Scaling the Office Romance – Hacker Noon

“A mass in movement resists change of direction. So does the world oppose a new idea.” — Nikola Tesla, The Future of the Wireless Art (1908)

In 1982, with the push of a button, Vint Cerf shut down the entire network. 
In doing so, he was making a clear point to each and every Military Researcher and Computer Scientist in the United States and around the world: TCP/IP was going to be THE standard way of communicating over the internet, whether they liked it or not.

Later that year, TCP/IP Co-Inventor Vint Cerf pushed the button again. This time around, he shut down the entire network for two days straight.

There would be no misunderstandings: TCP/IP was the future.

Shutting Down The Internet — On Purpose

Vint Cerf and Bob Khan co-invented TCP/IP. They shut down ARPANET twice in 1982 because DARPA — the funders of the network (DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) — wasn’t satisfied with a measly 400 computers helping Researchers solve complex problems over email. Far from it.

Instead, DARPA envisioned a future with hundreds of millions of computers, all connected and communicating simultaneously with each other across land, sea, air and space.

Cerf & Khan’s invention — TCP/IP — would usher in the age of the internet as we know it today.

By temporarily shutting down the network twice in 1982, Vint Cerf, Bob Khan, and DARPA sent a clear message to everyone on the 400-computer network: TCP/IP is the way you MUST communicate over the internet. In other words, if you don’t use TCP/IP to communicate over the internet, you’re not going to be allowed on the internet. On January 1st, 1983, TCP/IP became the only way to send information across the internet. In fact, TCP/IP eventually became to be known simply as the Internet Protocol Suite.

Today, 40 years later, Cerf & Khan’s invention of the TCP/IP Protocol Suite is the CORE technology that enables the transferring and receiving of information over the internet. It underlies every Like, every RT, every Swipe, every Bitcoin Transaction, and every email you send to your office romance.

“We have identified a number of technical issues with the current (TCP/IP-based) technology which prevent it delivering the required levels of service without excessive complexity or, in some cases, at all.” — 

Does 5G finally mean curtains for TCP/IP?

As critical as the invention of TCP/IP was, TCP/IP is NOT going to be the way the world communicates information over the internet for much longer. Nothing lasts forever. Someone’s about to push the button on TCP/IP and usher in a new internet.

Today’s network protocols…were designed during a simpler time. — Kevin Smith, Chairman, ETSI ISG NGP

“It is intended to give practical demonstrations of these principles with the plant illustrated. As soon as completed, it will be possible for a business man in New York to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type at his office in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call up, from his desk, and talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe, without any change whatever in the existing equipment. An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant.” — Nikola Tesla, The Future of the Wireless Art (1908)

Scaling the Office Romance with Blockchain

How TCP/IP Works

When you send an email to your office romance, sparks fly. But before your special someones gets to enjoy the fireworks, your email (and any attachments) has to be transferred from your computer to their’s.

That’s where TCP/IP comes in.

TCP/IP — not one but a suite of technologies that work together — are the set of technologies and best practices that ensure your email doesn’t end up in the wrong inbox. Having that email (and any attachments) end up in the wrong inbox has dire consequences for everyone involved.

First, your email (and any attachments) are broken down into pieces and then sent or routed through your router over the internet. These separate pieces —or packets — of information are then reassembled into a coherent email and attachment on the other end. And there you have it: an email transaction (with attachments).

But we all know of times where emails have ended up in the wrong hands. That’s where the Blockchain comes in.

Today, industries from Supply Chain Management to Gaming require the equivalent of millions of transactions to be transmitted in a fast, scalable, secure, private and anonymous way PER SECOND. Add Decentralization to that mix, and you have every Bitcoiners DREAM.

But don’t take my word for it. I’ll let Andy Jassy say it (1:11:00).

“We don’t build things for optics.” — Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon AWS

Now that Amazon is out of the Blockchain Closet, even the most die-hard blockchain critics are deleting their tweets from last year.

The real reason that all of the Big Players want security as a prime target? Sharing. The world will share their data— including corporations and nation states — when they believe that they can monetize their data SECURELY while maintaining PRIVACY of the data-generators (i.e. Humans). You cannot have an open data lake whose value drains away without compensation. Money keeps fresh water in the lake. Fresh Water supports strong fishies.

Money keeps fresh water in the lake. Fresh Water supports strong fishies.

Whilst today’s network protocols remain in use and do the necessary job quite well, they were designed for fixed line networks with static terminals. They have enabled the rapid growth of the internet over the past decades, but the increasing use of mobile has changed the way networks are accessed, resulting in numerous patches to the TCP/IP framework. — TelecomTV

The Monkey Wrench in the Office Romance

When it comes to your Office Romance, you wouldn’t want ‘you know who’ to find out aboutyou know who. This challenge has been around for awhile, and in Computer-Science speak, the problem of preventing ‘you know who’ from finding out about ‘you know who’ goes by the name of CAP Theorem.

CAP Theorem is very important in the Big Data world, especially when we need to make trade off’s between the three (Consistency, Availability and Partition Tolerance), based on our unique use case. — Syed Sadat Nazrul

Web3, Microsoft and Mastercard, Hedera, Ethereum, Bitcoin — these are all technologies and partnerships that are fundamentally trying to make transactions 100% secure and private, 100% fast (aka real-time), and 100% scalable. Gaming, Advertising, Mining, Energy — when it comes to the IT — they’re all made up of just different types of transactions that are fundamentally made up of one’s and zero’s, light on, light off. In technical terms, they’re trying to solve the challenge set forth by CAP Theorem.

In the past, when we wanted to store more data or increase our processing power, the common option was to scale vertically (get more powerful machines) or further optimize the existing code base. However, with the advances in parallel processing and distributed systems, it is more common to expand horizontally, or have more machines to do the same task in parallel. We can already see a bunch of data manipulation tools in the Apache project like Spark, Hadoop, Kafka, Zookeeper and Storm. However, in order to effectively pick the tool of choice, a basic idea of CAP Theorem is necessary. CAP Theorem is a concept that a distributed database system can only have 2 of the 3: Consistency, Availability and Partition Tolerance. — 

CAP Theorem and Distributed Database Management Systems, Syed Sadat Nazrul

Security AND Privacy and Anonymity on the Blockchain

So far, it’s been impossible to make transactions — and office romances — 100% safe, 100% fast, and 100% secure and private. The ultimate office romance of all — Bitcoin transactions — aren’t 100% private and anonymous to malicious attackers…yet.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have surged in popularity over the last decade. Although Bitcoin does not claim to provide anonymity for its users, it enjoys a public perception of being a privacy preserving financial system. In reality, cryptocurrencies publish users’ entire transaction histories in plaintext, albeit under a pseudonym; this is required for transaction validation. Therefore, if a user’s pseudonym can be linked to their human identity, the privacy fallout can be significant. Recently, researchers have demonstrated deanonymization attacks that exploit weaknesses in the Bitcoin network’s peer-to-peer (P2P) networking protocols. In particular, the P2P network currently forwards content in a structured way that allows observers to deanonymize users. — 

Fanti et. al Redesigning the Bitcoin Network for Anonymity

Scalability on the Blockchain

So far, it’s been impossible to make blockchain transactions scalable. Most notably, Bitcoin transactions consumed the energy equivalent of 169 countries last year.

Published late 2017

Proof-of-Work is the mechanism that makes the blockchain secure, but it costs a lot of energy to keep this mechanism going (today). Recent efforts to scale Ethereum have included proposals to move from Proof-of-Work Consensus for Transaction Security to Proof-of-Stake aka the Casper Protocol for Transaction Security. Explanations by Founder Vitalik Buterin can be found here. Criticisms can be found here.

Speed on the Blockchain

Since no one (centralized or decentralized) company or company of companies has emerged that can solve all of these problems; Amazon would seem like the only option.

Hashgraph’s Inventor Dr. Leemon Baird achieved his Carnegie Mellon PhD in record time.

So are Secure, Private, Anonymous, Fast and Scalable Fully Decentralized Blockchain Transactions a pipe dream? As every passing day goes by, Hashgraph’s Hedera Platform, which proposed an alternative to Decentralization by nominating a council of trusted gods so to speak, seems to make more and more sense. Decentralization Maximalists aren’t happy.

Fortunately, there is this world called the Eastern Hemisphere that has people who work on computers, too.

Road-Tested Emerging Blockchain Solutions

One degree north of the equator lies the the Republic of Singapore, the sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. And people think Toronto’s pretty!

Can Decentralized Blockchains enable scalable, speedy, and secure into the Billions?

Zilliqa Keynote Address

OK — so if we have scalable, secure, and speedy transactions ensured by Proof-of-Work that only takes five minutes out of every hour — thereby slashing electricity costs — and have achieved a few thousand transactions per second, are our goals met? Have we achieved VISA scale? What about PRIVATE, ANONYMOUS transactions?

Enter the Marlin Protocol, led by Zilliqa’s former Core Developer and wunderkind Siddhartha Dutta, or to his friends, simply Sidd.

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