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    Categories: General

    Intro to Multisigs and an Example with Darkcoin/Bitcoin Core

    December 26th, 2014 by fernando

    At Bitcoin2014, Gavin Andresen proclaimed 2014 to be the year of multisig. Putting debate over whether this prediction came to fruition aside, continue reading to learn more about multisig technology.

    What are multisignature addresses?

    Multisignature addresses (or multisigs) are addresses that allow more than one signature to spend the funds. Oftentimes multiple signatures are required in conjunction. The acceptable signatures and number required is...

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    Categories: General

    Darkcoin Anonymity Fully Functional and Open Source; Instant Transactions on the Way

    October 8th, 2014 by fernando

    Today I provide more detail on DarkSend, the name of Darkcoin's anonymity feature, and sketch the next amazing use of masternodes -- instant transactions.

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    Categories: General

    Darkcoin's Approach to Anonymity is Truly Trustless and Opens Endless Possibilities

    July 27th, 2014 by fernando
    Darkcoin is best known for being the first cryptocurrency focused exclusively on anonymity and privacy. What is less understood is how these features are implemented as well as how they open many exciting possibilities.
    In order to achieve anonymity, Darkcoin has successfully implemented master nodes. They are both innovative and necessary to achieve the privacy that Darkcoin promises.

    What are master nodes?

    Simply put, master nodes are servers connected to the network that perform certain tasks hand in hand with DarkSend (Darkcoin's anonymity feature) and they get paid for it. This concept is called proof-of-service.
    Anyone can run a master node. The objective is decentralization: to have enough running so no one controls an important fraction of masternodes. However, to avoid bloating the network and to discourage reckless operators, there is one condition that needs to be fulfilled: proof-of-ownership of 1000 Darkcoins. The coins don't need to be in the master node, but they do need to be held. If the owner moves or spends those coins, the master node stops working.
    Master nodes get paid by the network for the services they provide. Twenty percet of the each new block's reward goes to pay the master nodes. Each reward is paid to one maste rnode randomly selected, so in the long term all master nodes should receive a similar amount of rewards.
    In the current release of Darkcoin (RC3), two master nodes mix the coins of the transactions that users send choosing to be anonymous. However, in a couple of weeks, a new release of the software (RC4) will be launched and their role will change.
    In RC4, master nodes will anonymize the Darkcoins users have in their wallets at preset intervals. This way, when they want to send them to somebody, they will already be anonymous and the transaction won't be tracable by third parties. Additionally, transactions will be much faster than otherwise.  That is, if the coins had to be mixed/anonymized at the moment of the transaction.
    Up to eight master nodes will be involved in the process of anonymizing the coins of a given user.  It wil be a completly trustless system because the risk of someone controlling all involved master nodes is negligible. Hypotheically, with 700 master nodes (slightly less than the current existing number) there is a one in 1.3 trillion chance of someone with the needed twenty-five master nodes (costing $160,000 at today's prices) controling the eight involved nodes necesary to trace the transaction. Even more reassuring is the fact that the Darkcoins are never at risk, even if there are rogue master nodes.  Because, the Darkcoins never leave the user's wallet.

    What master nodes mean for the future

    Having so many servers with the full blockchain and working for the coin can be extremely useful. Thanks to the reward system, there is no risk of not having enough masternodes.  So, the developers can rely on them for any new decentralized feature they want to implement. This is huge. Because, the developer can depend confidently on a thousand distributed servers working 24/7.

    One doesn't need a big imagination to speculate, as others have, about other great ideas such as light wallets that still rely on master nodesblockchains, messaging services, as well as distributed storage. Only time will tell!
    Disclaimer: I own a significant number of Darkcoins and I am quite involved with the Darkcoin community. But, I view Darkcoin with a critical eye because my money is at stake. 
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