A brief overview of the aeternity Blockchain - Ulf Wiger Code Mesh LDN 2018

Ulf Wiger 23.10.2018

Ulf Wiger's talk at Code Mesh LDN will explain how aeternity Blockchain set out to design an open source blockchain system integrating the best innovations in the field. It chose Erlang as the primary implementation language.

Blockchain is a disruptive technology, not least in the Fintech industry. It introduces an entirely new trust model, and therefore offers completely new opportunities. How exactly it will play out is not entirely clear. Rather than aeternity blockchain being a serious contender on the already established markets, it will create new business models and markets.

Ulf Wiger will be at Code Mesh LDN 8-9 Nov, where he will talk in-depth about why Aeternity chose Erlang.

Erlang is a good programming language to develop blockchain. It is an expressive and robust language, with amazing support for fault tolerance. When building a system that must be safe, secure and tolerant to attacks, these are very important qualities.

Protecting the blockchain technologies against fraud, money laundering and tax evasion is an ongoing concern for aeternity Blockchain, who has hired a security team to audit their design.

One challenge for blockchain systems is trying to achieve higher transaction throughput without sacrificing security. For this reason, aeternity Blockchain sticks to the ‘Proof of Work’ model, but implements an algorithm called Bitcoin NG, which gives significantly higher confidence when short confirmation times are important.

They also use a PoW algorithm that they believe is more resistant to the kind of mining centralisation that has happened in most other systems. They are continuing to explore ways to ensure that block mining stays decentralised. This is important to guard against brute-force attacks where dominant players essentially take control of the content by out-mining everybody else.

Also, keeping the implementation open is, oddly enough, a protective measure nowadays. It means that many people can scrutinise the code and find vulnerabilities. With closed-source code, mostly the bad guys will be looking. In the Internet age, "security through obscurity" no longer works.

There are certain attack patterns that are specific to blockchain technologies. It is a new and rapidly evolving field. Many systems will enter the market that have not yet been hardened against attacks. Couple this with users who are eager to jump onto the latest, coolest technology, and we are very likely to see some spectacular security incidents happen in the future. The blockchain environment is therefore always a rapidly evolving one, and staying up-to-date with the latest developments is vital.

These are just the basics, Ulf Wiger, will be going into much deeper detail in his talk at Code Mesh 8-9 Nov and will be available to answer any question.

 

Author

Ulf Wiger

Erlang greybeard

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