Tau is not like Bitcoin, nor is it like Ethereum, it's an extension of the web as we know it

in #taulast year

Many people have been asking about Tau recently and a lot of progress has been made by the development team. Kevin Wong wrote a great article about the progress and what lies ahead: "TAU: 2020 & Beyond". Tau by design is the most decentralized project I've seen so far. TML allows the programming languages used to create Tau to be redefined or swapped in and out which provides maximum flexibility. This feature of TML which allows for the application of different languages has been coined "the Internet of Languages" by Ohad.

Why Tau is not like Bitcoin

Bitcoin provides a blockchain which gives users an immutable ledger or record of a chain of events. This blockchain is one of the major innovations in Bitcoin along with the solution to the double spend problem. Bitcoin is over 10 years old and is ancient in technological sophistication. We cannot say Bitcoin is state of the art even if Bitcoin pioneered the idea of cryptocurrency.

Tau will have it's cryptocurrency called Agoras which will have the ability to be better than Bitcoin due to the unique features of the Tau network.


  • Agoras has the potential to be better than Bitcoin because it can leverage shared knowledge.
  • The TML Bot itself could be run on top of Bitcoin to leverage the one advantage Bitcoin has which is the hashpower security from Bitcoin mining. TML Bot on top of Bitcoin would essentially put Tau as a layer on top of Bitcoin to benefit from it's blockchain in a symbiotic relationship if the community decides.

Why Tau is not like Ethereum

Ethereum desires to be a world computer. Ethereum may or may not achieve it's goal but one of the separating features distinguishing Tau from Ethereum is the fact that Ethereum has a hard coded design. The designers in their limited wisdom made many errors in the Ethereum 1.0 design which later on they desire to fix in Ethereum 2.0. The problem is due to the hard coded design of Ethereum 1.0 there was no thought given to how to update the code at the rate of wisdom gained. In other words now the Ethereum community must wait for developers to implement whatever is the current state of the art.

Tau will always be able to implement the state of the art at the rate the state of the art is identifiable as state of the art. This is because Tau will have the capability to collaboratively generate a shared knowledge base. This shared knowledge base could exist in the cloud in the form of a distributed hash table connecting all knowledge to a standard knowledge base. This standard knowledge base could contain the most state of the art knowledge the community has and the rate of implementing is possible to be at the rate of knowledge accumulation, aggregation, and or acquisition.

To put it into an example if you have for example an algorithm for solving a particular kind of problem which everyone in the community agrees needs to be solved (unanimous) then as soon as the community can input the knowledge the code could generate from the process of program synthesis. This is made possible by the 3 Laws of Laws which Ohad speaks about in his videos but it also in more technical terms is possible due to decidability of TML itself.


  • Ethereum 3.0 could be written in TML and run on Tau. Ethereum does not compare to the capabilities of Tau.
  • Tau is designed to be more resilient, evolve faster and more efficiently, and apply the collective knowledge of the community to improve itself. Ethereum cannot do something like this even if we speak of Ethereum 2.0.

Tau can run even without the Internet

Tau can run even if the Internet is cut because you do not really need the Internet to communicate. Tau due to it's adaptable design is created to survive multiple points of failure in the communications infrastructure which means even if the Internet is cut there will still be radio, there will still be print, and any form of communication which the community members choose to communicate over can be used to allow for Tau to redefine it's code and grow. Tau discussions can take place asynchronously which means that the communicators do not need to be in synch. As long as the communicators can transmit and receive information in a form which Tau can accept (which may be English to Second Order Logic for example), the code can evolve from the opinions of the community of members.

Those familiar with radio are familiar with short wave radio communication. Those familiar with packet radio may know that you can build the world wide web over radio. Those familiar with delay tolerant networks know you can build resilient communications infrastructure. In essence Tau can evolve it's code to become whatever the community desires for it to become and this is the process where discussion goes from the stages from collaboratively discussing the formal specification to the stage of program synthesis. Just as the WWW is bigger than any website, we can say TML is bigger than any cryptocurrency or crypto computing platform (such as Ethereum).

The latest achievements of the development team:

  • Arithmetic support added, allowing addition, multiplication, and more. This is useful for TML.
  • Builtin support being added.
  • Improvements to TML Bot which is being written in TML itself.
  • Progress implementing second order logic, particularly the parsing.

Thanks for the update Dana. I'm glad to see the progress in Tauchain development.

Two stupid questions:

  • Could Tauchain flexibility in programming languages usage lead to security concerns?
  • How can Tauchain defend itself from intentionally wrong knowledge?

These are excellent questions. Lets start with the first one.

  1. Tauchain's TML (Tau Meta Language) allows the community to define a secure programming language which is decidable. In terms of language security (LangSec) you have a paradigm called "security by correctness". Correctness is essentially referring to software which functions in a known way and where you can use tactics like formal verification or correct by construction to narrow the spectrum of possible behaviors of the software. By narrowing the spectrum or in another way of putting it, by mapping out all the possible states of the state machine, you can reduce unexpected behavior. In summary, due to TML being decidable and due to the ability to do things in the correct by construction way, you will not have the problem of programs behaving in ways not defined in the formal specification.

  2. This problem is a problem I admit Tauchain will have a very difficult time with. It will be crucial for the earliest adopters to take their responsibility to the international community very seriously. Part of this responsibility in my opinion includes setting norms to determine what kind of discussions to stand behind or fuel and what kind of discussions to ignore or shun. Not every discussion, not every "Truth" not every piece of software, is a good idea, or legitimate, or helpful. I think it's all going to depend on the maturity of the people who get involved with Tauchain and if those who get involved are the immature types then Tauchain could sink in a swamp of lies, propaganda, and no amount of technology can make people care about the truth.

mapping out all the possible states of the state machine

Won't that require an enormous amount of computational power? Will it be based on POW with its related energy consumption problems?

I think it's all going to depend on the maturity of the people who get involved with Tauchain

That's quite a risk. There is also the risk of involuntarily spreading biased knowledge (eg. https://www.ted.com/talks/joy_buolamwini_how_i_m_fighting_bias_in_algorithms)

Thank you and keep up the good work!   =]

Won't that require an enormous amount of computational power? Will it be based on POW with its related energy consumption problems?

Yes it will. Fortunately computational power is not a scarce resource. Think of Bittorrent? The limiting factor in it's usage was not lack of storage space available but lack of bandwidth. I think in the case of Tau computational power will be commoditized easily.

That's quite a risk. There is also the risk of involuntarily spreading biased knowledge (eg. https://www.ted.com/talks/joy_buolamwini_how_i_m_fighting_bias_in_algorithms)

I agree it is quite a risk. There is no great rewards in this world without great risks. I do not see any other way to provide access to the potential rewards without there being some risk involved. It's a matter of which risks the society is willing to take in order to get those rewards.

For example to teach people how to read and write was a great risk. For a long time in human history there were forces doing everything they could do to prevent people from being able to read and write (unless it's religious). Just as in some places for a long time women have not been allowed to drive for example.

Yet we know some people who learn to read and write abuse it by reading and writing the kind of speech which leads to genocide. We know some people who learn to drive get into car accidents. We even have statistics which show the odds, such as for a car accident death 1 in 103 (higher than gun assault). No one wants to ban cars.

Often the perceived risks are a lot different from the popular conception in the media. For example the risk of dying in a car accident is a lot higher than the risk of dying in a plane crash yet a lot more people are terrified of flying in a plane then driving a car. The statistics around mass shootings are another example where there is a lot of fear in the media about it but the actual likelihood of being killed in a mass shooting is actually no where near as high as a lot of other more probable causes of death.

There are also risks involved in not doing something. I do not know if Tau is actually the best thing to do or the most correct course of action. It's more a situation where Tau is the first and only attempt to bring wisdom to the crowd in a decentralized trust minimized manner. There is no similar attempt that I can find which will be universally accessible, peer to peer, bottom up approach, and which can scale discussion.

Tau may fail, if the community does not take the responsibility seriously. If it's treated as a crypto toy and not used for improving lives it may fail. Tau is not Bitcoin, but it is certainly possible that the community around Tau because many come from Bitcoin, could bring the limitations of Bitcoin to Tau, and this could limit the potential of Tau. It's really not known at this time what will happen but I don't think anything good is likely to happen if we don't actively try to bring out the good in all technological opportunities.

The risk of bias exists now but the solution to bias is to debias which is possible but is simply not being applied. It's not really up to me, so while I can express my opinion in my blog about what I think needs to happen it does not mean the community around the project is obligated to listen.



Thank you Dana.

I believe in the future of this project (and I’m going to invest more in it).

Good luck   =}

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