EggdraSyl’s Roadmap, ep. 1 – Tanstaafl!

Well… a few days ago I agreed with the team to use as little acronyms and abbreviations as possible, and there I am with this word from outer space…
Please bear with me: in the end all should be clear 😉

The context

In my previous post I announced that dApps on Bismuth can use feeless transactions.
Feeless as in no fee, free beer: transactions for free, 0 $BIS to spend.
I even said this was something already existing and working.
It is.
You may not be aware, but every 5 minutes since September 2018, blocks are created by the Bismuth network, with feeless transactions inside…


Word from outer space, or well known acronym?
Well, it depends on your background. If you’re an economist or a science fiction fan – guess which of the two I am? – then that should ring a bell.

This is the acronym of “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”.
This traces back to the saloons of the old west, where the tenant would offer lunch for free… provided you purchase a drink!

Many variations of this adage do exist, including the modern “If the product is free, you are the product”.

As for the science fiction fans, this acronym was popularized by Robert A. Heinlein, in the 1966 novel “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”. It has become a central motto of the libertarian philosophy. Everything has a cost, and there is always someone paying for a so called “free” service.

One of the many covers for Heinlein’s book, figuring a Bismuth shuttle aiming for the moon.

Are feeless transactions in the Bismuth context a free lunch? Can crypto world avoid the real world pitfall? Is there a catch? That’s what we’re going to explore together.

Back to the roadmap

Since the Hypernodes inception, the Hypernodes were designed to be as much a framework as a standalone product.

Much work has been done to develop, implement, then stabilize the Hypernodes over time. The documentation however did not follow, neither did a proper explanation of the real features of the PoS chain, nor how to use the Hypernode technology as a framework for other uses.

Now, we’re at a stage where I feel it’s time to reveal what the Hypernodes really are and can be, what problem they can solve, and how to leverage them.

Therefore, I’ll work on several axes:

  • Advertise the Hypernodes features – and this series is part of that
  • Improve the documentation of the Hypernodes layer
  • Integrate the plugin technology we successfully use with Nodes and Tornado wallets into Hypernodes code
  • Ease up the building of Hypernode backed dApps, with practical use cases.

As of today, the technology proved to be effective and working in real world.
An external developer could use it – with some efforts digging into code and existing doc – to run other Hypernodes chains, or plug into the current PoS chain.

Once I’m done with the tasks above, a newcomer should be able to use existing plugins or templates as a basis and quickly build upon with minimal code – and feeless transactions.

Why are feeless transactions so sexy?

Surely you cursed Eth and any Eth dApp you used for its gas fees, making the use of any so called “trustless” application such a pain you end up not even using it.
I sure did, and to me this is a big “no” to adoption.

Lowering the cost to entry is an ongoing effort the core developers do pursue, not only within core code, but also with all the ecosystem.
Hypernodes, APIs, wallet servers, explorers, Discord bots, libraries in all languages…

The Hypernode technology that supports feeless transactions is part of these efforts.
Bismuth Hypernodes technology adds another interesting feature: The PoS chain(s) do not even have a currency. Not a currency of their own, not even the main $BIS currency. Just data.
That is an important thing to notice, since it has significant impact on dApps architecture, but also simplifies the whole thing a lot, and avoids many attack vectors.

The catch with feeless transactions

Since I started this post with Tanstaafl, surely you’re waiting for the catch. Who pays for these free – as in beer – transactions?

The fees in common crypto-currencies serve several purposes.

  • Reward miners (no mining on the Hypernode chain)
  • Avoid spam (if transactions are free, you can spam and clog the network)
  • Avoid censorship (transactions in a block are limited, by paying more you can ensure your transaction will be mined)

This was taken care of, and while transactions are free, you can’t spam the Hypernode chains.

In the next episode, I’ll explain how this issue was addressed, some of the benefits that derive from our architecture, and we’ll dig deeper to see who pays in the end… if someone does at all 😉