November 2018 IT Discussions
Parallel Paths for BiblePay - Future IT and Roadmap 10-29-2018
By: Rob Andrews - Founder
We learned a lot in 2018 that was not readily apparent during launch, and as in all businesses, we need to make adjustments in order to be viable. Our core vision is not changing: We still benefit orphans by giving 10% of our monthly emission, we are partially green on our mining side (our cancer miners are doing valuable work), we are CPU based - therefore anyone can mine us, we are Christian at our core - but appeal to everyone as a utility, we are deflationary and appeal to conscious investors who would like to see a more Christian investment, we have an intelligent team capable of taking us to our destination, we spread the gospel through the blockchain, and we innovate new gospel features.
However, with the rapid pace of changes in this space, it is understandable we need to make some changes unless we wish to stagnate.
One major change to our roadmap is our official position on Stratis. Although we still stand behind stratis and their core mission, and wish to remain informed and align ourselves with the potential value in the stratis codebase, many factors influence using stratis-c# as the primary production platform. The considerations being evaluated include: The latest bitcoin security commits, segwit, BLS and BLS secret-sharing, Dash's evolution commits, the lightning network, on chain storage, etc. In general, I want to first give kudos to the main devs of stratis. They are doing something almost impossible in order to get stratis to be compatible with the latest bitcoin version. Where we have to make our decision however, is weighing the benefits of the most cutting edge - to be released features in bitcoin and dash. Biblepay has discovered that it needs certain boilerplate abilities, and, pending IPFS integration, maps to IPFS, Segwit and potentially some of the latest Dash features (for reasons explained later).
Reprioritize DASH rebase
Additionally, there are over 100 features that have been added to bitcoin and dash-QT, that the existing features users have become very accustomed to (for example coin control), the HD wallets supporting features, etc. In light of this, I will be recommending that we adjust our roadmap to move stratis to 'R&D (research and development)' for future consideration and integration, but we move the Dash rebase to our more short term priorities. The goal is for us to do the due diligence on rebasing biblepay to have the latest dash features, so that we can leverage some of the latest features to store our IPFS relationship in a more resilient manner (IE our business objects). In summary, this means pushing Stratis out to 2022 and considering it an R&D project, and moving Dash Rebase to June 2019. Also relying on Dash's release as our PR event to be released with any other large BBP feature that is worthy of a giant PR event.
Changes for IPFS:
IPFS allows BiblePay to store files on our own network in a decentralized way. To use IPFS efficiently, we need to become a private IPFS network. This requires two additional features to be added to our core (private swarming and leased-pinning).
NOTE: R&D test cases have proven IPFS can run in its own private network with a BiblePay swarm key, can auto-pin successfully, and IPFS mining can be made provable with range requests.
Reasons for IPFS:
There are many very useful reasons biblepay would want IPFS: Allows us to store business objects (think letters, expenses, revenue, contacts, object-votes, gospel-links, Christian-video-uploads, etc). Realize that storing business objects gives BiblePay a revenue stream. A revenue stream cements BiblePay as a utility - and that is important over the long term so that we always pass the Howey test. Passing the Howey test allows us to be listed on the largest most credible exchanges. It also shields us from legal damage, and allows us to partner with the most credible partners.
Reasons IPFS cannot be at the Sanctuary level:
There are very important reasons to first explain that Sanctuary investments are important for BiblePay's sustainability (investors buy sancs for ROI, and that allows us to fund our orphan operations). However, the harder we make biblepay to setup sancs, the harder it is for an investor to gain access to the investment. Therefore, to continue to be compatible with turnkey masternode services such as GIN and Apollon, we must not force hard requirements on sancs, such as requiring them to host IPFS files. If we do require a sanc to host a public IPFS node (with firewall requirements, public data sharing) we also risk a model that penalizes sanc payments when some 'investor' sancs do not perform. Therefore it is recommended to leave Sanctuaries as they are; not hosting IPFS files.
Reasons IPFS should be at the mining level:
So that we can offer turnkey Sanctuaries, we may offer IPFS mining.
The concept of a content economy:
The content economy is a concept Rob is considering for BiblePay. This is an environment where the user becomes more of a Christian community member. In this model, users are rewarded in BBP for doing important tasks, such as watching a Christian video upload and voting on it. (The users UTXO weight in the vote would drive the net vote weight, as the assumption is those with more weight hold more voting power). Consider that one with low weight could otherwise destroy the credibility of the poll-object.
In this model, Christians find worthy youtube videos that edify other users, and upload the video in the 'Christian Video upload page'. Most of the rewards would be paid by distinct UTXO weight to the voters. This would reward those that spend the time in evaluating items with the actual rewards.
(We will need to discuss giving the ability to cite bad votes from one community member to another, such as : Report Voter - with enough votes against a member we may consider adjusting a voters reputation score).
Outgoing orphan letters may also be voted in the same way (IE in general, any object marked as votable will have a voting list available, and apt for rewards).
Pay-to-preach sermons can be recorded by a community member and uploaded as a Christian video. The video would be voted in an identical way as other Christian video uploads. Rob is working on testing an opensource video upload tool to be integrated in that will automatically convert a youtube video into an IPFS document upload.
One of the goals of the content-economy is to make BiblePay a platform that appeals to Christians so they feel comfortable to come back and actually check it for new content.
I envision making BiblePay into a useful platform, one in which Christian's feel compelled to regularly use.
One of the use cases I envision is having members pick a very edifying subject, such as Rapture, and uploading Christian videos only on Rapture for the Rapture area. Then, those interested in Rapture log in every day and follow the Rapture area, etc. Other areas such as end-time-visions, can be created etc.
To have PODC or No-PODC:
Realize, that IPFS mining will only affect the heat miners. IPFS mining modifies POBH to be IPFS-POBH mining, a greener blend - and PODC still exists in this scenario and plays well with IPFS.
However, one concept we will be discussing in a new dedicated forum thread is the viability of POOM (proof of orphan mining). This is only a concept, and could potentially replace PODC. The core of the concept is re-directing the electric costs used for PODC into personal monthly orphan sponsorships. And creating a sanctuary review process to individually approve each individual orphan receipt (with a governance vote good for 30 days). In this scenario, we trade the PODC electric expenses for monthly orphan sponsorships, which could be very valuable for our community - since it is estimated that we could sponsor over 1000 monthly orphans with the equiv. electric savings. (POOM is also interesting in the sense that it solves our centralized fiat-liquidation vendor payment risk issue(s)).
What are the devs working on:
Bhavani: Governance bar chart with totals by expense type for BiblePay-QT. An HTML map with pins displaying Christian camps.
MIP: Church tithing in-wallet. Evaluating the entire dash commit history and making diffs with BiblePay.
Rob: IPFS range-requests and an IPFS miner. Orphan outbound letter writing page in BiblePay-QT.