HiveFest: Core Development
As most are aware, HiveFest is taking place now. We see many presentations focusing upon development and the future focus of Hive.
Yesterday's activities kicked off with the core development team, represented by @howo and @blocktrades. This was one of the most important presentations in my view simply because it deals with the base layer. Since that affects everything on top of it, we can logically see how massive improvements there translate to everything else.
It is interesting that we got The Merge this week from Ethereum. This upgrade switched that blockchain from the Proof-of-Work (Pow) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. The primaty goal is to allow more transactions. We know that PoW has limitations when it comes to on-chain transactions. The switch should allow Ethereum to scale a great deal more.
Once again, we see an area where Hive excels. This is going unnoticed since the traffic is not present at this time. However, it is vital to note that we are seeing massive progress in this area.
This is a vital point going forward.
Half The Size
According to Howo, the blockchain is now somewhere around 700 GBs. This is starting to become a problem because this requires larger servers to run on. Naturally, it is a situation that translates into more money. In short, it makes the blockchain more expensive to run.
While a 50% reduction might not seem like a lot, if we apply some numbers to it, we can see how massive a change this is.
For the sake of discussion, let us say the size of the data grows by 50 GB per year. So, without this move, in one year, the total would be 750 GB. Now, if the drop back is to 350 GB, we effectively have 7 years before we get back to where we are today.
This is a major step forward.
Again, the numbers might not be correct but you get the point. The key here is to keep buying time. In the technology world, 5 years can see massive changes. It is impossible to know what compression, storage, or data structure techniques will be available at that time. We know the industry keeps addressing this problem since all companies that house data are confronted with the same issue.
This move is also vital for decentralization. If nodes cost thousands of dollars per month, very few people will be able to afford that. By continually working on reducing the size of the chain in terms of the size of the data, we open up the door for more people to run nodes.
Web 2.0 Speed
Another interesting idea that was put out refers to the One Block Irreversibility. We won't go into a full discussion on it since the link here describes what is taking place.
To give a quick summation, at present, it takes about 45 seconds from a block to become irreversible. This means applications have to wait that time before some transactions are fully settled. While this often happens on the back end, it can cause problems at times.
This is not going to be the case any longer. When the next hard fork is complete, we will see the OBI drop to under 1 second. As we can see, this is a huge improvement.
So while Ethereum is trying to switch to a faster consensus model, Hive is plugging along trying to scale up even more.
HAF - Getting Off Base Layer
One of the big developments is the Hive Application Framework. This is a solution that is going to make application development much easier on Hive.
Again, without going into all the details, there are a few points that should be stressed:
developers can build without blockchain knowledge. They can create in whatever languages (code) they prefer.
optimization of HAF comes from server based technology. This is around for decades so any future optimization will come from the same solutions major data centers are employing.
HAF updated by blockchain developers; applications developers only have to tie into the HAF for the data.
Another benefit applies to the API nodes. A lot of the calls will be eliminated since that will come from the HAF. Things such as account history are built on HAF, meaning there will be less traffic on the API servers in this area.
No More 3 Second Voting
This was something that I had not heard announcement. Evidently, the 3 second wait time between votes is going away.
At present, if you upvote someone, say a comment, and immediately move to upvote the next one, the blockchain provides an error message. This is against the rules.
That will not be the case post hard fork. The feature is being removed so people will be able to vote as quickly as they can click their mouse.
The rule of 3 second voting never made much sense. If one has an allotment of votes each day, who cares how quickly they burn through them. That is up to the individual.
Whatever the reasoning, this is will not be a part of Hive much longer.
Bringing A Ferrari To The Race
Hive is in the process of lapping the field. When it comes to scaling, it is hard to see how others can match it. We are basically looking at bringing a Ferrari to a race where everyone else is driving Toyota Corollas.
While it is true that the best technology does not always win, we can see how important scaling is. Again, we just went through months (years) of watching Ethereum make the switch to PoS. This was done primarily for scaling reasons. Yet, in spite of all that effort, they still do not have much of what Hive is offering once this hard fork goes through.
At present, Splinterlands provides most of the traffic on Hive. The goal with all the development is to be able to handle a dozen Splinterlands. That is something that we do not see around the blockchain world.
Ethereum was bogged down by one game. This caused a half-decade quest to ensure it doesn't happen again. Hive is working to make sure a few dozen successful applications doesn't lock up the network.
The development just keeps racing ahead.
By the way, the hard fork is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 11th.
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