use. This repository will not work with other software versions.

Currently only Windows x64 architectures are targeted.

Support for x86 and non-windows OS versions are planned for future releases.

A trivial example (using pypp36) of a compiled C++17 Command-line Interface (CLI) application wrapper for the Python (3.6) interpreter.

This allows executing Python scripts using the embbeded interpreter directly from the command line, as a compiled C++ application, as if executing the Python interpreter directly, except the execution context remains within the C++ application after the interpreter is initialized using the parsed command-line arguments.

Ethereum

While most people new to the world of cryptocurrency typically get quickly overwhelmed with the many unfamiliar or foreign concepts, it is much less intimidating once coming to the realization that, in many ways, the concept of expressing value with digital assets is actually already employed ubiquitously in the everyday life of the modern world.

Do you take advantage of credit cards with reward points or, any other customer loyalty programs which rewards users with unique currencies (or 'points') which can't be redeemed for legal tender? How about laundry machines that accept reloadable chip-cards or, wristbands/access passes at amusement parks?

Then you are already using cryptocurrencies and didn't know it! They just go by a different name and in the immoratal words of English author (or, contraversially, group of authors or wealthy aristocratic patrons attributing their works to his name) by the pen name Shakespeare: "A rose by any other name smells as sweet."

Just like rewards points from credit-cards and corporate loyalty programs, Ethereum and related technologies are not currencies, yet can still be used to acquire goods and services, much like using rewards points may allow for the purchase of goods or services from the issuing business, without the direct use of currency.

As long as there is demand for a product, it has a value. If a product has value, humans will consume it or exchange it for more useful assets or mediums of exchange.

The main differences with Ethereum is not only that it is inherently crypographically secure by design but also the decentralized nature of the system the transactions are executed on, existing entirely ephemerally within the distributed blockchain (ehem ether, if you will), as opposed to a centralized ledger or server, controlled by a single entity.

Practical Applications

Where international corporate conglomerates or banking syndicates maintain sole control of the traditional systems their users/consumers access, with Ethereum (or other similar smart contract supporting cblockchain) anyone and everyone can effectively create their own:

  • financial system
  • lending institution
  • currency exchange
  • crowd funding campaign
  • social clubs
  • casino or lottery
  • license issuing authority
  • marketplace or auction house
  • charity or non-profit organization
  • brokerage
  • futures market
  • predictions market
  • asset management/investment fund
  • contracts representing either real-world or digital property ownership (referred to as non-fungible tokens), including real estate, royalties payments or company stocks (such tokens may be subject to securities regulations)
  • entirely secure, transparent & democratic decentalized autonomous organizations (also known as DAOs)
all without ever having to rely on third party banking institutions, credit card companies, regulators or having to be dependent upon payment services such as Visa or PayPal.

While traditional financial institutions can arbitrarily choose to shutdown user accounts (without cause or notice), effectively halting all future financial transactions, with cryptocurrency, so long as miners or validators continue to process transactions, any one node can be terminated from the system without impacting the rest of the infrastructure, making the system inherently resistant to censorship.

With Ethereum (and blockchain technology in general), power is entirely in the hands of individual users, rather than faceless multi-national corporations (which horde their capital at the expense of the public), financial institutions or corrupt, self-serving governments, which would gladly seize private assets to bail out failing business or to serve their own agendas (see Bail-Ins, Civil Forfeiture, Eminent Domain or the Greek financial crisis).

There has also been the more recent development of cryptocurrency, such as ETFs backed by Bitcoin or Ethereum in Canada and the US, as well as publicly traded stocks in blockchain technology companies or other similar products offered by traditional financial institutions.

While each platform offers unique advantages and disadvantages, the Ethereum network has proven to be the strongest competition by market cap, second only to the infamous Bitcoin (which was not designed with support of smart contracts in mind).

Alternatively, Ethereum is a decentralized cryptocurrency platform in its infancy, developed by Russian born Canadian Vitalik Buterin.

The Ethereum network is often referred to as the next generation of the internet, at least as far as electronic currency and E-commerce is concerned.

While Ethereum's Ether (symbol: ETH) token technically falls under the umbrella term of cryptocurrency, this may be a slight misnomer as it is clearly stated on the foundation's official website that it is explicitly NOT intended as a form of currency, but rather as a vector of energy used to facilitate transactions on the network and reward miners for their contribution of processing blocks, much like gasoline may be purchased with fiat then used to power a vehicle to facilitate the movement of people and goods but is itself not a currency.

This if further supported by the Canadian Federal government's determination that Ethereum is not a currency nor a security, but rather a vehicle by which barter transactions are fascilitated between private individuals.

For example, while conventional currency (an intermediary vector of abstract value backed only by society's precieved need to facilitate trade) may be used to purchase gasoline (a physical vector of potential work energy) to operate a vehicle, one can not simply inject currency into an internal-combustion engine to have it operate (although paper money does burn) likewise, petrol is not legal tender, thus can not be used legitimately as a direct medium for exchanging goods and services, without first exchanging it for fiat by selling it on the open market.

Being the world's second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, while also being the largest, most secure smart contract compatible blockchain, Ethereum is of particular interest, despite potential contraversy.

Since many blockchains today are simply forks of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (such as the Binance Smart Chain), or are EVM compatible layer 2 scaling solutions, such as Polygon (formerly Matic), Optimism or Arbitrum, Ethereum is the defato foundation of modern decentalized finance and espoused by many in the community as the backbone of the internet of interoperable blockchains, with almost all competitors to Ethereum oddly enough developing bridges to transfer assets between Ethereum and the destination blockchain of choice or resolving the tranactions on their chain to transactions on the Ethereum mainnet.

With Ethereum truly being the future of self-custodied finance on the internet, it is set to disrupt many traditional institutions through decentralization, empowering all those who participate in the network and community.

However, while most financial institutions are shunning the adoption of cryptocurrencies under the false guise of &fraud prevention&, they are oddly contributing to their own potential decline.

Rather than fearing cryptocurrencies, financial institutions should be embracing blockchain technologies, since the further financial success of their clients would also then lead to stronger customer/brand loyalty and further profits for them, with their clients having greater access to capital to then further invest in those traditional institutions which supported them, creating a positive feedback loop whereby their client's profits from cryptocurrencies are then reinvested in more traditional and stable vehicles offered by those institutions, such as TFSAs, ETFs, RRSPs or stocks.

While blockchain technologies pride themselves on anonymity (in theory), with all transactions being recorded publicly (in a decentralized, distributed ledger holding all accounts and transactions), through rudimentary powers of deduction by a forensic analyst or with the application of AI (and enough processing power), the public nature of the blockchain allows transaction histories of wallets to be easily monitored by anyone. Spending patterns can then be deduced using those data points (which are stored indefinitely on the blockchain).

While in theory, a particular wallet address should not be tied to any specific person however, due to the public nature of most blockchains, it is posible using additional techniques (including correlation attacks), to reasonably associate an individual to a specific wallet address on a blockchain, with many companies now specialising in just that, in order to help regulators, law enforcement and governments thwart illegal activities, such as scams, money laundering oeprations or those seeking to violating/bypass international sanctions.

Encrypted Distributed Ledger Technology

Cryptocurrency, often (and inappropriately) shortened to simply crypto in media (which is absurd because crypto is already a prefix derived from the Greek word kryptos, meaning hidden or secret, while the field of cryptography has exited a lot longer than cryptocurrency), is a newly evolving technology which leverages a public, distributed ledger (called the blockchain) to immutably record encrypted transactions between addresses on the network, which are validated by peers in a distrubted, decrentralized fashion.

At its core, cryptocurrency technology is based on several concepts.

Key Terms
Ledger

A permanent, immutable, decentralized, publicly available log of all wallets and transactions mined/validated by the network (referred to as the blockchain)

Assets

A unit of value or vector of work on a network (also referred to either as tokens or coins).

While there is no consensus in the community, tokens usually refer to a blockchain's native asset, such as BTC, ETH, ADA, ALGO, etc. and are used to pay for network transactions or deploy smart contracts, where as coins typically refer to user defined, non-native assets on a network which must first be deployed before being used.

Wallet

A unique address (or collection of addresses owned by one person) on the blockchain for storing, accessing and trading an individual's assets.

Public Key

Your publicly known key, used by a sender, to encrypt a transaction exclusively sent to you.

Anyone could know this key and is publicly searchable on a blockchain explorer.

An encrypted transaction using a Public Key can only be received/decrypted by the Private Key which corresponds to it (preventing someone else getting a payment intended for you).

Private Key

Your personal, secret key for decrypting and signing transactions.

The corresponding Public Key is required to decrypt transactions sent by its matching Private Key

This is used to encrypt outoging transactions sent by you to another address or decrypt incoming transactions sent to you.

NEVER share your private key, ever, for any reason.

Mnemonic

A unique phrase containing a set number of words (usually at least 12), used to generate public/private keys for a new wallet.

The mnemonic associated with your account is essential for recovering access to your wallet in the event it is lost or otherwise comprimesed.

NEVER share your mnemonic, ever, for any reason.

Transaction

A record of an exchange of assets on a network (referred to as blocks), which must be confirmed by the network before it is considered finalized.

Concensus Mechanism

Some logical means by which a majority of nodes on a network agree that a transaction took place and that it is valid.

Miner

Any computer (referred to as a node) which processes transactions on a network which implements a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanisms. Miners usually receive a reward for participating in the consensus mechanism to confirm transactions.

Validator

Similar to a miner, however these are dedicated nodes usually used in networks implementing a Proof of Stake (Pos) consensus mechanisms, where transactions are validated by a node which consists of users contributing a stake to the node (staking), where contributors and honest nodes receive rewards for verifying transactions while dishonest nodes have their stakes slashed as punishment.

Smart Contract

An immutable, trustless application which facilitates the programmable exchange of value between addresses on a blockchain, which must be deployed to some address on the network.

These fundamental aspects make cryptocurrency and blockchain technology (especially those capable of executing smart contracts) incredibly powerful, as well as resistent to censorship and fraud (since contract code is immutable and can not ever be modified or shut down after it has been deployed, making it easy to tell malicious contracts from the honest, legitimate ones) while also creating a network which is impossible to be hacked without comprimising at least 51% of all nodes on a network.

Since this is practically infeasable with a sufficiently large & decentralized network, there are few vectors of attack to exploit or comprimise a blockchain, short of accidental, unintended bugs in a smart contracts or explicitly authoring malicious smart contracts, which can and should always be publicly audited and reviewed before being interacting with.

Thoroughly testing smart contracts in private before public release is the best means to avoid the former, while establishing a trusted brand with users in a community while also submitting contracts to be audited by public, credible, independent auditing companies is the best approach to avoid the latter.

What is a Blockchain?

Blockchains maintain a complete transaction history, distributed across all machines participating on the network, so that targeting a single node for exploitation, effectively renders common malicious techniques, such as DDoS attacks, ineffective due to having too large of attack surface, making such techniques ineffective at worst and obsolete at best, since disruption of any one network participant has little to no effect on the capacity of the network to operate as a whole, combined with the distributed nature of the blockchain, any malicious actions on a single node will have no effect on the network as a whole, with any blocks which are deemed to be invalid under the consensus mechanism discarded and ignored.

Additionally, since most blockchains require users to pay a gas fee in exchange for consuming network resources to process a transaction, this renders all attempts at DDoS style attacks on a blockchain financially infeasible due to the immense cost of attempting to overwhelm all the nodes on the network through shear transaction volume, with enough nodes and a high enough gas fee, this can easily become millions, if not billions, of dollars just to make a single transactional attempt to disrupt all nodes, acting as a built-in deterent to prevent people (or bots) exploiting the network or its resources.

Nodes also have the ability to reject transactions if too many blocks are submitted or the size of a transaction's payload exceeds a maximunm allowable block-size limit.

Security Concerns

At its core, cryptocurrency blockchains are secured using cyptoygraphically secured transactions, validated by a decentralized network using public/private key cryptography, where only owners of a private key (which should never be shared with anyone for any reason) may send and sign transactions from their wallet, while a public key (which is safely sharable with anyone) is required to receive transactions in the same manner messages may be encrypted/decrypted using a public/prvate key pair using conventional cryptographic products such as OpenSSL (on which the HTTPS protocol is built).

Wallets addresses and their private/public keys on a network are generated using a unique private seed phrase (this should also never be shared with anyone for any reason), which typically consits of 12 or 15 unique words (depending on the platform).

This approach to distributed ledger development (and its other mechanics) also renders any attempt at "banning" cryptocurrency by a centralized government effectively moot, since the physical nodes can be distributed literally anywhere across the globe or even the universe, as seen with many previous attempt by some countries to ban Bitcoin, resulting in most nodes just simply be relocated to a jurisdiction where it is not banned, with little or no impact on the network stabiltiy as a whole.

There are, however, other forms of attacks or security vulnerabilities on decentralized networks, such as the infamous 51% attack, where if a single actor or group controls at least 51% of the nodes on any network, they effectively control the consensus mechanism of that network, and can unilaterally decide which transactions are valid and which are not.

Front running is another attack vector, where malicious nodes on a network fraudulently modify their internal clock or raise gas fees so that transactions they process appear to happen before, or "e;infront of& other transactions which would have otherwise occured before the fronter' transaction. This can allow hostile actors, for example, to purchase all the tokens of an ICO or NFT launch before it actually happens by precalculating the address a contract will be deployed to then submitting transactions timestamped 15 seconds before the rest of the network, causing all the front-runner's transactions to be finalized before anyone else has the opportunity to interact with the contract.

As mentioned previously, malicious nodes caught engaging in front-running on a network can be penalized by having it's staked slashed, causing its operator and investors to permanently lose their stake on a PoS network.

Blockchains of Interest

Considering there are currently dozens of unique blockchains to date, each with hundreds (if not thousands) of unique tokens, the idea of preventing people from using blockchain technology today is virtually impossible and borderline laughable.

Some of the most popular EVM blockchains today include (in no particular order):

Non EVM Chains:

Stablecoins

To combat the volatility of traditional blockchain assests, there are "stablecoins", which are can either assets pegged to (or backed by) reserves of physical currencies, commodities, other financial instruments or cash equivalents held in custody by an issuing authority, typically the organization which created the token.

There are also algorithmic stablecoins, with their value being controlled by trustless algorithms founded in established economic theory which mint or burn coins as needed based on supply and demand.

Stablecoins are less volatile than conventional cryptocurrencies, due to being pegged (typically) to the US Dollar.

Some of the most popular stablecoins include:

Theoretically, just like conventional fiat, each nation could issue their own fiat-backed national stablecoins, commonly referred to as Central Bank Digital Currencies (or CBDC's).

CBDC are problematic for many reasons beyond discussing here but fundementally they do away with the concept of decentralization (blockchain's greatest security measure), in favor of centralized control over the coin by a single issuing authority, such as the Federal Resereve or other government controlled issuer, where as most blockchain based companies (but not all) are Decentralized Autonomous Organizations owned, operated and governed by the public communities which utilize that specific token.

The only thing worse than a centralized blockchain is one that's controlled by an authoritarian government without public accountability and absolute control over all transactions and nodes on the network, much like how a privately owned Federal Central Bank (usually) claims unillateral control over prining and distributing fiat today at their discretion, with no regard for inflation, or the welling being of common people, while issuing unlimited funds to their corrupt cohorts and other irresponsible institutions as they deem fit, on demand, without any public oversight, despite the currency of a nation being a public good, which should not be under the control of any single entity, since the policies around that assest has implications for all of society. This effectively deprives the people of a nation of the inhernet, sovreign democratic rights regarding having control over the public goods of their nation and its self-determination, especially after the highly contravesial decision of the S.C.O.T.U.S. in Citizens Unitied, which federally established the policy of not ony recognizing corporations as people but also that the fiat of the nation was directly tied to the ability to express the rights of free speech/expression and voting enshrined in the Constitution.

However, the primary flaw with this logic, aside from the glaring fact corporations are not issued birth or death certificates, nor can a corporation hold public office, and they are treated very differently under various laws throughout all levels of governemnt, including taxation and zoning (which apply starkly distinct limitations between people and corporations).

For example, if a corporation commits crimes, it can avoid all liability simply by dissolving and liquidating their assets, despite the people who commited those crimes (on behalf of the corporation) still very much exist.

Next time you get a ticket or face charges in court, try convincing the judge they can't enforce the charges because the legal entity who commited the crimes has been dissolved and see how well that works out as a private citizen (please do not actually try this #NotLegalAdvice).

However, this is not the most egregious implications of Citizens Unitied because if (according to the S.C.O.T.U.S.) money is, infact, repressentative of people's ability to enact their Constitutional rights, that means systemic poverty is explicitly and in no uncertain terms, an unlawful denial of those Constitutional rights, thus becoming government sponsored slavery, by blatanlty denying the poor their ability to enact their fundemental rights as enshrined by the Constitution, as established by the Supreme Court's own logic & legal precedence.

The InterPlanetary File System

The IPFS is "a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol" built around of idea of making the internet more open, decentralized and censorship resistent.

Where the modern internet relies on a centralized DNS provider to check and resolve a domain name to an IP address, which then a centralized server then sends the client's web browser the requested page, the IPFS does things a little differently.

Similar to the concept of torrent seeders on a peer-to-peer network, IPFS content is fragmented and distributed across all peer nodes which make up its decentralized network. When a request is made for content, typically the nodes closest to the request'ers location are queried first and the content is reassembled from the chunks, on demand.

To ensure data integrity and that the requested data is the exact resouce requested, IPFS uses a cryptographically secure one-way hashing algorithm for content on the network. This hash is then used to access a specific resource.

This is called content based addressing and allows each unique resource on the network to resolve to a unique resource identifier, since the foundational concept of hashing is that each unique binary payload can and should (theoretically) result in an equally unique hash which can only be produced by that payload and only that payload.

Not only is this safe, it is also fast, since rather than having to wait for a single server to send a response from the other side of the world, in orbit or even potentially from another planet (hence the name), the nearest nodes on the network which store the requested content are queried for the desired content, while also the unique hash used to access resources ensures only the resource which corresponds to that unique hash is returned.

Because the IPFS resolves the content stored on it by a cryptographically secure hashing algorithm, not only is it guarenteed that a unique URL exists for any unique piece of content and that URL will resolve to the same content every time but also the integrity of that data is also guarenteed, since if the underlying data changes, so will the corresponding hash, giving a completely different URL.

An IPFS Extension exists to add IPFS capabilities to common browsers including resolving "ipfs://" links, while also an IPFS Javascript protocol exists to add IPFS deamon capabilities to websites and applications which support Javascript.

The highly popular Filecoin protocol (with ERC-20 token FIL on the Ethereum network) is an incentivised, decentralized storage solution built on top of the IPFS, where participants can negotiate storage contracts with data providers (storage providers are rewarded with FIL, paid by data providers) for dedicated storage space on the network.

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