Waltonchain wants to crowdsource the meaning of its technobabble

Andrew Munro 14 September 2018 NEWS

The winner will be determined by how many likes and retweets each gets. Seriously.

OPINION

Waltonchain has released its new Whitepaper 2.0, in which it lays down a clearer and more robust vision of its future and what it aims to achieve. And it still says very little (PDF).

But in an effort to solve that, Waltonchain aims to work out what it's actually trying to say by trying to crowdsource some meaning to the piece. The real meaning of Waltonchain's whitepaper will be determined by whichever interpretation gets the most likes and retweets. This is actually happening.



How to (and why) comprehend Waltonchain's technobabble

The winner of this unique cryptography competition will be awarded 88WTC worth US$272.80 at the time of writing. But only one person can win that grand prize. The five runners-up get to walk away with 20WTC, each worth $62 at the time of writing.

The terms of the contest are simple:

  • Create a Waltonchain whitepaper review and interpretation of industry solution of at least 300 words, and post it on Medium.
  • Tweet the link to @Waltonchain_EN.
  • The winners are determined in order by whoever gets the most likes and retweets.

Hey #physicsfam. Does e=mc2? VOTE NOW!!" - Albert Einstein

Topics and technobabble

There are four named themes within the whitepaper you can write about:

  • WPOC
  • Chain clusters
  • PoL
  • Smart contract library

You'll find a brief primer on each below to get you started. In all cases, it's a little difficult to actually pull any meaning from them, because the whitepaper itself is a fairly barren piece of work without any actual detail on anything.

When queried about this, the official Waltonchain response was "I guess we don't like to confuse people with illogical equations and algo[rithms]..."

Apparently, logical equations and algorithms were never an option.

PoL and WPOC

WPOC stands for Waltonchain Proof of Contribution, detailed on page 28 of the whitepaper.

It's described as a combination of proof of work (PoW), proof of stake (PoS) and proof of labour (PoL).

"PoW provides reliable data protection through computing (hashing) power," the paper explains. "Still, it does not prevent the risk of 51% attacks and also lacks the features of environmental protection and energy saving. Therefore, to reach the balance we use PoS, as it reduces wasting of calculation resources and the risk of 51% attacks."

This is unusual. If the PoW element isn't reliable then adding PoS doesn't necessarily make it any more reliable or energy efficient. And if it's worth having despite being unreliable then it's probably not necessary, or at least not worth the complications it brings.

And saying it "lacks the features of environmental protection and energy saving" is an unusual turn of phrase, as though non-PoW algorithms are somehow running around like Captain Planet rather than just sitting around consuming less energy than PoW.

But let's not harp on strange translations. Instead, let's harp on PoL, which the paper describes as "a brand new consensus mechanism for data transmission and token exchange between various parent chain, child chain and cross-child-chain nodes on the Waltonchain network."

And that's it. That's the entire whitepaper explanation for PoL. Want to learn more? Too bad. You'll have to wait until the most-retweeted explanation of PoL becomes the new truth.

10k retweets and I inject myself with cowpox" - Edward Jenner

Chain clusters

Chain clusters are, like, clusters of chains.

juicy crypto words

A cluster is what you get when you get a lot of stuff and then kind of squeeze it really hard so it all scrunches up. When you squeeze up a lot of chains, all those chains get scrunched up and start connecting together. This is a good thing because then those chains can talk to each other without shouting. Chain clusters are all about giving those chains a nice quiet place to chat.

This is a slightly easier-to-read but no less comprehensive explanation than that provided by the whitepaper.

Smart contract library

This is a library for smart contracts. It's a pretty cool and necessary feature, which goes a long way towards improving the usability of a system as a whole.

"We designed and built a number of smart contract libraries where smart contracts can be quickly queried, invoked, inherited and reused via the event function index," Waltonchain said in a brief fling with something approaching coherence. "The relevant data is self-generated. After a developer, user or enterprise obtains a relevant standard data file, data interaction between an application and other child chain systems can be achieved," it then continued.

Radium... raaadium. Ray-deum. Rad, bro. So rad." - Marie Curie

It's not clear whether or not the Waltonchain team has the technical acuity to do whatever it is they're talking about. But it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that they don't have any inkling of how to explain it.

Their whitepaper could at least do the courtesy of throwing in some illogical equations to muddy the waters.


Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, ADA

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