FAQ: Blockchain

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What is a blockchain really?
It is a decentralized ledger. A way to make sure that every content stored remains accessible and unaltered forever.
How do you run an application efficiently on a ledger?
It is not possible. All those so called DApp platforms therefore rely on off chain solutions which is just a fancy word for the internet. Everything that doesn‘t run directly on the blockchain is not secure and not decentralized. That is where Elastos is different.
Does Elastos run on the Blockchain?
No, the operating environment (a virtual machine) does not run on the blockchain because if it did, the blockchain and the network would quickly become overloaded and very slow. The blockchain will be used to verify identities and link the ownership of data to each identity. ELA will serve as a currency in the Elastos ecosystem.
On which blockchain is ELA built?
ELA has its own blockchain. Its mainnet has been live since December 2017.
Where can I see the ELA blockchain?
Is the ELA blockchain decentralized?
Yes, Elastos is merge mined with Bitcoin. Meaning it is as decentralized as Bitcoin and additionally it has a DPoS system to validate every transaction so, Elastos employs AuxPoW+DPoS consensus mechanism.
What is a sidechain?
It is an independent blockchain that can only function in the Elastos environment. Unlike projects with congested blockchains, DApps on Elastos use sidechains to fulfill their needs and approach almost infinite scalability. Sidechains can have their own token, smart contracts and be integrated in Elastos. Think of sidechains as extensions to the Elastos main chain but they have their own consensus, their own logic and they each serve different purpose however the main chain and all the sidechains use the same base currency ELA to fuel the entire ecosystem.
Yes but what is the sidechain on?
It is independent, it is a complete blockchain. Its characteristic is that it only serves on purpose. DID sidechain is used to issue decentralized IDs to users, apps and devices and to store info related to DID, Token sidechain is used to create fungible and non-fungible tokens, ETH sidechain is used to execute Ethereum compatible smart contracts, NEO sidechain is used to execute NEO compatible smart contracts, and so on.
What is a friendchain?
A friendchain is an independent blockchain outside the elastos ecosystem that provides atomic swaps or DEX capabilities with the elastos blockchain.
What is Elastos’ algorithm?
The main chain employs SHA-256 just like Bitcoin hence, it can be merge-mined with Bitcoin. In addition, sidechains may function quite differently such as Eth sidechain employs DPoS consensus so it has much faster block generation time compared to the main chain.
Can the ELA blockchain be forked?
Anything can be technically forked but ELA blockchain is made to handle lots of problems that arise during the time of forking. Since Elastos employs AuxPoW+DPoS consensus for blockchain code and then CR consensus to make changes to blockchain code, it would take an enormous amount of hashpower(similar to hacking BTC) in addition to taking control of over 24 DPoS supernodes to try to attack the system and this is a very expensive thing to do which would deter anyone from trying to do so in the first place.
Nonetheless, nothing prevents the forking of this open source blockchain correct?
Yes but forking ELA offers little interest as ELA forks will be incompatible with Elastos ecosystem already in place.
How will Elastos handle the scalability issues?
Through its mainchain and sidechain architecture.
How does the mainchain and sidechain architecture work?
Does Elastos have an equivalent to the ERC20 token?
No but some sidechains can be used to generate a fungible token such as ERC20 token. This can be done using token sidechain, neo sidechain or ethereum sidechain. However, as far as the base currency of ELA, it does not have anything equivalent to the ERC20 token.
Can an existing project running on for example Ethereum or NEO achieve superior performance by default by running on top of Elastos or can something like this only be the case if the Ethereum or NEO network is experiencing bandwidth issues?
That’s a tough question to answer because it depends. NEO or Eth DApps are not completely decentralized so a lot of data these apps host are still saved in some centralized servers. Only the critical component and smart contracts are stored on Blockchain. So a centralized solution or part centralized-decentralized solution is always faster or at least easier to get it up and running fast. You can decide to switch to elastos hybrid app as well where you have part centralized-decentralized solution and this speed would be comparable or faster sometimes. For 100% elastos dapps running inside Elastos Browser(Trinity), these are completely decentralized. These will be slow at first but obviously they can be customized so they’re fast as well. It’s just that decentralized solution is going to be slower in general.
If they decide to do so, will the existing friendchains of NEO and Ethereum have cross-chain compatibility with the newly created sidechain on Elastos?
They would all have to go through elastos main chain. These sidechains wouldn’t be able to directly have interoperability with public blockchains. Things might change in the future. At the moment, if two sidechains want to interoperate with each other, they also always go through elastos main chain. But again, this might also change in the future where they might not need to go through main chain.
Let's say a friendchain and sidechain run side by side, are they then able to guarantee more uptime and general robustness or would they experience more downtime in case one of them runs into issues of any kind? Can the friendchain or sidechain affect the robustness of its counterpart in any way is what I am wondering?
There is little to no reason why a sidechain and a friendchain would need to interact so much with each other. In fact, it should be the other way around where the idea of a sidechain is so that the request doesn’t need to go outside of elastos ecosystem so everything is easy to implement and also faster and more robust. DApps should be able to just work fine by just interacting with the sidechains on elastos. When you port ethereum to elastos, it means this would be a sidechain and elastos apps can directly have ethereum smart contracts via the sidechain. Sidechains always live within the elastos ecosystem. Friendchains on the other hand are other public Blockchains which live outside the elastos ecosystem. So ethereum public chain will always be a friendchain. A ported ethereum will be called an Ethereum sidechain. That’s the basic idea of sidechains and friendchains
Can Elastos also offer its digital identity security to its sidechains? NEO for example recently was suffering from spam attacks. Could the Elastos digital identity (DID) make it possible to block or provide temporary time outs to network spammers as a possible solution (in a way somewhat similar to how DDOS attacks are stopped on Elastos)?
That’s exactly the purpose of these sidechains. First of all, there are two kinds of sidechains on elastos. There’s a system level sidechain and a 3rd party sidechain. Examples of a system level sidechain are ID sidechain, digital assets sidechain, token generation sidechain, etc. An example of a 3rd party sidechain would be a ported ethereum or ported neo sidechain.
The first of Four pillars comprising Elastos Ecosystem is, “Blockchain and Smart Contracts“. Rong has stated in several interviews and talks that code, specifically smart contracts, will not and should not run on the blockchain layer (Like Ethereum). Was combining blockchain and smart contracts into one pillar just a matter of convenience for marketing or is there a reason to have them comprise the same pillar?
Elastos Blockchain is a multi-tier architecture so both blockchain and smart contracts are in this same architecture. Main chain - sidechain structure.
In the event some nodes are unavailable, how does Elastos Hive provide redundancy so data are available and not permanently lost?
This is in development but this is more of an engineering problem and can always be modified later. Maybe one solution is to provide a redundancy of 10 at all times so the data is more resilient and more fault-tolerant
Is it true that most projects like EOS, Cardano, Ethereum, can run as side chains on Elastos?
Yes, Neo and Ethereum are already ported as sidechains on elastos. This can be done to any other platforms as well
Is it true that Elastos is the first project to provide security, decentralization, scalability, and interoperability for the crypto space?
Security: Merge mining with bitcoin, Decentralization: decentralized carrier and storage, interoperability: DID system, smart contracts as sidechains, etc

@NiuJingyu The answer doesn't clearly state yes or no