Composing EtherCore

EtherCore is a Blockchain platform to solve the trilemma issue, which is a technical limitation of Blockchain that all decentralized application platform cannot be solved at present. EtherCore will use the ProgPoW consensus algorithm to address ASIC centralization, fair mining reward distribution, and network security issues. The developers of EtherCore are developing Blockchain technology that can be applied in real life through Inter Contract Communication (ICC) and developing a platform for DApp to activate the EtherCore ecosystem.

A representative example of the technical limitations faced by the 1st and 2nd generation Blockchain is the scalability problem, which cannot significantly improve the transaction processing speed (TPS) per second as the network expands. There are two factors that are holding back in solving the scalability problem of Blockchain technology: decentralization and security. The concept that encompasses these scalability, decentralization, and security issues is the Blockchain trilemma.

The trilemma of Blockchain cannot be improved in a positive direction in terms of scalability, decentralization, and security, and it is like an equivalent exchange structure that sacrifices other elements when certain elements are being addressed. For example, to achieve the scalability of the network, a faster consensus process can be implemented by placing fewer nodes or fewer representatives than before, but as the number of nodes decreases, the degree of network decentralization and network stability decreases. In the same vein, you can achieve network decentralization by having a large number of nodes, but with reduced scalability.

To date, many DApp platforms, including Ethereum and EOS, are in the process of considering and commercializing technical solutions to solve the problem of the Blockchain, but they still sacrifice decentralization to speed up Blockchain processing. The trilemma is not getting out of trouble.

Addressing Trilemma issue

Our latest attempt to address the trilemma issue on a public Blockchain is to focus on decentralization and security first. Compared with other DApp platforms, while it is possible to achieve faster block times even though on PoW consensus these days (some PoW Blockchains report 5 second average block generation time with lower uncle/orphan rates which are faster than current Ethereum network which is known as 15 average confirmation time with 10% uncle rates), some may choose Delegated Proof of Stake consensus algorithm or Proof of Authority consensus to achieve faster confirmation time and scaled network capacity while they are considered to be less secure or less decentralized compared with Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm.

Still, Proof-of-Authority can be an ideal solution anyways, for decentralized exchanges they would need higher matching speed for faster trades to occur on their platform, and maybe the decentralization would likely be a second option for them. While it is not recommended to use Proof-of-Authority for real-world use case since it doesn’t utilize the full advantage of Blockchain network, we may use them as a 2nd chain for scalability and the transaction can be cherry-picked to upstream PoW network via many methods including side-chain bridge or atomic swap, Inter Contract Communication (ICC) which is considered to be decentralized among those options.

Therefore, EtherCore mainnet will be built using ProgPoW Proof-of-Work consensus among with Istanbul, a Proof-of-Authority consensus sidechain to leverage the scalability for needs of specific DApps under mainnet like Tether USD, ERC-20 token or Cryptokitties smart contract. Throughout the connection with the upstream PoW mainnet, PoA sidechain can enjoy the full advantage of the decentralized network itself.

Analyzing ProgPoW, a Programmable Proof-of-Work Consensus Algorithm

We’ve developed and chose the ProgPoW algorithm as our main proof-of-work (PoW) mining and block hashing scheme. ProgPoW is a transformative algorithm of Ethash and is a proof-of-work (PoW) focused fork of the Ethash PoW algorithm. Unlike the former Ethash algorithm, ProgPoW is meant to be used for PoW-based Blockchains, such as verifying blocks. Developing cryptocurrency, the main reason that we’ve chosen ProgPoW is because ProgPoW is designed to be GPU-friendly and FPGA / ASIC resistant. In many years of experience in developing a proof-of-work algorithm for cryptocurrencies, ProgPoW is a superior algorithm for combating specialized mining devices. There are many PoW currencies that exist, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and much more, and they are using many different proof-of-work algorithms for computing hashes like SHA256D or Dagger-Hashimoto, Yescrypt, Aragon2D, Lyra2v, etc. When we choose hashing algorithms among them, we look for “ASIC resistance”, or “FPGA resistance”.

What is (or should be) meant by the term of Anti-ASIC mining is limiting the computing advantage of specialized ASIC devices. For common algorithms like SHA256 or Scrypt it is normal that ASICs or FPGA take advantage in computing hashes or mining cryptocurrencies compared with commercial hardwares. Specialized hardwares can’t do other jobs, unlike commercial hardwares, they can’t play games or run word processors like normal computers. Instead, they can only do mining cryptocurrencies in an effective way. They may also consume less electricity than commercial hardwares because they are utilized for mining activity with old memory chips like DDR3 to lower the manufacture costs. ProgPoW achieves some point of ASIC resistance by disadvantaging specialized hardwares, instead of utilizing the device for the algorithm, we have utilized the algorithm to benefit more on cutting edge hardwares and devices.

For example, a GeForce GTX 1080Ti card combined with high-frequency memory will achieve more hashrate power than GeForce GTX 980Ti or Nvidia Titan graphic cards that may cost more than a commercial CPU hardware and have more cores to compute but has lower memory frequency. Some pro-GPU and anti-ASIC algorithms benefits ASIC miners to establish ASIC mining ecosystem for the cryptocurrency, although it may secure the network than GPU mining, it consumes more electricity than GPU mining ecosystem and their mining facility is centralized compared with pro-GPU mining ecosystem. Imagine a large ASIC mining facility compared with miners mining a currency with their own graphics cards instead of investing on ASIC / FPGA cards which is meant for developing mission-critical integrated circuit chips not mining cryptocurrencies and form a large factory to consume more local electricity. ProgPoW also benefits small miners to mine more coins and form a large group of the eco-friendly mining community that raises the value of cryptocurrency. Some groups of desktop GPUs or clusters of graphic cards will be enough to mine EtherCore, and you have more choice of GPU vendor to choose, buy and mine with them. However it is also impossible to estimate the number of cases of exploiting the algorithm for mining on specialized hardware, some pro-CPU or pro-GPU algorithms failed to achieve the original purpose due to some exploits, so we define here if the case happens for EtherCore / ProgPoW algorithm, we may update and patch the PoW algorithm to combat those attacks to be resistant again.

Adapting Proof-of-Authority Sidechain

As Proof-of-Work does, Proof-of-Authority is being used by many public Blockchain networks to secure the platform and to scale the capacity of the network for handling hundreds of transactions per second. For Ethereum, it is first used for test networks to combat denial-of-service attacks from Proof-of-Work testnet, which is likely abandoned and not secured by miners since they are less profitable for mining testnet coins.

Proof-of-Authority network is far from the public network in terms of mining, although the transactions and contracts among the network are transparent. However, transactions can’t be mined and validated by miners, and the permission is very limited to specific nodes on network which is pre-defined by the founder of the Blockchain, it can be easily dominated and censored by the network creator’s will like any existing web 1.0 or web 2.0 service does.

Although they are prominent pros and cons for Proof-of-Authority networks, some research of utilizing them for existing Proof-of-Work networks are on-going, and many methods to connect those chains are being developed by various individuals around the globe.

To compose the PoA sidechain network, EtherCore development team will hold a vote to elect validators who are responsible for operating and maintaining the PoA sidechain; EtherCore token holders will be able to make a vote for network governance of PoA sidechain & PoW mainnet network.

We expect that current PoA sidechain can proceed up to 1000 ~ 3000 transactions per second, PoA sidechain will be able to receive transaction demand from upstream PoW main network and will scale in parallel at the demand of decentralized applications, DApp developers will be able to deploy their own EtherCore compatible PoA sidechains and make a deposit of funds that are needed for exchanging tokens between mainnet and sidechains.

PoA network could be connected and shared by various interconnect solutions proposed by various of Blockchain developers, EtherCore development team will release the proper documentation and open-source the tools needed for composing the PoA sidechain network.

Addressing the distribution problem

Some well-known Blockchain platforms like Bitcoin or Ethereum is truly revolutionary, but it suffers from distribution problem which the ongoing initial distribution of Bitcoin / Ethereum is being limited to those mining tokens from the very beginning of the launch stage.

EtherCore address this distribution problem by establishing a sustainable token distribution plan. One of the key features of the supply distribution plan will be, 1. Pre-defined mining reward halving schedule and 2 giving additional incentive to the Ethereum ecosystem to attract decentralized application developers.

Unlike Ethereum, EtherCore will implement the so-called ECIP-1017 to regulate inflation caused by an undefined halving schedule in node’s consensus parameters. Implementing a smooth, round reward halving schedule for the future will reduce the effect of miner’s inflation. According to our model, EtherCore mainnet will have 5% ~ 9% annual inflation from Proof-of-Work reward, which is enough for securing the network. About 50% of the total supply will be allocated for PoW mining reward, which will be directly distributed to miners from the network, and 10% will be given to Ethereum holders at 1:1 ratio, to establish a good token economy for DApp development. Another 10% of the total supply will be used for IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) sales, which will establish the initial price of the coin.

Max supply will be 1 billion at the end, and initial supply will be 500 million tokens, there will be some lock-up funds for private investors and development team, and we expect those tokens will be distributed to market after some kind of core development happens, to reduce the effect of inflation there will be a 3~5 year lock-up term for airdrop & pre-allocated funds.

Building a DApp economy

To support active DApp development on EtherCore mainnet, EtherCore will adopt the unique bounty system called DApp accelerator. Pursuant to a Blockchain-based on EtherCore, EtherCore holders can elect a number of DApp accelerators designed to benefit the community. The system contracts that implement DApp accelerators may not be in place at the initial launch in November 2019, but the funding mechanism will. It will begin to accumulate funds at the same time block producer awards start. Since the DApp Accelerator System will be implemented in the mainnet, it can be added at a later date without a fork.

To make the funding possible, EtherCore developers will add the pre-allocation of funds and not only premine, but some amount of funds can also be collected by some donations from stakeholders of the token to increase the value of the coin. The community can develop the DApp, register for vote, and be financially supported.