Transparent Forging

So it seems that Nxt’s “killer” feature is transparent forging… yet despite the prominence of this feature in the promotion of Nxt it has been remarkably hard to find a decent explanation of how it’s actually supposed to work. Now, I’ll plainly admit that I lack the mathematical and programming knowledge of many in this community, so I’m sure there are plenty of nuances I’m missing, and you are all welcome to shut me up if I am way off base in my observations below:

It appears to me that transparent forging is an ill-conceived charlie foxtrot of a scheme that can never live up to expectations and will likely lead immediately to attacks. In a nutshell, my understanding of TF is that efficiency in the network is sought by the process of all nodes attempting to detect which other node has the highest probability of producing the next block. To work correctly, the nodes must be able to identify the current IP address (and balance?!!) of the chosen node and then send all transactions directly to that IP address. If for any reason that node fails to produce the next block, all efficiency appears immediately lost now that the network must very inefficiently resend all packets to the next-in-line node. It seems an attacker could easily capitalize on this “feature” to DDOS each chosen node in succession and quickly bring the network to it’s knees. Furthermore, any agency with the power to influence routing on a large city/state/national scale could conveniently take control of all of that location’s transactions by intercepting and/or redirecting the packets headed toward the chosen node.

Ultimately I think it’s a fool’s errand to attempt “Visa speed” in a DISTRIBUTED and DECENTRALIZED store of value such as Peercoin. In my opinion, approaches similar to Ripple will always outpace the transaction speed of true cryptocurrencies when properly accounting for necessary confirmations. However I do not see this as any significant problem for the cause. Gold, for example, has remained highly relevant despite the fact that it is nearly the SLOWEST way to transfer value imaginable.

So where am I missing the superior design of Nxt? (Yes, I know there are other features, but these seem all to be mere “layers” on the core blockchain technology that could theoretically be attached to any other coin without fundamentally changing the nature of the protocol. Again, low-tech understanding here!)

it really doesn’t matter…I think that visa TPS can be exceeded by a crypto…and will be soon, but thats not the market Peercoin is in.

Peercoin has 1 single objective that sets it apart from every other crypto. Longterm storage thats it.

Being a jack of all trades eg nxt is good, but its a nightmare when you just want to do one thing and do it well.

PeerCoin is about buy your house, balance an atm, large international transfers, settlement etc.

The block chain and fee structure is anti dust, which is an issue for BTC/LTC, and maybe later NXT.

See ho big the block chain is for Peercoin, not very. Exactly as it should be. The fee structure is set up to transfer fewer large amounts of value.

we are playing the looooooooooooong game here. As the financial types roll in, a good portion will not use BTC because of the mining tax and all that drama.

Thanks learnmore
bluemeanie1 on nxtforum is, less and less patiently, asking for nxt whitepaper lately.
I’ll wait for it but for the time being it seems that fancy features marketing outweighs the fundamentals.

Yes, it’s one of purposes of TF.

Forging nodes announce IP addresses via “Hub terminal announcement” transactions. Such transactions contain info about min-fee-per-byte and up to 127 IP addresses.

There r 3 forgers who have equal rights to forge the next block. Transactions r sent via UDP. IPv6 multicasting is not wide-spread so indeed now the network have to resend the transactions.

“Easily” is a wrong word here. One does not simply DDoS a UDP server.

In this case the network will fall back to classical way of sending transactions to all the peers.

@Come-from-Beyond - Thanks for the reply and clarifications!

Well, maybe for enterprise systems, but I’m quite sure my ISP-issued chintzy router would quickly succumb to a UDP flood even if the incoming bandwidth wasn’t capped out first. Even without a deliberate attack, if I just happened to be downloading an active torrent or something at the moment when my turn to forge came up I’m quite sure my router would crash and I would then not only lose my reward but also be penalized for it! I just don’t see how efficiency could ever really be achieved while waiting on any any single user having a steady, well-protected, resilient node.

In this case the network will fall back to classical way of sending transactions to all the peers.[/quote]

My point here is the network won’t necessarily be aware that packets aren’t reaching the intended node. If the next-in-line node is spoofed what would protect an entity from selectively excluding or altering certain transactions before they reach the rest of the network?

In my mind the ultimate weakness of TF is that it really moves away from a distributed network toward a more central point of weakness at any given time. I just don’t think transaction speed is worth that risk. A centralized system IS best for speed, and I expect that the future solutions to the problem will look more like PayPal, Mastercard, Ripple for daily transactions while keeping a backbone cryptocurrency as the ultimate, efficient store of value.

We r not moving to central point of weakness. This point is added without removing the classical method.

Exactly. Most things in Nxt are optional or defaults.

Exactly. Most things in Nxt are optional or defaults.

??? This is one of the most tautological statements I’ve ever read. I would have assumed you were mocking Nxt if it weren’t for your signature…

In any case, Come-from-Beyond admitted my point:

This point is [b]added without removing[/b] the classical method.

In other words, Nxt’s killer feature is nothing but window dressing.

I’m really not trying to disparage the push forward that Nxt represents; I just don’t think that it is so fundamentally innovative that it’s features couldn’t easily be layered on a more secure and widely distributed blockchain.

I disagree, we were talking about one of the advantages. There are other ones, imagine that u could predict who mines next block in Bitcoin…


You still try to think of TF as superfluous. As I told you, Nxt is a layered system with default layers and optional layers on top of the default layers.

Let me give you an example of such a system:

The IP protocol is the default layer.
TCP is optional layer on top of IP.
HTTP is optional layer on top of TCP.

Now, does IP make HTTP superfluous?

HTTP has its dedicated assumptions, constraints AND most importantly use-cases.

The same goes for TF in Nxt.


I wasn’t planning to offer any more replies on this this thread, as I feel I’ve made my point and this isn’t really a Nxt discussion board. But since you PM’d me to draw my attention to it, here’s my response:

It remains my contention that TF is an honest attempt to address a legitimate problem with transaction speed on a distributed network. Unfortunately, the cost of this attempt is the exposure of new targets for attack such as flooding chosen nodes and thereby slowing transaction propagation down even further or by outright deception through intercepting packets and/or spoofing nodes.

The fact that the network inevitably defaults to the “classical method” only illustrates that TF is, at best, superfluous. (I’ll grant that perhaps in some indeterminate, distant future when IPv6 exists universally, this may perhaps become less true.)

I started this thread simply because I could find virtually no serious discussion of these issues online and I wanted to share my thoughts with members of the Peercoin community who may believe that Nxt represents a significant evolution. Essentially, as you say, “Nxt is a layered system” and I maintain that any of it’s “layers” could just as easily be placed upon a more time-tested and widely distributed blockchain such as Peercoin.