Ramping Up P2P Commerce - ZenCash on DAGs (Hashgraph?) and beyond

Questions for the Zen Community,

I am very excited about the partnership with IOHK and the aggressive roadmap set out for 2018.

Specifically, @finpunk’s mention in the last bi-weekly Livestream of exploring DAG type alternative architectures for distributed consensus systems that can scale economically and ecologically without sacrificing (and ideally improving) security and fairness grabbed my attention. I’ve been doing my best to educate myself on Hashgraph, in particular, for the past few months.

I’m curious about other’s perspectives on how a shift from blockchain to DAG might be executed, and how shifting to a DAG system (like Hashgraph perhaps?) might change the shape and qualities of the Zen ecosystem?

**Note - most of these questions were sparked based on my current understanding of Hashgraph, but if there are other DAG architectures that anyone would recommend learning about, I’m all ears.

  • Would the role of “mining” be reduced/eliminated?
  • What would be the role(s), if any, of secure nodes, if any user with a smartphone can effectively act as their own node?
  • How would coin emission work for a not-yet-mature cryptocurrency operating on top of a Hashgraph like consensus layer?
  • Would/could ZenCash still be a blockchain based cryptocurrency that functions on top of a DAG based consensus algorithm?
  • …and what else am I missing? (If I’m buying too much into Hashgraph hype I’m open to hearing why)

I’m not a dev or a coder, just a member of the Zen Community that is very excited to begin shifting my own businesses and economic life onto platforms like ZenCash, OpenBazaar and SwarmCity. :slightly_smiling_face: I’m sure I’m making all kinds of gross oversights with my questions, and am hoping that in asking them I’ll not only get pointed towards constructive answers but also create an accessible dialogue for others like myself to learn from - basically non-technical but idealogically aligned users.

Also very excited about the mention of possible ZenCash integration with a platform like OpenBazaar in the 2018 Roadmap. I’m hopeful that the more we knit truly decentralized platforms together (ZenCash with OpenBazaar with SwarmCity etc.) the more powerful and transformative the decentralization tidal wave can be!

Thank you in advance for any insight and discussion - if this is not the appropriate place to post this I can move it to Facebook (didn’t find a whole lot of active discussion there, so thought I’d try here)

In Peace, Freedom and Prosperity


I’m always excited to talk future tech and I’m sure many others on the forum will enjoy throwing their 2 cents in too. I think its important to note that hashgraph is just one of many potential scaling options and we’re not likely going to be implementing one in 2018 but its definitely on the radar and development path.

I believe if the consensus mechanism changes from proof of work to hashgraph then your correct and the role of miners would be eliminated. Unless some sort of hybrid solution arises.

Secure nodes could still play a role when it comes to zK-Snark transactions. I’m not sure how hashgraphs could support zK transactions, but perhaps this is a role that secure nodes could shift to support.

As for coin emission, thats a complete unknown. As far as I’m aware, hashgraph might be like some other coins where there is a fixed supply and no new coins are generated. Did any of the hashgraph white papers talk about this? I’m not sure how well miners would take this, if their source of income is cut off and no new coins are ever forged. So my assumption might be wrong.

Thats a good question, but I believe blockchain as a term is being used more loosely now. For example, IOTA is not a blockchain but a tangle as they call it. Strictly speaking, if zencash switched to hashgraph, it would no longer be a blockchain, but … a hashgraph I guess lol.

I think hashgraph holds a fantastic amount of potential, but we may benefit most by seeing other coins use the technology in order to best learn how to adopt it into our ecosystem.

On that note, does anyone know of a coin that uses hashgraph or gossip protocol? I think raiblocks uses something similar?

In reading through the hashgraph whitepapers I saw no specific mentions of how a cryptocurrency might be implemented on top of a platform like that. However, in listening to Leemon and Mance’s public interviews, I’ve come to the similar conclusion that “mining” as we know it relative to blockchain based cryptocurrencies would be unnecessary on a hashgraph based platform. That of course begs the question of how new coins will be minted in a still maturing system like ZenCash? And if there were to be a migration between the two architectures, what would that mean for miners and secnode operators?

I’m still grappling with what the secure node function would be in a hashgraph or other DAG based architecture. Leemon and Mance mention several times in various presentations that one of the critical anchors to hashgraph’s design ethos was to do away with the need for any sort of trusted server, which is in essence what a secure node would be, yes? By their logic, servers have a cost, cost requires advertising, advertising requires spying (tracking) on customer data - obviously not the purpose of secure nodes.

I’m not knowledgeable enough on zk-SNARKs yet to know if running these transactions requires more substantial computing power than would be found on say an iPhone?

I’m going to check out raiblocks, I haven’t heard of that one before - any links would be appreciated!

Thank you for the response @Persona!