The Next Radical Internet Transformation: How Blockchain Technology is Transforming Business, Governments, Computing, and Security Models

Attendee Question: Do you foresee similar issues with blockchain advancement? When do you expect it?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Technically speaking, issues will always be there. Solving them may not be done by humans alone in the near future. Eventually it’ll all be AI based.

Attendee Question: How do you handle corrections to things like accounting mistakes? i.e. Customer overpays or underpays

Answer (Toufi Saliba): A refund. Mistakes will always happen. Blockchain make them more auditable and therefore blockchain operators can soon offer audit immunity to businesses.

Attendee Question: Have you seen any new innovative consensus algorithms lately?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): I find the Proof of Useful Work by Andrew Miller (UIUC) quiet fascinating how it is evolving and current suggested versions of it by IC3 folks (Technion, Cornell, UIUC, Maryland, Berkeley). I co-authored Proof of Actual Work, where the work needed is for distributed computing so the useful here is needed by the system itself and not just any useful. I’m happy to share more on whitepaper etc.

Attendee Question: How do you see the incoherent nature of international privacy and data localization laws rationalized in a blockchain environment?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Well designed apps utilizing the blockchains can adhere to privacy requirements better than ever before, while maintaining security effectively.

Attendee Question: Do you see the scalability challenges, forcing single-purpose blockchain instantiations? One for my county government, one for my grocery store, one for my auto mechanic, etc.?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Possibly, but there will likely be the blockchain of money to be predominant. Interoperability can be achieved via APIs and fungeability, otherwise will end up in a bartering environment, not very effective.

Attendee Question: Is it proven that the history on a blockchain cannot be changed?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Yes. That does give good a feeling about the future, it’s never a universal assurance. People didn’t think Metal would ever fly.

Attendee Question: Can a blockchain be hacked?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Anything can be hacked. Blockchains in general are designed with security first. Almost all known blockchains today have the same DNA of Bitcoin with minor changes, or mutations. Often those changes reduce the security of the blockchain. However, most blockchains are open in the wilderness of the internet and are subject to all kinds of attacks on regularly basis. A quick rule of thumb, if they survive the wilderness they are likely immune to the attacks they were subjected to.

Audience Comment: “every transaction recorded forever”

Toufi: Instead of “forever” I would say for the life of the blockchain

Attendee Question: Can a readable document or data asset that is by definition immutable, be read at a receive endpoint, changed in content and structure, and reinserted at that endpoint?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Not if properly designed in a way that the insertion is actually a hash of, or a tree of hashes, etc.

Attendee Question: Won’t that become after a while an awful lot of information to be carried around like that?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): If by carried you mean miners then absolutely. They are so inefficient, replicated ledgers. That design will not live forever. However, a distributed blockchain will provide all the existing benefits, plus efficiency 99% better than that of databases and existing financial system while orders of magnitude more secure and scalable. In fact, I am involved in building a ledger-less blockchain that is truly distributed and truly decentralized that is capable of such claims. At least in current simulations. Progress is being made globally at many different levels.

Attendee Question: Does “fully transparent” mean that transactions are fully transparent to anyone or only to parties with specific roles or permissions?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): To anyone, like internet packets, anyone. Although you can listen to internet packets, if properly secured you won’t be able to make sense of them. A properly designed blockchain will have cryptographic hashes of objects that are not possible to reverse without knowing something about the source.

Attendee Question: Bitcoin seems to be primarily the space of thieves to collect their loot. Bitcoin transactions are untraceable. There is no track of ownership visible. Transactions are not transparent. What happened to authentication & identity?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): I’m glad you used “seems” The truth needs to be told. Bitcoin was designed to reduce corruption. It is definitely used by thieves but not only thieves. Thieves also use oxygen when they breath, that doesn’t make oxygen bad. Bitcoin transactions are traceable. The track of ownership is not visible, same as exiting banks or your pockets, not visible. Transactions are transparent, unlike bank accounts. Authentication is necessary, identity is a one way stream. If you are the owner of an account you can claim it, the account can not claim you.

Attendee Question: Would the use of a true quantum computer make it possible to change the history on a blockhain?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Yes, to some history not all. Keep in mind, that same quantum computer you are referring to, will be able to penetrate the security that’s holding other existing systems together such as nuclear weapons from firing, existing banks from collapsing, military etc. Some innovation in cryptography, and blockchain particularly, are theoretically immune to quantum attacks. “theoretically”

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Attendee Question: What are your thoughts on transaction regulation to mitigate money laundering?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Blockchain is really good for compliance, in fact it is expected when married to AI to eliminate every compliance and auditor job by public and private institutions.

Attendee Question: Will you be providing the details on how blockchain works?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Merkle trees of smart contracts activated by digital signatures and are daisy chained through similar time intervals to incorporate every single historic element to render them immutable and irrefutable.

Attendee Question: “$1.7 trillion in inefficiencies”: - I thought it was $2.5T?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Keep in mind, current blockchain promises can not be delivered by any single blockchain nor all blockchains combined. Current blockchains are not efficient themselves. They can help get there but can get us there yet. Check out Toda Protocol, a step closer to get there.

Attendee Question: Couldn’t the block chain be changed by spreading a virus among the systems implementing the block chain? In effect it can be considered to be a networked system to be compromised as a whole.

Answer (Toufi Saliba): This attack is not exclusive to the Blockchain. If someone manages to attack all the devices, they will be able to do all kinds of damage. There are some interesting innovations currently in hardware wallets that could prevent this kind of attack but isn’t yet predominant. Check out Ledger nano or Leger Blue from Ledger Wallet.

Audience Comment: “Gold and silver are money. Everything else is credit (debt). – J.P. Morgan”

Toufi: Good one. Interestingly the entire representation of Gold globally is $9 Trillion while global economy is at $1400 Trillion.


Attendee Question: Is blockchain a generalization of land title records, where a ledger is updated to show who owns a property at the current time? Blockchain has distributed copies and uses encryption rather than a “land title office”.

Answer (Toufi Saliba): If the application is towards land title, then yes. However, the current blockchain is not distributed, it’s actually replicated ledger.

Attendee Question: What are the hard costs of a blockchain? Can you give specific examples?

Answer (Toufi Saliba): Super costly. At the time of writing this answer, Bitcoin alone costs over $1.8M per day running at peak 7 tx per second. Many would disagree and think it’s free to send Bitcoin transactions or any other existing blockchains. Net/Net cost to humanity needs not to be hidden and you can calculate that by adding up all the block rewards paid to miners. The money that goes into miners is effectively money coming out of all users of the system. Current blockchains inherit DNA from Bitcoin, so they are all replicated ledgers. However, there are some other protocols about to launch this year that are ledger-less, distributed and can power global finance for 99% more efficiency.

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