Growing the High Performance Blockchain (HPB) Ecosystem: The optimization of HPB Wallet with Anonymous Payments

2개월 전

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Introduction

The next article in the “Growth of the HPB Ecosystem” series, is the new optimisation of the HPB Wallet.

What has gotten me excited about the HPB Wallet is the imminent launch of Anonymous and Private Payments. Combined with this I am also excited about the further expansion of HPBs ecosystem in terms of dApps linked to the wallet. So, in the educational style you have come to know me by, I will first introduce you to HPB Wallet, show you some of its features and discuss the current dApps on here. Secondly, I want to talk about why Anonymous and Private Payments coming to HPB is huge. All of this will be made possible via the HPB wallet, a great mobile wallet.

HPB is hugely undervalued, and for a project that continues to fascinate me I don’t understand why. This is definitely my “Gem” chain of choice for long term growth. To see all of the other reasons why I believe this, check out all my previous articles.

HPB Wallets-Which One?

First of all, I need to explain that there are various options when it comes to choosing a particular wallet, over and beyond those available on exchanges where HPB is traded. It is always recommended to secure your assets on your own wallet for which only you have the private key. Yes, this article is about one of these wallets, but nevertheless you need to know there are others.

  1. Metamask: As HPB is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chain you can switch to the HPB Main Network and you can even use your ETH address on here to store and switch between ETH and HPB asset types (see my previous article for more detail).
  2. Ledger/Trezor via MyHPBWallet: This is very similar to the way MyEtherWallet (MEW) classic used to operate, it was actually modelled on this by a community developer. I am an active user of this particular wallet. Ledger and Trezor both offer a dedicated HPB wallet (each has its own procedure of how to connect so check it out for yourself). This is a great option for those security conscious users who want the added security and simplicity of a hardware wallet to protect their private key with simple password access. It is also pretty good because you can still vote and stake using this, however it is not as simple as the mobile HPB Wallet. Interface: https://myhpbwallet.com/
  3. HPB C. Wallet: This is HPBs cold wallet, you would download this onto an “offline spare phone and store away”. This would be a good solution should you wish to store a LOT of HPB safely for a long time but it also allows some features of the main HPB wallet. HPB, (2021) states that this wallet separates “hot and cold ends” meaning there is no communication module connected to the internet. You can still complete transactions via the QR function on the wallet which is the most encrypted way of transacting, meaning your private key is never connected to the internet, this also holds true of voting, another possibility on this wallet (HPB, 2021). Downloaded via: https://www.hpb.io/walletC
  4. HPB Wallet: This is the dedicated HPB official wallet, to get the full HPB experience you should be using this on your mobile phone, as you will find out below. Downloaded via: https://www.hpb.io/product

HPB Wallet

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Source: HPB, (2021)

HPB Wallet was launched in 2018 the same time as HPB MainNet and HPB Scan block explorer. It is a mobile wallet either downloaded via: https://www.hpb.io/product if you’re an android user or directly from the Apple App Store if you’re an iPhone user.

HPB Wallet aims to be a “One-Stop Platform for the Management of Digital Assets” (HPB, 2021). This seems to hold true because of the ever-increasing number of features and dApps since its launch, all with the user experience in mind. It is a much simpler to use and better-looking wallet than any of the others I listed above.

I particularly like the news channel at the bottom of the Discovery Tab. Here everything gets listed that is published on the website’s news channel. Pay particular attention to the monthly progress reports to keep any eye on key developments.

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The wallet has 3 tabs as depicted above:

  1. Assets: This is where you send and receive HPB.
  2. Discovery: This can be considered the HPB ecosystem area where you gain access to the latest HPB news, access the listed dApps and where you carry out your community governance actions such as voting.
  3. Me: This is where you manage your personal wallet from, where you can still map any old HPB ERC-20 tokens to swap them for HPB MainNet Coins and where you can view your transaction history.

As you can see this is the wallet you need to be using to access all the main features on HPB. I particularly like the News section and dApps listed on the Wallet, giving a very easy point of access. The most recent Hpdex is of particular interest to me because I really like this exchange. I even mentioned it in one of my last articles on the “Growth of the HPB Ecosystem” series if you want to check it out here:

Perhaps more of the dApps I’ve listed in my previous articles will find a home on HPB Wallet at some stage.

HPB has great tutorials on how to use the various features of the HPB wallet, for token swaps etc. HPB assembled its team in 2017 and the MainNet launched in 2018, so many users who obtained ERC-20 tokens needed to swap their tokens to MainNet HPB Coins. The swap is still possible via HPB wallet. There is a very good guide to doing this on HPB Telegram Group (see HPB FAQs), walking you through the mapping process.

Voting is also a very important feature within the HPB Wallet because of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) culture at the core of the HPB ecosystem. I wrote an article on the HPB Governance Model which you can check out below to examine this in depth:

There are various Voting opportunities on HPB.

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Source: HPB, (2021)

The above image gives a step-by-step guide on Voting for Nodes in HPB Wallet. Node Election is important as it’s a vital part of the Governance Model. It is similar to a staking process, for every HPB coin you own you get 1 vote, meaning the more you own the more say you have. You can spread this vote across as many nodes as you like. You can leave them for as long as you like, removal of votes costs nothing bar the potential reward you will then miss out on. This is great because you can gain up to 4% more HPB if you leave it there for 12 months, however you need to pick a node offering 100% rewards. After a few days you start to accrue this interest daily and you can see it under “Internal Transactions” on the HPB Scan Block Explorer (HPB, 2021).

There are also Referendums on changes in the HPB ecosystem that are decided on by community vote. Similarly to the above you access this via the “Discovery” section of the HPB wallet then click “Referendum”.

Furthermore, some Council Proposals are voted on, such as new initiatives and activities. Again, you access this via the “Discovery” section of the HPB wallet then click “Council” to see whether the 13 HPB Councillors voted for or against proposals, or abstained.

HPB’s Anonymous and Private Payment Solution

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Source: (HPB, 2021)

This is the most exciting thing for me about HPB presently, many in the community are striving for Anonymous and Private Payments. As can be seen above, HPB Wallet is a fully secure and decentralised wallet. There has always been a focus on Anonymity in this wallet, which is why I will discuss this in detail below, with the new addition of Anonymous and Private Payments. Before I start explaining let’s differentiate between these 2 terms:

  • Confidential: This means that the transferred amounts are private.
  • Anonymous: This means that the identities of the transactions are private.

The architecture of blockchains makes the above 2 features very difficult to deliver. The permissionless nature of blockchains is the reason for this. I won’t get into the technicalities of all this in this article but basically all transactions are by design easy to trace in most blockchains because that’s how they are designed, there is no central authority acting as the “middle man” so to achieve trust everything is open source. By nature, all transactions leave a trail meaning people can be targeted if they have a lot of holdings. People strive for privacy and this is where the problem lies.

HPB, (2021) see this bottleneck in the industry and developed their own solution. A lot of research has been taking place on this solution and it is close to being released.

The Inspiration

HPB, (2021) state their solution is inspired by “Zether”, its equivalent solution written for Ethereum. There is a very complex article written by HPB explaining how this works. I have linked it below if you want to read it, however I will try to explain it here in an easy-to-understand fashion. To understand HPB’s solution it is crucial to first understand Zether.

Harchandani, (2019) defines Zether as a confidential and anonymous payment mechanism, meaning transaction amounts are hidden and the sender/receivers address are hidden. It is implemented as a smart contract called Zether Smart Contract (ZSC) with a Zether Token (ZTH), this token is transferred between Zether accounts which are ElGamal public keys (A kind of encryption).

In short Zether acts as a private “value-tracking system” and an Ethereum Smart contract maintains the encrypted account balance. A user can deposit into a Zether smart contract account and transfer as “ZTH” privately to a new address, then withdraw at the other side with no trace. This is only possible to the owner of the particular ETH address. Zether encrypts the amount using ElGamal encryption.

HPB, (2021) state that they chose Zether as their inspiration because it represents the first anonymous payment solution with complete security proof provided by cryptographers.

The HPB Solution - HCash

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Source: HPB, (2021)

HPB have developed HCash, which will be their solution to Anonymous and Private payments on the HPB chain. This will be made possible in the HPB wallet - the user interface for HCash is the HPB Wallet. HCash represents one of the most exciting planned new additions to the HPB wallet.

HCash follows a similar structure as Zether with the added benefit of HPB's hardware acceleration, which means that complex Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKP’s) signature verification can be done without too much cost in gas. (HPB, 2021).

Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKP’s) are the key to understanding how the “Privacy” aspect of these solutions like HCash work.

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Source: (Ray, 2019)

Ray, (2019) describes these Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) quite well. They basically allow data to be verified without revealing the data itself. There is always a Prover and Verifier.

In short, the prover attempts to prove something to the verifier without publicising the (transaction) data itself. The prover proves that they are able to compute something without revealing the input or the computational process. Meanwhile, the verifier only learns about the output (Ray, 2019).

He adds that there are 3 criteria to all ZKPs:

  • Completeness: The Prover needs to convince the verifier that they know what they claim they know
  • Soundness: If the information is false, it cannot convince the verifier that the prover’s information is true
  • Zero-knowledge-ness: It should reveal nothing else to the verifier other than what it intends to show

Ray, (2019) illustrates the above for ease of understanding with a “Where is Waldo” example. Assume I (writer) am the prover and you the reader are the verifier, and I am trying to convince you I have an algorithm that can find Waldo easily in a crowd, for a fee. You accept but don’t trust me and don’t want to part with money before seeing if it can work. I tell you to close your eyes, and I place a cardboard sheet over the picture of Waldo in the crowd. There is a small slot in the cardboard where Waldo can be seen. When you open your eyes, you can see Waldo in this slot but not work out where he is in the crowd as it is covered by the rest of the cardboard. I therefore prove my algorithm works.

This is basically how ZKPs work. They are used in the traditional world for data privacy reasons, and now also in the blockchain world as the encryption method to deliver the anonymity and privacy people crave.

The one thing I have learned from ZKPs, is that they increase the volume of transactions dozens of times by making them anonymous (HPB, 2021). On Ethereum this naturally leads to additional congestion on the chain and higher gas fees. Here we see the competitive advantage HPB has.

HPB employ this ZKP architecture with HCash, similarly to the way Zether does, however, HPB will deliver a 2-pronged approach to avoid the typical problems as mentioned above. HPB’s main chain architecture will minimise the impact of additional congestion and will keep gas fees low due to superior throughput, thanks to the combination of Hardware and Software:

  1. The HPB Hardware will ensure the cryptography instruction set for the anonymous payment (HPB, 2021) is managed faster.
  2. The HPB Software will allow the Zero Knowledge Proof (ZKPs) process via the main HPB chain to drastically cut Gas fees associated with the anonymous transaction (HPB, 2021).

Overall HPB, (2021) state that HCash will deliver Anonymous and Private payment capability to the HPB Wallet, by utilising the HPB Blockchain Offload Engine (BOE) to accelerate the more complex Zero Knowledge Proof (ZKP) computation required for making a transaction private, thus resulting in minimal additional congestion which would otherwise cause gas price increases. The HPB Wallet will be the user interface for this exciting new feature.

Conclusion

Overall, HPB Wallet is a great wallet, it can be thought of as the interface to access the full offering of High Performance Blockchain (HPB). It has since its inception added features and dApps for the community, aiming to link these in one easy to use mobile app.

HPB Wallet also serves as the main location to deliver on its DAO culture where users can easily vote on nodes, council initiatives and referendums, the more HPB you own the more say you have! It does all of this whilst remaining fully decentralised itself, there is no user sign up collecting contact data, you simply download the app and create a wallet.

HPB Wallet has a lot of great features, and is easy to use. On a personal note, I like that Hpdex has recently been added because I think decentralised exchanges are essential in the space currently and these features attract new users. The soon to be delivered Anonymous and Private Payment solution “HCash” also really excites me. This payment solution is a much-anticipated addition to the ecosystem. It seems from the technical papers that it is based on a proven design so it should be a great addition.

Overall HPB continues to grow, development is going strong and eventually the masses will realise how undervalued this chain is.

Further Reading

References

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Private Payment in HPB Wallet is something I've been looking forward to for a while - great to find it is still very much on the way!

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Same here, it is not far off now from what my sources tell me!