Atomic Swaps! Future of Crypto

in cryptocurrency •  last year

I have written a lot about Litecoin recently and why I think it is important. When Litecoin activated SegWit there was a lot of excitement about the coin as well as the potential of solving scaling issues in Bitcoin.

The successful initiation of SegWit for the Litecoin network opens the door for implementing an off-chain scaling solution originally intended for bitcoin.

Litecoin is now testing adding the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network, if implemented could make the following changes.

Instant Payments - Lightning-fast blockchain payments without worrying about block confirmation times. Security is enforced by blockchain smart-contracts without creating a on-blockchain transaction for individual payments. Payment speed measured in milliseconds to seconds.

Scalability - Capable of millions to billions of transactions per second across the network. Capacity blows away legacy payment rails by many orders of magnitude. Attaching payment per action/click is now possible without custodians.

Low Cost - By transacting and settling off-blockchain, the Lightning Network allows for exceptionally low fees, which allows for emerging use cases such as instant micropayments.

Cross Blockchains - Cross-chain atomic swaps can occur off-chain instantly with heterogeneous blockchain consensus rules. So long as the chains can support the same cryptographic hash function, it is possible to make transactions across blockchains without trust in 3rd party custodians.  Source 

For the purpose of this article, I want to focus on "Atomic Swaps"


Atomic Swaps

"Also known as atomic cross-chain swaps, the technology essentially allows two people holding tokens on two different blockchains to trade directly – and instantly – without the risk of one party running off with the other's money before the trade is complete."

"That is where the word 'atomic' comes in. It means that either the trade happens in its entirety, or it doesn't happen at all. So, if a Lightning node goes offline or Bob reneges on his end of the deal, everyone gets their money back." Source

Before Atomic Swaps can be realized we need the following on two separate blockchains...SegWit and the Lightning Network.

"In order for atomic swaps to work, Lightning has to be up and running on at least two different blockchains. Right now, it is just starting on one: litecoin. But, the hope is, it will be running on multiple chains soon."

"As it stands, several development teams are currently testing their implementations of Lightning on the litecoin blockchain. Further, SegWit (the protocol upgrade that is a prerequisite for Lightning) has been activated on a second blockchain, vertcoin, opening the doors to Lightning on that chain as well."

"According to Charlie Lee, the founder of litecoin, who is committed to atomic swaps, all that is left is to get Lightning fully operational on litecoin, and then begin testing it on vertcoin. Once those steps are complete, we may see the the first atomic swaps as soon as this year."

"Certainly, that is the idea Lee has been kicking around for some time. He wrote about his plans for atomic swaps in a blog post back in January. And, the 2017 litecoin roadmap clearly specifies a plan for atomic swaps between litecoin and vertcoin." Source

This could be a huge step forward for all cryptocurrency, if you want to know more about Litecoin please read this post. 

You can also listen to my thoughts on crypto, Litecoin and Atomic Swaps with my Interview with Rogue Money.

If you are interested in buying BTC,LTC or ETH check out Coinbase, you will get $10 of free BTC after your first $100 BTC purchase, using the link below.

Coinbase.com

KeepKey Hardware Wallet, the wallet I use.

KeepKey

If you want to stay up to date on crypto news follow my blog @digicrypt.

DASH: XgQ9NBonMoCPKhF37agY4W8zk7gwQFnwGV

Litecoin: LfqygtBxy3AJgEpTnTMUYGEoTYEcED8YPZ


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Thanks for giving an idea about crypto.

Hi! I am a robot. I just upvoted you! I found similar content that readers might be interested in:
https://bestofbtc.com/discussion/511/cross-blockchain-trades-lightning-gives-new-life-to-atomic-swaps

What about D-Wave and Quantum Computing? If this occurs, crypto-currencies will be toast.For a lot of other reasons, I hope, we will not get to this point!

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Why is it you believe "crypto-currencies will be toast" as a result of Quantum computing?

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Well, as far, as I am informed, words matter. So tells us the bible. When I read the word blockchain, I read to meanings, confessing to each other. A block, thats blocking and a chain, thats chaining. Offering freedom by lying, is the first commitment of the devil. So cryptography is his special item. And science is his religion, to destract humans from the truth. With blockchain technology he promises freedom, with quantum technology, he will enslave you, because this is intra-, inter-,and extra-dimensional technology, you ( we ) have no clue about, but we will use it to our servedom.No technological explanation, but a serious one, I think.

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Nope! Quantum resistant cryptography. Not a very big deal.

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I know we had chatted awhile back about cryptography, maybe in my cryptology series? sounds like you have been reading up! What is on your radar these days, working on any cool projects?

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Well I am still consulting in the blockchain space, mainly enterprise. Been working on some posts about the future of blockchains we are headed into: the polychain future. I think there are some sleeper ETH projects that are going to be very interesting in the long run: Augur, Makr and the 0x protocol. Interested in different consensus mechanisms and how they will play together in the polychain future.

As far as cryptography is concerned I have been finally getting my ass in gear and learning some of the topology and math I was lacking in for some of the more advanced key exchange schemes.

Been loving your posts since we last spoke!

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That is great! I would be very interested to learn more about the"sleeper ETH" projects you mentioned. There are a lot of exciting ETH based projects atm!
I am sure your mathematics exceed mine! I enjoyed Discrete mathematics but some of the mathematics involved in newer crypto systems are very complex, I do not have the time to spend on cryptography as I used to.
I thought I had been following you but apparently I wasn't, followed now :) keep up the great work!

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I have a post about Maker coming soon! One of the most interesting projects IMO.

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Awesome! I will definitely check it out!

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Well, as far, as I am informed, words matter. So tells us the bible. When I read the word blockchain, I read to meanings, confessing to each other. A block, thats blocking and a chain, thats chaining. Offering freedom by lying, is the first commitment of the devil. So cryptography is his special item. And science is his religion, to destract humans from the truth. With blockchain technology he promises freedom, with quantum technology, he will enslave you, because this is intra-, inter-,and extra-dimensional technology, you ( we ) have no clue about, but we will use it to our servedom.No technological explanation, but a serious one, I think.

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I have no clue? You don't have any clue what your talking about. This has nothing to do with religion or the Bible.

What on earth are you talking about. Cryptography has nothing to do with the devil. Hope you know you just engaged with the devil writing that post.

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Do you understand what quantum mechanics even is?

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Algorithms could be upgraded if we reach a quantum level in cryptography.
QuantumSHA256 haha

if Lightning Network works well for Litecoin, do you foresee Bitcoin switching to the network as well, given it'll have been proven a workable solution for scaleability?

same question could go for the atomic swaps...

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Short answer...yes but it may not need to. Lightning was originally envisioned for BTC and the tech behind LTC is very similar to BTC.
If this interests you I would really encourage you to read this post
https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@digicrypt/litecoin-what-you-need-to-know
It talks a lot about how LTC can be used as an experimental area for Bitcoin. I also talk in more detail about this in my most recent interview with Rogue Money.
I am also of the opinion however, that Bitcoin, while Lighting could be feasible and desirable, may not need it to scale. There are several solutions although not many as robust as this.

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The whole point of lightning was for bitcoin. It is one of many solutions for scaling and I expect to see lots of competition on this front.

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Correct, Lightning was originally envisioned for BTC. I would agree that after LTC gets LN many others would seek to follow.

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It was also pushed onto the LTC network for political reasons.

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There are definitely politics within the crypto space, everyone likes to think it is a decentralized utopia(not knocking the tech, it is amazing, I love it, just being realistic) There are certainly politics involved and interests that are forces in the markets and the technological development. I am often more fascinated with the drama/politics that the tech itself.

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The drama and politics is the consensus - the most beautiful part.

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wise words

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The bitcoin community needs to come to some agreement

Litecoin, the indiscreet pioneer.

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That perfectly sums up my last interview with Rogue Money in four words!

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I think it should be the new tagline for Litecoin. The Rodney Dangerfield of crypto, no respect, I tell ya, no respect.

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Ahhh! The often imitated, never duplicated, Triple Lindy!

Something I've seen, but rarely discussed, is the limited amount of transactions per second on the original BitCoin blockchain...

Would this help fix that?

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Yes this would help fix those issues if it were able to be successfully implemented, however there are a variety of other solutions for BTC scalability. BTC would have to implement SegWit before Lightning is even an option.

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What is SegWit?

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Segregated Witness, often abbreviated to SegWit, is a proposed update to the Bitcoin software, designed to fix a range of serious issues.
Without getting technical, it makes transactions more efficient and would make further upgrades much easier and possible

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What are the barriers to adoption? Does it require a fork in the blockchain?

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It is my understanding that it would require a soft fork

"Once miners representing 95 percent of hash power (1,916 blocks) within a single difficulty period (2,016 blocks/about two weeks) include the right version bit, the soft fork is locked in. One difficulty period later, the soft fork is activated, meaning the remaining 5 percent of miners have about two weeks to upgrade."

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Ah, fascinating...

Oooo I have a Coinbase question! I have .3 BTC and I want to exchange some of that for LTC. How do I do that on Coinbase? It seems I can only buy it with dollars.

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First of all I do not recommend keeping any large sum of money on Coinbase, it is more secure if you use a hardware wallet or good desktop wallet.
I do not think you can swap between the two on coinbase but there are several ways to achieve the end result.

You could sell a portion of the BTC on coinbase and then use the proceeds to buy LTC

I think coinbase subsidiary GDAX allows for trading directly between (This requires setting up more accounts, I dont recommend)

The last and probablly best option would be to use a service like shapeshift, changelly or blocktrades.

For example in blocktrades.us you dont need an account you just send the amount of BTC you want to blocktrades and input your receive LTC Address and it does the swap, with a fee.

https://blocktrades.us/

Look into shapeshift and changelly and see which works best for you.
https://shapeshift.io/
https://changelly.com/

In the future we will not even need third party services
https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@digicrypt/atomic-swaps-future-of-crypto

I hope that helps

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Thanks! I'm clicking the links as we speak/type! I'm still confused about wallets though - how can I have an offline wallet? How will sites access my money?

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If your funds are stored online in an exchange or service like coinbase or bittrex etc...you are relying on that company to protect your crypto. This can end badly like the infamous Mt Gox hack where everyone lost everything stored on the exchange.

You can download a desktop wallet like jaxx or exodus, that puts you in control of the private keys and noone else, however your pc could still be compromised.

What I personally do is use a hardware wallet. I use Keepkey and there should be a link to it at the bottom of my post. You could also use a product like the ledger nano or trezor, I personally like and use keepkey.

This is a physical and very secure device that holds your crypto. To use it (in the case of keepkey) it is pretty simple you download a google chrome app, plug in your device, open the app and you can spend your crypto! Keepkey is nice because you can view all your accounts at once and even create several btc accounts, one for personal use or one for business.

The best thing you can do is research, and find what works best for you!

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Well, according to most sites, KeepKey is more popular than the others. I tried to buy it, but it's on backorder. How do you get your bitcoins INTO the wallet?

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Yes, I have noticed they are out of stock at the moment. You just send them to the BTC address produced by your keepkey wallet, like you would with any transaction.

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Use gdax. Its Coinbase's more advanced exchange and can link to your Coinbase account

Do you know if atomic swaps will find past misdirected deposits and redeposit into accounts?

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No I am sorry I do not know