The Notebook: AMA with Uphold


4 min read

Quick note: Alephium being at the bleeding edge of technology, there are many high level discussions which I have to simplify to make more readable for everyone. But in exchange, I will be providing in-depth guides should you wish to dive deeper. Here are my key takeaways from the AMA**.**

Uphold’s 10th Anniversary

The team expressed gratitude for surviving the tumultuous crypto landscape over the past decade. Happy 10th Anniversary to Uphold!

Background with Ethereum (ETH)

Discussion about Gavin Wood’s departure from the ETH Foundation to start Polkadot, and the ongoing issues with the blockchain trilemma (more like Ethereum Trilemma) gave birth to many more blockchain developments. Also, Proof of Work (PoW) is gaining the popularity back.

What is Blockflow?

The core algorithm of Alephium. Blockflow leverages sharding in a lightweight way compared to Ethereum’s Proto-Dank Sharding. Unlike Near, Elrond (Multiverse-X) and Kadena, they are partitioning the accounts. Cross-chain transactions are more complex since they are account based models. Alephium utilizes UTXO, enabling single-step cross-chain transactions.

Is the sharding in Alephium similar to Graphs (DAGs)?

Alephium's DAG is used not similar to what Kaspa is doing. Our DAG is for the dependency of blocks across different chains. Not to organize the blocks.

Energy Consumption

Bitcoin’s high energy consumption was discussed, with the team noting that Alephium is working towards Proof of Less Work (PoLW), which is more energy-efficient. From the current hashrate, we are 1000x away from PoLW but with the introduction of ASICs (from Goldshell), it might come sooner than later.

Alephium’s Accounting Model

Alephium uses the "Stateful UTXO model" (sUTXO), focusing on security and user-friendliness. This model eliminates the possibility of reentrancy attacks and reduces the risk of phishing attacks.

The state of Smart Contracts equates to programmability. The UTXO component ensures security. Furthermore, Alephium incorporates their own Virtual Machine (VM) along with a dedicated Programming Language.

Reentrancy attacks were totaling $1B (in 1 year). A huge attack vector that was eliminated because it is not possible on UTXO based models.

Alephium's APS

Unlike in ETH, which wallets have to authorize the smart contract and give unlimited access to their assets, which can lead to their wallets being drained if the smart contract was changed into a malicious code. Users have to use 3rd party tools to revoke permissions to the smart contracts and this again opens up more opportunities for phishing attacks. Alephium solved this. (as we don't have to approve contracts.)

Alephium’s MEV Awareness

Alephium is aware of Miner Extractable Value (MEV) and has implemented measures to make front-running transaction tools more difficult. Leveraging the UTXO model, transactions in Alephium are guided by the input and output of assets. This structure necessitates that Miner Extractable Value (MEV) transactions be broken down into multiple transactions, thereby complicating the task for MEV searchers to almost no advantage vs normal users. The inherent randomness of Proof of Work (PoW) amplifies the risk associated with MEV. (This combination of factors contributes to the robust security of Alephium’s network.)

Alephium’s Ecosystem

The ecosystem started in mid-2023 and has grown significantly since then, with the further development of a desktop wallet, on going development of an oracle, and a true trustless P2P OTC.

Also, the first developer meetup is scheduled for June 21st in Athens.

A good source of projects building in Alephium:

Alephium's Future

The immediate future (6 to 12months) includes a network upgrade (Rhone), reduction of storage fees, and the introduction of gasless transactions and new structures in the VM (Maps was mentioned).

More about Rhone Upgrade and why it's great: Github

Alephium's Core Contributors

They have 14 core contributors. About 10 are full-time, most are in Switzerland, but some are also from different parts of the world like Sweden, UK, China, Portugal and Australia.

Alephium on Uphold

Alephium is now available on Uphold, a financial platform that updates its assets on their website in real time.

I hope you enjoy today's update! If you want to listen to the AMA. Click the link below. Cheers!

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