By this point, you must be familiar with the different cryptocurrencies that have carved a piece for themselves on the market. Some fine examples would be Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC), to name just a few.
As blockchain technology keeps breaking new ground, a new breed of cryptocurrency projects and ICOs have emerged on the market, bringing their own unique capabilities and features. The technology has been so widely utilized that developers have managed to identify its shortcomings and look for solutions to issues like quick network congestion and high energy consumption when mining cryptocurrencies.
One way in which developers try to mitigate blockchain setbacks is through alternative methods of data verification such as the one used by the Byteball network. In this article, we’ll delve into what Byteball is, how it works, and how or whether you can mine it.
What Is Byteball?
Byteball is an interesting and fairly new project in the Bitcoin community that was distributed through airdrops to Bitcoin holders in 2017. Byteball acts as an immutable storage system from which numerous types of data transactions and smart contracts can be facilitated. Byteball, or rather, its token, Byteball Bytes (GBYTE) were airdropped in an equal amount to the bitcoins that users had in their wallets. Around 65% of the total supply of Byteball Bytes was distributed in this way.
The most interesting feature of Byteball is that it’s not powered by blockchain technology. Instead, it uses a brand new technology called DAG, or Directed Acyclic Graph, and we’ll cover it in depth a bit further down the article.
There are various features that Byteball offers in addition to the new DAG technology, and these features are mainly designed to record data and are based on smart-contract technology. Some examples are:
- Conditional payments
- A hedge that serves against unexpected events
- Event prediction markets
- P2P or peer-to-peer betting.
The History of Byteball
The Byteball project began in late 2014 when a Russian programmer by the name of Anton Churyumov was looking for different ways to solve the issues that were slowing down the Bitcoin blockchain. Based on the findings of this research, Byteball was created and later launched in 2016.
Benefits of Byteball
Some of the main benefits of Byteball are its versatile payment system and customizable smart contracts. What this means is that the user is allowed to design tailor-made smart contracts that will get validated by all network nodes. The rules of these contracts are coded and immutable.
Smart contracts may remind readers of Ethereum. Ethereum’s smart contracts are more powerful and flexible than Byteball’s due to the programming language that they use, Solidity. We have to admit that the Byteball developers have sacrificed a bit of functionality in return for simplicity. This is because the goal of Byteball was to enable non-developers to easily create smart contracts.
DAG or Directed Acyclic Graph Data Storage
The DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) model provides the necessary technology in order to achieve a blockchain-less cryptocurrency. Byteball is not the first cryptocurrency to utilize the DAG model. Cryptos like IOTA and Nano are also built around DAG.
Compared to Bitcoin’s blockchain system where miners fill blocks with data through the use of mining rigs, Byteball’s DAG doesn’t take the shape of a chain. As suggested by its name, what we’re looking at is a graph.
The DAG model doesn’t utilize the regular blockchain system of operation, which means that instead of storing the data in blocks, DAG keeps it among the nodes on the network and each piece of new data scans the previous or older data before it’s approved on the network and added to the system.
How do these approvals work? Well, the DAG data units operate akin to parent/child units. New pieces of data are the child units while existing or older data are the parent units. The child units of new data must scan the parent units for older data to be validated, i.e. verify the authenticity of the new data. Only then can child units be added to the network – after the parent units validate and confirm them. In a nutshell, the DAG algorithm prompts child units to scan the parents units so as to ensure that they match the previously validated data.
The data storage efficiency of the DAG model is akin to tree branches. This means that the network can validate multiple transactions at the same time through the network nodes. The nodes are connected like tree branches and can have more than one parent root. This also eliminates the waiting period between completing one transaction and processing a new one.
This not only improves the transaction speed but also means that the network’s decentralized nature is not put in “danger.” One of the problems that many users see in Bitcoin is the centralized mining pools that threaten the network’s decentralized status.
How DAG Works
Most of the blockchain cryptocurrencies operate through a Proof of Work algorithm but Byteball’s DAG replaces this model by utilizing an independent consensus algorithm. This algorithm protects the network from double-spending and scams by creating two separate chains through which data is verified and automatically eliminates the data that contains double-spending traces before adding it to the network.
These two chains are created automatically through the consensus algorithm and their role is to check data and compare it to the old nodes before the data can be approved. The two chains intercept data at data intersection points. Every network node in the Byteball system contributes to the network verification of data transfers.
This can be achieved because all of the nodes on the Byteball network participate in the approval of new data units. Every new piece of data is compared to older sections of the data, hence the parent/child units. The new pieces of data must scan older pieces by the network consensus algorithm before the nodes can approve the new data. By having all the nodes participate in the Byteball network, transactions are fast and secure.
The Benefits of DAG
The advantages of using DAG technology include:
- Instant Confirmation – DAG allows a transaction to get a confirmation from Byteball peers almost instantly because the method doesn’t rely on miners’ verification. Every node on the network is connected and verifies transactions on top of each other.
- Transaction Finality – The system allows for definite transaction completion alerts, unlike Bitcoin, where the number of confirmations is used to calculate the probability that the transaction was completed.
- Lower Energy Consumption – Byteball required far less power and electricity to keep the network operational and secure when compared to Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies.
One of the most innovative and original features of Byteball is its conditional payments. Conditional payments are bound payments that ask users to set up smart contracts whose conditions must be satisfied in order for the bound payment to be completed. If one party doesn’t satisfy the set rules or doesn’t meet the conditional criteria of the contract, the other party can withdraw their money safely following the designated waiting period.
There are other cryptocurrencies that offer smart contracts that are more powerful than Byteball’s, but the point where they shine is in their simplicity. Any user can easily understand the type of contract they’re creating and how to bind the payments to their specifications.
The Byteball conditional payment system was greatly reinforced with the introduction of Oracles on the platform. Oracles are third parties who can be trusted to observe certain world events and import the data feed results into the Byteball network. Oracles are automated entities and operate in three working modes: continuous data posting, continuous Merkle tree and large data posting, and posting data on demand. In plain terms, Oracles are the gateway between the real world and the distributed ledger of the network. The programs provide real-time data by “reading” from publicly accessible APIs and posting the same data into Obyte’s DAG.
When the conditional bound payments from smart contracts are bound with Oracle’s data, users have the ability to bet on or against various kinds of world events like sports matches, weather forecasts, travel events, flights and insurance, major political events, and crypto price movements.
Byteball Bytes Currency (GBYTE)
The native currency of Byteball, Byteball Bytes (GBYTE) differs greatly from traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). As well as being a legitimate cryptocurrency, Byteball Bytes also function as a permanent data storage system through which different types of data and smart contracts can be facilitated.
When we look at Bitcoin, we see the cryptocurrency that revolutionized the alternative online payment system providing users with the ability to conduct transactions from anywhere in the world while at the same time providing a store-of-value system. Byteball Bytes not only provides users with a wide variety of cryptocurrency services similar to those of Bitcoin but adds some unique services like dApp development, insurance services, transaction security, anonymity to those who want it, and more.
The storage system of Byteball offers users a robust channel for storing data without any risks of third-party alterations and proves to be suitable for conducting and storing any business details, financial documentation, shares, stocks, crypto, and similar type of data.
How to Mine Byteball
The most common way to mine cryptocurrencies is through the use of GPU mining. However, this type of mining comes with many upfront costs for hardware and power consumption. For example, in order for one Bitcoin to be mined, you will have to spend 1.544kw/h.
Luckily, Byteball manages to eliminate most of the mining costs by removing the mining part from the whole crypto-equation.
Byteball’s GBYTEs is an alternative and less popular cryptocurrency due to the fact that it cannot be mined. The total supply of GBYTEs was created in the Genesis Unit and around 65% of them were distributed via airdrops to Bitcoin holders. The remaining ones are available for purchase on crypto exchanges.
There are no crypto faucets to get free GBYTEs but there is an option to participate in the Byteball World Community Grid distribution where users can get free GBYTEs in exchange for donating their computer resources to beneficial causes, acting as background nodes on the network while their PC is operating. There are other distribution methods that you can check out, too.
Byteball’s Free Distribution
The Byteball developers believe that in order for this technology to be successful, it must be widely adopted and utilized. This is the reason why they opted to distribute a good portion of the GBYTEs for free. In fact, 99% of the total supply is to be distributed for free in the future. Some of the different ways that Byteball distributes GBYTEs include:
- Cash-back – Byteball offers a cash-back option for stores and merchants that the company has partnered up with, and the merchants usually give back 10% of the original purchase price to the buyer. The cash-back isn’t necessarily a real cash-back feature like you would receive cash. Instead, we could say that is a “byte-back” as the return options are conducted in GBYTEs.
- Verification rewards – Byteball users are given $20 worth of GBYTEs when they register and verify their identity on the platform. Also, existing users who refer new users to Byteball receive $20 dollars worth of GBYTEs for every referral.
- Social media giveaways – Byteball devs often participate in YouTube events and contests on the channels of their supporters and the winners receive various amounts of GBYTEs.
In the past, the developers distributed GBYTEs and Blackbytes to Bitcoin holders and existing Gbyte holders who linked their accounts on the Byteball website. As we stated before, there have been 10 Byteball airdrops in which almost 65% of the total Gbyte supply was given away. This was intentionally done to test out the system and feel out the adoption compared to other cryptocurrencies.
As with any other cryptocurrency, Byteball has to be stored in some sort of wallet. Currently, the cryptocurrency can only be stored in its own wallet called the Byteball wallet.
Both of Byteball’s coins, GBYTEs, and Blackbytes, must be stored on a special Byteball wallet. The wallet is free and it’s available for mobile devices (Android and iOS) and computers (Windows and Linux operating systems). The wallet has two interesting features that separate it from other competitors’ digital wallets: the wallet’s Byteball store and the Sovereign identification verification.
The Byteball bot store is available directly from the Byteball wallet and lists currently available chatbots. Many of the features that Byteball offers are available through the usage of chatbots. Users can create and interact with smart contracts by sending messages to different chatbots in the bot store. These interactions with smart contracts are simple to engage in and require answering a few questions from a chatbot.
The Byteball Sovereign identity allows users to connect their identity with their digital wallet. Users can later choose to disclose their identity during payments or transactions as an option.
The identity protection is ensured by Jumio and their real name authentication bot. The wallet identity verification is a useful feature and is practical for payments that make users display their identification for legal matters like ICO events, for example.
A Few Words Before You Go…
When all is said and done, Byteball brings something new and fresh to the crypto ecosystem. The implementation of DAG was an improvement of the old blockchain system and might be one of the most beneficial crypto inventions of the decade. We’ll have to wait for events to unfold to stand behind such bold features but for the time being, Byteball can be perceived as an interesting and fresh crypto project with a potential for future development.
The only things it lacks is a bit more versatility in how their crypto tokens are stored and a rise in popularity. The Byteball isn’t a mineable currency nor does it cost as much money as most of the GBYTEs were given away. This was done intentionally, as the developers weren’t interested in crypto profits. Just creating a new, stable, feature-packed cryptocurrency system that one day might be adopted by the world.