About PoS dependency on exchanges


I have been very interested in proof of stake as an alternative to proof of work pretty much since the concept was first proposed on bitcointalk years ago, so I got pretty excited about the Ouroboros paper, after it was published by IACR last year, and also happy to see a group of people implementing it in Haskell. But while Ouroboros may solve most technical issues that PoS-based altcoins had until now, there is still one intrinsic problem that I think should be fixed soon: after the creation of the genesis block (a process that was geographically restricted in the case of Cardano) the only way for a new player to participate in the game is either personally knowing someone who owns tokens and is willing to trade with you, or using an exchange. In practice both ways carry some level of risk involved and may not be accessible for some people.

The big advantage of PoW over PoS is that anyone with access to a general-purpose computer (something that is very common nowadays) have the possibility of mining a new block and win the reward, so any player can join the game by transforming units of watts and hashing power into units of virtual currency. Unfortunately this incentivize a competition that is currently harmful to the environment and cost inefficient in relation to other decentralized methods like PoS.

I wonder then if some form of hybrid could be optimal. I am not sure if it would be feasible to incorporate PoW mining into Cardano, but I think this could be much better achieved by implementing cross-chain transactions. The LN people successfully tested this with Bitcoin and Litecoin very recently, and I find it fascinating. In this way I could for instance buy a powerful GPU in a totalitarian regime with the excuse of being an avid gamer, secretly mine Zcash, and then trade them for Ada to perform fast and cheap transactions, and also use the computation layer. :slight_smile:


I understand your point about being able to obtain coin(s) by simply mining (vs having to buy somewhere) but the days where you could mine BTC, LTC, or most currencies on your desktop computer are long gone for almost all currencies. Now it’s specialized ASIC or GPU mining rigs and you really don’t stand a chance running with your desktop computer.

There are a few left for sure, but not many and I certainly wouldn’t want Cardano to go back to PoW when they’ve developed a provably secure PoS and all the efficiency improvements it entails.

For the totalitarian regime scenario, that’s what Tor is for and they could hopefully procure it and stake it with a pool to earn more while being offline after staking (ala http://adapools.io …plug for our pool lol). But it’s a valid point that Ada will need to be more easily procurable in the future.


Cross chain transactions aren’t even that interesting. What will be interesting is how to integrate legacy (USD) fiat into Cardano, to the point where USD fiat is unnecessary. With PoS, this kind of a future is possible. With PoW, fat chance.


I don’t agree!
Cross-chain transactions would be the backbone of Cardano with the SL, CL and other layers.
See: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1KAhXaEp-tkBgtKWBJfZ3WiSGuxXOymuPCb1Fxt-YEr4/mobilepresent?slide=id.g2f7523d7c4_0_469
And I think that the coming economy of cryptos needs better interoperability :slight_smile:

By integrating fiat do you mean something like the bitUSD that Bitshares uses until the ADA get more and more adoption ?


A desktop computer with a single modern GPU (e.g. Radeon Vega 64) is enough to make a few hundreds USD per month [WhatToMine]. If I remember correctly this is much profitable than what I could make with a GeForce 8800 back in 2011 with Bitcoin (without speculating, of course).

Tor will not help you in such case: how would you get your initial stake? if you live in any country with a highly restrictive financial system, you may not be able to do international wire transfers to fund an exchange account. This is much common than you may think (I lived through this situation for example). Your options then are quite limited: you could try to trade with someone in a black market, meet with some foreigner that would be willing to help you, or just travel out of the country. That’s one of the reasons why I think PoW still have some value, but just to be clear: I’m not asking to do a transition from PoS to PoW, I was just wondering if an hybrid could be possible.

By the way, I also wonder if the combination of proof of stake and a deflationary currency is actually a good idea, but that’s a completely different issue.


damn straight


That’s precisely why I said they aren’t so interesting because I expect those to be integrated first :slight_smile:

Yes to your second question, even to the point of displacing the USD for Ada. One could potentially peg the USD to Ada, and transact all business equally in Ada or USD fiat until such time we stop dealing in USD. I know I’m reaching here and probably many things will have to give before anything of this nature occurs, but with Ada’s fundamentals in place, there’s no reason why an entire country couldn’t migrate to Ada by pegging its own currency to it. This is where it gets a little fuzzy when it comes to whether Ada should remain deflationary or introduce inflation in it, probably controlled by stakeholders. The difference between now and then is instead of behind closed doors, any expansion of the monetary base will be done in full view and with the blessing of stakeholders via mass consensus… It almost sounds like utopia, but I really don’t think it is impossible… Just a matter of (long) time.


I can’t think of any provable secure method for trading Ada that doesn’t involves cross-chain transactions. Any kind of pegging with some fiat currency delegate trust in some form of centralized entity, and also requires the cooperation of financial institutions.

The problem with this dependency on exchanges was very evident during the last few weeks (when Ada withdrawals were paused both in Bittrex and Binance). I hope we can find a solution to this soon.


I agree. When it comes to legacy world fiat… I am not sure complete de-centralization is possible. I think a worthy goal to aspire to is more transparency by lifting fiat into the cryptocurrency realm and possibly allowing consensus of expanding fiat to take place with a wider consensus among many stakeholders. It’s basically chipping away at the power of the Fed to nearly unilaterally dictate monetary expansion and interest rates. To what extent can this happen via Ada in its current shape and form (deflationary), remains to be seen.

This really isn’t a technical problem… it’s more like a human/“political” problem. I don’t really like using the word political because it is too nebulous.

I think Charles said it in some of his talks, bears repeating - you’re not going to get the US Fed to buy into Ada, at least not initially… But you can surround the USA with countries and economies that do buy into it because whatever they’re subsisting on right now sucks. If you can convert many smaller, and then larger countries into using Ada, the chances of the USA’s Fed seeing “the light” go higher…

What I can tell you is never going to happen is have currency control divorced from a power base of some sort. So the next best thing is to make sure those who control currency do so in a manner that holds their balls to the fire.


The only way that the government (particularly the IRS) will accept a cryptocurrency as payment, or use the police’s guns to enforce it as legal tender for debts, is if the government has X amount of control over the blockchain. They want the ability to mint new coins at will.

If they have that, the government will love cryptodollars. It gives them the ability to track every single transaction without a warrant. They can default on specific bonds, boycott countries that oppose our foreign policy, or freeze your assets at will.


And what exactly is wrong with a representative government of the people being able to enforce the rules we’ve voted in effect, including taxation?


Please keep this thread on topic. Thanks.

The current situation with both Bittrex (where new accounts are blocked) and Binance (where withdrawals are blocked) prove that the high dependency that Cardano have on their exchange partners is simply bad, and maybe even a design flaw.

Integration with technologies like Lightning Network and Raiden Network to perform cross-chain transactions seems to be essential for any PoS cryptocurrency like Ada.


It is on topic. Regulations and bridging to legacy systems is most assuredly part of Cardano’s road map.

To your other remark - how exactly can we acquire or sell Ada if exchanges didn’t exist at this point in time?


Is Bittrex still blocking new accounts? Again? How many months do they need to scale their infrastructure and resources… It’s been nearly 2 months. My guess is we are going to flirt with 1$ again by the end of February


It is possible to perform secure cross-chain trading between some cryptos using smart contracts :slight_smile: Here is an interesting article that you may like: https://blog.lightning.engineering/announcement/2017/11/16/ln-swap.html

A couple of weeks ago Binance also closed their registration page (well, actually you needed an invite code to register).


Yes I know, I am just surprised regarding Bittrex and thought they had solved their scaling issues.