Seventy days ago I started posting the Bticointalk Summaries, because I saw there was a desperate need to keep track of what was happening in the Nxt Community. At that point, there was still a huge resistance against moving out of our cozy corner in the bitcointalk forums.
However, during the last two weeks, more and more people were realising that we have outgrown that particular format and that in order to grow and not go completely crazy, we needed a different place.
So, now we are going just gently crazy in our new forums, which can be found at nxtforum.org, which have been set up by wesleyh and are staffed by dedicated nxters, including yours truly. The domain has been generously donated by farl4bit.
Our developers have largely made the move to this new forums, too, and so it should be much easier to find what you are looking for.
As far as the Bitcointalk Summaries go, my job is done!
I hope you all have found use in them and that they have helped keep order amidst the chaos that can be part of a decentralised community and that they have contributed to the more timely development of Nxt in some way.
I am currently involved in many, many more Nxt developments than I could ever have forseen 70 days ago, so I am sure we will see each other again. This blog will of course still stay, but I will need to see what direction it will take. For the next few days, I think I will take a bit of a rest, though!
At this moment, there are not as many updates on “concrete” things to give as there were.
Nxt has clearly entered a different stage in it’s development, and this is clear from the Bitcointalk thread.
I will instead be using at least part of these posts on the actions and decisions of the three Nxt Funding Committees, which are tasked with administrating the 9 million Nxt that were not claimed by stakeholders.
The committees are the Infrastructure Fund, the Technical Development Fund and the Marketing Fund.
At this moment, the Marketing Fund and the Infrastructure Fund are already fully operational and looking at entered proposals.
The Marketing Committee introduction post can be found here. The Marketing Committee likes all its applications in a specific form, to be sure all applications will be thought out well. You can find the requirements here.
The Committees and their Funds are there to be used! If you have a plan you think will benefit Nxt, please do not hesitate to contact the committees or submit your plans. They might not be accepted as is, but the committees will help you hone them if needed, so they will become better. The people in the committees all work in their respective areas of expertise, so use the experience that is in there to get the most out of your proposals!
Here is the summary of his review, again with the relevant links from Jesse James:
“I spent some quality time reviewing the core crypto NXT relies on. As part of my review I re-implemented the relevant algorithms https://gist.github.com/doctorevil/9521126 using a different approach in a different language to make sure I understood everything deeply. Although the implementation NXT uses doesn’t follow certain algorithm specifications to the letter, the deviations noted (motivated by simplicity and/or performance) seemed reasonable and in general nothing stuck out as a red flag. There was one bug in the signature generation function (that NXT is aware of and currently working around) for which I’ve provided a patch (or more precisely tweaked BloodyRookie’s proposed patch). It should be should be safe for devs to incorporate this patch at their convenience.
I have had difficulty making this post, as describing the importance is outside my competence, so I decided to ask one of our resident technical people, chanc3r, who is also a member of the Nxt Infrastructure Committee to explain it to me.
Here is what he mailed back to me:
Like many other crypto’s SHA-256 of a ‘brain wallet passphrase’ are used to generate the private key for a given account..
In the case of NXT, Curve25519+EC-KDSA as originally designed by Daniel Bernstein is additionally used by NXT to generate the public key for the account.
The original implementation of Curve25519 in x86 assembler has been lost and NXT originally used a port from C to Java to implement the Curve25519 encryption, the accuracy of the C-port was unknown due to th missing assembler sources.
It has been a source of concern that there is no direct link between the original Curve25519 specification paper and the Java implementation used within NXT.
Therefore the NXT community commissioned an audit of the current implementation against the original specification written by Dr Bernstein.
1. The choice of NXT developers of this cryptographic scheme is suitable for this purpose. 2. The implementation has a number of valid deviations/improvements from the original Curve25519 specification 3. NXT is immune as a result of this implementation to signature malleability. 4. The audit included a new Curve25519 implementation in Python from the original papers, this implementation and the NXT Java implementation agree exactly on key output when tested verifying the accuracy of the NXT Curve25519 implementation.
In summary the implementation of Curve25519 is an accurate translation of the specification of its designer Dr Daniel Bernstein and is a suitable choice for the use-cases that NXT requires.
One of the main reasons for this is that for the past few days, our developers have been testing the Asset Exchange.
Today, I want to give you an overview of what the Asset Exchange looks like in wesleyh’s web interface. This interface will be part of the future incarnation of Nxt, so this is basically a double unveiling!
Wesleyh’s client is a very easy to use web interface, that also has added ways of helping users make a SAFE account with an very strong passphrase.
DO NOT USE THIS CLIENT WITH YOUR NORMAL ACCOUNT FOR NOW! MAKE A NEW ACCOUNT FOR THE TESTNET!
What ís the Asset Exchange?
Many may have heard of the Asset Exchange, but may not have a good idea of what it is. Simply put, the Asset Exchange is a feature of the Nxt system, that allows you to create digital tokens using Nxt. These tokens can be ánything, provided you can make them work the way you want.
For instance, it is possible to create virtual tokens backed by gold. If you could prove decisively that you actually háve this gold, it would be possible to sell these tokens, which then stand for that gold.
Another example would be issuing digital stocks for a company you have or are starting. These digital certificates allow you to immediately trade them and also, because they are tied to accounts to pay out dividends.
Other examples of possibilities are tokens used in games (game currency) and tokens directly linked to other cryptocurrencies.
So far, so good. But how to trade them? Well, in the Asset Exchange itself! The Nxt Asset Exchange is a complete Exchange built withín Nxt! You can trade Assets without ever having to rely on the trustworthiness of a central “banker” or “trader”. You can trade directly between accounts, and as anonymous as you prefer.
The Nitty Gritty
I would first like to show you the protection that has been added to the interface. One of the most often named complaint about Nxt has been that it needs such a strong passphrase, that normal users just won’t use it, or even worse, dó use it and then get their Nxt stolen. This new interface makes this very, very hard to do. It will pregenerate a cryptographically very strong passphrase for the beginning user, while also leaving open the option to generate your own, if you feel you want to keep control. It gives multiple warnings that the passphrase needs to be kept very safe and that losing it means losing access to your account. The interface is also esthetically pleasing and colourful.
I will do a total showcase of this interface in a future post. For now, I’ll leave you to wonder at everything it can do!
The Asset Exchange has an easy to navigate main screen, where you can see all the Assets available on the Nxt ecosystem. You can see the price in Nxt and the open Buy and Sell orders. To issue your own Asset, you will need to pay the fee of 1000 Nxt (this fee hasn’t been definitely decided on yet and may still change), give it a name and description, and the amount of assets you wish to issue. Once this has been added to the blockchain, you can immediately start trading with your Asset. In your “My Assets” screen, you can see which Assets you currently own, what the price on the market is and transfer them to another account if you want.
Buying and Selling on the network is easy. Just like on any known exchange, you can issue buy and sell orders. Of course, using the “transfer” function, there is also still the option to trade outside the network if you want to do that. After an order has been filled, the Assets will show up in your “my Assets” screen with the current market data.
The Asset Exchange is slated to be released at the end of March or the beginning of April. At the moment, rigorous testing is being done to flush out any bugs it may have. Once our developers are convinced it is ready to go into production, it will become available to everyone. At that point, the term “Nxtcoin” will basically lose is meaning, as from that point on we will have a multitude of “Nxtcoins”, ranging from “traditional cryptocoins” to digital assets, to digital certificates. Nxt will have taken a serious step to becoming what it is meant to be: not a coin, but a fully operational system for decentralised transactions.
Today not so much a summary of the BCT thread, as a summary of the last three months I’ve spent in the Nxt Community.
First, for those who are REALLY waiting for a summary: the last day has been spent in working on a very strong passphrase functionality for wesleyh’s online browser. Over the last few months it has become clear that the average user will not or cannot work with the long passphrases that are needed to create a safe Nxt account. To combat this, we are now building in functionality to allow people to create a safe account without much hassle.
I’ve been a member of the Nxt community for over three months now. I’ve bought my first Nxt on the 23rd of December and dived right in. No real background in crypto, but facinated by the feverish energy that coursed through the BCT thread.
Fairly soon in the beginning I noticed a need for the summaries and made that my “trade”, which has hopefully helped keep a fair amount of people from going mad.
The last weeks, I have noticed a tendency in the community to become frustrated en irritated by the perceived lack of progress. In some ways, i suppose, this is correct. We still don’t have a completely working system, we don’t have a completely working and safe client that we áll can use, we don’t have the AE and we don’t have big wads of cash in our pockets (well, I don’t!).
We don’t have all the developers we want, we don’t have a unified marketing strategy, we aren’t known as the best 2nd Generation crypto in the crypto world and we aren’t really all that well known in all circles. We also are still sometimes called a “scam coin”, people sometimes still make weak passwords and lose Nxt.
All this is true
However, I invite you all to look back at now 37 summaries spanning over 1,5 month and see what HAS been done.
This is not meant in any way fluffy, but as a reality check: hello, four months in and still alive! Working on systems that other coins will NEVER have, mostly because they don’t have the people or the ambition to do it. Nothing of that is gone. At this moment not even yet delayed. Some things may be a bit differentm but anyone who ever tried to build something with his hands knows that nothing ever works exactly like you have planned.
Again, I am hugely proud of what we have accomplished in this short, short period of time, and I advise you to do the same.
The voting for the members of the Technology, Infrastructure and Marketing Funds has ended. Find the results here.You will soon hear from all of these committees what they do and how they plan to handle their mandates.
DGEX is selling shares in DGEX! You can download the prospectus here, and you can buy them directly from your DGEX account. At the moment of writing, there are 12888 shares left at 125 Nxt per share. The official thread for this IPVO can be found here.