Introduction to Blur Network: The Private Cryptocurrency
Protecting your Privacy in the Fight for Financial Freedom
Follow Biz on Twitter:@Bizmunny
Full Disclosure: I am the founder of this project.
|Currency:||Blur (Ticker: BLUR)|
|Reddit:||Official Blur Network Subreddit|
|BitcoinTalk Announcement:||Official Thread on BitcoinTalk.org|
|Total Supply:||9,233,300 BLUR|
|Emission Profile Spreadsheet:||Google Sheets|
|GUI Wallet Release(s):||Featuring One-click mining for Mac/Linux|
|CLI Binary Release(s):||Download via Github|
For those who have read anything I’ve written in the past, you’ll notice it’s been a while since I wrote a formal full-length article. As I believe you’ll find — I spent this time learning and building quite a bit. Around the beginning of May, the bear market really set-in for crypto-junkies. Since then, there hasn’t been much relief. I expected the bear to last a while before the bull returned (history repeats itself… that much we know). I planned accordingly, and searched for ways to spend my time that wouldn’t outright eat my money (and by extension, my time).
After I had been tooling around with some blockchain code for a while, I thought to myself:
“Rather than speculating on projects that I have no control over… Why not invest the time into building something, on my own?”
Seeking to learn, and maybe wind up with something cool at the end… I hunkered down for the rest of the market’s extended down-tick, and began building a privacy coin. By June 20th, we launched the mainnet for a new project called The Blur Network (Ticker: BLUR).
Motivations and Foundation of The Network
The goal of The Blur Network is providing accessibility for anyone who wants to have an active role in preserving their financial privacy. *Far too many projects* have come to rely on special-interest groups with specialized hardware, solely, for the security of their networks. The Blur Network’s efforts center upon lowering the barriers to entry surrounding cryptocurrency and mining. We envision a network where anyone with a computer, laptop, or CPU can contribute significantly to the network hashrate. Not just enough to add a marginal amount of security… But, enough to have a fair probability of mining a block, independently. Users should be able to contribute to the security of the network, and be rewarded for their efforts in doing so. Further, that should include consumer-grade devices, and not limited to those with a kickass GPU or enough spare change to buy a couple dedicated mining rigs.
BLUR provides an vehicle for individuals to stand and join the fight for financial freedom. It’s time to dispel the idea that privacy coins are primarily for illicit use… Privacy is a choice, and it will be a fight.
Suppose you send someone money with a debit card or money transfer — Do you want them seeing your bank balance? That information is readily available to the other party (and the rest of the world) when you send anyone Bitcoin. We’ve become dangerously comfortable with allowing our personal information to be known by others — which comes at an increasingly steep cost. Assuming you’re someone who would like their financials, online habits, or any piece of your digital footprint to stay private… Who do you trust with protecting that privacy? Do they really have your interests in mind?
We’re completely dependent on companies and institutions who have zero regard for these aspects of our financial reality. Your data *is your property*, and there is an industry within Big Data Analytics that is full of people willing to pay for that personal data. In fact, that industry was worth over $130 billion in 2016, and is expected to eclipse $200 billion, by 2020. With incentives like that, it becomes clear that the world is headed rapidly toward a lucrative “wall of disinformation” — where institutions and companies know much more about you, than you can possibly know about them.
So…. How can we fix it?
A change starts with establishing exactly where we need transparency and privacy, respectively.
That change continues only by making it easier to align ourselves with that stance. We must progress toward supporting and ensuring our own security and privacy, individually and collectively. It is imperative we pivot sharply away from our current practice: entrusting it to others.
The name “Blur Network” was chosen to depict the blockchain architecture, in concept. The idea of obfuscating balances and transaction participants, while embedded in a selectively-transparent system, sounded . . . well, blurry. The publicly available ledger (a chronological record of mined blocks and transfers) is opaque to those who may attempt to spy on others’ transactions. Yet, it remains transparent to the parties needing verification of amounts sent, received, etc . . .
Crystal clear, and frustratingly murky….In just the right spots.
Overview of Key Features
Untraceable transactions are made possible in The Blur Network by using a technique developed by Shen Noether at Monero Research Labs. Ring Confidential Transactions allow for hidden amounts, origins and destinations when sending BLUR. Any amount of BLUR sent is mixed with a minimum of four other transactions, to make transactions between parties nearly unlinkable. The ring size will increase in the next Hardfork, following Monero’s implementation of Bulletproofs and ring-size increase.
The specific model chosen for The Blur Network’s Proof-of-Work consensus is a variant of the cryptonight algorithm, called Cryptonight-Adaptive. Because the algorithm dynamically changes with each block, current pooled mining technologies are not compatible with The Blur Network. Additionally, the Network is GPU & ASIC-resistant, mined only by individuals running a full node. The need for a solution in response to centralized mining is is detailed in a technical paper here.
The Blur Network enables individuals to send and receive payments in BLUR without the variable of “trust.” This is made possible by the Cryptonote Protocol, through cryptographic keys and signatures. The Cryptonote Protocol whitepaper can be found here, and is annotated with commentary from researchers at Monero Research Labs, for ease of understanding.
Differences between NERVA and BLUR
Blur’s algorithm for mining comes from a cryptocurrency called NERVA. Blur’s supply is a little under half of NERVA/Monero’s. Total supply is 9,223,300 BLUR. Nerva’s emission rate has it exhausting non-tail emission after about 3 years (emission factor of 18) BLUR emission will continue at the current trajectory to hit tail emission around day 1740, which equates to roughly 5 years (emission factor of 20). When NERVA hits that point, it will be the first CryptoNote currency to reach 100% emission. We don’t know what will happen once it does, but I expect NERVA will survive and subsist. It’s a bit of a test-case scenario, though. In that regard, BLUR will watch closely to observe and see what modifications may be necessary to solve whatever issues arise. NERVA’s emission rate translates into over 60% of total supply currently circulating (over 10M coins). Contrast that with BLUR’s current circulating supply of less than 1.4M BLUR, roughly 1/6 of total supply. Small changes to metrics at launch can make a big difference, months/years down the line. There are some other metrics that were changed from the launch of the Blur Network, which are smaller and have less of a visible impact. One of these is the mined money unlock window. NERVA’s unlock window was 10 blocks, originally. They have since increased it to a value of 20, while Blur’s is still 25 blocks, and has been since launch.
Apart from emission and supply, we are targeting a different userbase as usability and accessibility are our focus. We want to break down the barriers that stand in front of entry to crypto use and cryptoassets in general for non-techies. Our listing on Bisq, who is adding support for Paypal, Zelle, and a few other payment processors, is part of that effort. The GUI wallet, available for Mac/Linux and soon Windows as well, will be furthering that goal, also. On top of that, we have a few big announcements in store for the coming months.
The Outlook Going Forward
Tutorials on Mining and Wallet Demonstrations coming soon . . .
Follow me on Twitter: @Bizmunny
This article was also posted on Steemit
Also published on Medium.